PG&E in Forest Knolls

pics10 013Yesterday on NextDoor, someone wanted to know what was going on with so much PG&E activity in our neighborhood.

I was curious, too, and even more so because today I saw this outside my house – a fleet of PG&E trucks, complete with a porta-potty. I counted four large trucks, and an earth mover.


pics10 010The earth-mover was parked way at the back, waiting.

pics10 019There was even a truck blocking one of our garages. When we came out, the PG&E guy running the project offered to moved it if  we wanted. As it happened, we didn’t need that garage today, so we said not to bother.

pics10 020Two men were digging a hole near the house opposite.

pics10 016I asked one of the PG&E men what it was about.  They’d done a survey some time back, he said, checking for leaks. They were now fixing the ones where they’d detected a problem. He said they had already completed a couple of jobs.

After the terrible accident in San Bruno, I’m glad they’re being proactive here.

pics10 022The earthmover came down by our house. I’m not sure why it was wearing so much jewelry.

pics10 023The truck in front of my house tipped up, and the earthmover grabbed the soil. I presume they filled in the hole they’d dug.

pics10 025 Within a couple of hours, they were done and had moved on. The road was empty, the signs and traffic cones gone, and all was quiet.

pics10 017

Huge Success: Forest Knolls Winter Party 2014

We dropped in on the Forest Knolls winter party on Sunday. Even the approach looked welcoming, with red and green balloons, and a sign saying FOREST KNOLLS.

forest knolls winter party
People were just beginning to arrive. A lot of families showed up, with kids or grandkids. It’s a lovely change that’s happened over the last few years. At one time, there were hardly any children in Forest Knolls; young families had moved in, the kids had grown and flown, and the aging folks stayed on. Now, we have a nice mix, with people from 8 weeks to 80+ years – and many of them came to the party.

kristine signing people in
Kristine Zaback was signing people in and issuing name-tags so neighbors could get to know each other. We talked with Walter Caplan, who had organized the party. “I got money from Sutro Tower,” he told us. The arrangements were great, and the space was really nice. “My Car Club friends decorated it,” he said. They did a lovely job.

lots of food
The party was just getting started when I took these pictures.

people beginning to gather

The Sutro Tower (TM) Public Relations people were there, with a banner that said Sutro Tower TM.
sutro tower cookiesSutro Tower TM
They had red tree decorations with Sutro Tower on it, and quite remarkably, cookies with the Sutro Tower picture on them. I took one, but Walter said, “We’ve got boxes of them,” and handed me three more.

A little label identified the source: Veronica’s Treats. They’re ‘Photo and Logo cookies’ and ‘Party favors and treats.’ Neat idea!

We left soon after Santa arrived. Everyone seemed to be having a good time. I’d like to say this photograph is blurred to preserve the privacy of the kids, but they’re blurred because the camera shook. The privacy is a positive result. (I usually get permission for kids’ pics, or shrink/ blur them so they can’t easily be identified.)

I checked in with Laura Bloch, who helped publicize the party. She was totally enthusiastic: “I can report that the party was a huge success – terrific decorations, great attendance by young and old, a fun raffle, a jolly Santa, plenty of food, and a real feeling of merriment.  Walter, Kristine and their helper-elves did a FANTASTIC job!


Forest Knolls Winter Holiday Party – Dec 7th, 2014

Neighbors Siobhan, Laura and Walter are organizing a Holiday party for Forest Knollsians (Knollites? Knollers?) on Sunday Dec 7th at 3.30 p.m.  It’s at the City Forest Lodge at 254 Laguna Honda Boulevard.

There’ll be Santa Claus and gifts for the little ones.

FK xmas party flyer 2014Here’s the PDF in case you want to download and print the flyer:Forest Knolls Christmas 2014 leaflet

Halloween, Giants, and Rain

I thought for sure Halloween would be rained out this year, or completely upstaged by the giant Giants Victory Parade being held downtown. But I laid in candy nonetheless, and plugged in a large plastic pumpkin in front of the house. By 5.30 p.m. the weather had cleared. I could see excited little princesses and superheroes running down the street in the Loop.

Thanks to the organizers for this year’s efforts! (And if anyone wants to publish their Halloween pictures here, send them in!  fk94131 at yahoo dot com) [Edited to Add: Here’s a cute ‘Officer E and his sidekick Owl costume picture someone sent me.]

Halloween - Officer E and his sidekick owl

This year, we had a fairy and a princess, a Giants fan and Black Widow (from the Avengers), a tiger-kitty, and a dramatic Voodoo priest accompanied by a large and shaggy bear. They all got candy, except for the bear. “Never feed the bears,” he said, as he declined.

Meanwhile, the parade was a huge success despite the rain.

This picture was actually taken earlier in the month from Twin Peaks, but I figured an orange-lit City Hall is an appropriate one to celebrate with. GO GIANTS!


Halloween is Coming to Forest Knolls

pumpkin clipart public domainEach year, for the last several years, neighbor Laura Bloch has worked with the Forest Knolls Neighborhood Organization to set up a Halloween loop where neighbors can sign on to provide candy for trick-or-treating kids. It’s been excellent. Thanks, Laura, Siobhan and Walter for doing this!

Here’s their message:

Halloween is fast approaching and children from all over Forest Knolls are invited to safely trick or treat in “The Loop”! If you will be home from 5:30-8:00 on Halloween evening and would like to participate in the festivities, please e-mail  Laura Bloch ( to confirm and you will receive a small pumpkin and sign to display, which will alert prospective trick-or- treaters that you are home and handing out candy. Please see the attached for more information.

The Loop includes homes on 1-299 Oak Park, 401-409 Christopher, on 1-201 Warren Drive, and 100-191 Forest Knolls Drive.

(This doesn’t mean that people who don’t live on the Loop can’t participate! Put a pumpkin sign out prominently, and you may get trick-or-treaters.)

halloween map forest knolls 2014[Edited to Add: I modified this to remove a phone number and add a house address to the Loop at the request of the organizers.]

New Yahoo Group for Forest Knolls/ Midtown kids

Midtown Terrace Playground

Lesley Aiken of Forest Knolls is starting a new Yahoo group for families with kids who live in Forest Knolls and Midtown Terrace neighborhoods in San Francisco.

If you have kids and would like to join, here’s the link:  Forest Knolls and Midtown Terrace Kids Yahoo Group

It’s intended to bring families of children together to arrange playdates and discuss issues relevant to children in our neighborhoods. (It’s a restricted group, as it should be since it’s about kids. )


neighborhood-housesWhether or not you have kids, if you would like to stay in touch electronically with our neighborhood, we have four ways:

1) Nextdoor group

2) A general Forest Knolls Neighborhood Yahoo Group, and

3) A Facebook group.

4) And of course, this blog/ website. If you’d like to get an email whenever there’s a new post, you can enter your email address in the box at the top right of the page.

This post: Forest Knolls Neighborhood on the Web has all the details, including how to sign on to each one.

Supervisor Norman Yee’s Participatory Budgeting

I just got the details of Supervisor Yee’s interesting plan for participatory budgeting that he mentioned at the West of Twin Peaks Central Council (WTPCC) meeting on January 2014. Read on:


Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process that gives community members the opportunity to set budgeting priorities and make decisions on what community projects should be funded.

For the first time, District 7 residents will be able to help decide how best to spend $100,000 for general projects and $250,000 for pedestrian safety improvements in District 7.

Saturday, February 22, 2014 | 10:30AM to Noon
West Portal Clubhouse | 131 Lenox Way (b/t Ulloa and Verdon)
Join Supervisor Yee and community members to learn more about Participatory Budgeting and the grant application process for projects.
All District 7 residents are eligible to vote on the projects!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 | 6:00PM to 7:30PM
Commodore Sloat Elementary School | 50 Darien Way (b/t Junipero Serra and San Rafael Way)
Learn more about the Participatory Budgeting process and how to develop your project ideas.



End of April (Dates to be Announced)
After proposals are finalized and submitted, community members like you will get to vote on which projects to fund!

Home owners – Message from Assessor’s Office

I got this advisory from the Assessor’s Office. I’m not clear what it takes to qualify for the $7,000 reduction in the taxable value of the home (not, presumably, in the tax amount!) but I’m putting it up here anyway in case it’s useful to someone.

[Edited to add: I got a helpful call from neighbor Barbara today, explaining that this deduction is used to reduce the taxable value of the home – so it would reduce actual taxes by about $72 or so. It applies to home-owners living in their primary home, not to investment properties. Most people have it, but it you bought a home here recently and moved, you may need to apply. More on the Assessor’s website HERE.]


San Francisco, CA – The deadline for property owners to file their Homeowners’ Property Tax Exemption is Tuesday, February 18, 2014.  Homeowners who own and occupy a home in San Francisco as their principal residence on January 1st of the year for which they are claiming the exemption could qualify for a $7,000 reduction in the taxable value of their home.

According to state law, full exemption is available if the filing is made by 5:00pm on February 15.  Since February 15 lands on a Saturday and since Monday, February 17, is a national holiday, the Office of the Assessor-Recorder will accept applications postmarked or received by Tuesday, February 18, before 5:00pm.  Claims filed after February 18, but before December 10, may still be eligible to receive a partial exemption. Qualified homeowners will see the exemption deduction reflected in their annual Notice of Assessment Value in July.

There are no fees associated with filing a Homeowners’ Property Tax Exemption. Interested homeowners in San Francisco can find the forms in both English and Spanish by visiting the Form Center at or calling 311.  Completed and signed forms should be mailed to: Office of the Assessor-Recorder, City and County of San Francisco, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 190, San Francisco, CA 94102.

[FOUND!] LOST Black Dog – Nina – on Crestmont (with photo)

[Edited to Add: She’s been found! Here’s the note from her people:

“We are happy to report Nina has been found, and is safe at home. She made her way to the SF Zoo, and the wonderful staff got in touch with us. Thank you for all of your support and help!  Hanna and Nick” ]

Please keep a look out for the black dog Nina who got lost last night. She ran off from Crestmont Drive, Forest Knolls, San Francisco 94131 on New Year’s 2014.

nina lost dog poster

Nina2 dogHere’s another picture of her.

“She was spooked by the fireworks and ran off. Please help her come home. She has a blue collar with a Marin County dog license and an oversized leather teardrop tag. Nina is a 7 year old small/medium sized black dog with brown stockings and salt & pepper toes on her hind legs.


[FOUND] LOST DOG: Crestmont Drive – Medium size Black Dog

Edited to add: The DOG IS HOME!

I got this comment on the ‘pets’ page,  but am posting it here for better circulation. If I get a photo, I’ll post it here too. And if Nina comes home, please let me know!

Our dog, Nina, was last seen at 1am on New Years Eve in Forest Knolls on the hillside above Crestmont Drive.

She was spooked by the fireworks and ran off. Please help her come home.

She has a blue collar with a Marin County dog license and an oversized leather teardrop tag.

Nina is a 7 year old small/medium sized black dog with brown stockings and salt & pepper toes on her hind legs. She has two brown spots above her eyes and a white spot on her chest. There is some graying around her snout. We’re working on getting her photo posted here as well.

Halloween 2013 Thanks!

halloween 2013 forest knolls smI missed Halloween this year because I was away. So I was really glad to see a note from Laura Bloch (who organized the Forest Knolls Halloween Loop) together with some pictures from Eleanor Marquez (reproduced here with permission from both).

Thank you to all the folks who handed out treats AND all the kids who went trick-or-treating. It’s terrific to have a neighborhood event like this!
Next year we’ll promote the event more so we get even more participating households and more participating kids. Kevin on Warren gave me some great ideas. (Thanks, Kevin.)
These wonderful photos are courtesy of Eleanor Marquez. Thank you, Eleanor, for being our official photographer!

Our neighbors, Brooke and Jack on Oak Park responded:

Thanks for putting on this great neighborhood event! Please let us know how else we can help out. It was great to see all the kids in their costumes and hear then say that we had one of the scariest houses 😉

Thanks, Laura Bloch, Eleanor, and Walter for this event. Even though I missed it, I’m so glad Forest Knolls had a wonderful Halloween!

forest knolls halloween 2013

We Have Speed Humps and Speed Cushions

I’ve written here about neighbor Beverly Mack’s long battle to get traffic calming on Warren Drive. Then, finally, there were emails from SFMTA that they had approved two speed humps for Oak Park Drive, and two speed cushions for Warren Drive. Recently, someone let me know they’d actually been installed. And here they are. (Thanks, Beverly! It’s taken 5 years, but it’s done!)


Oak Park has two speed humps – like a gentle speed bump, on the stretch of road below the hillside. I drove over them, and I found them quite benign, they didn’t jerk my car.

Speed hump sign on Oak Park drive

Speed hump on Oak Park Drive


Warren has speed cushions – like speed bumps, but with gaps so that a bus (or fire-truck) can avoid going over it.

speed cushion on Warren Drive

While I was taking pictures, the 36 Teresita bus came by.

The 36 teresita approaches speed cushion on Warren Drive

It needs to cross the double-yellow line to get past the speed cushion without going over it, but seemed to have no problem navigating it.

The 36 Teresita crosses the speed cushion on Warren Drive

On the other hand, while I was waiting on Oak Park to turn left onto Warren, a car came by pretty fast on Warren Drive – from the direction on the speed cushions. So I think they’re a good thing, but maybe they haven’t slowed things down all that much. I’d still be careful on Warren.

Halloween Loop in Forest Knolls

Halloween’s coming, and for the third year, our neighbor Laura Bloch is co-ordinating a Halloween loop via the Forest Knolls Neighborhood Organization (FKNO). (See the map below.)

This is a way for kids to enjoy a fruitful and safe trick-or-treating event. Everyone who wants to participate will display a pumpkin. (FKNO can provide pumpkins courtesy Clancy’s Pumpkin Patch.)

fk halloween 2013 sm
Click on this to go to a larger – and more legible – version of the flyer. (If you keep clicking, it eventually takes you to a much larger one.)

Homeowners! 16 Sept 2013 Assessment Deadline

neighborhood-housesWe received this letter from the office of Assessor Carmen Chu, with a request to publicize it.  Homeowners who want to appeal the 2013-2014 of their property have until September 16th to do so.

It’s available here for download as a PDF:  2013.8.27_AAB Filing Period Deadline

Here’s a picture of the letter:

assessor letter

SFMTA Approved Speed Cushions for Warren, Speed Humps for Oak Park

Not so likely now!
Not so likely now!

I got an email from Dan Provence of SFMTA. The measures –  speed humps on Oak Park Drive, and speed cushions on Warren Drive – were approved. This is from the e-mail:

Thank you for all of the input regarding the proposed speed humps on Oak Park and the proposed speed cushions on Warren.  The ballot results found that 89% of responding households were in favor of speed humps on Oak Park and 67% of responding households were in favor of speed cushions on Warren.  We also received 6 emails in favor of the proposals and 3 emails against.  These were presented to the public hearing officer prior to the hearing for consideration.  At the hearing were several residents in favor of the proposals and none opposed.  All of the measures were approved.

We will work with the Department of Public Works to schedule construction and we will be in touch with more details soon.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Dan Provence, Livable Streets Subdivision

He’s at:

SFMTA | Municipal Transportation Agency , Sustainable Streets Division
1 South Van Ness Ave, 7th floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: 415.701.4448
Fax: 415.701.4343


(Note: The photo is of a 2011 accident on Devonshire, but it’s the kind of thing we fear could happen elsewhere.)

Aug 2, 2013 Hearing: Speed Controls on Warren Drive

CORRECTION: AUGUST 2, 2013 at 10 A.M.!

Drunken CarWe’re nearly there on the speed bumps for Warren Drive!  The majority of the neighbors voted for it. This means it’s going on to the next stage, a public hearing.  That’s on August 2nd 3rd at 10 a.m. in Room 416 at City Hall.

What they’re proposing to install are ‘speed cushions.’ Those are even better than speed bumps, being gentler and less noisy. They are “lower and wider” than the usual speed-bumps, and have indentations so buses can pass by without bumping.  (I’ve driven over these things elsewhere, and they really do slow you down without axle-wrecking bumps.)

As many readers know, neighbor Beverly Mack has been working since 2008 to get traffic improvements on Warren Drive, which sometimes becomes a dangerous speed track. Now she – and the neighborhood – need your support to get it done. Please attend if you can, and send a letter (or email) in support if you can’t to

These things could save lives.

speedcushions warren drive

Public Alert/ Poisoned Meatballs Left for Dogs

The San Francisco Park Station Police have put out an alert. There’s a poisoner loose who’s apparently trying to kill dogs. One dog is still seriously ill, and some wildlife has died. This message has been going out on the Yahoo Group, NextDoor and Facebook, but here is the official alert.

Any questions please contact the Park Station Investigations Team at 415-242-3000.

(A larger PDF version of this is available here: poisoned meatball alert-1 )

poisoned meatballs

Goats in Forest Knolls!

In response to concerns from neighbors on Christopher and Crestmont about poison oak at the forest edge, UCSF contacted the Department of Public Works (which takes care of maintenance by the roadside).  DPW responded with… goats!

City Goats on Christopher, San Francisco 1

It’s a flock from City Grazing, behind an electric fence (caution if you go to take a look). They had some cards stuck on their sign; it says you can rent between 2 and 80 goats. (They’re at

City Goats on Christopher, San Francisco 2If you’re walking your dog by there, please be sure to leash him or her – they can scare the goats if they try to chase them, and an electric fence probably isn’t ideal for pets to crash into either.

City Goats on Christopher, San Francisco 3

We wish they’d waited until the bird nesting season was over, but then again, neighbors do need the poison oak cleared. And goats are *tremendously* superior to Roundup, Garlon, or imazapyr – the toxic herbicides that are sometimes used instead.

How Many Trees to be Cut? Meeting on 21 April 2013


The San Francisco Forest Alliance  and  Save Sutro Forest  are holding a meeting on 21 April 2013 to talk about the planned felling of trees on Mount Sutro — and on Mount Davidson. These actions would gut two important urban forests near our neighborhood and irretrievably alter the landscape.

forest-girl-3aDo you want to know:

  • How many thousand trees do they plan to cut down on Mount Sutro? On Mount Davidson?
  • Who’s “They”?
  • What about Pesticide use?
  • When will this happen?

For answers to these questions and more…
Come to the San Francisco Forest Alliance meeting.

WHERE: Miraloma Park Clubhouse,  350 O’Shaughnessy Blvd,
San Francisco, CA 94127

(It’s about 2 miles from Forest Knolls.)

WHEN:  April 21st, 2013 (Sunday) – 4.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.