Our neighborhood doesn’t see much crime, so it was surprising when neighbor Florence Meyering posted on NextDoor that there were police on Clarendon Avenue with guns drawn! (This was on 23rd July 2016 around 5.30 p.m.)
“As I was driving on Clarendon/Twin Peaks Blvd, I saw police with guns out and police cars were arriving from everywhere. They were looking at the hill towards Mount Sutro Forest. Does anyone know what was going on and if they caught whomever were were after?” she posted, along with the picture above.
So I wrote to Park Station police, and they wrote back within a couple of days: “On that date and time, there was a carjacking that occurred. I believe officers were most likely responding to this incident. The suspect is in custody and the stolen vehicle returned to it’s rightful owner.”
A couple of days ago, neighbor Greg Flowers posted this on our Nextdoor site. (It’s reproduced here with permission.)
“After my experience last night, I plan to behave much differently when I am met by a coyote (or two) on the Sutro trails or on our neighborhood sidewalks. My usual MO is to respect its space and maybe snap a few photos of it as past encounters have been limited to in the woods of Mt. Sutro, and they usually run away.
“I took my dog out last night for a walk around the neighborhood around 10:45p following Christopher Dr east. As we were passing 15 Christopher, there was a rustle in the bushes and my dog lunged into the darkness. I pulled him back and we continued a few steps and then I saw it was indeed a coyote. It crossed the street into the woods and we made it to Clarendon before I turned and saw there were now two coyotes stalking us.
“Now I’m concerned and my dog is very interested in playing or giving chase. I tried to make myself look big and menacing, yelled a bit and made like I was going to charge them but they continued toward us so I then made the mistake of turning and continuing down Clarendon to get to Oak Park, looking over my shoulder constantly. No cars or people were out at this time and the fog + blood moon combo + coyotes stalking me really affected my nerves. The coyote in front crossed Clarendon as if it was planning to circle around to surround us and so when I got to Oak Park we turned the corner and sprinted all the way back to Christopher and Oak Park til we got home. That wasn’t the smartest choice but they didn’t follow me back into the neighborhood which was a huge relief.
“I’m posting this as a learning experience for myself and hoping it will help raise the awareness about the coyote presence around these parts. The closest I let them get to us was about 20 yards and my dog is 60lbs and these coyotes appeared larger than him. Because they were unaffected by my dog’s size and my scare tactic, I looked online and found this explanation of how to ‘haze’ coyotes so that they will fear humans again: Coyote Hazing: Guidelines for Discouraging Neighborhood Coyotes
“Hopefully we can make a neighborhood effort toward keeping coyotes, all our pets, and ourselves safe and that starts with coyotes maintaining a healthy fear of humans.”
A COYOTE WATCHER’S OBSERVATIONS
As readers of this site know, I’m a believer in coyote coexistence. This report was concerning, especially in the context of recent reports in which coyotes attacked dogs (one fatally) at Pine Lake (behind Stern Grove), a popular dog-play area. So I reached out to Janet Kessler, the Jane Goodall of San Francisco’s coyotes. She’s been studying our coyotes for years, and maintains a great blog, CoyoteYipps.com where she puts up her observations. Why were we suddenly getting this bold behavior?
“There seems to be a change in their behavior going on, but I’m told that it’s not due to habituation, it’s due to the drought. All urban coyotes are habituated by definition, yet they still keep a healthy distance (can’t use habituated and wary at the same time). For dogs, it’s a different story — and it’s going to be the same story whether a coyote is habituated to humans or not. Habituation to humans has nothing to do with coyotes approaching dogs — especially when they are curious about them.
“[Greg] did the right thing by moving away from the coyote — that’s how you diffuse a situation and maintain control — you are simply not going to engage. If a coyote follows… he’s just checking out your dog, gauging whether it’s a threat to be worried about, and making sure it is a safe distance away.
“We’re seeing more coyotes because of the drought. Because of the drought, there are fewer gophers and voles in the coyotes’ home range, so they are expanding that range as they hunt for their favorite foods. However, as they hunt in new areas, they will opportunistically take free roaming cats.”
This is also a concern; I know some people in Forest Knolls do have outdoor or indoor-outdoor cats. I think it’s also important for people with small dogs to be especially careful. Coyotes may see them as rivals or as prey, and they’re much more vulnerable. Humane Society guidelines recommend keeping cats indoors, and not letting small dogs off-leash in the backyard at night. Here’s their article: Coyotes, Pets and Community Cats.
From Janet Kessler: “And, yes, coyotes have been approaching dogs, much more than we’ve seen before. Walk away always, and keep walking (never run) away from the coyote, even if he follows.”
There’s more useful information on the CoyoteYipps website, here: CoyoteYipps.com
It also has some great photographs and observations of coyote behavior.
Yesterday on NextDoor, someone wanted to know what was going on with so much PG&E activity in our neighborhood.
I was curious, too, and even more so because today I saw this outside my house – a fleet of PG&E trucks, complete with a porta-potty. I counted four large trucks, and an earth mover.
The earth-mover was parked way at the back, waiting.
There was even a truck blocking one of our garages. When we came out, the PG&E guy running the project offered to moved it if we wanted. As it happened, we didn’t need that garage today, so we said not to bother.
Two men were digging a hole near the house opposite.
I asked one of the PG&E men what it was about. They’d done a survey some time back, he said, checking for leaks. They were now fixing the ones where they’d detected a problem. He said they had already completed a couple of jobs.
After the terrible accident in San Bruno, I’m glad they’re being proactive here.
The earthmover came down by our house. I’m not sure why it was wearing so much jewelry.
The truck in front of my house tipped up, and the earthmover grabbed the soil. I presume they filled in the hole they’d dug.
Within a couple of hours, they were done and had moved on. The road was empty, the signs and traffic cones gone, and all was quiet.
I received this letter from Diane Rivera, Coordinator Chair of the San Francisco Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT), asking me to spread the word about NERT training.
Please join Mayor Edwin Lee, the Department of Emergency Management and the SFFD Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) in our efforts to reach all the people who live and work in San Francisco to learn about and register for the NERT training.
We find that citizens will take the NERT training outside of their neighborhoods as it fits into their schedules. Please publish all training dates if possible.
The San Francisco Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) is free trainingfrom the San Francisco Fire Department in how to help you, your family and your neighbors prepare for and respond to a disaster by working together. The 20-hour training taught by First Responders includes personal preparedness, light search and rescue, disaster medicine, shutting off your utilities, and how to participate as a member of a neighborhood response team.
NERT also offers continuing training for graduates and activities that support building robust neighborhood teams. For more information, visit the NERT website at http://www.sfgov.org/sfnert or contact Lt. Erica Arteseros at email@example.com or 415-970-2022.
UPCOMING TRAINING CLASSES
(The schedule is updated on the NERT website training page whenever a new class is added.)
Numbers 1 and 2 are the full series of NERT training classes: six classes, given as 3 full-day sessions (at Civic Center) or 6 evening classes (at Duboce). Number 3 is a one-time, 2-hour workshop (at Noe Valley).
1) Civic Center,San Francisco Federal Bldg. 90 7th Street
September 23, 8:30a-4:30p: Class 1 & 2
September 30, 8:30a-4:30p: Class 3 & 4
October 7, 8:30a-4:30p: Class 5 & 6
2) Castro-Duboce Triangle – Davies, N. Tower Auditorium, Duboce Ave @ Scott St
October 9, 6:30p-10:00p: Class 1
October 16, 6:30p-10:00p: Class 2
October 23, 6:30p-9:30p: Class 3
October 30, 6:30p-10:00p: Class 4
November 6, 6:30p-9:30p: Class 5
November 13, 6:30p-10:00p: Class 6
3) Personal Readiness for a resilient Community: ONE TIME workshop for you and your neighbors!
Thursday October 23, 2014, 7:00pm-9:00pm
Noe Valley, St.Philip Church & School, 775 Diamond St @ 24th St
What’s in it for you?
You will learn the basics to take care of yourself and others. SFFD NERT and SAFE want you to have skills to be prepared for emergencies big or small, and get to know your neighbors on your block to maximize resiliency after a disaster.
Personal/Family Disaster Planning
Disaster Pre-Planning – building community one block at a time
Sometimes, we need to leave our cars outside for convenience. If you’re doing that – bring your garage door opener inside. Thieves are breaking into cars, and snagging openers. As someone pointed out, a thief, can check the car’s registration papers to get the probable address. And then they’re into the garage and maybe the house.
I thought our neighborhood was pretty safe, but it happened on Devonshire yesterday. Here’s what a neighbor posted on our Yahoo Group:
Our car was unlocked last night, mistakenly, and someone opened it, got the garage remote and opened our garage door during the night. Apparently nothing was stolen except for the remote, but it’s scary and creepy. The same thing happened a few weeks ago, when the car was parked on a different street, and the remote was found a block away.
Let’s all keep a neighborhood watch –
PLEASE REPORT SUSPICIOUS PEOPLE and ACTIONS TO POLICE Non-Emergency Situations – 415-553-0123
Lock your house and your cars.
Keep the holidays safe and happy.
Thanks to the original poster for the heads up and the warning.
I got an email from Dan Provence of SFMTA. The measures – speed humps on Oak Park Drive, and speed cushions on Warren Drive – were approved. This is from the e-mail:
Thank you for all of the input regarding the proposed speed humps on Oak Park and the proposed speed cushions on Warren. The ballot results found that 89% of responding households were in favor of speed humps on Oak Park and 67% of responding households were in favor of speed cushions on Warren. We also received 6 emails in favor of the proposals and 3 emails against. These were presented to the public hearing officer prior to the hearing for consideration. At the hearing were several residents in favor of the proposals and none opposed. All of the measures were approved.
We will work with the Department of Public Works to schedule construction and we will be in touch with more details soon. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Dan Provence, Livable Streets Subdivision
SFMTA | Municipal Transportation Agency , Sustainable Streets Division
1 South Van Ness Ave, 7th floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
(Note: The photo is of a 2011 accident on Devonshire, but it’s the kind of thing we fear could happen elsewhere.)