Tag Archives: Fillmore

Despite Fight To Remain In Business, Historic Fillmore Bookstore Has Been Evicted

Marcus Books, known as the oldest independent black bookstore in the country, was evicted from its location in San Francisco’s Fillmore District this week, the storeowners announced.

In a letter posted Wednesday on the store’s blog and other social media pages by Marcus Books co-owners Tamiko, Greg, and Karen Johnson, it was announced that the “property owner has changed the locks to the door of 1712 Fillmore Street,” where Marcus Books has resided for decades.

The store was an iteration of the original bookstore that opened in 1960 and was a mainstay in the area known for hosting numerous writers and speakers’ events, such as appearances over the years by James Baldwin, Dave Chappelle, Malcolm X, Alice Walker, Willie Brown, Jackie Robinson, Angela Davis, Barry White, Wesley Snipes and dozens of others.
The location had been fighting off eviction in recent months. The notice came Tuesday.

In the letter, the owners said the store missed the last few rent payments on the building, which had been foreclosed on before it was sold at auction to new owners.

The Johnsons have been trying to buy the building back for the past year and a half. Marcus Books has been there since 1981, according to the owners.

The new property owners purchased the building through a bankruptcy auction for a reported $2.6 million, beating out the $1.8 million the Johnsons offered, as detailed in the letter.

The Johnsons were then given a 90-day grace period to raise $2.6 million.

According to the Johnsons, despite massive fundraising efforts through the NAACP, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and other supporters and businesses, the building owners refused the $1.85 million down payment that Marcus Books offered.

“Well the locks have been changed, the cavalry is not in sight, and it’s time to pack up the books and store them till we find another space,” the letter stated.

On an online fundraising page for the store created in January with a $1 million goal, the store received nearly $19,300 in donations to help pay for the business’ survival.

The owners’ letter ended, “We will rise again in San Francisco.”

Vallie Brown, an aide for San Francisco Supervisor London Breed, said the supervisor, whose district includes the Fillmore District, is “very saddened” by the closure. She said she is working to find a new location for the neighborhood business.

“If we could landmark a business we would,” she said. “But you can only landmark a building.”

She said Breed is committed to finding another space for the shop in the Fillmore.

“That is their home. It is vital to keep them in the Fillmore,” Brown said.

She said Breed has a personal connection to Marcus Books—it was the store where she bought her first book while growing up in the nearby Western Addition.

According to Brown, Breed has been meeting with the owners regularly and hopes to connect them with small business programs offered through the mayor’s office.

The Oakland location of Marcus Books remains open at 3900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way as the owners handle the eviction at the San Francisco location, according to an employee there this afternoon.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

Hit-And-Run Driver Dumps Car After Critically Injuring Cyclist

Note: This report initially described the collision victim as a pedestrian. The Bay City News wire service has since issued a correction, stating that the victim was a cyclist.

One cyclist was critically injured in a hit-and-run collision on Eddy Street near Fillmore Street Monday afternoon, according to San Francisco police.

The suspect, described as a Hispanic male between 26 and 33 years old, was driving east on Eddy Street at 2:36 p.m. when he hit the victim and fled the scene, according to police.

He was last seen driving south on Fillmore Street in a four-door maroon vehicle. The vehicle was later found, unoccupied, at Golden Gate Avenue and Steiner Street, according to Officer Albie Esparza.

The victim, described as a 25-year-old white man, was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with major head trauma and was listed in critical condition as of 8 p.m. on Monday, Esparza said today.

No arrest has been made in the case yet, Esparza said.

Appealing Events: Ani DiFranco at the Fillmore

Ani DiFranco may have recently been mired in controversy for her choice of venues for the now cancelled Righteous Retreat, but it’s her ability to step outside of herself and be willing to grow from such experiences that make her an admirable musician committed to exactly what she sings about. DiFranco thanked fans for helping broaden her perspective, a lesson we hope will play out in future songs and earnest live shows.

The singer-songwriter is currently on tour and set to hit SF the Fillmore tonight. Though her latest album, Which Side Are You On?, was released two years ago, you should expect a grab bag of hits from her sixteen studio albums as well as a few surprises.

What: Ani DiFranco at the Fillmore
When: Friday, March 7th; doors: 8pm, show: 9pm
Where: The Fillmore: 1805 Geary Blvd.
Cost: $45.50; purchase tickets here

Billiards Hall Brawl Ends In Stabbing

A man was arrested after a dispute at a billiards hall led to a stabbing in San Francisco’s Fillmore District early this morning, a police spokesman said.

The stabbing was reported at about 12:15 a.m. near Fillmore Street and Geary Boulevard.

After some sort of dispute at the billiards business in the 1500 block of Fillmore Street, a 58-year-old man and his two friends had left and were chased by a suspect, who caught up and stabbed the man in the torso, police spokesman Officer Gordon Shyy said.

The man went with his friends to a hospital, where he was treated for injuries that are not considered life-threatening, Shyy said.

Officers arrived at the scene and detained the suspect, identified as Nae Park, a 52-year-old San Francisco man. Park was then arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, according to Shyy.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

Pedestrian Victim In Fatal Pacific Heights Crash Identified

An elderly woman who was fatally struck by a concrete truck in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood on Thursday afternoon has been identified by the medical examiner’s office as 90-year-old Mildred Lusardi.

The collision was reported at 3:11 p.m. Thursday near California and Fillmore streets.

Lusardi, a San Francisco resident, had apparently tried to go around the truck but was struck and suffered major injuries. She was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead, police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.

The truck’s driver stopped at the scene and cooperated with investigators, Esparza said.

The death is the fourth involving a pedestrian in San Francisco so far in 2014. There were 21 such deaths in the city last year, the highest number since 2007.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

91-Year-Old Woman Who Was Struck By Driver Of Concrete Truck Has Died

An elderly woman was killed after being struck by a the driver of concrete truck in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood on Thursday afternoon, a police spokesman said today.

The collision was reported at 3:11 p.m. Thursday near California and Fillmore streets.

The 91-year-old woman apparently tried to go around the truck but was struck and suffered major injuries. She was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead, police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.

The woman’s name is not yet being released by the medical examiner’s office.

The truck’s driver stopped at the scene and cooperated with investigators, Esparza said.

The collision remains under investigation, he said.

The death is the fourth involving a pedestrian in San Francisco so far this year. There were 21 such deaths reported in the city in 2013.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

Suspects In Fillmore Shooting Arrested After Wild Chase Down 101

9:34 PM: A vehicle pursuit that began in San Francisco this afternoon ended in Mountain View with the arrest of three suspects wanted in connection with an injury shooting in San Francisco on Friday, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said.

San Francisco police attempted to stop a vehicle that matched the description of a vehicle wanted in connection with a shooting that injured a 50-year-old man in San Francisco’s Fillmore District on Friday afternoon, San Francisco police Sgt. Eric O’Neal said.

Officers signaled for the driver of the green four-door Toyota to stop at the intersection of San Bruno Avenue and Ordway Street in San Francisco’s Bayview District at about 3:30 p.m. The driver failed to stop and officers pursued the driver through the Bayview District, according to O’Neal.

During the pursuit, the suspect rammed a patrol car and was able to evade officers near Oyster Point Boulevard.
The vehicle fled onto southbound U.S. Highway 101 and bout 10 minutes later the CHP took over the pursuit in San Mateo County, CHP Officer Daniel Hill said.

The CHP quickly discontinued the pursuit due to dangerous driving conditions caused by rain on the roadway, Hill said.

A short time later, the suspect vehicle crashed into another vehicle on Highway 101 just north of Ellis Street in Mountain View, Hill said.

The vehicle’s three occupants fled following the crash and ran toward city streets, Hill said.

Officers set up a perimeter and detained the three suspects a couple blocks south of Highway 101 near North Whisman Road, according to Hill.

The three suspects were arrested and taken into custody by the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department, Hill said.

San Francisco police said the man injured in Friday’s shooting is expected to survive and that the identities of the three suspects in custody have not been released.

Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News

6:31 PM: A vehicle pursuit from San Francisco to the South Bay this afternoon ended with the arrest of three suspects wanted in connection with an injury shooting in San Francisco on Friday, a police sergeant said.

At about 3:30 p.m. this afternoon, San Francisco police attempted to stop a vehicle at the intersection of San Bruno Avenue and Ordway Street in the city’s Bayview District, police Sgt. Eric O’Neal said.

Police said the vehicle matched the description of a vehicle wanted in connection with a shooting that injured a 50-year-old man in San Francisco’s Fillmore District on Friday afternoon.

The driver of the suspect vehicle failed to stop for police and officers pursued the driver through the Bayview District, according to O’Neal.

During the pursuit the suspect rammed a police vehicle and was able to evade San Francisco police officers. The vehicle fled onto southbound U.S. Highway 101 and the California Highway took over the pursuit, the sergeant said.

The CHP spotted the suspect vehicle and continued the pursuit on southbound Highway 101 through San Mateo County, O’Neal said.

According to O’Neal, the CHP took three suspects into custody.

O’Neal said the man injured in Friday’s shooting is expected to survive and that the identities of the three suspects in police custody have not been released.

Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News

Midday Fillmore Street Shooting Sends Man To SF General

A man was shot in the arm in San Francisco’s Fillmore District this afternoon, a police spokesman said.

The shooting was reported at about 3:10 p.m. in the 1100 block of Fillmore Street, which is near Golden Gate, and injured a 50-year-old man, police Sgt. Eric O’Neal said.

The man was taken to San Francisco General Hospital and is expected to survive, O’Neal said.

No arrests have been made and no suspect information was immediately available in connection with the shooting, he said.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call the Police Department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or to send a tip by text message to TIP411 with “SFPD” in the message.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

SFPD Seeking Suspects In Fillmore Street Triple-Shooting

10:53 AM 1/16: A young man and two teenagers were injured in a shooting in San Francisco’s Fillmore District on Wednesday evening, a police spokesman said today.

The shooting was reported at about 7 p.m. near Fillmore and McAllister streets.

The victims, a 20-year-old man and two teens, were taken to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated for gunshot wounds to their legs and feet, police spokesman Officer Gordon Shyy said. Their wounds are not considered life-threatening.

Police are seeking a gray, older-model sports car believed to have been involved in the shooting, Shyy said.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call the Police Department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a tip by text message to TIP411 with “SFPD” in the message.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

8:39 PM 1/15: Three people shot and injured in San Francisco’s Fillmore District this evening, according to police.

The victims were found at about 7 p.m. near the corner of Fillmore and McAllister streets.

Two had been shot in the leg and one person was shot in the foot. They were taken to a hospital and are expected to survive their injuries, police said.

Police have not found any suspects and anyone with information about the shooting has been asked to call San Francisco police.

Alleged Members Of “Central Divisadero Playas” Face Murder, Racketeering, And Drug Trafficking Charges

A federal grand jury today issued a 17-count indictment accusing 10 alleged members and associates of a San Francisco gang of murder, racketeering, drug trafficking and other charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The indictment targets the Central Divisadero Playas, a criminal street gang in the city’s Western Addition and Fillmore neighborhoods, and includes the high-profile case of a Southern California man who was killed in 2012 for pimping the daughter of two of the defendants.

Barry Gilton and Lupe Mercado, Gilton’s cousin Antonio Gilton, Alfonzo Williams, Adrian Gordon, Reginald Elmore, Charles Heard, Esau Ferdinand, Paul Robeson and Monzell Harding Jr. are the 10 defendants named in the indictment filed today in U.S. District Court.

Mercado, Williams and the Gilton cousins are accused of various charges in the killing of Calvin Sneed, a Compton man who was allegedly pimping Barry Gilton and Mercado’s daughter. Sneed was gunned down on June 4, 2012, in the city’s Bayview District.

The four were previously indicted in November on federal murder and racketeering charges but today’s indictment supersedes the earlier one, prosecutors said.

Elmore and Heard are charged in the indictment for the double murder of Andre Helton and Isaiah Turner on Aug. 14, 2008, near the University of San Francisco.

Heard has already been convicted in San Francisco Superior Court in 2010 for the killing of 29-year-old Richard Barrett outside a North Beach nightclub on Nov. 25, 2008.

The indictment alleges that Harding, Ferdinand and others tried to intimidate a testifying witness in a court hearing in the case of Barrett’s murder.

The defendants also face other charges that include attempted murder, weapons violations, pimping and extortion, prosecutors said.

Nine of the defendants, all except Mercado, face the charge of racketeering conspiracy as accused members of the CDP gang.

According to the indictment, “To protect the gang and enhance its reputation, CDP members have been expected to use any means necessary to force respect from those who showed disrespect, including acts of intimidation and violence.”

Prosecutors allege the racketeering conspiracy dates back to at least the mid-1990s.

All 10 defendants are already in state or federal custody and face a maximum term of life in prison. Elmore and Heard could face a death sentence for the 2008 double murder, according to prosecutors.

No court date has yet been set for the defendants, although the four accused in the Sneed murder had a Jan. 24 status conference scheduled on the earlier indictment.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said today’s indictment is the result of a joint investigation between the FBI, the San Francisco and San Pablo police departments and the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

Paging All You New Zillionaires Of SF: You Could Save An Historic Bookstore For Only $1 Million

A historic bookstore that faced eviction in San Francisco’s Fillmore District could get a reprieve if supporters can raise $1 million to buy the building from its new owners.

Marcus Books has been in danger of shutting down since its building at 1712 Fillmore St. was bought at a foreclosure sale in April by real estate investors Nishan and Suhaila Sweis.

But the proprietors of the bookstore announced Thursday that they have come to an agreement with the Sweis family to stay in the building, which would be purchased for $2.6 million by the San Francisco Community Land Trust, a nonprofit that seeks to create permanent affordable housing for low-income residents.

The catch is that the group has to raise $1 million by the end of February to save the bookstore, which opened in 1960 and has hosted numerous notable black writers and leaders, including Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou and James Baldwin.

“Anything is possible, that’s our credo,” said Greg Johnson, a co-owner of the bookstore. “We will carry on.”

Westside Community Services, a local nonprofit, has offered $1.65 million for the purchase.

The SFCLT is seeking to raise the additional money via Fundrise.com, a crowdsourcing platform for real estate investment that will provide investors with 4 percent annual interest over a two-year term, said Tracy Parent, director of the land trust.

Currently, investments on the site can only be made by “accredited investors,” those with annual incomes of $200,000 or more or a net income of at least at least $1 million, Parent said.

She said the group is currently looking for a way to incorporate smaller donations into the fundraising effort.

Joseph Sweis, whose parents own the building, was at Thursday’s announcement and said the family is in favor of the agreement.

“The property meant much more for someone else,” he said. “We’re rooting for them and we hope they hit their goal.”

If the money is not raised by Feb. 28, the bookstore has agreed to vacate the premises and the building would revert to ownership by the Sweises.

More information on the land trust can be found online at www.sfclt.org.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

The Digital Future Gone Analog: Deltron 3030 Plays the Fillmore

We may be a ways off from the year 3030, but the veritable supergroup trio of Dan the Automator, Kid Koala, and Del the Funky Homosapien have imagined a future so expansive and forlorn that it’s taken them over a decade to craft an addition to their original missive as Deltron 3030. Their sophomore LP, Event II, sees the space-aged hero of Deltron Zero amidst a world as corrupted by greed and malice as it is ravaged by caretakers not-at-all concerned with the planet’s equilibrium.

Deltron Zero may be a fictional character, but he’s as closely aligned to Del the Funky Homosapien as any musical extension of oneself can be.

“There’s no difference at all besides the extra spices of entertainment that I could never get away with in real life,” Del the Funky Homosapien tells the Appeal.

Combining deft rhymes with intricate orchestrations, Deltron 3030 is a grand vision for the type of dystopian future you’d expect to see in a George Orwell novel, an author Del frequently cites as inspiration for the universe in which Deltron exists.

It isn’t a pretty one, but the warnings gleaned from Deltron’s rhymes make a compelling case against issues you’d be just as likely to see championed by Occupy Wall Street as defended by a galactic rap superstar.

“George Orwell is the main author and he pretty much informs all the art I put out, simply because our minds work in a similar fashion, as far as figuring out how human nature can work if certain things go the way they have been,” Del explains.

“I don’t necessarily see our future as rotten. As a matter of fact, I don’t think much about what’s to come. I hope for the best but try to prepare for disasters and do things in a correct way so as not to disrupt things that I don’t want to upset at the time.”

Deltron’s future is apparently one that includes the bare roots of music, fortunately. For their current live performances, Deltron 3030 is heading in a more acoustic direction and veering off into the orchestral. Violins, violas, cellos, and a full horn section round out what promises to be a multifaceted performance at the Fillmore this Saturday.

“The collab with the orchestra was a personal dream that Dan [the Automator] wanted to fulfill I believe, he saw this as being much bigger than the average musical thing coming out today. I just was willing to roll with it and do my part to make it happen. It was Dan’s vision that it all sparked from as far as that goes,” Del explains.

“To a degree I would cite classical music as an influence, but indirectly it’s an influence underlying in all modern music pretty much.”

Catch Deltron 3030 Saturday, November 23 at the Fillmore. Purchase tickets here.

Tunes From Friends: Best Coast Plays the Fillmore

There’s something to be said for a band as self-aware as Best Coast. Frontwoman Bethany Cosentino is confessional both musically and online, detailing the evolution in her and collaborator Bobb Bruno’s recording process as well as eliciting the types of conversational quirks you’d expect from gchatting a good friend. Yes, Best Coast is a product of the internet age, but the type of lo-fi hazy surf tunes they’ve crafted tend to recall a time well before the iMessage.

The Los Angeles outfit readily admits their shortcomings in a way that’s less about highlighting musical dearths and more about exploring the uncharted sonic territories they’ve been eying for years. Sophomore LP The Only Place saw frontwoman Bethany Cosentino and co. retooling their songwriting process without losing the immediacy that made their debut album Crazy For You such a tour de force.

Working alongside the iconic producer Jon Brion, Best Coast refined their sound and picked up a few tricks through Brion’s nuanced mentoring.

“He just kind of let us do our own thing, which was really cool. We don’t like when there are too many cooks in the kitchen so it was really nice that Jon guided us but allowed us to be ourselves and stay true to the way we do things,” Cosentino tells the Appeal.

“There was one song, which later became ‘Why I Cry’ that I had written and I absolutely hated and wanted to scrap, but Jon [Brion] advised me to go back and revise [the song], which is not something I ever do with my songs. I normally just write something and then I’m like, ‘okay, done…’ but Jon helped me see that there is nothing wrong with revising, and I feel like it ended up being one of my favorite songs on the record.”

It’s only fitting that their slightly vintage sound come as a result of Cosentino’s appreciation for iconic artists like Fleetwood Mac and Roy Orbison, the latter she recently paid homage to by covering the quintessential “Crying.” Cosentino regularly toys with covers (many of which will never see the light of day) but what makes “Crying” unique is its special guest, Cosentino’s beloved cat Snacks.

“Snacks is always just walking around the house meowing, so when I was recording that song, he just walked into my room and made his presence known. Since you could hear it on the track, I was like, ‘well, I might as well feature Snacks on this!’” Cosentino explains.

“I am a huge Roy Orbison fan and I had been listening to that song on repeat for a good week or so. I just decided I wanted to do a cover of it and put it up on the internet for the fans to hear.”

Best Coast’s involvement with fans have made them an instant hit both on- and offline and they’re excited to take their show back up the coast to the city by the bay at the Fillmore this Thursday.

SF has been kind to the group, to a point. Cosentino recalls their first foray playing in the city by the bay as a definite marker of their success, opening for Vivian Girls at Bottom of the Hill and still able to draw a considerable crowd.

“It was crazy. I remember so many people showed up early to see us, and we sold so much merch that night and we were like, ‘whoa, is this actually happening to us?’ then I got really bad food poisoning and was sick for like 2 days.”

Catch Best Coast at the Fillmore this Thursday, August 15. Doors open at 7, show is at 8. Buy tickets here.

Appealing Events: Jim James Comes To The Fillmore

My Morning Jacket ringleader and multi-instrumentalist Jim James is bringing his solo jams to the iconic Fillmore this Sunday.

The Louisville iconoclast recently released his solo debut LP, Regions of Light and Sound and God, and has been selling out venues left and right on this tour. Sunday’s Fillmore date finds James entering the latter half of said tour, which began just one month after a run of memorable SXSW performances, including a show at Auditorium Shores with the Flaming Lips that saw James join frontman Wayne Coyne in singing “Do You Realize?”

Those lucky enough to bear witness to the gospel according to James are in for an aural as well as visual treat. James is a natural performer, at once meek in his message and jarring in his musical heroics. For a man who once found inspiration in lasik eye surgery, you can bet the storied history of the Fillmore will have James all the more inspired.

What: Jim James at the Fillmore
When: Sunday, May 12; doors: 8pm
Where: The Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd.
Cost: $43, including fees

Giving Back: The Stone Foxes Play The Fillmore

Back when local rockers the Stone Foxes were just beginning, their main goal was simply landing a gig at the humble Hotel Utah. The SoMa saloon on 4th and Bryant seemed to be the place of their peers and a marker of success.

“To us, that was the pinnacle. In college, we knew a bunch of people in bands who were playing there and we felt like, ‘Man, everyone plays the Hotel Utah! We want to do that!’” drummer Shannon Koehler tells the Appeal.

Three albums and five years later and the Stone Foxes have gone from seeking out any gigs they could find to finding themselves overwhelmed with performances, an experience that saw the foursome play a marathon 12 shows in just four days at this year’s SXSW.

“We had a day where one show started at 4pm and the next one was at 5pm at another venue. We were swift with our schlepping and got lucky because the venues were across an alley from each other,” explains Koehler.

SXSW also acted as a gateway to the Stone Foxes’ touring life. Jansport followed and filmed the band for a full week, nabbing footage of live shows as well as other surprising performances.

“It was pretty nuts. We did all these weird gimmicks,” Koehler says, “I dressed up as Mrs. Doubtfire and rode a mechanical bull; just zany things to keep to yourself sane.”

Their latest album, Small Fires, sidles right next to that fun-loving side with a heavy dose of darker imagery. Produced by Dan Boehm, who’s done work with the Vines and gone but not forgotten SF band Girls, Small Fires comes on with sparks of energy radiating throughout its ten tracks. Opener “Everybody Knows” is a jolt to the system, its opening bursts of guitar punctuating frontman Spence Koehler’s cries of guilt in this day and age.

The Stone Foxes have always been a band with a social message and their current tour reflects that explicitly. Each venue acts as a donation site for canned goods and nonperishables. All items are donated to local shelters and nonprofits. Those donations act as an important extension of their message, especially in San Francisco, where they’ll be playing the Fillmore this Saturday.

“We have such a high population of folks who need it,” Koehler says.

Catch the Stone Foxes this Saturday, May 4 at the Fillmore.