Miraloma Life Online – February 2010

  • December Crimes in Miraloma Park
  • Our Rare Community Asset
  • Laguna Honda Hospital Policy Questions—Part 2
  • Tips from San Francisco SAFE
  • More Fraud, and How to Avoid it!
  • Aunt Denise’s New York Cheesecake
  • The Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year
  • Coyote Chowder
  • What is an Advance Health Care Directive?
  • Organizing a Tree Planting in Miraloma Park
  • Highlights from the MPIC Board Meeting of January 7, 2010
  • Notice: volunteers are invited to help

December Crimes in Miraloma Park

by Karen Wood

During December, of 2009, Miraloma Park and neighboring Dalewood Way experienced a series of serious crimes.

Burglaries:
December 17 200 block of Juanita Way 
December 22 100 block Melrose * 
December 22 100 block Dalewood (attempted forced entry) *
December 30 900 block Portola 
Armed robbery:
December 24 ─ Miraloma Market and Taqueria on premises

If there’s one piece of advice that we hear consistently from police, it’s “Call us about suspicious activity and let us check it out.” Yet, well intentioned neighbors can look the other way when they see an unknown person sitting in a car or engaged in door-to-door solicitation in Miraloma Park. 

In general, burglaries are preceded by burglars’ observation of residences to determine when residents are not at home. Watching houses from parked (often stolen) cars is another time-honored casing strategy.

According to the SFPD, there is a strong likelihood that the houses burglarized in December were cased by individuals using door-to-door solicitation as a cover.

If you observe door-to-door solicitation, please call 553-0123 and tell Dispatch that due to the recent burglaries in Miraloma Park, police have urged citizens to contact them about door-to-door soliciting for further investigation.

Ingleside Station now has a team of Inspectors dedicated to following up on serious crimes in our district. An active investigation of the December crimes listed above is under way, and investigators have several leads. Any and all information specifically relating to these crimes should be emailed to Ingleside Station Lieutenant Jason Cherniss at jason.cherniss@sfgov.org. The MPIC Safety Committee works closely with Ingleside Station to support investigation of crimes in Miraloma Park.

Our best defense is good prevention: knowing our neighbors and calling police about unknown individuals sitting in cars or ringing doorbells. Even seemingly trivial details can turn out to be helpful to investigators.

Important Note: The vehicle involved in the December 22 crimes was a black Buick 4-door sedan with tinted windows, license plate beginning 5YB, and a silver and gold decal showing a reversed letter C on the rear left passenger door. Please call 553-0123 if you see this vehicle.
 

 

Our Rare Community Asset

By Jed Lane

As I meet with various neighborhood groups around the City, one of the things I hear from them about Miraloma Park is jealousy of our clubhouse. Few neighborhoods have any place to come together and meet, and very few have anything as nice or as large as the Miraloma Park Clubhouse.

The clubhouse is available for rental, with special discounts for members of the MPIC. It can be used for gatherings of family and friends and has a kitchen where food can be heated and served and dishes cleaned up. (Future plans call for a full kitchen where complete gourmet meals can be cooked).  A wonderfully large natural-gas fireplace provides the room with both warmth and ambiance. There is also a forced-air heater for chilly winter or foggy summer events. The interior is all knotty pine, and the hardwood floor is less than a year old. A very rare feature here in the City is the ample parking lot.

The clubhouse is available every day of the year except New Year’s Eve for meetings of regular weekly groups, exhibitions, and educational presentations.  Over the years it has hosted numerous parties, benefits, and civic activities. There used to be a regular bingo night, garden club, whist club, quilting and glee clubs. There were weekly cub- and girl-scout meetings for the neighborhood kids. It has a tuned piano, a pull-down projection screen, a stage with stage lights─perfect for the thespian performances─and a large supply of folding tables and chairs that can be arranged for conferences and performances.

The building was given to the neighborhood in 1940 by the Meyer Brothers, the contractors who built most of the homes in Miraloma Park in the late 1930s and ’40s. The land at 350 O’Shaughnessy Blvd. belonged to the Department of Public Works and was the construction yard for the building of O’Shaughnessy Blvd. Today the MPIC maintains the building and the surrounding landscape and provides a native-plant garden along O’Shaughnessy.
Historically the concept of an Improvement Club is part of the Daniel Burnham’s City Beautiful movement. It was believed that man could be improved from the urban lout that he was by giving the women of the neighborhood a role in neighborhood leadership and neighborhood creation. In the early days of Miraloma Park, the Clubhouse served as the primary gathering place for the community, an extension of their living rooms and front yards. Many of the wonderful backyards we see today were designed by the garden club in weekly meetings at the Clubhouse. It was there that the Miraloma School was planned and the community bus (#36) dreamed up. It still is the site of the annual Holiday Party and candidate nights are held every election season.

It seems that many residents of our community don’t know that this charming and versatile hall is available to rent for very reasonable fees. Please keep the Miraloma Park Clubhouse in mind when you are planning an event. The rental fees are a vital source of the funds our neighborhood needs to maintain this wonderful asset, funds that also contribute to the support and beautification of our neighborhood. Let your friends know that it’s available, too. Information about the Clubhouse is available through a link on our website (www.miralomapark.org) or by contacting our rental agent at (415) 281-0892.

 
Laguna Honda Hospital Policy Questions—Part 2*

by George Wooding, President, West of Twin Peaks Central Council

The Department of Public Health’s Ja report wrongly claims LHH needs to improve its interdisciplinary care.  This recommendation is a red herring, since in 1986 then Mayor Dianne Feinstein’s Blue Ribbon Committee on LHH recommended changing from LHH’s old “nursing model of care” by increasing the number of certified nursing assistants, doctors, social workers, and activity therapists working more collaboratively as an interdisciplinary team with the nurses, and adding an Ethics Committee and a hospice program.  LHH has been using an interdisciplinary model of care for over two decades, using medical doctors as a central component.  Since 1999, LHH has added 20 new positions in its physical medicine rehabilitation department, including physical, occupational, and speech therapists, and restorative care aides.  The bottom line?  Now, in the absence of a new Blue Ribbon Committee on Laguna Honda, the Ja Report recommends LHH add psychiatrists and remove (fire) its medical doctors.  This would be a step backward to the uni-disciplinary nursing model of care the DOJ objected to in 1998.

The Ja Report raises the possibility that LHH’s license will be changed to a hospital-based nursing home to formalize SFGH’s control over Laguna Honda’s mission, ending any possibility that Laguna Honda will serve the elderly from all over the City.  Indeed there are some who believe the Ja report is designed to provide “cover” to allow Dr. Katz to unilaterally determine LHH’s role in providing behavioral health care, and once again change LHH’s mission using another flow project.  This is something we all must watch out for and oppose.

San Francisco has inadequate discharge locations for behavioral health patients.  In July 2004, DPH shut down San Francisco’s only long-term care psychiatric facility, the Mental Health Rehabilitation Facility (MHRF), closing 145 psychiatric beds.  To defend its closure of the MHRF, DPH officials cited the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision that “mental patients should be able to live in less restrictive community based settings, rather than in locked hospitals, if they are medically able to.”

The real challenge for DPH is the Chamber’s lawsuit settlement agreement.  The 2007 Chamber’s agreement limits LHH to 780 beds (City officials deny this) and basically forces LHH to place residents back into the community as quickly as possible.  The goal of the lawsuit is to keep patients from living in an institution, specifically not at LHH.  Almost all of LHH’s behavioral health patients will come from SFGH.  LHH, an institution which used to be autonomous, is now controlled by SFGH.  Under Newsom, LHH has quickly become cheaper housing for indigent patients whom SFGH needs to release but can’t place back in the community.  Under terms of the Chamber’s settlement, many of these behavioral health problem patients should be placed directly back into the community and treated using community-based services.  Unfortunately, the City has nowhere to house them and sends them to LHH, ostensibly for rehabilitative or “habilitative” treatment.  After behavioral health patients have been “rehabilitated” at LHH, the City still has nowhere to place them in the community.  Over time, LHH’s behavioral health population will expand at the expense of LHH’s geriatric patients who cannot be cared for at home because they are too ill, demented, or recovering from strokes. 

The bed that once was used for grandma’s long-term care will now be filled by a behavioral health patient.  Who will bring mom or grandma to LHH for stroke rehabilitation when it becomes known that there are hundreds of younger, unruly substance abusers wandering around LHH’s campus?

As LHH stockpiles behavioral health patients, it will be in direct violation of the Chamber’s settlement agreement.  LHH is becoming the safety valve for San Francisco’s indigent mental health and substance abuse patients.  San Francisco voters never expected LHH would become a “behavioral health” hospital, and this isn’t why we voted for the LHH bond measure.  What will happen to San Francisco’s geriatric and disabled patients needing long term care who can no longer be placed at the hospital and who can’t be cared for safely at home?

While City government has a strategic goal of increasing transparency and accountability, Mayor Newsom appears to be hiding behind the skirts of LHH’s new administrator, Mivic Hirose, who offers tours, but not answers to compelling questions about LHH’s mission, policies, or bond spending.

To be a good neighbor and a responsible institution, LHH needs to immediately start talking with its neighbors about LHH’s future patient population plans.  We don’t know what population LHH intends to serve when it opens just four months from now, and whether LHH will be serving geriatric patients with chronic medical illness or psychosocial patients with mental illness and substance abuse needs.

We don’t need more broken promises over how Laguna Honda bond money is being spent.  We do need greater transparency—and a new Blue Ribbon Committee for LHH—to address Laguna Honda’s unanswered policy questions.

*Part 1 of this article was published in the January Miraloma Life. Part 2 is the concluding part. The entire article and additional information can be found at www.stoplhhdownsize.com. Note that the views expressed in this article are the author’s, and the MPIC Board has not yet taken a position on, but will investigate, the matters discussed.

 
Tips from San Francisco SAFE

San Francisco SAFE, Inc. (Safety Awareness for Everyone) is a non-profit organization that guides residents, business owners, and community members to improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods. SAFE partners with the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) to provide crime prevention education and organizing support for communities and Neighborhood Watch groups. Here are some tips from SF Safe.

Pickpocketing & Strong-Arm Robbery

• Only carry a limited amount of cash and few credit cards on you.
• Keep valuables like keys, cell phone, & money in separate pockets.
• Stay in well-lit, well-traveled areas.
• Be aware of your surroundings and suspicious persons, especially in parking garages, on public     transportation, or in crowded places.

Auto Break-ins

• Keep your car locked at all times; never leave your car running, even “just for a minute.”
• Do not leave anything visible in your car.
• If you place shopping bags in your car trunk, do so before parking or move your car to a different location.

Home Burglaries

• Keep all windows and doors locked at all times.
• Keep wrapped gifts and valuables out of public view or away from windows where people can see them.
• If going on vacation, have a trusted neighbor watch your house, stop your mail and newspaper deliveries, use a timed light, and an alarm if you have one.
• Do not advertise that you are going on vacation (such as on your voicemail or on social networking websites).
• Consider having SAFE perform a free home security assessment.
• SAFE offers services to merchants including Business Watch organizing, loss prevention trainings, and business security assessments.

Muni Crime Alerts and Safety Tips

Now more than ever it is important to stay alert and aware. You may have been following the story of the stabbings on Muni and we are all relieved that the suspect was arrested. SFPD and MTA did a great job working together to solve the case. Events like these serve as important reminders that we need to look out for ourselves and one another. When riding public transit please remember:
• Always stay awake and alert.
• Keep your iPod, cell phone or other electronics concealed.
• Notice those standing too close or acting erratically.
• Don’t hesitate to move your seat if you are uncomfortable.
• Sit by the driver and ask for help if you have concerns.
• Trust your instincts—call 9-1-1 if there is a crime in progress.
• When planning your trip, to avoid long wait times use resources like www.nextbus.com or call 3-1-1 for real-time arrivals.
• When waiting at bus stops, be aware of your surroundings and avoid using iPods or cell phones.

 

More Fraud, and How to Avoid it!

From Ingleside Station Captain David Lazar’s daily email communications 
Officers Polovina and Lundy responded to the 3600 block of Mission St. on the report of a fraud.  The victim was Spanish speaking only and Officer Najarro responded to translate.  The victim said that she was approached by a woman in her sixties who asked if she knew where she could get a lawyer.
The suspect said that she had an $18,000 lottery ticket that she needed to cash but she was not a citizen.  The suspect was accompanied by a male companion in his thirties.  The female suspect said they could split the money three ways if she helped get the lottery ticket cashed.  The male suspect said that the victim needed to give $2,500 as a good faith deposit. When the victim went to her apartment to get her passport, the two suspects fled in a black vehicle with her money. 

If you are approached by a person who wants to share his or her “lottery winnings” with you and would like you to provide some of your money first, it’s a scam! Elderly immigrants are often the victims of this crime. Please share the word in the community to be on the lookout for these fraudulent predators! This crime is 100% preventable through educating the community!

Safety Tip: In the US this scam is played out every day. Victims let their greed blind their common sense. If it sounds too good to be true, then it’s a scam! Never give your personal information to an unknown party over the phone. Ask for a call-back number and the name of the company. The Better Business Bureau keeps track of legitimate businesses. Protect yourself against fraud!
* * *
An elderly woman in the 100 block of Monterey was taking out her trash. Two women approached the elderly woman and struck up a conversation with her. The elderly woman elected to invite these strangers into her home to continue the conversation. While in the home, one of the women quietly located about $5000 dollars. After a while, the women left and the victim discovered her cash and a checkbook missing.
The elderly are often targets of these types of crimes. Please remind those you know not to let any strangers into their home under any circumstances!

 

Aunt Denise’s New York Cheesecake

MPIC Holiday Party First-Prize Dessert by Mike Naughton

Ingredients:

Crust
1 and 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
 
Cake:
Three 8-ounce packages of cream cheese. Use Philadelphia full fat, the real thing.  To soften the cream cheese, leave it out on the counter a few hours before making the recipe.  It doesn’t literally have to sit for a few hours, but the longer it sits, the easier it will be to blend.
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
 
Top Layer:
1 pint sour cream (full fat, the real thing)
5 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
 
Directions:
Crust:
Use an 9″ springform pan.  Grease the bottom and sides well with Crisco.
 
Melt the butter, pour it over crumbs in a mixing bowl, add sugar, and mix it all up.
 
Spread the mixture all over the bottom and sides of the springform pan.  Not much will stay on the sides of the pan, but try.  Don’t let too much of the crumb mixture collect at the corners of the pan (spread it as evenly as possible).
Heat oven to 350 degrees and put the crust in the oven for about 5 minutes; then set it aside.
Cake:
Mix all the cake ingredients in a bowl with a mixer until pretty smooth.  You won’t get all the lumps out, but mix until it’s fairly lumpless.
 
Pour the mixture in the pan over the crust, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 – 55 minutes.  The cake is done if you shake the pan and it doesn’t wiggle around too much.  Also, if it starts to brown on the top, it’s done.  Take the cake out and turn up oven to 500 degrees for next step.
Top Layer:
A few minutes before the cake is done, mix the topping ingredients by hand (I use a fork).  When the cake is done, take it out of the oven and pour the topping evenly on top of the cake.  Put it back in the 500-degree oven for 8 minutes (not one second longer!)
Cool cake for a while, then put foil over it to refrigerate.  The cheesecake tastes so much better a day or two later, so try not to make this the day you are serving it.
 

The Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year

By Jake Sigg

The Golden Gate National Parks contains more endangered species than any other National Park in continental North America. This is certainly cause for celebration, but also for concern. The Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year is a race against time to observe each of the 36 endangered and threatened species found within the Golden Gate National Parks, while taking 36 discrete conservation recovery actions that will help prevent these species from going extinct. It is a competitive event in which the participant who sees and helps the most species between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010, will win the Big Year contest. Celebrate the incredible diversity of life around you by taking part in the Big Year, and get to know these species while helping them recover. Go online to www.wildequity.org, sign  up for the Big Year, and go to the calendar to view upcoming Big Year trips and activities.
 

 

Coyote Chowder

by You Know Who

Duct-taped to the underside of my green bin I discovered this morning a ragged bit of cardboard box with the message below written in avocado pulp punctuated by guava. This very much to my amazement, for like many Miralomans I had thought our four-legged guardian and mascot had forever dropped off the map, sailed beneath the radar, done a bunk, flown the proverbial (and even the actual) coop, moved on to greener pastures, hit the road, sung sayonara, sashayed down the highway, or otherwise taken himself hence. “No such luck,” the redoubtable Phil Laird, never a fan of the sly denizen, without doubt mumbles to himself with a wry twist of the lips as he reads these lines. Yet, it appears inescapably that our multitalented coyote is back, at least for the moment, this peripatetic civic representative who embodies both the wild and spirited side of our well-wooded neighborhood and our commitment to the chaotic fray of San Francisco politics and public life, exemplified by his passionate stances both on issues of great moment and those of little interest to anybody, even our Supervisors, generally are unsurpassed in their debates on matters of no earthly relevance. But enough of me, for it is he who should have the floor, and so I yield, with no promise to help defray Phil’s dental costs, no doubt rising in direct proportion to the unsuppressed gnashing of his molars, whose sound incredibly reaches me from a distance of eight blocks (but acoustics tend to be unpredictable in this green and hilly enclave of ours).─Ed.

My Dear Miralomans, I greet those of you who know me and those who are new to this fair corner of the City. I return to my snug den on the Mountain after a long absence in pursuit of the rights of my brothers and sisters. With your help and that of other right-thinking humans, we have rescued from an impending storm of bullets our furry friends of the far northeast, targets of a proposed coyote slaughter pressed by the gun-toting minority. And what were they going to do with the remains of my fine friends and relatives? As it is New England, make coyote chowder, we can only assume. This victory only reaffirms what the power of public protest can achieve when the interests of our citizens are trampled by unexamined policies. As my dear Auntie used to say, you can’t expect to get anything near what you are due if you don’t open your mouth and shout for it. In this, I think you humans have much to learn from us canids, for when one of us howls, we all howl together, and so we get the job done.

Nothing much has changed about the old place (save some interesting landscaping at the top of the mount which has sent some delectable gophers my way) and that’s all for the best, as it would be hard to improve the best neighborhood in the City. Let Pacific Heights and Forest Hill have its mansions, let Noe Valley have its restaurants, and let Union Street have its chic boutiques─we have green canyons to run through and a flowery mountain to climb, from whose top I can see all delectable edibles on their way. All those mice invading your house, all the gophers digging up your plants, the odd raccoon scattering your garbage, send them my way and I will make sure they never bother you again. And the occasional cheeseburger, should you see one wandering about, send it direct, for you know I adore cheeseburgers, not to mention barbecued chicken, roast pork, steaks rare or charred─well, you get the idea. I am partial to just about anything edible. It has been a long trip; I seem to have the munchies. Excuse me a moment, my friends, and please keep your small cats and dogs inside. I wouldn’t want to eat anything you might miss. If you can find Ms. Palin, you might send her my way. I don’t think anyone around here would miss her, though the coyote hunters might weep.

As Winter turns to Spring, I hope to wander about seeking out old friends in Miraloma Park and Glen Canyon.  I always enjoy the owls that appear in early Spring in the Glen Canyon cypress. Nothing beats their hooting for entertainment, and the little owlets peeking over the rim of the nest and hopping about as they turn from fuzz to feathers remind me that not everything wonderful is edible. I look forward to a warmer den as Spring approaches, and I will send on further communication on as I evaluate the changes in this new year.

Very humbly and devotedly yours,

W. Coyote, Esq.

 

What is an Advance Health Care Directive?

by Mary Catherine Wiederhold, Esq.

In California you have the right to make decisions about your own health care.  You also have the right to name someone else to make these decisions for you in the event you cannot, using an “Advance Health Care Directive.”  This document can concern the types of special treatment you want or do not want at the end of your life, organ donation, and where or if you want to be buried.  By thinking about these options early, you can ensure that your wishes will be followed.  Creating a directive also avoids your family’s having to guess your wishes or having to make health care decisions for you under stress. 

The first person you should talk with about health care decisions is your physician.  Based on your medical history, she can talk with you about options for possible end of life health care treatments.  The next people to talk with are your family and close friends.  You will want to know them to know your answers to questions such as “What will be important to you when you are dying?  Are there specific treatments that you want or do not want?  When you are dying, do you want to be in a skilled nursing facility (nursing home), the hospital, or at home?”  They should know how you would answer in the event that you become incapable of making your own decisions.

After talking with your doctor, family, and close friends, the next step is to fill out an advance care directive form that follows state law.  This form may be used or modified in any part of the directive. 

The first part of the California form is a Power of Attorney for health care.  This means that you can name another person, who is your agent, to make health care decisions for you if you cannot make your own decisions.  You can also name an alternate agent to make decisions for you in the event that the primary person cannot make decisions or will not.  However, California law places limits on who your alternate agent can be.  For example, your alternate agent cannot be an operator or employee of a residential care facility where you are receiving care or your supervising health care provider unless your agent is related to you.

Under state law, unless you sign the form that limits your agent’s authority, she will have the power to make the following decisions: consent to or refuse consent to any care, treatment or procedure to maintain, diagnose or affect a physical or mental condition; select or discharge health care providers; approve or disapprove tests, surgical procedures and medication; direct the provision, withholding or withdrawal of artificial nutrition and hydration and all other forms of including resuscitation; make organ donations; and authorize an autopsy and direct where your remains would go.  The form states that the agent “shall make health care decisions for in accordance with” your wishes.  In the event that your wishes are unknown, then he or she will make decisions for you “in accordance with what my agent determines to be in my best interest.”  In determining what is your best interest, your agent “shall consider my personal values to the extent known to” your agent.  This means that unless you write down exactly what medical procedures you want and do not want, or tell your agent in detail, he or she will have to guess what you want.   
 
The second part of the form is where you give specific instructions about any aspect of your health care, whether or not you have any agent.  Choices are provided for you to express your wishes: withholding or withdrawal of treatment to keep you alive.  There is also a  provision for pain relief.  If you are satisfied that your agent can make these decisions for you, do not fill out this part of the form. 

The third part of the form allows you donate all or some of your organs.  You can also choose whether or not you want your organs donated for transplant, therapy, research or education. 

The fourth part of the forms lets you select your doctor to have primary responsibility for your health care.  After completing the form, sign and date it at the end. The form must also be signed by two qualified witnesses or in front of a notary public.  Then give a copy of the signed and completed form to your doctor, to any other health care providers you might have, and to the person you named as your agent.  Be certain that your agent understands your wishes and is willing to take on the responsibility should you become incapacitated. 

Your Advance Health Care Directive can be revoked or changed at any time.  If you change your form, you should notify your doctor and your agent. 

Nobody wants to think about their eventual incapacity or death.  The Advance Health Care Directive form can be one way to start the conversation with your doctor and family.  Even if you decide not to use the form, at least you will have thought about the inevitable.
 

 

Organizing a Tree Planting in Miraloma Park

by Jonathan Mergy

I am working with Friends of the Urban Forest in an effort to get at least 20 trees planted in our neighborhood. If you are even kind of interested in getting a tree for the street in front of your house, please contact me so we can get you on the list to help validate with FUF that there is enough interest in a planting this year.

Starting in 2010, a lot of the process has changed and become much simpler for property owners now that Friends of the Urban Forest has made better agreements with the city and has some additional funding to subsidize the process.

Here is a quick overview of responsibilities:

WHAT YOU DO:
1. Point to a spot on the sidewalk
2. Signing the document called “Forms of the Urban Forest” and a check for 75 bucks.

WHAT FUF DOES:
1. Acquire the permits from the city
2. Perform utilities checks under your sidewalk
3. Provide you with a list of arborist approved trees in your microclimate
4. and a chance to meet and talk with our arborist
5. Mark where the trees will go
6. Cut the concrete in front of the house
7. Show up with a team of volunteers and plant your tree
8. Supply all the stakes, arbor ties, and watering buckets for your tree
9. Provide 18 months of arborist-led tree care after the planting.

We all know there are many streets that could use an extra tree or two and we will be organizing a social hour to have FUF come out and discuss the types of trees that work in the area and what the options are. I am constantly posting updates at mergy.org/fuf2010 and please email me (mergy@mergy.org) so I can let

FUF know we have more interest so we can get a great event for the community of MP.
 

 

Highlights from the MPIC Board Meeting of January 7, 2010

by Joanne Whitney and Dan Liberthson

A quorum of the Board was present.

This was a special session devoted to meeting two prominent police officers from the Ingleside Station and to discussing in detail the proposed budget for the next fiscal year.  Most other issues were deferred to the February meeting.

Sergeant Brendan Gardiner and Sgt Larry McDevitt of Ingleside Station spoke to the Board.  Sergeant Gardiner is in charge of patrolling all park areas, e.g., Mt. Davidson and Miraloma Playground. He explained how he visited the areas and what he looked for.  Sergeant McDevitt has Miraloma Park as a major assignment.  He discussed the recent rash of robberies and burglaries in the community.

For the most part, the homes that were struck were isolated by shrubbery, location, etc., and the home’s entrance could not be seen easily from the street. The Sergeant described how the investigation of burglary of the Miraloma Market on Portola was being helped by the fact that lottery tickets were stolen.  When winners are claimed, these can be traced.  He suggested strongly that homeowners call 911 directly if they are solicited by strangers who seem to be dangerous.

The police have been very active with respect to students and others who hang out on the Portola strip, and the adjacent alleyways and blocks.  Sergeant McDevitt cautioned never to leave anything in cars, not to leave home doors open, and to avoid flashing around wallets, cell phones, etc. He asked that people note carefully the description of suspicious people, their transportation, and what they do.  He cautioned, however, that residents should be discreet in making these observations and should not interfere with suspicious persons in order to avoid getting hurt.

Ingleside Station has responsibility for the second largest police district in the city.  It is a four-patrol-car district, and one of the cars spends most of its time in our neighborhood. Sergeant McDevitt emphasized that the police are here to help the community and to make our lives safe. 

Phil Laird led a discussion about the 2010 budget. We have a deficit of $2777 to resolve. A $1000 line item for 501(c)3 conversion is seen as a vital one-time expense with important long-term benefits for fund-raising.

The Miraloma Life is the single largest line item in the budget. Switching from offset to dry process printing would save money, but the quality of the graphics would be diminished. Other options for saving money would be to reduce the number of issues per year or reduce the size of some issues from 12 to 8 pages.

Raising annual dues could help balance the budget in the long run, but will no make any difference this year. Increasing Clubhouse rentals and inviting sponsorships were discussed as revenue enhancing measures. Most Directors felt that events should pay for themselves, except for community meetings like candidate debates and the Holiday Party. Events used to bring in a larger part of the MPIC’s revenues, but they are a lot of work to organize and run. Still, they are probably the best way to raise money to cover the deficit. Ways to get some help from the community in putting together and running events were discussed.

As an economy measure, it was decided to limit garden/landscaping services to 4 hours per month instead of the current 6, which would result in a saving of $1200.

 

Notice

Neighborhood volunteers are invited to help maintain the small triangular right-of-way at Marietta and Encline. The SF Department of Public Works Street Parks Program is willing to assist with ideas and support. Contact Chuck Cruse, phone 334-2236 or clcruse@aol.com if you are interested in participating.