BBA Meeting – March 14th 2018
LOCATION: Barebottle Brewery, 1525 Cortland
- Darcy Lee (Heartfelt)
- Lynn Pearce (The Calisto Group)
- Arno Hesse (Bernal Bucks)
- Laurie Kanes (12 Small Things)
- Lester Koga (Barebottle Brewery)
- Karen Wiener (The New Wheel)
- Holly McDell (Epicurean Trader)
- Kayren Hudiburgh (Good Life Grocery)
- Lisa Moro (Inclusions Gallery)
- Amy Reticker (Red Hill Station)
- Valerie Reichert (Bernal Branch Library)
- Michele Jones (Seabird Insurance)
- Lauren Becker (Recycled Glassworks)
- Ailed Paningbatan (Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center)
- Stacie Pierce (Little Bee Baking)
- Hillary Ronen (Supervisor District 9)
- Amy Beinart (legislative aide to Hillary Ronen)
- Jack Hart (Captain, Ingleside Station)
- Barry Marshall (Officer, Ingleside Station)
- Nicholas Park (Officer, Ingleside Station)
Introduction & Upcoming Events
The BBA hosted its first meeting of 2018 at Barebottle Brewery with guests Supervisor Hillary Ronen (District 9) and Captain Jack Hart (Ingleside Station).
Laurie & Lynn announced 3 events to put in your calendars:
- St. Kevin’s is renovating, and having a fundraising dinner dance on Saturday April 28th. They are looking for donations for their silent auction. Tickets for the dinner dance are $25 – a bargain for what could the hottest date in town that night!
- The BBA is sponsoring a Green Business Evening with the city on Thursday April 19th, 6pm at the Library. We’ll be celebrating Earth Day and learning what it takes to become a certified SF Green Business with Dean Erickson (Fit Bernal Fit), Karen Wiener (The New Wheel) and Kevin Lee (SF Dept. of the Environment).
- The next BBA meeting and networking and drinking hour+ is scheduled for Wednesday May 16th, 5-6pm. Come mix and mingle @ Barebottle Brewery, sign-up for space on the 2nd edition of the Bernal Business map and help us plan out the Summer Solstice Stroll (appening on Thursday June 21st)
Summary from Supervisor Ronen
The members introduced themselves to Supervisor Ronen, who then spoke about the issues she has been working on since taking office last year.
The Supervisor’s #1 priority has been addressing the homeless population, particularly in the “Hairball” area under the overpass near Cesar Chavez and Potrero. From a high of 230 homeless tents, working with city housing and social services, they reduced those numbers down to 30 tents, but the number ebbs and flows with circumstances. Many of the homeless suffer from mental illness and substance abuse, which further complicates the issue.
Her #2 priority was addressing the car break-ins in our neighborhood. She has worked with Supervisor Norman Yee of District 7 to create a special unit in the Police Department concentrating on car and bike theft with dedicated officers. Since that division was created, our district has seen a 23% decrease in those types of thefts. The division continues to be on active alert as this is an on-going occurrence.
The #3 priority is getting beat cops for our neighborhood back on the block and she also helped to hire the first Cantonese speaking officer for the District.
Supervisor Ronen has also personally been involved cleaning the BART stations at 16th & Mission and 24th & Mission. Due to these efforts and the associated media coverage, she has been able to get additional BART janitors assigned to those stations. She is also working with social workers and outreach teams to help the homeless living in/around the stations.
Currently, additional resources for these types of clean-up projects are assigned equally to the Districts and she is fighting hard with other Supervisors to get those resources assigned based on need in the most troubled districts (6, 9 and 10).
One of the Supervisor’s biggest challenges now is focusing on the need for affordable housing in San Francisco, which has been made more difficult with the lack of subsidized support from our current federal government.
Questions for Supervisor Ronen
Darcy raised the problem of homeless people sleeping on the porch at East-West Integrative Medicine.
The Supervisor’s Office (& Police Dept.) will work with the business to post an official No Trespassing sign on the premises, which makes it easier for the police to move people on and stop anyone camping on your personal property.
Karen from The New Wheel expressed concern about her employees not being able to afford to live in the area, as well as the number of boarded-up storefronts on Cortland.
Supervisor Ronen has created a service for employees working in San Francisco, to assist them with applications for the below-market-rate lottery and other housing opportunities not readily known to the general public.
She is also working on a vacancy tax to help incentivize inattentive landlords. This will take time and political pressure.
We were all encouraged to call her office or send emails/letters to show our support and concern for any of these issues and more, as they are all recorded and help her move her agenda for our district forward. Contact Information for her office is at http://sfbos.org/supervisor-ronen-staff.
As she said, the squeaky wheel does get the grease!
Summary from Captain Hart
Captain Jack Hart arrived a little later, due to a car chase he was involved with, in which a thief was apprehended after robbing a home in the neighborhood. Luckily no one was hurt, although the captain was a little out of breath!
He said their department is currently severely understaffed by as many as 30 officers. They are operating with about 100 officers right now. The Captain should be working in the office, but finds himself called to action 24/7.
The Captain reported that we will have two new beat officers for our neighborhood: Officer Ocreto, and Officer Prieto. The new officers will be coming around and introducing themselves to all the businesses along Cortland.
Their initial shift times are planned for Mon-Fri 8am-6pm. Darcy raised the point that there is often very little going on in the morning and that later in the day has a higher need. Captain Hart said the shift times have some flexibility and asked our group to suggest the times of day we feel are most important for the beat officers to be around. We will put a quick poll out to our community, asking for everyone’s input.
Karen from New Wheel was concerned about slow response times once her store reports stolen bicycles to the police. Captain Hart thinks having these two officers specifically assigned to our neighborhood will improve the response time.
He also encouraged all her bike customers (as well as any other bike owners) to photograph their bikes carefully and note ALL serial numbers, to help with recovery if ever the bike is stolen.
He reported while violent crime is somewhat down overall, property crime is up, and groups are robbing homes, cars, and bikes in broad daylight.
We are encouraged to call 311 for non-violent concerns and 911 for thefts and obviously violent crimes, so they can keep a record which helps them press charges and apprehend the thieves.
He also encouraged everyone to invest in a simple security camera, as they are very inexpensive now. The rise of video footage recorded within and shared by the community has helped solve many cases and is one of the most helpful things we can provide the police. They recently caught those involved with a shooting in Richmond (East Bay) with the help of video footage supplied by the community.
Arno suggested the BBA host a private Facebook Group where we can all post images of those caught on camera and share them with the police and each other. Apparently, Holly from Epicurean Trader has a bottle of gin stolen every week by the same woman.
Darcy asked if the Captain was aware of a group of young men who set up on the sidewalk (on Bocana) with drinks, food and a boombox. They are noisy and obnoxious and leave the street a mess. A number of young women have also reached out directly to Darcy about their bad behavior (name calling etc.) and say that they do not feel safe. Valerie also said the same group set up on the Library steps and will not be moved. Captain Hart said he would look into the matter.
Captain Hart has also been working with the homeless under the overpass at the end of Cortland at Bayshore Blvd. These camps have been very challenging for Lester at Barebottle and Rock and Rose landscapers, who had a car stolen off their property. There is a lot of concern about the sanitary conditions there, as well as other waste and general safety.
The Captain is working with the group Healthy Street Operation who are tasked with helping this population get into public housing, navigation centers or treated at outpatient facilities for the multiple challenges they are facing.
He believes that the coordination between SFPD and other City departments is improving as they begin to coordinate their efforts more.
The group was very appreciative of the frank discussion and real dedication of efforts by both the Supervisor and Captain on behalf of our neighborhood. We will be setting up lines of direct communication with both of their offices, so we can all continue to give feedback and support one another’s concerns.
We will also be setting up a private Facebook Group for BBA Members where we will be able to share important information & issues, pics of any shoplifters or other troublesome folks, etc. When you join the BBA this year you’ll be invited to join the Facebook Group.
Next Meeting & Membership Reminder
Thanks go out to our guests and to Lester at Barebottle Brewery for hosting and providing the great beverages!
Next meeting will be on Wednesday, May 16th at 5:00 pm at Barebottle where you can claim your spot on our BBA Bernal Business Map reprint, and plan for the Summer Stroll coming up on June 21st.
IMPORTANT: Please make sure your dues are paid to help fund the events and promotion we do for our Bernal Businesses!
CLICK HERE to join or renew now 🙂
Laurie, Darcy, Arno & Lynn
aka The BBA Posse
P.S. Here is a late-breaking update from Captain Hart that we wanted to share with everyone.
One really cool update from the meeting, Valerie from the Bernal library is just simply a fantastic person. I met with her regarding a scary/violent person who spat in her face on 3/2, who is a continual nuisance. I did some research and quite simply our effort on her behalf wasn’t up to par. I personally wrote a supplemental report, including interviewing witnesses. My plainclothes team went out and met her and her coworkers with some investigative follow-up, and I spoke with our (neighborhood prosecutor) Crime Strategies DA Maggie Buitrago about the case. So, in addition to meeting you all, I am super grateful to have been given the chance to hear about this case and do right by Valerie, who is an AMAZING person (as you know).