Richmond Roundup

Planting urban orchards
The San Francisco Department of the Environment (SFE), Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF), and hundreds of volunteers recently planted 200 fruit trees at 23 locations across San Francisco as part of the City's Urban Orchards program.

FUF along with teams of volunteers delivered and planted several varieties of apple, Asian pear and plum trees known to thrive in San Francisco's micro-climates. FUF will provide ongoing tree care for the next five years, until the trees are established.

To view a map of the tree planting sites or to get more information about the Urban Orchards program, visit the website at

Cliff House goes green
A new wind turbine on the roof of the Cliff House is expected to generate enough electricity to power's the restaurant's gift shop.

The turbine is 31 feet tall and is located on an observation deck as part of the National Park Service's plan to make its facilities self sustaining. It has blades to catch the wind, a prototype that is intended to be safer to birds than the older windmill type fan.

"We've had a long-standing commitment of environmental issues and sustainability," said Ralph Burgin, the Cliff House's general manager, in a SF Examiner story. "This will serve as an educational piece as well."

Private school wins award
The International Academy for Educational Entrepreneur­ship (IAEE) has named Peter C. Lavaroni and Terry D. Young, co-owners of the Kittredge School, as "2012 Educational Entrepreneurs of the Year."

Lavaroni and Young have owned Kittredge since 1986.

"You are to be commended for the work you have done in creating an outstanding school," said Dr. Don Leisey, co-director of IAEE. "Kittredge School's success is a tribute to the administration, faculty, staff and parents working effectively and harmoniously together for the benefit of its students."

Kittridge School is located in the Outer Richmond District at 25th Avenue and Lake Street.

Former restaurant owner sentenced
Michael Chen, who owned the Fune Ya Japanese Restaurant at 354 Clement St., has been sentenced to almost three years in federal prison after being convicted of filing false tax returns. He also must repay $459,000 in back taxes.

Chen opened the restaurant in 2004. He allegedly paid employees in cash to avoid taxes, but 26 boxes of records discovered by IRS employees stashed in a crawl space under the restaurant's floor showed he owed some $1.85 million in taxes.

Park Presidio Parkway wins award
The Presidio Parkway was honored as the Americas 2012 P3 Deal of the Year at the London Hilton. The annual awards, given out by leading infrastructure industry journal "Project Finance International," honors a select number of project finance transactions from the prior year that represent deal innovation, best practice, problem solving and risk mitigation, among other qualities.

The Presidio Parkway, which replaces the structurally and seismically deficient Doyle Drive, is a new roadway tucked into the natural contours of the Presidio of San Francisco and the Golden Gate National Recreation Center. It connects the Golden Gate Bridge with the city of San Francisco.

"We are honored to receive this prestigious award, which recognizes innovation in how to successfully deliver complex infrastructure projects around the world," said Jose Luis Moscovich, outgoing executive director of the authority. "The Presidio Parkway project and the implementation of a successful P3 program are the direct results of years of collaboration between public agencies and private partners."

P3s, or public-private partnerships, are a non-traditional mechanism for delivering public infrastructure projects. They involve a contract between a public agency and a private entity, in which the private entity provides financing, construction expertise and project design for a public project while assuming substantial financial, technical and operational risk. For the Presidio Parkway, Golden Link Concessionaire was awarded a bid to take responsibility for completing the second phase of the project and maintaining it for 30 years. This was the first P3 in California under a recently enacted P3 statute and is estimated to save $147 million from the cost of a traditional public works project.

Asian Film Festival features "Linsanity"
The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) has announced that the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival is now called CAAMFest, an 11-day celebration of film, music, food and digital media from the "world's most innovative Asian and Asian-American artists."

The festival will kick off on Thursday, March 14, at the Castro Theater with a screening of "Linsanity," a new documentary directed by former Richmond District resident Evan Jackson Leong. The film captures the man and cultural phenomenon that took over the NBA in February 2012: basketball sensation Jeremy Lin. The evening continues with the opening night gala reception at the Asian Art Museum.

Please find information about the local filmmakers in this years CAAMFest.

CAAMFest will take place March 14-24, at various locations in the Bay Area. For more information about films or filmmakers, go to the website at

Crisis hotline for veterans
The Veterans Crisis Line is a hotline and online chat room that offers all veterans and their families free and confidential support-24 hours a day, seven days a week. Mental health professionals provide emotional support, help callers work through an immediate crisis, and connect them with additional V.A. resources and services-even if they are not registered with V.A. or enrolled in V.A. health care.

The Veterans' Crisis Line can be called at (800) 273-8255, press 1.

Open house for Civil Air Patrol cadets
Think you'd be good at air-search and rescue? Want to know more about aviation and aerospace? See yourself as a youth leader? The San Francisco cadet squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, the civilian auxiliary of the U. S. Air Force, invites students (12 - 18) and parents to an open house to learn more about its youth leadership, aerospace education and emergency services training program.

The free open-house will be held at the SF National Guard Armory, 100 Armory Dr. (off Herbst Road - behind the SF Zoo), on Tuesday, March 5, from 7 - 8:30 p.m. For more information, go to the website at

Balboa birthday bash; new documentary coming
The Balboa Theater will celebrate its 87th birthday on Sunday, March 3.

Presented in association with the San Francisco Silent Film Festival and the San Francisco Film Society, a night at the movies circa 1926 will be the order of the day with the 1924 silent fantasy "Peter Pan" being the featured film.

"Peter Pan" will be shown at a special matinee at 4 p.m. and the main celebration will begin at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:45 p.m.). Admission is $10.

Also featured at the evening performance will be a live vaudeville show featuring magician James Hamilton and songstress Linda Kosut, singing songs her mother performed.

There will be lots of birthday prizes courtesy of and Kino Lorber Films and the evening will conclude with a special birthday cake created by "the cake lady," Diane Boate, served with liquid libations.

Audience members are encouraged to dress in their best jazz-age clothing to recreate a night at the movies in 1926. Vintage cars will be in front of the theater.

"Citizen Hearst" premieres
"Citizen Hearst," the story of the Hearst Corporation's 125-year history, will be shown at the Balboa on Thursday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 17, at 1 p.m. ($10).

The film had its world premiere at the Hamptons International Film Festival in October 2012 and will have its San Francisco premier at Cinema SF's Balboa Theater.

Crafted from interviews and historical footage, Citizen Hearst features the personal stories and media milestones that have made today's Hearst Corporation.

The Balboa Theater is located at 3630 Balboa St. For more information, call (415) 221-8184 or go to the website at

Lecture about Sutro Library
San Francisco State University will host "The Sutro Library: Mirror for Global California," a lecture by University of Southern California professor of history and California Librarian Emeritus Kevin Starr, on March 13. Starr will discuss the significance of the Sutro Library, home to tens of thousands of rare and unique items documenting U.S. history.

The lecture will take place in the Special Collections Reading Room, Room 460 of the J. Paul Leonard Library, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave., from 2 to 4 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. A reception and tours of the Sutro Library will follow the lecture.

The Sutro Library is located on the fifth and sixth floors of the J. Paul Leonard Library and is open to the public Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Sutro Library, a branch of the California State Library hosted on the SF State campus, holds state and local history collections and the largest national genealogy collection west of Salt Lake City. It also houses rare pamphlets and manuscripts from around the world, including the book and manuscript collection of former San Francisco Mayor Adolph Sutro.