Noe Valley Voice June 2011


LETTERS to the EDITOR 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.

Stoplight Worth the Wait


Thank you for your article on Kevin Daniels’ work to make the intersection at 24th and Church streets safer [“Accident at 24th & Church a Call to Action for Nearby Resident,” May 2011 Voice]. I am the other pedestrian injury between April 2007 and March 2010.

Shortly after dark on Dec. 20, 2009, I was crossing Church Street from the karate school to the donut shop, cane in hand. A car that was headed south on Church Street pulled out very rapidly and hit me more than three-quarters of the way across. Multiple reconstructive surgeries and physical therapy have not fully repaired all the damage. The driver, a young male from out of town, told the reporting officer that he didn’t see me and he’d been distracted by the crowd in front of the donut shop (and yet guessed—incorrectly—that I had just stepped off the curb from the donut shop). No citation was issued for hitting and seriously injuring a pedestrian using a cane in a crosswalk at a four-way stop.

It’s interesting to read that a city official fears a stoplight would slow down the J-Church. Anyone who has had an experience even remotely like mine would conclude that if a stoplight made every J-Church rider wait 30 seconds every time, and prevented one such accident every 10 years, it would be well worth the wait.

Ed Moore
Jersey Street

Most Dangerous Crosswalks


I have walked daily in Noe Valley for decades. I agree with Kevin Daniels about the danger of walking at 24th Street and Church.

I was hit and thrown headfirst onto the pavement by a car while walking IN the crosswalk in front of Happy Donuts. The driver said she did not see me.

I reported it to the Mission Police Department and Supervisor Bevan Dufty, and told Police Captain Greg Corrales about it at a Mission Rotary Club luncheon.

If streetlights are not installed, I suggest that—at least—crosswalk markings such as those in use at Castro and 24th Street be added at 24th and Church.

The Church and 24th intersection is the most dangerous in the neighborhood. Noe and 24th Street comes in second.

Margaret Culver
22nd Street

Slow Going on Sanchez


The “Accident at 24th & Church” article brought to mind another area that has a real problem. On 28th and Sanchez streets, there is a two-way stop. The stop signs are on 28th Street. There is no stop sign on Sanchez. This might be okay except that almost every other street along Sanchez has a stop sign. People coming from 28th onto Sanchez act as if they expect there to be stop signs on Sanchez, and often proceed as if they have the right of way.

I’ve lived nearby for a number of years and am well aware of the area. I walk, ride my bike, and drive there. I always treat Sanchez and 28th as if it had a four-way stop, because others do not.

Just the other day, I was driving on Sanchez and did my usual very cautious slow-down-and-get-ready-to-stop procedure. Awoman was turning onto Sanchez from 28th and did not stop. I gave a little beep as if to inform her that I had no stop sign. She was in no mood and kept going, giving me the bird as she did.

At the least, I think it’s confusing to have one street that is inconsistent with all the others, and believe it would be safer to have a stop sign there.

Saumya Bajada

Police Net 16


In response to Kevin Daniels’ request to Captain Greg Corrales for stepped-up traffic enforcement, the police have conducted a targeted enforcement of the 24th and Church intersection on the mornings of May 4 and 5.

The results have been forwarded to Captain Corrales and to the engineering division of the Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA).

Of the 16 people cited, 14 were San Francisco residents. Nine were cited for failure to yield to pedestrians, three for being on cell phones, two bicyclists for failure to stop at the stop sign, one motorist for failure to stop at the stop sign, and one for not wearing a seat belt. One of the violators had a suspended license.

We will continue to conduct targeted enforcement at that location as staffing allows.

Captain Al Casciato
Traffic Company
San Francisco Police Department

Chew on This


This is in response to the person who wrote the letter “Dog Owners Fetching Stares” in the April 2011 issue.

I have news for you. To a lot of us, our animals are our children. Who are these people that don’t want to be sniffed by a

dog? Why do children get special privileges? Double-wide strollers, kids with chalk, scooters, balls, and toys…all are dominating the sidewalks in Noe Valley. Why aren’t they playing in the parks or their yards?

Talk about an arrogant attitude: We have a kid, so we can do whatever WE want to. You and your dog can walk in the street to go around us. And by the way, screaming kids with drippy noses and sneezing uncontrollably are allowed in our grocery store, hardware store, and restaurants…but sorry, not your clean, quiet, and well-behaved dog.

If you can learn to curb your kid, then teach us how and we can learn to curb our dog.

Jen Maxwell
Clipper Street

Boxes Better with Boxwoods


Regarding the AT&T communications boxes [May 2011 Voice]: I live on 23rd Street at Sanchez. I see the equipment as a wonderful opportunity to add green spaces and trees to our neighborhood. I love the idea that the company would landscape around the boxes. Too many of our sidewalks are treeless and barren. With proper landscaping you wouldn’t even see the boxes.

I also wonder, however, if AT&T could be encouraged to help move power lines underground as a show of good will. My fear is that once the boxes are placed in an area, nearby power lines would have to remain above ground. If they offered to get rid of the horrible power lines on 23rd Street, I would be out there campaigning for them.

Ken Sloan
23rd Street

Support Tuggey’s Hardware


I’m watching a terrible thing happen on 24th Street. Tuggey’s Hardware isn’t doing so well.

My first Noe Valley address was on Sanchez Street between Jersey and 25th streets. In 1953, I went from St. Joseph’s Hospital (now condos) to Sanchez Street. My sister went to St. Paul’s kindergarten (condos). So many things have changed.

Well, change has to happen, but instead of a shop going down poorly, how about a little respect. If Tuggey’s closes, it will be the loss of another historical landmark in Noe Valley. My father’s 1938 Mission High yearbook had an advertisement for the store: “The place to shop for your school supplies.”

The past 25 years I’ve lived on Elizabeth Street, and Tuggey’s was there when I needed help to replace the glass in my windows or deal with old plumbing. The guys talked me through many a repair.

Please pay attention to the store. They have been hit by hard times, and people who no longer do their own repairs. I would hate to see them leave us.

Dolores (Dodie) Molina
Elizabeth Street

Editor’s Note: For more on Tuggey’s, see “Tuggey’s Hardware: A Well-Loved Noe Valley Fixture,” September 2006 Voice.

Wins and Losses in ADA Lawsuits


It’s too bad the litigation arm for the ADA can’t control their urge to sue every small business or public institution that doesn’t have access or a bathroom for someone in a wheelchair. No one intentionally discriminates against a disabled individual, but the strong-arm tactics do not endear people to their cause.

I recall the installation of the Muni ramps that now clutter the streets and have been involved in Muni accidents as well as car accidents. Numerous meetings and hours devoted to finding better options, such as hydraulic ramps that took up less street space and were successfully installed in San Jose and Sacramento, were snubbed by the plaintiffs and their lawyers for Americans with Disabilities years ago. Essentially, residents were told that the ramps were federally mandated and they would do what they wanted. Too bad if we didn’t like the ramps that took away 12 parking spaces for small businesses. Now I read the city doesn’t have money to change them for another decade.

City College was also sued by this organization, and spent a small fortune tearing up trees, lawns, and parking lots, etc., to put a long ramp in for one or two buildings. Night classes were shifted from Noe Valley’s James Lick School because it did not have an elevator, although it had ramp access to the first floor. City College cancelled classes last summer for the first time in 75 years due to lack of funding, and 750 classes were cancelled due to the state budget cuts, but all the ADA compliance is in place for the handful that use it.

Now three small businesses are being targeted because they don’t have a ramp. I wonder why it is always small business or public education that these plaintiffs who have filed dozens of lawsuits target? Should we sue the city every time someone breaks an axle in a pothole or falls over a tree root on a cracked sidewalk? Someone is making money off of all this litigation, but I doubt it is small business or public education, or public institutions for that matter.

(Last name withheld by request)

St. Paul’s Lore


In a long ago Noe Valley Voice during the filming of Sister Act, you told a wonderful story of an elderly resident walking out on Church Street, which had been made to look like a slum for the beginning scenes of the movie. The woman resident commented along the lines of “See, this neighborhood is going downhill!” LOL. I retell that story whenever I comment on Sister Act’s filming to visitors.

Thanks also for telling us that the stones for St. Paul’s came from a quarry at 30th and Castro streets [“St. Paul’s Commemorates Its 100-Year-Old Building,” May 2011]. I’ll likely tell that story too every time I walk by that corner with anyone new.

Charlie Spiegel
Elizabeth Street

An Alpha Dog’s Lament

Dear Dogs,

Many months ago, I wrote to you pleading for justice, hoping that you would find a way to train your owners to attend to our needs, to consider us more than decorative accessories or a way to attract a potential romantic interest. I asked that we canines rise up and, if necessary, bite the hand that feeds us to speak.

You, my fellow shepherds, corgis, labs, beagles, bassets, and mutts have risen to the occasion, barking your distress, whining for attention, nipping at the heels of the clods who tie us to (or refuse to untie us from) parking meters, benches, and fences. You have been loyal to your owners, thinking that attending to them would train them to attend to you. Alas, it is my sad duty to acknowledge the costs of this struggle.

Recently one of our smaller, more vulnerable dogs, a tiny terrier, was left tied to a parking meter on 24th Street for several hours. Many people stopped to pet the creature, to offer water and comfort. Eventually the stress of yelping and fear of abandonment overwhelmed the poor thing. In her nervous state, she wrapped her leash around the parking meter and hid herself beside the curb in the street instead of on the sidewalk.

The driver of the car couldn’t see her, only heard her heartrending cries when the rear tire backed over the small, trapped body. The noise brought humans from every direction. The owners did not appear, even after many onlookers set off, yelling for “the owner of a small terrier.” After a time, a good Samaritan insisted on taking the dog to the emergency veterinarian. As she was picking up the seriously injured animal, the owners appeared. They had been shopping several blocks away from the scene and demanded to know why people weren’t watching their dog! Instead of rushing to the hospital, the owners threatened the bystanders.

I wish this were the only case of doggie distress. Others of us have been left in cars on very cold evenings while our owners spend hours enjoying dinner and drinks. Still others have been tied at the edges of parking lots, where there is little room to avoid the cars of desperate drivers frustrated from having searched for parking for 30 minutes. A lovely lab was tied to the iron fence near Starbucks for an entire Saturday, from 8 a.m. until after 3 p.m. He was forgiven for his indiscretions, as there was nowhere for him to relieve himself other than in the greenery.

I am at a loss as to how to convey to dog owners that we have been bred to be with them, not left behind. We are designed, even the smallest of us, not to be tied up, but to be in motion. Leaving us alone, constrained, and without recourse to defend ourselves, our owners, or our homes, our baser instincts for self-preservation and self-defense kick in. The tragic results of this irresponsibility are often injury to ourselves, but also to others, to unwitting humans who are powerless to soothe us but must witness and hear our pleas for help.

Yours in grief and revolution,

Alpha Doggie
(Name withheld by request)

LETTERS to the EDITOR 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.

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 contri butions will be returned only if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

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CO-PUBLISHERS/EDITORS Sally Smith, Jack Tipple

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, Laura McHale Holland, Florence Holub, Tim Innes, Jeff Kaliss, Doug Konecky, Erica Reder, Pat Rose, Roger Rubin, Shayna Rubin, Karen Topakian,Nicole Wong

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Pamela Gerard, Photo Editor Beverly Tharp, Senior Photographer Najib Joe Hakim, Senior Photographer


PRODUCTION Sally Smith, André Thélémaque, Jack Tipple

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WEB DESIGN Jon Elkin, Elliot Poger

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Contents 2011 The Noe Valley Voice