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Friday, February 12, 2016

What's Next for the Sex Offender Treatment Clinic Chased Out of Duboce Triangle?

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 3:01 PM


They’ve got to go somewhere.

Nobody wants Sharper Future, the California-based rehab center for sex offenders, on their block. This week, clinic owners abandoned a bid to move into the vacant space at 100 Church St. citing the neighborhood’s unrestrained (if unsurprising) anger after Hoodline tipped everyone off about it.

But no amount of angry emails or petitions can run Sharper Future clear out of town. The clinic’s clients, all registered sex offenders, are required by law to get regular psychological treatment, many of them for the rest of their lives. Much the same way we can’t legally (or practically) relocate sex offenders to a desert island, we can’t kick out the institutions that service them.

Nor should we really want to, since the idea of sex offenders not getting therapy is a clear net loss for community safety. This has the makings of an intractable problem.

“I’ve been trying to find a place for these people for seven months,” says Ken Colwell, a real estate broker with Paragon Commercial Brokerage. “We looked at maybe 30 sites, and considered 100 others. We did everything we were supposed to with this building, got the green light from the city, and now it’s been taken away at the last minute.”

Colwell is clearly steamed on his clients’ behalf. Sharper Future is actually the perfect tenant in most ways, a successful nonprofit with sound financials, federal funding, and owners (doctors Mary-Perry Miller and Tom Tobin) whom Colwell calls “two of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.”

But it’s hard to overcome that PR problem.

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sex Offender Clinic Won't Move Into Duboce Triangle After Neighborhood Protests

Posted By on Thu, Feb 11, 2016 at 12:05 PM


The people of Duboce Triangle have spoken, and their NIMBY message is loud and clear: No sex offenders allowed!

Sharper Future, a clinic that provides outpatient treatment to sex offenders, had planned to move into 100 Church St. (which formerly housed an Out of the Closet). But after a heated community meeting on Monday — so heated, in fact, that Supervisor Scott Wiener briefly halted proceedings — Sharper Future has announced it won’t relocated to Church Street after all. 

As SFist reports, the clinic released a statement last night announcing that it’s “clear our presence would be divisive for everyone concerned. Out of respect for the community and the very critical work that we do, we’ve elected to seek an alternative location.”

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Tenderloin Nuns Facing Eviction Also Feed Tenants in SRO Owned by Same Landlord

Posted By on Thu, Feb 11, 2016 at 11:47 AM


Those Tenderloin nuns facing a four-figure rent hike and possible eviction are lauded throughout the neighborhood for feeding the homeless, but the homeless aren’t their only clients. Many tenants of the building next door on Turk Street rely on the nuns’ small charity kitchen to help make ends meet, too. Coincidentally, that building is owned by the nuns' very own landlord.

The Fraternite Notre Dame Mary of Nazareth Soup Kitchen sits on the same parcel as the Winston Arms Apartments, a combination hotel and SRO at 50 Turk Street, owned by local hotelier Natverbhai Patel. The building, which dates to 1914, has a history of citations from the Department of Building Inspection, including blocked fire exits, chronic mold, unsanitary shared bathrooms, rodent and bedbug infestations, and possible lead-based paint (the inspector didn’t test the paint but cautioned the owner about safeguarding against potential toxins when removing it, according to a 2013 inspection report).

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Nuns Who Feed the Homeless Face Eviction After Rent Hike

Posted By on Mon, Feb 8, 2016 at 4:23 PM

  • via Google Maps

Here’s a depressing, infuriating tidbit for you: Two nuns, who’ve served meals to the homeless from their modest Turk Street kitchen since 2008, face eviction after their landlord raised their rent by more than 50 percent.

The Fraternite Notre Dame Mary of Nazareth Soup Kitchen consists of two nuns, who sleep in the small room behind their soup kitchen at 54 Turk Street. As the Chronicle reports, the nuns got word on Jan. 15 that their rent was being hiked from $3,465 to $5,500 a month. On Jan. 29, they received an order to either pay up or get out.

The nuns scrape together a living by selling pastries at farmers markets — but hardly earn enough to meet the new rent. With no prospects for making more money, the nuns count on their pro bono attorney, Daniel Fitzpatrick, to fight the eviction. Fitzpatrick plans to argue that the kitchen is also the nuns’ residence since they sleep in the back room.

Nonprofits forced out of the city are nothing new. In 2014, Bloomberg reported that 2,000 nonprofits in San Francisco, or almost one-quarter of the total, had to leave town or shut down between 2011 and 2013. But there’s something especially poignant and appalling about nuns being pushed out of their soup kitchen. (Especially in light of the city's metastasizing tent encampments and homeless sweeps, the latter of which officials continue to deny.)  

Per the Chronicle, the nuns’ landlord, Nick Patel, is in India this week and has put everything on hold until he returns. Once he’s back, the nuns’ fate will go from being in God’s hands to being in the hands of their attorney.

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Man Who Claims He Was Stabbed by Mario Woods Speaks Out

Posted By on Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 10:11 AM


In an exclusive interview, ABC 7 talked to the man who claims to be Mario Woods’ stabbing victim — a victim that some in the community had questioned the existence of, given that his identity has been under wraps since police shot and killed Woods on Dec. 2.

The victim, whom ABC 7 refers to as “Jacob,” is 26 years old, the same age as Woods when he died. According to him, he’d never met Woods before that tragic afternoon. He was in a car with two female friends and a child, parked at Third Street and Laconte Avenue, when he says Woods approached, looking “agitated about something and paranoid.”

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Mayor Lee Says Outreach Workers Gave The Homeless “Alternatives” Before Telling Them To Move

Posted By on Tue, Feb 2, 2016 at 2:47 PM

  • Mike Koozmin/SF Examiner

When I asked Mayor Ed Lee to explain his comment last summer that the homeless on the Embarcadero will “have to leave” during the Super Bowl , the first thing he said was, “Well, it’s not surprising that SF Weekly would take my words out [of context].”

Ooh. The claws come out. In truth, I was quoting him pretty directly, but I’ll admit that as far as mayoral burns go, that wasn't bad. Nevertheless: the question, Mr. Mayor?

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Free SFPD Escort for NFL, Teams During Super Bowl

Posted By on Tue, Feb 2, 2016 at 1:45 PM

Who's in charge? Make no  mistake. - SF WEEKLY PHOTO ILLUSTRATION
  • SF Weekly photo illustration
  • Who's in charge? Make no mistake.

If Peyton Manning, Roger Goodell, and Cam Newton all want to stroll arm-in-arm down Market Street ahead of their big game Sunday, San Francisco police will be there to protect them — free of charge.

In addition to providing all the free security for Super Bowl City, the "fan village" that's occupying most of the Financial District, and other SF-located Super Bowl events, the San Francisco Police Department have also guaranteed free security escorts for the NFL and its teams while they're in town for the Super Bowl "without limitation," according to an agreement signed by SFPD Chief Greg Suhr.

You'll recall how San Francisco, at the NFL's demand, agreed to pay for the police protection, cleanup, and transit costs for the Super Bowl festivities out of pocket, an estimated $5.3 million bill. (If you do, you'll probably also recall how Santa Clara, where the game is being played Sunday, demanded that the NFL pay it $3.6 million up front — and that Santa Clara has a signed host city agreement in place, whereas SF welcomed the Super Bowl on little more than a handshake.)

But the NFL, it appears, has more than just a safe place in which to party. The SFPD has signed up to be the NFL's at-will security guards.

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Federal Review of SFPD Won't Be the Sweeping Civil Rights Probe Activists Hoped For

Posted By on Tue, Feb 2, 2016 at 11:01 AM


When word got out yesterday that the Department of Justice would review the San Francisco Police Department, activists hoped that meant a sweeping investigation of the SFPD’s pattern of racial bias and civil rights violations, similar to federal probes of police departments in Ferguson, Mo. and Chicago.

Well, it won’t be.

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Scenes From Saturday's Protest Marking the Debut of Super Bowl City

Posted By on Mon, Feb 1, 2016 at 10:52 AM

  • Photo by Adam Brinklow

The Justice For Mario Woods coalition welcomed the NFL to San Francisco in the most quintessentially San Francisco way possible on Saturday: with marching, chanting, and a cadre of police officers in dogged, if sluggish, pursuit.

In theory, the protest, which began with a rally of about 100 people at Union Square at 11 a.m., was about police reform rather than the Super Bowl itself. But the NFL took a little heat, too.

“A billion dollar industry has come here to San Francisco, and it’s all about pay to play,” coalition leader and SEIU union rep Phelicia Jones told the morning crowd.

But the demonstrators soon returned to their central themes: Police Chief Greg Suhr’s resignation, indictments for the officers who fatally shot 26-year-old Bayview resident Mario Woods on Dec. 2, and a federal investigation of the police department (which, coincidentally, will be announced later today).

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Even as City Reportedly Dismantles Homeless Encampments, This Man Vows to Replace Tents

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 12:10 PM

  • Mike Koozmin/SF Examiner

This morning, a video posted on Facebook purportedly shows a clean-up crew from the Department of Public Works dismantling the homeless tent encampment on San Bruno Avenue. Jordan Buck, who posted the video, noted, “Everyone in the encampment on Division/13th is packing up their shit right now, they must have been threatened already.”

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