Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Man punched, robbed in Castro

Photo: Rick Gerharter

Photo: Rick Gerharter

A man was punched and robbed in San Francisco’s Castro district Sunday morning.

In the incident, which occurred at 3 a.m. September 7 in the 400 block of Castro Street, the suspect punched the victim, 26, in the face and took his laptop, smartphone, wallet, driver’s license, and headphones before fleeing.

The victim wasn’t injured. No suspect description was available.

Anyone with information in in the case may call the San Francisco Police Department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444. People may also text a tip to TIP411. Type SFPD in the subject line. The incident number is 150704221.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, September 9, 2015 @ 4:34 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Man arrested for alleged bathroom peeping at UC-Berkeley

Richard C. Anderson. Photo: UCPD.

Richard C. Anderson. Photo: UCPD.

A man was arrested at UC-Berkeley last weekend for allegedly videotaping another man in a restroom stall. Police are seeking additional victims.

University police arrested Richard C. Anderson, 71, Sunday, September 7 on suspicion of invasion of privacy and vandalism. It’s not clear if the district attorney’s office has formally charged him.

The incident occurred at about 4:50 p.m. in the lower level of the Martin Luther King, Jr. student union building.

The victim, 49, had entered a restroom stall when he saw someone reaching under the stall with a smartphone. The victim yelled, left the restroom, and told a building employee, who called police, according to the agency.

Responding officers saw Anderson in the restroom with a smartphone and a drill, which he’d allegedly used to make a hole in the stall wall.

County records indicate Anderson’s not in custody. His contact information and court details couldn’t immediately be located.

Police are asking anyone who used the first floor men’s restroom in the MLK building Sunday or who has any information about the incident to immediately contact police detective Sergeant Andrew Tucker at (510) 664-9687 or

Tucker and other police didn’t respond to the Bay Area Reporter’s calls today (Wednesday, September 9).


— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 3:37 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Coffeehouses’ parklet proposal divides Castro merchants

The owners of Reveille Coffee Co. want to install a parklet in two of the parking spaces fronting their business.

The owners of Reveille Coffee Co. on 18th Street want to install a parklet in two of the parking spaces fronting their business.

A proposal by the owners of a coffeehouse in the heart of the Castro has divided business owners in the city’s gay neighborhood.

Brothers Chris and Thomas Newbury have applied with the city to install a parklet in two parking spaces in front of their Reveille Coffee Co. at 4080 18th Street. Their request will be heard by the city’s Department of Public Works at a hearing in late September.

The coffeehouse opened nearly a year ago in a renovated garage space and has become a popular spot to grab a drink and food and sit in the sidewalk-fronting patio. The siblings installed a parklet at their North Beach location, which they say has been positively received by residents and other merchants of that neighborhood, and would like to do the same at their Castro location.

“It turned out to be great. It was voted one of the top five prettiest parklets in San Francisco,” said Chris Newbury of their first parklet. “We have a vision for 18th Street and transforming it into a beautiful place for the neighborhood and people visiting the city.”

A number of their patrons and nearby businesses are in support, and at its meeting this morning, the Castro Merchants business group narrowly voted to endorse the parklet project. But many Castro merchants who attended voiced strong objections to seeing a parklet be installed on 18th Street.

Not only do they object to the removal of the two parking spaces, they also raised concerns that the parklet would be a magnet for homeless people. They noted the ongoing problems the neighborhood has had with bad behavior at the nearby Jane Warner Plaza, a mini pedestrian plaza carved out of a segment of 17th Street.

And they recall the issues that came up when a parklet was installed on the 500 block of Castro Street several years ago that was not properly attended to and eventually removed when the city extended the sidewalks last year along the roadway.

“The reality of the Castro is different than in North Beach,” said Terry Asten Bennett, whose family owns Cliff’s Variety on Castro Street. “Eighteenth Street is already a traffic nightmare with delivery trucks and the Muni buses.”

Thomas Newbury noted that the parklet will be a temporary structure and “can be removed anytime if it is not working.”

They have yet to determine what the parklet would look like, since the city’s permitting process does not require applicants to submit final construction plans prior to receiving approval to install the structures.

“We will design it so homeless people wouldn’t want to sleep there,” Thomas Newbury told the merchant group.

The DPW hearing on their application will begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday, September 23 in Room 400 at City Hall.

— Matthew S. Bajko, September 3, 2015 @ 3:01 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

SF sheriff finalizes trans program, housing policy

San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland

San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland

San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has finalized plans to stop classifying transgender inmates who have not had surgery according to their birth sex. The move, which is part of a pilot program resulting from meetings between transgender advocates and city staff, means that trans women will no longer be housed with men.

It will take at least a few months for the housing transitions to begin, but in the meantime, transgender inmates will have access to programming that other people in jail already get to participate in, the sheriff’s department said in its policy dated Tuesday, September 1.

In an interview Tuesday, Mirkarimi said he aims to start moving transgender women out of male housing before the end of the year.

The policy addresses training for staff and other inmates and assessing transgender inmates’ needs, among other topics.

Mirkarimi’s office “is deeply committed to recognizing and respecting all people’s gender identities,” the document says. It also refers to the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act. The 2012 federal standards are meant to help stop sexual abuse of inmates.

“Those regulations address the safety and treatment of inmates who have been victims of sexual assault and the discipline and prosecution of those who commit these acts,” the department says, adding it “has a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of sexual abuse and sexual harassment.”

The sheriff’s department “recognizes that increasing educational and vocational opportunities is paramount to reducing recidivism and helping offenders successfully re-enter their communities,” the policy, which describes the agency as “a national leader” for its programs, says. “Just as importantly, it will allow all inmates to preserve their dignity during a period of incarceration.”

The “unprecedented action” has already started, with Mirkarimi directing that transgender people currently housed at County Jail 4, a men’s facility, will have opportunities to participate in programming at County Jail 2, which houses cis women.

“Case managers and program staff are identifying what programs will be most appropriate for the identified inmates,” the sheriff’s office says. Gender non-conforming people will be classified and their treatment plans will be “developed on a case by case basis.”

The policy says, “Any change to current protocol involves reorienting and retraining the way staff operate and training in cultural competency. The manner in which inmates view and understand transgender inmates must also be retrained. Modeling respective behavior, providing continued close supervision of inmates, and promptly intervening to interrupt any disrespect, harassment, or abuse of inmates is essential to ensure the safety and security of the facility as a whole.”

An advisory review board will identify program participants before the implementation.

The group will consider the inmate’s self-identification, criminal history, current charges, medical information, psychiatric stability, and other factors as it makes decisions.

The board will consist of people form the sheriff’s department and a community member who has to be approved by the sheriff.

A case manager will assess people’s needs and inform Mirkarimi’s agency on which programs are “most appropriate.” Current opportunities include the Five Keys Charter School, self-esteem groups, job training, re-entry classes, drug and alcohol abuse education, social service referrals, and exercise sessions.

In addressing training for staff, the document says, “Deputies shall complete culturally competent training on transgender and gender non-conforming issues.”

The training curriculum is meant to ensure that deputies respect inmates’ identities by using the correct pronouns and allowing access “to gender affirming items.”

Among other elements, the training will also include educating sworn staff “to ensure appropriate actions are taken to address violence against or harassment of transgender inmates.”

The policy also covers transgender men, but the jail population generally sees more trans women inmates.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, September 2, 2015 @ 2:57 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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