Hot Off The Tipline: Robotics Students Place High, 6th Street Stabbing, Overflowing Trash, More

Do you ever walk by an empty storefront in your neighborhood and notice a new planning permit pasted on the window? If so, we want to know about it.

From business openings and closings to transit debacles, your tips are incredibly valuable in our daily coverage. If you want to alert us to something going on in your neighborhood, text us at (415)200-3233, email us at or tweet us @Hoodline

This week, we kick things off in the Outer Richmond, where tipster Wendy let us know about St. Thomas the Apostle School's (3801 Balboa St.) fifth-place finish in the 2017 Wonder League Robotics Competition.

Out of 5,000 teams, a group of four students from St. Thomas rose to the top five in the 6-to-8-year-old bracket, according to our partners at ABC7. The students, who were the only group from San Francisco to compete, programmed and built extensions for robots to solve science and technology challenges.

As the school's Facebook page notes, the students were recognized by San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu and State Senator Scott Weiner on April 4th. 

Photo: St. Thomas the Apostle School/Facebook

Also in the Sunset, tipster Patty C. told us that Secret Garden Tea House (721 Lincoln Way) has been papered up. According to its website, it is temporarily closed until August, due to renovations.

Photo: Secret Garden Tea House

And at the Great Highway and Judah Street, Sean M. expressed frustration with the regularly overflowing garbage cans on the bike path near the public bathrooms, which he said look like this every weekend.

Photo: Sean M./Hoodline
Photo: Sean M./Hoodline

SF Public Works' Rachel Gordon said she is waiting to hear back from her team about this particular location, but that Recology is in charge of servicing the trash cans in this area on a "routing schedule." She asked locals to report overflowing trash cans to 311 (which has a handy mobile app).

Heading over to Bayview, tipster Lisa R. alerted us to a shooting that happened at 3rd Street between Palou and Oakdale at 1pm last Saturday, April 8th. She added that the street was blocked off and several cones were placed in areas where the bullets were found.

According to the SFPD, an unknown suspect had fired several shots, striking two male victims, 22 and 37. They are currently recovering from non-life-threatening injuries.

With no suspects arrested, this remains an open investigation. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the SFPD anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444, or text-a-tip to TIP411 with SFPD at the beginning of the message.

Up in Hayes Valley, @mikevladimer shared a photo of special bulbouts created for Walk To Work Day last Thursday, April 6th. 

Designed by a Walk SF staffer named Josie, the colorful tires at Page & Laguna drew a lot of buzz. "People were excited about the traffic-calming design," said the group's outreach director, Natalie Burdick. 

Despite that day's rain, "according to Motionloft, San Francisco saw an increase in the number of people walking to work on Market Street on April 6th," Burdick noted. She's hoping for sunnier skies—and even more pedestrians—for next year's event.

Over in SoMa, tipster Rose M. sent a photo of police activity on Market Street between 6th and 7th streets on April 10th. 

Photo: Rose M./Hoodline

The SFPD's Officer Robert Rueca told Hoodline that Market Street was blocked off because of a stabbing incident involving two adult males. The victim was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, and the suspect was arrested on the spot.

Further east, tipster Alex K. spotted a celebratory moment at the under-construction Salesforce Tower (181 Fremont St.) on April 5th.

Helen Han, the marketing director for real estate investment trust Boston Properties, a real estate investment trust in San Francisco, told us that construction workers were signing this i-beam to celebrate the topping-off of the tower, which is now the tallest west of the Mississippi.

The tower as a whole is set to be completed in mid-2017, with tenants moving in next year.

Photo: Alex K./Hoodline

In the Tenderloin, tipster James P. alerted us to some police presence at Eddy Street between Leavenworth and Jones at about 9:20pm on April 8th. He noted that there may have been an explosive device found in a police garage.

Officer Rueca said that officers did receive a call about a suspicious device that was found in a vehicle inside the garage. However, after some investigation, officers were able to conclude that there was no explosive device.

He added that a person was detained, but an arrest has not been made yet. Again, if you have information, contact SFPD.

Over near Divisadero, one of our tipsters sent in the following request:

"What's happening with McBaker Grocery at the corner of Baker & McAllister? It's always been a crappy store, but now the shelves are almost totally empty & the hours are erratic. There was a sign up about a liquor license transfer, but it's now gone & the same dudes are still running the place. Would love to know if a new, better store is moving in on my corner! Thanks!"

Our Divisadero editor, Stephen Jackson, spoke to the store's owner, but he declined to share any further details on the liquor license transfer or a potential change in ownership. We'll keep an eye on the space.

Photo: John H./Yelp

Finally, in Russian Hill, tipster Eileen T. told us that Polkers Gourmet Burgers (2226 Polk St.) has closed. We emailed and called the restaurant a few times to find out the reason for the closure, but did not receive a response.

As of today, Polkers' liquor license has not been transferred, and there are no planning permits submitted for the location. If you see any action going on inside, let us know!

Got a tip to share? Email us at, tweet us @hoodline, or text us at (415) 200-3233. 

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Hot off the tipline robotics students place high 6th street stabbing overflowing trash more