Noe Valley Voice May 2009

Letters to the Editor


The Definition of Liberal


I cannot begin to tell you how pleased I was to see the Obama shrine finally removed from Just for Fun's window on 24th Street ["Obama Candle Raises the Ire of Local Priest," February 2009 Voice]. I found it offensive the first day I saw it, back in December.

There are many people who have great faith and dedication to St. Martin de Porres, and the Obama novena candles mocked their beliefs. I have shopped in that store from the very beginning and seen their nuns with boxing gloves and other displays, but they were generic; an individual was not singled out. This time the store went too far. Catholics may pray for the president, but not to him.

I have to laugh at the fallacy put out that Noe Valley is so liberal. I find a liberal is someone who may not agree on a lot of points but who is basically open-minded. Noe Valley has become a very close-minded bigoted group that does not accept anyone who might disagree with them. Even the comments printed in your paper stand up to that. A letter in the March issue asks the question, would the Obama candles offend Jesus? I think they would, especially when they hurt others.

I also have a problem with the candles themselves. The designer, Johnny Oliver, actually stole the design from the original candles and put the president's face on it. Is that exactly honest? Are there any copyright laws protecting the novena candles from this "candle of hope"?

When are priests not allowed free speech? Father Tony LaTorre saw something that offended him and took a stand by printing it in his bulletin to let his parishioners know. The decision to shop at the store was still theirs. He didn't threaten anyone with excommunication! He didn't call down a plague or pestilence on a novelty store. He was accused of being hateful, bigoted, sinister, mean-spirited, and bizarre. Way to go, liberals!

As for Father Tony's quote about the owners of Just for Fun being Jewish, in all honesty I don't believe it was anti-Semitic. I am not anti-Semitic, by any means, but have always assumed they were Jewish--because of their window displays. Over the years, they have always displayed Hanukkah items and Passover plates--but never any Nativity scenes or crèches, to my knowledge--and that didn't stop me from shopping there or bringing out-of-town friends in.

Mullaney Brown

Dogs on a Tight Leash


I am writing in reference to James Deveny's letter "Loose Dogs Can Be Deadly" in the April 2009 issue.

I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Deveny's point of view regarding loose dogs in Noe Valley. The simple truth is there is no good argument for allowing dogs to walk off leash on our city sidewalks.

I am the owner of a dog who certainly does not enjoy being pestered by off-leash dogs, which creates a liability for me if my dog were to attack a poorly controlled animal.

While the vast majority of off-leash dogs are harmless, dog owners who let their dogs run loose only exacerbate the self-entitled perception of Noe Valley and do very little to create community within the neighborhood.

Sean Brennan

Clipper Street

Mostly Good Eggs


Thanks to so many volunteers, we had a fun and successful second annual Easter Egg Hunt at Douglass Playground. Around $1,700 was raised to help pay for our colorful hanging flower baskets on 24th Street.

Only one bad thing happened: a volunteer donated two dozen eggs to color--we had around 12 dozen--but didn't boil the eggs! We would not have known it, except for an egg drop by a little girl in her Easter finery.

For that mishap, I sincerely apologize, and I hope no other Easter outfit was ruined when an egg was opened.

Any suggestions or requests for next year would be welcome.

B.J. Droubi



Regarding the photo in your amusing April Fool's edition, is the mother supposed to be saying, "Hurry, Henry"? If so, I think it should be "Dépêche-toi, Henri."


Leslie Wellbaum

Incident on Muni

Letter-writer R. La Rose asked the Voice to publish a complaint letter she wrote to Muni last month. The reprint contains minor editing.

To Whom This May Concern at Muni management:

When I entered the J-Church streetcar at 9:05 a.m. on April 1 at Church and 24th streets, the car was, as usual at that hour, overcrowded. All seats were taken and the aisles were filled with passengers standing and pressed against each other.

That morning, there was also a group of around 15 very small schoolchildren (around 5 or 6 years old) and three teachers accompanying them on a field trip. Some children were seated, and some were standing and trying to stay upright.

There was also a young girl, around 16 or 17 years old, who was taking all three seats in the line of vertical seats marked "Reserved for seniors and people with disabilities." She was sitting on one seat and had her duffle bag across the next two seats. I very politely asked her if she would move her bag so two people could sit down. She said, "No." I asked her again and she told me, "F- -k off." I asked her a third time and told her that I would remove her bag if she didn't do it herself. I reminded her that this was public transportation and that everyone on the streetcar had paid the same fare to enter and that she didn't have the right to take three seats. I reminded her that these seats were reserved for seniors and people with disabilities. She told me to "f- -k off" again. I reached down to move her bag and when I did so, she stood up and very forcefully slapped me in the face, knocking off my glasses. I'm 60 years old and the surprise and force of her slap knocked me down. She then proceeded to curse at me, calling me a "f- -king bitch" and several other things. Several other passengers tried to calm her down. She continued to yell at me, and when she got off the streetcar at the Church and 18th Street stop, she spit in my face and on my jacket and cursed me again. I watched as she started to walk toward Mission High School on the other side of the street from the Muni stop, so I assume that she is a student there.

When I arrived at the Montgomery Street station, I told the Muni worker in the ticket booth what had happened. She called the SFPD, and I told them what had happened. They said they couldn't do anything if I didn't know the girl's name. They took down a report and suggested that I call Mission High School to report the incident to the principal there. I did this, but again I was told that unless I could identify the girl, they could not do anything.

My question is, why aren't there Muni guards riding on the J-Church line, especially during the times when Mission High School students are going to and from school? Other passengers on the J-Church told me this was not the first incident that had occurred with students from Mission High. My feeling is that Muni is responsible to ensure that their paying passengers, especially seniors, are safe from harassment and physical violence while on public transportation.

One thing that would surely help is to put more streetcars on the J-Church line. At rush hour in the morning, when the streetcar arrives at 24th and Church, it is often full, even though it's near the beginning of the line. Extra cars on this line at peak times would greatly help to solve this problem.

R. La Rose

Noe Valley resident


In an item in April's Rumors column, the Voice misspelled the name of a designer now sharing space with Lisa Violetto at 3932 24th Street. The correct spelling of the name of the creator of Successories jewelry is Pamela Wiston-Charbonneau. In that same Rumors column, we printed the wrong address for Glare, the eyewear store that recently reopened at 4010 24th Street, near Noe Street. We apologize for the errors.


1021 Sanchez Street

San Francisco, CA 94114

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Sally Smith, Jack Tipple


Olivia Boler, Last Page Editor

Corrie M. Anders, Associate Editor

Heidi Anderson, Associate Editor

Karol Barske, Helen Colgan, Chrissy Elgersma, Jan Goben, Liz Highleyman, John Hohulin, Laura McHale Holland, Florence Holub, Jeff Kaliss, Doug Konecky, Pat Rose, Roger Rubin, Tom Ruiz, Lorraine Sanders, Karen Topakian,
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Beverly Tharp, Senior Photographer

Jan Brittenson, Leo Holub,
Ken Newman, Paula Whitehead


Karol Barske


Jon Elkin, Sally Smith, Jack Tipple


Misha Yagudin, Clare Sullivan, Jack Tipple


Elliot Poger


Steve Steinberg, Advertising Manager


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