Noe Valley Voice October 1997

Rumors in the News: Weather Reports

By Mazook

OUR EL NIÑO SUMMER has been as hot and humid as some of the rumors circulating in Greater Noe Valley. By fall's end our valley should be drenched with rain (check your roofs) and front-page news in the Voice. Items to look out for:

Item: Many local cyclists have been pushing City Hall for a bike lane on Valencia Street. (Valencia is the flattest route for two-wheelers heading downtown.) But they've found their wheels spinning.

Item: The exhaustive debate between Hahn's Hibachi and its neighbors -- over the smoke and barbecue odors emanating from the popular restaurant -- is heating up again. The Planning Department has apparently determined that Hahn's is a full-service restaurant and therefore must apply for a conditional use permit. Will Hahn's jump from the fire to the frying pan? Are the neighbors licking their chops?

Item: Supervisor Gavin Newsom is trying to convince his fellow board members to allow those cafes and restaurants that already have liquor licenses to serve beer and wine outside. If they agree, we'll be seeing some big parties on 24th Street, that is, if the weather stays hot.

Item: Anybody out there a member of the Upper Noe Valley Democratic Club? The Noe Valley Bureau of Investigation is looking into allegations that there is no such thing. If you know the answer, call the Voice (821-3324) and leave a message for Mazook.

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FOR OUR NEXT ITEM: It looks as if the long-vacant market (it used to be St. Phillip's Market, and then a wine store) on 24th Street just below Diamond has
finally been rented. Mullins Realty had been trying to rent it for nearly a year.

According to realtor Ed Mullins, most of the inquiries were from people who wanted to open either a restaurant or a coffeehouse. "When I told them that I did not think they could get the permits for such a use, they backed off," says Mullins.

Well, the ink is now drying on a lease signed by a secondhand bookstore. This should push the number of bookstores on 24th Street ahead of the number of video stores. Hurray for literacy.

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EVERYONE WANTS TO KNOW what on earth will occupy the 5,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor the residential/commercial complex going up next to Bell Market (site of the old Second Spanish Baptist Church).

According to developer Joe Cassidy, "We haven't even thought about it yet and won't be considering any lease offers until the early part of next year. We are in the process of sheetrocking right now, and the commercial space is wide open."

Cassidy has received dozens of inquir-ie, and says that "90 percent are from people who want to open a restaurant or coffee shop. I told them I have no interest in leasing the premises for [those uses]." Gee, is there an echo in here somewhere?

Probably no more than four commercial enterprises will wind up in the space, Cassidy says, noting that the residential units should be available by next spring.

If you have any special requests as to the kind of stores you'd like to see, write or e-mail your vote to the Voice.

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IN UPTOWN NOE VALLEY, the buzz has been over the royal blue paint now covering Holiness Temple on Church Street. Jessica Richter, who lives on 28th directly across from the church, even called the Voice to complain: "My entire kitchen is blue" from the reflected light, she said. (However, on a follow-up call, she admitted, "The color is growing on me. Maybe it's not so bad.")

Meanwhile, Pastor Joe Bell claims he's had more compliments than complaints. He says the congregation picked the color simply because they liked it. "But," he says, "if anyone wants to change it, just bring in a proposal, be ready to pay for it, and the congregation may go along."

Bell adds that what he would really like to see is a mural on the big south wall of the church facing 28th Street. "I draw the line at a mural," says Richter. "It would be staring right in my window forever."

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SO FAR, there have been no protests filed on Cecilia DeLeon's plans to consolidate and move Stellings Market (and its liquor license) into Drewes Market on Church near 29th. DeLeon says she has won approval from the Board of Supervisors and is ready to move.

DeLeon wants everyone to know that the landlord is not kicking her out. She didn't lose her lease. She's just transferring her rights in the lease. However, she will stay put until she's sure the new Thai restaurant that's taking over her lease and moving into her corner spot has received all of its permits.

According to a spokesperson for the restaurateur, Perin Pianpraserdkool, who operates another Thai restaurant on Monterey Boulevard, there have been three protests filed at the ABC concerning his application for a beer and wine license.

Word is that the ABC will soon determine whether or not to grant the application or hold public hearings. Stay tuned.

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THE SAGA OF BATTLE MOUNTAIN, the series of skirmishes between neighbors and developers over a large parcel at 21st and Sanchez streets, is finally over.

As you Rumors readers know, there has been a three-year war over Seamus McGee's plans to build four luxury single-family dwellings on Sanchez Hill.

Three of the four homes were approved and built last year, with the prized corner house selling for $1.5 million.

A lawsuit between McGee and some of his neighbors was settled in early '97.

Well, on Aug. 25 the Board of Supes gave McGee the go-ahead to build the fourth house (facing Sanchez) by allowing him a "minor encroachment" across a 30-foot swatch of land owned by the city.

Major dirt was hauled off the hilltop in mid-September. And crews were starting the foundation. House number four should be erected by next summer, and will probably be 10 to 15 percent more valuable in Noe Valley's hot real estate market than it is today. When the dust settles, maybe everyone can have a block party.

Hopefully by that time the last item on the hilltop agenda will be completed: a mini-park memorial to Audrey Rogers, featuring a sculptured bench sitting in a landscaped area with a maxi-view.

Rogers was a Dolores Heights activist and preservationist who died in 1994. McGee has been working with her family and even volunteered a retaining wall.

The family has raised over $13,000 and commissioned a wood carved bench to be installed in the two-tiered open space that is part of the public's right-of-way.

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HAVE YOU NOTICED that the Department of Parking and Traffic has installed stop signs on Noe at its intersection with 23rd Street? There have been pleas from neighbors for years to make that corner a four-way stop. Caution to 23rd street drivers: Don't assume Noe drivers will stop. Old habits die hard.

Have you noticed the delightful elderly man bicycling up and down 24th Street wearing a safety helmet and joint guards?

Well, his name is Ludwig Steinbeimer, he lives at 14th and Dolores, and he's 90 years old. Ludwig has been biking for the past 25 years and says that he rides over to Downtown Noe Valley to pick up his medicine from Thrifty.

In other medical marvels: Dr. Michael McFadden, a local doctor famed for his house calls and drop-in clinic, is hanging up his stethoscope after practicing medicine for almost 40 years on 24th Street (next to the Rat and Raven Bar). His practice will be turned over to the group of docs at Dolores and 24th.

Congrats to Noe Valleon Bill Yenne, whose new book Hidden Treasure: Where to Find It, How to Get It has just been published by Avon Books. Bill and his wife Carol have lived in Noe Valley over 20 years, and Carol owns and operates the Small Frys children's clothing store.

Also, congrats to St. Paul's soon-to-be-constructed Elementary School, which was awarded a grant of $300,000 from a respected charity foundation. The church needs all the support it can get in mounting this multimillion-dollar project.

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ZIPPY AND BEYOND is what Noe Valley cartoonist Bill Griffith is calling his Zippy retrospective soon to go on display at the Cartoon Art Museum (814 Mission St.). The art show will feature original Zippy strips, and you will be able to "experience Zippyvision!" says Bill. Included in the exhibit will be early underground comic books and lots of animation art.

The show will run Oct. 15 to Feb. 22, so there's plenty of time to catch it.

My pagemate says that he is also in the early stages of an animated Zippy TV show that will be made by "a major cable TV network."

My question for Bill is: Who will do the voice of Zippy?

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THAT'S ALL, YOU ALL. Have a sane and safe Halloween. Don't eat too much candy. And don't forget to check the roof. Bye, kids.