Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

Man arrested for robbing Castro shop

A man was arrested Saturday after he and another man stole alcohol from a store in the Castro.o

Police said that at about 1:30 a.m., two emplyees at the shop, which is in the 3900 block of 18th Street, saw the two suspects take alcohol and leave the store without paying. The workers confronted the suspects, and a fight ensued.

The suspects, described as a 20-year-old Hispanic male and a black male in his 20s, fled northbound on Noe Street. The first suspect was later taken into custody, police said.

Police don’t usually release the names of businesses involved in robberies, but the description of the shop fits the 7-11 at 3998 18th Street. No one answered the phone at the store Wednesday night.

Otilio Tapia, 20, of Oakland, was booked on suspicion of robbery in the incident, according to police. Jail records indicate he has been released from custody, and no information was immediately available on whether prosecutors have formally charged him.
— Seth Hemmelgarn, October 4, 2017 @ 5:57 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

SF police, supes announce more cops to fight car break-ins, other crimes

Police Chief William Scott

Police Chief William Scott

Police Chief William Scott joined Supervisors Norman Yee and Hillary Ronen Wednesday to announce the city’s dedicating police staffing at all district stations to fight care break-ins, bike thefts, and other property crimes.

“Year-to-date, San Francisco has experienced a 25 percent increase in car break-ins –19,975 auto burglaries compared to 15,934 last year,” Scott said in a news release. “To change the course of this chronic issue, the San Francisco Police Department is committed to assigning the necessary personnel and resources to reduce car burglaries in our city. I agree to dedicate staffing to combat car break-ins, bike theft, and property crimes at each district station. We’ve also doubled foot patrols citywide and have launched a public education campaign to help prevent car break-ins.”

Yee (District 7) and Ronen (District 9) were set to introduce legislation to dedicate the staffing Wednesday at the Public Safety & Neighborhood Services Committee, but Scott agreed to immediately implement the policy without having to proceed with the ordinance.

“Chief Scott is showing true leadership by answering this long overdue plea,” stated Yee. “As city leaders, we heard loud and clear that residents have had enough. Car break-ins, bike thefts, and home burglaries have gotten out of control. This is an issue that affects everyday residents and deserves our unimpeded attention.”

Ronen stated, “Car break-ins and bike theft are not victimless crimes. Many people living in my district [which includes the Mission neighborhood] are low-income and rely on their cars and bikes to get to work and school. These thefts can be devastating for them. My constituents deserve real action and I’m 100 percent committed to making sure the police have all the resources they need to staff up in order to stop these crimes. I’m ready and willing to introduce a budget supplemental as soon as Chief Scott says the word.”

Last year, Yee worked with the city’s police commission to establish the Task Force on Strategic Police Staffing & Deployment, which is currently determining citywide police staffing levels based on population growth, workload, and other factors, officials said.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 3:45 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Governor signs Wiener’s LGBT seniors bill

Photo residents of Stonewall Garden

A new California law will help LGBT seniors and other residents of longterm-care facilities throughout the state, such as the above residents of Stonewall Gardens, an LGBT-affirming senior assisted living community in Palm Springs.

Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed into law gay Senator Scott Wiener’s (D-San Francisco) Senate Bill 219, which is meant to create an LGBT Senior Bill of Rights for people who live in long-term care facilities.

“Our LGBT seniors built the modern LGBT community and led the fight for so many of the rights our community takes for granted today,” Wiener said in a statement. “It is our duty to make sure they can age with the dignity and respect they deserve. I want to thank Governor Brown for joining our coalition in supporting this bill, which will make a real difference in people’s lives. The LGBT Senior Bill of Rights is an important step in our fight to ensure all people are treated equally regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The law aims to protect LGBT seniors from discrimination in long-term care facilities, such as a facility refusing to use someone’s preferred name or pronoun, or moving someone within a facility or to another facility because of other residents’ LGBT attitudes.

Additionally, SB 219 requires that all long-term care facilities post notices regarding this form of discrimination where their current non-discrimination policies are posted.

Equality California sponsored the bill, which was co-authored by Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona), Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), and Ash Kalra (D-San Jose.)

EQCA Executive Director Rick Zbur said in a statement, “LGBTQ seniors fought some of the first and most difficult battles for LGBTQ civil rights and deserve our protection. Many of our elders have no children or other family members to care for them and are especially vulnerable to abuse or neglect in long-term care. SB 219 will help ensure that care facilities provide culturally-competent care.”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 3:10 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Sister of SF youth commissioner killed in apparent domestic violence incident

by Sari Staver

Susana Robles Desgarennes, the younger sister of LGBT activist and San Francisco Youth Commissioner Paola Desgarennes, was shot and killed September 30.

(Susana Robles Desgarennes. Photo: Courtesy Paola Desgarennes)

(Susana Robles Desgarennes. Photo: Courtesy Paola Desgarennes)

Police responding to a call from neighbors found Ms. Desgarennes, 20, dead in a car on Rayburn Street, near the Liberty Steps in Dolores Heights. Police sources said that they believe the incident was a murder-suicide. The man who is believed to have killed her was also found dead in the car and a gun was recovered, the sources said.

The apparent shooter was identified as Angel Raygoza, 24, of San Francisco.

Paola Desgarennes, 26 and a Castro resident, told the Bay Area Reporter in an email that her sister was born in Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico, and was “a mother, entrepreneur, student, and activist” who recently founded a cosmetics company to provide jobs for single mothers.

Ms. Desgarennes had “big dreams that were shut down the day she was tragically killed due to domestic violence,” her sister said.

Plans are underway to establish an organization in honor of Ms. Desgarennes to raise awareness of domestic violence and housing issues in San Francisco, her sister said, adding that many domestic violence crimes could be prevented “if the city would have more resources for families and housing for women who want to leave” abusive situations but cannot because of the high cost of living in San Francisco.

Ms. Desgarennes was an artist and dancer at Loco Bloco, a youth and family organization focused on the development of children and youth through exploration of the arts and she danced for several years at the organization’s carnival, her sister said.

In addition to her sister, Ms. Desgarennes is survived by her 4-year-old daughter, Angel; a brother, Jose; and her mother, Laura.

A Gofundme campaign has been established to help defray educational expenses for Ms. Desgarennes’ daughter. The campaign, which hopes to raise $25,000, was established by Sisters Rising at the Young Women’s Freedom Center, where Ms. Desgarennes had volunteered.

For more information or to donate, visit

— Cynthia Laird, October 3, 2017 @ 11:56 am PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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