Noe Valley Voice November 2006

Letters to the Editor

Fitness Walk a Breeze


On Thursday, Oct. 12, 190 students from St. Philip School, 15 teachers and staff, and many of our parents traveled through Noe Valley on a "Walk for Fitness." This is our second year, and everyone really enjoyed the day. We want to thank anyone who was in our "path," both pedestrians and drivers, who were kind enough to let our large group pass by.

Patrizia Guiotto

Principal, St. Philip School

Desolation Row


I live on 29th Street just above Castro, and every day I have to pass a construction site at Castro and 29th that sits in a prime state of destruction without a soul working. The grounds of the site are a mess, the building has a huge gaping hole, and all in all, it looks like a war zone. The project obviously got red-tagged six months ago, the site was closed down, and not a thing has happened since.

After I called a phone number posted at the site, a crew came and took away a dumpster that was blocking views of oncoming traffic and taking up parking spaces. But besides that, there has not been a peep there for months. With all the other construction up the hill at Castro and Valley, this just breaks the camel's back. Can the city really let something so derelict just sit there month after month?

Josie Iselin

29th Street

Editor's Note: One way to find out is to call the Department of Building Inspection at 558-6096. You can also investigate a San Francisco project by going to the city's web site: Find the DBI and click on "Track Building Permits and Complaints Online." By entering a project's address, lot number, permit number, or applicant's name (or by zooming in on the site on a map), you can check on the status of its permits, inspections, and complaints. If all else fails, you can visit the DBI at 1660 Mission Street. Office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bottles Go on Top of Trash Cans


The cute plantings on top of the dust bins on 24th Street are misplaced. The containers where they are placed are supposed to be used for depositing recyclable materials such as bottles. This would also keep the scavengers from having to scrounge through the larger containers to fill their shopping carts, creating a mess in the process.

A further complication is that the plants will inevitably die as people will forget to water them. The energy would be better placed planting more street trees.

James Keefer

Guerrero Street

Isn't "Mid-Rise" Misleading?

In your story about a new building planned for Church Street ("Fed-Up Pastor Sells Church to Condo Developer," October 2006], you wrote that the builder "wants to erect a mid-rise condominium development on the site." Do you think the "mid-rise" term is just a wee bit inciteful to the people who value the "rural" character of Noe Valley? Four stories is hardly a "mid-rise." Twenty stories is a mid-rise. Would you say 24th Street was lined with "mid-rises"?

Joe Herman

Via e-mail

Editor's Note: The Appraisal Institute, which sets real estate industry standards, gives these definitions related to building height:

Apartment types are also based on height and density. For example, high-rise apartments have six or more stories, elevators, and dense lot usage. Mid-rise apartments consist of four to seven stories with limited elevator service. Low-rise apartments have three stories or less, while garden apartments refer to two- to three-story walkups, typically on sizable landscaped lots.

Keep Mining the Local Gems


I have lived in Noe Valley for 12 very happy years, and my wife and I are devoted readers of the Voice. You do an excellent job keeping us and all Noe Valley residents informed about what's going on in our unique neighborhood.

I especially enjoy your feature stories focusing on local merchants who have contributed to making Noe Valley special. Recent articles about Common Scents and Tuggey's Hardware were of much interest. I would like to suggest you do a similar article on what I think is the best barbershop by far here in Noe Valley: Barbers and Bears on 24th Street. Stephanie Smith and her father, Mike Smith, have a long history of working here in Noe Valley, something like 80 years between them. Based on the longevity of their commitment to their profession and to Noe Valley, as well as the unique father-daughter angle, I know this would make an interesting feature in the Voice.

Bob Caulfield

Diamond Street

Thank you, Bob. We think Barbers and Bears would make a great story, too. --Editor

Mickey Mouse Ticketing


I wonder how many people in Noe Valley have had this experience:

On Friday, Sept. 29, at 10 a.m., I parked on Jersey Street near Noe, which was posted as a no parking zone from 9 to 11 a.m., for street-sweeping. I could see that the sweeper already had passed: there were fresh brush marks on the street.

When I returned about an hour later, my car had been cited.

It had been my understanding that once the sweeper had passed, there was no reason to cite parked vehicles, even though they were technically in violation. Has the DPT taken enforcement to a new level? If so, do any of these words apply? Legalistic. Mickey Mouse. Cheap shot.

Literalist readings of the code are of no benefit other than as revenue enhancers. The purpose of the code is to allow access for the sweepers, which, once effected, becomes moot.

Richard Van Kooy

Montezuma Street


1021 Sanchez Street

San Francisco, CA 94114

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 ($20 for seniors) by writing to the above address.

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