Introducing Our New Castro Editors, Plus More Writers Fresh To Hoodline

Ever wonder who the people are behind your favorite stories? You're in luck: We'll be introducing our editorial staff here every month, including our newest writers and editors.

To kick things off, please meet our new pair of neighborhood editors in the Castro, Steven Bracco and Shane Downing.

Steven began covering the neighborhood years ago with his own blog, called the Castro Bubble—but he's been writing about the Castro for Hoodline since early 2014. He’s published nearly 150 stories here, all while working a day job as an EMT (not too shabby, if you ask us).

Between his coverage of local business happenings, neighborhood, and LGBT events, and people in the community, he’s provided core stories that have helped us build an active and engaged Castro readership. Steven (a Bay Area local) may also be Hoodline's biggest local sports fan, so don't be surprised if you see him around town sporting Giants, 49ers and Warriors gear with pride.

Shane Downing has been writing a wide range of stories for us over the last few months, including some great features like this recent look back at Golden Gate Park and how it could have become a new neighborhood, and this investigation into seismic retrofit issues facing renters.

He's also been covering the Castro, writing about local culture — like the backstory of that giant poinsettia plant on 17th, and hot topics, like the future of the Volvo dealership on 16th and the latest in Castro bookstore news.

Shane is a freelance writer who previously spent 27 months in Cameroon with the Peace Corp and has a background in environmental science. Oh, and he loves donuts.

Got a story idea or a question about the Castro? You can reach Steven at and @braccs on Twitter. And you can drop Shane a note at or find him on Twitter at @scdowning.

But wait! There's more. We also have an exciting lineup of new writers who have made their Hoodline debuts in recent months. Here are some of the stories they've been writing:

Pooja Bhatt:
23 Years of Java Beach Café, An Outer Sunset Institution

Shaquina Blake:
In Their Words: Growing Up In Old Fillmore

Janet Carmona:
On The Record With Cherushii And Roche, Hosts Of A Dance Music Night In The Tenderloin

Amanda Gonzalez:
A Chat With Tareq Alsalt, Central Haight Market's 'Mr. T'

Gordon Gottsegen:
The Story Behind Fillmore & Hermann's Electrical Workers Union Hall

Cheryl Guerrero:
Hundreds Of Feet Above The Sunset, Grand View Park Offers Sweeping Vistas, Good Exercise

Nick Madden:
Washington Square Getting New Water Fountain Through Citywide ‘Drink Tap’ Program

Rick Marr:
Picturing The Outer Sunset, Then And Now

Erasmo Martinez:
Cheers Market Owner Dismissed After Launching Fundraiser To Save Business

Julia Quinlan:
New Renderings, Details Revealed For Market And Sanchez Development

Beth Thomas:
Scenes From Today's Folsom Street Fair

Laura Thompson:
Squatters, Musicians, And A Philanthropist's Dream: The Story Of Stern Grove And Pine Lake Park