Noe Valley Voice December-January 2010

And Now For The Rumors Behind The News

I’ll Be Noe for Christmas

By Mazook 


EXERCISING OUR FRANCHISE: You will be glad to know the Noe Valley Bureau of Investigation has ferreted out the final results of the Nov. 2 election, specifically the votes cast by the citizens of Noe Valley.

According to results tabulated by the San Francisco Department of Elections, Noe Valley has 16,208 registered voters, and of those, 11,781 actually voted in the election. That’s a 72.7 percent turnout, which ranked us number three among neighborhoods in the city.

As for the competition, 75 percent voted in Diamond Heights (with 6,989 registered voters), giving it the largest neighborhood turnout. Second was Upper Market/Eureka Valley, where 73.3 percent of the 18,654 registered voters cast ballots. Citywide turnout was much lower, 61 percent.

In the California governor’s race, Jerry Brown took 88 percent of the Noe vote, with Meg Who, I mean Whitman, getting only 9.6 percent. The newly elected lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom, captured 84 percent of our vote (vs. 10 percent for the incumbent, Abel Maldonado).

As expected, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, running for California’s District 8 seat in the U.S. House, handily defeated her opponent John Dennis, scoring 87 percent to his 13 percent in Noe Valley. Barbara Boxer garnered 90 percent of the Noe vote to win her Senate seat, with Carly Fiorina eke-ing out just 9 percent.

You also might be interested in the Noe Valley votes on a few state and local propositions. Prop. 19, which would have legalized marijuana in California, won here: 76 percent said yes, 24 percent no. However, it failed statewide.

Prop. 21 to establish an $18 car tax for state parks passed here by an 8 to 3 margin (failed statewide). A whopping 91 percent of us voted against Prop. 23, which would have suspended implementation of the state’s air pollution controls (failed statewide, too). But, though 82 percent of us Valleyans said no to a measure requiring that certain state and local fees be approved by a two-thirds vote (Prop. 26), it passed statewide.

In San Francisco measures, 70 percent of us favored Prop. AA, which added a $10 annual vehicle registration fee to fund transportation projects like street repairs; it passed by 59 percent citywide. Fifty-nine percent of Noe Valley voted against Prop. B, which would have made city workers pay more for their health and retirement plans (57 percent said no citywide).

While 52 percent of us voted against city Prop. L, which now restricts sitting or lying on the sidewalk, the measure passed citywide, with 54 percent saying yea to 46 nay. Where is that two-thirds vote when we need it?

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YOU MAY ALREADY BE A WIENER: The winner in the District 8 supervisor race is Scott Wiener. (Apparently Wiki­Leaks leaked this—see Voice story on page 11.)

But here are the Numbers Behind the News, for all you accountants and political junkies.

In Noe Valley, Wiener got 43.3 percent of the vote, Rafael Mandelman 33.9 percent, Rebecca Prozan 13.9 percent, and Bill Hemenger 5.1 percent.

The Diamond Heights vote was 61 percent for Wiener, 31.4 percent Mandelman, 23.8 percent Prozan, and 10.5 percent Hemenger. In Upper Market/Eureka Valley, it was Wiener 43.3 percent, Mandelman 34.2 percent, Prozan 17.8 percent, and Hemenger 4 percent.

District-wide, Wiener had just over 42 percent, Mandelman almost 36 percent, Prozan nearly 17 percent, and Hemenger just over 5 percent. After a round of ranked-choice voting, Wiener wound up with 55.4 percent, to Mandelman’s 44.6 percent.

“I am quite happy that I did well and got broad support throughout the district,” says Wiener, who lives in Eureka Valley.

He lists as his Noe Valley priorities getting the town square on 24th Street, working with the Noe Valley Association (the self-taxing community benefit district) on improving the commercial corridor, and exploring new parking options, such as diagonal parking.

Wiener agrees that a big issue in Downtown Noe Valley is the fate of the long-vacant Real Food store, which most merchants and residents feel has become an eyesore. “I am going to meet with Bevan [Dufty] regarding this, and I have some ideas that I am not willing to discuss publicly at this time,” he told the NVBI.

He says he is looking forward to appearing at the meetings of our various neighborhood groups. He also invites you to come visit him: “I will always maintain an open door at my office.”

FYI, his chief aides will be Gillian Gillett and Adam Taylor.

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THE TOWN SQUARE has gained the approval of the Park and Rec Open Space Advisory Committee (PROSAC). At the group’s Nov. 3 meeting, members voted 11 to 1 to “advise the Rec and Park Commission to utilize the Open Space Fund to purchase the property,” meaning the parking lot at 24th and Vicksburg streets, part-owned by the Noe Valley Ministry.

Four members of the Residents for Noe Valley Town Square, including Todd David, Chris Keene, Erica Sweetman, and Michael Powell (the latter two are also with the Noe Valley Farmers Market), went to the meeting.

Chris Keene, who represents the Ministry, says the Town Square group has plans to attend the next regular Rec and Park Commission meeting (Jan. 6, 4 p.m., in Room 416 City Hall), where they will make their pitch for the commission’s approval. If okayed, the proposal will go to the Board of Supervisors for a vote.

Keene says the price of the lot will be set by the San Francisco Appraisers Office, which currently gives the value as between $3 million and $4 million dollars—a pretty wide range. “Those numbers are within the comfort zone of the Ministry,” he says.

The Residents are also meeting with Meredith Thomas (of the Neighborhood Parks Council) and Carlos Rivera (of Circle Bank on 24th Street) to open an escrow account so that neighborhood residents or businesses can help fund the development of the space if and when it is purchased by the city.

You can keep up with the progress of this project by googling “Noe Valley Town Square.”

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PRIDE OF THE PARKLETS: The much ballyhooed parklets were installed on 24th Street by the city’s Pavement to Parks program around the third week of November. There are two: one in front of Martha’s coffee shop and the other at Just for Fun. Their tables, chairs,  benches, and planters are already well occupied.

Here for a six-month trial, the parklets are being maintained by workers hired by the Noe Valley Association. The folks at Just for Fun and Martha’s will bring out the furniture every morning and pull it all back into their stores in the evening.

During installation, “we had a great group of volunteers help us with the plants we put into each parklet,” says NVA executive director Debra Niemann, “and our maintenance crew is doing a good job watering the plants and keeping the area steam-cleaned.”

“People are using the parklet in front of our store a lot during lunch and drinking coffee,” says Just for Funner David Eiland. “And we are really excited about the parklets being used during the ‘24 HoliDAYS on 24th Street’ celebrations for the many music and entertainment events.”

From Dec. 1 to 24, there will be 28, yes 28 performances in the two parklets on 24th Street. “Having groups like the Mele Kalikimaka Hula Dance Group and the likes of [singer-songwriters] Jude Reseigne, Lily Holbrook, Dennis Campagna, Anthony Cavazos, and Tom Huber performing in front of our store is just awesome,” Eiland says.

The full schedule of entertainment—including 46 music events, six special kids events, five visits from Santa Claus, 15 store events, several hayrides, a menorah lighting, and a cable car shuttle—is available on a flyer in most stores in Downtown Noe Valley. (Also see our story on page 15, and the Voice Calendar, page 30.)

By the way, thanks should go out to the sponsors of this year’s festivities, including the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association, the (newly opened) Patxi’s Pizza, Zephyr Real Estate, Hill & Co., and the Noe Valley Association.

The NVA, and the 10 members serving on its board of directors, has an annual budget of $230,000, funded by a parcel tax on each of the 179 property owners in the 24th Street/Castro Street shopping area. The board has been quite active this year improving Main Street. They steered the Pavement to Parks process that brought us the parklets. Seven new benches were installed on 24th Street. Few people realize the NVA spends $10,000 a month keeping 24th Street trash-free, maintaining the miniparks in the public parking lot and the Ministry parking lot, tending the many planters and flower baskets and trees, as well as regularly cleaning the Downtown Noe Valley sidewalks. The NVA sponsors, or co-sponsors—in addition to 24 HoliDAYS—the Harvest Festival, the Noe Courts Easter Egg Hunt, and the Summer Solstice.

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CLUE ME IN: Over 200 people from all over the Bay Area descended on Noe Valley on the evening of Saturday Nov. 13, to participate in Alvarado Elementary School’s second annual Tech Search Party, a fundraising event for four schools.

Thirty-one teams, starting from James Lick Middle School on the corner of Noe and 25th, tried to find 10 locations in our valley, based on a single clue for each. Participants needed to have a smart phone in order to compete. Here are the clues and the answers:

1. “Abandon all hunger ye who enter here.” This is a reference to the inscription in Dante’s Inferno, which should lead you to the Dante Room at Incanto Restaurant on Church Street.

2. “Between Spike and Mike.” The answer was between Spike Lee and Mike Leigh, in the directors section of Video Wave on Castro.

3. “Pacemaker’s Home.” This would be Mersey Alley made famous in the song “Ferry Cross the Mersey” by Gerry and the Pacemakers.

4. “With a population of about 825,327, it’s not so little.” That’s the population of Chihuahua, Mexico, and the location of the answer was the Little Chihuahua Restaurant at 4123 24th Street.

5. “Home of Anna Alberi, almost.” That would be 815 Alvarado Street, the Dream House raffle winner.

6.“Noe Valley

At the corner of Noe and Valley streets, where the Noe sign is over the Valley sign.

7. “Home of Deposed Warrior.” That led to Nellie Alley, referring to fired Warriors coach Don Nelson.

8. “35 + 48” refers to the corner of Diamond and 24th streets, where the 35 and 48 Muni lines intersect.

9. “MMMMCXXXV Horner Street.” That location would be 4135 23rd Street, which was originally named Horner Street.

10. “One scene all these films have in common: Safety Last!, Project A, The 39 Steps, Thunderball, Shanghai Knights, The Great Mouse Detective.” As you all know, these are famous clock scenes at Dorian Clair’s Clock Repair at 1301 Sanchez Street.

The top team, called 2+2=5, had the fastest total number of right answers. Second place went to the team Noe or Nice. It was followed by the Indomitable Immersion Mamas, Party of Five, and We Can’t Lose, We Got an iPhone.

According to hunt organizer Tim Smith, “just over $17,000 was raised, and divided among the four participating schools. Alvarado has set aside its portion to complete the new computer implementation that was begun last year.”

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SHORT SHRIFTS: Say goodbye to DeLano’s Market over in Eureka Valley (18th and Collingwood). It will be closing its doors soon (along with the DeLano’s Market out on Geary Boulevard in the Richmond District). You might remember DeLano’s bought many of the Cala/Bell stores in San Francisco and Marin County, including Bell Market in Noe Valley. The landlord didn’t agree with the Noe Valley sale… Bell’s lease expired… Whole Foods moved in…

There were two bank robberies in Noe Valley last month: one at Wells Fargo and one at the Bank of America a week later. This month’s Police Beat has the details.

An orthodontist, Noe Valley Smiles and Braces, is building out the two stores GNC and Lisa Violetto used to occupy (3934 and 3932 24th). Apple Blossom, the women’s clothing store at 1303 Castro near 24th, has closed. And Urban Cellars spirits store at 24th and Church has been evicted for failure to pay rent.

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RAMBLIN’ ROSE: The Noe Valley Ministry is closing early next year, probably in March, for a two-year remodel. This means, among other things, that the famed Noe Valley Music Series will present its final show at the venue on Jan. 8, 2011. After 30 years at the Ministry, series producer Larry Kassin and crew will be moving the series to St. Cyprian’s Church at the corner of Turk and Lyon streets, where they’ll hold their events for at least the next two years. This last stand at the Ministry should be a great show, featuring folk/blues legend and 2010 Grammy Award winner Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. Ramblin’ Jack is expected to start twanging at 8:15 p.m.

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THAT’S THIRTY, folks. Have happy HoliDAYS. See you all here for the February issue of your Noe Valley Voice. Ciao for now.