July 19, 2017

July 12, 2017

Friends of the Urban Forest
• Church Street Greening
• the latest info about street trees and sidewalk plantings
now that the city is taking over maintenance

Supervisor Katy Tang explains this voluntary program to create new affordable housing

March 8, 2017

March 8, 2017

Agenda and Presentations:

  • Rate Payer Advocates discusses proposed rate hikes from Recology
  • Committee introduction and updates:
  • Election of  your new board

Ratepayer Advocates
Rosie and Patricia visited as a part of their paid outreach for recology and the department of public works. Their role is to present rate increases to community groups and to bring back comments/concerns of communities. They are meeting with 140 groups total.

The last landfill contract was with waste management and was quadruple the old 1980s contract. SF has a goal for zero waste by 2020. Last rate increase was 2013, 19%. To derail the increase, 51% of ratepayers (note not owners just customers) would have to reject.

* Does people digging through trash have an impact on recycling numbers? (not sure)
* Are locks available for recyling bins (yes, per Randy)
* Does this apply to business or just residential (residential only, separate contract for business)

Committee introduction and updates
* Transportation/SFMTA – Ed Mason
* Olga Milan Howells – Land Use
* Parks, Crime and Safety – Chris Faust

Maryanne presents the board slate:
President: Olga Milan Howells
VP: Chris Faust
Treasurer: Erin Zielinski
Secretary: Sara Fenske Bahat
Director at Large: Dave Emanuel
All nominations are moved, 2nd, and unanimously approved with no abstentions.

We want welcome our new board members and give a special thanks to outgoing president Marianne Hampton for her dedication to our neighborhood and her many years of service to Upper Noe Neighbors.

January 11, 2017 Summary

January 11, 2017

Newly appointed SF Supervisor and nearby neighbor Jeff Sheehy stopped in to say hello.

Agenda and Presentations:

  • CleanSF – a new program showing up on our PG&E bill to support clean(er) energy
  • Friends of the Urban Forest – A sidewalk planting program for our neighborhood
  • Rec & Park Natural Areas Program – concerns about limiting open space use for people and pets.

November 9, 2016 summary


November 9, 2016

In lieu of the regular bi-monthly meeting, Upper Noe Neighbors hosted a Post-Election Social at the VIP Scrub Club on Church Street. The agenda was mainly an opportunity for the community to mix, mingle and learn about UNN. The committee informed the community about what activities we have been working on and shared our successes. We also wanted to welcome and highlight the VIP Scrub Club as a newer business on Church Street. We wish them long life and prosperity as they add to the streetscape of our small business district.

UNN helped VIP Scrub Club owners Lancy Woo and Sage Cotton transform the attractive dog wash and grooming store into a colorful nightclub, complete with live music and delicious food and drink. About 65 members and neighbors attended, some with their dogs who were very welcome.

Recent and current neighborhood projects (all committees):
* Reorganize UNN – ongoing development to focus more on local issues through committees.
* Initiated business outreach to improve our commercial district.
* UNN Wine Club – promote fellowship, outreach.
* Tech shuttle buses – stopped the proposed hub on Dolores at 29th.
* PG&E utility pole at 30th and Chenery – City Attorney forcing PG&E to replace dangerously leaning pole.
* Yellow stripes for the crosswalk at Church and Day St. – in process
* PG&E SCADA utility box on 30th near Chenery – got them to make a smaller, less conspicuous installation.
* Movie Night in the park – 450 parents and kids had a great time.
* Playground equipment repair at Upper Noe Recreation Center.
* Dog park gate – fundraising, design and installation.
* Upper Noe history – in process.
* 30th and Church track repair to reduce screeching – supposedly in process.
* Music concerts in the park – attempting to revive this.

September 14, 2016 summary

September 14, 2016 Meeting Summary

Propositions on the November ballot

Prop I – Dignity Fund
Valorie Villela, Executive Director of On Lok’s 30th Street Senior Center and Sandy Mori, past Executive Director of Kimochi spoke in favor.

This measure was placed on the ballot by the Board of Supervisors would restore funds for senior services and adults with disabilities. Senior centers give options and a place to commune with others. This is important as seniors transition. However, as services were cut over the years, centers had to closed on Sundays and many programs were shuttered.

San Franciscans over 60 and with disabilities are now 25% of the population. That will grow to 30% by 2020. 90% of seniors say they want to age in place in their homes. Senior centers like On Lok provide support, meals, in-home care and transportation. The programs help stimulate seniors to try new things instead of sitting around the home.

60% of funding for centers comes from grants. $32 million from the SF general fund. Over ten years, Prop I would provide and additional $9 million in the first year and an additional $3 million each year to the Dept. of Aging and Adult Services for capital projects. An eleven-member oversight committee would monitor expenditures.

Prop E – Responsibility for Maintaining Street Trees and Surrounding Sidewalks
Dan Flanagan, Executive Director of Friends of the Urban Forest spoke in favor.

SF has 105000 – 120000 street trees. This initiative creates a $19M set-aside from the general fund that fluctuates with tax revenue. Most cities have well-funded tree care departments. Yet, four years ago, the Dept. of Public Works relinquished the care of trees to homeowners. The pruning cycle in the city has already gone from the suggested 3 years to 12. This is not safe and it is an excessive burden on homeowners. Schools have no money for trees. Trees cause 80% of sidewalk damage.

FUF’s goal is a rich canopy. Trees beautify our city, slow traffic, clean the air, absorb water, and increase home value. Currently, we are suffering the consequences of bad choices of species made 25 years ago. A survey is in process. The results are coming soon. FUF projects that each neighborhood will get a choice of maybe three species only, which would be different considering the habitat, climate and survivability for each area’s environment. Certain species are no longer considered appropriate, such as eucalyptus, fichus and plums that are messy or short-lived. Pollen will also be considered.

Flanagan spoke a bit about set-asides in general. The Board of Supervisors should deal with issues but have not in the last 35 years. Necessities are competing against issues that gain more attention. Set-asides are for unpopular things that need to be taken care of all of the time.

Prop V – Soda Tax
Zachary Stein of the San Francisco vs. Big Soda & Diabetes campaign spoke in favor.

These measures are hard to pass. The Philadelphia, PA board passed one. Forty municipalities have tried and failed. Berkeley is the only municipality in the bay area with one; consumption has gone down and prices have gone up.

Prop B – City College Parcel Tax
Rafael Mendelman, President of the City College Board of Trustees, spoke in favor.

This initiative increases a parcel tax to $99 per year per parcel for 17 years. Funding had been $79/parcel for 8 years and was suppose to save CCSF.

Accreditation crisis:
In 2012 accreditors were ready to shut CCSF. CCSF is currently in Restoration Status, unique in California. Enrollment is down to 60000 from 100000, affecting state funding. Next year, funding will go down $35M and the schedule will reduce over 6 years to match the lower enrollment. Teachers have received no raises since 2007. CCSF needs to sustain core subjects and job training but cannot continue to offer classes for 7 students.

Prop RR – Building a Better BART
Linton Johnson, Chief Strategist of programs for BART spoke in favor.

This initiative creates $3.5 Billion in general obligation bonds to upgrade the aging infrastructure of the BART system. Johnson delivered a lively fact-laden slide presentation that included quiz games. How old is BART? 44 years old. 440,000 riders per week. Expect to see 500,000 per week in 2018. Twice as many people can fit on BART (21,000/hour) as the Bay Bridge (9000/hour).

Earthquake safety: $35M of $1B was saved on safety upgrades. 95% of tracks are earthquake safe.

2016 – 10 pilot cars
2017 – first cars in service
2020 – whole fleet

New cars:
quieter – microplug doors seal better
cooler – better air conditioning
more comfortable – lumbar support, wipable fabric
high tech – digital screens

88% of commuters drive
90 % say number 1 concern of BART riders is passenger on-time performance
83% take BART by choice, have other options.

BART takes cars off freeways – 1% more traffic = 10% more delays

BART needs $9.6B.
They have $4.8B in funds.
State and federal governments prove $1.8B.
The bond adds $3B.

Why not build a 30th Street BART station?
Carol Midgen had a commission study it. The study says the grade is wrong. A level station is not feasible without extensive redesign of the tunnels.

July 13, 2016 Minutes

Summary from July 13, 2016

Attending steering committee members: Chris, Erin, Ed
Total attendance: 21
• The State of the Park – Upper Noe Recreation Center
*** History of the park presentation
*** What is the shared vision for the park?
*** How has the community helped shape this asset?
*** How can we now ensure a vibrant future?
• ActiveNet – Rec & Park’s new system for program registration.
• Updates on neighborhood safety and transportation issues.
• General discussion of topics from the floor.

The State of the Park –
Friends of the Noe Valley Recreation Center Chair Chris Faust presented a slide show illuminating the history of the park and the surrounding neighborhood. Houses once completely filled the block that now contains the park. Gradually, they were moved or torn down. Joan Lionberger reported that her father’s house was moved in 1955 from the corner of Day and Sanchez. A picture showing a casual baseball game using a makeshift backstop at that location testifies to the need for recreational opportunities. Two years later, Upper Noe Recreation Center opened to the public. Since that time, the park has cycled through periods of disrepair and renovation through capital improvement. For instance, by the 1980s and 90s it was worn out, a mess. Faust stressed the need to end that cycle through steady care and regular maintenance.

Faust punctuated the presentation with details and discussion about the various visions for the park. He explained the history of the Rec & Park management organization that has supported it and shared his anticipation that we will be setting a new course with newly emplaced leadership under Area 5 Manager Carol Sionkowski. He talked about the importance of the Friends group. FNVRC raised considerable funds for the park and worked to ensure that City spending during the 2007 renovation targeted neighborhood concerns. That work continues in the day-to-day oversight and stewardship the park, and in special events that promote investment in the community.

While the current condition of the building and infrastructure is good to very good, it has been eight years since the renovation; we need to be on top of maintenance issues that are likely to plague us later. Paint and surface repair are two features that have an impact on customer experience and usability, and can stave off bigger problems. The exterior basketball and tennis courts, exterior walls and fences, and some interior areas should receive attention soon. The gardens, on the other hand, have languished under inconsistent staffing and care. The volunteer group, Ladybug Gardeners, has struggled to keep Rec & Park focused on our irrigation and maintenance issues.

A tight community organization is critical for keeping Upper Noe safe and in good shape. Faust urged neighbors to get involved and to speak up for their park by contacting Rec & Park directly or by calling SF Customer Service Center 311.

ActiveNet –
Rec & Park rolled out a new system for program registration and facility rental. Facilities Coordinator Cheryl Woltjen explained the changes families need to know prior to the August 13 Fall Session registration.

Neighborhood safety and transportation issues –
Ed Mason gave a brief summary of what is happening with tech shuttle bus. There are no updates on the Dolores and 29th stop but it looks like it is probably dead. SFMTA is asking citizens to propose hub locations.

Chris Faust reported that the City Attorney is working to get PG&E to inspect and repair the badly leaning utility pole at 30th and Chenery.

May 11 2016 meeting

Summary from May 11, 2016

Attending steering committee members: Marianne, Olga, Chris, Ed
Total attendance: 23
Agenda: Prop B, Dolores Street shuttles

Prop B
Dee Seligman, president of the SF Forrest Alliance (SFFA) spoke in opposition to Prop B.
Todd David, chair of the Prop B campaign, confirmed but at the last minute was not able to attend.

Dee Seligman, mother and grandmother of four, resides in San Francisco near Golden Gate Park. She has  been a NERT neighborhood coordinator and founded the 4 Heights NERT consortium of four neighborhoods. She assists in the newly restarted Northern Panhandle neighborhood group PRO/SF. She became interested in park issues and learned about the destructive effects of the Natural Areas Program. As a result, she joined the leadership of the San Francisco Forest Alliance, where she is now Interim President. She is a retired community college English professor.

Dee’s position:

  1. The SFFA is a 401C(4) and as such can engage in political action.
  2. Issues with Rec & Park Dept. (RPD) management and the lack of transparency in their operations.
  3. Concern over the privatization of our parks:
  • Coit Tower (proposed plan by city officials to open the top floor for private parties)
  • Palace of Fine Arts (turn it into a hotel or restaurant)
  • Aids Grove, et al (often closed to the public because of frequent rental for private events)
  1. Others opposed to Prop B: Sierra Club, League of Women Voters, SF Taxpayer’s Association, Bay Guardian, SF Chronicle, various local Democratic Clubs.
  2. Three different pots of money which will equal over 4.5 billion over 30 years:
  3. The baseline is the current expenditure of $64 million. It will increase by $3 million each year for the next 10 years, and the new amount will become the new baseline each year. So $67 million in 2016, $70 million in 2017, and so on for 10 years, by which time it would be $94 million.
  4. Starting 2026, the $3 million stops. Instead, the addition to the baseline will depend on the city’s revenue growth. It will grow the baseline by the same percentage as the increase or decrease in city revenues. So if the revenues grow 2%, so will the baseline.
  5. Open Space Fund = 2.5% of property taxes. Prop B extends it for another 15 years. Theoretically, this is used to acquire land for open space. In fact, it’s also used for other purposes. This adds a minimum of $48 million a year that is reserved to SFPRD for its own purposes. As property taxes rise, so will the Open Space Fund.
  6. There is no specificity. It is a slush fund for RPD. Like giving a blank check to a teenager. Dee attended all of the committee meetings since the beginning of Prop B. Through the entire process, efforts to specify what the money can and cannot be used for were resisted, mostly at the direction of the mayor, who promoted the measure heavily.
  7. There will be less money for other departments. Locking in RPD funding means that as sudden needs arise in other departments, such as for emergency equipment, that money cannot be made available.
  8. The Board of Supervisors (BOS) has no control to modify the RPD budget. They can only vote up or down on it. The Rec & Park Commission would be the only check on the RPD budget but they have a history of rubber-stamping whatever the RPD requests.
  9. We need tree maintenance but there is no guarantee that Prop B will fund this. The word “maintenance” was stricken several times from the measure in revisions.
  10. This measure will significantly raise the cost of government according to city officials. SF already has the fifth highest RPD budget of any major U.S. city.
  11. Set asides go against the BOS previously stated position against using them. As one who participates in the budgeting process to promote Fire Department and emergency resource funding, she is very aware of how difficult and involved the process is. Set asides reduce the need for BOS to make hard choices between conflicting needs between departments.
  12. Why did the BOS offer Prop B? They look good supporting parks. The mayor pushed it.

Marianne Hampton offered information she received from the SF Controller’s office:

  • Set asides are a work around.
  • Politicians do not want to do the hard work of deciding what gets funded and what does not.
  • Dignity Fund for seniors would be one such set aside.

Marianne called on others to offer the pros of Prop B. Chris mentions that he heard that the park funds were suppose to be a set amount but get used by the BOS for other needs. No one else had anything.

Frank Triska, former Open Space Advisory Council member, offered that Prop B gives RPD management all the power. While a bond measure has very specific items that need to be funded by the bond, a set-aside has none. The process of RPD spending will no longer go through the BOS.

Dolores Street shuttles

Paul Bernier, a Dolores Street resident, offered a summary of events and details.

  • SFMTA first posted notices on utility poles during the rainy season (February?). Few residents noticed them.
  • Stops would remove many parking spaces
  • In March, they met with SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin.
  • They gathered 600 signatures in three weeks
  • Met with Scott Wiener
  • Attended the MTA Board meeting and presented the petitions. Scott Wiener spoke against funneling shuttles onto just one street (Dolores) and urged the board to do further study.
  • MTA board agreed to study further to determine if Dolores is suitable for shuttles. Study will consider a weight restriction such as Guerrero has.
  • SFMTA lacks transparency. They originally said about 30 buses would operate on Dolores but Scott Wiener found out that it would be 55. Could hat number increase to 70, or more?

Laura Beaton, a new neighbor with insight into the issue:

  • Shouldn’t we consider that shuttle users who do not need to own cars negates the few parking spaces taken by the shuttles.
  • My husband works for Google in Mountain View. I work in downtown San Francisco. We don’t own a car. Moving to Mountain View is just as expensive and isn’t a solution since I would need to commute to SF.
  • The commute is already so long for my husband that adding transfers to his trip would probably force him to get a car and drive to work.

Ed Mason

  • A one seat ride is a luxury.
  • Plenty of bus bays sit empty at Millbrae Station. Tech commuters could take BART to Millbrae.
  • Studies need to consider weight, width, slope, traffic history, and alternate routes.
  • Buses are ecologically unsound:
  1. Are usually less than full (segregated by company to prevent poaching);
  2. are empty on return trips;
  3. use enormous amounts of fuel (it was noted that all of that diesel exhaust would have negative impact on the tree canopy of Dolores Street)

Summary from the March 9 Meeting

Summary from March 9, 2016

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Upper Noe Recreation Center, 295 Day Street

Neighborhood Associations Panel
Upper Noe Neighbors invites neighborhood associations to participate in a panel discussion about effective neighborhood activism.

The meeting was a nice event. Moderator Art Agnos gave a grand introduction, emphasizing the importance of neighborhood associations and the unique situation Upper Noe Neighbors created of bringing together adjacent associations into one forum. About 40 people attended. Art said that, except for times of crises, this was typical of these types of meetings where the vanguard of the community comes together to spotlight issues and to gather and exchange information to disseminate to their neighbors. Art went on at length about the power of neighborhood associations and the need for them to exercise that muscle to overcome the centralized power of City Hall. He championed neighborhoods with making the difference in the 8 Washington and Prop B (waterfront construction height limits) initiatives.

Eventually, Art turned to the panelists, GPA President Michael Rice, Friends of Noe Valley President Todd David, Diamond Heights Community Association President Betsy Eddy, and Upper Noe Neighbors President Marianne Hampton. He asked each to introduce themselves, tell how long they have lived in their neighborhoods, how they came to be involved in their neighborhood association and for how long. Each had an interesting story to share that illuminated their long and deep-seated connections to their communities and protracted histories of tackling neighborhood issues.

What type of organization?
GPA: Board, committees, writers. Diverse interests and project-based.
FNV: Board, directors-at-large. Focused on public event only. Leaves issues to the wide array of other local organizations.
DHCA: Board. Project-based.
UNN: Board, committees. Project-based.

What type of issues?
GPA: SFMTA – Bosworth disaster
FNV: public events only
DHCA: MUNI routes, water main breaks.
UNN: SFMTA – projects sprung upon the neighborhood without notice, shuttle buses, J-Church

How do you communicate/interact with your group?
GPA: website, blog and quarterly newspaper delivered to every doorstep
FNV: website, email, Noe Valley Voice
DHCA: email, NextDoor
UNN: website, email

Open to questions from the floor:
Someone mentioned the tech shuttles because SFMTA just announced that they plan to designate 2 whole blocks of Dolores Street near 28th Street as new tech shuttle stops, even though there is already a large stop at Dolores and San Jose Ave 2 blocks away. Ed Mason of UNN, an expert on the subject, spoke at length. In some neighborhoods, tech shuttles pass through at almost one per minute. In others, they sit idling, spewing diesel fumes. A study of the available records shows that less than 8500 people in San Francisco use tech shuttles. It was mentioned that the impact upon roads and neighborhoods is significant for service to such a small percentage of citizens. He proposed that Millbrae Station can easily accommodate a large number of buses and that workers can get there by taking BART.

Throughout the discussion, Art intervened with advice about how to approach problems with SFMTA and other City agencies. He stressed the need to identify the source of the irritation within an agency and approaching the Board of Supervisors to cut funding for that part of the agency until the irritation stops. This specifically addressed the current shell game that SFMTA is playing with tech shuttle stops.

Ron Halbert of the new Fairmount Heights Association asked the panelists how they stimulate participation. Ron mentioned that since forming the group last summer, monthly attendance steadily dropped as the initial excitement waned. All of the panelists agreed that maintaining active member participation is a perennial struggle, and that a small, core group generally serves to maintain the association. All agreed however that neighborhood associations are important community assets. The panelist also voiced sentiments that bringing associations together in forums such as this is a great idea and that it should be repeated on a regular basis.

Summary from January 20 UNN Meeting

Summary from January 20 UNN Meeting

UNN / Ingleside Station Community Meeting
January 20, 2016
Upper Noe Recreation Center

-Captain Joseph McFadden
-Officer Rob Rueca
-SFSAFE Public Safety Coordinator Allison Burke -Ingleside Station Community Police Advisory Board co-chair Joelle Kenealey, and members Sarah Rogers, Chris Faust
-45 neighbors

Upper Noe Neighbor’s safety agenda neatly coincided with Capt. McFadden’s desire to bring his monthly community meeting to Noe Valley.

Upper Noe Neighbors president Marianne Hampton welcomed a mix of nearby neighbors and regulars of the captain’s meetings.

Captain McFadden introduced himself and delivered a general report on crime issues.

Auto break-ins and home burglary have increased.

Car break-ins have little downside for criminals. It does not involve the risk or effort of other criminal activities such as drug sales. Breaking in is quick and easy. It involves no special skill or tools and any electronic device is worth $200 at 7th and Market. A jacket or blanket lying on the seat might be reason to break in if it looks like it might be covering a laptop or cell phone.

Felony break-in = 1. breaking, 2. taking something, 3. leaving. Forced entry or breaking required.

Never leave a gun in the car.

Put items in your trunk before reaching your destination and parking. Criminals are watching, and may even follow you to your destination after you park to be sure that you will be busy for a while.

Don’t park long-term with your garage opener, registration or other documents with your address in your car. Take them with you. Thieves may go to your home, open your garage and rob it if they suspect you will be gone for a while.

Get a key fob guard to protect against thieves using amplifiers to remotely activate your key and cause it to unlock your car doors.

Hot prowls are on the rise, usually garages. This is where opportunistic burglars sneak into a home when residents are present, either sleeping or in another room. Don’t leave ground floor or other accessible windows unlocked. A garage door opener left in the car can be stolen and used to open your garage door.

Home invasions are not common. It’s high risk. Usually these crimes involve people who know each other.

Shoulder-surfing ATMs. Criminals wait for easy targets, often older women, to log in and then bump them out of the way and withdraw cash. Be aware. Look around. Don’t log in if unsure about nearby people. Let others go ahead if a suspicious person is behind you. Or just leave and go somewhere else.

Mail scams are becoming more common. Do not send money in response to offers that are too good to be true.

Capt. McFadden showed a video of an actual daylight car break-in caught with a citizens home security camera. It showed a criminal casing cars, quickly smashing a window, and moving items from the victim’s car to a waiting get-away vehicle. The speed and ease of the crime was shocking and the brazen attitude of the criminal was shocking.

Report suspicious behavior right away. Keep reporting. Be vocal. We are all deputized to be nosy neighbors. Don’t worry about annoying dispatch or SFPD. Get details: shoes, pants (items that can’t be quickly discarded or will stand out to officers.), bumper sticker, broken tail-light or antenna. Unique details give officers probable cause for investigation.

Suspicious activity includes walking very close to cars and looking in, especially with a nearby car double parked idling.

Use home video cameras with wide angle to capture as much of the street as possible.

Form a Neighborhood Watch. Contact SFSAFE.

Ingleside is stepping up traffic enforcement of racing vehicles.

Ingleside Station Community Meeting

Dear Neighbors,

Please join us as Upper Noe hosts Captain McFadden for this important public safety meeting.

Ingleside Station Community Meeting
Wednesday, January 20
7 – 9 PM
Upper Noe Recreation Center (Day and Sanchez St.)

 Public Safety Roadshow audio/visual presentation
 Personal safety tips
 Effective methods of reporting crime and suspicious activity
 Crime trends
 Specific neighborhood concerns
 Safety goals

Everyone is welcome and wanted. Community bonding guaranteed.
Refreshments will be served.
Please share this information with your friends, family and neighbors.