Noe Valley Voice October 2009

Letters to the Editor

The Inconvenient Truth


Our community has lost its recycling center, formerly located in the Bell Market parking lot. Now I have to pay carfare to cart my bottles and cans down to a recycling center at Market Street, near the Safeway store. It's inconvenient.

The Whole Foods store representative assured us at a meeting that they would provide curbside recycling. When I recently inquired at their office on 24th Street, I found out there is not going to be a person to collect recycling at the Whole Foods parking lot.

A machine programmed to read CRV labels and bar codes will be substituted. It selectively accepts some cans and bottles, and rejects others. Flattened or crushed cans and bottles are not accepted.

I hardly consider this recycling method a "green solution" to our community's recycling needs.

Folks who bring a volume of flattened material for recycling will not be able to use the machine. We will have to keep using transportation--spend money on carfare or use gas and pollute the planet--to bring our recycling to locations outside Noe Valley. Also, there are some in our community who rely on the extra cash generated from recycling and are unable to travel outside Noe Valley with recycling materials.

The truth is inconvenient, and Whole Foods needs to rethink their policy to serve our community's needs, instead of just touting their corporate "green" philosophy.

Anastasia Yovanopoulos
24th Street

Crows Come for Lunch


The article by Tim Innes in the September 2009 issue ("A Murder of Crows, or Requiem for a Featherweight") highlighted the problem of the large number of carnivorous birds like crows and ravens, but didn't get to the source of the problem.

The ravens and crows in San Francisco have exploded in numbers because people feed them, and also because of available food in open garbage cans. The raven feeders can be seen (often early in the morning) in Golden Gate Park and at Ocean Beach, surrounded by large numbers of birds. These feeders think that they are doing a kindness, but the end result is a population imbalance, lots of crows and ravens, and few songbirds.

Feeding wildlife--whether it is coyotes, raccoons, crows, ravens, pigeons, geese, ducks, or other animals--is simply not a good idea.

Pam Hemphill
Hill Street

Invaluable Gifts


Our family was struck by tragedy, and in its remains we found invaluable gifts, immeasurable love, and a deep spiritual journey. While my husband Gerry and I and two of our children were traveling in Spain this summer, our Noe Valley home caught fire. (See story on page 1 of this issue.)

My college-age son Xander and several friends were asleep in the house in the early morning hours, when flames originating in the sauna triggered an alarm. The teens, shoeless and many in boxers, fled the house safely. Eight fire engines arrived. What remained was very little of our home. When we returned, we were unable to come back to 27th Street, where many of our most treasured possessions lay in ruins.

Still, we are thankful.

We have lived and worked in Noe Valley for over 15 years and are deeply thankful for the talent and dedication of the San Francisco Fire Department. We are thankful for our many friends and neighbors who on the day of the fire rallied to comfort the boys, took the necessary steps to secure the house along with the Fire Department, carted out and stored away many salvageable valuables, and supported Xander until our return.

We returned to an overwhelming and heartfelt outreach. The support, help, and love we received became a mighty and transcendent force.

Noe Valley is a special community and we look forward to moving back soon.

Lisa Moresco and Family
27th Street