BLOG

Fun Forest Knolls Playdate

I dropped in on the Forest Knolls Playdate at Midtown Terrace Playground to find kids running around the play structures, and the adults standing around a table laden with snacks and drinks. Kids swooped by from time to time, foraged among the snacks, and disappeared back into the newly refurbished playground.

Ethan and Laura

It’s looking great and seems to be good for play. There’s no sand there any more, which the kids probably miss (mine used to spend hours digging in it) but the adults, not so much. (I used to spend hours afterward shaking sand out of their clothes, their hair, and my car.)

Laura Bloch, who organized the Playdate was there with her husband and two children. So were a number of other neighbors, of all ages.  I was in a rush, but I wish I could have stayed longer and chatted. Despite the grayness of the day, everyone looked to be having fun.

My West Portal Village – 2

Here’s another batch of some of my favorite stores at West Portal…

[Edited to Add:  Read HERE for the previous batch.]

Growing Up Toys

I love this toy store for its charm and warmth; it feels like a place from a children’s story book. I think the half-door helps… It also has a fun selection of toys, often as quirky as the store itself.

Ambassador Toys

And here’s another, larger, toy store. This has enticing window displays, an area displaying glow-in-the-dark stuff, and dolls and toys of different cultures. Again, a pleasant stop when I’m seeking a gift for a kid.

Shaws

This store elevates my blood sugar just by existing… it’s wonderful. It has an unusual selection of candy, including liquorice allsorts and fantastic designer chocolate. On a hot summer day, there are often school-kids on the bench outside with ice-cream.

Just Because

The shop for interesting greeting cards, seasonal decorations, and cute stuff… it’s got a fun, modern vibe. [Edited to Add (June 2012): This has now transformed into a more formal stationery store, the Desk Set. Not sure if it’s the same ownership.]

GGs

This might be the most romantic, feminine store I’ve ever encountered. Scented soap. Candles. Delicate gifts and flowers. If I’m buying something for a girl, this is a place I browse.

Andy Jewelers

As long as we’re talking about gifts for girls… this is a nice little family-owned jewelry store. We’ve bought small things here now and then. But they also help us with things like ring re-sizing, changing watch straps, and replacing batteries.

The City Antiques

This is an eminently browseable place, with a really eclectic bunch of stuff. Furniture. Glassware. Jewelry. Art. Silver. All kinds of collectibles. Again, a great place to get a unique gift for someone.

The Grateful Head

Every couple of months or so, these people battle my genes to make my hair stop resembling a bird’s nest. I’m Grateful, notwithstanding the pun.

Pacific Rim Optometry

Half our family needs glasses, and we’ve bought a bunch from here… it’s a personal touch, unlike some of the big chain names. [Edited to Add, June 2012: This store has also changed hands, but is still selling specs.]

West Portal Produce

The perfect place to pick up some veggies for dinner, or fruit for desert. Again, family-run, small, easy, and not expensive. The fruit displayed outside all tempts me.

West Portal Bakery

The perfect place for a cup of coffee and freshly-baked bread… and a selection of pastry and cookies. [Edited to Add, July 2012: Disappointingly, this place closed overnight some months ago. I believe Goat Hill Pizza is coming in instead.]

Walgreens

Walgreens. Walgreens? Yes, Walgreens. It’s like the anchor store of a mall. Open late, stocks everything you might need in a hurry. Once upon a time, this was a Woolworth’s; then it was RiteAid, and then Walgreens bought RiteAid.

My West Portal Village -1

Years ago, when we were buying a house, the realtor showed us one in Forest Knolls. In pointing out its advantages, she was careful to show us West Portal Village, the little shopping street only 2 miles away. It is indeed quite delightful, and here are some of the shops I visit. (I haven’t included restaurants, even though it’s one of my favorite places to eat out. But that’s a story in itself, and I’ll tackle it another day.)

This is the first installment on West Portal… there will be more. Meanwhile, a public service announcement on behalf of the merchants there: They’re suffering a 20% drop in business because of the SF MTA work going on at St Francis Circle.  If you have the need and inclination, remember they’re open. (And parking is less of a problem.)

So for now:

Bookshop West Portal

This space, maybe because it’s so attractive, seems always to have interesting stores in it. Years ago, there was a toy-store that seemed a little magical and always had unusual things in addition to balls and dolls and bears. (There are still toy stores in West Portal, just not here. I’ll post about them in the next installment.) Then there was a cool home-furnishings place. And now, there’s a pleasant independent book store that pulls at me like a magnet… nice display, friendly staff, and a nice range of author events and readings make this a winner.

Papenhausen Hardware

Papenhausen Hardware is cool, even more than the big-box stores down the peninsula. It’s got an easily accessible range of products, and you don’t have to track down a staffer to get questions answered… anyone at the counter will happily help you. In summer, they have pretty displays of plants outside, and in winter, really clever, often funny window displays.

West Portal Daily

It’s a little bit of Europe in West Portal. Foreign newspapers and magazines. Candy from England (less special after Cadbury got acquired, but still… )  Cool stuff in general. I’m rooting for this store to find its audience and regular fans; it’s quite new.

Cine Arts

Despite the competition from the big new multiplex just over the border in Daly City, this theater is hanging on. I love having a place where I can make impulse decisions to watch a movie, just because I’m in West Portal and I have a couple of hours to spare…

Simi's

I don’t go into Simi’s very often, but I window-shop the well-displayed  bling in there each time I’m in West Portal. Everything looks unusual and different, and just a little bit over the top. In a good way.

Eezy Freezy

Years ago, we used to call this store Eezy Freezy Somewhat Sleazy. It sold cheap liquor, lottery tickets, and the kind of thing you buy at gas stations. (And It’s Its, which made up for everything.) Anyway, with different management and a makeover, it’s a nice well-lit store with organic products and foreign newspapers, and a good range of groceries as well as some unusual products.

St Francis Market

This is a convenient grocery store, for when you don’t need enough stuff to justify a trip to Cosco or Safeway or Lucky. It’s so much easier to shop here or at Eezy Freezy. They’re both open pretty late, past 10 p.m.

Edited to Add:

Goodwill Boutique

And how could I forget: Goodwill. It’s not just a Goodwill, it’s a Goodwill Boutique.  It sometimes carries new clothes, sent in by retailers at the end of the season, or interesting glass-ware including cut-crystal, or brand-name porcelain (I saw Lenox candlesticks), or weathered real-leather bags… visiting it is always a treasure hunt.

If you’d like to share which your favorites are, and why, leave a comment. Or email me at fk94131@yahoo.com

Golden Gate Park: More Police Patrols

Most of the time, we think of Golden Gate Park as pretty safe, and most of the time, it is. But recently, there were two unusual incidents.

  • Two dogs, believed to belong to homeless people living in the park, got loose and attacked visitors. One dog was shot by the police, the other was captured. (It happened near Lloyd Lake, Area 1 below.)
  • And separately, one homeless man stabbed another; he claims self-defense, and the case remains open. (Behind the Conservatory of Flowers, Area 2 below.)

In response to this, the police are stepping up their presence in the Park. Here’s the Captain’s Message from the Park Station newsletter:

Park Station is working together with Park and Rec and the Park Rangers to increase patrols in Golden Gate Park. In order to keep Golden Gate Park safe for everyone to enjoy, Park Station and Richmond Station will be doing daily early morning patrols in the park to address illegal camping and sleeping in Golden Gate Park.

Good news from our monthly Compstat meeting this week; our year to date stats for Park Station show a reduction in Part 1 Violent Crimes of 14 percent.

Working together with the community has helped us reduce crime through strategic planning, community information sharing, and teamwork. Thank you for your continued support and input.

Captain Teri Barrett
Commanding Officer Park Station

Hillside with Black Cat

Today, out walking in the neighborhood, I saw a black cat on the hillside. It was too high to get close to it, but here are a couple of photographs. Is this a neighborhood cat? If not, could it be the long-lost Sebastien?

Edited to Add: Someone sent me this comment: “No, that is not Sebastien….that cat has been around forever and is being fed by a neighbor on Warren.”

Neighborhood Playdate July 2010

[ETA: Here’s a report on the playdate.]

———————————————–

Attention Neighbors with kids (or kids who are neighbors!):

Midtown Terrace Playground

Edited to Add: The date has been changed to July 25, 2010, from 1-3 p.m. The lawn area has been reserved.

There’s a Forest Knolls Neighborhood play date planned at Midtown Terrace Playground. Here’s a message from Laura Bloch on Evite for this event:

Calling all Forest Knolls families, especially those with kids! Come on over to Midtown Terrace playground for a neighborhood get-together.  We have some new families in the ‘hood, so it’s a good chance to say hello to new faces and old.

You can REPLY directly to LJBloch@aol.com.  Please indicate # of adults and # of kids attending.  We’ll advise if there’s a change to the date or time.

We have someone bringing finger sandwiches, water and a folding table.  Feel free to bring other food or drinks to share!

Last, if you know a family who is not on the Yahoo Group, let them know they are welcome to join us!

[Laura asked me to post this here as well.]

Sutro Forest – by Pissarro?

The De Young Museum has a brilliant display of Impressionist artwork right now. (The museum’s website is here.)

While the Musee d’Orsay is closed for renovations, we’re getting to see a hundred of its masterpieces in two exhibitions. Yesterday, I was there with friends. They’re marvelous – amazing pictures, beautifully displayed, and arranged. Some of them are so well-known that they’ve become part of the idiom of popular culture. Whistler’s Mother. Manet’s Fife Player. Degas’s Dancing Lesson.

But what I especially noticed was a quiet Pissarro, called Path Through the Woods in Summer. It reminded me so much of our own Sutro Forest, it could almost have been painted there. Except for the horse, of course (or maybe it’s a mule).

Actually, when the Legion of Honor had its 2006 Monet exhibition, I noticed how the landscapes resembled the Bay Area – so much so I felt I could have replicated some scenes with photographs from around San Francisco.

This is the first time, though, that the resemblance has been so close to home.

Laguna Honda Reservoir: Update

If there’s anything I’m learning from having gotten drawn into neighborhood issues, it’s response times. And implementation times. And that the two are sometimes quite different.

At the Laguna Honda Reservoir, the SF PUC has built a gravel yard where it was supposed to restore the site to greenery, and decided to locate its Dive Team there. When neighbors protested and pointed out that it had Open Space zoning, the PUC promised to put the project on hold. That was on June 9th.

We wrote about it earlier here, here, and here.

15th June

After that, neighbors observed the following:

  • PUC trucks visiting the site on June 14th.
  • The Dive Team visiting the site on June 15th, unaware that any plans had changed.
  • PUC trucks and a dump truck on June 29th and 30th.
  • Loud truck activity from 11.18 and until after midnight, June 30th-July1. When a neighbor investigated, the guard said something about a water main break and asked him to leave the site.

ANNOYED

By this time, the neighbors were both suspicious and annoyed. Said one on Facebook: “It is obvious that this site is being used and I think we have all had our fill of lies from the people at the PUC...”

From neighbor Beverly Myer: “…when I was awakened by the beep beep, at first I thought it was a dream. Then I thought, it can’t be, even that PUC would not be that BLATANT, but when it continued I realized it was them, and they don’t care about anything that affects a residential area.”

PUC RESPONSE

One of them emailed the PUC, and got this response:

“I apologize for the inconvenience and noise that resulted when the Laguna Honda site was accessed late last evening. There had been a water main break and crews went to that site to get material needed to fill the hole so that the street was safe for traffic after the water main was fixed. Our Dive Team and Operations crews have been advised to stay out of that site until further notice, and I have been assured that for the forseeable future, crews participating in emergency repair work will gather fill materials at a more remote location. We will be setting up another community meeting about this site during the week of July 19, and will confirm the date, time and location early next week.”

Beverly’s reaction: “I like the way they refer to the timing of the gravel trucks as ‘late last evening’ – somehow 11:15 pm and midnight do not constitute ‘evening’ in my book. Evening connotes people still being awake, having dinner, watching TV, reading etc.

So here you have it: The PUC, after officially deciding to put the project on hold (which itself took more time than it should) has somehow not conveyed that to the operating end of the organization. Delayed response, even more delayed implementation. And even more anger among the neighbors.

2 July 2010

If you’re interested, look out for the meeting the week of July 19th. We’ll send out the details.

[Edited to Add: At the Sutro Forest meeting recently, FKNO President Walter Caplan noted that he was working to have the ugly chain-link fence around the reservoir removed. Stay tuned. We’ll update this with whatever Walter is ready to make public.]

Report on West of Twin Peaks Central Council Meeting

Following a heads-up from the neighbors working to preserve the Laguna Honda Reservoir, I attended a meeting of the West of Twin Peaks Central Council (WTPCC).  The WTPCC is a council of councils; its members are the neighborhood organizations from all over San Francisco’s west side. We met in the quaint Maybeck clubhouse in Forest Hill. Nestled under tall redwoods, the place has a charming, almost medieval atmosphere.

After thanking two members of the Council who were retiring (to the tune of “Jolly Good Fellow”!), the chairman George Wooding rapidly got through several agenda items. Some that are relevant to our neighborhood:

  • Regarding the gravel yard at Laguna Honda Reservoir, he had attended the June 6th meeting with the PUC.  He said the PUC had a moratorium in place until July 15th at least. The Home Owners’ Association of The Woods, a residential community adjacent to the reservoir,  is joining the WTPCC.
  • About Sutro Forest, he mentioned that UCSF was having a community meeting on June 30th.
  • The current owners of Park Merced discussed what was happening there. They are under financial pressure with loans coming due, but hope to negotiate with their lenders for a better payment terms. Meanwhile, they are planning to build new housing and slowly phase out the older buildings. They assured us that existing tenants under rent control would be given comparable-but-new homes at the rent-controlled rate.
  • The evening’s main issue was the misuse of the Gift Fund of Laguna Honda Hospital (LHH). Apparently, a gift fund  described as being specifically for the welfare and happiness of the residents/ patients/ inmates of the hospital, has been utilized for the benefit of the hospital staff. The fund, which had reached around $2 million, has been run down to about $700 thousand. Its oversight structures have been disbanded, so now money can be taken out more easily. Several sub-accounts have been set up under the Gift Fund to utilize the monies for the nurses, doctors, and administrators of the hospital while cutting back on excursions for the residents.

George described WTPCC’s futile efforts to get inputs or explanations from LHH representatives, from various oversight institutions, and from the district supervisor. WTPCC passed a resolution to recommend an independent audit of the funds, restoring any misspent monies, and reinstating oversight structures.

Edited to Add: Regarding Laguna Honda Hospital, the Dec 2010/ January edition of the Westside Observer (links to a PDF file of the paper) notes that the City Controller has returned $350, ooo  to the Patient Gift Fund.

Laguna Honda Reservoir vs PUC: Not over?

So we’d reported that on hearing the area was zoned as Open Space, PUC had decided to stop all work there. Specifically, they said on their blog:  “At the meeting, neighbors asked the SFPUC to verify the zoning for this property. While we do that, Kevin Barry, City Distribution Manager, promised that the SFPUC dive and operations staff will not pursue any further activities at the site.” (Click here for their blog, scroll down to the entry for June 9th 2010.)

They later clarified in an email to one of the opponents that they would still be going ahead to provide power “PG&E will go ahead and make its connection to the transformer as planned tomorrow, June 10. There is no installation necessary but once they make this connection, SFPUC can remove the generator that is located inside the inner fence from the property.”

Okay. So why were members of the Dive Team checking out the area yesterday (June 15th), and why had they heard nothing about the moratorium?  Is it PUC’s internal communications at fault, or its external communications?

Doesn’t PUC recognize that “neighbors” means that people are right there on the spot, and they’re keeping track of what goes on?

Edited to Add: There’s been no significant activity  since the Dive Team visit. The neighbors keeping tabs on the area, and posting on Facebook.

Edited to Add (July 1, 2010): Trucks have been loading and unloading around midnight last night, with loud beeping that woke the neighbors. The guard said something about a water-main break. When neighbors emailed PUC, PUC said they would get gravel from a different location in future.

Admiring America

Some of you may know I wasn’t born here, that I moved here as an adult. Of course I recognized America is a democracy, and I thought I knew what it meant. Elections. Party politics. Politicians’ promises. “The worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time…” (Winston Churchill).

Somehow or the other, over the last year, I’ve been drawn into community issues. We have a few of them around our neighborhood: among others,  UCSF’s plans for Sutro Cloud Forest; PUC’s plans for a gravel yard beside the Laguna Honda reservoir; and a builder’s plan for an apartment block at the end of a long narrow cul-de-sac on Crestmont. What I saw was that community action actually worked.

It was then that I realized what democracy truly meant: You don’t have to be Somebody to have a voice. And the corollary: Just because you’re a big and powerful institution, you don’t get to make unilateral decisions.

If you were born here, you probably think this article is just silly. You already know that your voice counts, that if something really ticks you off, you get to try to change things. It’s the American way. But I’m hoping this makes you feel a bit prouder about what goes on here. Community activism isn’t a universal truth.

Laguna Honda Lake vs PUC: Win?

The PUC’s gravel yard project we described yesterday is apparently on hold for now, and may be cancelled. Here’s an extract from an update we received from the PUC after the June 8 meeting at Clarendon School. (We subscribed to their blog.)

At the meeting, neighbors asked the SFPUC to verify the zoning for this property. While we do that, Kevin Barry, City Distribution Manager, promised that the SFPUC dive and operations staff will not pursue any further activities at the site.

We understand the neighbors have checked and found the Laguna Honda Reservoir is zoned as open space. Presumably, the PUC will have to change their plans. This is excellent news, particularly if the PUC now makes good on their initial commitment to restore the greenery that was removed when they created the staging area.

(We’re a little surprised that the Chronicle’s journalists did not investigate this for their article before stating that since it was PUC land, it was their plans that would count.)

Laguna Honda Lake: PUC promises broken?

The comment below (on May 13, 2010) was the first we knew of what was happening by Laguna Honda Lake, just off the bottom of Clarendon Avenue.

“Do any members here have photos of the Laguna Honda Reservoir from a few years ago? Specifically, photos that capture the area along Clarendon Ave, to the East of the reservoir?

“The PUC just installed a large (8′high x 6′ wide) circuit breaker at sidewalk level, just inside the gate on Clarendon. They will build a 20 x 20 office on the site, unless we act NOW! In addition, they just informed us that the site will be used as a permanent distribution center for gravel and dirt for City repairs! (See the piles of gravel there today – the PUC wants to keep them).

“Four large, healthy trees were removed to install the circuit breaker and a large patch of flowers and bushes was paved over to make room for the gravel piles. With all of the other existing buildings and paved areas in The City today, it makes no sense for the PUC to destroy green and open space in a residential area.

“Please post any photos of the area you may have to help us illustrate the beauty the PUC has just destroyed.

“Join us in apposing this move by contacting your Supervisor and the PUC (Maureen Barry mbarry@sfwater.org, Suzanne Gautier sgautier@sfwater.org, Ed Harrington eharrington@sfwater.org)”

Driving by there, we feared it was already too late, until we saw an item in today’s San Francisco Chronicle.

They noted that the PUC had taken 2500 square yards for use as a staging area for work on nearby pump stations. At the time, the PUC promised to return the area to its original green state.

That was then. Meanwhile, the PUC’s diver team, based at Treasure Island, lost their lease. Now the PUC, without much reference to the community, has decided to base the dive team at the reservoir site, while also still using it as a place to store gravel, sand and stuff. They plan to add a utility shed, a 20X40 trailer, and power lines. The Chronicle article concluded with, “The bottom line, though, is that it’s PUC property and that their plans are the ones that count.

PUC held a meeting in April, attended by about 30 unhappy neighbors. Another meeting was this evening at the Clarendon School. We couldn’t go, since we were at the UCSF Sutro Forest Agenda Planning Meeting, but we hope to hear from people who attended, including the President of the Forest Knolls Neighborhood Organization.

The opposing neighbors have a website and a Facebook page.

[ETA1: One of the neighbors, Anthony Roy, wrote an article for the Westside Observer, summing up the issues.]

[ETA 2: It appears that the neighbors discovered that Laguna Honda Reservoir is zoned as Open Space… this may preclude the gravel yard.]

THE PUMP STATION AT FOREST KNOLLS

The PUC does indeed appear to have a rather cavalier attitude to greenery.

When they rebuilt the pump station at Forest Knolls, they selected a new site where they would have to fell trees, rather than rebuilding on the site of the old pump station. Still, it didn’t look too bad in the pictures in their circular or the billboard outside the project site. It would be a low building nestled under the existing mature trees…

Pump Station on poster

Is that what we got? Not so much.

Here’s the new pump station soon after completion. All the tall trees and dense greenery that screened Forest Knolls from the Aldea Student Housing are gone, and there’s no space to plant more. The huge gap in the trees looks to be permanent, though the brown areas in front of the Pump Station are greening out.

New Pump Station in reality

Updates: Elections, UCSF Community Center, Crestmont

In the past few days, several items arrived in my in-box that probably should be shared:

1. The elections are on June 8th. For people who were accustomed to the polling station in the garage on Oak Park – it’s changed. Precinct 2708, most of Forest Knolls and Galewood Circle will vote at the Clarendon Elementary School on Clarendon. But it’s a good idea to check before June 8th!

ETA (Thanks, LC): Precinct 2707 (on the Devonshire Way side of Forest Knolls) will still vote at the Lobby of Avalon Towers Inc, on 6 Locksley Avenue. There’s a 0.1% slope,  accessible to people with disabilities.

2. Dr. Sobol sent a message that the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Crestmont project should be done by October or November.

“The time for action is obviously approaching: as soon as the EIR is published, our community will have the opportunity to formally respond and we will, as in 2006, mobilize a write-in campaign to challenge any deficiencies in the report and express the entire neighborhood’s opposition to this misguided and inappropriate project. A subsequent public hearing will almost certainly follow and we must plan to attend in large numbers to give voice to our opposition directly to the Planning Commissioners.

“In the meantime, new “STOP CRESTMONT HILLS” posters are going up throughout Forest Knolls and it is important to make our opposition visible to the politicians by placing them in our windows and on our fences. If you don’t have a poster or need to replace one that’s become frayed and faded (after all, this battle has been going on for six years!)
please notify us at the number below and we’ll be happy to provide one – or several.

Email: info@crestmontpreservation.org
Phone: 415-640-3869
Website: http://www.crestmontpreservation.org/

Picture of UCSF's Aldea Center
UCSF's planned Aldea Center

3. UCSF is building a new community center on Johnstone Drive within the Aldea Student Housing area, scheduled for completion in Spring 2011. (It’s near the entrance to Medical Center Way.) They had to cut down nine trees, none of which was a eucalyptus or a redwood… ” a total of nine trees will need to be removed from the project area. These will include two acacias, one hawthorne and six victorian box trees.” This picture (taken from UCSF’s message) and the diagram accompanying it does not indicate the orientation of the building.

It’s not clear to what extent the Community Center will be available for rental to surrounding communities, but if it is, and it’s not too expensive, it may be a good addition to the amenities of this neighborhood.

Sutro Forest Update: We’re below the Demo Site

As some of you may know, I’ve been attending the Sutro Forest Community meetings. After the withdrawal of the FEMA application, UCSF has decided to return to a plan originally drawn up in 2001, after conducting its own Environmental Review. This calls for “thinning” the trees and removing the understory on a small area as a demonstration.

They are now talking of potentially three demonstration sites, of which the largest – 2 acres – would be on the South Ridge (above Christopher and Crestmont). They are considering thinning the trees to an average of 30 feet apart, and removing all the shrubs and plants that grow under them. They may use herbicides to prevent regrowth. This is planned for Fall 2011.

We’re concerned about the risk to other trees (because it’s windy on top of South Ridge, and thinning the trees may expose others to the wind); to wildlife that uses the understory as habitat; and to the forest, which is likely to become drier in the exposed areas. We’re also concerned about herbicides coming off the steep hillside into our community.

Further details are at the Sutro Forest website, along with a great deal of information about the forest. I’ll post an update from time to time, since it seems that our community will be most directly impacted by the new plan.

[Edited to Add: The area has been expanded to 3 acres, the largest single “demonstration area.” There’s a follow-up post at Sutro Forest Planned Actions.]

Feedback on Street Fair?

I received this email from the organizers of the Irving and 10th street fair:

“On behalf of the Inner Sunset Street Fair (SFF) organizing committee, I want to send a heartfelt to all of you who joined us at the first ever Inner Sunset Street Fair, last Saturday May 15th. Opening up Irving Street and 10th Avenue to the neighborhood was everything we dreamed of and more. Circus entertainers, all-day massage, local arts and crafts, a packed music schedule, outdoors yoga and Tai Chi, and neighbors doing the Lindy hop together… all of that, mixed with neighbors coming together, children smiling, and connections being created, made this a unique occasion.

“Underlying the street fair’s design was our collective belief in the importance of public space for community-building, not just for vehicles; in the value of people as citizens, not just consumers; and in the need to celebrate the many wonderful people, projects, and organizations that make the Inner Sunset. We think opening up the streets to all of this was a big success and we hope you will join us to making it happen more often.

“As this was our first street fair, we learned a lot and we expect next year’s street fair (you heard it – there will be another!) to be even better. However, only with your feedback on this year’s event can we make next year’s occasion really shine. Your input is crucial! To that end, we would be grateful if you would fill out this short anonymous survey:  Thank you in advance.

“Lastly, thank you to the wonderful ISSF team – Chris (co-chair), Wendy, Randy, Jason, Tanya, Trina, Walter, Jim, Ellen, Tracy, Jamie, and Blas – for their wonderful work. Without their amazing dedication, this event would not have been possible. Thank you also to the many other supporters and sponsors – from individuals to local businesses and organizations – who also made this possible.

“We will see you next year – and surely long before then. All the best, Adam, Chris, and the ISSF team

“ps. Here’s my (Adam) personal thoughts on the day, encapsulated in this blog.  I also recommend checking out the great photos on the ISSF website.”

***********************************************************

Separately, someone gave us a heads-up about a Census of Farmer’s Markets:

HELP THE USDA COUNT ALL THE FARMERS MARKETS:

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JUNE 4

Each year the USDA does a census of farmers markets. It yields critical information about where and when farmers markets are operating, as well as what federal nutrition assistance programs are accepted at which farmers markets.

When you see statistics – in the press, quoted by politicians, or used as a way to chart the local food movement and prove its reach — they come from this census.

The results turn around quickly: this year’s numbers will be released in August.

West Portal Street Fair, May 2010

Hard on the heels of its Arts Festival, and on the same day as the Inner Sunset Park Neighbors street fair comes West Portal’s annual Sell and Tell.

All its marvelous merchants will set up stalls on the sidewalk. Here’s what the newsletter from West Portal Books says:

SIDEWALK SALE!
This Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Come check out the West Portal Merchants’ Annual Sidewalk “Sell & Tell.” Stroll the avenue, chat with the merchants, and “Get Smart.” There will be brief demos, prizes and more!

Street Fair, Irving at 10th

This website is a good place to let people know about nearby events and activities that might interest people in Forest Knolls. In that spirit, we bring you another Street Fair announcement. This one’s at Irving and 10th. It’s put on by the Inner Sunset Park Neighbors.

Here’s what the notice says:

“Enjoy the music, art, crafts, dance, and food of our neighbors.  The California Academy of Science, Circus Center, Sunset Academy of Music, San Francisco Massage Collective, Sutro Stewards, UCSF and many more neighborhood groups will be sharing their skills and talents.

“In conjunction with the San Francisco’s Small Business Week, local merchants will be holding sidewalk sales throughout the neighborhood along with 40 booths displaying local artists and services.  Of course the Inner Sunset has over 75 food and beverage establishments to choose a meal from, just a few steps away from the fair.

“Borrowing from Ciclovia of Bogota Colunbia, the fair will start with yoga and tai chi lessons at 10 and 11am. Then at noon the Pearse Connolly Fife Drum Band will kick off an afternoon of live music on the Irving Street stage featuring folk to jazz to blues.  At 6pm, “Lindy in the Park” will teach everyone a few new steps and from 6:30 to 8:30 the Sunset’s own Dianne Nola and the 7 against 8 Swing Band will fill the street with song and dance.”

The co-chairs are Adam Greenfield (415-786-2143) and Chris Duderstadt (415-517-2754)

If you want more details including a detailed program and a list of entertainment; or you want to sign-up, volunteer, or sponsor something – they have a website. (Or click on the picture above.)

Disaster Preparedness Class

This is being circulated in another Group. It’s reproduced here in case anyone wants to go.

************************************************************

Come join your neighbors for a FREE TRAINING FOR DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

Offered by SF SAFE and the San Francisco Fire Department’s

Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT)

WHO: For everyone – bring your friends, family and neighbors!

WHAT: Free Two-Hour Preparedness Workshop

This workshop will cover what everyone should know to prepare personally, as a business and as a community for a disaster, large or small.
Topics Include:

  • Risk Awareness
  • Disaster Supplies
  • Personal Disaster Planning
  • Utilities Overview
  • NERT Overview
  • Disaster Pre-Planning with NERT and SF SAFE

WHERE: Park Police Station Community Room, 1899 Waller Street

WHEN: Wednesday May 5, 6:30 to 9 PM

HOW: RSVP to sffdnert@sfgov.org or call 415-970-2024 to register

For more information about NERT, visit www.sfgov.org/sfnert

And about SF SAFE and Neighborhood Watch, visit www.sfsafe.org

WHY: For your safety in times of emergency, it matters what you do today!

QUESTIONS?: Please contact Bill Lafferty (415-661-1750) if you have any questions.

We encourage participation from people with disabilities and seniors.  The location is wheelchair accessible, and Assisted Listening Devices will be available by request.  For real-time captioning, sign language interpretation, or any other accommodation, please contact Erica Arteseros at ph: 415-970-2022 email: sffdnert@sfgov.org.

************************************************************