Noe Valley Voice March 2012

Letters to the Editor


More Light on Fair Oaks Case


February’s Noe Valley Voice story on the Fair Oaks community’s response to sexual assaults in the 24th Street corridor describes PG&E spokesman Joe Molica’s claim that “...the utility had no record of a [streetlight] repair order for the Fair Oaks address” which was near the site of the Dec. 8 assault.

At best, Mr. Molica’s statement represents a shocking failure of communication. And if he’s right, it points to a clear example of incompetence by PG&E personnel.

Here are the facts:

On Monday, Nov. 28, 2011, I called 311 (S.F.’s Customer Service Center) to report that a dimming streetlight had finally flickered out, leaving the south end of the 200 block of Fair Oaks Street in darkness from 5 p.m. until sunrise. I gave the agent the house number nearest to the pole, but I didn’t know whether it belonged to PG&E or the city.

The agent told me that city poles are concrete and PG&E poles are wooden, and each agency is responsible for repairing its own. The agent assigned a Service Request Number, 1012157.

When I called 311 a few days later, the operator who checked the service request number told me the crew had determined it was PG&E’s wooden pole (identified as #110039153). She said the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) had sent my request to PG&E on Tuesday, Nov. 29, and that PG&E would repair it. When I phoned PG&E, I was told that repairs might take several weeks.

On Dec. 8, I called PG&E again and spoke with a supervisor, who said she had no idea when the repair would be made. She seemed taken aback when I told her of the assault that morning in the dark beneath the burned-out streetlight. She then asserted that PG&E had no record of any service request from the PUC for that location.

I phoned 311 again and told the operator I was calling in regard to Service Request #1012157. “Yes,” came the response, “that’s a streetlight out, at [###] Fair Oaks Street.... That’s a PG&E pole, and it was reported to them on November 29th.” 

I called PG&E and repeated the address and the number. This time, I was told that the number was missing a digit.

Fearing I had noted the number incorrectly, I phoned 311 again. Once again, the identical number, address, and complaint were confirmed by the operator. I also talked to the PUC agent, who identified himself to me and confirmed that he had personally forwarded the request to PG&E on Nov. 29.

On Sunday, Dec. 11, I emailed Supervisor Scott Wiener. At 7:45 Monday morning, Supervisor Wiener responded, offering to intercede with PG&E. The streetlight was repaired by the end of the day on Dec. 12.

The Fair Oaks Community Coalition (FOCC) is grateful to Supervisor Wiener for his quick intervention. But if PG&E had repaired that light within a week after the service request on Nov. 29, the violent sexual assault on Dec. 8 would never have happened where it did—and perhaps might not have happened at all.

On Dec. 14, a PG&E spokesperson at the FOCC meeting in St. James Church assured FOCC President Andy Segal and Supervisor Wiener that PG&E intended to contribute to a fund established to aid the three women who were brutally attacked in early morning darkness.

Two months later, no donation has come from PG&E. But the three survivors still need financial help. Here’s where to send it: 24th Street Survivors Fund, c/o Sterling Bank and Trust, 3800 24th St., San Francisco, CA 94114.

Blair Moser
Fair Oaks Community Coalition


A Message from One of the Victims


We are Noe Valley residents and close friends with the second victim in the string of three violent attacks that occurred in the Mission/Noe Valley in June, November, and December.

Our friend was attacked in the early morning hours at 24th and Potrero on Nov. 18, 2011, while awaiting the SamTrans bus to go to work. A co-worker had asked her to work an earlier shift, and she had agreed to do so. She had walked from her Noe Valley residence to the bus stop.

She wishes to remain anonymous, but asked that the Voice publish the following letter. Thank you.

Jean Allan & Bill Frey
Vicksburg Street


Dear Fair Oaks Street Group and Other Generous Donors:

I was so moved by your most heartfelt card, good wishes, and generous donations. Indeed, I am feeling better every day. I was both surprised and very happy to receive your many wishes for my recovery and huge amount of financial help. This has been especially important since I have been unable to return to work so far. I hope it will not be long before I am able to go back to work.

I am also very grateful to the paramedics, San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Recovery Center, Kaiser Permanente, and to the San Francisco Police detectives who all have helped me to recover and feel safer and less anxious about going out when it gets dark. Thank you so much for everything you have done for me.

Best regards,

Your friend and neighbor
from Noe Valley


The Cost of Recycling Theft

Maybe I’m at that “get off my lawn” phase in my life, but I can’t believe I’m the only guy in the neighborhood getting fed up with the “Raiders of the Blue Bins.”

I get it—people are hurting and just trying to make ends meet, but at what point are we going to say no to breaking city and state laws concerning this issue? Here at The Mansion we have Tuesday a.m. pickup, and on this block the trucks arrive early (pre-7 a.m.). In practice, this means we have bin divers, usually a couple of waves, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.’ish the night before.

I’m not sure our block is a big bunch of lushes compared to others, but it seems like hundreds of glass bottles and aluminum cans are more than adequate sleep-prevention devices when in transition from bin to wood-sided pickup truck. The truck here this past three weeks has the license plates obscured.

Multiple issues arise from this aberrant behavior. I sense these guys don’t deliberately set out to litter, but it does happen, and not all of us shred whatever correspondence gets into the bin. Recology/ Sun­set Scavenger loses revenue, which ultimately translates into higher monthly fees.

The police have no interest, and our dear supervisor is going after the bigger issues (unlicensed dog-walkers, bare booty in the Castro, etc.). I know, I know—in the overall scheme of things it’s not up there with disease, famine, or Gingrich/Palin 2012 in terms of threats to humanity, but does anybody else feel the same way? Ideas/suggestions?


David Podger
24th Street at Fountain



P.O. Box 460249

San Francisco, CA 94146

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