| July-August 2012
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Dim View of 24th and Church
Several years ago my neighbor on Church Street had to relocate to another state. She named many wonderful things she would miss in this neighborhood, but ended by saying, “At least I won’t have to cross 24th or Church streets again.” That intersection needs a traffic light.
Lloyda A. Murphy
Occupy Noe Finds a Home
Noe Valley neighbors rallied on a rainy March Saturday in front of Wells Fargo Bank to try to stop the eviction of Kathy Galves, a neighbor who lived in a lovely purple Victorian at Church and 24th streets for 40 years.
Kathy, an African-American military widow, was the recipient of a large, impossible-to-repay loan.
Hundreds signed petitions asking that Kathy’s loan be renegotiated or that a friendly investor be able to buy the property so that she could stay. She was evicted in April, and Wells Fargo paid her $7,500. We believe community pressure facilitated those moving expenses. Her home just sold for $1.2 million.
Recently, a few Noe Valley residents scrutinized the radar list, a document that lists residential properties scheduled for foreclosure and auction. We were dismayed to find 70 such properties in zip codes 94131 and 94114 with an auction date. There have been about 12,000 foreclosures in San Francisco since 2008.
In response to this disheartening situation, we are starting an Occupy Noe to explore the possibility of pressuring the banks to offer reasonable, affordable, modified loans to those who would otherwise lose their homes in the above zip codes. We are inspired by Occupy Bernal, which has gained national recognition for its ongoing anti-foreclosure campaign.
We would welcome the help of local residents. Please contact us for more information.
Cesar Chavez Street, 415-641-1997
27th Street, 415-734-0061
Angel Still Needed
The slogan goes something like “Noe Valley needs a hero” . Most people probably don’t realize how true that is.
As a resident of Noe Valley for 17 years, I have seen the difference the Noe Valley Farmers Market has made to our neighborhood. Don’t get me wrong; it has always been a nice place to live, but the farmers market added something more than just fresh local produce. It added “joy.”
It used to be that people in Downtown Noe Valley just went about their business as usual on a Saturday morning—grocery shopping, laundry, perhaps joining friends for brunch or coffee. It was nice but could be a little quiet, even lonely and disconnected for those who didn’t already have a lot of friends here. But once the farmers market came into being, suddenly there was an overall sense of belonging, of joy, in our neighborhood.
The farmers market has brought cohesion to our community. It provides a place to see and talk to people, to make new friends and visit with old ones, have an outdoor breakfast picnic, find out what’s going on, hear live music, absorb the light of day (even sun!), and experience the seasons via the produce being sold. It’s a happy place in which to hang out and start your weekend. This is the joy of the farmers market, and that joy follows you for the rest of your day and beckons you a week later.
For those who have lived here since before the farmers market, you know what I’m talking about, but perhaps you’ve forgotten. For those who moved here after the farmers market, you probably can’t imagine it any other way. But if the parking lot of the farmers market becomes another storefront/condo building, you’ll realize what we’ve all lost. It will be a huge loss.
If the grassroots group trying to raise $2 million fails to raise it by the end of summer, it’s over. They only have a fraction of that now. Please, can someone be the hero to save Noe Valley’s joy?
P.S. I am not a member of the group, but you can find information at www.noevalleytownsquare.com
Editor’s Note: For more background, see “Town Square Searching for Heroes,” April 2012 Voice at www.noevalleyvoice.com.
Spare Muni Stop at Liberty
I was alarmed to read in your May issue that the Muni Transit Effectiveness Project is entertaining the notion of discontinuing the passenger stop of the J-Church on Liberty Street to save a minute [“Tinkering with the Stops Along Church Street,” May 2012]. Evidently, they have no idea of the area concerned.
This stop is located in a dangerous position—a blind intersection—and is unique on the J-line. Even the stop on 21st is not as bad, and several years ago there was a very bad accident there with the driver of a truck colliding with the J. I saw the mess after the accident and was told the truck driver was either killed or badly hurt. However, this intersection is not nearly as blind as the Liberty Street one, which is blinded onboth sides by high walls, buildings, and vegetation.
Drivers not familiar with this area can hardly be expected to see a streetcar appear out of nowhere. This J “cut” is unique and is thus very dangerous. The stop is therefore very necessary, and it would be unthinkable to eliminate it to save a minute in the Muni schedule.
Another concern is for the elderly and the handicapped, who have to deal with a neighborhood with many hills. Anything to make our lives a little less painful is worth a lot. This area is all hills.
A minute or even two or three minutes’ saving is not worth the damage it would cause in the form of deadly accidents or unnecessary misery for the elderly and handicapped.
Please help us on Liberty Street.
Garden Tour Bounty
This year’s Noe Valley Garden Tour on May 19 was a great success. We received very positive feedback from many of the people on the tour. We sold over 200 tickets and had a good mix of ages this year, including many families. The proceeds will benefit arborist work at Upper Douglass Dog Park, as well as “Alvarado Al Fresco,” a landscaped area outside the cafeteria at Alvarado Elementary School.
The winning garden in the tour was Jana and Geoff King’s garden on Cesar Chavez Street. Congratulations!
Friends of Noe Valley
Board Member and Events Chair
White Dots Far from Green
Blame Larry Ellison for the white dot frenzy!
Noe Valley, Bernal Heights, and other “tony” parts of the city where property values are rising will bear the burden of “upgrading the sidewalks,” at the property owners’ expense. I’ve been hit for about 28 squares.
If you think it is bad here in Noe [see “White Dots Have Residents Seeing Red,” June 2012 Voice], check out the Marina District. The Department of Public Works spray cans are white-spotting like you wouldn’t believe.
This is a full employment game that is not particularly environmentally friendly. Forget carbon credits or debits, think carbon units, as in how many Btu (an obscure measurement of heat produced by gas, coal, etc.) square removal takes. Cement, the active constituent of concrete and mortar, is a high-Btu material. Let’s not even measure the trucks and jackhammers.
There is a “mo betta” way to sidewalk repair that is far more green than the “I tag you, you pay dearly for the contractor replacement” (which always bids the max and rips out all the squares tagged).
At least, as pointed out in the article, there are alternatives to replacement, including grinding uplifted edges, cutting out offending sections, strategic patching of cracks, and even salvage of intact squares for use elsewhere (flagstones in a park?). We need a Doctor of Sidewalks. Even recent repairs are cracked and uplifted. I won’t even get into the intimately related tree issue.
Finally, the apparently required, blinding white of replacement squares is a physical annoyance to the elderly from glare, and changes our neighborhoods into a uniform dull gray instead of the multihued tans and beiges of the existing sidewalks. It makes a difference. Is anyone used to the gray and red of our streetcars that used to be a colorful green and yellow?
Anyway, we the citizens of this great city of San Francisco better wake up or soon we will be paying for the streets, too. Oh, I forgot. We use bonds (the taxpayer credit card) for that.
Fan of First Republic Bank
I am one Noe Valley resident who will happily welcome First Republic Bank to 24th Street. I’d be the first to protest another Wells, Bank of America, Chase, or Citibank, but First Republic is one of the good guys. I have an account with them, as well as with Circle and Sterling (I like to spread my vast wealth around), and I find that First Republic is superior in terms of both service and products.
I fail to see how another bank on the street will make it more “sterile.” [See Rumors, June 2012 Voice]. There are spaces going begging on 24th Street and nearby, and why not have an occupant that can be used by anyone, in contrast to the nail parlors and real estate offices that spring up like mushrooms? We also have plenty of restaurants in the neighborhood, and I say that as a foodie. Are there other establishments that are clamoring for that particular space?
Dangers of Rat Poison
Within the last three to four months, in the backyard areas between Duncan and 28th streets and Church and Dolores, we have found four dead and obviously poisoned rats—their stomachs distended, bleeding from both ends. In one case, a pet dog got to the rat and ingested enough of it (it takes a tiny amount of poisoned vermin to kill a dog) to be fatal. The beagle was discovered by its owner when she returned home...too late to save.
The rat problem in our valley (in the whole city, I hear) is worsening, but poison is not the answer and is very dangerous to pets and children. If you don’t want rats in your back yard, it’s probably because you like to enjoy it with your family and friends and/or let your pets do so. Poisoned rats go elsewhere to die and you are endangering the yards of others when you use poison.
Disposable traps are not too expensive and available at any hardware store, and once occupied can be trashed in your black garbage can. Please think of the big picture and be kind to your neighbors or enlist them to help you to solve everyone’s problem.
Duncan Street neighbor
First Amendment Not Absolute
In response to Don Schultz’s thoughtful reply to my whining about the San Francisco Examiner, as a retired lawyer, I do believe I’ve heard of the First Amendment, but I’m not sure it protects the Examiner’s method of distribution. The First Amendment is not absolute, but subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions that might apply here.
No one is trying to stop publication of the Examiner, or to impede its delivery to anyone who wants it. But the plastic-clad issues littering the street every week are obviously not wanted. One can rather easily place one’s phone number on a national “do not call” registry, without impinging on the First Amendment rights of telephone solicitors.
By contrast, the Examiner has made it extremely difficult to halt individual delivery, which does not, in any case, solve the litter problem. The Examiner could distribute only to subscribers, or place its publication in one of those ubiquitous newspaper racks of which Schultz has reminded me.
If anyone is interested in making a concerted effort to pursue this issue, please let me know.
Girl Scout Champions
The San Francisco Girl Scouts were the top-selling group in the Northern California Council, which includes 10 counties from Santa Clara to the Oregon border. Laura Z. sold 5,051 boxes to be the top salesgirl. The top salesgirls and the girls who received the top Scout awards were honored at a ceremony Sunday, May 20, at the West Portal Lutheran Church.
Girls who sell cookies earn credit and funds they can use toward Girl Scout activities of their choice. Laura plans to go to a national Girl Scout gathering in Washington, D.C., to sing along and celebrate the Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary, then on to visit the birthplace of the founder, in Savannah, Ga. Next year, she’ll visit Pax Lodge in London.
Girl Scouts of Northern California
The Weidman family of 24th Street bid a fond farewell last month to Miss Kit, their loyal companion and tireless conveyor of parcels from Bernie’s cafe and other local establishments. Photo courtesy Misha Weidman
Now Delivering in Doggie Heaven
Miss Kit, reputed to be the oldest dog in Noe Valley, died peacefully on June 15, surrounded by her family—longtime Noe Valley residents Misha and Nina Weidman and their children, Adam and Maya. She was 171/2 years old (or 122 in people years).
The SPCA cattle-dog mix could frequently be seen carrying purchases home from her favorite 24th Street merchants. She was also an avid reader of the Noe Valley Voice.
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THE NOE VALLEY VOICE
P.O. Box 460249
San Francisco, CA 94146
The Noe Valley Voice is an independent newspaper published monthly except in January and August. It is distributed free in Noe Valley and vicinity, on or before the first Friday of the month. Subscriptions are available at $30 per year ($25 for seniors) by writing to the above address.
The Voice welcomes your letters, photos, and stories, particularly on topics relating to Noe Valley. All items should include your name, address, and phone number, and may be edited for brevity or clarity. (Unsigned letters will not be considered for publication.) Unsolicited contributions will be returned only if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS AND EDITORS
Olivia Boler, Other Voices Editor
Corrie M. Anders, Associate Editor
Heather World, Associate Editor
Heidi Anderson, Karol Barske, Helen Colgan, Chrissy Elgersma, Jan Goben, Liz Highleyman, Rebecca Huval, Laura McHale Holland, Florence Holub, Tim Innes, Jeff Kaliss, Doug Konecky, Bill Leeman, Rhiana Maidenberg, Roger Rubin, Shayna Rubin, Karen Topakian, Nicole Wong
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Beverly Tharp, Senior Photographer
Najib Joe Hakim, Senior Photographer
Jennifer O. Viereck
Jack Tipple, André Thélémaque
Jack Tipple, Misha Yagudin
Jon Elkin, Elliot Poger
Pat Rose, Jack Tipple
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