Miraloma Life Online – January 2013

  • PDF Version – January Miraloma Life
  • MPIC Holiday Party and Potluck Cook-off
  • From the President’s Corner
  • Police Make Arrests in Massive Theft of Electronics—Is Your Stolen iPhone in this Stash?
  • Notice: San Francisco Department of Environment Door-to-Door Outreach in Ingleside District
  • Summary of MPIC Board Meeting on December 6, 2012
  • Upcoming Ruth Asawa SOTA Events
  • From the Safety Committee: Help Prevent West Nile Virus!
  • From the MPIC Safety Committee: Salmonella Outbreak in Bay Area Songbirds
  • Join or Renew Your MPIC Membership Using PayPal, a Credit Card, or a Check
  • How to Be A Responsible Neighbor
  • January 2013 Neighborhood Emergency Response Training (NERT) Class Schedule

MPIC Holiday Party and Potluck Cook-off

by Dan Liberthson

As always, the 2012 MPIC Holiday Potluck Party wowed everybody in attendance—somewhere between ninety and one hundred lucky souls. Many thanks to our neighbors who came and brought their best dishes for all to share, and to the wonderful entertainers who, along with the traditional champagne punch, amped up the cheer: the inimitable Boswick the Clown and Laura Lee Brown & Company band. And a special thank-you to my fellow MPIC Board members who gave their time and energy to make the event possible.














For their contributions, we thank the following merchants who donated prizes for our culinary efforts, and encourage everyone to patronize your neighborhood merchants:

– Bird & Beckett Books and Records of Glen Park on Chenery
– Critter Fritters of Glen Park on Chenery
– Mollie Stone’s Tower Market
– Papenhausen Hardware on West Portal
– Starbucks on Portola
– The Cheese Boutique of Glen Park on Chenery
– Whole Foods on Ocean Avenue

And here are the prize winners in this year’s potluck cook-off :

Appetizer—1st BBQ pork ribs, Carol Lei; 2nd Rudolph’s jet fuel, Ameg Vasisht; 3rd Poke, Amy Shimm

Soup/Salad/Side—1st Stuffed potatoes, Cathy Chin; 2nd (tie) Fox surprise, Michael Fox & Larb salad, Jesse Coartie

Main—1st Ravioli Marinara, Joanne Whitney; 2nd Stirfried chicken celery, Ingrid Chu; 3rd (tie) Pasta primavera, Shannon Chu & Mac & cheese, Carl Schick

Dessert—1st Sam’s kiss cake, Sam Ludeke; 2nd Brownies, Mark Pisram; 3rd Raspberry almond flan, chef unknown















From the President’s Corner

by Robert Gee, MPIC President

Greetings and Happy New Year to everyone in Miraloma Park! 2012 is now history books and 2013 off to a wet start.

The full MPIC Board, currently 14 volunteer members (up to 17 are allowed per the Bylaws), meets only once a month. Much of the Club’s work is done by standing committees, to which I want to introduce you.

Safety—This committee includes Board Members Karen Wood (Chair), Tim Armour, Joanne Whitney, and Brian Stone, and former MPIC president Mike Naughton. Working closely with the Captain and officers of Ingleside Police Station, the Safety Committee tries to ensure a police presence, necessary enforcement, and the receipt of the latest information on crimes in our neighborhood. Its members disseminate crime notifications, advocate for community policing, abate drug houses, and work with the offices of the City Attorney and District Attorney. They also work on Code enforcement, fire prevention on Mt. Davidson, and disaster preparedness programs, including NERT and a long-term neighborhood resiliency program that you will hear more about in the future.

Clubhouse Maintenance—This committee includes Board Members Cassandra Mettling-Davis (Chair), Thad Sauvain, Gary Isaacson, Dan Liberthson, and Kathy Rawlins, and our Clubhouse manager, Steve Davis. Their mission is preserving, maintaining, and operating the MPIC Clubhouse located at 350 O’Shaughnessy, which was donated to the Club in the 1940s by the developer.

Newsletter—Monthly publication (except in July and August) of the 12-page Miraloma Life is supervised by Board Member/ Delivered to all 2,200 Miraloma Park homes, the newsletter is the principal means by which the Club disseminates information to the neighborhood, promotes neighborhood identity, and raises community awareness. All are welcome to submit articles for consideration, and we especially welcome articles about issues that impact our neighborhood and about the excellent quality of life here.  Board Member Brian Stone oversees the paid advertising that partially funds Miraloma Life and also promotes local businesses. Gary Isaacson, another Board Member, manages a very responsible team of four neighborhood teens who deliver the newsletter on the first weekend of the month.

Website—Long-time Miraloma Park resident Ron Proctor maintains our website, which includes a community message board in which we encourage all neighbors to participate. You can sign up for automatic notification of new postings to our message board. Also on the site are current and archived issues of Miraloma Life, information about the Club’s activities, and links to many neighborhood resources. Ron works diligently to protect the website and message board from the constant attacks of hackers.

Events—This group includes Board Members Shannon Chu (Chair), Thad Sauvain, and Carl Schick. They plan and expedite various community-building events held at the Clubhouse throughout the year.

Traffic and Transportation—Chaired by Board Member Karen Breslin, this committee deals with traffic and transportation issues in our neighborhood, such as the City’s long term Teresita Blvd. traffic calming project, preserving MUNI service, and bicycle and traffic issues
along Portola and the merchant corridor.

Membership—As chair of this committee, I am helped by Board Members Karen Wood and Brian Stone, as well as long-time resident Vivienne Antal. Membership in the MPIC is optional. This committee works to maintain and increase membership, which now totals roughly 600. We remind members to renew their membership and publicize the benefits of joining the Club and participating in its accomplishments. Increased membership gives the Club more clout in in negotiations with City government and other organizations whose actions may impact Miraloma Park. Membership dues help to defray the cost of our monthly newsletter, club activities and events, and Clubhouse maintenance.

Zoning and Planning (ZAP)—This committee includes Board Members Cassandra Mettling-Davis (Chair), Tim Armour, Karen Breslin, Carl Schick, and Dan Liberthson. The ZAP committee works to promote consistent, quality architectural design as exemplified in the Miraloma Park Residential Design Guidelines, written by the committee in cooperation with the Planning Department and adopted by the Planning Commission in 1998. The committee advocates to ensure that our neighborhood retains its RH-1 designation for single-family occupancy homes. Committee members attend city hearings, submit written and verbal testimony about residential projects, and work closely with many City departments.

City-Wide Issues—The MPIC is a long-term member of two umbrella organizations: the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods (CSFN) and the West of Twin Peaks Central Council (WOTPCC). These two organizations advocate on behalf of individual neighborhoods with respect to many city-wide issues, including zoning, transportation, and police. Board member Karen Breslin is our principal delegate to the monthly CSFN and WOTPCC meetings; Tim Armour and Karen Wood are alternate delegates. In addition, Joanne Whitney participates in the Ingleside Community Police Advisory Board.

Graffiti—Board member Sue Kirkham leads other Board Members and residents in the fight against graffiti in our neighborhood. We have a zero-tolerance policy for graffiti. Once we see it, we paint it out right away.


Many other issues the MPIC Board addresses are not handled by any specific committee: for example, advocacy on issues involving Mt. Davidson, hosting debates on local propositions, and organizing geological, historical and wildlife local tours of Mt. Davidson and Glen Park.

In January, we reach out to Miraloma Park residents and encourage everyone who don’t belong to the MPIC to consider joining. You’ll see a separate membership letter insert and remit envelope in this month’s newsletter.

You can join the MPIC at any time, and your membership is good for 12 months. Consider it a New Year’s resolution! January is also when we encourage many of our members who are on a calendar year membership (Jan.-Dec.) to renew. If you are already a member, thank you for supporting the MPIC. If you are not sure if your membership is active, just send us an email or phone us to find out.

All the best to everyone in 2013!




Police Make Arrests in Massive Theft of Electronics—Is Your Stolen iPhone in this Stash?

San Francisco police have arrested three suspects in a massive stolen property fencing ring operation specializing in electronic items. Over a thousand items, almost entirely electronics, including laptops, cell phones, hard drives, and accessories, were located inside the suspects’
residence, storage facilities, vehicles, and other locations. Police value the property at approximately $500,000 (plus $32,000 in cash).

The Central Station Investigative Team has posted photos of the property recovered at web location http://www.sanfranciscopolice.org/index.aspx?page=3763&recordid=577.

If you are a victim of theft who can identify the items, e-mail SFPD’s Central Station using the link provided on the above webpage. Instructions for submitting a claim are included on the webpage. You must have either a case number from the reported theft or proof that
the property belongs to you. Police have identified and photographed almost all of the recovered items, but some items such as “SD Memory Cards” are still being processed.

NOTE: The SFPD recommends taking a photo for your records of the serial numbers of items that thieves like: electronics and bikes, for example.

Notice: San Francisco Department of Environment Door-to-Door Outreach in Ingleside District

SF Department of the Environment staff will be conducting door-to-door outreach in Miraloma Park, Forest Hill, West Portal, Westwood Park, and the Mount Davidson area. A team of about twelve people will be knocking on the doors of homes to let homeowners know about an energy efficiency program. This program was described in the September 2012 Miraloma Life. Team members wear a brown vest with green lining and the Department logo on it. They also have City-issued ID badges. They will conduct this outreach until mid-February on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings and on Saturdays from 10-3. The MPIC and SF Police caution all residents not to permit entry to your residence of anyone unfamiliar unless they display proper identification.

Summary of MPIC Board Meeting on December 6, 2012

by Dan Liberthson and Carl Schick

On-Line Votes: Two motions, both approved: 11/20—contribute $125 to the Coalition for SF Neighborhoods (CSFN) as a sponsor for their holiday party; and 11/29— allow free use of Clubhouse for Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) meetings as long as they don’t conflict with a paid rental.

Presentation: Ryan Sims talked about the private social neighborhood network called Nextdoor and specifically Nextdoor Miraloma Park. Nextdoor.com’s mission is to connect neighbors with one another, building community and making neighborhoods safer by increasing awareness of neighbors, disaster planning outreach, etc. Daniel Homsey discussed neighborhood resiliency after a disaster and how community building with Nextdoor Miraloma Park and the MPIC can prepare the neighborhood. Residents who want to learn more about Nextdoor can visit http://miralomapark.nextdoor.com.

Treasurer’s Report (T Sauvain): The MPIC’s net worth decreased by $3,614.09 from October to $25,51.90. November’s rental income was the highest ever: $5345 from single-event rentals, board member rentals, and recurring rentals. Net worth fell despite this vigorous rental activity because the income for those rentals was actually deposited in previous months. November income from member dues was $164. Over and above normal monthly expenses (Miraloma Life costs, utilities, etc.), we paid $125 in dues to the Coalition for SF Neighborhoods, $720 to Navigator’s Printing for MPIC letterhead and envelopes, $600 for gardening (for both November and December), and $600 in holiday party costs (for the band and door change). The Reserve Account total is $15,200.

Committees: Safety—Please see articles in this issue. Reminder: Please spread the word that if you see something suspicious, immediately call 9-1-1!

Membership (R Gee)—As of 12/6/2012, the MPIC had 517 members. The annual membership letter will be inserted into the January 2013 Miraloma Life. Email reminders are being sent to members with November, December and January membership expirations. Events (S Chu)—Holiday party a success. Full accounting next month.

Clubhouse Maintenance (CMD)—T Sauvain moved to give rental manager Steve Davis a $250 bonus (approved). The contractor who resurfaced the parking lot requested full reimbursement for materials plus labor, an amount $1400 over agreed-on price. The Board was dissatisfied because he did not inform us of the overrun material costs in a timely manner and the quality of work was poor (cracks and uneven areas remained). CMD moved to pay him the full amount he requested (disapproved). T Sauvain moved to split the difference of the excess cost (approved). The Board seeks someone to pick up mail from the Clubhouse and distribute it to appropriate Board Members and to set out and put back the garbage cans each week. R Gee will reach out to high school kids or anyone on Del Valle near the Clubhouse for the garbage detail. K Breslin volunteered to pick up and distribute the mail for now. R Gee spoke with neighbors who complained about loud music at the last Clubhouse rental (a party). This renter was also responsible for damage to the Clubhouse floor, has apologized, and is sending in a contractor to give an estimate for repairs. Newsletter (D Liberthson)—D Liberthson moved to give a $125 yearend bonus to Chris Long, who does the newsletter layout and T Sauvain moved to give a $65 bonus to each newsletter carrier (both approved).

Delegate Reports: West of Twin Peaks Central Council (WOTPCC, K Breslin)—Food trucks may return to West Portal in the Spring. Coalition for SF Neighborhoods (CSFN, K Breslin)—Motion passed by CSFN to support SFENUF, a group opposing the installation of new parking meters in SF. Motion to reimburse Kathy Howard for her work on No on Prop B also passed. Plan to open a restaurant at Marina Green discussed, a concern because it is an effort by Rec and Park to privatize open space. In 1935, California deeded the Marina Green to San Francisco with the provision that the open space could never be used for commercial purposes. In 1943, the City let the Navy build a small building on the seawall at water’s edge at the end of Fillmore Street as part of naval operations in WWII. After the war, the Navy turned the structure over to the City with stipulations that it be demolished, but it was not demolished. Rec & Park is now proposing to lease the structure to Woodhouse Fish Restaurant. The CSFN had voted to oppose the commercial lease, and sent a letter to Rec & Park stating that position. A representative from the Marina neighborhood checked the file that Rec & Park had sent to the Board of Supervisors to study, and found that the letter was not in the file. Another individual had attached the letter in his/her packet which was in the file, but the original letter was not. The delegate cautioned CSFN delegates that they should be concerned that Rec. & Park may be attempting to suppress their position on this issue.

Upcoming Ruth Asawa SOTA Events

Media Night (short films): 7:30 pm, Jan. 17 and 18

Shakespeare 2013: An Elizabethan Evening (theater), 7:30 pm, Jan. 19

Poetry Café: 7:30 pm, Jan. 24- 26

Senior Audition Showcase Drama Studio: Feb 6, 7:30 pm; Feb. 7, 4:30 pm

Tickets available at the door for all events; for more information: visit sfsota.org.

From the Safety Committee: Help Prevent West Nile Virus!

The San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) advises residents to comply with Health Code public nuisance prevention provisions, including:

• “Drain all standing water from the property, such as saucers below flower pots, hot tub covers, wading pools, hollow stumps, and trash containers; remove tires and car parts or store them indoors. SFDPH recommends using “non-chemical insecticides such as BTI ‘dunks’ that can be purchased at garden supply stores and used in pools that cannot be drained.”

• “Cut back overgrown vegetation, especially if it is growing in the shade and do not over water your yard. Keep grass cut short and let surface soil on ground and in pots dry before watering. Keep ground and drains clear of leaf litter.”

These and other advisories are on the SFDPH website at:

SF Health Code Sec 581. Prohibited Health Nuisances
(b) The following conditions are hereby declared to be a public nuisance: (8) Any noxious insect harborage or infestation including, but not limited to cockroaches, bed bugs, fleas, scabies, lice, spiders or other arachnids, houseflies, wasps and mosquitoes, except for harborages
for honey-producing bees of the genus Apis regulated by the California Food and Agriculture Code Sections 29000 et seq. which are not otherwise determined to be a nuisance under State law.

From the MPIC Safety Committee: Salmonella Outbreak in Bay Area Songbirds

(excerpted from Wildcare, www.wildcarebayarea.com)

An outbreak of avian Salmonella is killing songbirds in the Bay Area. The disease is spread from bird to bird primarily at bird feeders and bird baths. WildCare and other local wildlife centers have received multiple calls about ill and dead songbirds in people’s yards, so we suspected an outbreak of Salmonella. Our diagnosis was confirmed when lab test results from deceased patients that showed signs of Salmonella poisoning came back positive. We have treated more than a dozen songbirds showing symptoms of Salmonella poisoning in our wildlife hospital in the past few weeks.

Salmonellosis is a common cause of disease and death in wild birds. Bird feeders bring large numbers of birds into close contact with each other, which means diseases can spread quickly through multiple populations. Salmonella bacteria is primarily transmitted through contact with fecal matter, so birds at a crowded feeder are much more likely to be exposed than birds in a wild setting.

Sick birds may be lethargic, puffed up and thin and may have swollen eyelids. A bird sick with Salmonella poisoning may also be seen resting with beak tucked under wing, and may be the last bird to take flight if the flock is startled. You can tell these sick birds don’t feel very good!


Frequently Asked Questions About This Outbreak

How likely is it that kids or adults could get Salmonella from handling the bird feeder or feed?

Salmonella is primarily transmitted through contact with fecal matter, so, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), avoiding hand-to-mouth contact during, and washing hands thoroughly with soap and water after, contact with birds or their fecal matter will minimize or eliminate any risk. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching animals, their food (e.g., dry dog or cat food, frozen feeder rodents, etc.) or anything in the area where they live and roam. Running water and soap are best. Use hand sanitizers if running water and soap are not available. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water as soon as a sink is available.
Adults should always supervise hand washing for young children. Do not let children younger than 5 years of age, older individuals, or people with weakened immune systems handle or touch high-risk animals (e.g., turtles, water frogs, chicks, ducklings), or anything in the area where they live and roam, including water from containers or aquariums.

How can I avoid transmitting Salmonella from the birdfeeder in my yard into my home?

The CDC recommends always cleaning items that have been in contact with animals outside. If it is necessary to clean a feeder indoors, the sink or tub used for cleaning should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected with a bleach solution afterward. Common sense precautions to avoid tracking bird feces into the house should be taken including checking shoes for fecal matter.

Are the domesticated birds in my home at risk?

Check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your pet birds. Salmonella is transferred between birds from contact with fecal matter, so making sure domestic birds do not come into contact with the droppings, seeds or hulls from your wild bird feeders is the first step to ensuring their safety.

Can my cat get Salmonella from an infected bird?

Check with our veterinarian if you are worried about your cat. Studies have shown that it is possible for predator animals to get Salmonellosis from eating their prey, and cats can contract the disease. Cats under stress or with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to the infection. WildCare strongly recommends keeping your cat indoors to prevent him or her from coming in contact with sick birds or other hazards, but also to protect the songbirds that are drawn to your yard by your  feeder.

Is my dog likely to get Salmonella from playing in the yard?

Check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your dog or other pets. Salmonella is transferred from contact with fecal matter, so making sure domestic pets do not come into contact with the droppings, seeds or hulls from your wild bird feeders is the first step to ensuring their safety.

How often should I rake the hulls and fallen seed under my bird feeders?

According to Melanie Piazza, WildCare’s Director of Animal Care, for optimal bird health, and especially in an outbreak situation like this one, hulls should be removed every night. The problem with feeder seed and hulls is that the birds sit above and knock seed down to the ground, but also drop their droppings down. As Salmonella and other bacteria are transmitted through feces, this means a concentration of potentially infected feces beneath the feeders which can be dangerous to ground-feeding birds, even when there isn’t an epidemic.
In fact, Melanie says that raking the hulls isn’t necessarily sufficient. The best choice is to put a pan or, even better, a sheet held down by rocks, under the feeders and remove it and dispose of the hulls every night. This will also prevent rat and mouse infestations, which is a bonus.

Why do you recommend against wooden bird feeders?

WildCare still recommends against wooden bird feeders for the following reasons: 1. Wooden bird feeders sit outside 24 hours a day and get cracked, soft and moldy which, Salmonella aside, can be detrimental to songbirds. 2. The wood used for bird feeders is usually not
the same hardwood used for cutting boards and softer woods are more likely to mold and rot, trapping bacteria. People are often less likely to want to bleach their wooden feeders because frequent soaking in bleach (especially of feeders made of pine and softer woods) will ruin
them. A plastic feeder will last longer through the recommended bleach soakings and can be rinsed and dried more thoroughly. The main point, however, is no matter what kind of feeder you have, be sure to keep it clean.

Will bleach harm the birds?

What if some of it gets on the bird food? Please be sure to always THOROUGHLY RINSE the feeders and baths you have bleached, and
allow them to DRY COMPLETELY to prevent any contamination of bird food. If properly rinsed and dried, using bleach on feeders and baths will not pose harm to the birds. However, any bleach residue on feeders or food is bad for the birds.

Can Salmonella survive on an all-metal bird feeder?

Yes. The bacteria reside in the birds’ fecal matter, and fecal matter can stick to metal surfaces. Clean all feeders, no matter of what material, by scrubbing well to thoroughly remove any stuck-on debris or residues, bleaching in a 9:1 bleach solution (nine parts water to one part bleach) for 10-20 minutes, rinsing thoroughly and allowing them to dry completely.

Can the owls and other raptors in my neighborhood contract Salmonella from their songbird prey?

Yes, but the impact seems to be less in larger predatory birds. WildCare has not gotten any raptors that tested positive for Salmonella as a cause of death. Many of the raptors without obvious injuries that we’ve taken in this month have tested positive for rodenticide poisoning, which is another serious issue facing wildlife.


WildCare discourages the feeding of any wildlife. However, we recognize that millions of people love their bird feeders! If you are feeding birds, you have a responsibility to the birds and local wildlife to follow the “intelligent feeding guidelines” listed above as endorsed by
WildCare, the Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.




Join or Renew Your MPIC Membership Using PayPal, a Credit Card, or a Check

by the MPIC Membership Committee: Vivienne Antal, Robert Gee, Karen Wood, and Brian Stone

If you are one of the 82 members who joined MPIC or renewed your membership back in January of 2012, your membership expired on December 31, 2012. So it’s time again to renew! The MPIC relies on a large membership to advance our mission of safeguarding and improving the quality of life in Miraloma Park. The larger our membership, the more effective we are as a community advocacy
organization. Your membership means you support our efforts to sustain and improve the quality of life in our neighborhood.

You can join or renew your membership by using your PayPal account or a credit card. Just go to our home page at miralomapark.org and click the link on the right called “Join – Renew – Participate” and you will be taken to our membership page at miralomapark.org/about/join. Select the type of membership and you’ll be taken to the PayPal screens, where you’ll enter your name and address and payment information. PayPal will notify us, and you’ll receive a confirmation email from them. It’s fast and easy: there’s no need to complete a membership form or find an envelope and stamp!

Our membership webpage includes a form on which you can let us know of your interest in volunteer opportunities, such as helping out on committees, including safety, disaster preparedness, planning and zoning, club events, graffiti abatement and traffic calming. Just choose from the drop-down menu. If you don’t see a volunteer opportunity that interests you, select “Other” and then fill in your suggestion. Complete the remaining information boxes and then click the submit button. You’ll receive a confirmation email from the MPIC and a Board Member will contact you. Volunteering is a great way to help out in your community, make a difference, meet your neighbors, and work with Board Members.

You can also join or renew your membership by mailing your dues check with a down-loadable membership form from our webpage to MPIC, 350 O’Shaughnessy Blvd, San Francisco 94127 or by mailing your check with the MPIC membership form in your monthly Miraloma Life newsletter.

We will send reminder emails when your membership is about to expire or we’ll drop a short note to you in your mailbox. Thank you for support, and please let us know how we are doing!

How to Be A Responsible Neighbor*

Keep weeds in check so they won’t migrate to neighbors’ property.

Pick up leaves and clippings whether on your property or on the street. Blowing or washing debris onto the street is against the law.

Adopt a gutter. Keep it debris-free. Clean sewer drains between storms.

Put cigarette butts and litter in appropriate trash bins; keep our streets clean.

Always walk dogs on leash, for the comfort of neighbors and the safety of dogs.

Park in your garage or driveway when possible, not on the street.

*These suggestions were contributed by Miraloma Park residents. Additional submissions from readers for this ongoing column are welcome.

January 2013 Neighborhood Emergency Response Training (NERT) Class Schedule

San Francisco Fire Department Headquarters, 698 2nd Street @ Townsend: Tuesday evenings 6-9 pm on Jan. 8,
15, 22, 29, Feb. 5 and 12. To register, visit http://bit.ly/YyQvbR or phone 970-2024.

Academy of Art University, 79 New Montgomery Street
@ Mission St.: 2-Day Intensive, Thursdays, 8:30 am-6 pm, Jan. 17 AND 24.

To register, visit http://tinyurl.com/ajdrxow or phone 970-2024.