Noe Valley Voice July-August 2004

Letters to the Editor

Guerrero "Speedway" Too Dangerous for Pedestrians


Pedestrians enjoy a lot of respect in Noe Valley because they have asserted their right to cross the intersections safely. Unfortunately, when we leave the neighborhood on foot, more caution is needed.

Think of going to BART. Walking down 24th Street to the station presents no major danger. The cars go fast on Guerrero, but usually they stop when the light is red. Still, check for the red-light runner before crossing.

Now think of another trip--visiting a friend in St. Luke's Hospital on Valencia Street. Walking down 27th, Duncan, or 28th streets from Noe Valley becomes a dangerous prospect because you cross the six lanes of the Guerrero/San Jose Avenue "speedway." Of course, if you are a sensible person, you don't walk. It's much safer to drive and search or pay for parking.

Since people avoid dangerous intersections on foot, fewer accidents occur at these places. Therefore, the city will tell you they're safe. In reality, they're so dangerous they're not used. Some people drive, but what about those people who don't have the option of driving to avoid the dangers of walking?

To their rescue have come some Noe Valley, Mission, and Bernal residents who want to make Guerrero/San Jose safe and usable for pedestrians. Supervisors Bevan Dufty and Tom Ammiano are taking the matter to the Board of Supervisors. I hope all the people of Noe Valley will support these efforts to assert pedestrian rights on the borders of our neighborhood.

Paul Nixon

Fair Oaks Street

Farmers' Markets Have Added Value


A letter in your June 2004 issue stated a common misconception about farmers' markets: "Buying direct from farmers should mean cheaper prices."

Buying direct from farmers means fresher food. It means accountability--you can ask the farmer anything about how the food was grown and he will tell you the answer. It means that you are supporting sustainability: local, organic, family-owned small businesses.

How did Americans get the idea that their food should be cheap? A farmer's labor is valuable and deserves to be paid for. He has payments on his land, his equipment, his workers. Agriculture is a gamble in many ways: If nature delivers a huge storm right before harvest, the farmer could lose his entire crop.

Furthermore, these farmers and their assistants are driving long distances to the city to be at the markets. The prices of their products might well be lower, should you take the time and the gasoline to drive to their farms to buy directly from them.

Finally, realize that when you buy your food, you are voting for your values with your dollars. If your values are consistent with cheap food, by all means go to Costco. If your values are consistent with local businesses, family farms, and honest organic produce, you will be proud to buy directly from a farmer at one of San Francisco's wonderful farmers' markets.

Susan Patton-Fox

Ellert Street

Give These Manicurists a Hand


"Nail-biters" are "not good for local manicurists" (Rumors, June 2004 Noe Valley Voice), but something must be.

At Angel's Nails on Church Street last month, while Helen La was giving me a pedicure, she confided that a new shop, Noe Valley Nails, launched June 30 on Church Street near 27th, is the fourth nail shop that her husband Kenny La has opened in the past 16 years--two in Noe Valley and two in neighboring Bernal Heights.

I discovered Helen in that happy time when I lived in Noe Valley, and although I recently had to move out of the neighborhood, my nails and I are cheerfully following her into the new Noe digs. (Don't worry, Helen and Kenny are keeping Angel's Nails, too.)

Jeanne Alexander

Upper Terrace


THE VOICE welcomes your letters to the editor. Write the Noe Valley Voice, 1021 Sanchez Street, San Francisco, CA 94114. Or e-mail Please include your name, address, and phone number. (Anonymous letters will not be considered for publication.) Be aware that letters may be edited for brevity or clarity. We look forward to hearing from you.