Noe Valley Voice July-August 2010

Letters 44¢

Mockingbird Found


The mockingbird that Chris Lohman misses from Duncan Street (Letters, June Voice) has been residing in the trees directly behind the Noe Valley Library and the houses next door to it on Jersey Street.

The bird begins making car alarm noises at exactly 11:30 each evening and continues loudly all night and most of the day. It is gray with white bands across its wings and tail, and it has been keeping us up all night for months.

If Chris would like it back, we welcome him to retrieve it.

Aneesa Davenport and Andrea Helmbolt
Jersey Street

One Way to Fight a Street-Sweeping Ticket


On Monday, June 14, the west side of Noe Street was due for its regular street cleaning. That morning, I had a couple of carpenters scheduled to help with repairs to my house, which is on Noe between 23rd and Alvarado streets. We all waited outside for the sweeping truck to go by before the carpenters parked to come in. The sweeper went by, and we parked.

About five minutes later, the DPT (Department of Parking and Traffic) folks came by and ticketed us. I felt terrible. One carpenter said, "I love working for nothing," as he thought about a day's wages going to DPT instead of his family.

To clarify the law, I emailed Supervisor Bevan Dufty, and he immediately went into action. His staff contacted DPT, and within days I got the following email:

"I have investigated your complaint and have discovered that the street-cleaning truck went off their route. A report of the truck's GPS reflects this. Our policy hasn't changed. We only issue citations when we are ahead of the street cleaner. I will be submitting a request for adjudication on the citations that you received. I apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused you. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me."

The letter was signed by James Lee, Assistant Director, SFMTA Enforcement Division.

This is what responsive government is all about. Three cheers for Bevan Dufty taking time to help on the little things that actually mean so much to individuals. If anyone else got tickets that day, please know that you can successfully fight them.

Mindy Kershner
Noe Street

'Green' Not Always Good


As reported in the letters and the Rumors Behind the News column of the June Voice, Bob Roddick, president of the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association, expressed the organization's unanimous support for closing Noe Street and making it a public plaza. This verifiably false pronouncement hits at the core problem with this proposal: it's based on ersatz information and insulting exaggeration.

Closing Noe Street is supposed to create a public plaza that will serve as a community center and a draw for business. Let's look at the facts and keep our hopes tied to probability. We, merchants and residents, must ask ourselves whether this is really what we will get, whether there is a better idea, a better way to get those things.

It is important that residents support the goals and aspirations of our business community. Residents like our neighborhood identity and enjoy easy availability of everything from paint to pasta. The viability and strength of our business corridor depend not only on neighbors who live and work within walking distance of 24th Street, but on attracting people from outside the area.

Very few people use public transit or ride a bicycle to go shopping. Despite San Francisco's Transit First! policy, Muni remains unsafe, unreliable, and too time-consuming to be a viable transportation option. Bicycling works for very few people, for those without children or those who do not purchase very much. A "green" idea is not necessarily a good idea.

Closing Noe Street to open up seating space surrounded by potted plants may benefit the businesses on either side, but as southbound cars must turn either right or left from Noe, it can only create air pollution in the area as cars idle while waiting. The traffic jam created on 24th Street may dissuade people from trying to come here at all. Besides, closing Noe forces drivers to go around the shopping area.

For these and other reasons, many of us, residents and merchants alike, want to Keep Noe Open. If you're a merchant who disagrees with Roddick's pronouncement, please let us know. If you were never asked about the Noe Street closure nor offered the opportunity to vote on it, please let us know that as well.

Joel Panzer, Mary McFadden, and those who want to Keep Noe Open!

Garden Tour Gratitude


On behalf of the Friends of Noe Valley, as chair of the 2010 Noe Valley Garden Tour, I'd like to thank the Voice for its outstanding coverage of our event. Thank you for getting the word out to Noe Valley residents. We are still totaling receipts but hope to make a good donation to this year's neighborhood beautification project: helping the San Jose/Guerrero Coalition maintain the median plantings along those streets, which are the eastern boundary of Noe Valley.

I'd also like to thank all the volunteers who staffed tables at the entrances to the eight gardens on the tour. Without these "garden greeters," we could not have opened the gardens to the public. By name they are Rachel Brodwin, Marlene Butler, Helen Crowell, Rita Currivan, Max and Deborah Delaney, Joan Downey, Libby Evans, Rob Evans, Leslie Hutchison, Maggie Hoppe, Adena Kershner, Mindy Kershner, Elizabeth Kert, Geoffrey and Jana King, Myra Mayne, Shannon Miller, Debra Niemann, Michael Padgett, Velma Parness, Jan Proudfoot, Carol Robinson, Thomas Stone, Leslie Tick, and Carol Tomte.

See you next year for the 2011 Noe Valley Garden Tour!

Richard May
Friends of Noe Valley

Booster for Rec Center and Rebecca Prozan


On Saturday, June 12, my two children and I attended Rebecca Prozan's campaign kickoff at the Upper Noe Recreation Center. The event was a perfect match for the center--a true community space for parents, kids, dog lovers, and seniors.

It's great to be able to have events like these in the neighborhood. In the first few months it was open, we rented the rec center for my daughter's birthday party. To have the convenience of the center, coupled with the playground and the field, meant that the kids (and us parents!) could make a choice in what activities to participate. Our neighbors could even bring their dogs and make use of the dog run.

Each weekend, I look forward to spending time at the center teaching my children to ride their bikes on the outdoor courts while chatting with friends. But it's important to remember that it takes leadership from people like Rebecca to bring together government and community partnerships. I am thankful for her service as a former Recreation and Park commissioner and excited for what she will bring to the Board of Supervisors.

Laura Heath


IF YOU were cross about our Crossword last month, we sympathize and share your pain. The June Voice suffered a printing error that obliterated a few clues at the bottom of Michael Blake's "Hidden Hills" puzzle. Some of you no doubt guessed the answers anyway (or solved the puzzle at, but for those who'd like a fresh slate, we have republished the "Hidden Hills" crossword this issue, alongside the July puzzle. (Both are on page 6.)

There also were a couple of errors in our June story about Noe Valley B&Bs and guesthouses. One was in the website address given for San Francisco Garden Cottage on 28th Street. The correct website is Another error related to Lynne Maltz's guesthouse on 25th Street. Its proper name is Lynne's Noe Valley VRBO.

We apologize for these mistakes.


THE VOICE welcomes your letters to the editor. Write the Noe Valley Voice, P.O. Box 460249, S.F., CA 94146. Or email 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.

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.

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Sally Smith, Jack Tipple


Olivia Boler, Last Page Editor

Corrie M. Anders, Associate Editor

Heidi Anderson, Associate Editor

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