Noe Valley Voice February 2008

A Dog Run Dedicated to Joby

The new dog run at the Upper Noe Valley Recreation Center is finally nearing completion, but the pivotal force that fought for it for the past nine years is gone. Joby Shinoff, a 22-year resident of Church Street, lost his fight with multiple myeloma on Nov. 19, 2007. Now we who will benefit from his efforts want to remember Joby by naming the dog run after him.

In the 1990s, the field at the rec center was closed to the many dogs who had used it each morning and evening. Joby started a signature campaign to have a facility where dogs could play off-leash. He worked with the city's Recreation and Park Department for many months, and a temporary dog run was established. For the next eight years, he continued to work with perseverance and patience to get a permanent dog run built--with lights, a drinking fountain, benches, trees, and proper fencing. He never waivered from his goal despite many obstacles, and he never lost his sense of fairness or sense of humor.

Joby adored his wife Holly and his daughter, Amy Bonvini, who currently lives in Italy. But Joby's devotion to dogs, especially his yellow lab Lily, was legendary. Knowing this, Holly held Joby's surprise birthday party in the Upper Noe dog run in 2005, and UCSF hospital allowed Lily to visit him in the ICU during his last stay there. Joby's twice-daily visits to the park were always occasions of great discussion about dogs and politics, and his many friends will always feel his presence at the park.

To have the dog run named for Joby, we need to present an appeal to the city that would include a petition from members of the community. Petitions have been placed in the following places along Church Street: Noe Valley Pet Company, Drewes Meat Market, Church Apothecary, and Lovejoy's Tea Room.

If you are interested in signing, please do so at these locations or write to Neil Mosher at and we will arrange to get a petition to you. Letters of support, anecdotes, and memories would also be most helpful. When we have a completed appeal package, it will be presented to Rec and Park, with the backing of Supervisor Bevan Dufty. Many thanks for your help.

Joby Shinoff was a wonderful man and a terrific advocate for Noe Valley. He made neighbors of our neighborhood.

--Neil Mosher, Carol Bakker, and the Day Park Dogs Group

Adventurer, humanist, dog lover, Italophile, neighborhood activist, snack master, keen observer, conversationalist, politico, news junkie, aspiring playwright, blues music buff, foot massage enthusiast, dark chocolate connoisseur, songwriter and guitarist, New York Times devotee, crossword aficionado, recovering socialist, bon vivant, coiffeur-centric, authentic, loving, spirited



June 26, 1947 ­ Nov. 19, 2007

Donations in Joby's memory may be made to:

The UCSF Cancer Research Institute

UCSF Box 0248, San Francisco, CA 94143

The Bay Area Jewish Healing Center

3330 Geary Blvd., Third Floor West,

San Francisco, CA 94118