Noe Valley Voice May 2008

Letters to the Editor

St. James a 120-Year Survivor


I was really impressed with your articles on the Irish in Noe Valley ["Neighborhood Irish Featured in Cultural Festival" and "Agnes Farrell Shares Memories of an Irish Noe Valley," by Joshua Brandt, March 2008 Noe Valley Voice]. However, I was disappointed that St. James Parish was not mentioned.

The parish was formed on April 2, 1888, and its boundaries were 20th Street on the north, 26th Street on the south, Mission Street on the east, and the Pacific Ocean on the west. St. James Catholic Church at 23rd and Guerrero streets was built in the French Gothic style with semi-circular arched doorways and windows. The architect was Frank Shea and the contractor was Richard Sinnott. One of the outstanding features of St. James is the stained-glass windows, which were purchased from the Tyrolese Art Glass Company in 1901.

A fire on April 1, 1911, devastated a large part of the church, but with help from parishioners, ex-parishioners, and members of the public including Mayor Jim Rolph, the church was rebuilt and opened on April 1, 1912, exactly one year to the day after the fire. Some changes were made to the design (the original architect and contractor carried out the work), and the rose windows were added.

St. James Parish is still thriving today with a dedicated parish council and Pastor Jerome Foley spearheading a campaign to restore the beautiful windows, which have been damaged by time, weather, and an earthquake or two.

St. James is well worth a visit, and we welcome neighbors of all denominations for whom the timeless beauty and artistry of stained-glass art and an atmosphere of tranquility provide a welcome respite from the stresses of city living.

Anne Devine


St. James Parish Parochial Council

35-Eureka May No Longer Go South


Muni's proposed overhaul of city transit routes, also known as the San Francisco Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP), calls for some dramatic changes to the 35-Eureka bus line. The segment of the 35 that runs south of 24th Street along Diamond Street would be eliminated. That means the stretch from Jersey Street to Diamond Heights Boulevard (and beyond) would have no service at all, of any kind.

The closest Muni service would be the 24-Divisadero, which turns east at Castro and 26th streets. People heading toward Diamond and upper Castro Street would have very steep hills to negotiate.

There are many older people that use the 35. Some may have cars, many probably do not. They would be trapped in their homes, having to rely on friends and relatives to take them on errands. In addition, people with cars will use them more, which is counter to the city's and Muni's mission urging people to use public transit.

We urge you to voice your opinion: Call 311 and leave a message; mail Julie Kirschbaum, TEP Project Manager, Municipal Transportation Agency, One South Van Ness, Seventh Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103; e-mail; fax 415-701-4272; or write Supervisor Bevin Dufty at

In addition, there will be a meeting to discuss the "Castro/Noe Valley" changes sponsored by Muni on Saturday, May 10, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, 4235 19th Street at Diamond Street. This will be our main opportunity to comment on plans for the 24 and 35 bus lines.

Mark and Donna Rand

27th Street

Editor's Note: Additional route changes proposed by the TEP (see include rerouting the 24-Divisadero to 24th Street, "which would mean adding trolley wires along 24th Street," and extending the J-Church streetcar line to San Francisco State. Also, the part of the 48-Quintara line which currently runs north on Grand View from Clipper would be redirected east along Clipper to Diamond Street. The Grand View segment would be eliminated.

After a series of 11 community workshops ending this month, Muni will revise the proposed changes for presentation to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board of directors this summer. The earliest the changes could take effect would be July 2009, after environmental review.

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.


1021 Sanchez Street

San Francisco, CA 94114

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

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Class Ad Deadline: May 15, 2008

Display Advertising Deadline for the
June 2008 Issue: May 16, 2008

Editorial Deadline: May 20, 2008


Sally Smith, Jack Tipple


Olivia Boler, Last Page Editor

Corrie Anders, Associate Editor

Laura McHale Holland, Associate Editor

Corrie M. Anders, Heidi Anderson, Karol Barske, Joshua Brandt, Sue Cattoche, Helen Colgan, Chrissy Elgersma, Hilary Gordon, Liz Highleyman, John Hohulin, Florence Holub, Jeff Kaliss, Doug Konecky, Bob Oaks, Erin O'Briant, Pat Rose, Roger Rubin, Tom Ruiz, Lorraine Sanders, Karen Topakian, John Trinkl, Kate Volkman, Heather World


Pamela Gerard, Photo Editor
Beverly Tharp, Senior Photographer

Najib Joe Hakim, Senior Photographer
Jan Brittenson, Leo Holub, Charles Kennard,
Doug Konecky, Ken Newman, Paula Whitehead


Jon Elkin, Sally Smith, Clare Sullivan, Jack Tipple


Karol Barske


Elliot Poger


Steve Steinberg, Advertising Manager


Contents q2008 The Noe Valley Voice