Noe Valley Voice April 2007

Letters to the Editor

Iraq Vigil Brings Tears


Thank you for the top-of-the-fold, front-page story about "3,000+ Lights," my Feb. 14 vigil in Dolores Park for American soldiers who have died in Iraq [March 2007 Voice]. Both the writer, Patrick Letellier, and photographer, Beverly Tharp, did a beautiful job in words and pictures.

That night, family, friends, neighbors, and random dog-walkers connected on an other-worldly level. Strangers were so touched they volunteered to help, call the press, round up Muni riders, take pictures, and write about the piece. I continue to hear stories and to experience new meaning from the work.

I collected and saved the names we created for the installation, and now have two large shoeboxes full of ribbons. In early April, I was talking to a group of friends and said I had not really cried about the war until Feb. 14. I told them I did not know anyone who died there, but through this process had become connected to many names. One woman said that her boss had lost a son-in-law in Iraq a few weeks ago. As we stood over the boxes reading the names, ages, and ranks, she randomly pulled out the ribbon for Army Sergeant Robert Thrasher, 23 years old, who died on Feb. 11. It's more than a coincidence that out of 3,128 names, she brought forth the one commemorating her boss's son-in-law.

If I have to, I will do "4,000 Lights." I will keep you posted. Thank you to all those in the neighborhood who came and participated in the event.

Dianne Platner

22nd Street

Extra Help for Girls Sailing Ships


I was in Casa Mexicana when I read my letter to the editor, "Help Girls Sail Ships," in your March 2007 issue. I was ecstatic, and the Casa Mexicana owner shared in my enthusiasm! After reading the article, however, I noted that I had failed to acknowledge four merchants: Sun Valley Dairy, Sunrise Nails, Starbucks, and Hot Headz.

I am very grateful to all the Noe Valley merchants who helped in my Tall Ships Education Academy fundraising efforts. Thanks, Noe Valley. I guess this is one of the reasons I am proud to live here!

Mary Ferretti-Breidinger

Day Street

Ignore the Panhandlers


If you walk regularly around Noe Valley, among the familiar faces of the locals are an increasing number of homeless each week. New faces seem to appear constantly--and each one seems to have found a different block on which to shake a cup. It's as if the word has gotten out: "Come to Noe, it's a liberal Eden of tolerance!"

I have not taken a formal survey--but I have yet to hear of anyone who is completely in love with the aggressive derelicts that loiter in the two-foot no man's land between Bell Market and Tully's Coffee. After a legion of complaints, neither business wants them there, but neither seems willing to do anything.

I have a solution--and I don't care if it rankles your p.c. bones: Ignore them and do not pay them to loiter while so many of us work hard or look for work. I hate to seem insensitive to their plight, but if they can show up to panhandle and keep regular hours, they surely could show up at a job. If we can whittle it down to just our favorite 10 to 12 vagrants, they stand a chance of survival.

Michael Capozzola

Noe Valley resident

SAFE Ways to Be Safe


The last few days I have been receiving calls from Noe Valley residents saying they learned about SAFE and our services from your newspaper. I want to thank you for publicizing our crime-prevention organization, and hope you will continue to do so. Your newspaper is helping our outreach efforts.

A huge thanks to the Noe Valley Voice for promoting SAFE and our crime-prevention services.

Pam Matsuda, Program Director

San Francisco SAFE Inc.

415-553-1982 or

Editor's Note: The non-profit San Francisco SAFE, Inc. (Safety Awareness for Everyone) brings communities and resources together to help prevent crime and violence. SAFE also acts as a liaison between neighborhood groups and the San Francisco Police Department. Here are some of the things SAFE can do:

* Neighborhood watch groups and business watch groups setup

* Residential security surveys

* Business security surveys and presentations

* Vehicle and pedestrian safety

* Personal safety presentations

* Child safety presentations

* Older adult safety presentations

* Workplace violence prevention

* Community policing activities

* Crisis management

* Community organizing

* Collaboration with city agencies including the Office of Emergency Services and Homeland Security, and the Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT)

Kim Family Fund Thank-You's


I am giddy with excitement to send to you this letter! Thanks to the generosity of more than 350 Noe Valleyans, the Kim Family Fund has exceeded its original goal of raising $25,000 and instead raised $35,000 for Kati Kim and her daughters.

Sadly, the Voice Letters section does not have enough room to publicly thank everyone who contributed to the fund. I do, however, wish to mention a few above-and-beyond contributing Noe Valley residents, including Sherilyn Adams, Liz and Dave Austin, Colleen Bal, Laurie Barkin, Anne-Marie Cordingly, Christine Hoang, Vince Hogan, Lynn Ingham (and the Bay Area Interactive Group), Elena Lipkins, Noe Valley Ministry, Mark Pastore, Anne Wilson and Rolf Bachmann, who with his Pomelo Restaurant patrons contributed $3,500!

Noe Street resident and Four Seasons Executive Chef Jeremy Emmerson (and 100 of his closest friends and colleagues) raised the most money--$20,000, in fact--with his Chefs of Noe Valley dinner at Incanto Restaurant and Wine Bar on Feb. 26. Thank you to all the wonderful dinner attendees, who came with checkbooks blazing!

The evening was a culinary extravaganza with each chef showing off his or her finest fare. To begin, there was a silent auction with incredibly delicious nibbles donated by Fattoush and Eric's restaurants. Auction items included a luxury weekend at Meadowood Napa Valley, brunch at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay, dinner at Gary Danko, French Laundry, Jardinière, Kokkari Estiatorio, La Ciccia, Myth, Cyrus, and Chow, and a one-week stay at the Royal Solaris Resort at San Jose del Cabo donated by Noe Valley resident Sherri Morr.

The five-course dinner was a mouth-watering feast showcasing Church Street's finest: Deep Sushi, Bistro 1689, Pescheria, and, of course, Incanto. (By the way, look for Incanto Chef Chris Cosentino on an April 22 airing of Iron Chef on the Food Network.) At the end of the night, Four Seasons brought the house down with Emmerson's warm chocolate cake, chocolate pot de crème, and white chocolate ice cream, followed by Bridget Labus' delicious chocolate truffles.

Thank you to all the magnificent Church Street chefs for their dedication and continued commitment to our gem of a street. Jeremy Emmerson--devoted father who felt deep inspiration from his supportive wife and two young daughters to create this event for Kati and her girls--I thank you most of all, scarecrow!

Deborah Kwan, thank you for gracefully handling all the media and getting the word out. Genie Donnelly, thank you for your silent auction expertise. Thank you, Flowers of the Valley, for adorning each table top with glorious floral arrangements, and Noe Valley Bakery, for donating your yummy bread for the occasion. And last but certainly not least, thank you, Mark Pastore, the owner of Incanto Restaurant, who when I praised him for donating his entire restaurant for the dinner, shrugged it off and said, "This is all part of being a good neighbor."

Thank you, everyone, for being really, really good neighbors!

Paula Benton

The Kim Family Fund

Shufat's Her Favorite Refuge


I love Shufat's, the deli at 24th and Church streets, and nothing makes me more furious than the café license that this city of San Francisco issued to Starbucks instead of the Abunie family, who own Shufat's, many years back. Everyone who's spent any time in Shufat's with me agrees that Noe Valley would be a totally different neighborhood if the Abunie family had gotten that café license instead.

Since 9/11/2001, these folks have become my favorite neighbors, and I'd trust them with my life. Were we to have the big earthquake, the terrorist attack, or, more likely, the state terrorist attack, we in Noe Valley would really have no public space to gather in, since Nutraceutical has taken over the building most central to the neighborhood and left it empty, to assert the primacy of private property over any community claim to its center or what might, long ago in Europe, have been called its commons.

Since we have no public space, my first thought would be to head straight to Shufat's Market and Delicatessen. If we're goin' down, these are the folks I'd most like to go down with.

Ann Garrison

Dolores Street


THE VOICE welcomes your letters to the editor. Write the Noe Valley Voice, 1021 Sanchez Street, San Francisco, CA 94114. Or e-mail editor@noevalley 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.