Noe Valley Voice May 2013

Letters to the Editor

THE VOICE welcomes your letters to the editor. Write the Noe Valley Voice, P.O. Box 460249, S.F., CA 94146. Or e­mail Please in­clude your name, street, and contact information. (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.

Not a Member


I am upset at Walgreens. They have a new “membership rewards” program. I’m not sure what it gets you, but I don’t want to be a “member” of Walgreens.

On April 18 I went in to get a bunch of things, and because I am not a member, they disallowed all the price discounts on my items. I spoke to the manager, and he said he’d “make an exception” for my purchases. That is not the point. The information-gathering is too pervasive, especially since they already have all my prescription information. The advertising pricing is deceptive—it’s a neighborhood store, and only members get discounts? There’s something creepy about that. And that the manager could “make an exception”—what’s that all about? I don’t want to be an exception. I just don’t want to be a member. 

Marianne Hampton

Noe Valley resident


Dog Tired


I read the item in your April edition about the meeting scheduled for May 15 regarding Noe Courts [“Noe Courts: Déjà Vu All Over Again,” Short Takes, April 2013 Voice].

I and others would like to see the creation of additional dog-free space in that small park. While Noe Courts has never been designated as an off-leash park, it has been a de facto off-leash dog park for the last 15 or 20 years. (There is a posted prohibition on dogs being off leash, but it is hardly ever enforced.)

Many of us who live on Elizabeth Street have not been happy with this situation and hope that the master plan for the park could include some way of increasing the area where we could sit on the grass or where our children (or grandchild, in my case) could play in the grass without being exposed to dog waste or being overwhelmed by one or more dogs running back and forth the length of the grassy area. Others of us would like their children to be able to use the basketball court without also being subject to dog urine.

I realize that other of my neighbors and their children and their dogs enjoy the status quo. Nonetheless, I think it is time for a change.  I also observe that others drive to the park in their cars to take their dogs off leash. I think those people could just as well take their dogs to one of the parks with an official off-leash area.

Michael Cronbach

Elizabeth Street


Happy 93rd Birthday

Dear Voice, Attn: Mazook,

Thank you for the lovely article in your Rumors column in April. It is so wonderful for me to get hugs and smiles from so many people when I go out on 24th Street. I am so lucky. Warmly,

Jeanne Galarza

22nd Street


What’s Up with Starbucks?


I have put off writing this letter, but today was the last straw. Since our local La Boulange was purchased by Starbucks, I have noticed a big change. All of the previous counter staff have been replaced by younger, less experienced (apparently) workers.

When I asked the young woman at the register what had happened to the previous workers, I was told that Starbucks had done rigorous background checks. Does this mean that they all had criminal records or were in this country illegally? Hard to believe.

What I have noticed is longer lines and poor service. The old staff were professional, efficient, and provided great service.

This morning, I went in and ordered a latte. After waiting an unusually long time, I went over to check on it. I found the latte on the counter lukewarm and no foam. The espresso maker had been chatting with a coworker and forgot to send the latte out. She did apologize and offered to make a new one, but by that time I needed to go. This was not the first time that has happened.

Oh well, I used to enjoy going to La Boulange, but there are other locally owned coffeehouses on 24th Street.

Christine Sekino

Day Street


Solo Bandits Okay


While I understand the concern over blue bin bandits driving through a neighborhood and sweeping up all the bottles, glass, and such, I would like to defend the individual “bandit.” On this small scale, nobody suffers, the fellow makes a bit of change, Recology receives your same monthly payment, and you may have more room left in your bin to fill before the Recology truck comes by.

Of course, if the “bandit” is in any way threatening, the police should be notified. Otherwise, I really think the police have more important things to do than to deal with this pettiness.

Patty Sigman

Day Street


Summer Lunches for Kids!


We are students at San Francisco Friends School. We have many great days at school, but one of our favorites is the last day of school, because it means it is summer! During the summer, we like to play soccer, go to camp, travel, and swim. Unfortunately, some kids don’t like summer as much as us, because they find  themselves worrying about being hungry, since they won’t get school breakfast and lunch.

We want people to know that there are thousands of summer meal sites across the country that offer free summer meals to kids and teens age 18 and under. Only three million out of 21 million U.S. kids who get free or reduced-price school lunch get a free summer meal. This is partly due to the fact that few people know that these programs exist. Share Our Strength is an organization that is investing $1.8 million this summer to increase participation in the meals program.

Please help us by printing this letter. Let them know that people can find out what they can do to increase participation in the summer meals program so that kids don’t go hungry when school is out, by visiting

Thank you.

Lila Miranda and Zoe Ferguson, 

ages 8 and 13

P.S. We live in Noe Valley.


Power of the Press


I didn’t know how powerful the Noe Valley Voice was until I noticed the response of the owner of 1220-22 Church St. to my letter in the April issue [asking about the long-vacant building]. Namely, within one week of that edition hitting the streets, a construction scaffold and black net covered the entire front of the building. What’s next? Only the owner knows. But he, or she, or they—whatever—are responding to community feedback.

John Mehring

Dolores Street


For What It’s Worth


 “Where exactly in Noe Valley is Worth?” asked Mazook in the Rumors Behind the News column in the April Voice. It’s between 21st and 22nd just off Grand View and one street above Douglass Street. Am I correct?

Peggy Cling

Noe Valley resident

Editor’s Reply: Yes, you are! For further discussion, see this month’s Rumors.


Worth Two Answers


I grew up on 21st Street just east of Worth Street, which runs from 21st to 22nd, immediately east of Grand View Avenue. When I was a kid, 70-plus years ago, the steep part of Worth, near 21st, was paved with real old-fashioned paving stones. Eventually, the City pulled them out and paved the street with blacktop. I hope the pavers sold for lots of dough; they were very valuable.

Also, the batter’s box that is painted on the flat part of Worth was there when I was a kid. I remember playing ball on warm September evenings. We tried not to damage too many parked cars.

Jack Twomey



P.O. Box 460249

San Francisco, CA 94146

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.

The Noe Valley Voice is a member of the San Francisco Neighborhood Newspaper Association.


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Sally Smith, Jack Tipple


Olivia Boler, Other Voices Editor

Corrie M. Anders, Associate Editor

Heather World, Associate Editor

Heidi Anderson, Owen Baker-Flynn, Karol Barske, Helen Colgan, Jan Goben, Kate Haug, Liz Highleyman, Rebecca Huval, Laura McHale Holland, Florence Holub, Tim Innes, Jeff Kaliss, Doug Konecky, Rhiana Maidenberg, George Nelson, Roger Rubin, Shayna Rubin, Karen Topakian


Pamela Gerard, Photo Editor

Beverly Tharp, Senior Photographer

Najib Joe Hakim, Senior Photographer


Jennifer O. Viereck


Jack Tipple, André Thélémaque


Jack Tipple, Misha Yagudin


Jon Elkin, Elliot Poger


Pat Rose, Jack Tipple


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