Noe Valley Voice September 1999

Voice Mail

The Voice welcomes your letters to the editor. Write the Noe Valley Voice, 1021 Sanchez St., San Francisco, CA 94114. Or send e-mail to Please include your name, address, and phone number. (Anonymous letters will not be considered for publication.) You can also send us mail via our web site: There you'll find current stories and Class Ads, and archives of past issues dating from December 1996.

Secret Garden at the Library


The garden surrounding the Noe Valley ­ Sally Brunn Library on Jersey Street is indeed one of the mystery secret places in Noe Valley ["Where to Find a Quiet Spot for Contemplation," July/August 1999 Voice]. Many people who came to the Open Garden Day in May said they never knew the library garden was just beyond the door in the children's section.

The 12 gardeners work hard to make it a place of peace and relaxation for all library patrons and residents of Noe Valley. Thanks for the mention and for the reminder to visitors to remove their trash. But first, stop and "smell the roses."

Eleanore Gerhardt

24th Street

Stores Show In-scents-ativity


I wonder about the insensitivity of those stores on 24th Street that exude strong scents (incense? soap?) out their front doors.

Do they realize -- or care -- that some people may find it offensive? The store Glad Rags comes first to mind.

Chuck Carroll

30th Street

Buy Your Breast Cancer Stamps Here


We would like to thank our Noe Valley Post Office customers for their generous breast cancer stamp purchases for the past year ["Breast Cancer Stamp a Best Seller in Noe Valley," April 1999].

The Noe Valley Post Office has been number one in sales for most of the past year. We are very proud of the community. It has been fun to be tops in the San Francisco Post Office District, from Eureka to Sunnyvale.

The breast cancer stamp will be on sale through July 2000, but our current fiscal year ends Sept. 10, 1999. It would be nice to end this year still number one. So we hope to see you at the post office by Sept. 10! Thanks again.

Nora, Rich, Adele, Vivian, Lillie, Bill, Ken, and Yvonne

The "window clerks"

Noe Valley Post Office

Should the City Check Roommates' Credentials?


At a recent supervisors' meeting on "roommate" legislation, the question arose as to what grounds a homeowner could use to deny occupancy to a replacement roommate in his or her home.

Supervisor Mark Leno brought up the case of an anti-gay Christian who wanted to move into a home occupied by gay men. The San Francisco Rent Board representative said that a hearing would be required and that the board would be "sensitive" to homophobia issues. Everyone seemed pleased with that answer.

I assume they would discriminate against the Christian? As a gay man, I wonder how the rent board would rule if I attempted to move into the home of a fundamentalist Christian? Would they discriminate against me, too?

Or do we reserve this discrimination only for those who are not politically, religiously, or otherwise to our liking?

At the hearing, Supervisor Michael Yaki suggested that perhaps the rent board should not be making such decisions within owner-occupied homes. But he was soundly defeated.

Bill Trumbo

Church Street

Looking for Gentle Brothers and Sisters


I am working on my dissertation of research on Piña Palmera, a community-based rehabilitation project in Oaxaca, Mexico, begun by Frank Douglas and his associates. I am searching for more background information on him, his life and studies with Sri Aurobindo, and his experiences with the Gentle Brothers and Sisters. I'd appreciate hearing from any San Francisco residents who would like to share their memories. Thanks.

David Kendall Grant, M.S.Ed.

13843 N. 19th Way

Phoenix, AZ 85022


We'll Shoot for 90 Percent


I'm not very experienced with neighborhood newspapers, but it seems to me you do an extremely good job. I don't have time to read 100 percent of any publication, but I'm always surprised to find myself engrossed in about 80 percent of your content in every edition.

I regret that, due to a long commute (an hour and a half each way on Muni, BART, and A.C. Transit) to my job as a "Senior Graphic Arts Specialist" at Hayward Schools, I can't indulge much in local doings, but your publication helps me to feel a part of the community.

Thanks for all your good work.

Jim Elfers

Diamond Street

[Letter removed at request of author.]

Window Etching Has to Stop


As a new shop owner in the neighborhood, I am concerned about an epidemic of storefront window vandalism in Noe Valley. Twenty-fourth Street is heavily afflicted, and where I am on the corner of Church and 27th streets has recently been tagged as well.

In August, a youth responsible for doing damage to the Church Street windows was apprehended while etching graffiti in one of the windows of Mia's Flower Shop. A worker cleaning after hours at Eric's Restaurant next door saw him and called the police, and the youth was taken into custody.

However, it is my understanding that he has since been released. And because he is a minor (17), the city may let him walk away with a slap on the wrist.

Now I would like to know what is being done to prevent these gang taggers from continuing this type of behavior, and if they are not being fully punished and prosecuted, then why not?

This is an act of vandalism that goes way beyond spray paint. I have my new business in a building that has a 5-foot-by-9-foot picture window. When you sit and look out the window, your view is obscured by these flagrantly senseless etchings, which are essentially permanent. To get rid of them, the window needs to be replaced -- in other words, a window that has stood the test of time, weather, and earthquakes has been ruined by some punk with an attitude.

This window can never be replaced in its original state because it is not up to code. To replace it would require a permit, since it would now need to be a divided window, which changes the facade of the building. Who will pay for that?

Yes, the kid's parents are responsible. I wish I had time to take them to court. I wish they, in turn, would make their kid pay for the window and then perform hours of community service. I am happy to give them some suggestions:

* Let's start by having him clean and Windex the windows of the businesses he afflicted -- for a year.

* Then let's have him clean and scrape the gum off the sidewalk.

* Next, let's have him pick up the garbage on the street with his bare hands.

Let's keep his hands so busy he won't have time to think about getting into trouble.

Kathy O'Neill

Fountain of Youth Ice Cream Cafe