Miraloma Life Online – May 2013

  • PDF Version – May Miraloma Life
  • Neighborhood Night Out: August 6, 2013
  • Garbage Rates to Increase? Not if They Hear From Us!Save the Date: June 20 MPIC Election, Community Game Night,and Social
  • Lending a Helping Paw
  • Where the Easter Bunny Lives!
  • Mt. Davidson Denizen Sets Record Straight on Easter Bunny “Legend”
  • Summary of MPIC Board Meeting of March 7, 2013
  • Ruth ASAWA SF School of the Arts (SOTA)—Madwoman of Chaillot and Future Offerings
  • Another Nearby Treasure: Sunnyside Conservatory
  • How to be a Responsible Neighbor
  • Recycle And Disposal

Neighborhood Night Out: August 6, 2013

by Joanne Whitney

Because there is no MPIC newsletter in July or August, we ask you to reserve now Tuesday, August 6 from 5 to 8 pm for the National Night Out celebration. You will enjoy a great barbeque, community gathering, safety and preparedness presentations, and close up encounters of the good kind with police cars, motorcycles, horses, and dogs. All this is sponsored by the Ingleside Police District, the Community Police Advisory Board, and the MPIC. National Night Out is a thriving American tradition dating from 1984 and celebrated coast to coast. The message is that the good in people will always overpower the bad things that happen. It allows us to demonstrate that we own the streets of our community and can come together for fun and comradeship. The MPIC’s National Night Out will feature a barbeque and all the trimmings cooked and served by officers of the Ingleside Police District. Police dogs and members of the Mounted Patrol (think Police Horses!) will be on hand as well as Police motorcycles and patrol cars for kids (of any age) to climb upon or in and try out all the bells, lights, sirens, and whistles. SF Safe, the District Attorney’s Office, Pedestrian and Bike Safety, Neighborhood Emergency ResponseTeam (NERT), AlertSF (provides 24/7 emergency information to your wireless device; alertsf.org), the Police Athletic League (PAL), and many other neighborhood organizations will have booths. There will be balloons, safety-related gifts, and something for the whole family.


We expect many neighborhood sponsors, and many SF community leaders and elected officials who attended last year’s event have been invited. You will have the opportunity to talk to them up-close and personal. Be sure to attend this wonderful community-building event!

Garbage Rates to Increase? Not if They Hear From Us!

by Gary Noguera

Our monopoly trash pick-up company, Recology, is proposing increased rates including, for the first time, fees on the recycling bins. If you have not already received a notice in the mail about this, you will soon. The proposed rate increase seems completely at odds with the City’s overall plan to reduce waste being dumped into landfill. Recology seeks a charge of $2 per month for each 32-gallon blue bin and $4 for each 64-gallon bin, plus another $2 for each 32-gallon green bin and $4 for each 64-gallon bin. They also want a $5 “fixed charge.” Recology seeks these increases in order to “pay for possible physical improvements to the garbage transfer station.” They state that this will be a 21.51% or $6.60 per month additional cost for residential customers (though it’s difficult to determine how they arrived at this figure).

Recology already makes a mint from our monthly pickup charges, as well as from recycling the cans/bottles that we place in the blue bins. They separate these items and sell them on the commercial recycling market for even more profit. Currently, they don’t charge their customers for recycling containers, and we have to ask why we should pay the proposed additional charges when they already make money from recycling. Why bother to go through the work to separate and recycle usable items in order to make money for Recology and then get charged on top of that? It would make more sense to simply stop recycling altogether, giving up the recycle bins for which they will be charging. This would of course undermine the entire recycling effort, in which SF has been foremost in the country, but the company would be actively discouraging recycling by charging us for it.

Proposed Action: Recology states that if they receive enough negative feedback, the rate increase will not go through. The notice reads, “The rates will not go into effect if written protests are received from a majority of the affected customers.” So, to avoid the extra costs and the deterioration of our recycling effort, each and every one of us should protest, by sending a letter (emails, faxes, and phone calls are not acceptable) to:

Refuse Collection Rate Hearing Officer
c/o Dept. of Public Works, Room 348
City Hall, San Francisco 94102

You’ll need to adhere to the following rules exactly to have your letter considered:
1. Address the letter exactly as stated above.
2. List your home address in the letter, or your Recology account number.
3. Hand-sign your letter. They must have an original signature.
4. Send the letter as soon as possible, as the closing date for comments is May 30, 2013.
5. State clearly that you oppose the rate increase.

Fail to do any of these steps exactly as requested and your letter will be discarded!

Please take the few moments necessary to send your letter in order prevent this proposed rate increase.

Here’s a sample letter:

Dear Rate Officer:
I live at [insert address] and I strongly oppose the proposed Recology rate increase.
John or Jane Doe (hand signed).

No doubt Recology is counting on not receiving hardcopy letters of protest from the majority of its customers— i.e., us—not an easy thing to achieve! Let’s prove them wrong, pick up keyboard and pen, and let them know what we think!

Save the Date: June 20 MPIC Election, Community Game Night,and Social

by Shannon Chu

Please join your neighbors and MPIC Board Members at the Clubhouse at 7 pm on Thursday, June 20 for the annual election of Directors and Officers, to be accompanied by a community game night. All ages are welcome to participate in board and card games, puzzles, and lively conversation. Snacks and beverages will be provided.

MPIC members (2013 membership dues paid by May 20, 2013) can vote on the slate for the Directors and Officers, which will be published in the June newsletter. Please look for details of this event in the next issue of Miraloma Life.

Lending a Helping Paw

by Carl Schick

Anyone who has a pet can testify to the incredible bond that is formed between you and your companion from the moment your eyes meet. Pets have been a wonderful source of unconditional love and joy for people of all ages. Four years ago, my husband and I decided to give back to the community by volunteering with Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS). We love our three cats with every fiber of our being and wanted to be a part of this amazing organization. PAWS is dedicated to serving low-income San Francisco residents who are sick, elderly, or disabled by providing much-needed help to their treasured pets, on whom they greatly depend for physical and emotional support, healing, and companionship. But due to illness, frailty, or age, they are often unable to care for their pets by themselves.

PAWS provides a number of services, including donations and delivery of pet food and supplies, dog walking, veterinary visits, foster care, pet grooming, transportation, education, and case management. This non-profit was created in 1987 in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, when it was observed that many patients were unable to adequately care for the pets that they relied on so heavily for hope and healing. Today, PAWS serves more than 1,000 companion animals throughout the city. In its 25-year history, the goal has been unwavering—to promote the vital role that companion animals play in the lives of their human counterparts and to preserve the benefits of the human-animal bond through generous donations of time, money, support, and commitment to helping those in need.

To make a donation or find out more about this amazing organization, go to pawssf.org.

Where the Easter Bunny Lives!*

As legend has it in Miraloma Park and surrounding neighborhoods, the Easter Bunny lives on Mt. Davidson behind a metal door at the top of the stairs near the cross. But how did this legend, so widespread, come to be? Gladys McWood Birdsong knows, and we’ll let her tell the story in the following paragraphs.


“Last Spring before Easter, my granddaughter, Adrienne Long, called my sister Diane excitedly reporting, ‘My whole kindergarten class at Miraloma Elementary walked up Mt. Davidson to see where the Easter Bunny lives!’ Imagine our surprise, because the origin of that tale lies with our grandfather, and we had no idea that anyone outside our family had heard the story. “In 1945, our family lived at 254 Juanita Way, just across from the stairs leading to the cross at the top of Mt Davidson. Our athletic 80-year-old grandfather was visiting from Southern California, and he invited Diane, our friend Tommy and me to climb to the top of the mountain. As we approached the top, we saw a large metal door. We asked, ‘Grandpa, what’s that door for?’ Grandpa, who always had a twinkle in his eye, replied, ‘Why, that’s where the Easter Bunny lives!’ My sister Diane was 6 and I was 3, so the Easter Bunny was alive in our minds. We were so excited with this news that we ran back to our street and rounded up several of our other friends to make the climb to see the Easter Bunny’s home. Apparently, those kids grew up to pass the story along to their children and grandchildren in the neighborhood. Our family moved from San Francisco in 1947. What a delight that a charming Easter Bunny story told to us by our grandfather in 1945 has been passed down in the neighborhood where my grandchildren, Julian and Adrienne Long, attend elementary school.


“I know the very day we made the climb with Grandpa; he kept a diary with photos of his trips. For Sept. 21, 1945, his diary says, ‘Climbed to the cross on Mt. Davidson with Diane, Gladys and their friend Tommy.’” (Story and pictures courtesy Gladys McWood Birdsong)

*©2013 by Jacqueline Proctor, adapted with permission from mtdavidson.org. To view the original article and additional photos, visit mtdavidson.org/easter_bunny?s=easter&s=bunny.

Mt. Davidson Denizen Sets Record Straight on Easter Bunny “Legend”

If our democratic system is to function as its founders intended, it is imperative that the public be informed of, on issues of national and local importance, the truth, the whole truth, and all versions of the truth. Journalists, news media, and the people of good conscience who inform them, should ensure that the truth abides and is disseminated. As editor of your Miraloma Life I take this duty seriously, so I am publishing the following communication, apparently hacked into my network, which spontaneously popped up on my computer screen this morning, its evident source someone who read my draft of the preceding article. As previous messages from this source for many years came attached to my trash bin lid, either from nostalgia or to alert me to its origin, our informant apparently drafted this internet missive in the old format before photographing it and sending it electronically (see picture of message and probable source on page 9).-Ed.

Legend, schmegend, I’m here to tell you that this Mt. Davidson Easter Bunny is NO legend. It’s a real and fierce creature that stalks the Mountain scaring the tail and ears off peaceable animal residents like myself. Case in point, this past Easter I was ambling hungrily along a trail around dusk, eye out for a wee snack, worn out by the crowds of humans at Easter Sunrise Service that morning, when I spied a shadow flitting among the trees and hurried over to investigate. Expecting a waiting mouthful of squirrel or chipmunk, I saw instead the sweetest bunny rabbit, sitting back on its haunches and busily grooming itself with a neat little paw. The cuddly creature sighed and lamented, “I am so tired from hiding eggs and delivering Easter baskets, and this soil is so stony there’s no comfortable place to lie down.”

“Excuse me, dear Sir or Madam,” I enquired in my usual courteous manner, “but I have a solution that will work to our mutual benefit. You are exhausted and would like to lie down and rest, whereas I am very hungry and need the feel of something in my mouth. “Both of our afflictions would be cured if you were to hop over here and stretch out on my tongue. You’d find it quite roomy, soft, and comfortable, and once closed my mouth would offer a soothing darkness. Of course I’ll refrain from chewing or swallowing while you nap, you have my promise on that.”

Demurely glancing, the creature lisped “Good Sir, I’d happily come and assist but the fog drip is heavy on the ground and I do so hate getting soaked. Since you, with your long legs, are safely above the damp, might I ask that you come over to me?” You’ll understand that I was a little put out, yet being nothing if not genteel, and urged by a new onset of hunger pangs as sharp as a Samurai sword, I got off my haunches, approached this Lagomorpha Leporidae Oryctolagus (Sci-speak for rabbit—bet you didn’t know that!), and opened my welcoming maw. “Oh dear,” quoth she (on closer inspection definitely female), continuing her coiffeur, “such a long way to jump and I’m so tired. Please do me the favor of resting your chin on the ground so I can easily walk in.” Impressed by her own gentility, I bent my forelegs and did as she asked. Following a delay that began to be annoying, plus another hunger spasm, I inquired with mild irony, “May I offer anything else to accelerate Madame’s journey?”

“Well, since you ask, kind Sir,” said she amiably, “Your mouth is as wet as the fog-drenched ground, a veritable pool of soup, and my fur will surely be ruined. Is it too much to ask you to hold that posture a while, until that juice has all dried up?

Now, four-legged though I am, I can tell when I’m being out-foxed. This bunny wasn’t anywhere near as innocent as she looked, so I decided to close our conversation and, accordingly, my mouth, once it had surrounded the morsel. I lifted my head and got set to leap when—horror of horrors—the creature extended its hind legs and suddenly towered above me, its front fangs big as ax blades.

“Don’t you know,” she growled, glaring down at me, “it is not politically correct to eat the Easter Bunny? Mess with me and there will be consequences!” And with a single bound she jumped onto my head, then clear over my trembling body, and disappeared into the woods.

Legend? Bah! This Easter Bunny threat is a clear and present danger to be reckoned with by any who venture into the deep Mt. Davidson woods. She’s far too smart to be left at liberty, and far too powerful! This could be a conspiracy, herds of them hiding in wait for their leader’s signal, and then, who knows! They will take over and make us eat only vegetables forever. Get out your Uzis, your Kalashnikovs, your AKs, and get ready for Bunny Armageddon!

MysteryMessageAuthor MysteryMessage

Hmmmm. Sorry. A little over the top, my reaction there. I’m not paranoid, really, but when you get as hungry as I am, you tend to see things that may not really be there … and then again they might. What’s a poor coyote to do? Hey, buddy, can you spare a morsel?

Yours truly,

W. Coyote, Esq., Bmft., Crdpff.

P.S.: As I turned my weary footsteps toward the Molly Stone’s dumpster, I heard two squirrels chortling. “Did you see that?” said one to the other. “We’re not in Kansas anymore!”

Summary of MPIC Board Meeting of March 7, 2013

by Dan Liberthson and Carl Schick

On-Line Vote: 3/14: Spend $400 on chair tips for the Clubhouse chairs (approved).

Treasurer’s Report (T Sauvain): The MPIC’s current net worth increased by $3,756 since February, to $31,682.90. The reserve account total is $18,000. Rental income was $1670 in March, vs $3085 in February, but March is typically one of our slowest months for rentals. We earned $1,942 in Miraloma Life advertising income in February and received $754 in membership dues. Over and above our normal monthly expenses (newsletter, utilities, etc.), we spent $61 for a safe deposit box, $594 for Clubhouse supplies (including cleaning supplies and rubber feet for the chairs and tables), $92 in postage to mail the newsletter out of the area, and $171 for the March 9 Neighborhood Networking event.

Committees: Traffic and Transportation (K Breslin)— Traffic calming and pedestrian safety in Miraloma Park discussed in committee. K Breslin contacted Dan Provence at SF-MTA to arrange a meeting to hear their traffic calming plans. He said SF-MTA has contracted with a company to collect speed and volume data that should be available in 3-4 weeks. R Gee attended District 7 Supervisor Yee’s Pedestrian Safety Hearing on April 2 and gave public comment on the Club’s concern about traffic and pedestrian safety on Teresita Blvd. and the need to complete the Teresita traffic calming project. Supervisor Yee is aware of the traffic calming issues on Teresita and is making overall traffic safety a priority.

Membership (R Gee)—As of March 31 the MPIC had 534 members. Thirty-one members renewed their current memberships, many in advance of their 2013 expiration dates. Reminder letters will be prepared and delivered for first quarter expirations as yet unrenewed.

Events (S Chu)—The MPIC will host a game and social night in conjunction with the election of MPIC officers on Thursday, June 20 (see article in this issue).

Clubhouse Maintenance (C Mettling-Davis)—K Rawlins was appointed temporary committee chair. Saturday 4/13 is Clubhouse clean-up day. Contractors submitted bids to fix the nose edging of the stage proscenium and refinish the Clubhouse floor.

Newsletter (D Liberthson)—K Wood will edit the June newsletter.

Website (R Gee)— There were 1600 page views in March, vs 1400 in February and 735 visits to the MPIC site in March, vs 579 in February. The Message Board had 84 views for NERT training and 91 for the Easter Sunrise service. Use of the MPIC website is obviously increasing.

Planning and Zoning (C Mettling-Davis, CMD)—Committee members attended a pre-application meeting on 3/19 for a project at 331 Teresita to add a story to the lower level of the split level house. According to CMD, the designer has applied the necessary design guidelines and plans to use approved materials for the project. The neighbors may have concerns to be addressed.

Nominating—K Wood will present a slate of candidates by May 13 for the June 20 MPIC Board election (see article in this issue).

Mt. Davidson—(R Gee) R Gee has created this new committee, with members including himself, T Armour, K Breslin, Jacquie Proctor (liaison), and Jane Risk. The purpose of the committee is to monitor the results of the EIR and apprise Supervisor Yee of the Committee’s position regarding the Mt. Davidson project. The Final EIR is not expected until December 2013. The Committee will also monitor the $500K bond approved for revamping trails to make sure the money is indeed being spent or invested on Mt. Davidson. R Gee stated that, on the Nextdoor site for Miraloma Park, Mt. Davidson was the third most popular reason why neighbors like the neighborhood. J Whitney expressed concern that the Committee members don’t represent a balanced view of interests concerning Mt. Davidson. R Gee responded that the Committee will study and report based on public documents and hearings, and that all Committee proceedings and recommendations will be available to the full Board, which will vote on any resulting motions.

Community Organizations: West of Twin Peaks Central Council (WOTPCC, K Breslin)—Met 3/25 at the MPIC Clubhouse. Supervisor Wiener was to report on legislation regarding CEQA but cancelled; Eric Brooks spoke briefly as the opponent to the legislation. Both Wiener and Brooks will present at the 4/22 meeting. The use of serial permits and the sinkhole and flood on 15th Avenue affecting 23 homes were discussed. An investigation into the incident is ongoing. Discussion on the Sloat Blvd. traffic project is also continuing.

Coalition for SF Neighborhoods (CSFN, 2/19, K Breslin)—Lee Hsu spoke about the Nextdoor Network Plan. Supervisor Peskin spoke about the proposition for the November ballot to oppose the proposed 136-ft development at 8 Washington St. Motion to oppose introduced for vote in March. There are plans for a 359-ft high-rise condo at Embarcadero and Howard and a 165-ft Warriors stadium at Pier 30-32. Concern these developments will wall off our spectacular waterfront. Suggestion to work on a general plan for the waterfront instead of fighting individual projects.

Ingleside Community Police Board (ICPAB, J Whitney)—Miraloma Park Neighborhood Night Out will be Tuesday, August 6, 2013, 5-8 pm. Children (and adults) will be able to pet horses used by SF mounted police, as well as have their picture taken inside a police car. There will be food including BBQ. SFPD will pay for everything. Chief Suhr, DA Gascon, and 6 supervisors should be present.

New Business: The Forest Hill Association has requested the use of the MPIC Clubhouse for their monthly meetings for 6 months while their clubhouse gets remodeled.

Motion to allow this subject to usual renter requirements passed. There will be a Burlwood block party on Saturday, May 4. Discussion about rehabbing or replacing Clubhouse curtains.

Ruth ASAWA SF School of the Arts (SOTA)—Madwoman of Chaillot and Future Offerings

by Dan Liberthson

After hugely enjoying the SF SOTA performance of 42nd Street, we thought we’d better hurry down the hill and catch Madwoman of Chaillot, the Theater Department’s rendition of Jean Giraudoux play originally written while France was occupied by the Nazis. First performed in Paris in 1945 and later brought to Broadway and film, the play posits an inspired and successful uprising of local artists and bohemians against rapacious businessmen and bogus corporations out to ravage the land for whatever money it can yield. The young SF SOTA cast portrayed the nasty old exploiters with such skill that one forgot the actors were only in their teens, and the madwoman was as delightfully ditzy and wise as the playwright intended. As in every performance we’ve seen at SF SOTA, direction, sets, and production values were excellent, and the intimate setting of the Theater Department’s small venue was imaginatively and convincingly transformed into a 1920s Parisian café. What fine entertainment was this well-wrought performance!


May offerings at SF SOTA will include something for just about everyone: Igor Stravinski’s The Soldier’s Tale (a 1918 theatrical work to be “read, played, and danced”), Ten-Minute Plays and Movement Pieces (including Afro-Haitian, Asian, and other traditions), and band, vocal, and dance concerts.

Check the website and calendar at sfsota.org and give yourself a treat!

Another Nearby Treasure: Sunnyside Conservatory

by Dan Liberthson

San Francisco’s Sunnyside Conservatory (236 Monterey Blvd., also accessible from Joost St.) is a wonderful oasis of tranquility just outside Miraloma Park, well worth the short drive or walk to visit. Open to all from dawn to dusk, it can be rented for events and hosts a series of concerts sponsored by the Friends of Sunnyside Conservatory and SF Recreation and Parks Department, which owns the facility. Visit sunnysideconservatory.org for more information.

Interior-Conservatory Exterior-Conservatory

According to the Friends’ website, “English inventor and stargazer William Augustus Merralls originally built the Conservatory c. 1898 on his estate, then a remote part of the City. Over its hundred-year life, the Conservatory passed from private to public hands, and despite its city landmark status (and efforts of an earlier generation of activists), ended up in need of stewardship and bereft of its windows, east wing, and accompanying observatory. The Friends of Sunnyside Conservatory, comprised of neighborhood residents, began advocating and fundraising for the renovation of the Conservatory and grounds in 1999. Ten years and 4.1 million dollars later the restored facility opened to the public, “an extraordinary gathering space and botanic jewel, set off by a hundredyear old palm grove and the dramatic foliage of its surrounding gardens.”

Check it out! You won’t regret it.

How to be a Responsible Neighbor*

If elderly neighbors are having difficulty taking trash in or out or with yard tasks, helping them would be a kindness.

Give neighbors notice if you will be having work done on your home so they will not be alarmed and can make adjustments for contractor parking.


During the few hot days we’ll have this summer, remember to put out water for pets and a bird-bath the help birds in the area.

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

Recycle And Disposal

by Kathy Rawlins

Many of you have received your latest bill from Recology. Did you notice that they provide special pick-ups of junk or ‘big stuff’? There is no cost and they can also schedule pick-ups for toxic waste (paints, mineral spirits, etc.). Just call (415) 330-1300.


Do you have expired medications? Do not to put them down the toilet or drain as this water gets into streams and the ocean causing pollution that can harm aquatic life and the food chain. Instead, take expired medications to the nearest SF Police Department for disposal.