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Letters to the Editor
How 'Bout Taking the Bus?
According to your November article ["Residents and Merchants Lock Horns Over More Meters for 24th Street," by Kathy Dalle-Molle], the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association wants to add parking meters on the 4100 block of 24th Street as part of an effort "to have a thriving shopping community along 24th Street, just like on Union and Chestnut streets."
I hadn't realized that this was the association's goal, and it is one I definitely do not share. It appears to me that our local merchants can, and do, thrive without encouraging more people to drive to our neighborhood in an effort to replicate the even more congested shopping destinations of Union and Chestnut streets.
Short of adding new parking meters, there are a number of steps the merchants can take to create additional parking turnover on 24th Street. Rather than driving to work, the merchants should consider taking advantage of the many public transportation lines that serve Noe Valley, and encouraging their employees to do the same (such as by subsidizing their public transportation costs).
Those who continue to drive might try parking on blocks that are not crowded during the day, and walking the rest of the way to work. At a minimum, those merchants who park on 24th Street and feed the meters throughout the day should give up that practice so that their parking spaces would be available to their customers.
Too Many Rules and Regs
Of all the things the S.F. Board of Supervisors has to deal with, I'm going to add one more. Or maybe I should say, I'm going to add my voice to a growing list of complaints regarding the San Francisco Planning Commission's bothersome, costly list of hoops people are expected to jump through to get anything done in this city. I am responding to the "Dan's Lot" story that ran on the front page of your November 2001 issue, which mentioned the many improvements the Noe Valley Ministry will have to make before opening a parking lot on 24th Street.
The good news is the new Board of Supervisors is ready to make some changes. They've already gotten rid of the Dance Hall Permit requirement that forced clubs to pay an annual fee to allow public dancing on the premises. Now, maybe they can tackle the Planning Department. Streamlining the process by removing the most obvious excesses would be a good start.
The Great Wall of Learning
The primary reason I am writing this letter is because our neighbors often pass by our facility and wonder who or what we might be. On the outside, our building, with its long gray walls, might look like some sort of diagnostic center.
In reality, we are a school and childcare center. Theresa S. Mahler Child Development Center is located at 990 Church Street, on the corner of Hill and Church, with access to the J-line. We are part of the San Francisco Unified School District's Child Development Program. We have served the childcare needs of low-income working and schooling adults for over 50 years. Our center is open year-round from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. Our phone number is 415-695-5871.
Our school site was formerly called Edison Children's Center, but was renamed in honor of its longtime director, Theresa S. Mahler, who was not only a leader in early childhood education from the 1940s until her retirement in 1971, but a symbol of progress and what makes San Francisco great. Mrs. Mahler was an advocate for children and their families. For many years, she fought to retain state sponsorship of childcare services. By naming our site after her, our school hopes not only to pay tribute to a San Francisco heroine but also to carry on this pioneer's vision and legacy.
We also recently unveiled "The Great Wall of Learning," a tile mural in our schoolyard. More than 50 people from our school community attended a dedication on Oct. 31. Our pre-kindergarten children, dressed as spiders and pumpkins, entertained the guests with singing. The mural project was funded by the San Francisco Education Fund, with the objective of extending learning outdoors. Our pre-kindergarten children from the class of 19992000, along with parents and staff, created tiles based on stories and books, with the assistance of artist Nancy Gittleman.
Our center's mission is to provide a high-quality early childhood education for children in a safe, caring, and nurturing environment. We also hope to prepare our children for success in school and to develop their love for learning.
We welcome visits from our neighbors and invite you to come by and view the mural in the schoolyard.
Theresa S. Mahler
Child Development Center
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