Noe Valley Voice February 2004

Letters to the Editor

Tree Snuffed on 24th Street


We're stumped! In the early afternoon of Saturday, Jan. 3, the 50+-year-old tree in front of our house on 24th Street between Diamond and Douglass was chopped down without our permission. Anyone who saw or heard anything--or knows why this innocent tree was killed-- is urged to call us at 415-268-7348.

We think it is possible that someone else's tree was supposed to be removed and that the contractor came to the wrong house or street.

If you had a tree scheduled to be removed around Jan. 3, please let us know. All information would be appreciated.

Ruth Borenstein

Karen Strauss

Twenty-fourth Street

Activism Never Out of Date


I am one of the Noe Valley residents who has actively responded to the sudden closure of the Real Food store on 24th Street. This letter is in response to Lorraine Evanoff's letter in your November 2003 issue [titled "Noe Valley Could Use Some Fresh Organics"].

For the record, I am an engineer working in Silicon Valley, I was only 9 during the Summer of Love, and I am fully engaged in the third millennium. Lorraine and I share the desire for a wonderful natural neighborhood grocery.

When I found Real Food shuttered, I assumed that the closure had been announced and planned. Despite the fact that I shop there twice a week, I must have missed it. Later, I learned the circumstances of the closure: no announcement; workers abruptly fired; several workers active in organizing a union fired earlier for spurious reasons; no work permits; suppliers delivering the next day. These facts led me to believe that Fresh Organics acted to quash a union drive. The lackadaisical pace of renovations seemed to confirm my suspicions.

Some say that the sole responsibility of a corporation is to make a profit, but I don't buy it. Most people in America don't buy it either. As a parent teaching the values of respect for others, responsibility to the greater good, and the need to one's curb greed in deference to others, I will not passively accept behavior that violates those principles when it hits so close to home.

Some say that individuals are powerless to effect change, that the practical thing is to let the powers-that-be do what they want to do. If we only wait, we will get our Fresh Organics.

But, Lorraine, we do have power! We have power to reject the vision of Fresh Organics/Nutraceutical Corp. (whatever that vision is--they haven't explained it to my satisfaction) and to create a vision that is consistent with our values, and a great grocery store.

I believe that the people of Noe Valley are creative and energetic enough, and passionate enough about organically grown food, to make that vision Real.

That is why I am taking action, and helping to set up the Noe Valley Farmers' Market. Far from resisting change, I believe that by doing this I am creating positive change.

Eric Viscito

Noe Valley resident

Letting Off Steam About Parking


After reading your story in the December issue ["Old Van Is Legal, But Keeps Getting Tagged"], I was struck by two thoughts: one, how awful it is to have one's property violated, and two, what feelings must have provoked an otherwise normal person to take such drastic action.

I, too, am a longtime resident of Noe Valley (since 1981) and have watched parking/traffic issues escalate from negligible to paramount. Few things can make us as angry.

For too many years, I got home from work very late. My teeth would grind as I circled around. There would be someone parked 5 or 6 feet from a crosswalk or driveway entrance, leaving just as much room behind the car, or someone who had pulled into the middle of a space that could have easily accommodated two cars. If either had pulled forward, I could have parked there. Repeat this 10, 15 times a night, and you, too, would be pounding the dashboard.

And, without really trying, one gets to know the cars in one's neighborhood that are never moved, except to accommodate street cleaning. This is all the more noticeable when the vehicle in question is large and going on 34 years old. One wonders why, in the name of God, people have cars that they never drive. But that is none of one's business.

There is also the issue of people who have garages but who never put their cars in them. If the space where the car should go is filled, why not just park on the street in front of your garage? It's okay to block your own driveway, y'know.

So, thanks for the opportunity to vent a little. I don't condone vandalism in any form, but I do understand the frustration of people who can't find a space to park. It's the little things, after all, that drive us mad.

M.L. Manalli

Cesar Chavez Street

Letters to the Editor

THE VOICE welcomes your letters to the editor. Write the Noe Valley Voice, 1021 Sanchez Street, San Francisco, CA 94114. Or e-mail Please include your name, address, and phone number. (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.