Tag Archives: Out & About

Halloween Shooting Chaos in San Francisco’s Castro

More on this topic later but, … i was in San Fran and saw all this shooting craziness go down right f#$%ing in front of me including seeing the guy taking this picture (more at SF Chronicle). More to come on a Choogle on podcast episode. Gang inspired shooting into a crowded street, 9 shot, 1 trampled, no one killed, many police on motorcycles, much flesh and uhhh… creative costumes.

From SF Gate (via archive.org’s way back machine)


The shooting started when someone got hit by bottle / Alleged gang member started altercation, then victim’s pal opened fire, police say
A city firefighter assists a shooting victim, who was among 10 people hurt when the Halloween celebration in the Castro district took a violent turn. Photo by Jay Finneburgh, special to the Chronicle.

Note: Article shared here for posterity as no longer live online.

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The Halloween shootings of nine people in the Castro — and the head injury to a woman during the ensuing chaos — began when a suspected gang member broke a bottle over the head of a reveler from another part of the city, whose friend then opened fire into the crowd on Market Street, San Francisco police said Wednesday.

No one has been arrested in connection with the 10:42 p.m. incident, in which nine rounds were fired into a densely packed crowd at an event policed by more than 600 officers and sheriff’s deputies.

Police say that although suspected gang members were involved, they have no proof the shootings were gang-related, and so the case is being investigated by the general work detail rather than the gang task force.

Authorities briefly detained someone seen running from the scene for questioning, but released him.

Police said Tuesday’s incident began with what Chief Heather Fong called a “stare-down” between about 15 members of a street gang based in the Sunnydale housing projects in Visitacion Valley and a similar-size group from the Lakeview area of the Ingleside district.

“Bad words were exchanged. One person hit somebody with the bottle — somebody in that group pulled out a firearm and started shooting,” Fong said.

Although nine people were shot, most were only grazed. Several of those hit were bystanders and had no connection to either group, investigators said.

Two people were hospitalized at San Francisco General Hospital, one of them a gunshot victim who was hit in the knee. The other person hospitalized — a 10th victim of the violence — was a woman who suffered a head injury when she fell or was trampled.

The shootings occurred on the 2200 block of Market Street, near the party’s main stage as well as one of the nine entrances to the Castro that police set up to screen partygoers for alcohol and weapons.

Sheriff Mike Hennessey, who led a contingent of 100 deputies, was about 30 feet from where the shots were fired and said he heard at least six in a matter of seconds.

“People screamed and ran toward me,” Hennessey said. “We were helping people hide behind Dumpsters, helping people calm down and leave.”

Fortunately, Hennessey said, “the panic was very short-lived.”

Harrison Brace, who saw the shootings from his third-floor apartment on Market Street, said the gunman appeared to be firing wildly.

“It took a second to sink in, then the crowd dove down,” Brace said. “They started knocking over barricades, and there was a lot of screaming. The police came very quickly.”

The shootings were by far the most serious incident in an event that authorities characterized as otherwise peaceful.

Two dozen people were arrested for being drunk in public, including one who allegedly resisted arrest.

Another man was arrested on suspicion of battery and resisting arrest.

Most of the estimated 100,000 people in the Castro were law-abiding and “mellow,” Hennessey said. The lines to get through the checkpoints extended for a block or more, but authorities found little that would indicate trouble would break out.

Deputies and police at the checkpoints “took away obvious weapons from people — spears, stakes, toy guns,” Hennessey said. “I don’t think we took away any real guns. . . . We also took walking canes, those types of things, anything you could swing and hit somebody and hurt him.”

Hennessey said the shootings happened just as officers and deputies were about to start dispersing partygoers under the city’s prearranged plan to shut down the event at 11 p.m.

“The big test would have been then, when everybody was going to be told to leave,” Hennessey said. “We don’t know how that would have worked.”

When the shots rang out, he said, “people ran. It was real easy to close off the event.”

Vancouver Sculpture Bienelle

Vancouver is hosting a collection of world-class public outdoor sculpture for a period of time. All the details are at: http://www.vancouverbiennale.com/

Art and photography enthusiasts may consider contributing to the Flickr Vancouver Bienelle Group which is also a contest of sorts as you may win a nice lil prize for your efforts.

My snaps are tagged and stashed on Flickr but here’s a few samplers:


The World is Not Flat checks in from The Netherlands

I don’t know Lee and Sachi personally but seems i am only a degree or two of separation apart … either way, I’ve been following along on their round the world trip and they’ve recently come ’round to Europe and into Amsterdam.

With my particular interest in the social policies of The Nederlands – having visited Amsterdam (Flickr tag) several times – (listen to Choogle on with Uncle Weed podcast episode #27), i read Lee’s recent missive with great interest.

Yup, it’s all about the harm reduction and tolerance and it turns out that decriminalization and normalization does statistically reduce abuse and use – perhaps getting high and screwing whores really are less enticing when the risk/thrill factor is removed ;-).

Thick snippet below but read the whole piece at Sex and Drugs in Liberal Holland.

 I described Amsterdam to my Mom as “A bastion of hedonism”. Sure, it has beautiful canals, nice people, amazing sights, about a billion bicycles and a ton of charm, but what is truly impressive about Amsterdam and what differentiates it on a worldwide scale is the liberal policies of the Dutch government concerning drugs and prostitution.

For instance, we stayed in a guesthouse in the Red Light District and within two blocks of our guesthouse, anyone with the money can legally buy “soft drugs” like marijuana, mushrooms and hashish in small quantities and sexual services from a host of licensed prostitutes who display their wares in large windows under red lights. I suppose you could also see some music and complete the hedonists triumverate of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll.

The view from our place:

For the visitor to Amsterdam, these elements of the city can be surprising and intimidating – we talked to some people who would not step foot into the Red Light District. However, I think it is more surprising that the city doesn’t have the overall feel of a “bad neighborhood” with a high frequency of drugs, sex shops and prostitutes. There is a ragged and depressing element to the Red Light District, but I don’t think it is much different than any other city – it is just that tourists are exposed and invited to participate in activities that would otherwise be managed in dark alleys and controlled by criminals instead of government agencies.

The Dutch policy seems based on the idea that people are going to do what they are going to do, regardless of the government or the potential for punishment. And if this is true, their only tools are regulation, taxation and tolerance. It makes sense to me and the Dutch folks we talked to about it.

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Daily, i Ride the 15 Cambie

Here’s a photo of a photo of the Cambie bus on its first day of toil – the Inner Fairview route is a bit different now and the buses newer but worn.  Cambie Bus

I saw this on the rolling transit museum which included a video with narrative of riding the trolleys and buses in the 40s-50s around Vancouver and the inter-urban lines out to the ‘burbs (there is a movement to resurrect these lines).

I enjoyed the notion of someone taking the time to film their bus rides and preserve them for viewing now.  Makes me think i am not so crazy for filming Seabus voyages.

I also enjoyed the narrative comments about how the operators worked hard to improve seats and lighting to make the ride more pleasant – what an idea!  Encourage transit riding by making it comfy and clean.