Top 15 Mission Local Stories of the Year

first_img Four-Alarm Fire at Mission and 22nd Kills One, Displaces Dozen. One of the more traumatic stories of the year for the neighborhood and Mission Local was on the four-alarm fire that engulfed the historic white apartment building — and our second-floor office — on the corner of 22nd and Mission in January, killing one man, leaving dozens suffering from smoke inhalation and small burns, and displacing dozens of residential and commercial tenants. The fire was just one of many this year that have heightened people’s fears of displacement, and our subsequent investigation of the landlord revealed real estate holdings with myriad issues. Through it all, we reported on stories big and small. Traffic on our site rose by 22 percent to more than one million unique visitors for the year, an average of more than 80,000 a month. Just under half of our users are regular visitors, so thank you for continuing to support our site! We cannot do the work we do without you, so please consider signing up for a membership to keep your source of local news alive and well.In reverse order of popularity, here are our most-read stories of the year: The past year was a heavy one. Housing and evictions dominated the scene, with more fully affordable projects slated for the Mission District than any time in the last 10 years — but also the resumption of protests against evictions in a neighborhood not worn-out of fighting against them. There were also a good number of shocks: the closure of a 93-year-old tamale shop, the death of a Google landlord who fielded his share of protests, an illegal gambling den and brothel that continually evaded police shutdown, and the harassment of guards for Mark Zuckerberg’s multi-million dollar Mission house. Crimes, from deadly shootings to petty thefts, continued to mark the neighborhood — though until December, it looked like the Mission would go a full year without a gun homicide.And, of course, there was the deadly fire at 22nd and Mission that took one man’s life and displaced dozens, including us. Mission Local was on-site throughout the ordeal, taking testimony and investigating the landlord of the building, uncovering real estate holdings throughout the Bay Area rife with problems. SF Mission’s Kink Cuts Ties with Performer Accused of Rape. The national scandal over boy-next-door porn actor James Deen, who was accused by multiple women of rape and sexual assault, found a Mission District connection in November when was named as the locale of an alleged assault. The porn company, located in the historic Armory building, cut off ties with Deen after the allegations emerged, saying consent was a mainstay of the studio and that they did not take the accusations lightly. Day After Fire, Dozens Look to Uncertain Future. The day after a four-alarm fire at the corner of 22nd and Mission killed one man, destroyed dozens of businesses — including our own — and displaced some 54 residents, Mission Local gathered testimony from residents, spoke to the landlord, and was on-site throughout the ordeal for briefings from city and fire officials. Some residential and commercial tenants were briefly allowed back into their old building to collect burnt belongings, but most had been lost to the fire, and many are still displaced from both the Mission and San Francisco. SF Businesses Find New Hires Hard to Find. In a little-thought of consequence of gentrification, restaurants and shops in the Mission have found it more difficult to hire new employees, who need higher and higher wages in order to live in the neighborhood or the city. Even with the recent minimum wage spike, businesses said new hires could only afford to work in the Mission if they received a living wage for the area — and Mission businesses are finding themselves unable to afford paying that wage. Guy Steals Phone, Young Woman Gets It Back. A lighter crime story for the Mission District, and the first of ours to feature a staff-drawn crime sketch, featured a young woman texting and walking near 16th and Shotwell when a man in his late 20s grabbed the phone from her hand. The two got into a wrestling match that saw the suspect flee with the phone, but the quick-thinking woman chased after him, and a swift kick to the derriere was all it took to retrieve her stolen property. Gentrifiers to SF Mission Now Fear Eviction. In a cruel twist of fate, four self-described gentrifiers to the Mission District faced eviction themselves back in October when their older landlords got tired of managing the property. Though not the typical face of gentrification — the four were artists or non-profit workers — their eviction highlighted the danger of displacement for newcomers and old-timers alike. Residents congregate accross the street of the building the once called home. Photo by Daniel Mondragón. Two Wounded in 24th Street Shootout. If it bleeds, it leads, and such was the case for this story of a shootout at the 24th Street BART Station in August — though both victims were hospitalized for non-life-threatening injuries and survived the ordeal. One of our reporters and a former reporter happened to be on-site when the shooting occurred, so Mission Local quickly pieced together a narrative and photos of the aftermath. SF Buys Six Buildings, Keeping Artists and Others in Place. Another rare housing victory of the year was the use of funds from the city’s Small Sites Program to buy six buildings with more than 60 tenants, preventing their evictions and ensuring their stay in the neighborhood. René Yañez, a long-time Mission artist and co-founder of both the Galería de la Raza and Mission Cultural Center, was one of the tenants whose unit was saved. Sketch by Lydia Chavez. Photo by George Lipp.center_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Performance Artist Endures 8-Hour Barrage of Catcalls to Fight Harassment in SF Mission. In one of our few audio pieces this year, Mission Local documented the performance of Mirabelle Jones, who stood in a gallery window space on Valencia Street in just her underwear. Signs of catcalling she has heard adorned surrounding walls as Jones stood under balloons tied to razor blades, some of which would drop and graze Jones. The reactions Jones elicited from passers-by, including one 13-year-old girl, were as revealing as the piece itself. Roosevelt Tamale Parlor in SF Mission Closing Down. The beloved Roosevelt Tamale Parlor on 24th Street announced its closure early in December, a victim of “unsustainable wage expectations” from workers finding it more and more difficult to live in San Francisco, to say nothing of the Mission District. It’s a problem Mission Local has documented before, but the death of a 93-year-old business — though it had been under new management for the past three years — put the issue in starker relief for readers. Mission Landlord and Google Employee Jack Halprin Dies at 46. After a year-long attempt to evict his tenants — and a six-month battle with cancer — landlord Jack Halprin died in July from his illness. Groups like the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, which had previously been engaged in protests at his house, found themselves expressing condolences for his death, and friends and family remembered a fun and loving companion, not the controversial landlord he had become to others. Zuckerberg’s Guards Harassed: Restraining Order Approved, Arrests Made. Even our news pieces are gentrified: Our most-read story of the year was not about housing, crime, small businesses, or muralists, but about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, or more to the point — about his guards. Zuckerberg’s multi-million dollar 21st Street home required constant security while it was renovated, and the tale of a man who allegedly harassed guards interested readers more than any other piece this year. Security guards took out a restraining order that, because of the proximity of the alleged harasser’s sleeping quarters to Zuckerberg’s house, not only barred him from the Facebook founder’s home but also from his own. Man Shot by Police Dies from His Injuries. A suicide by cop was one of three fatal police shootings in the Mission District this year (and one of either six or seven deadly shootings overall) when a man walked into the Mission Station on Valencia Street and pointed an airsoft gun at officers, prompting officers to shot. The man wrote a suicide note the day before the shooting and had allegedly visited the station earlier, wondering what would happen if someone were to bring a gun there. The former Fizzary, now the site of an illegal gambling den. Photo: Joe Rivano Barros / Mission Local. 0% SF Market Rate Housing Projects Goes Fully Affordable. In a rare piece of good housing news, Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor David Campos were able to announce in July that 72 units of formerly market-rate housing at the corner of 16th and South Van Ness would become 100 percent affordable. This year was a hot one for new fully affordable construction projects in the Mission, but it’s rare for a market-rate project to be converted into affordable housing, and readers flocked to the news. Illegal Gambling Den and Brothel in SF Mission Evades Shutdown Despite Police Presence. In true Mission fashion, the former soda and candy shop The Fizzary turned into an after-hours gambling den and brothel after its owner was duped into leasing the place to a couple who claimed they would open up a vitamin shop. A few weeks later, and after a shooting on-site, the den was a trouble-spot on the block that avoided being shut down despite a nearly continuous police presence. (A hat tip to Capp Street Crap for originally reporting on this story.) Mirabelle Jones at Artists’ Television Access on Valencia Street.last_img read more

Lowriders Cops Face Off at SF Mission Hunger Strike

first_img Tags: Mission Police Station • police shooting Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Within moments, some dozen police officers exited the station and told drivers to leave or face a ticket.“They are parking illegally and obstructing the street,” said one officer. “We are not trying to hassle them and respect the right to protest. But the lowriders can’t be here, I’m sure you understand.”The police fanned out into the street and caused the drivers to quickly disappear, though hunger strikers confronted officers. They asked that officers tell Mayor Lee about the strike and the demand to fire Chief Suhr.“I have no place in telling the mayor anything, sir,” responded the officer. “We are not here because of that, we’re here because the flow of traffic was impeded.”“We controlled the traffic probably better than you guys,” retorted one supporter, as others shouted “Who are you protecting?” before dispersing.Edwin Lindo (right) speaking with a police officer on Sunday. Photo by Lola M. ChavezThe lowriders driving away from the police. Photo by Lola M. ChavezThe lowriders parked in red zones in front of the station. Photo by Lola M. ChavezSellassie Blackwell, one of the hunger strikers, and officers on Sunday. Photo by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezThe car show at John O’Connell where the lowriders came to the hunger strike from. Photo by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezPresentation of trophies at the lowrider show at John O’Connell High School. Photo by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. Chavez On Sunday, a group of some 20 lowriders gave an impromptu visit to the Mission District hunger strikers — known as as the Frisco Five — who have been camped out in front of the Mission District police station for 12 days to call for the firing of the city’s police chief.The lowriders shut down Valencia Street for some five minutes before police officers threatened citations, causing drivers to leave the area.“I don’t have money for this ticket,” said one lowrider driver. “But maybe I do if it’s for a cause.” The lowriders — coming from an earlier show at John O’Connell High School — crowded both sides of Valencia Street with their muscle cars and formed a narrow sliver for vehicular traffic, while some supporters of the hunger strike attempted to guide cars through the blockade.center_img 0%last_img read more

Veteran offers peaceful solution to controversial confederate monuments

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Tired of seeing arguments over confederate statues? One army veteran has an idea he hopes will catch on and make both sides happy.There is controversy over confederate statues across the state and nation as many demand they come down. It’s enough to make one New Hanover County veteran upset at the way people have been fighting with one another.- Advertisement – “Seeing the extremist on both sides arguing and fighting and these battles going on over these things out in public like I said it’s heartbreaking,” David Deserres said.A former US Army Infantry Sergeant, Deserres has sparked an idea that he hopes others will agree with.“Well it’s a very complex problem but I have a very very simple solution,” he said.Related Article: Board taking more time to decide on UNC’s Silent SamHe wants to find a common ground.“Some people want it some people don’t, alright well let’s make everybody happy,” he said. “Instead of tearing the statues down what we can do is relocate them to a safe place.”A place like a cemetery where people can visit them if they want.“These statues could be replaced with brand new statues that would commemorate and honor the fallen heroes in the wars of Afghanistan and Iraq,” he added.Deserres plans to continue reaching out to state and local leaders to see what they think of his idea.We spoke to Wilmington City councilman Kevin O’Grady and he says conversations about the statues need to happen. He believes the decisions about the removal or non-removal of statues should be at the local level.last_img read more

Pender County Schools to name new superintendent

first_img The Pender County School Board has called a special meeting for 4:30 p.m. “for the selection, approval and introduction of a new [s]uperintendent.”The News-Herald reports Hill submitted his resignation to the Bertie County School Board earlier this week. The paper says he came to Bertie County in December 2016 and was approved by the school board in January. He had spent the previous two years working with STEM East in Greenville. Prior to working with that group, Hill built his career within an entrepreneur business and the North Carolina state government system. A key part of his work has been in the public education system, serving as a teacher, principal, and secondary education director in Jones and Lenoir counties as well as his earlier work with the NC Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.If approved for the position, Hill would replace Terri Cobb, who announced earlier this year she would retire Oct. 1. Cobb has been Pender County Schools Superintendent since 2012. PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — It looks like the leader of another North Carolina school district will soon take over Pender County Schools.According to the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald Bertie County Schools Superintendent Dr. Steven Hill will take the same job in Pender County.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Improvements on the horizon for floodprone NC 133

first_img DOT Spokesman Brian Rick said the area was selected for repairs because, historically, the area has flooded during heavy rain and storm events, causing the DOT to close the road and establish a detour.“This project will help prevent this road from flooding during these events,” he said.The DOT is currently evaluating hydraulic design options for the area, which stretches 1 mile in each direction down N.C. 133 from Funston Road. Hydraulic design options include replacing existing crossline pipes with larger box culverts or a potential bridge structure, Rick said.Related Article: 600-pound black bear killed when car slams into it on NC highwayBrian Watts, Brunswick County’s emergency services director, said flooding is a major issue on N.C. 133 and “hopefully DOT can fix it.”“With the least little bit of rain, we’re losing Hwy. 133,” Watts said. “And that is not only for the people in Southport trying to get to Wilmington, but it’s a major thoroughfare. God forbid if we were having to evacuate for a hurricane or a nuclear episode … when we lose that route, that turns into a nightmare for us.”Click here to read the full story. Flooding on NC 133 (Photo: WWAY) BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (Star News) — A $1 million effort could bring some relief to flooding issues on N.C. 133 in northern Brunswick County — although Brunswick officials warn there are plenty of other flooding hot spots in the county that also need drainage improvements.The N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) plans to do repairs to a 2-mile section of N.C. 133 at Funston Road, which is about 10 miles south of U.S. 17-74-76 in Leland.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Group bails moms out of jail ahead of Mothers Day

first_img The group raised money with local organizations to make these bailouts possible.Members of the campaign group joined “Southerners on New Ground” and other community organizations Wednesday, calling the effort “Black Mama’s Bail Out.”Group bailed mothers out of the New Hanover County jail so they can be home for Mother’s Day. (Photo: WWAY)One participant says their goal is to help women who cannot afford their bail. She says they hope this will keep women from losing their jobs, homes and even children while they deal with their own legal matters.Related Article: New Hanover Co. Sheriff’s Office earns Triple Crown Award“We picked Mother’s Day because this is so important first of all, because the fact that these women are sitting in jail because they don’t have the money to get out is atrocious enough,” Janyce Jones said. “To add on to that, they can’t be with their families because they can’t afford to get out.”Jones says they plan to hold a celebration Sunday for mothers and their families. She also says they work to give these mothers access to resources throughout the community.District Attorney Ben David says he and Sheriff Ed McMahon have been working on a program to help solve the issues with the bail bond system that they plan to share later this week. NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Mother’s Day is right around the corner, but not everyone will have the chance to celebrate this weekend.One local group is trying to change that. The goal of the group, “Campaign to End Cash Bail” is to change the bail bond system so people who cannot afford their bail can still have a chance to be home with their families.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Call to the United Nations to boost African technology adoption

first_imgAdvertisement Pan-African charity, the Planet Earth Institute (PEI), plans to lead a delegation of senior African figures and academics to New York, between Tuesday 20-22 May, to call for renewed Maths and science investment targets in Africa. The call will be made to the United Nations (UN) to help double student enrollment rates in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects in African universities.The delegation is led by the Board of Trustees at the Planet Earth Institute, including African businessman and philanthropist Dr Alvaro Sobrinho, former Cabinet Minister and British Ambassador to South Africa Rt Hon Lord Boateng and Sir Christopher Edwards, a prominent academic. The delegation is further planned to include a number of the PEI’s scientific and business partners, including leading academic Prof Phillip Griffiths, Chair of the Science Initiative Group, and Dr Joaquim Teixeira da Cunha, CEO of TAAG Angola Airlines.The call is expected to be made at a conference hosted by the Observer Office of the African Union, which is planned to be attended by Ambassador Antonio Tete and the United Nations Secretary General’s Post 2015 Adviser Amina J. Mohammed. – Advertisement – The call is expected to further focus on Africa’s technology and science strategy after UN millennium development goals expire next year. “Our campaign for Africa’s scientific independence is about setting the continent on the best possible path to sustainable development and growth. Only through science, technology and innovation – driven by investment higher education and advanced skills training – can Africa move to a knowledge producing continent and able to reach our true potential.” -Chairman of the PEI, Dr Alvaro Sobrinho, said in a press statement.“No development agenda will be complete without addressing the critical issue such of Africa’s scientific deficit. The Post 2015 process must include measures to support training and resourcing local African researchers, and apply pressure for governments to invest in research and development, as well as incentivize and support business to play their part. As someone who has spent my life in the private sector in emerging African economies, I see every day the ability enterprise has to make scientific debates real and tangible, through job creation and investment in new technologies that can improve the daily lives of our communities. Our conference and delegation to the United Nations next week is in recognition of the growing support we are receiving, working with partners across Africa and around the world. I urge all those interested in Africa’s scientific development and Post 2015 journey to join us,” he said.The call also aims to focus on Africa’s number PhD researcher, which is currently the lowest in the world.The PEI plans to bring this figure more in line with the global average in the next ten years.Source: itwebafricalast_img read more

MTN and Huawei successfully test 24 terabit per second speed network

first_imgAdvertisement Telecommunication giants MTN and Huawei have announced the successful live trial of a Transport Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and 2.4Tbit/s wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) system.MTN says, this trial is currently the fastest and most intelligent optical network to date in the industry – setting the standard for the evolution of optical transport.The ultra-fast single-channel 2.4 Tbit/s field trial took place on MTN’s national fibre backbone network in South Africa. – Advertisement – In the first scenario, 2.4 Tbit/s with 16QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) was achieved over a transmission distance exceeding 300 km, while in the second scenario, 2 Tbit/s with QPSK was achieved over a transmission distance of 1031 km. The success of this trial demonstrates the advanced optical transport system with bandwidth capacities far beyond the existing 100G technology.The “world’s first” transport SDN new features were also tested. Huawei Transport SDN solutions, using physical network modeling and resource abstraction, have realized transmission pipe virtualization. These advances allow traditional communication technology networks to be “IT-like”. This trial successfully demonstrated SDN features such as Bandwidth on Demand (BoD), Virtual Transport Service (VTS) and Automatic O&M functions.Mr.Navi Naidoo, Group Technology Officer, MTN, said: “With this successful field trial, we have demonstrated our commitment to digital innovation. MTN continues to invest in future-proof transport networks to realize world class technologies, not only to our existing markets, but to extend our technology offerings globally. We believe that networks such as cloud computing, streaming media and mobile broadband must be scalable, intelligent and flexible. To this end, Huawei’s next generation optical evolution concept ‘SDN-based flex optical network’ properly fits our requirements.”Mr. Zha Jun, President of Huawei’s Fixed Network Business Unit, said, “Huawei will maintain cooperation and joint innovation with MTN, and continue to promote the commercialization process of SDN and ultra-high speed optical transmission technology, in order to jointly meet the challenges of a digital future.”Source: IT News Africalast_img read more

Change your Gmail password now 493 million Gmail passwords leaked by hackers

first_imgAdvertisement If you use Gmail, you better change your password!Russian hackers have leaked the email IDs and passwords of as many as 4.93 million Google accounts.  It should be noted that the same Google account password is used across all Google products, such as Gmail, Drive, Plus, YouTube, Maps etc.The account details have been posted on bitcoin forum by a user named Tvskit. On the forum, Tvskit has said that approximately 60% of the passwords are still active. – Advertisement – However, google has refuted the claim and said that only 2% of the passwords still work and also said that its automated anti-hijacking systems would have blocked many of the login attempts.While acknowledging the leak, Google said that this is not due to a breach in its own systems.It said: “Often, these credentials are obtained through a combination of other sources. For instance, if you reuse the same username and password across websites, and one of those websites gets hacked, your credentials could be used to log into the others. Or attackers can use malware or phishing schemes to capture login credentials.”Source: IndiaTimeslast_img read more

STARTERS ORDERS Weds Movers Specials

first_imgHORSE RACING5.30 DundalkSmart Flies 6/4 > 5/65.45 NewcastleSomething Brewing 11/4 > 7/47.45 NewcastleJumeirah Street 20/1 > 7/18.15 NewcastlePaparazzi 8/1 > 3/1LIVE FOOTBALLNo live matches tonightBET NOW or 08000 521 321 Welcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Wednesday 28 Marchlast_img