City Plays Whack-a-Mole on Van Ness

by on March 18, 2024

Willow Street Between Van Ness Avenue And Polk Street.March 12, 2024

Spring has sprung.

On the afternoon of March 11, the neighbors in the troubled Ellis Street between Franklin Street and Van Ness Avenue notified me that the City was doing a spring cleaning on their street.

They wondered why the City suddenly cleared out the open-air drug market on their street that afternoon after all those months.

Ellis Street Between Franklin Street And Van Ness Avenue Was Cleared
Of Drug Dealers and Addicts On March 11, 2024 Afternoon

They joked that maybe President Xi Jinping was coming back to San Francisco to deliver the Pandas Mayor London Breed had been begging for after she cleaned up our City and rolled out the red carpet for him when he came to the City for APEC last year.

On the morning of March 11 before the City cleared out the open-air drug market on Ellis Street, a city official contacted me to let me know that “the City has been using the few tools they have left to the best of their ability” to tackle the quality-of-life issues on Van Ness Avenue.

The next day, the City continued its spring cleaning to the East side of Van Ness Avenue, Willow Street from Van Ness Avenue to Larkin Street.

The City Clearing Out The Encampments On Willow Street Between
Polk and Larkin Streets. March 12, 2024


The neighbors on Willow Street were happy to see their street cleaned and smelled fresh.

They could walk on the sidewalks and breathe fresh air to enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms.

They wondered how long it would last before the drug dealers and addicts returned to the street.

It lasted only one hour while the cherry blossoms on Willow Street bloomed for up to 2 weeks.

The encampments Came Back To Willow Street An Hour After The City
Cleared Them Out. March 12, 2024

And, the drug dealers and addicts who were on Ellis Street, on the West side of Van Ness Avenue, also returned a few hours after the City cleaned up the street on March 11.

The Drug Dealers And Addicts Returned To Ellis Street. March 12, 2024

The neighbors on Ellis Street (West Of Van Ness Avenue) and Willow Street (East Of Van Ness Avenue) were furious.

They said, “This just shows til that awful homeless lawsuit is settled, the City cannot move forward.

If the Police’s hands are tied, what chance does any other City Agency have a chance for change?

The drug dealers are running rampant now and are not afraid.

There aren’t police who are present and walking the beat. Just having them walk around helps.

We are all on this merry-go-round. It is the status quo of San Francisco.

We are cleaning the sidewalks but not cleaning up the addicts. Sad to say.”

One of the neighbors shared his frustration about drug dealers and addicts keep coming back to his neighborhood with KRON4 News.


Daniel Cauich Used To Live In The Encampments Around Van Ness Avenue

Daniel Cauich, who stabbed the 94-year-old woman, Anh Taylor, used to live in the encampments around Van Ness Avenue from 2020-2021.

He moved around from encampment to encampment on Willow and Eddy Streets between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street whenever the City cleared out the encampments.

The neighbors used to see him walking around Van Ness Avenue between Ellis and Eddy Streets sometimes carrying a knife.

On June 21, 2021, shortly after he was arrested for stabbing Anh Taylor in lower Nob Hill, I received an email from the superintendent of Webcor who was building Vance Apartments at 830 Eddy which was the former parking garage of Burger King regarding Daniel Cauich.

He mentioned in his email to me that Cauich used to live on Willow Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street, right behind 830 Eddy Street, before he was arrested for the stabbing of Anh Taylor and included the link to the New York Post article he read and recognized Cauich from his photo in the article.

When Webcor was building Vance Apartments at 830 Eddy Street in 2021-2022, they had so many problems (including burglaries) with the encampments on Willow and Eddy Streets, West of Van Ness which have been kept clear since early 2023.

Does San Francisco Need A New Police Chief Or Mayor?

The Police are as frustrated as the neighbors with the drug dealers and addicts keep returning to Van Ness Avenue.

I told Police officers that a group of Sacred Heart students I talked to recently at Van Ness Market on Van Ness Avenue suggested that San Francisco needs a new Police Chief or Mayor to shut down the open-air drug market near their school and asked them for their opinions.

Without any hesitation, they told me straight up that San Francisco needs a new Police Chief.

They even have someone in mind already if Police Chief Bill Scott is fired.

They want the recently retired Police Chief of Antioch, Steven Ford to lead the SFPD.

They said, “He is a cop’s cop who grew up in the City and worked his way up while he was with SFPD.

And, that will make people in Bayview happy. He will be a great Police Chief for the City.”

However, they were reluctant to answer if San Francisco needed a new Mayor and who they would support as the Mayor of the City for the next 4 years.

They just said that Mayor London Breed came to talk to them recently regarding the position she is in with the Police Commission and some members of the SF Board of Supervisors.

Police Chief Bill Scott On Eddy Street And Van Ness Avenue Observing
The Neighbors Instal Metal Garden Planters After The FBI Raid. Oct.26, 2023

As for the Van Ness Avenue neighbors, most of them said in emails that Police Chief Bill Scott should have been fired for the Police raid on freelance journalist, Brian Carmody’s home in violation of the First Amendment but not for the City’s status quo as he has been doing the best he can with the resources he has to fight crime.

They continued to say, “The status quo falls on the Mayor’s shoulders. She is in charge and is responsible for running this City and keeping it safe. Unfortunately, we feel that she has failed us all and election time could not come soon enough.

The City should give Van Ness Avenue back to the Native Americans. They would do a better job managing it than the City.”

In the meantime, the neighbors are working together to make Van Ness Avenue the Champs-Élysées as they were once promised by the late San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein.

Filed under: San Francisco News