| November 2012
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THE VOICE welcomes your letters to the editor. Write the Noe Valley Voice, P.O. Box460249, S.F., CA 94146. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and contact information. (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.
A Time and a Place
In early September, a friend and I went to a restaurant on 24th Street in the early evening. When we were about to order, a child, at two tables away from us, let out a prolonged screech, lasting about 30 seconds.
I went over to the table and said in a calm voice, “That is not okay,” at which point the father said, “Did you hear what the lady said?” The child stopped.
About 40 minutes later, the child did it again, and my friend went over to the table and said, “You need to reprimand your child,” at which point the mother got up in our faces, pointing her finger, and began screaming, “F—- you, you old hags, you probably don’t even have kids,” screaming her head off, with the child in her arms.
She then threatened us with “Do you want to take this outside?” My friend and I abruptly left.
At what point does the parent take charge, maybe simply escorting the child outside and talking to him, with no prompting? Is the child’s tantrum everyone else’s problem?
The Nature of Tree Removal in Glen Canyon
In the past week [pre Oct. 9], I’ve received a number of emails from constituents concerned about tree removal in Glen Canyon in connection with the upcoming project to upgrade and make changes to recreational facilities in the area of Glen Canyon near Elk and Chenery. I’m sending this response to each of those constituents.
Let me begin by saying that I’m a huge fan of Glen Canyon. I wouldn’t exactly call it a hidden gem, but it’s amazing to me how many people have never been there. I guess that’s a bonus for those of us who do go there and get to experience the canyon’s majesty.
As you also may know, I’ve taken a particular interest in trees. Our urban forest—including both street trees and park trees—is one of our greatest assets. It gives us beauty, shade, and a cleaner environment in our otherwise urban city.…
So I do take seriously the concerns I’ve heard about removal of trees in Glen Canyon. I also know that sometimes tree removal is appropriate in forest management. Everyone agrees that hazardous trees should be removed if they cannot be made safe. And this portion of the canyon is the active recreational portion of the canyon, with a rec center, playground, tennis courts, and play fields. There are times when trees need to be removed to re-work recreational areas. I’m very optimistic about the future of this area of the park, with the current project for the tennis courts and playground and (if Prop. B passes) the complete rehabilitation of the dilapidated rec center. I would also love to address the irrigation system problems at the playing field.
In discussing this issue, I believe it’s important that everyone have complete and accurate information. That’s why, in June, I worked with the Glen Park Association and Diamond Heights Community Association to convene a large community meeting with presentations by Rec & Park, the Forest Alliance, and others. Discussion and dialogue is the best way to ensure that everyone receives accurate information. People then can form their opinions.
Unfortunately, there does appear to be inaccurate information circulating in the community. For example, several people have asked me why “most” of the trees in Glen Canyon are being removed. That’s not accurate, since the trees being removed—whether you support the removal or not—constitute a tiny percentage of the total trees in the canyon and for each tree removed several new trees will be planted. A total of 58 trees (not “hundreds,” as some have been saying) will be removed, including six that are in the way of the tennis court project and 52 that are unhealthy or have structural defects. Indeed, of those 52 trees, two recently collapsed. Fortunately, no one was injured.
The word “deforestation” is also repeatedly used, which is an overstatement. Whatever one’s position on the currently planned project—and I respect those who don’t want the trees removed—it’s not deforestation, which connotes clear-cutting. As we move forward with this debate, I think it’s important for accurate terminology to be used. Otherwise, it’s hard to have a good debate.
In terms of the project at hand, that project resulted from an extensive community process, with numerous meetings over a number of months. Community input was received every step of the way, and my office participated in the community process. It was a good one. The project was then approved by the Recreation and Park Commission, after a public hearing. The project doesn’t require Board of Supervisors approval.
One other thing to note. The broader Natural Areas Plan (NAP) will likely be coming to the Board of Supervisors next year. We will hear and decide that appeal at that time. The issue here is not the broader NAP issue. Rather it’s an issue specific to the project around the tennis courts and rec center.
Thanks for caring about our beautiful canyon.
Supervisor, District 8
Editor’s Note: At press time, the Voice learned that a resident of Mt. Davidson had filed an appeal in mid-October, temporarily halting planned renovations in Glen Canyon. (The $5.8 million project includes handicap-accessible bathrooms, an expanded playground, re-positioned tennis courts, and a wider park entrance with a drop-off zone.) A hearing on the appeal has been scheduled for Nov. 14, 5 p.m., in Room 416, City Hall.
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
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