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Letters to the Editor
Do We Really Need More Restaurants?
In your story on restaurants in the May edition ["Growing Hunger for More Cafes on 24th Street"], you left out three Noe Valley restaurants in the tally of existing eateries: Bacco, Rin's, and Firefly. That makes 34 bars and restaurants in Noe Valley. Include Church Street and you add another dozen.
How can nearly 50 eating and drinking establishments within one mile of 24th Street not be enough?
Allowing additional permits for restaurants does not guarantee a particular kind or quality of restaurant. If the motivation for more permits is that people are dissatisfied with what is here, if what people want is a particular kind of bistro or ethnic eatery, adding more eateries doesn't get that. What it does get is more rats, more garbage, more noise, more traffic, additional stress on inadequate sewage systems, and fewer spaces for small businesses and necessary services.
Only the Marina and North Beach have this concentration, and the problems faced by those neighborhoods--no parking, vermin, and noise--are not complicated by having a school that attracts hundreds of adolescent students by day and hundreds of adults with cars by night. Neither do they have the combination of residential/commercial properties along their main streets that we do, nor the mountain of problems like vandalism, muggings, burglaries, and car thefts.
Perhaps the focus should be on improving safety, on creating building codes that keep or add to the neighborhood character, on getting more trees and garbage cans, and on quality-of-life issues rather than on yet another place to eat out.
Add the Friends' proposal to make Noe Valley a Community Benefit Development District, which imposes a special tax on owners of property on 24th Street in order to benefit businesses, and the Friends of Noe Valley doesn't seem too terribly friendly to residents, to the very people who support local businesses.
Mary C. McFadden
Editor's Note: Our list in the May issue excluded restaurants that fell outside the 24th Street Noe Valley Neighborhood Commercial District (NCD), which extends on 24th Street from Chattanooga to Diamond Street. However, Mary McFadden's point is well taken: Bacco, Firefly, and Rin's are all within a block of Diamond and 24th.
Glide Has Singers of All Ages
As a member of Glide for 10 years, I was glad to read that your writer Rosie Ruley Atkins had such a great first visit to Glide Church ["Glide Rocks a Sunday Morning," May 2005 Voice]. Her well-written article captured the spirit of caring of the Glide extended family.
On Mother's Day, Sunday, May 8, both the youth and the children's choir sang. The children's choir is directed by one of the regular choir members--Sarah Joban, the first woman to conduct the San Francisco Opera.
You may want to correct the service times, as the first service is at 9 a.m. (as opposed to 9:30 a.m.) and the second at 11 a.m. I hope your writer (and Voice readers) will join us again soon.
Don't Forget PastaGina
The December/January article "Bell Gets Advice from Friends" mentioned a need for "top-quality convenience food, so busy residents can pick up their evening meal." In the spirit of shopping in Noe Valley, I would like to remind residents that PastaGina at 741 Diamond (near 24th Street) has excellent, tasty convenience foods available every day. The owners use high-quality ingredients and offer a good selection. There is often a coupon in the Voice. Bell is a good place to shop, and PastaGina offers another delicious choice.
P.S. I am just a good customer. I have no personal connection.
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