your Miraloma Life … online – January 2006

    • Traffic Meeting 
    • The Winners and the Winners Holiday Potluck Celebration
    • In a Major Disaster, Pets Are at Risk
    • Top Ten Items for Your Medicine Cabinet
    • Unshakable City – 2006 – A News Poem
    • Winter Rains
    • Wheels On The Buzz –  SF Hot Spots for Kids
    • Crawfish
    • Please Join MPIC
    • Legal Ease
    • Design Matters
    • All-City Concert
    • Restaurants Compete for Health and Safety Scores
    • Strange Greetings from Miraloma Coyote

    Traffic Meeting

    There are stop signs at Stillings (finally) but efforts are continuing to solve the problem of drivers speeding down Teresita and other Miraloma Park streets, putting residents at risk. A community meeting sponsored by the Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) will be held at the Miraloma Park Improvement Park clubhouse on Wednesday January 11 at 7:00 PM.

    Supervisor Sean Elsbernd and Captain Paul Chignell, of the Ingleside District of the San Francisco Police Department will attend. Dan Provence of the MTA will be the primary speaker. He will give specific updates on traffic calming projects scheduled to be started in 2006.

    This will be an important meeting, as decisions about future traffic flow along Teresita will be made based on community feedback. The city cannot act wisely about traffic problems if we in the neighborhood do not voice our opinions. One goal is to change “Teresita Expressway” back to the residential street it is, by calming (disrupting) commute traffic thereby making Teresita less attractive as a speed through street. Perhaps, you have other traffic problems to discuss. Please plan on attending this meeting and contributing to the discussion.

     

    The Winners and the Winners Holiday Potluck Celebration

    by Dan Liberthson

    No, you are not seeing double—everybody was a winner at the MPIC’s 2005 Potluck Celebration: all the cooks and lucky feasters present, as well as the merchants who helped their community by donating the gifts given as prizes for the potluck contestants and as contributions to the overall celebration.

    Following are the prizewinners (first to third): for appetizers, Sue Kirkham for foccacia with carmelized onion, stilton, and rosemary; Anne Kugdrone for chicken wings, and Ken Hoegger for Swiss pie; for side dishes, Anne Cazahous for “kitchen sink coleslaw,” Adriana Carlton for cauliflower au gratin, and Michael Fox for very green salad; for entrées, Newton Don for lamb tagine, Amy andJohn Walters for chicken tetrazini, and Vicki Ricciarelli for Fall lasagne; and for desserts, Millie Kabato for mixed berry shortcake, Pauline Kilkelly for Irish whiskey cake, and Daryl Brown for Laura’s pumpkin pie.

    The MPIC thanks the following merchants for their donations: from Miraloma, Irina’s Skin Care Salon, Isabella’s Beauty Salon, and Miraloma Tailor, Portola Cleaners, and Molly Stone’s Tower Market; and from West Portal , Copperfield’s Stationary, Double Rainbow Icecream, Framed and Cornered Picture Framing, Fruition Day Spa, Papenhausen Hardware, Paradise Pasta and Pizza, Plain Jane Gifts, and Shaw’s Candy/Ice Cream.

    We encourage all Miraloma Park residents to patronize our local merchants, including those in Miraloma Park, West Portal, and Glen Park, all of whom face stiff competition from chain discounters, so that we will always keep these invaluable additions to our neighborhood flavor.

    The MPIC thanks everyone who participated in our Holiday Potluck Celebration, and wishes everyone the very best New Year! Please enjoy the pictures by Newton Don (click this link to view).

     

    In a Major Disaster, Pets Are at Risk

    San Francisco is exposed to a wide variety of hazards, both natural and man-made. Earthquakes, fires, severe storms, power outages, and acts of terrorism are just some of the potential emergencies we may encounter.

    Imagine that you have no electricity, no gas, no water and no telephone service. Imagine that all the businesses are closed and you are without any kind of emergency services. What will you do until help arrives?

    Before a disaster, arrange for a neighbor to check on your pets and take care of them if a disaster occurs while you are not at home. If you must evacuate your home in a disaster, keep in mind that most disaster shelters cannot accept pets because of health and safety regulations. Service animals for people with disabilities are an exception. Ask friends or relatives outside the affected area to shelter your animals if necessary. Ask local animal shelters if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets in a disaster.

    Have a kit ready if disaster strikes. Sturdy leashes and/or carriers to transport pets and ensure that your animals can’t escape. Current photos of your pets in case they get lost. Food, potable water, bowls, cat litter and pan, plastic bags and can opener. Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, immunization records and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets.

    Put pet toys into the kit. Your immediate response should be to bring all pets into the house so that you won’t have to search for them if you have to leave in a hurry.

    Do not try and hold onto your pet during the shaking of an earthquake or explosion. Animals instinctively protect themselves and hide where they are safe. Animals react differently under stress. Outside your home and in the car, keep dogs securely leashed. Transport cats in carriers. The most trustworthy pets may panic, hide, and try to escape or even bite or scratch.

    When you return home, give your pets time to settle back into their routines. Consult your veterinarian if any behavioral problems persist. [Excerpted from the City’s disaster preparedness website, www.72hours.org]

     

    Top Ten Items for Your Medicine Cabinet

    by Joanne Whitney
    By now, you have kept your New Year’s resolution and discarded all the old band-aids, empty lipsticks, out-of-date medicines and ancient toothbrushes in your medicine cabinet. Hopefully, you have chosen a safe dry place to keep your medications.

    In addition to prescription medications, every household needs some accessible products which will help with common ailments and minor injuries. Here is a list of ten items that you should consider having handy:

    1) A directory of emergency phone numbers. Use the list on the back page of Miraloma Life and then add your personal contacts such as physician, dentist, vet., etc.

    2) Products for pain and fever such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen (generic name of Tylenol). Remember never give aspirin or the nonsteroidals like ibuprofen, naprosyn, ketoprofen to young children since their use has been associated with an often fatal liver disease called Reyes Syndrome.

    3) Antibiotic ointment for cuts and scrapes. It really does hasten healing.

    4) Antiacids for minor heartburn. In addition, you may consider such products as ranitidine, famotidine and omeprazole. Read the instructions carefully. Some of
    the newer products take hours or even days to work.

    5) Antihistamines for allergy symptoms. Be cautious since many of the over-the-counter mediciations cause drowsiness.

    6) Decongestants. But be careful with ephedra containing products that can cause irregular heart rhythms and hypertension. Don’t be surprised if the pharmacist keeps pseudoephedrine behind the counter. It is an ingredient used by unscrupulous drug dealers to make methamphetamine.

    7) Hydrocortisone cream for itching and inflammation. Hydrocortisone should never be used on chickenpox, burns, infections or open wounds but it is great for insect bites and minor itching. Don’t use too much or for too long.

    8) Bandages, gauze and adhesive tape for scrapes and cuts.

    9) Thermometers. Get rid of any old mercury thermometers. There are a variety of types on the market. Ask your pharmacist for something suitable.

    10) Alcohol wipes, disinfectant and antiseptic sprays are excellent for cleaning cuts and preventing infection.
    Joanne Whitney is a pharmacist on the faculty of the University of California, San Francisco

     

    Unshakable City – 2006 – A News Poem

    by Stan Andersen
    100 years ago
    We were shaken
    To pieces, half the city
    Laid waste and burned—
    Now remembered for Quake and Fire.

    The suddenness of what happened
    Still arrests time:
    Calm spring morning
    Then earth crunch
    And crumpling.

    Worst was stoppage
    Of water mains—
    Only dynamite
    Quelled fires raging
    Through ruins

    But a rebuilt city arising!

     

    Winter Rains

    by Sue Kirkham
    Many Miraloma Park homes have light wells, center patios and gutters than can become clogged by wind driven leaf/needle debris, bird’s nests, and even by roofing materials from adjacent recently roofed homes.

    Fall is a good time to check and clear these rarely viewed areas of accumulated debris. Failure to do so can result in water damage to your home, and the possibility of dry rot and mold (both expensive items to eradicate). A mesh type cover for the drain is a good idea to prevent plant and other material from getting into the drain, and to allow for easier cleaning. Also check for rusted gutters and downspouts, particularly in light wells where an exceptionally heavy rain can cause your light well to fill with water, even with a clear drain (spoken from experience). Take a look around the perimeter of your foundation, and exterior drains, to ensure that they are clear and adequate for heavy rain runoff.

    Do you have any other tips to share with our Miraloma Park neighbors? If so, please post them on the MPIC website at miralomapark.org.

     

    Wheels On The Buzz –  SF Hot Spots for Kids

    by Natalie Krelle-Zepponi, RD, MOM
    Peter A. Zepponi, AIA, DAD

    Feeling out of touch with the pulse of the City since Jr. and his crew arrived on the scene? Well time to tap into San Francisco’s hidden sub-culture…kids and their scene. The Under 60 Club; 60 inches that is. I don’t know about you, but before we had kids I hardly ever noticed them around town. They never seemed to be at the same symphony, art gallery openings, or at the newest restaurants.

    Conclusion: Why would you want to raise a kid in the City with nothing for them to do?

    That whole perspective changed a couple of years ago with our first child. The symphony, became baby Mozart and Bach, fine art was revealed in abstract body painting with colored bath gels, and something completely inconceivable previously…we’d seek out restaurants with the word “Family” in their name! Back in the day black was worn because it was City Hip, now a great shirt is one that hides drool and sticky hand prints the best. With kid 2 in tow, and the novelty of having a baby worn off, the craving for tapping back into the City Scene is back, but with a slightly different flavor. What’s the hot spot for kids? What’s going to wow them? What’s San Francisco got that you can’t get anywhere else? Well, it turns out quite a lot. This is a world class city, with world class things to do. So if you decide not to jump ship and move your family to the ‘burbs for the fantasy walk-out backyard off the kitchen, tap into all that makes San Francisco a great place to live and raise a family. To start you off on your discovery of the San Francisco you’ve never noticed before, go and get some culture on Sunday January 8th! San Francisco’s Department of Children, Youth and their Families, DCYF, is sponsoring a FREE Family Day for SF Museums.

    Presented by Mayor Gavin Newsom, this event offers an opportunity for all citizens of SF to visit a museum. All adults must show is proof that they live in San Francisco; A driver’s license, rent receipt, utility bill, or anything showing their name and local  address. The SF Examiner will print a complete list of activities on Friday January 6th. You can also log onto www.dcyf.org for a growing list of Family Appreciation Day attractions. Some of the current attractions are: Asian Art Museum, Academy of Sciences, Zeum, the Zoo, Chinese Alley Walking tours, MOMA, Conservatory of Flowers, Exploratorium, the new deYoung, Cable Car Museum, Contemporary Jewish Museum, Haas Lilienthal House, Museum of Craft and Folk Art, Palace of the Legion of Honor, SF Maritime Museum, plus others!

    Start taking advantage of where you live. You’re kids will thank you some day, and you’ll be glad you got out of the house.

     

    Crawfish

    In a rainbarrel in the alley
    two houses down lived
    three crawfish crawling
    quite content in their utter
    strangeness until a child came
    and could not bear such difference.
    He had to interfere.

    The crawfish with their stalk eyes
    and gray too-many legs likely
    never saw the baseball bat descending
    calm and curious through their water
    until it chose one of them to test
    and pressed lightly as it could
    but nonetheless too hard to bear
    and not express a dark murk
    that might have been camouflage
    or ruptured innards.

    The child never learned which.
    He jumped back, ran away,
    and ever after
    shied from strangeness.

    Copyright©Dan Liberthson, 2004

      

    Please Join MPIC

    Last month, a membership application was inserted into the newsletter and you were asked to join or renew your membership in the MPIC. It is gratifying how many of you generously responded.

    This is a busy time and we understand that you may not have had the opportunity to send in your application. We have therefore included another application in this month’s newsletter.

    It has been an exciting year. In the Spring we sponsored a highly successful neighborhood-wide Garage Sale. A Social for New Residents took place in the Fall. We held community meetings on traffic, safety and the renovation of the Miraloma Playground and we just had our annual holiday party. Here are just some of the benefits of membership excerpted from President Jim O’Donnell’s article last month:

    Miraloma Life and MiralomaPark.org provide a means to inform our residents about the activities of the Club, local issues, classes, events, and political issues at the city level.

    The Clubhouse is available for rental at a reduced rate to MPIC members.

    The Miraloma Park Residential Design Guidelines produced by MPIC and adopted by the Planning Commission help homeowners and architects maintain the charm and architectural character of our neighborhood.

    A Neighborhood Free of Graffiti since Board members personally eradicate graffiti in and around Miraloma Park.

    A Safer Neighborhood through Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) training and the work of the Safety and Traffic Committees.

    Community Forums on Political Issues and Candidates give us a voice that is heard by City Hall.

    Fun events like the Kitchen, Home Remodel, and Garden Tours.

    Being Part of a Volunteer Organization

    Help us continue to provide all of our services and keep Miraloma Park in the forefront of all San Francisco neighborhoods. Just fill in the form included in this issue of Miraloma Life and send it in to the address listed with your check.

    We look forward to seeing you at an event soon!

      

    Legal Ease

    by Steven Solomon

    Q: As we begin a new year, what were the trends in federal court lawsuits?

    A: The Administrative Office of the Courts reported that since 1996, civil case filings rose 5.2%, criminal filings rose 48.5% & bankruptcy filings rose 62.3% Quick quiz: of the civil lawsuits filed in district courts from 3/04-3/05, rank them – contract, civil rights & tort . . . time’s up! Rankings were 1, 2 & 3. Most federal appeals filed from 3/04-3/05? Criminal.

    May the farce be with you. A salesman sued his employer for misrepresenting the terms of a sales campaign. The salesperson with the highest sales in the last quarter of ’05 would win a toy Yoda. The suer believed the prize was a “Toyota” . . . Happy New Year!

    Steve Solomon is an 18 year resident of Miraloma Park. He just relocated his law office to West Portal where he continues to represent consumers and business groups in a variety of legal issues.

     

    Design Matters

    Peter A. Zepponi, AIA – Architect

    This is a monthly column addressing basic residential design and home improvement topics of interest to Miraloma Park residents. If you have a question or topic you’d like considered for a future article please send an email to: pazdesignmatters@aol.com or call 415.334.2868.
    Q: How can you reduce the cost of home repairs?

    A: Maintain your property and don’t let a simple repair get worse.
    It’s January, a new year and a fresh start. Why not put home maintenance and repair on your list of New Year’s Resolutions? This resolution will actually save you money while protecting your home. Here is list of basic maintenance items homeowners can do themselves throughout the year or hire a handyperson to help with. For larger projects you may want to plan ahead and get on a contractor’s schedule. Always check your owner’s manuals for maintenance on any appliance or device. If you are uncertain of how to safely do something ask a qualified person for assistance.
    • Clean your gutters, downspouts and roof. Clogged gutters will cause flooding which may seep into your basement. Backed up water on a roof can get under flashing or tiles and cause a lot of damage.
    • Make sure your gutters are draining and the underground line is not clogged. A plumber may need to ‘ roto-rooter’ your pipe. Most of these homes have old clay pipes that by now are probably broken and have plant roots in them. Juniper bushes tend to be quite destructive to these pipes. Replacing the pipes is a big job which you may want to combine with other front yard maintenance of the driveway and sidewalks, installing a French drain and foundation waterproofing, along with new landscaping and plant selections. Remember it’s illegal to pave over your front yard garden spaces in this neighborhood. Just pick better landscaping. There are myriad low maintenance options and even plantable solutions that are traffic rated…if you must, but don’t pave it!
    • Look for damaged or missing roof tiles or where the roof sealant is pealing away, cracking or drying up around roof penetrations and skylights. Reseal.
    • Take a screw driver and walk around your house tightening loose doors, hinges, handles, and cabinets.
    • Replace your smoke detector batteries. Or install a smoke detector if you don’t already have one. Consider adding a carbon monoxide detector as well if you have gas appliances or use your fireplace.
    • Clean your fireplace and make sure the flue is working properly before making a fire.
    • Replace you furnace air filter.
    • Clean or replace your range exhaust hood filter.
    • Vacuum the dust and animal fur off the back of your refrigerator and freezer coils.
    • Inspect and repair grout and caulked joints and seams around your shower, baths, sinks and floors. Also inspect the caulk joints in your front stairs. Exterior stairways are particularly prone to water damage.
    • Have your ducts cleaned.
    • Inspect your concrete and brick joints for cracks or crumbling mortar. If it’s bad, make a list of the areas so you can have it repaired or replaced.
    • Does your basement or house leak when it rains? Take pictures or mark where the leaks are occurring. It’s really hard to find a leak after it stops raining because water follows gravity and the path of least resistance.  Where the water appears may be far away from where it’s getting in. If you have a leak or moisture problem track it down while it’s happening. Don’t wait until it stops raining.
    • Put together an earthquake kit, and familiarize yourself with where your main power, gas, and water shut-offs are. Take this opportunity to develop a family escape/meeting plan in case of emergency.
    • Purchase and install a hand held multi-purpose “ABC” fire extinguisher in a central location that is easily accessible. I like it in the garage next to the door.
    • Check your basement sump pump if you have one.
    • Fix that leaky toilet or faucet. Water costs a lot more than a new O-ring or toilet ball cock flap.
    • Replace your convenience, security or porch lights with more efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. They will last longer and cost less.
    • Inspect your house, foundations and crawlspaces for signs of termites such as dirt tunnels. (see April 2005 column on dry rot and termites)
    • Insulate your hot water pipes.
    • Re-stain and seal your deck.
    • Hose down your houses exterior to keep down grime
    • Touch-up paint and caulk around your windows.

    USEFUL RESOURCES:
    www.diynetwork.com the website resource for the do-it-yourself network television program on HGTV.

    This column and its content are intended to be a source of general information. Applicability to your specific project should be verified.

    Peter A. Zepponi, AIA – Architects, is an architectural firm in San Francisco specializing in residential and commercial architecture www.zepponi-architects.com.

      

    All-City Concert

    by Caroline Grannan
    The public is invited to San Francisco’s free All-City Concert for students at public middle and high schools, to be held on Saturday, February 11, at 7:30 PM at Lowell High school. The address is 1101 Eucalyptus Aveue at Forest View. It is near the Stonestown Shopping Mall. Auditions were held in November for the All-City bands, orchestras and chorus.

    School of the Arts (SOTA), right here in Miraloma Park, will be well represented by many performers in the selective ensembles. The student performers hold only two marathon rehearsals before the event.

    The concert is sponsored by San Francisco’s Association for Instructors in Music (AIM). “I was very pleased with the turnout at the auditions,” said Paul Yonemura, head of AIM in San Francisco and band director at Hoover Middle School. “More players mean better quality overall. It’s going to be a very fine concert.”

     

    Restaurants Compete for Health and Safety Scores

    by Phil Laird
    The next time you visit your favorite restaurant, look for a green card posted in the restaurant bearing a score between 0 and 100. Since May of this year the section of the Department of Public Health (DPH) charged with ensuring restaurant safety has been assigning a numerical grade to restaurants after each inspection. Moreover, any establishment that receives no significant citations for food safety violations in three consecutive inspections will receive the Symbol of Excellence. The intent of the program is to foster public awareness of the restaurant’s safety record and to create a commercial incentive to maintain high safety standards.

    Restaurant citations for food safety violations have long been posted on the Internet. Finding them, however, has not been easy. The new program requires the restaurant to post the inspection report on the premises in a location clearly visible to patrons of the establishment. To date, however, our experience is that some restaurants post the report prominently, but most do not.

    Delays in inspecting the restaurants mean that not all restaurants have been graded. DPH is supposed to inspect all restaurants three times a year, markets and pushcarts twice a year, and smaller establishments once a year. They divide the city into four districts (numbered, for some reason, from 2 through 5), with one principal inspector assigned to each district. District 5 covers restaurants nearest to Miraloma Park along with all others west of Van Ness and Mission and south of Golden Gate park. How the staff can inspect all these establishments two or three times a year is something only a San Francisco city employee can answer.

    Violations are classified as High Risk (those related directly to the transmission of food-borne illnesses and contamination of food-contact surfaces), Moderate Risk (those posing a “moderate” risk to public health and safety), and Low Risk (those posing low or no immediate risk to the public health and safety). An example of a high-risk violation is holding shelled eggs and other potentially hazardous foods above 45 degrees. An example of a moderate-risk violation is food stored in an improper container less than 6 inches off the floor.

    Curious about how your favorite hash-house measures up? Patrons can find the inspection reports for all restaurants in our District listed alphabetically on the Internet at www.dph.sf.ca.us/eh/Violations/Loc_dist5.asp. I checked the reports for three restaurants we visit frequently: a restaurant on Portola near Fowler, a diner in Glen Park, and a higher-end restaurant in West Portal. The Portola restaurant received a score of 95 in October, with no violations listed.

    The Glen Park restaurant earned a 91 score with two moderate-risk violations: one for ready-to-eat food exposed to possible contamination from raw meat or eggs and another for raw eggs not stored at a temperature of 45 degrees or less. The West Portal restaurant earned an 87 score with citations for handling food with bare hands in unapproved areas and holding potential hazardous foods at temperatures above 41 degrees. Overall we found that some restaurants we thought were models of cleanliness had received lower scores than other restaurants we have hesitated to visit because they appear somewhat untidy.

    So San Francisco is joining other cities in the world that rate restaurants according to food safety standards. Will this improve the quality of food handling in this city? Stay tuned…and keep your eyes open for that green scorecard.

     

    Strange Greetings from Miraloma Coyote

    The following turned up on Christmas morning in the usual place, sub-garbage-can lid. I was wondering if I would receive a Christmas

    greeting but this is too much. I am not sure whether our friend has gone off the deep end from the aborted goat escapade. If he reads this, I wish he would give me the recipe for the caprezzo.-Ed.

    Nearly a month after the tragedy of the purloined goatlet, the very oddest thing happened up on our little mountain. I woke with a start one rainy evening, snug in my burrow, and contemplated the dismal prospect of the thorough wetting that would be unavoidable if I ventured out after the wayward bit of squirrel or gopher that might fall to my lot. The alternative, of course, was the wicked ache of hunger, as unlike you holiday-bound humans I had no goody-packed fridge to raid, and had been chewing used bubblegum to ward off the pangs. Suddenly, my superior senses flickered with the certain recognition that someone had placed something completely unexpected in the alcove of my humble abode. As I nosed forward, a steamy fragrance compounded of thyme and oregano wafted into my nostrils.

    Scarcely controlling myself, I leapt forward and buried my snout in the most delicious meat I have tasted since I came to this foggy land. Only upon finishing did I find, wedged between two molars, the wadded, foil wrapped explanation for this delightful mystery. “Signore Coyote,” ran the unwrapped letter, “the delicacy of which you have partaken is none other than the famous caprezzo, an Italian dish of the utmost delicacy consisting of roast kid and abundant garnishes. I hope you have eaten it slowly and with great appreciation, since by consumption thereof you have agreed to the following contract, to wit: ‘Reporting to your contact, the esteemed intermediary Fausto Cannelloni (an alias, of course!), you will henceforth for an indeterminate period use your telepathic powers (revealed to us in the last issue of the notorious Miraloma Life) in the service of national security, passing to Sr. Cannelloni at irregular intervals such intelligence as you lay glean from the denizens of the area known as Miraloma Park.

    The means and methods of such communication to be determined by your own worthy self, including but not limited to the ingenious trashcan communiqués of your own invention.

    No paw print is necessary: by consuming our offer you have a priori and irrevocably accepted our terms.’ – Guido da Frappuccino, Capo de tutti Capos, N.S.A. (Nefarious Snooping Agency, an alias). Now, my friends and neighbors, I lamented what my appetite had gotten me into—regretted heartily for at least two or three seconds—but in any case how could I undo my folly, and what if my cooperation were to yield future treats equal to or even surpassing the wonderful thing I had just eaten? “Make the best even of the wurst,” my sainted mother always told me, and so I must. But your secrets will be safe from me and the N.S.A., my fellow Miralomans, since apparently that estimable agency has not realized that I can read the minds only of animals of the four-legged or winged type, not those that walk upright. So for now, I hope they will be satisfied with the communication of the two squirrels taunting me from the branch of that dead eucalyptus, not knowing how very well sated I am: “Come and get us,

    Fur-face, catch us if you can you miserable excuse for a vertebrate, you skulking slope-backed menace, you degenerate meat-eating misery—I hope you catch a poison toad and choke on it.” Needless to say, my friends, I can only smile my very widest smile and wish you all, squirrels included, a fine New Year.

    Yours in Felicity, W. Coyote, Esq., Secret Agent Mammal (newly minted)