Noe Valley Voice December-January 2000

Rumors: Ayes from the Nay-bors

By Mazook

NOE VALLEY HAS SPOKEN: The results for Noe Valley have been tabulated by the S.F. Department of Elections, and as expected, Al Gore was elected president of Noe Valley by a landslide, with Dianne Feinstein winning as our senator and Nancy Pelosi our congresswoman.

The surprises came from those other neighborhoods east of the Bay Bridge Toll Plaza. As of Nov. 26--almost three weeks after the Nov. 7 election--frat boy George W. Bush is clinging to a 537-vote lead over our pal Al in Florida, which would give Bush the state's 25 electoral votes and the 270 needed to advance to the White House. That, despite the fact that Gore squeaked by in the popular vote, 50,133,912 to 49,805,216.

At press time, poor Al's legions are demanding a full manual recount in Fla., and the election has been dumped in the lap of nine old farts on the Supreme Court. We still don't know who is going to lead the country in its galactic battle against global warming, much less build us a shield over Downtown Noe Valley.

Meanwhile, the city under King Willie has not officially certified the San Francisco results either. However, I, as an agent of the Noe Valley Bureau of Investigation (NVBI), have sorted through most of our chicken scratches.

They reveal a feisty bunch. Out of 18,587 registered voters in Noe Valley, an impressive 13,085 actually voted. That's a 70% turnout. Citywide, the voter turnout was 63%.

The Noe presidential vote went like this: 10,631 for Democrats Al Gore and Joe Lieberman (81%), 1,209 for Republicans George Bush and Dick Cheney (9%), and 1,057 for Green Party-ers Ralph Nader and Winona Laduke (8%). The remaining 2% of us cast 55 votes for Libertarian Harry Browne, 17 votes for the Reform Party's Pat Buchanan, 9 votes for the Natural Law faction's John Hage-lin, and 5 votes for the American Independent Party's Howard Phillips. Oh, there were also 14 write-in votes--for Zippy, I presume.

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SUPES DU JOUR: The District 8 supervisorial election results left frontrunner Mark Leno and first runner-up Eileen Hansen squaring off in the Dec. 12 runoff. Mark was a mere 5 votes short of receiving the 50% plus 1 necessary to win.

According to the latest published tallies by the Department of Elections, Noe Valley gave Leno 5,448 votes (16,908 in all of District 8, which is 49.9% of the total votes cast) and Eileen Hansen 3,740 (11,425 in the whole district, or 33.7%). James Green garnered 765 Noe votes, Scott Bingham 446, Gary Virginia 322, and Shawn O'Hearn 295.

In the state propositions, Noe Valleons voted overwhelmingly (10,045 to 2,102) in favor of Proposition 36, which proposed that the possession and use of "controlled substances" would be addressed with medical treatment, not incarceration. The school voucher proposition, 38, which would have authorized annual state payments of up to $4,000 per pupil for private or religious schools, was wisely defeated statewide, and handily so in Noe Valley: 10,521 nays to 1,904 ayes.

In a sampling of local propositions, Noe Valley voted (and this is rounded to the nearest 100, even though I know each vote is important) in support of branch library bonds (Prop. A) 9,900 to 2,400, which helped it pass citywide; the children's fund (Prop. D) we supported 9,600 to 2,600, and it too passed.

The Noe Valley tally on Golden Gate Park's JFK Drive Saturday closure (Prop. G) was close--6,700 ayes to 5,600 nays--but it was defeated by city voters by a 2 to 1 margin. Prop. H, which limits the costs a landlord can pass along to tenants, won in Noe (7,200 for, 5,000 against) and also carried citywide.

The infamous Prop. K, Willie Brown's milktoast slow-growth measure, failed with our help: Noe voted no, 8,300 to 3,700. Efforts to pass Prop. L, the meat-ax anti-growth measure, were successful here in Noe Valley, where the vote was 6,715 for and 5,340 against. But in San Francisco as a whole, L went down to defeat by 500 votes, out of 275,000 cast.

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IN LOCAL POLITICS, the word is out that Bob Roddick is stepping down as president of the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association. According to Bob, the November vote has been postponed while the group puts together a slate of candidates for the job.

"Four years is enough," explains Bob. "We have brought this organization from the 32 active members we had four years ago to 130 at present, we are now active in the District Council of Merchants, we have established mechanisms to be notified of legislative changes that will affect our neighborhood, and we have established a liaison person to other neighborhood organizations."

One thing Bob wasn't able to do during his term was get the merchants to raise their annual dues to $100. "We started at $25 and have gotten it up to $75, but that is as far as the merchants will go," laments Bob. "Looking at just one item in our budget, the new Christmas banners we purchased last year cost $3,900, and then you have to add $3,500 each year to put them up along 24th and now Church Street, take them down, and then store them until the next year."

As for the group's efforts to obtain diagonal parking on Castro Street from 24th to Clipper, Bob was quite terse: "That is unofficially dead." He noted that all the various plans for diagonal parking would require Muni to move the overhead wiring for its rabbit-eared buses. "They [Muni] came out and looked at the proposed plans between Jersey and Clipper and determined that they could not feasibly move the overhead wiring to accommodate the required lane changes for the electric buses, which is something they knew all along."

As for the NVMPA officers, Roddick predicts that the association will have a slate to propose for a vote of the membership "by spring."

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CHAKRA WAVES traveled across the city's yoga community last month when a large group of yoga teachers and students were locked out of Yoga Shala at 25th and Castro streets. The studio allegedly bolted its doors on Nov. 4, without notice to the 12 teachers and scores of students who regularly used the facility.

Owner John Robb told the Chronicle that he was on overload, trying to manage the studio as well as to teach. But the mantra from neighbors is that someone has expressed an interest in buying the business. At press time, there was still a sign on the front door saying the studio was "temporarily closed."

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SHORT SHRIFTS: Forty Love, the tennis shop on 24th Street between Castro and Diamond, closed on Nov. 18. The owner reportedly hit it big on the Internet and is actively selling what he calls "The Trailer Trash Doll." Upon investigation of his web site, www.trailertrashdoll .com, you can see why: she's a Barbie gone bad. The two other "first edition" dolls offered through the site are called Drag Queen Blonde and Redhead--quite elegant, compared to little Ms. Trash.

According to Grace Ann Walden in the Food section of the Chron, a tavern called Bliss Bar is set to open in the former home of the Rover's Inn at 4026 24th St. Walden writes that Bliss, owned by Jim Kopp, will serve "inventive cocktails," sake, wine, and beer, and an array of dim sum, while a deejay spins tunes. Meet you there after the inauguration.

Despite rumors to the contrary, the classy sushi bar Hamano Sushi at 1332 Castro is not closing. However, Mr. Hamano has reportedly sold the place.

The huge sale signs covering the front windows of Little Bean Sprouts have inspired rumors that the popular toddler supply station (on 24th across from Bell) is going to close. "Not true," says owner Lisa Thompson. "We have signed a five-year extension on our lease and plan to close the store briefly in the beginning of January for a remodel." They'll also be adding a line of artwork and scaled-down furniture.

Noe Valley drivers freaked out when the 24th Street public parking lot closed last month without warning. Well, it has reopened with a new asphalt surface and new bulletin board. We need some neighborhood groups to get together and post a sign there, warning that all flyers will be removed on the full moon. Then we need to put together a team to actually do it.

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TOP OF THE POPS: Streetlight Records reports that its best-selling CD is, far and away, P.J. Harvey's Story from the City. Streetlighter Laura Horsfall says that Polly Jean's recent release was much anticipated by her "huge cult following" around these parts. "Her music is fairly stripped-down rock with not too much theatrics." The focus is on the lyrics, she says.

Over at eclectic Aquarius Records (Valencia near 23rd), the man in charge, "just Jeff, please," reports that their numbah-one seller is The Conet Project, which he describes as "a collection of short-wave recordings, consisting primarily of secret code transmissions [mostly] by the CIA and KGB, that have creepy recitations of numbers that sometimes sound like a simple melody." Just Jeff says that the compilation comes with a small booklet that provides some explanation, "but I really like just listening to it."

'Tis the season for violence, at least in the video stores. Noe Valley Video's Rafael Corral reports that the top demand is for Gladiator. Ditto, down at First Choice Video, as well as at the huge Blockbuster on Church near Market--and strangely enough, also at the more artsy Video Wave.

Warns Rafael, "We have 14 Gladiator tapes and they are always out, so the easiest thing to do is to call in a reservation and we'll call you when a copy comes in."

To avoid the problem, Alexander Gardener at Video Wave suggests renting something else. But I'm a Cheerleader is, according to him, "a big treat."

For you bookworms out there, Mark Ezarik at Cover to Cover says his best-selling nonfiction is the biography Joe DiMaggio, by Richard Cramer. In the fiction department, the top spot belongs to Blind Assassin, the new one from Margaret Atwood. Now that the kids have finished the Harry Potter series, they're all reading Olivia, by Ian Falconer.

In the cheap food category, two Noe Valley eateries made the Chronicle's recent (Oct. 15) "Fab Food for the Frugal" list. Any guesses? Clue: They both serve Chinese cuisine. Try Alice's Restaurant on Sanchez and 29th, and Eric's on Church and 27th.

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NOE VALLEY CHAMBER MUSIC opened its 2000­2001 season at the Noe Valley Ministry with a gala benefit attended by more than 100 patrons, which raised more than $8,000 for this season.

Lyric soprano Kristin Clayton and pianist and conductor Peter Grunberg performed what they described as an "all-French concert," with lovely tunes by Bizet, Massenet, and Debussy. Stealing the show, however, was the brand new Hamburg Steinway grand piano. It was purchased with $53,000 that had been contributed over the past year.

Concerts are held once a month, on Sundays at 4 p.m. The next one is scheduled for Dec. 3, when the Ferrara/Leisek Duo performs a guitar concert. Tickets are $12 ($8 for students and seniors).

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THAT'S ALL, YOU ALL. Have a great holiday and Happy New Year! Is this the real start of the new millennium, finally...and does anybody care? We'll be seeing you next February. By then, we should know who the president is.