your Miraloma Life … online – November 2005

    • MPIC’s Annual Holiday Party
    • Picturing Miraloma Life
    • Miraloma School PTA Rummage Sale
    • Scientists Probing – A News Poem
    • Dear Miraloma Park Neighbors:
    • The First Annual MPIC Fall Social
    • Longer Coyote Tails
    • Community Meeting – Miraloma Playground Remodel
    • Traffic on Teresita October Update
    • Legal Ease
    • Design Matters
    • SOTA – Arts and Education Gem  – in Miraloma Park’s Backyard
    • S. F. Office of Emergency Services – The More We Know, The Safer We Are
    • Coyote Tails

     

    MPIC’s Annual Holiday Party

    It’s that wonderful time of year time to fire up the oven and get out your favorite recipe to prepare for the MPIC Holiday Party and Bake-Off. Everybody’s invited for the fun on Sunday, December 4, 5 to 8 pm. This has always been the highlight of the year, as neighbors join together to share the warmth of the fire, the tastes of many wonderful dishes, the merriment, and the superb entertainment.
    Music will again be provided by Laura Lee Brown and Company, a mix of holiday favorites and pop tunes. Last year the band had to dismantle their equipment and hide the instruments before the crowd would let them go—and even then it was a close scrape.
    Also, the ever delightful Boswick Turnstyle, Jr., an clown without equal and magical balloon shaper, veteran of the Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Circus, will perform his holiday magic from 6 to 7 pm. Make sure to get the kids there on time—they’ll love it, and Boswick’s an equal opportunity clown: there’ll be plenty of giggles for adults too.
    The banquet will be hosted by the MPIC, who will provide roast turkey, ham, and a variety of hot and cold beverages including our famous champagne punch. Everyone attending is encouraged to bring a dish to share. Remember, the more you bring, the more people can sample, and the more votes you’ll have so for every member of your party, please plan to serve at least 12 people.

    The Holiday pot-luck has an international flavor, with past entries including Taco Mix, Boboli with caramelized onions and Stilton cheese, Moroccan Pasta, Chicken Mogul, Mexican Lasagna, and a host of other treats. Categories include Appetizers, Salads/Soups, Entrees, and Desserts. Winners of each category, including first, second, and third place, get to choose from among gift certificates and gift items from our local merchants. Past donors have included Tower Market, Round Table Pizza, Bird and Beckett Books and Music, Creighton’s, Miraloma Cleaners, Tower Burger, and Chenery Park Restaurant. Those not able to bring a dish to share will be asked for a small donation. The most important thing is to come and bring a neighbor or a friend. If you are bringing several people, please bring more portions in your potluck dish or more than one dish. If you have questions, call 281-0892 and leave a
    message or go to miralomapark.org.

    Picturing Miraloma Life

    by Jacquie Proctor

    Here is another picture by long time Miraloma resident, Bertha Jones. This is one of the Miraloma Cub Scouts on the train engine play structure they made for the children at the Infant Shelter in 1951. Left to right top row: Dennis Anderson and Richard Bach; middle: Lucian Vance, Douglas Dickson; bottom: Charles Harris, David Berkowitz, Stephen Strange, Alan Lacy, and Dennis Jones.

    Do you have pictures to share about Miraloma life? Email me at jacquieproctor@hotmail.com or leave a message at the club house phone number, 281-0892. I can take a digital picture of your photo to duplicate it for the newsletter and avoid removing it from a frame or photo album.

    Miraloma School PTA Rummage Sale

    You’re invited to the annual Miraloma Elementary school-wide multi-family rummage sale, Saturday, November 5, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (175 Omar Way.) All proceeds benefit the school’s “Sports4Kids” physical education program.
    Neighborhood donations of gently used and clean items (especially furniture, kitchen and housewares, books, toys and electronics) are welcome and are tax deductible. Donations can be dropped off at the Omar entrance to the school all day on Friday, November 4, from 8 a.m to 7 p.m.
    If you haven’t already checked it out, come see what terrific things are happening at our own neighborhood school. Miraloma has emerged as a gold standard in parent involvement and become one of the most requested public schools in San Francisco. Tours for parents interested in applying for the 2006-2007 school year are currently being scheduled (Tuesdays @ 8:30 a.m). Call the school at 469-4134 to make a tour reservation.

    Scientists Probing – A News Poem

    by Stan Andersen

    At the Royal Perth Hospital
    Far out down under
    Did young Doc Marshall
    Actually gulp down a flask
    Of Helicobacter pylori

    While older Doc Warren
    Looked on witnessing
    The resultant gut-ache,
    Proving bacteria alone
    Will start stomach ulcers

    Even lacking spicy food
    Or heavy stress,
    And may be remedied
    Easily, without
    Antacids?

    Indeed it’s so—
    They won a Nobel Prize
    And forthwith went out
    To a rich dinner
    At a fine restaurant
    In far out Perth
    Down under.

    Noble scientists!

     

    Dear Miraloma Park Neighbors:

    In our community, our children must be our highest priority. As a child psychologist, school board member, supervisor, and now Speaker pro Tempore of the California Assembly, I have fought for our children. This year, I authored legislation to regulate violent video games, end the usage of child interpreters and to improve the nutritional content of food in our schools. In your neighborhood, you have worked hard to secure funding for improvements to Miraloma Playground, helping to create a safe and quality space for the children of Miraloma Park. I commend you for your efforts, as collectively we must work to ensure that the next generation receives the support they need and deserve.
    As you may know, my violent video game bill was just signed into law on October 7, 2005. Unlike movies where the action is passively observed, video game players are active participants in the extreme violence, making decisions on who to stab, maim, burn or kill. As a result, these games serve as learning tools that have a dramatic impact on our children. My legislation, Assembly Bill (AB) 1179, empowers parents by allowing them to determine which video games are appropriate for their children.
    This new law was broadly supported by such national leaders as U.S. Senators Hilary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), Joe Lieberman (D-CT), Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevish (D-IL) who urged the Governor to sign this legislation.
    I have also authored legislation prohibiting the use of children as interpreters in any state or public agency. Using children in medical and government offices puts them in the primary position for translating sensitive and sometimes harmful information. It also burdens children with, at times, the complex and emotional responsibility of acting as a proxy for parents or other family members. My legislation will compel these agencies to avoid using children and instead, locate adult interpreters who will be able to accurately relate vital information and protect children from potentially detrimental experiences or premature knowledge of family strife.
    In California and throughout the nation childhood obesity is fast becoming a crisis. The link between nutrition and learning is well documented. Healthy eating patterns are essential for students to achieve their full academic potential, full physical and mental growth, and lifelong health and well-being. Despite overwhelming support in the State Assembly, the Governor vetoed my recent legislation that was designed to end the practice of selling unhealthy competitive foods such as candy bars, chips, and soda on public school campuses. Despite this setback, I was honored to have been given the title of Legislator of the Year by the California School Nutrition Association, and I hope that we are all able to work together to continue promoting these issues in the future.
    I would like to thank the members of the Miraloma Park Improvement Club for being involved in your community, and especially to thank club members for your continued activism and support.
    Please feel free to contact my office if you have any issues you would like to discuss or if we can be of any assistance in your efforts.
    Sincerely,

    Leland Y. Yee, Ph.D.
    Speaker pro Tempore Leland Yee represents the 12th Assembly District, which includes San Francisco and San Mateo Counties.

     

    The First Annual MPIC Fall Social

    by Jim O’Donnell

    The Forty-Niners were not playing, but the MPICer’s stepped up to the plate to fill the void on Sunday afternoon, October 16. Unlike many other neighborhood associations, we are blessed with a “jewel in the crown”, a fully operational clubhouse built for the benefit of local residents. With this kind of facility, it only makes sense to use it at least once a year to have a meet and greet event. The San Francisco average for residential turnover is 18% per year, so we want to make sure that new residents feel welcome to the neighborhood, just like small towns have done for years across the United States. Miraloma Park is like a small town in itself, and our Ingleside Police Captain is kind of like our own local sheriff. And of course, Captain Paul Chigell was at the event to meet many of the attendees. Sean Elsbernd, our District 7 Supervisor was there and we even had Assemblyman Dr. Leland Yee attend the event, and as usual, he looked like he came out of Gentleman’s Quarterly Magazine. His assistant, Kirsten Wallerstedt, had come to one of our board meetings and made sure of his appearance. Higher office is continuing to call him, I am sure.

    Our suggestion box was populated by three of our attendees. One suggestion was that there be a better marketing mix of businesses on Portola. West Portal and other neighborhoods have the same issue, but it is a matter if a specific type of business can survive. Bookstores are losing out to Internet buying, and retail operations are getting harder all the time. City Hall claims to be small business-friendly, but small businesses are the ones who are carrying all the freight these days. There is always an attempt to get them to “tip the basket” when tax revenues do not measure up. Clear out the deadwood downtown, and maybe there would be a lot more revenue to go around..

    Another suggestion was for a pedestrian stoplight at Malta and O’Shaughnessy, which can be as dangerous as Teresita and Stillings. Those stop signs are going in before the end of 2005, thanks to the efforts of Gary Noguera, a member of the MPIC Board. He has been fighting to get them in since 1994. Hope springs eternal, maybe by 2020 we can get another set of stop signs or some lights.

    There was also another plea to get the potholes filled in the neighborhood, but if it takes as long as the repaving of Congo and Stillings, it is a long, long way to Tipperary indeed …Contact Sean Elsbernd if you have more suggestions at his email, Sean.Eslbernd@sfgov.org. He loves to read messages from his constituents.

    All-in-all, we had a good turnout and a great kickoff to the finale of 2005. Don’t forget the holiday party at the MPIC clubhouse at 5PM on Sunday, December 4. There will be the usual potluck and prizes for best dish by category, plus plenty of entertainment for children. We want you there!

     

    Longer Coyote Tails

    by Joanne Whitney

    Perhaps, Mr. Coyote was angry at me because I called him a Trickster in last month’s Miraloma Life. I meant no disrespect for I envisioned him as a Trickster in much the sameway that Hermes is in Greek mythology, or Loki is as the Nordic God of Fire or as the Irish Lady of the Lake or the African Tortoise are in their cultures.

    In the Native American oral tradition, Coyote, the vulgar but sacred Trickster, scandalizes, disgusts, amuses, disrupts, chastises, and humiliates (or is humiliated by) the animal-like people of pre-history. Yet he is also a creative force transforming the world with his instinctive energies and cunning. Coyote uses his wits and courage to survive. The Nez Perce Indians have a coyote tale you may enjoy.
    Long ago, people were not yet on earth. A monster walked upon the land, and ate all the animals except Coyote. Coyote was angry that his friends were gone and attached himself to the top of the tallest mountain. He challenged the monster to try to eat him. The monster tried to blow Coyote off the mountain with his powerful breath, but the ropes were too strong
    Realizing that Coyote was sly and clever, the monster decided to befriend Coyote and invited him to visit his home. Coyote agreed to the visit only if he could visit his friends first. He asked if he could enter the monster’s stomach to see them. The monster consented, and Coyote cut out its heart and set fire to its insides, freeing his friends.
    Then Coyote decided to make a new animal. He flung pieces of the monster in the four directions. Wherever the pieces landed, a new tribe of Indians emerged. He ran out of body parts but used the monster’s blood, which was still on his hands, to create the Nez Perce, who would be strong and good.

    Community Meeting – Miraloma Playground Remodel

    by Joanne Whitney
    Many residents do not realize that the Miraloma Playground located at Sequoia and Bella Vista is not part of the Miraloma School but is a public playground run by San Francisco Recreation and Parks and open to all Miraloma Park children. Sean Elsbernd, District 7 Supervisor, has obtained $225,000 from the City capital budget for a one-time upgrade of the Miraloma Playground. The MPIC Board of Directors recently met with Mary Tienken who is a project director for SF Park and Rec. Ms Tienken described some of the possibilities for spending the money such as repairing the playing field, remodeling the building and bringing in new and better play structures.
    Some Board Members felt that many in the community did not understand that the playground was a public playground and not a part of the Miraloma School and were therefore left out of the decision making process. They explored the idea of an open community meeting to discuss how the money should be spent wisely. Ms Tienken was contacted and reported that that Supervisor Elsbernd after having received many emails and calls about the playground suggested that Recreation and Parks hold an open meeting in our neighborhood about the improvements.
    The result is that on November 10, the Miraloma Park Improvement Club and SF Recreation and Parks will hold a joint informational meeting about how best to spend the money to make improvements in the playground. Please note that the meeting will start at 6:30 pm and end at 8:00 pm. We hope an early start will attract parents of children who might use the playground. MPIC will provide light refreshments such as cookies, coffee, juices, etc.

    Unfortunately, Supervisor Elsbernd cannot be in attendance at the meeting since he is being married the next day but he will send a representative who along with Ms. Tienken should be able to answer your questions. If you are unable to attend the meeting, Supervisor Elsbernd has requested that you send your suggestions regarding specific improvements directly to sean.elsbernd@sfgov.org.

    Although $225,000 seems like a lot of money, it does not go far in this day and age. Another complication is that the money must be spent before 6/30/06 so a decision must be made soon. It is likely that one area or the other but not all can be funded for improvements.

    Your input is critical so please attend this open discussion and have your voice heard. If you are not familiar with the playground go to Sequoia and Bella Vista and check it out. Viewing the site should help you put your suggestions together. If you are unable to go before the meeting, perhaps the pictures on Page 7 will help.

    Remember this is YOUR CHILDREN’S PLAYGROUND.

     

    Traffic on Teresita October Update

    by Gary Noguera
    The MPIC Board of Directors, as well as many concerned residents continue to stay focused on the issue of traffic safety in our neighborhood. After many years of efforts, our neighborhood is starting to see results. Working with Supervisor Elsbernd and the various agencies in San Francisco, we are close to making great strides. An “all-way” stop will be installed at the dangerous corner of Stillings and Teresita, which will include a prior “stop ahead” warning sign on the uphill side of the street. Captain Chignell of the SFPD Ingleside station has agreed to have additional enforcement officers at that intersection right after the new signs are installed.
    Additionally, the Municipal Transit Authority (formally called the DPT, Department of Public Transportation) has been invited to a community meeting to update us on the next steps they will be taking relative to traffic calming. There are a number of projects in the planning stages for Teresita Blvd, including reworking the traffic controls at the Fowler “Y”, at Marietta, at Bella Vista, lower Teresita and the intersection of Foerster and Teresita.
    The meeting will be held at the MPIC clubhouse in the coming weeks. More details will be provided in the next issue of this newsletter. Stay tuned!

    Legal Ease

    by Steven Solomon

    Q: Are those pesky lawyer still filing all those frivolous lawsuits?

    A: Hmmm, let’s look at the Judicial Council’s 2005 figures: total civil filings in 1994-95 were 1.8 million & in 2003-4 were 1.5 million. Car accident cases in 94-95 were 48,000 & in 03-04 were 33,000. Jury trials in 94-95 were 15,207 & in 03-04 were 10,706, even with more judges, more people & more lawyers.

    MIGHTY RIGHTS – In 1872, the Calif. Legislature decreed that “every person has the right of protection from harm . . .” Does that right still reverberate now, when Congress has just passed laws shielding gun makers & the fast food industry from liability for harm from their products?

    Steve Solomon is an 18 year resident of Miraloma Park. He just relocated his law office to West Portal where he continues to represent consumers and business groups in a variety of legal issues.

     

    Design Matters

    Peter A. Zepponi, AIA – Architect

    This is a monthly column addressing basic residential design and home improvement topics of interest to Miraloma Park residents. If you have a question or topic you’d like considered for a future article please send an email to: pazdesignmatters@aol.com or call 415.334.2868.

    Q: What is Title 24 and why should I care?

    A: Title 24 is California Building Energy Efficiency Standards, and the new revisions took effect on Oct. 1, 2005.

    So you’re asking why should you care about the new 2005 California Building Energy Efficiency Standards? AKA, Title 24. After all, it’s a long technical bureaucratic code that regulates the energy efficiency of buildings. Lighting wattages, allowable percentages of window glazing, insulation R-values, electronic controls, HVAC systems, ‘cool roofs’, solar heat gain coefficients….etc. Pretty boring, right? Don’t bother you because you’re too busy picking out your new light fixtures for you kitchen remodel. Well, it’ll get a lot less boring when the building inspector comes by to sign off on your construction permit job card and tells you your new kitchen doesn’t comply with the new Title 24 code and you have to tear out all your nice new halogen recessed can lights and rewire your switches! That’d get anybody’s attention.
    I won’t bore you with a bunch of technical information here. I’ve already been to two seminars on the changes and could think of several more enjoyable ways to spend these sunny October days. What is important for you to know is that major changes to the energy code just went into place on October 1. Therefore, being the busy professionals we all are, most of us have waited until October 2nd to really start reading and applying the new code. The exceptions to this are the professional plan checkers and building inspectors. They’ve been going to training seminars and classes for months now looking forward to putting their new knowledge into action. For this reason, while everyone is making the transition and getting up to speed, make sure your architects, contractors, electricians, and handypersons are all aware of the new requirements.
    There will most likely be a trickle down of information from the architects and engineers, to the general contractors, to the sub-contractors, to the handypersons. Architects and engineers are currently reading the new code and working with the building departments to design and permit code compliant buildings. Contractors will begin to get familiar with the changes as they work on construction projects that were permitted after October 1st which have incorporated the new requirements. Contractors will also be getting rapidly up to speed as the building inspectors point out non-compliant work and make them correct it. That’s an expensive lesson, so I’d imagine most reputable contractors will familiarize themselves with the new codes fairly quickly. Where you need to be careful is when hiring a small contractor, sub-contractor or handyperson. They are probably too busy working to be tracking which new codes and legislation are going into effect and may just ‘do it the way they’ve always done it’. A couple of simple questions may save you a hassle down the road. 1. Are you licensed? 2. Will the work comply with the new Title 24 energy code that just took effect?
    New changes are in two categories: residential and non-residential buildings. In residential buildings the biggest change is that a lot of the extra measures that would have given you energy credits previously are now the default. The bar has been raised. It’s also more complicated to do the calculations, so expect Title 24 energy consultant’s fees to go up.

    Here are just a few examples of the changes:

    Residential Lighting: [§150(k)]
    – At least 50% of the total lighting wattage in kitchens needs high efficacy (fluorescent). High and low efficacy fixtures must be on separate switches. There’s no more 1st switch fluorescent requirement. All fluorescent recessed fixtures must be the pin base type, not screw in.
    Impact: More expensive fixtures; very few dimmable options on the market; more difficult to get good lighting color temperatures. Fluorescent light is usually cooler and bluer than incandescent or halogen.
    – Recessed luminaries (can lights) in insulated ceilings have to be IC rated and AT, airtight.
    Impact: Very few AT (airtight) lighting options on the market.
    – Bathrooms, garages, laundry rooms, and utility rooms will be required to be high efficacy or controlled by a manual on/automatic off occupancy sensor. Lighting in other living spaces is required to be high efficacy or controlled by a dimmer switch. Outdoor lighting mounted to the building must be high efficacy or controlled by a motion sensor with an integral photosensor. (turns off in sunlight)
    Impact: A lot more fluorescent lighting. Occupancy sensors and dimmer switches will become the norm. Outdoor lighting just got more difficult to install.
    HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) :
    – Air ducts require more insulation. R-6 in climate zones 1-5 San Francisco is Climate Zone 3.
    Impact: This will make the ducts bigger so they need more space and clearances possibly requiring larger framing. [§151(f)10]
    – Duct sealing and testing required when air conditioner / furnace or ducts are replaced. [§152(b)1D,E]
    Plumbing:
    – For single residences either a single gas storage type water heater, 50 gallons or smaller, with no recirculation pumps and meeting the mandatory insulation requirements for storage tanks and hot water pipes to the kitchen, or instantaneous gas water heaters will be required. [§151(f)8]
    Impact: This is to encourage the installation of tankless water heaters. (ie. www.takagi.com )
    Windows:
    -Replacement windows must be high efficiency (prescriptive method) [§152(b)1B]
    Impact: Dual pane, low-‘E’ (emissivity) glass will become more standard.
    USEFUL RESOURCES:
    If you have questions about Title 24:
    Energy Efficiency Hotline
    E-mail: title24@energy.state.ca.us
    Phone: 916-654-5106 or
    Phone: 1-800-772-3300 (toll free in Calif.)
    Or see the website.
    www.energy.ca.gov/title24

    This column and its content are intended to be a source of general information. Applicability to your specific project should be verified.
    Peter A. Zepponi, AIA – Architects, is an architectural firm in San Francisco specializing in residential and commercial architecture.

    SOTA – Arts and Education Gem  – in Miraloma Park’s Backyard

    by Caroline Grannan

    School of the Arts (SOTA), San Francisco’s acclaimed public arts high school, offers young artists an intensive education in their fields while also providing high-quality student entertainment in Miraloma Park’s backyard.

    SOTA is located at the former McAteer High School site, at Portola and O’Shaughnessy. Long-term plans are to move to a historic school district building at 135 Van Ness, near the symphony, ballet, opera and various museums, after a major renovation. But that requires a capital campaign, which is currently underway, and SOTA will be at its current location for several years. The class of 2009 has been told to expect to graduate at the McAteer site.
    The school admits students by audition or judging in their specific artistic discipline. SOTA was conceived in the 1980s as a regional arts school, and admits a percentage of students who live outside the city, as well as from San Francisco public and private schools. It is a prestigious destination school even in high-income Bay Area suburbs for students who are able to pass the auditions.
    The school offers top-quality instruction in Instrumental music, vocal, visual arts, theatre arts, creative writing, dance, theatre tech, piano and media arts. Students study academic subjects in the morning and focus on their arts discipline in the afternoon.
    This year, a second, small public high school opened on the McAteer campus, under the leadership of SOTA Principal Donn Harris. The new school, the Academy of Arts & Sciences, focuses on graphic arts and technology and admits by lottery rather than portfolio. The Academy opened with about 80 ninth grade students and will expand year by year to twelve grades. The campus was designed for far more than SOTA’s 600-plus students and also houses some San Francisco Unified School District administrative offices.

    SOTA’s high-quality performances are open to the public. Performance are held at the school, most on the auditorium’s main stage at 555 Portola (which has free parking). Some performances may sell out in advance. Ticket prices vary (but are reasonable). Box office: 415/695-5720.

    Upcoming performances:

    Thursday-Friday-Saturday, Nov. 17-18-19, 7:30 p.m.:”Follies,” considered by many to be Stephen Sondheim’s greatest work . SOTA student performers work alongside cabaret professionals. Main stage.
    Saturday, Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m.: Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble, featuring “Roller Coaster,” “Under the Big Top” and other parody pieces. Main stage.
    Friday & Saturday, Dec. 9 & 10, 7:30 p.m.: vocal and orchestra winter concert. Main stage.
    Go to www.sfsota-ptsa.org for a complete calendar. Miraloma Park neighbors are especially invited to check out these high-quality student productions.

     

    S. F. Office of Emergency Services – The More We Know, The Safer We Are

    Build a Kit for Emergencies

    After a major disaster the usual services we take for granted, such as running water, refrigeration, and telephones, may be unavailable. Experts recommend that you should be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least three days.

    Your basic emergency kit should include:

    Water: one gallon per person per day

    Food ready to eat or requiring minimal water

    Manual can opener

    First Aid kit & instructions

    Essential medications

    Flashlight

    Radio – battery operated

    Batteries

    Cash in small denominations

    A copy of important documents & phone numbers

    Unscented liquid household bleach for water purifica tion

    Personal hygiene items including toilet paper, feminine
    supplies, and soap

    Sturdy shoes

    Heavy gloves

    Warm clothes, a hat and rain gear

    A local map

    Extra prescription eye glasses, hearing aid or other vital
    personal items

    Plastic sheeting, duct tape and utility knife for covering
    broken windows

    Blanket or sleeping bag

    Extra keys to your house and vehicle

    Large plastic bags for waste and sanitation

    Any special-need items for children and seniors and people
    with disabilities. Don’t forget water and supplies for your
    pets.
    Visit www.72hours.org and download a copy of this list of items for your emergency supply kit and go-bag and bring it with you to the grocery and hardware store for easy reference.

     

    Coyote Tails

    Alas, from the letter I found stuck to the underside of my garbage can lid a few days ago I can only assume that I’ve hurt our coyote’s dignity and offer my deepest apologies. I shall however continue to offer some history or mythology about his kind hoping that he will be placated. Here is our friend’s reply to my innocent attempt to please him last month. Perhaps, since he questions the reliability of my sources on coyote behavior, he will continue to educate us on the realities? One can only hope. The letter below from a reader should give him pause but– Ed.

    Dear Misguided Miraloma Life Editor:
    In one breath you assert that coyotes mate for life, and in the next you aver that we mate with dogs! Logically, this can only mean that we mate with dogs for life or that we are unfaithful with them even though we mate with each other for life. What sources substantiate such preposterous claptrap? You hope it “makes me happy” when you imply that I, a 50-pound Mount Davidson coyote in the full vigor of my scintillatin’ prime, might mate for life with a dachshund? A basset hound? Or that I would betray lifelong vows for a fling with a Pekinese? Just visualize it, ladies and gentlemen, and tell me you can keep a straight face? Oh, yes, this makes me happy—in fact, it makes me roll over on my back gasping with laughter, my paws twitching in the air, tearing grass out in crazy clumps, with tears of hilarity coursing down my snout. Where do you humans get such notions? What authoritative sources stuff your heads with nonsense till it spills out your ears? Perhaps you’ve been talking to crows, who from the sound of your last month’s uncontested article have “cawght” you mentally napping? Listen to those wretched black beakflappers and you’ll end up believing I’d mate with a goat. Yes, this is San Francisco, where the most unusual lifestyles and lovestyles are as well accepted as apple pie, and we all know there is no accounting for tastes—but let me assure you, this nocturnal wanderer would as soon chow down on a chow as mate with one. A wolf, on the other hand . . . now there’s an intriguing notion. Seen any around here lately?
    Yours just howlin’,
    W. Coyote, Esq.

    Hello Editor,
    I read the little article in the Miraloma Life about the resident coyote on Mt. Davidson. About six months ago, my daughter found an animal skull behind our fence (our house is on Molimo Dr. and our backyard backs up to the mountain). I saved it for months in a plastic bag because I had a plan to take it to the Randall Museum and have it identified. I was convinced it was a coyote skull or some other small animal like a coyote. It had this long narrow face and sharp teeth. My husband thought it was maybe someone’s dog but there were no other bones to try and identify it. It also had a little bit of fur still on the skull that were definitely the color of a coyote and it had whiskers still attached into the fur around the nose area. Unfortunately, I ended up throwing it into the garbage because it sat in the bag for so long that it started getting really gross. Anyway, I just thought I would relay this information.
    Judy McKie