Noe Valley Voice December-January 2000

Letters to the Editor

The Voice welcomes your letters to the editor. Write the Noe Valley Voice, 1021 Sanchez St., San Francisco, CA 94114. Or send email to Please include your name, address, and phone number. (Anonymous letters will not be considered for publication.) Note that letters may be edited for brevity or clarity. Hope to hear from you soon.

Danger: Idiot Crossing


As a neighbor and property owner in Noe Valley, I enjoyed reading your article on the increasing population of babies this year ["Noe Baby Boom Creates Stroller Gridlock," November 2000 Voice]. However, it reminded me of an event that occurred a few days ago on Castro Street.

Leaving my home and heading north, I approached the intersection of Castro and 24th Street. Stopping for the light, I was the third vehicle in line. To my right, among the cars double-parked on Castro, was a Lexus parked in the bus zone.

A man in this vehicle sat while his female partner exited the car. Carrying an infant, she started to cross the street in the middle of the block, dodging between both moving and stopped vehicles. I rolled my window down and suggested she (and the baby) would be safer using the crosswalk and light, which was less than 25 feet away.

At this point I received nasty stares, comments, and gestures from both the man and the woman, who I assumed to be the infant's parents.

I have no issues with families and children in my neighborhood; in fact, I prefer a well-rounded population. However, if folks like this do not care enough about the safety of their own offspring to follow the traffic rules, why should you and I?

Garrison Grace

Castro Street

Change Is Hard


In response to those such as Anastasia Yovanopoulos who complain about the lack of available rental units in Noe Valley [Letters, November 2000], I understand your sentiment and agree that a housing shortage is hard on all renters. However, one important point needs to be added to this discussion: Your right to live in Noe Valley is no greater than any other individual's right to do the same.

According to your rationale, those from different socio/economic backgrounds who are choosing to buy property in Noe Valley do not have the same right to live in this wonderful community as you do, because they don't "preserve the neighborhood's character" according to your standards. Nor do the owners of this property have the right to sell a unit, because your right to rent is more important than their preference to sell.

As someone who grew up in Noe Valley between the years 1974 and 1996, I saw the neighborhood change from predominantly Irish to the highly diverse community that we see today. During this change, rental prices also increased. Had the mainly Irish community enacted civil measures to keep new renters/owners from moving in to preserve their notion of what the neighborhood's character should be, the community of Noe Valley that you view fondly today would not be here.

Change is hard, and paying extremely high rent is hard. However, enacting measures to promote the status quo for your well-being at the expense of others is not the answer.

Jozsi S. Popper

Atlanta, Georgia

(Hoping to someday move back to Noe Valley, but not willing to annex someone's property to do so)

Hair Salon Another Casualty of Capitalism


I am writing this letter to set the record straight about an item that was in the Rumors section of the July/August 2000 Voice. The column mentioned the unexpected closing of Mylene's Hair Salon on the corner of Castro and Jersey. What the column did not mention is that Mylene did not leave the recently sold building voluntarily. She was evicted by the then new owner.

The building had been purchased by a tenants rights attorney, who was representing former tenants in the building as part of a lawsuit against the original owner. Purchased at a poorly attended auction, by the plaintiff's attorney, the building sold for a mere $300,000. The building has since changed hands, is currently owned by the original plaintiffs in the case, and is rumored to be back on the market for well over $1,000,000 (in spite of its crumbling condition).

Many longtime Noe Valley residents have been troubled by the events surrounding this building. The original owner was an elderly man who, incidentally, still believes he owns the building and continued to pay the utilities and taxes for five months after the transfer of ownership.

Another sad example of what is happening to struggling small businesses all over Noe Valley!

Diane Rosen

Noe Valley resident

So What If He's a Pornographer


At first I was offended by Scott Bingham's candidacy for District 8 supervisor. In this family neighborhood, with its family values, how could our needs be served by a pornographer?

After reading his statement in the voter pamphlet and his answers to your questionnaire in the November issue, however, I began to realize that his platform, based upon direct democracy, would empower us, individually and united, to effect change in local government. His job outside of being supervisor does not affect his politics. My initial offense was just a reaction.

His "no personal opinion" stance is refreshing in a race polluted with candidates' personal opinions and lobbying by neighborhood special interest groups.

I'm voting for Scott Bingham!

Janet Mattos

23rd Street

Editor's Note: Unfortunately for Janet Mattos, Scott Bingham failed to win enough votes to qualify for the Dec. 12 runoff in the District 8 supervisor's race. The two top vote-getters were incumbent supervisor Mark Leno and AIDS activist Eileen Hansen. If you missed the November Voice and would like to read Leno's and Hansen's answers to our pre-election questionnaire, you can find the issue at the Noe Valley Library or on our web site at