Monday News Roundup
CARTOON ART MUSEUM FORCED OUT OF SOMA HOME, SEEKING NEW LOCATION
San Francisco’s only museum devoted to comics, cartoons and animation is closing its doors at the end of June, but not forever.
The Cartoon Art Museum has occupied its 655 Mission St. location in the city’s South of Market neighborhood since 2001 but the property owner is demanding more than double the current rent — an untenable increase for the largely donation-reliant museum, curator Andrew Farago said today.
It moved there after five years at another Mission Street location only about two blocks away. The prominent location, within a block of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Museum of the African Diaspora, had art lovers constantly passing by its doors.
“We love the Yerba Buena arts district. Obviously we have a lot of company in terms of other museums right there in the neighborhood. It’s been great to us,” Farago said.
“We’ve helped build up that neighborhood and that neighborhood has helped build us up. We’re big fans but we realize part of building that neighborhood up means we may have priced ourselves out of it,” he said.
The museum’s board has been expecting the news it would have to close for some time now. It has been operating without a long-term lease for a few years and with the skyrocketing rents in San Francisco, the staff knew it was just a matter of time, Farago said.
“We could conceivably keep up with double the rent for a while but long-term that just isn’t going to be sustainable and not really a practical use of the funds that we raise,” he said.
They are actively searching for a new long-term location, but in the meantime plan to offer a full slate of events until closing in June and have special exhibitions planned during the closure, both locally and out-of-state.
The soonest they hope to find a new long-term home for the museum is in the fall, Farago said.
But to make sure that’s possible, the museum is going to have to keep its fundraising efforts up without a central location for visitors and much of its exhibits in storage.
They’re counting on the support of the local artistic community, longtime supporters and patrons, as well as people who may not have heard about the museum before.
“We’re prepared, but we’re going to need all the help we can get,” Farago said. “It’s not the first bump in the road that we’ve had … with the support of the community, we expect to weather this.”
The museum will host at least one fundraiser before closing — the “Comics 4 Comix” event on May 7 when the museum will host local standup comedians and hold an auction for original artwork.
There are also several remaining exhibitions planned. The museum will host a reception and book signing by Star Wars artist Jeffrey Brown at some point in June and the second annual Queer Comics Expo on June 8.
Aside from that, the museum will continue to take donations and sell memberships to raise capital to open in a new location. More information about upcoming exhibitions and ways to help can be found at the museum’s website at cartoonart.org.
MAN INJURED BY HATCHET-WIELDING SUSPECT IN MISSION DISTRICT SATURDAY
A man was struck in the side of the head with a hatchet on Saturday night in San Francisco’s Mission District, police said.
The 45-year-old victim was talking to a friend near the intersection of Caledonia and 16th streets, less than a block from the 16th Street BART station, at about 11:10 p.m. Saturday when he was suddenly attacked, according to police.
Police said the suspect, believed to be a man between 35 and 40 years of age, struck the victim with a hatchet on the side of his head near his ear.
The victim suffered a cut to his ear and pain to his head. He suffered injuries not considered life-threatening and refused to be transported to the hospital for treatment.
The suspect fled the scene on foot following the apparently unprovoked attack and remained at large as of today, according to police.
17-YEAR-OLD GIRL STRUCK, KILLED BY TAXI IDENTIFIED
A 17-year-old girl who was struck and killed by a taxicab in San Francisco’s Lower Nob Hill neighborhood on Saturday night has been identified, according to the medical examiner’s office.
San Francisco resident Seana Canavan was fatally struck in the area of Pine and Larkin streets around 10:30 p.m. Saturday, police said.
Police said a taxi traveling west on Pine Street struck Canavan when she apparently ran out into the street.
Canavan died as a result of her injuries, police said.
JUDGE WIPES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CONVICTION FROM MIRKARIMI’S RECORD
A San Francisco Superior Court judge agreed this morning to wipe a 2012 misdemeanor domestic violence conviction from San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s record.
Mirkarimi, who is running for re-election to his post in November against former sheriff’s Chief Deputy Vicki Hennessy, was convicted in 2012 of misdemeanor false imprisonment for an incident in which he grabbed his wife’s arm during an argument, causing a bruise.
Early in January 2012, just days before Mirkarimi was sworn into office, a neighbor contacted police reporting that Mirkarimi’s wife, Eliana Lopez, had shown her a bruise on her arm suffered during an argument that occurred on New Year’s Eve, according to a search warrant affidavit.
Mirkarimi pleaded guilty in March 2012 to misdemeanor false imprisonment. He was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to undergo counseling.
When Mayor Ed Lee suspended Mirkarimi on official misconduct charges, Lee appointed Hennessy to the post of interim sheriff. She was the city’s first female sheriff.
Mirkarimi returned to his post in October 2012 after the city’s 11-member Board of Supervisors did not reach the nine votes necessary under the city charter to remove him from office.
Mirkarimi, who worked for nine years in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office before serving seven years on the Board of Supervisors, was elected as sheriff in November 2011 after Michael Hennessey retired after 32 years in the position.
According to San Francisco District Attorney’s Office spokesman Max Szabo, Mirkarimi’s attorney appeared before the judge this morning and the request to remove the misdemeanor offense from his record was granted.
The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department remains under intense scrutiny after the FBI launched an investigation earlier this month into alleged deputy misconduct.
The investigation stems from allegations by jail inmates held in San Francisco’s Hall of Justice that sheriff’s deputies forced them to fight “gladiator-style” while deputies placed bets on the outcomes.
The taxi and its driver remained at the scene following the collision and police said the driver is cooperating with the investigation.