Miraloma Life Online – September 2011

  • Miraloma Park Fall Fiesta
  • West of Twin Peaks Central Council – Mayoral Candidate Forum
  • An Open Letter to the Miraloma Park Improvement Club – Ned Dahdah of Miraloma Auto Care
  • Miraloma Elementary School Traffic
  • Report from the MPIC Board of Directors Safety Committee
  • There’s Still Time to Participate in the Neighborhood Tree Planting
  • Are you ready for the BIG SHAKE!
  • The SF Botanical Garden Grey-to-Green Program
  • Coyotes In Urban Areas, Miraloma Park Included
  • Miraloma Church sold to Cornerstone Church
  • MPIC Board Meeting Summaries


Miraloma Park Fall Fiesta

Saturday, September 10, 1 to 4 pm at the MPIC Clubhouse The MPIC invites you to join your neighbors for an afternoon of food and fun for kids and adults! Highlights will include a Taco Truck, a Bouncy House outside, and a Toy and Media Exchange inside the Clubhouse. At 1 pm the taco truck will serve burritos and tacos in the Clubhouse parking lot. Beer, soda, and juice boxes will also be provided. Please bring toy and media items to exchange. This is a great opportunity to clean out your closets and garages before the holidays and trade items you no longer use for something fun and new to you. Exchange tables will be labeled for baby/toddler toys, bigger kid toys, and books/games/music/movies, also categorized by age group, including grown-ups. This exchange will be based on the honor system, with drop off from 1 to 2 pm, priority selection from 2 to 3 pm so those who bring items can select a similar number of items to take home, and free-for-all selection from 3 to 4 pm for any remaining items.



  • Here some members enjoy bouncy fun at the MPIC’s 2010 Spring Fling. Come out to the 2011 Fall Fiesta to make some more memories!



  • The weather was great for the 2010 Spring Fling, and we hope the sun will shine again for the 2011 Fall Fiesta.

West of Twin Peaks Central Council Mayoral Candidate Forum

Saturday, October 1, 10 am to 12 pm St. Stephens Catholic Church Parish Hall 451 Eucalyptus Drive, San Francisco The West of Twin Peaks Central Council represents 19 homeowner organizations located on the Westside of San Francisco including Miraloma Park. Together with these organizations, the MPIC is sponsoring this mayoral debate. The format will include a panel of candidates as well as print, radio and television journalists, and both debate and Q&A. Submit advance questions to Avrum Shepard via email to: ashepard@well.com

An Open Letter to the Miraloma Park Improvement Club From Ned Dahdah of Miraloma Auto Care

Dear MPIC, Alas, we are closing our doors at the end of September. A BIG thanks for your loyalty and patronage for all these years. I would like to personally and formally thank all of you who are reading this and have supported Miraloma Auto Care, as well as the entire community. My appreciation is beyond words. You have taken an active stand in Miraloma Park for our overall well-being for generations to come. Thanks from all of us at Miraloma Auto Care. Thank you for standing behind our small business in such a BIG way. You are in our thoughts and we couldn’t have done it without you. — Ned Dahdah, Proprietor



Miraloma Elementary School Traffic

By MPIC Board of Directors Safety Committee On August 15, Miraloma Elementary started the 2011/2012 school year by welcoming approximately 370 students. What is most notable this year is that most of the 60 incoming kindergarteners live in Miraloma Park! With the start of school comes the many cars entering andleaving the school vicinity etween 7:40 am and 8:15 am. Traffic becomes quite congested in the morning during arrival/drop off time. Some children will be dropped off but many parents will park their cars for about 20 minutes in order to attend the daily Morning Circle. Morning Circle is a great opportunity for all of the children, parents and teachers to gather together in the school yard for announcements, important messages and daily lessons delivered by Ron Machado, the principal. In the past, residents in the immediate vicinity of the school have reported serious problems from school related parking and traffic congestion. MPIC appreciates that parent involvement has been a key factor in improving the school’s performance and we commend the efforts of parents and faculty to make Miraloma Elementary an excellent school. MPIC has continued to work collaboratively with the school and SFPD on a comprehensive plan with both educational and enforcement components. Mr. Machado has issued guidelines to the school community emphasizing a need to maintain positive relationships with the neighbors by not blocking driveways or parking illegally at corners, intersections, sidewalk bulb cutouts, red zones and fire hydrants. Parents are encouraged to car pool, to leave home earlier and to seek parking a few blocks away from the school and enjoy the walk toschool with their children. The school has implemented a very effective traffic flow plan to reduce congestion as outlined in the map below.



All Miraloma Park residents who drive within the vicinity of the school during arrival times should follow this recommend traffic flow. All of these guidelines will result in good relationships with the neighbors and provide the most secure, efficient and safe environment possible for the community, especially the students. The school will also be posting flyers in the immediate vicinity of the school to remind parents of the suggested traffic flow and to park legally. SFPD will be on hand during the first weeks of school to provide traffic control and enforcement. Throughout the school year, if you are a resident whose driveway is blocked, please call Mr. Machado’s office at 469-4734 and he/or his staff will immediately advise the car’s owner to move his or her car. Just be sure to provide the following information: your address, the license number, make, model and color of the car blocking your driveway. You can also send an email to Mr. Machado atmachador@sfusd.edu regarding any non urgent traffic and parking matters. We encourage you to learn more about Miraloma Elementary by going to www.Miralomasf.com. Please keep MPIC posted regarding improvement or continuing problems by emailing us at miralomapark@gmail.com or leaving us a voice message at 281-0892.


Report from the MPIC Board of Directors Safety Committee

Recently, a real estate broker friend expressed the concern that publicizing crimes in Miraloma Park could harmfully impact property values in the neighborhood. The MPIC Board Safety Committee disagrees. In our view, the greater community awareness of the few crimes in Miraloma Park—and in any neighborhood—the stronger and more effective will be prevention efforts, and the safer the neighborhood. We do not accept as a given that all urban areas are prone to crimes and that we just have to accept this condition. Miraloma Park does experience crimes from time to time—we’re not a gated community. Butcompare our low frequency of reported crime with that of neighboring areas: http://www.crimemapping.com/map.aspx?aid=4ee9679d-816d-4985-ac9e-6a8ab222a67c. (Please note that the Crimemapping.com data entry process results in some inaccuracies—e.g., the occasional entry of a doorbell-ringing incident as an actual burglary—but its mapping system does provide a broad picture of reported crimes in a given area.) The MPIC Safety Committee follows up with the SFPD on serious crimes and crime trends in Miraloma Park. We share our information with the SFPD and request targeted SFPD enforcement and increased patrols. We obtain from the SFPD factual non-confidential background information that may help in preventing future crimes, and post leaflets to request any witness information, alert residents to the nature of the crime and possible preventive steps, and to deter perpetrators from returning. In addition, MPIC contacts the DA’s office about cases that we deem to be serious threats to community safety to urge prosecution and for the purpose of ensuring that the DA has any relevant information at our disposal. Robbery. On the afternoon of June 20, 2011, a Miraloma Park resident was walking on the 200 block of Juanita Way near Marne when two males approached her, pulled her to the ground, dragged her into the roadway, and repeatedly punched and kicked her until they were able to rip her purse off of her person. The victim sustained numerous serious injuries and was taken by ambulance for emergency care. Her cries for help were heard by neighbors who came running out of their homes to assist her. Police response was speedy, and their follow-up in the case was careful and professional. The alert and responsive neighbors were able to provide police with a description of the car used in the crime. These suspects were also implicated in other muggings in Glen Park and in the Taraval District. One of the suspects is in custody; the other has been identified and is being sought by police. MPIC has been in contact with the DA’s office and has advocated for prosecution of the case. DUI Rollover. On April 12, 2011 at around 1:30 PM, a driver rolled her car over in the middle of the 600 block of Rockdale Drive, a narrow roadway with only a slight curve. The driver was on her way to pick up her child and another child at Miraloma Elementary. Her vehicle struck two cars but miraculously—especially since at 1:30 PM, the streets are populated with parents arriving to pick up their children from Miraloma Elementary. She was arrested as a DUI. MPIC contacted the DA about this case. However, the DA was forced to dismiss the case due to the unavailability of evidence: blood results from the Medical Examiner’s Office. For 2.5 months we continued to check in with the DA’s office only to learn that the Medical Examiner’s backlog of lab work had resulted in dismissal of charges against the DUI suspect. We appealed to City officials, with the result that the suspect’s lab work was completed and showed a high blood alcohol level, and the suspect was charged by the DA. MPIC’s objective to ensure that those who commit crimes in Miraloma Park do not do so with impunity. Other Safety Committee Notes: 1. Committee members Robert Gee, Mike Naughton, and Karen Wood met with SOTA/Academy of Arts and Sciences Principal Carmelo Sgarlato to discuss the need for consistent and daily monitoring of student activity in the Portola shopping area. We explained that trespassing and other illegal/nuisance activities were unacceptable in Miraloma Park. This was a friendly meeting, and we were impressed with the commitment of the school administrators not only to students’ well being, but to that of the community. Mr. Sgarlato said that SOTA campus has 4 security staff personnel for monitoring the areas near the school and that more were needed. We explored the possibility— however unlikely—of finding City funding for at least one additional security staff person for 4 hours per day during the school year. Unfortunately, the approximate annual cost for one additional part-time security staff person proved higher than expected: more than $27,000+ (benefits @ 78% of salary included). We were not successful in this attempt. 2. A group of Miraloma School parents has proposed a no-parking restriction on the south side of Reposa between Rockdale and Teresita, M-F, 7:00 and 8:00 AM only. Two-way passage is not possible on this block when cars are parked on both sides of the street, as is typically the case during school drop-off times. MPIC Traffic Safety Chair Gary Noguera supplied the group with SFMTA information about the application process. 3. The night of July 4, 2000, Mt. Davidson experienced a large brushfire that threatened neighboring homes. Despite being engulfed in fog, fireworks at the summit ignited the tinder-dry grasses on the Mountain. As happened in Oakland, burning eucalyptus branches could have spread fire to other areas than ours. As we have done annually since then, MPIC advocated this year for 4th of July SFPD presence on Mountain, and Officers Ng and Tillan endured the fog and wind to prevent the use of fireworks, thus keeping the Mountain and surrounding areas safe. 4. MPIC VP Robert Gee met early in August with Miraloma Elementary Principal Ron Machado to discuss re-implementation of the MPIC Miraloma School Traffic and Parking Congestion Mitigation Plan developed over a six-month period by the MPIC Safety Committee and the SFPD with the full cooperation of Mr. Machado and the School community. This partnership has resulted in tremendous improvement in traffic and parking conditions.


From the Ingleside Station Daily e-Crime Reports

Note: On August 9, 2011, a resident of the 600 block of Rockdale posted the following message on the MPIC Message Board (http://www.miralomapark.org/boards/viewtopic.php?pid=1190#1190): Last night at about 1:30 AM, at least two strangers came to our door and a female complained that somebody “stole her clothes”. She sounded young, possibly a teenager. The lights were on on [sic] our house, so it’s no surprise they chose our house. A male and a female were definitely on the stairs. From a glance out the window, you could tell the female was Caucasian. The female rang and knocked loudly on the door and was saying stuff like “It’s freezing out here! I lost my clothes! Please help me!” It was pretty unconvincing. They were possibly trying to make us believe the female was alone because the only other voice we heard was a soft male voice. After I offered to call the police, they left in a hurry and didn’t say anything else. I believe that the male, who was closer to the door than the female, wanted to force his way into the house if we opened the door. Note: Other Message Board members replied that calling 9-1-1 at the time of the incident was appropriate. It was. For your own safety and that of your neighbors, when in doubt, make the 9-1-1 call and let the dispatcher decide whether or not the incident qualifies as an emergency call.




There’s Still Time to Participate in the Neighborhood Tree Planting

By Robert Gee It’s not too late if you are still interested in planting a tree in front of your house. We have some neighbors already signed up but we need at least 25 to participate in a neighborhood tree planting through the Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) planting program. The subsidized cost for a FUF tree is just $75. FUF makes the whole process easy and affordable. Please consider the many benefits you receive when you plant a tree. Trees increase property values and become more attractive to current residents and new homebuyers. Trees also create relaxing, beautiful, healthy spaces providing color, texture, air and shade. They absorb traffic noise, calm traffic and increase privacy. Trees also clean the air by helping to remove carbon dioxide and provide oxygen. Better yet, the involvement of neighbors in the planting and care of local trees can help build a stronger Miraloma Park community. Just be aware that San Francisco Dept. of Public Works has set certain limitations where trees may not be planted. Trees cannot be planted near a traffic sign, next to a street light or utility pole as well as next to utility lines or on a sidewalk that is less than 4 feet wide. FUF will work with us and DPW to make sure your tree won’t interfere with any utilities. So invite your neighbors and participate in our neighborhood tree planting. If you are interested or just have questions about whether you have enough space in front of your house, please call the Miraloma Park Improvement Club at (415) 281-0892 or send an email to Miralomapark@gmail.com with your name, address, phone number. Also indicate in your message whether you can help with coordination of this event. It takes a team to make this successful. To learn more about Friends of the Urban Forest and their neighborhood tree planting program, visit their website at www.fuf.net.


Are you ready for the BIG SHAKE!

by Bill Jeong, Mt. Davidson/Miraloma Park NERT Coordinator Hi Neighbors, Are you ready for the Big Shake! When the big earthquake or an emergency hits you and your home, do you know what to do? By knowing what to do, you and your family can have control of your well being as well as being survivors. Do you have a Plan for your family? Do you have Supplies to survive the emergency? Do you know Where to get information or How tostop severe bleeding? Why would you want to make a plan, well, would you like to: • Have control of the emergency situation • Want to be a survivor • Reduce anxiety • Be able to help yourself and your love ones Are you aware that in a major disaster or emergency, your services such as power, water, gas, phones, and medical services may not be available? Let’s start with making a plan that way you can get control of the situation and survive. You can start by writing the plan down on a piece of paper. Start by talking with your loved ones and listing the following and getting their input and ideas as well: • Two places to meet after a disaster or emergency o A place just outside of your home o A place outside of you block or neighborhood, if you cannot go back to your home. • A phone contact person that lives far enough outside of your area which will not be affected by the disaster (out of state or at theoutreaches of your state) • Two escape routes from each room in your home • A plan for your pets • A list of all your and your loved ones’ special needs • A list of all important papers and the place where they are located for immediate pickup. • Important current pictures of family members, including pets • Consider buying renter or homeowner insurance • Practice your plan, update when necessary Next month, we’ll look at making a supply kit to survive a disaster If you would like to get more info right away on preparing yourself and your family for a disaster, please go to http://www.redcrossbayarea.org and select Prepare or go to http://www.sf-fire.org/index.aspx?page=870, select More Preparedness Information then Family Disaster Plan. Lastly, I wanted to remind everyone again about the opportunity for free Neighborhood Emergency Readiness Team (NERT) Training. The curriculum consists of the following: NERT SCHEDULE To find out how to register for the free classes, go to http://www.sf-fire.org/index.aspx?page=879 and select Training Schedule & Registration on the left hand column of the page.


The SF Botanical Garden Grey-to-Green Program Transform Your Sidewalk Into a Garden – Saturdays through November

The San Francisco Department of Public Works has teamed up with the SF Botanical Garden Society and SF Parks Trust to bring you free Saturday workshops to teach you everything you need to know to “green” your sidewalk. You’ll receive step-by-step instructions to transform your sidewalk into a garden including permitting, designing, and maintenance—recommendations for trees and drought tolerant plants for sun or shade. When are these Workshops? Classes held Saturday mornings from February to November, 2011, from 9:00 am-10:00am at the County Fair Building at the SanFrancisco Botanical Garden.  www.sfbotanicalgarden.org/Grey2Green.


Coyotes In Urban Areas, Miraloma Park Included

The following information is provided by the California Department of Fish and Game. You may not realize it—a simple bag of garbage, bowl of pet food, or plate of leftovers left outside your home or vacation site, can cause severe harm to wildlife. Whether you live in a city or a rural part of California, wild animals are your neighbors. Most wild animals will not bother you. They naturally fear humans and keep their distance—so long as they remain fully wild. Coyotes play an important role in the ecosystem, helping to keep rodent populations under control. But if wild animals have access to human food and garbage, they want more and more. They lose their natural fear of humans and can become aggressive. Never feed or attempt to tame coyotes. The result may be deadly conflicts with pets or livestock, or serious injuries to small children. Pick up fallen fruit and cover compost piles. Allowing wild animals access to human food is dead wrong. Please stash your food and trash. Please respect and protect wild animals. Keep them wild. For additional information, visit www.dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild/coyote.


Miraloma Church sold to Cornerstone Church

The church closed escrow and I spoke with the Buyer’s agent – Maria Fong of Coldwell Banker mailto:maria.fong@comcast.net. Maria confirmed that she is a member of Cornerstone Church, and the church will be using the property as a church. They have a lot of work to do on the church, beginning with a new roof in the next few weeks. They hope to be good neighbors, and have been to our website to familiarize themselves with the neighborhood.


MPIC Board Meeting Summaries

by Dan Liberthson, Joanne Whitney, and Kathy Rawlins June 2, 2011 Meeting E-mail Motion: Approved to send a letter to Supervisor Weiner opposing his initiative that would enable the Board of Supervisors to change/modify/eliminate voter-approved initiates 3 years after they have gone into effect. Treasurer’s Report: Gardener’s bill was very large but due to changeover in gardener’s Suggested that a reserve fund be set apart for capital expenditures Committees: Safety—Police are investigating DUI incident with rollover of car in Miraloma Park. Met with SOTA officials over issue of increasing the number of campus guards. Zoning and Planning (ZAP) —Discussion of implications of Planning Department’s not requiring an environmental report on the Los Palmos at Foerster project to replace one lot with one home with four lots for a total of 4 homes. This development might be a test case for ignoring CEQA requirements and for increased density in western neighborhoods. Membership—582 members as of June. Events—S Chu to be chair of events committee with special emphasis on activities for children and families. Suggestions include a book exchange, a party with a Taco Truck or other food venue, possibly an City election event. Board election on June 16 will have Police Captain, Supervisor Elsbernd, other community leaders for discussion and wine and cheese. Umbrella Community Organizations: Coalition of SF Neighbors (G Noguera) —Discussed Housing Element and delivery of Yellow Pages. West of Twin Peaks Central Council (K Breslin)—discussed Housing Element and windmill policy for City. Supervisor Avalos (running for mayor) spoke. Ingleside Community Advisory Board to the Police (CAB; J Whitney) Discussed a City-wide meeting of all 10 PCABs held on May 10 with Police Chief Suhr present. Police will distribute safety posters warning people to be aware of their surroundings in order to prevent street robberies. Clubhouse maintenance: C Mettling Davis will be manager for this quarter. Steve Davis is now rental agent. C Mettling-Davis to continue investigating method of making outside stairs safe and slip-proof. Cost of $550 to haul away trash, old lumber etc under the clubhouse approved; work party to be organized for June 4. Cleaning service willnow come monthly and C Mettling Davis to check with K Rawlins about what problems in maintenance to check. G Issacson will check on which lightbulbs are best in terms of color produced and price. Compact fluorescents considered preferable to incandescents. New Business: J Whitney announced that she will resign as Recording Secretary but remain on Board and as Sergeant at Arms. R Gee agreed to spearhead tree planting for Miraloma Park in conjunction with Friends of Urban Forest. August 4, 2011 E-mail Motions passed: $650 for ratproofing Clubhouse; reimbursement of rental fee to Sunday church group for witnessing rats in Clubhouse; $75 to haul away garden debris; $250 to West of Twin Peaks for Mayoral Candidate Forum. Motion to participate in suit supporting CEQA enforcement at Los Palmos development site was tabled until discussion and then vote on-line by Aug 15, 2011. Treasurer’s Report (T Sauvain): As of July 30, the MPIC’s net worth was 21,664.94, an increase of $2984 from our $18,681 in June. This increase was mostly due to the credit of $3169 we received from State Farm for our cancelled insurance policy with them. Our income for July decreased from June slightly. We had no Miraloma Life advertising income or outlay (no newsletter in July) and our membership renewals were pretty constant. We paid two emergency bills for the Clubhouse: $650 for rat proofing and $431 to re-key the place after our renter’s lockbox was broken into. There were no other major outlays. Overall, we are a bit below our net worth from earlier in the year, mostly because of big bills for insurance that are no more than previous years, but are paid all at once. I recommend that we do a reserve study and move forward on front stair repairs. Clubhouse rental activity through July remained relatively constant from June: $2032 vs $1802 in June. Guests: Ingleside Police Station Captain Mahoney shared his plans for the Ingleside district, including emphases on pedestrian safety with stings on ‘distracted´ drivers (Ingleside has highest number of citations). The number one issue is robberies, especially those with ‘mugged’ victims. Steve Williams, Attorney for opponents of Los Palmos development—Board of Supervisors has issued a Categorical Exemption stating that no EIR is required. Neighbors opposing and Mr. Williams hold that an EIR is required and are suing the City on that basis. In discussion whether MPIC to be involved in suit as co-petitioner, Mr. Williams said he is unaware of any retribution to organizations who were co-petitioners. Arguing to uphold CEQA does not necessarily means we are opposing the project, Mr. Williams said, but many Board members still co-petitioner stance as a liability risk. Amicus brief suggested as way to participate without incurring risk of suit by developers. Committees: Safety—See articles in this Miraloma Life issue. Membership—Membership total is 534. Signed membership request letters will go out to 1460 addresses; volunteers sought to help stuff and deliver them. Events—Plans for Fall festival discussed (see article in this Miraloma Life issue) Umbrella Community Organizations: Coalition of SF Neighbors (G Noguera) — Mayor Ed Lee presented DPW Department’s Mohammad Nuru’s bond for repair of streets & potholes. Ingleside Community Advisory Board (CAB— J Whitney) Attended sponsored National Night Out at Crocker Park. New Business: Carl Schick welcomes as new Board Member, appointed by President Karen Breslin. He will need to be confirmed at the next general meeting with a quorum.