Richmond District

Richmond Roundup

Golden Gate Park Band director to take final bow on Oct. 8

For the past 18 years, Golden Gate Park Band director Michael L. Wirgler has

waved his baton, leading the band to rousing renditions of a wide

variety of music. On Sunday, Oct. 8, he will be handing over his baton

and taking his final bow with the band before retiring.


Band director Michael Wirgler. (Courtesy Photo.)

The Golden Gate Park Band has

played a broad range of music over

the years, including classical

transcriptions, original works for

concert band, Broadway show

selections, operas and marches. In

addition, a number of the concerts

feature ethnic and artistic

groups from throughout the

Bay Area.


Wirgler has been band’s conductor

since July 4, 1999. Before that, he was

a member of the band for 25 years. He retired after a 33-year career as a music teacher.


The Golden Gate Park Band concert on Oct. 8, a free all-request affair, will be

held at the Spreckels Temple of Music at the Music Concourse in Golden Gate

Park, at 1 p.m.


For more information, go to the website at


George Washington Eagle gets first Major League Baseball hit

On Sept. 1, George Washington High School alum and baseball player O’Koyea

Dickson (2010 graduate) became the second Washington player to be called up to

play baseball in the major leagues.


Big Leaguer O’Koyea Dickson. (Courtesy photo.)

He made his major league debut the next day, starting the first game of a doubleheader

in left field for the Los Angeles Dodgers.


After his first three games in the majors, he was posting a .333 on-base percentage,

but the big deal came on Sept. 23, when Dickson got his first big league hit, off SF Giant’s

pitcher Madison Bumgarner. As is the custom of Major League Base ball, the ball was

retrieved for the rookie’s keepsake.


Dickson was a four-year starter for the Eagles’ varsity baseball team, participating

in four city championship games. The team won it all in 2006, with Dickson being

the second hitter in a lineup that was “arguably one of the best offensive teams

in AAA history,” according to Washington baseball coach Brian Jesson.


“During the 2006 championship game, O’Koyea hit a double and a home run into

the left-centerfield bleachers at AT&T Park,” Jesson said.


Dickson earned first team all-city honors each of his last three years at

Washington, and in 2008 he was named Player of the Year. He attended the

College of San Mateo and Sonoma State University and was drafted in the 12th

round of the 2011 Major League Baseball draft.


During seven minor league seasons, Dickson hit 117 home runs, batted .279,

with a .349 on-base percentage and .491 slugging percentage.


Dickson joins Jerry White (1970) as the only Washington Eagle to play in the

major leagues. White was drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1970, making his major

league debut with the team, and also playing with the Chicago Cubs and St.

Louis Cardinals. White spent 15 years as a coach for the Minnesota Twins.


City helps neighbors create block parties

Living in one of San Francisco’s neighborhoods is a source of great pride for residents

and there is no better way to celebrate that pride than by bringing neighbors together for

a block party, according to the Neighborfest Program.


The program offers host committees an end-to-end experience that empowers

them to pull off “the best block party their neighbors have ever attended.”


The program includes a customized toolkit that offers step-by-step instructions

and a no-cost permitting process to receive a bin of disaster supplies for local

residents. It is Neighborfest’s goal to have a stronger, more connected community.


This year, with the support of many city departments and the offices of SF

Mayor Ed Lee and City Administrator Naomi Kelly, the Neighborhood Empowerment

Network (NEN) has more than 35 groups participating in street festivals, including two in

the Richmond in October. They are on Saturday, Oct. 14, on 20th Avenue, between

California and Lake streets, from 11a.m. to 4 p.m.; and, Saturday, Oct. 14, on 16th Avenue,

between California and Lake streets, from 1 to 7 p.m.


For more information about NEN, go to the website at


Uber reports accident on Geary Boulevard

Uber Technologies Inc.’s self-driving car program has had its first reported crash in

California, a collision that happened on Aug. 16, at 2:25 p.m., in the Richmond District.


According to the SF Examiner, one of Uber’s autonomous Volvo XC90s was

rear ended at the corner of Geary Boulevard and Third Avenue after its human

driver disengaged its self-driving technology to allow pedestrians to cross.


It was the first accident reported to the California Department of Motor Vehicles

since Uber got its permit to test autonomous vehicles in the state.


Local merchant supports Geary senior center

Grocery Outlet, located at 6333 Geary Blvd., contributed a portion of its sales recently as

a fundraiser for the Golden Gate Senior Center.


Through donations, the store amassed 250 bags of groceries for seniors, as well

as raising $6,422. The money will be used by the non-profit senior center, located

at Geary Boulevard and 26th Avenue, to launch its “wellness program to promote

healthy aging.”


“This week we started an Always Active exercise program, and we are taking

57 seniors on a trip to have lunch at the Japanese Tea Garden in San Mateo,”

said Kaleda Walling, director of the Golden Gate Senior Center. “These are

just a couple of examples of what the support from our neighbors at the

Grocery Outlet has made possible.”


Internet provider to lead cleanup; giving away free ice cream

Sonic, an Internet provider that has been working for the past several years

laying high-speed cable in the Richmond, is giving back to the community through

several events.


On Thursday, Oct. 5, Sonic employees will lead a community clean-up of

Golden Gate Park. Meet at Rise and Grind, 785 Eighth Ave., at 10:30. The

clean-up will be held from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. And, Sonic will be footing the bill for

free ice cream cones at Joe’s Ice Cream shop, located at 5420 Geary Blvd., on

Tuesday, Oct. 10, from 6-9 p.m.


Additionally, for every resident that signs up for service at a Sonic event, the

company will donate $10 to Project Homeless Connect.


Golden Gate Park meadow named for Robin Williams

The SF Recreation and Park Department announced in September the

naming of Robin Williams Meadow, located adjacent to Golden Gate Park’s

Sharon Building, to honor the late comedian Robin Williams.

1 reply »

  1. From My Bedroom Window

    It’s A morning in March 2017: The Sutro tower is emerging from its blanket of fog—across Cornwall Street, a slender young blonde woman is being pulled along by a huge Labrador, his leash wrapped around her right wrist, she is fingering her I-phone with her left hand. The dog stops looks to right, barks, growls and then lunges toward a bicycle coming up the street, behind and to the right of them. The tall T-shirted man on the bicycle looks up from the cell phone in his left hand, fumbles frantically with the leash wrapped around his right wrist as the Belgian Shepherd on the other end of that leash rushes to left and around the front of the bike to meet the attacking Lab.
    Barks: shouts: screams: the man’s feet are on the ground, still holding on to his cell phone and the right handlebar, the Shepherd is pulling the bicycle toward the onrushing Lab, a BMW whips around the corner of Fifth Avenue, it misses the man by inches. The driver ignores the stop sign at Fourth Avenue and speeds east down toward Arguello Street.
    Across the street an elegantly dressed gray haired woman stops, giggles, reins in a small poodle, whips out a cell phone out of her purse and takes pictures of the scene.
    The man on the street scrambles to regain his balance, and races after his bicycle, He grabs onto seat and pulls back hard, restraining his barking dog. Both the blonde and the bicyclist wrestle with their respective dogs, cell phones clutched tightly in their left hands. Finally, the man is able to control his dog long enough to stand up his bicycle, He limps on, the cell phone never leaves his hand. He crosses Fifth Avenue, walks about ten feet, mounts the Bicycle and rides away.
    The young blonde has finally gained control of her dog by wrapping the leash around a tree and jerking it back with the weight of her body. By this time the bicyclist is far enough away for her dog to quiet down. She unwraps the leash, and walks on staring at the phone in her left hand, thumb moving rapidly.
    The grey haired woman slides her cell phone into her purse, pulls out a plastic bag, bends down and performs her civic function, cleaning up after her dog.
    I shake my head, close my curtains and go back to bed; it’s morning on Cornwall Street, at the intersection of Fifth Avenue in San Francisco.

    irv Rothstein


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