Miraloma Life Online – May 2015

  • May 2015-MiralomaLife (pdf version)
  • Miraloma Park History: The 36-Teresita Bus Route
  • Teresita Traffic Safety
  • Money Matters – Financial Lessons from NERT
  • AirBnB: Sharing Redefined
  • Meet the 6% in Miraloma Park
  • What We Don’t Know
  • NERT Trainings Coming Up
  • West Nile Virus Prevention and Mosquito Control
  • The Stanford Heights Cage
  • SUPERVISOR WIENER TO PURSUE BALLOT MEASURE REFORM IN SAN FRANCISCO


Miraloma Park History: The 36-Teresita Bus Route

by Jacquie Proctor, Author, San Francisco ’s West of Twin Peaks

Before the Miraloma Park Improvement Club had a completed clubhouse in 1940, residents were busy fostering the neighborhood activism that is still in place today. One of the first projects was to get a bus line to the new neighborhood. To celebrate their success, the Club distributed a flyer entitled “Hooray for the Buses” in advance of the first bus arrival on Sunday, July 23rd, 1939, at 2PM:

“Let everyone in the district be on deck to welcome the first one. … The Honorable Mayor Rossi will pilot the first bus from Forest Hill Station to the corner of Evelyn Way and Portola Drive where he will be met by other City officials — the Municipal Band — several units of the American Legion — the Parkside Post No. 505 of the American Legion and their Junior Auxiliary Drum Corps — Boy Scout Troop 85 Drum and Bugle Corps and bicycle parade. The Municipal Band will lead the parade over the new bus route and return to Evelyn Way and Portola Drive, at which time he will address the group. Please join in and show the Mayor how we appreciate this long awaited service.”

BusMap-05-2015

A newspaper article following the event, “Many Dignitaries at Miraloma Fete,” noted that the celebration set a “new high in enthusiasm.” In addition to the Mayor, other dignitaries included Lewis Byington, President of the Public Utilities Commission, Commissioners John Murphy and John McCallum, City Attorney John J. O’Toole, and Supervisor James B. McSheehy, were greeted by club president Lloyd H. Berendsen:

“In the plaza at Miraloma Park, Mr. Berendsen told of the projects being fostered by the Miraloma Park Improvement Club for the benefit of the district and the city, especially school and playground and enlargement of Mt. Davidson Park to include the wonderful wildflower fields. Mayor Rossi promised his assistance when funds were available. [Seven acres on the east slope were added to the park in 1941]. Mr. Byington expressed the gratification of the Public Utilities Commission in being able to install the new service. The MPIC committee in charge consisted of Alexander Ratray, Boyd Oliver, Charles Dechent, Hoyt Colgate, James J. Yates, Frank Fickett, and William C. Ward.”

The SFMTA has put together a wonderful photo archive of the system’s history online at http://SFMTA.com/photo. Katy Guyon of SFMTA responded to my inquiry about the 36-Teresita and found a blueprint of the original route dated for its 1939 inauguration. (Copywrited Image Courtesy of the SFMTA Photo Archive, http://SFMTA.com/photo).

As you can see on page 3, the 36 Teresita was originally “7 Miraloma.” Katy found some more information in the book entitled “Inside Muni,” published in 1982 by John McKane and Anthony Perles:

“7 MIRALOMA – Service commenced from Forest Hill Station, serving Twin Peaks Tunnel on July 23, 1939 via Laguna Honda Blvd., Portola Drive, Evelyn Way, and Teresita Blvd. to Rio Court. Line extended to Melrose Avenue on June 8, 1941. Coaches moved from Arguello Garage to 24th and Utah [Garage] on January 8, 1945. Line again extended to Foerster and Monterey, on October 6, 1945. Extended to Brighton and Grafton (K [street] car line terminal) on February 16, 1946, via Judson, Phelan, Ocean and Brighton to Grafton. Further extended on June 5, 1947, via Grafton, Garfield, Beverly, and Worcester to Junipero Serra Blvd., returning via Worcester, Junipero Serra Blvd., Garfield and reverse of route. Line moved from Utah Division [Garage] to the new Ocean Division [Garage] on August 1, 1948.  Line renumbered 36 MIRALOMA on February 1, 1949. …6-17 -56 Terminal rerouted to Sickles & Mission. 9-10-80 Renamed 36 TERESITA.”

She also noted that “the 7 Miraloma/36 Teresita started as a Muni line with ‘motor coaches’ (early Muni buses— the first kind Muni had instead of streetcars). Then, in 1944, Muni merged with its main competitor, the private, for-profit transit company Market Street Railway. In the mid and late 40s, Muni started the process of physically merging all of Muni’s routes with Market Street Railway’s routes, which was very complicated—in particular because the two systems had been designed to compete with each other so there was a lot of redundancy in the routes. As part of this process, the 7/36 route was changed a bit and the line eventually got a new number in 1949.” The original route, which turned around at Rio Court, was extended with the building of Miraloma Park south to Forester St. and once went all the way to the K streetcar terminal and Junipero Serra Blvd. Additional changes included a turnaround up to the top of Mt. Davidson and at the Balboa Park BART station. When BART was completed, it funded the “Miraloma Ranger” shuttle service for commuters to get a quicker ride to and from the Glen Park station. The shuttle was discontinued and now the 36-Teresita route ends at Mission and Cesar Chavez Streets via Glen Park BART station. Its connection to the Forest Hill Station has continued. Now if we could just get it to run more frequently and on time!

Editor’s Note: In 2008, SFMTA planned to change 36 line, ending service between Forest Hill Station and the Portola Drive commercial strip, with adverse consequences for the elderly, others who do not drive, and Downtown commuters and forcing many back into their cars. MPIC advocated successfully to retain 36 line services to Miraloma Park.


Teresita Traffic Safety

March 27, MPIC President Robert Gee, Board members Karen Breslin and Daniel Homsey and Miraloma Elementary PTA VP and Miraloma resident Justin Ryckebusch met with representatives of SFMTA and DPW at Supervisor Norman Yee’s office to discuss the delays of the Teresita Blvd traffic calming project. It’s been 2 years since MPIC last met face to face with SFMTA to discuss revisions to the plan. Supervisor Yee was out of town and his aides, Olivia Scanlon and Matthias Mormimo attended on behalf of the Supervisor. Robert believes that without the involvement of Supervisor Yee’s office, MPIC would still be waiting today for SFMTA to get back to us on the status of the original project which started back in 2006.

It was very difficult at the beginning of the meeting to get a clear understanding of exactly what SFMTA intended to do, but in the end we left learning there is funding and a commitment on 3 specific design changes at the Teresita intersections with Fowler, Gaviota and Foerster, including repaving, and that such improvements would be completed by the end of 2016. However, SFMTA said that all other proposed traffic calming measures and pedestrian safety improvements presented 2 years ago were not going to be implemented due to a variety of reasons. The ball is now back in MPIC’s court.

MPIC then informed SFMTA that we would go back to our community to start the discussion on the future placement of speed humps (as SFMTA says there is still some money for those) and for other important safety measures such as stop signs at key intersections, crosswalk striping, updating signage, curb and island cuts. SFMTA stated that the placement of speed humps has be approved by the fronting property owner. Our community will create a plan which will be shared with SFMTA, and we will submit the appropriate paperwork to request additional measures.

MPIC is especially grateful to District 7 Legislative Aide Olivia Scanlon for arranging the meeting.


Money Matters – Financial Lessons from NERT

by Bill Kan, CFA

For successful completion of NERT training, the SF Fire Department issued to me and about 70 other people green helmets, vests, and gloves. As Neighborhood Emergency Response Team volunteers, we would use them while we assist people and the SFFD in case of disaster. I believe the training made us and Miraloma Park much better prepared to help our families and neighbors if something happens. The instructors were engaging and all had a great sense of humor, but their presentations were to the point both during the discussions and demonstrations. They showed ways to prepare ourselves and families, what we can do to mitigate damage, how to put out fires, safe ways to conduct search and rescue, triage, and much more. Many of the lessons resonated with me in their relevance to personal money matters.

One lesson: to survive a disaster situation requires a personal plan. Being residents of San Francisco, we reviewed what would happen in and after an earthquake. If we were in New Orleans, we would have emphasized flooding. The same is true for personal money matters. Someone fresh out of college and loaded with student loans would need a plan different from that of someone with no debt. Similarly, a high income earner with large swings month-to-month may need to plan differently than would someone with a high but steady income.

The personal disaster preparedness plan includes an emergency supply kit sufficient for 72 hours or three days. It should include essentials such as water, food, clothing, and personal items such as medication and eyewear. Because of the length of time it took some victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy to get assistance, one instructor suggested building a kit good for five-days. A similar recommendation for personal finance is to maintain emergency savings sufficient to cover at least 3-months of spending. I would use that as a starting point and personalize the figure by considering different situations. For example, how much emergency savings would I need if I were to change jobs? How much would I need to cover the wait period before insurance kicks-in if I went on disability? What other financial resources do I have available on short-notice? In the case of an earthquake, cash in the bank may be nice, but cash on hand may count more. Electricity and other utilities may be down, so I wouldn’t want to count on the ATMs or credit cards to work. During 9/11 in NYC, I was fortunate to have some small bills that let me buy water and food to supplement what people shared. There were lots of unknowns. My cell phone and credit cards were useless as I spent the day locating my father and finding a way to get home to NJ.

The knowledge and comfort provided by a personal disaster plan can prevent injury and support recovery. We learned, for example, that panicking and running outside during an earthquake often results in injury from falling debris. Similarly, reacting out of fear during a financial crisis can produce similar results. In either situation, try to stay calm and to find safe cover during the crisis.

It is hard to predict when and how quakes will strike. But to mitigate earthquake damage, a home can be reinforced by bolting it to its foundation and adding cripple wall shear support. For a financial quake, personal finances can be reinforced with insurance, multiple sources of income, and a diversified investment portfolio. In recovery, it is hard to predict ahead of time, which holdings will recover faster or fully. Diversification helps increase the chances of participating in a rebound and limiting the damage of segments that don’t.

Even after the class, both my wife and I thought we needed more practice, especially with search and rescue, and triage. As NERTs, search and rescue is about staying safe while assisting in a recovery. The instructors taught us to follow a logical process of sizing up a situation and following a pre-agreed upon protocol in conducting the search. They reiterated the need to maintain focus and avoid distractions. This process helps maintain organization and safety in uncertain situations. A logical size-up process would have helped many people during the Great Recession of 2007-2010 when 9 million jobs were lost and household net worth fell by $16 trillion as the value of homes and investment portfolios collapsed. In some cases, people panicked and indiscriminately sold their holdings only to miss out on a strong financial recovery. During the disaster medicine segment of NERT Training we learned triage—sorting injury victims according to the seriousness of their injuries—and we learned ways to treat the life threatening conditions of airway obstruction, breathing difficulties, bleeding, and shock.

During the Great Recession, there were those who did not perform triage on their portfolios by conducting the financial equivalent of assessing and correcting solvency-threatening investments. In fact, as a general rule, periodically evaluating an investment strategy or portfolio holdings is sound practice: it is important to know why you own something and periodically to determine if those reasons still hold.

I would highly recommend NERT training. NERT classes are free. To find more about the program and the NERT manual, see www.sfgov.org/sffnert.


AirBnB: Sharing Redefined

The following is excerpted from a letter from West of Twin Peaks Central Council President Roger Ritter to the constituent organizations of the Council.

Dear WTPCC Colleagues,
I’ve just read the 21-page summary of the Planning Department staff report. (The full report is over 100 pages.) The following language on pages 15-16 is instructive: Hotels, Inns and Bed & Breakfast Uses in Residential Districts

In addition to STR provisions in the Administrative Code, the Planning Code also allows small hotel uses in Residential Districts with Conditional Use Authorization. They are historically known as bed and breakfast inns or small hotels, and are limited to 5 rooms in all RH Districts except in RH-1 Districts, where the use is prohibited. Because the existing STR law doesn’t place any restrictions on the number of days for hosted rentals,the law essentially allows small hotels in RH districts as of right. Prior to the recent legislative change hotels with less [sic] than six rooms required a Conditional Useauthorization, which is accompanied by notice to the neighbors and a discretionary public hearing. There is clearly a difference between renting out a room while on vacation versus a fulltime bed and breakfast; however, as the Department’s enforcement team has found, and subsequent studies have affirmed, a number of owners are using STR sites to circumvent traditional oversight processes and are effectively adding high-intensity hotel-like uses in a residential neighborhood.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. The staff report recognizes that so-called “home-sharers” are turning an occasional use into a full-time business. However, having stated the problem—turning homes into bed and breakfasts without any notice or hearing—the staff report makes no recommendation to address the problem. I think we should emphasize that our opposition to the legislation is not to stop mom-and-pop from renting out a spare room now and then, but rather that people who seek to turn their homes into bed-and-breakfasts on a regular basis, for up to 365 days a year (as is now allowed) or up to 120 days a year (as Mayor Lee’s and Supervisor Farrell’s proposed amendments would allow), should at least give some notice to their neighbors. Right now such use is not allowed at all in RH-1 or RH-1-D zoning districts. If the City wants to allow it, it should require those who wish to do so to apply for a permit, so their neighbors and neighborhood associations can have an opportunity to be heard.

Editor’s Note: Caught in the act! You thought you’d bought into a residential neighborhood, but now, come to find out that you can have a small hotel right next door. The City has redefined “sharing” to mean, not an act of generosity or kindness—such as making a gift to a charity, or sharing dinner with a friend—but an act for which you are compensated. What’s in a name?


Meet the 6% in Miraloma Park

Did you know that 6% of Miraloma Park residents work from home? According to the Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey, Miraloma Park residents are well educated and work in a variety of industries (although MP lacks representation in the 3F’s – farming, fishery and forestry). For the benefits and convenience of a home office, we miss on serendipitous interactions between colleagues that may lead to new strategies and products and social interactions. If you are interested in getting to know fellow Miralomans in the 6%, leave a voicemail with the Miraloma Park Improvement Club at (415) 481-0892 or email at miralomapark@gmail.com


What We Don’t Know

MPIC Safety Committee

Recent NextDoor postings indicate a community perception that Miraloma Park is experiencing a “crime wave.” From our perspective—and we have monitored Miraloma Park crimes since 2000, this is not the case. Rather, what has increased is community awareness of crime due to social media postings. Over the years, Miraloma Park has experienced approximately 2-5 vehicle-related crimes and 1-3 burglaries per month. The months of December and January have historically seen an increase in burglaries (approximately 3-5 during that 2 month period).

MPIC has requested verifiable statistics from the SFPD comparing Miraloma Park vehicle crimes and residential burglaries December 1 – March 31 2013-2014 with the same period 2014-2015. These stats will tell us whether the public perception has a basis in fact. February 7, at citizens urging, MPIC sponsored a community meeting at which SFPD Golden Gate Division Commander Garret Tom, District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee, Jon Shepard of SFSAFE, and Jeremie Beene of NextDoor spoke with more than 40 residents.


NERT Trainings Coming Up

Haight Ashbury: The Urban School, 1563 Haight St; May 6 – June 10, 6:30 – 10:00 PM.

Downtown: Charles Schwab, 215 Fremont Street; May 14 – 28 (May 14, 8:30 AM-4:30PM; May 21, 8:30 AM-4:30 PM; May 28, 8:30 AM-4:30 PM

Noe Valley: Holy Innocents Church, 455 Fair Oaks Street; May 21 – June 25, 6:30-10:00 PM.

Balboa Terrace/OMI: St. Francis’ Episcopal Church, 399 San Fernando Way @ Ocean Ave; June 24 – July 29, 6:00 – 9:30 PM.

For additional information, visit www.sf-fire.org/index.aspx?page=879.


West Nile Virus Prevention and Mosquito Control

From the SF Department of Public Health, https://www.sfdph.org/dph/EH/WestNile/default.asp

The West Nile Virus Prevention Program is working diligently to reduce mosquito populations using safe integrated pest management techniques and providing environmental health information to prevent the spread of West Nile Virus in the City and County of San Francisco. This program handles calls for assistance regarding mosquito activity in San Francisco and offers assistance to tenants and property owners in identifying and controlling potential and actual breeding sites. In addition, our staff includes state certified vector control specialists trained to apply and give advice on the control of pests and the use of pesticides. Mosquitoes breed by laying their eggs in standing water. These hatch into larvae (wigglers), and will mature into adult mosquitoes in about a week in warm weather. Where possible, residents should:

• 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.
• Stock permanent ponds with fish that eat mosquito larvae. Pumps that circulate water are also effective.
• Clean out clogged roof gutters in the spring and fall, and maintain drains clear of leaf litter.
• 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 the ground and the soil in potted plants dry on the surface before watering. Keep your ground clear of leaf litter.
• Use non-chemical insecticides such as Bti “dunks” that can be purchased at garden supply stores and used in pools of standing water that cannot be drained.
• Screens: make sure that doors and windows have tight fitting screens. Repair or replace those with tears or holes.
• Dawn and dusk: avoid outdoor activity at dawn and dusk. In most areas the mosquito season is from May to October, but in the Bay Area the season may extend almost year round.
• Protective clothing: wear long sleeve shirts and long pants when mosquitoes are active.
• Repellents: DEET and permethrin products are most effective but must be used with caution, especially around children.

The San Francisco Health Code requires property owners in San Francisco to maintain their properties free of conditions that allow mosquitoes to breed.


The Stanford Heights Cage

The Miraloma Park Improvement Club is proud of our history of collaboration with City agencies. We worked closely with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission staff during the Reservoir retrofit project to minimize negative project impacts on residents and to ensure that the resulting overall appearance of the Reservoir site was as attractive as possible. Last year, when Marietta residents told MPIC that for 2 ½ years, streetlights near their homes had been malfunctioning, even after several City attempts to repair them, we asked SFPUC General Manager Harlan Kelly for his help in authorizing a thorough and intensive diagnosis of the problem. Mr. Kelly took a personal interest our concern, and shortly thereafter, residents reported that the lights were functioning normally.

In February, due to residents’ complaints about the unattractive installation protecting the recently installed valves on the Teresita side of the Stanford Heights reservoir (see photo), we requested a meeting with an SFPUC representative to discuss possible ways of mitigating the unsightly appearance of the cage-like structure, a conspicuous eyesore standing prominently on our neighborhood’s main and busy thoroughfare. While clearly, the equipment must be well protected, we believed that the appearance of the installation could be improved.

ReservoirFence-05-2015

What we learned: The structure is a gas regulator station that was installed by PG&E and is only temporary. PG&E plans to remove the structure this summer, they hope by June 30, 2015. Once the structure is removed, PG&E will restore the landscape that had been under the structure.

MPIC gratefully thanks the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission for its responsiveness to our concerns and for its continued support of our efforts to sustain quality of life and enhance the safety and aesthetic appeal of our neighborhood.


SUPERVISOR WIENER TO PURSUE BALLOT MEASURE REFORM IN SAN FRANCISCO

Summarized from http://www.scottwiener.com/supervisor_wiener_to_pursue_ballot_measure_reform_in_san_francisco

Supervisor Scott Wiener requested that the City Attorney begin preparing a charter amendment for the November 2015 ballot to reform San Francisco’s ballot measure system to make it more transparent, require better disclosure of donors, encourage more dialogue in crafting ballot measures, reduce significant fluctuations in the number of signatures required, and provide the proponents of ballot measures — whether residents or elected officials — with greater flexibility in amending and improving the measures before they go on the ballot. The measure is partly modeled on recent reform legislation adopted by the State Legislature for statewide ballot measures…

“…The current system makes it exceedingly hard, and often impossible, for proponents of ballot measures to amend the measures in response to feedback from the public and from elected officials. We need to provide those pursuing ballot measures with the tools to submit and pursue the best drafted proposals. We also need to ensure full transparency with respect to who is providing financial support for ballot measures…”

Supervisor Wiener will propose giving ballot measure proponents more flexibility — without taking any power away from them:

• For measures placed on the ballot by four Supervisors or the Mayor, authors may amend the measures in response to feedback. Currently, once such a measure is filed with the Department of Elections and the deadline to do so has passed, the authors cannot make any amendments and instead have a choice between proceeding to the ballot or withdrawing the measure. Current law requires that an informational hearing be held on the measure, but without allowing the authors to make amendments in response to feedback at that hearing. Supervisor Wiener will propose that, after the hearing, proponents have a week or two to make amendments in response to feedback.

• A 30 day public interaction and review period is provided, including required public hearings, on initiatives after filing and before signature collection to allow proponents to amend their measures in response to feedback.

• The formula for calculating the number of signatures required to qualify a measure will change to reduce the significant fluctuations that can occur under the current system. Currently, the number of required signatures is calculated as 5% of the votes cast in the last mayoral election. This formula can result in significant swings, making it harder to qualify measures for four years after a high-turnout mayoral race and easier after a low turnout race. Supervisor Wiener will instead explore basing the formula on a percentage of the number of registered voters. The goal would be to make the number of signatures similar to past requirements but more stable over time.

• Allowing proponents of initiatives to withdraw their measures later than the current deadline, so that if proponents are able to work out a resolution short of a ballot measure, they have the flexibility to do so.

• Requiring the Department of Elections to post online, and regularly update, the top 10 donors of committees in support and opposition of an initiative.

Summarized from www.dontsilencesfvoters.com

Opposition Perspective from Don’t Let Them Silence San Francisco Voters

The power of individual San Franciscans to band together to place measures before their fellow citizens by initiative petition is a cherished right, enshrined in both California’s Constitution and San Francisco’s City Charter. San Francisco ballot measures put to the voters by citizen initiative petitions are responsible for a wide variety of achievements that have defined San Francisco:  cable car preservation, raising the minimum wage, protecting neighborhood firehouses, strengthening rent control, creating district elections and term limits for Supervisors, enacting campaign contribution limits and anti-corruption laws, creation of the Sunshine Ordinance, divesting city funds from the apartheid regime in South
Africa, protecting waterfront height limits.

Supervisor Wiener’s proposal for the fall ballot changes the citizen initiative rules to make it significantly harder for San Franciscans to qualify initiative measures for the San Francisco ballot by 1) increasing the number of petition signatures required to put a citizen initiative measure on the ballot, thus also increasing the cost to put an initiative on the ballot and limiting the ability of grassroots initiatives to address the voters; 2) preventing initiative proponents from allowed collecting even a single initiative petition signature until the Board of Supervisors has first held a hearing on the proposal at City Hall; while 3) not restricting Mayor or Supervisors ability to put measures on the ballot, thus only restricting the power of ordinary citizens to act.

According to the San Francisco Department of Elections, 85% of the ballot measures considered by San Francisco voters over the last 50 years were placed on the ballot not by citizen petition but by the Board of Supervisors, Mayor, or politicians. Just 15% of SF ballot measures went to the voters because of citizen initiative petition drives. Since the vast majority of San Francisco ballot measures come out of City Hall, why are the proposed restrictions targeted only at stopping the ideas and initiatives that come from citizens?

[The views expressed above are for the information of our readers and do not reflect those of MPIC or Miraloma Life.]


Highlights of April MPIC Board Meeting Minutes

Treasurer: Discussion: Reserve Account to be used for Clubhouse maintenance and repairs only. R. Gee and B. Kan to assess amount needed to be set aside annually for these expenses. Clubhouse maintenance. Discussion: deep scratches on stage; $500 fine paid by renter for repair. Newsletter. Consideration of new printing house prospect and potential MLLife printing cost reduction. Streets & Transportation. Event to be held at MPIC to discuss SFMTA plans for Teresita traffic safety improvements;Date TBD. Zoning & Planning. Discussion: Planning Dept. procedural violations (failure to send 311 notices to MPIC); not requiring 331 Teresita remodel to conform to approved design. MPIC to advise Planning of this lapse to deter future violations of this kind. Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods. Discussion: height of 2 MEGA high rises proposed for waterfront; CSFN working to have height/bulk reduced. Discussion: proposal to narrow Portrero Avenue to two lanes. MPIC 501c3 Application: Revision of MPIC Bylaws, published in April MLLife as per MPIC Bylaws, submitted to Board for review prior to June election. Full 501c3 application to be shared with Board prior to submission to State AttorneyGeneral. New Business: Twin Peaks gas station (sited on City land, may close if City decides to re-purpose site.