Short Cuts

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Church Windows

At a Planning Commission hearing held on June 2, the St. Gregory’s of Nyssa Episcopal Church, located on the 500 block of De Haro Street, won the holy war it has been waging against The Murphy Trust since January. The church had raised concerns about how a planned condominium project would affect the light coming into the house of worship’s south-facing windows, which it argued is fundamental to the church’s significance.  The hearing resulted in the Trust agreeing to remove 196 square feet, a 14 foot by 14 foot section, from the unit that’d have blocked the light. It’ll also pay for the temporary removal and reinstallation of sacred remains held in the church’s columbarium. The church will have access before construction to repair water damage to its south wall, and the developers must minimize noise during holy days and funerals…The fences around the much-anticipated Mission Bay Children’s Park will be torn down this month, in the wake of San Francisco Board of Supervisor’s approval of the 2.4 acre green space at Long Bridge and China Basin streets.

Mission Muni

SaveMuni, a nonprofit made up of roughly 40 San Francisco Bay Area residents who want to improve Muni service and extend Caltrain Downtown, joined the Mission Bay Alliance’s lawsuit against the City and County of San Francisco last month. According to Jerry Cauthen, SaveMuni’s co-founder, the organization is worried that the environmental impact report developed for the proposed Warriors arena project doesn’t adequately address potential traffic congestion and parking issues. “We are very concerned by the threat to the long-awaited Caltrain extension and the rest of the recent plans for Mission Bay,” Cauthen said. “The problem is compounded by the City’s proposal to tear down the north end of I-280 and relocate the Caltrain station to a less accessible location far below Third Street.” SaveMuni members hail from outside the City as well as various San Francisco neighborhoods, including the Richmond and Sunset districts, Park Merced, Russian Hill, the Haight, Bayview-Hunters Point and North Beach. Cauthen said the organization, founded in 2010, has had numerous conversations with San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency officials about the arena project, but feels its concerns have been ignored. The Mission Bay Alliance also prevailed in a state court of appeal ruling that allowed it to proceed with its Alameda-filed lawsuit against University of California, San Francisco Chancellor Sam Hawgood.

Good Works

Dogpatch-based Advanced Autowerks was awarded Employer of the Year by Skyline College’s Automotive Program last month.  The annual honor is bestowed on an enterprise that provides exemplary entry level opportunities for automotive graduates.  According to the college, “Advanced Autowerks provides competitive salaries and benefits, grows their technicians using a unique apprenticeship program, and encourages further learning of the automotive industry by sending their employees to classes to stay up to date on the newest technology of Audi, Volkswagen, Mini and BMW.  Advanced Autowerks also takes part in the Skyline College Automotive Department’s yearly hiring day, a chance for employers to meet current students in the program and consider them for an internship to allow students to gain experience in the field.”  Autowerks’ newest junior service advisor, Karrine Yee, and two-year technician apprentice, Jimmy Niera Mestas, graduated from Skyline this year.

New Food Park in Mission Bay

SPARK Social SF, a new food park at 601 Mission Bay Boulevard North, opened June 25 to serve lunch and dinner to neighborhood workers, residents, UCSF hospital staff, and Giants fans. The 18,000 square foot space, plus a four-acre adjacent greenspace that will occasionally be open to diners, can host 400 to 600 people. The park contains six different rotating food trucks, an additional two permanent food trucks which sell pizza and sandwiches, respectively, a permanent bar and coffee shop, a restored vintage double-decker tour bus, and four fire pits that can seat 8 to 12 adults each. Reilly Brock, director of public events for SoMa StrEat Food Park, which operates SPARK, said over 100 vendors that have sold food at the SOMA park are interested in coming to the Mission Bay location. UCSF staff and neighborhood residents have already provided feedback about the food they’d like to see. “I’d say (healthy food) is one of the most requested options out there. Lighter options like grilled chicken or a nice salad. We’ll also have fun, happy tailgating food. Mission Bay is a neighborhood on the grow. There’s a ton of potential in the area,” said Brock. Brock said SPARK will also organize themed events and host private parties, and food trucks that sell at the two parks are available for catering.

Atwater Tavern Sightings

The View’s reporter Paul McDonald had dinner at the recently opened ATwater Tavern at 295 Terry A. Francois Boulevard. McDonald reported of a celebrity sighting. Upstairs in the restaurant was Joe Montana and wife, Jennifer, along with former 3rd string 49er quarterback, Steve Bono, his wife and about six others. As Joe is an investor in the Giants’ expansion, perhaps he was testing out the neighborhood.


At the Potrero Boosters’ Annual Dinner and Award Ceremony last month, View reporter Paul McDonald asked The Good Life Grocery’s co-owner, Kayren Hudiburgh, whether the grocery business was challenging.  “Yes it is,” she replied, “I don’t want to do that in my next life.”  “What do you want to do in your next life?” McDonald countered, to which Hudiburgh responded, “Anything non-perishable”…a group of interior design showrooms, art galleries, and retail stores located on Alameda, Utah, and 15th streets have given themselves a new collective name, The Westside Design District, or WDD/SF.  Check it out.