Richmond Roundup

New Captain at Richmond Station
A new captain has taken the helm at the Richmond Station.

Captain Anthony Fotinos took over Jan. 12. He vows to continue community policing in the district.

"I have been a member of SFPD for 28 years and have worked in patrol, investigations and administration," Fotinos said. "I can already tell in my short time here that the Richmond Station is staffed by many of the hardest working and dedicated people law enforcement has to offer."

Fotinos is calling for more cooperation between the community, police and city agencies to proactively address problems.

Capt. Jere Williams, who only months earlier took over for long-time commanding officer Sandra Tong, was transferred to the Bureau of Inspectors, in charge of all property crimes committed in San Francisco.

"During my short tenure, it was my pleasure to meet the residents of the Richmond District and be able to communicate ideas and thoughts," Williams said.

Bus BRT Plan Lurches Forward
A SF Transportation Authority committee gave the OK in January for an engineering and environmental analysis for the Geary Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.

The Geary BRT plan is intended to speed up the time it takes to travel on mass transit. Making the system more dependable and offering a better riding experience are also goals.

But some groups in the Richmond, including the Planning Association for the Richmond (PAR) and the Greater Geary Boulevard Merchants and Property Owners Association, have concerns about BRT in the avenues. With the center lane options that the Transportation Authority favors, more traffic will be diverted onto other neighborhood streets, merchant parking could be lost, and businesses could be put out of business by the large scale construction that would be required.

"We feel there is a lot of things that can be done before you go ahead and run tracks down the middle of the street," said PAR President Ron Miguel.

The $1.8 million study was recommended to be given to Jacobs Carter Burgess. As of presstime, the full board of supervisors had not voted on the recommendation of the committee, which voted unanimously to grant the contract.

The study will look at the impacts of putting the BRT lanes in the center of Geary Boulevard versus the outside lanes, which is where the Muni Geary #38 bus line currently operates.

7th Ave. Safeway Opens, Starbucks Get the Boot
Shoppers are returning to the newly-rebuilt Safeway at Seventh Avenue and Cabrillo Street. The completely transformed store now features full-service meat, seafood and deli departments, a full-service pharmacy, floral department, olive bar, cheese table and expanded wine section.

Two opening celebrations at the end of January served as the official ribbon-cutting and reopening, and shoppers received coupons, enjoyed live music, heard from a series of speakers, and watched the presentation of a check to a local charity.

A new Starbucks kiosk in the new store was shut down shortly after the Safeway opened due to opposition from local merchants and community members.

Just months earlier, more than 4,000 signatures were gathered on petitions to halt a Starbucks which was planned to open in the new Toyota site about to open on Geary Boulevard at Fourth Avenue. The same coalition that led the revolt against the Geary Starbucks came together to halt the Safeway kiosk.

Tuchow Named Environment Steward
Vowing to transcend partisan and personal politics concerning the environment, Richmond District resident Matt Tuchow was appointed to the SF Commission on the Environment.

Appointed by SF Mayor Gavin Newsom, Tuchow says he will carry out policies that will make the City a model of sustainability for other cities throughout the nation.

"We have done a lot in our City already, but there is so much more we can do," Tuchow said. "We should explore opportunities to generate energy on major transit corridors, like Geary Boulevard for example, by installing compressible panels that generate electricity to street lights whenever vehicles go over them. We should also do more to promote renewable energy sources, photovoltaic solar panels and energy from tidal motion; we should have a green fleet of city cars; we should promote environmental education in our schools; and we can better maintain our parks and boulevards, and green our streets and plant trees."

New Director at YMCA
A new director, Tiffany Patterson, has been named to lead the Richmond District YMCA. Patterson formerly worked at the Embarcadero and Marin YMCAs.

"I look forward to becoming an integral part of the Richmond District neighborhood," she said.

Patterson hopes to develop new programs and strengthen community partnerships.

Time Capsule to be Buried at Richmond Library
Items are being assembled for a time capsule to be buried at the Richmond/Sen. Milton Marks Branch Library on 18th Avenue.

The library is currently undergoing a massive renovation project. The capsule will include pictures of the neighborhood, various newspapers, a list of Geary Boulevard and Clement Street businesses, and other items.

Center launches Kids-Only Clubs
Parents with children in the second or third grade are invited to drop off their children for hands-on activities and discovery at an environmental club in the Presidio, called "Animal Adventures."

The agenda calls for nature enthusiasts to explore and track down the critters that call the Presidio home; examine skulls, pelts and tracks in the Urban Ecology Lab; and design origami mobiles and marble mazes. The sessions will be held at Crissy Field Center, located at 603 Mason St. (at Halleck Street). They will be held on Saturdays, Feb. 2, 9, 22 and March 1, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost is $145.

For more information or to pre-register (required), call 561-7752 or visit