A Neighbor’s Beautiful Farewell to Forest Knolls

copyright erika burke - fog in forest knolls

Neighbor Erika Burke is a copywriter, editor and website designer,  and loves to write for herself and her clients. Here’s her website: scribe415.com

And she’s moving. Not far, happily, just across Clarendon Avenue – but away from Forest Knolls neighborhood. In farewell,  she wrote a poem and sent some photographs.  (All photographs in this page are hers, and used with permission.)

erika burke 1

The glittering lights sparkle like myriad lives lived in the distance spackling the hillsides from my perch high atop San Francisco’s Wuthering Heights.
After the sun has split the sky into breathtaking colors that only imagination can conjure.
The sea so far in the distance is mine in its perfect horizon.
I bid it farewell this view that makes whole my inside with natures varying perfection.
Sweeping, fortuitous, the dear fog, the swooping birds, the implacable hills, the bitty boxes, the impossible clouds, the silence.
It has been mine, in my sight.
I am expanded forever.

Farewell, Erika and enjoy your new place!

erika burke sunset 2

Nearly Halloween…

Here’s a reminder and a new announcement.
First: Laura Bloch is organizing a trick-or-treat loop in Forest Knolls (details HERE). Please email her at LJBloch@aol.com if you want to participate, and you’ll get a free mini-pumpkin and a sign for your house. You can participate even if you’re not on the loop – but I suggest making your sign and lights very prominent!  Participants agree to be home from 5.30-8 p.m. (and of course, have candy!)

pumpkin vultures

And Barbara Oleksiw invites all pre-teens to a Halloween celebration at 6th and Irving – here are the details.

Pre-Teen Halloween, Friday, Oct. 31, 7p, NW corner of Sixth & Irving
Join us for our annual Pumpkin Promenade of more than 60 hand-carved pumpkins, hot cider, mulled wine, cotton-candy, “treats” for the kids, and any other mischief we can arrange. Bring a dessert to share, if you’re so inclined.Barbara: 415/

UCSF’s 15-Minute Public Hearing – Sept 2014

UCSF held a meeting for public comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) on its Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) on Sept 22, 2014. About 15-20 neighbors showed up. No one (including me) had any comments ready. The meeting started at 7p.m. and adjourned at 7.15 p.m.


I picked up a copy of the DEIR; it’s roughly 2 inches thick. The electronic version on UCSF’s website is HERE.

UCSF are accepting written comments until October 14th.

It was surprising that no one commented. It was such a contrast with a similar meeting last year for DEIR comments about cutting down trees in Sutro Forest. There, 250 people showed up, 50 spoke (with over 70% opposed), and it ran to 9.15 p.m.


This EIR was for the Long Range Development Plan, which is mainly about construction and changes in usage in Parnassus as well as UCSF’s other campuses. They have said that Sutro Forest is specifically excluded, since it will have its own Plan and will presumably have another EIR.

(As of now, we understand that UCSF has a new plan for Sutro Forest that focuses on fire hazard and commits to not using herbicides. We actually think the plan will increase, not decrease, the fire hazard by drying out the forest and making it windier. Anyway, the only information we have about the plan came from a Powerpoint presentation. There’s no EIR yet, but UCSF has said the new plan would need a new EIR when they can devote resources to it.)

Meanwhile, what UCSF has been doing is cutting down trees first for “fire safety” and then for “hazard reduction. More trees are expected to be felled before year end. This is considered routine maintenance and doesn’t require an EIR.

As far as we can gauge right now, the LRDP still affects the Forest in three ways:

  • A new trail is to be built from the Inner Sunset side, which is good; but it is likely to cost trees, which is bad.
  • They are removing Aldea Student Housing from the space ceiling, with the immediate effect of preserving some buildings scheduled to be knocked down, and a long term impact of – who knows?
  • They plan to knock down two small office buildings in the forest – just off the parking lots. It’s a Space Ceiling issue.


We will possibly be impacted by UCSF removing Aldea Student Housing from the Space Ceiling. The immediate effect is that they will keep three buildings they had planned to knock down.

In the longer term, it could mean expansion at Aldea, which would of course impact our neighborhood, since the only thing between the student housing area and Forest Knolls is a strip of trees – which was thinned last August, so the housing is now clearly visible from Christopher.

At present, UCSF has said the LRDP includes no plans to expand in Aldea.

If I figure out any other impacts, I’ll post about it here.


This warning comes from the excellent Bernalwood neighborhood blog … but as more people are parking outside, I thought it’s something our neighborhood should also be aware of. I’m reblogging it here with permission from Bernalwood. (Thanks!)



Hypothetical scenario: You park your car on a Bernal Heights street with a shiny set of your house keys tucked beneath the visor or stashed in the glovebox.

Sound insane? Completely daft? Does that hypothetical scenario generate a visceral sense of foreboding and anxiety?

Good! It should! Because it’s totally nuts! After all, we all know that if someone broke into your car, they would also get your house keys. And once they have your your house keys, they can also rob your house. Obviously.

Yet that’s also why it’s a very bad idea to leave a remote garage door opener in your parked car. Neighbor Miranda writes:

I just want to have the people of Bernal know that my home on Gates and Powhattan was almost robbed this week.  The would-be thieves pried my roommates back window of his truck open and stole the garage door opener.  That is…

View original post 238 more words

Crestmont Preservation, New Dates

The steep hillside above the planned development

There are new dates for the Draft Environmental Impact Report on the San Francisco Overlook Project (formerly the Crestmont Project).

If a project needs an Environmental Impact Review — as this one does —  they have to publish a Draft Report and then open it for public comments. That’s what is about to happen for the “SF Overlook” project to insert multiple housing units at the end of the longest cul-de-sac in the city, and on a slope so steep that the houses above are on stilts.

[GO HERE  for the background on this project – and the continuing objections.]

This is from Dr Sobol:


Update, 4-13-12 We have been notified by the Planning Department that the Draft Environmental Impact Report  (DEIR) for the proposed SF Overlook development is now expected to be published either on Wednesday, April 25, or Wednesday, May 2.

The public comment period begins at that time and the public hearing before the Planning commission will be scheduled either on Thursday, June 7, or Thursday, June 14, depending on the actual date of the DEIR publication.

Please pencil in these dates in your calendar! We will alert you to the final publication and hearing dates as soon as they are confirmed. Once published, we plan to mobilize all our resources to make our neighborhood’s voice heard.

STOP SF OVERLOOK t-shirts can be ordered here: http://www.zazzle.com/preservecrestmont
We have also posted a link on http://crestmontpreservation.org.

Please display the poster in your window and urge your neighbors to also display the poster! If you need a poster, please call 415-640-3869 or email info@crestmontpreservation.org.

Letter from Clarendon School

At the request of Walter Caplan, we’re posting this letter from the Principal of the Clarendon School. (Click twice on it for a clearer copy if this looks a bit blurry.)