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Letters to the Editor
The Voice welcomes your letters to the editor. Write the Noe Valley Voice, 1021 Sanchez Street, San Francisco, CA 94114. Or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, address, and phone number. (Anonymous letters will not be considered for publication.) You may also send us mail via our web site: www. noevalleyvoice.com. Letters may be edited for brevity or clarity.
Should Dog Walkers Pay a Fee?
As someone who lives in the Excelsior District but frequently shops in Noe Valley, I always enjoy picking up a copy of the Voice, just to see what is going on in another neighborhood similar to mine.
I was particularly interested to read the article on pet sitters (December 2001/January 2002), since parts of it applied to the Excelsior District, where McLaren Park, a 320-acre, largely undeveloped open space, is located, a popular dog-walking site.
Friends of McLaren Park, of which I am a member, enjoys a good relationship with dog walkers, providing dooky-bags and encouraging walkers who don't pick up after their pets to do so. There has been some concern expressed, however, about professional dog walkers who take large groups of dogs into the park. Since many of them receive remuneration for their service, shouldn't they pay a city fee for the wear and tear to park turf caused by so many animals at play at once?
Oh, yes, one other thing about the Voice, namely your regular feature "More Mouths to Feed." Out of concern for the problem of a growing human population and its impact on the earth's resources, don't you think it would be fair to give equal time to couples who have chosen a life without children?
Defend Your Neighborhood Parks
It's that time of year again -- budget time, that is. And this year, the city of San Francisco faces a hefty $175 million budget shortfall. Of that, the Recreation and Park Department (RPD) has been asked to cut $2.6 million. Community members who care about making our parks safe, clean, and fun should attend the budget hearings hosted by the Neighborhood Parks Council and the Recreation and Park Department.
This is an important opportunity for San Franciscans to offer their input on what park and recreation center services are essential to them. Rec and Park staff will be available for an in-depth briefing, analysis, and questions. The Rec and Park Department will record all community comments and questions, and provide written responses to any they cannot answer at the hearing.
I am on the staff of the Neighborhood Parks Council, but I am also a Noe Valley resident, so I know how important our parks -- Upper Noe Rec Center, Douglass Park, and Noe Courts -- are to neighborhood residents.
Pick a location, bring a friend, and sound in! The next meetings are Jan. 30, 6 p.m., Mission Rec Center, 2450 Harrison St. (Districts 8, 9, 10, 11); Feb. 4, 6 p.m., Sunset Rec Center, 28th Avenue and Lawton Street (Districts 1, 4, 5, 7); and Feb. 6, 6 p.m., Chinese Rec Center, 1199 Mason Street (Districts 2, 3, 6).
Don't worry if you missed the Jan. 30 meeting. You're welcome to come to the later ones. Or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Parking at What Price?
We hailed the arrival of the Noe Valley Ministry to the community 25 years ago. "The Ministry" came to occupy the church edifice where the Noe Valley Cooperative Nursery School is still housed at 1021 Sanchez Street when my son was 4 years old.
Now it wants to solve the needs of the congregation for parking on Sunday mornings for worship service and for church events by allowing a parking-lot chain to operate a lot on a four-lot parcel on 24th Street. The lot would give the congregation parking spaces, and the remaining spots would be open to the public until 2 a.m.
A school bus took us to Sunday school and Greek school lessons where I grew up. The Ministry could conceivably rent or purchase transportation to shuttle all members, with or without cars, so they would be able to attend church functions and services.
Our urban community literally shuts down between 8 and 10 p.m. nightly. I am appalled that the Ministry wants to encourage late-night revelry on 24th Street. With more parking available, local tavern patrons would be able to spend later nights on 24th Street. Folks from afar could imbibe, and then they all could drive home intoxicated.
According to the Heritage Foundation, there were two three-story houses and a small theater on the lots at 386171 24th Street in 1914. Today, what our neighborhood needs is housing and garage space for families.
Why add pollution to the air we breathe, gridlock to our congested main street, and the chance for more late-night mishaps? There is a solution that is beneficial, compassionate, and environmentally sound: Ferry the members of the Ministry to and from the building on Sanchez.
Bring a Car, Pay a Toll
Who should pay the costs of driving and parking a car? People who drive, right? Not anymore. This summer we learned that out-of-town Presbyterians want to give us a helping hand, and pay for a parking lot at the old Dan's Auto Service to help the local congregation draw more members. Now your reporter tells us that local merchants also want to rent spaces and give them to customers. Why not give customers the choice of paying for spaces?
If this share-the-cost strategy happens, then it will make less sense for those of us who walk, bike, or take Muni to 24th Street to keep spending our money there.
(recently an ex-Noe Valley resident)
Remember the Diamond Jubilee?
I just came upon an article by Florence Holub concerning the California Diamond Jubilee of 1925 [April 1998 Voice]. I am a native of San Francisco and am 85 years old, and I would appreciate being in touch with anyone who would like to e-mail me about the times in which I have lived in San Francisco. I grew up there and lived there until World War II, when I married and moved to Berkeley. (I lived in the Sunset District, but I had relatives who lived in the Mission.)
At the present time, I am enrolled in a writing class and writing about the Jubilee. My father worked in the Mint, where the souvenir coin was struck. I look forward to hearing from those with memories of the first half of the 20th century.