your Miraloma Life … online – June 2007

  • San Francisco History Lecture at the MPIC Clubhouse:
    The Gold Rush and the MPIC Election
  • From the Captain’s Desk
  • Legal Ease
  • Whispers in the Water at El Polin: Plumbing the Presidio’s Historic Freshwater Spring
  • Miraloma Life Is On Vacation
  • Mt. Davidson Seismic Upgrade
  • Miraloma Park Residential Guidelines
  • Heavy Demand on Sunnyside Park Surplus Budget
  • Mockingbird
  • Miraloma Park Improvement Club Clubhouse
  • Wanted: An Angel with a Piano
  • Glorious May Community Garden Tour
  • We Can Always Talk About the Weather!
  • Neighborhood Turns Out for Sunnyside
  • Delightful Musical Social


San Francisco History Lecture at the MPIC Clubhouse: The Gold Rush and the MPIC Election

by Dan Liberthson

Noted author and teacher Charles Fracchia, Founder and President Emeritus of  the San Francisco Historical Society, is coming to the MPIC Clubhouse at 350 O’Shaughnessy at Del Vale to give a free talk on “The Gold Rush: Its Impact on San Francisco.”  All are invited on Thursday, June 21 at 7:30 pm, when Mr. Fracchia will discuss the events of the Gold Rush in the late 1840s and the first half of the 1850s, and their impact on the development of San Francisco to the present day. Charles Fracchia is the author of twelve books, including three on San Francisco history, among them Fire and Gold: The San Francisco Story and City By the Bay: A History of San Francisco 1945 to the Present.

Charles Fracchia is a native San Franciscan who did his undergraduate work in history at the University of San Francisco (USF), and did graduate work at USF Law School, San Francisco State, the University of California/Berkeley, and the Graduate Theological Union/Berkeley.  For more than 40 years he has been an investment advisor, and had a second career as a teacher and writer.  He currently teaches at USF’s Fromm Institute and is the Department Chair of the Library and Learning Resource Centers at City College of San Francisco.

The MPIC will hold its annual election of Officers and Directors to 2-year terms just before the presentation. All members in good standing (dues paid as of May 21, 2007) are encouraged to come and cast your votes. Following is the slate:

    • Dan Liberthson Director, Corresponding Secretary, and Acting Treasurer
    • Kathy Rawlins Director and Recording Secretary
    • Gary Noguera Director
    • Sue Kirkham Director
    • Karen Breslin Director

Light refreshments will be served, and there will be ample opportunity for socializing with your neighbors and discussion (Q & A) with Mr. Fracchia. Please join us: it’s free, it’s fun, and it will give you fascinating new perspectives on the history of your city and state.


From the Captain’s Desk

As you all know, Miraloma Park is one of the safest neighborhoods and has one of the lowest crime rates of any San Francisco neighborhood. But if you are the victim of a crime, the overall rate of criminal incidents isn’t important. What matters is that you have been victimized—your house invaded by a stranger, your car window smashed and goods taken.

Around the 2006 holiday season, Miraloma Park was troubled by an outbreak of car-boostings (break-ins) which ended with an arrest Christmas night. Yet, occasional boostings continue to occur, and one recent such incident in Miraloma prompts this article offering safety tips which you’ve probably heard before and which I know from experience can’t be repeated too often.

Auto boostings are the most preventable of crimes: do not leave anything in your car, including documents containing personal information that may be used in identity theft.

·Example: the homeowner who left her garage door opener in her car parked on the street and woke in the predawn hours to the sound of her garage door being opened by an intruder who had stolen the opener from her car.

Burglary is in many cases a preventable crime. We don’t need to live in fortified houses to practice good prevention. Who is on your street when you leave your home? Is someone you don’t know sitting in a car for no apparent reason?

·Example: a Miraloma resident left his house one morning to run an errand and found that the house had been burgled during his brief absence of only a few minutes. Fast work: how did it happen? Someone was watching the home, waited for the resident to leave, quickly entered, and left without being apprehended.

Casing houses to determine whether the occupant is at home is commonly done by persons sitting in cars or going from house to house ringing doorbells. These individuals should definitely be checked out by police officers.

Legitimate contractors do not advertise their services in this way, and those who do are often troubled or dishonest individuals whose presence in a neighborhood can result in thefts, intimidation of seniors, and worse.

Practicing these safety precautions will make your safe, beautiful neighborhood even safer. We can’t overstate the importance of calling police (553-0123) if you see anyone suspicious: the SFPD is here to serve you: let us check on suspicious individuals. (For emergencies or crimes in progress, call 911.)

And if you’d like to receive the daily e-Ingleside District incident report, send your email address to me at

Captain Paul Chignell
Commanding Officer
Ingleside Station


Legal Ease

by Steven Solomon

Q: With more & more homeowners handling their own home sales, what tips do you have for the sell-it-yourself-er?

A: There does indeed seem to be a trend towards less reliance on real estate agents for home sales, plus more willingness to negotiate the commission. But if you take on the job of selling your own home, be aware of the following: you’ll need inspections of the home structure, pest control, environmental hazards (asbestos, etc.) & soil stability if you are a hill dweller.

Also, the real estate disclosure law requires disclosure of structural defects, easements, zoning violations (was that in-law permitted?), noise issues (including airport noise), environmental hazards, smoke detector & water heater compliance, etc.

Be sure to accurately & fully describe the property & all appliances & fixtures included, inspections, & include dealer-breaker conditions & how the deposit is treated & refunded, if necessary. The Calif. State Bar has a marvelous resource, “Legal Health Checklist” for more tips.

Have a great summer, & see you back in the Fall!

Steve Solomon is an 18 year resident of Miraloma Park.  His law office is located on West Portal where he continutes to represent consumers and business groups in a variety of legal issues.


Whispers in the Water at El Polin: Plumbing the Presidio’s Historic Freshwater Spring

by Geoffrey Coffey

Predicting the future or understanding the past – which is more important?  Ask the Muwekma Ohlone, who settled the village of Petlenuc beside El Polin some 5,000 years ago; they knew lots about the local plants and animals, but had no idea this land would become the Presidio of San Francisco, one of the most valuable pieces of real estate in the world.  Their simple life ended with the 1776 arrival of Captain Anza, who chained them up and founded this fort as the northernmost reach of the Spanish crown. The following two centuries of military occupation under the flags of Spain, Mexico, and the U.S. shocked and awed this landscape into spectacular transformation, but neither quadrangles nor barracks nor landfills nor quarries nor the gloom of a historic Australian forest have stayed the original native plant communities from their appointed lifecycles: many of the “original inhabitants” still grow on the Presidio’s distinctive bluffs, beaches, and dunes, telling a tale older than mankind.

Among our oldest local legends concerns the Oja de Agua of El Polin, a freshwater spring in the Tennessee Hollow watershed (the Presidio’s southeast corner).  The bulk of the military’s water supply always came from Mountain Lake to the west, but the seasonal pulse of El Polin commanded greater mystery and attraction. Myth held that any maiden who drank of its waters (particularly during a full moon) would be assured great fertility with an abundance of twins, while any man so indulging would enjoy a vigorous jolt of pre-Columbian Viagra.  In his Discorso Historica of 1876, General Vallejo described the “very good water” which “demonstrated miraculous qualities”; he cited the numerous offspring of garrison wives, “all of whom several times had twins,” and listed them by family name and number of children produced (13, 18, 22), a laudable multiplication he attributed to “the virtue of the water of El Polin, which still exists.” 

The name El Polin derives from the old Spanish word for a giant wooden roller used dockside to load cannon and treasure aboard galleons; due to the phallic appearance of these logs, the word enjoyed widespread use as vulgar slang for the penis. Sources hint at Ohlone origins for the legend of the water’s fucundity, but the nickname is 100% macho Spaniard.

El Polin’s intrigue grew over the years, with conflicting reports of the “true source” and various factions taking oaths to keep the site secret from one another. But debating the exact whereabouts of the magic spring is moot; this wellspring is one of several (including a fountain in the courtyard of St. Mary the Virgin Church at Union and Steiner) fed by groundwater draining through the sandstone and serpentine ridge that peaks at Clay Street.  Flow patterns have shifted over eons with the sand dunes – and more recently, with the bulldozers.

The modern map of the Presidio marks “El Polin Spring” at the southern foot of MacArthur Ave., in a cozy picnic area outfitted with a cobblestone well to mark the location.  The water draining from the hillside to the well tumbles over some beautiful Spanish-era brickworks in a series of miniature waterfalls, attracting birds who like to drink and shower in the cascades.  Copious in February when charged by rainfall, the flow here in June has slowed to five or ten cups per minute, and will dry to less than a trickle in October.

Still, the native plant community of El Polin is characteristic of some riparian habitats, testifiying to the water seeping underground. Wax myrtle or Myrica californica grows evergreen to fifteen feet, a desireable shelter for wildlife. 

The 3-foot perennial bee plant or Scrophularia californica feeds a squadron of swooping hummingbirds, while scattered rushes (Juncus leseurii, J. phaeocephalus, and J. effusus) and willows (Salix spp.) further confirm the presence of groundwater.  Park biologists have identified El Polin as the site of highest diversity of bird life in the Presidio.

Some members of the Presidio Trust have deduced from the presence of water-loving plants that El Polin was once the headwaters for an open stream that flowed north to the Bay, and they plan to “daylight the stream” by digging up pipes and building three “natural waterways” from Tennessee Hollow that will drain into a central creek running to the newly restored wetlands at Crissy Field.  Opponents of this plan, like environmental justice advocate Francisco Da Costa and native plant booster Susan M. Smith, state that no such stream ever existed; they denounce the project as a bid by the Trust to salvage their “failed wetlands” with an increased flow of fresh water through what was once sand dunes, not open creek.  (The Crissy tidal marsh has inded grown silted with deposits of sand, and toxic levels of sewage were found in its shallows.)

Unresolved controversy deserves input from the history books.  We have descriptions of the Presidio at the turn of the 19th century by pioneering naturalists Menzies and Chamisso, an early view of this landscape before it was so helplessly wrangled by western civilization.  From the journal of Archibald Menzies, describing his expedition with Capt. Vancouver to the terrain of present-day Crissy lagoon, written in 1792 (copy on file in the library of the California Academy of Sciences): “We found a low tract of marshy land with some saltwater lagoons supplied by the overflowing of high tides and oozing through the sandy beach… The watering party who landed before us could meet with no fresh water stream.  They were therefore obliged to dig a well in the marsh to fill their casks, which was a little brackish, as might be expected.”

From the journal of Adelbert von Chamisso on his first visit to the Presidio in 1816 (copy on file in the library of the Presidio Trust): “We had taken on fresh water, which in this port, especially in summer, is a difficult business.” His ship, the Russian schooner Rurick, was anchored in view of the main post, at the mouth of any existing wetland from that time.    An 1839 map of San Francisco drawn by Smith Elder of London clearly shows east-running Islais, Mission, and Yosemite Creeks by the Mission, and a 1776 map by Pedro Font of the original Anza expedition shows Mountain Lake with Lobos Creek running west to the sea, but neither map shows a north-running waterway beside the fortress — only some wavy lines drawn to the north in the swampy region by the shore.

Today, on the slope rising above El Polin  to Inspiration Point, a serpentine grassland boasts a population of the federally endangered Presidio Clarkia or Clarkia franciscana.  This slender annual with the light-green foliage brightenes the hillside every June with delicate pink-purple blossoms held 12-18 inches high. This is one of our most rare and prized endemics, growing here in association with blue trumpets of Ithuriel’s spear (Triteleia laxa), fragrant white twilight blossoms of soap plant (Chlorogalum pomeridianum), and hot pink flashes of wild onion (Allium dichlamydeum). All these plants depend on the water draining slowly through the fractures of the underlying serpentine, but much of this water may be squandered by the installation of an open stream below the springs. 

Might the protected Clarkia be affected?  Says Smith, “Putting in drains below El Polin (so-called “daylighting”) would put this population in jeopardy.”

Snake oil comes in many flavors, and El Polin has spawned its share of shills.  A flyer titled “Notice Extraordinary” from 1947 announced a one-day sale of “the original, authentic and ardent waters of El Polin, bottled by the Brethren of the Ancient & Honorable Order of E. Clampus Vitus.” A librarian’s footnote identifies the responsible scoundrel as Army clamper Eric Falconer, who embellished his advertisement with fabricated testimonials of eminent users such as “Wonderful!  For man or beast!  Colonel Mason’s sick jackass drank its waters, recovered, gave every sign of being a well jackass, and sired twin foals from an Army mule.” Whether his intended customers were jackasses or stevedore’s poles, Falconer’s fandango may bear an eerie parallel to contemporary schemes. 

Seduced by the romance of El Polin, those who would narrate its future must not forget its past.  The stories are out there for those willing to hear.  Pause with me for a moment, and listen.

Writer and landscape designer Geoffrey Coffey is reminded of the poem “Ozymandius” by Percy Shelley.  Find Coffey’s vast and trunkless legs of stone at


Miraloma Life Is On Vacation

by Joanne Whitney

Miraloma Life will not be published during  July and August but will appear again in September..  We are always happy to have new authors.  Essays, comment on community and city concerns, poetry,  short fiction and nature articles are very much in demand.  Send submissions by August 23 to  to be included in  the September edition.

A wonderful alternative to keep up on the news and events occurring in the neighborhood is to access the Miraloma Park Improvement Club’s website at  Turn on your internet connection and type in the locator box at the top of the page.  Press enter and you will go to the MPIC’s homepage. 

You can  find out what events are occurring and can catch up on old issues of Miraloma Life. 

If you click on Design Guidelines, you will be able to read the guidelines concerning housing construction, additions and renovations in Miraloma Park that were written by members and have been accepted by the planning commission as a means to assist in determining whether a new building, or the expansion of an existing one, is visually compatible with the character of the neighborhood.  Please remember that these guidelines are suggestions that Planning Commission members use to help them in their decisions. 

If you are concerned about neighborhood issues, want to ask your neighbors about services or have an announcement to post, click on the discussion postings.  You can directly post a message or reply to the messages of others.
You can find out about renting the MPIC clubhouse by clicking on Clubhouse Rental where you will see some great pictures of the clubhouse.  Remember, members get a discount. 
Clicking on Links and Feedback can be very valuable.  You can find a Directory of City Services, Ways to contact the Parks Council, the Planning Commission, various committees at City Hall, our District 7 supervisor, the School of the Arts and other important services.  

Finally, you can contact the webmaster with suggestions for improvement, complaints or just to compliment him.  Ron Proctor is our webmaster and after exploring the site I am sure you will agree what a wonderful job he does.
Have a pleasant summer hopefully with little fog and no wind and we will be back in September.


Mt. Davidson Seismic Upgrade

by Stan Kaufman

As part of its system-wide seismic upgrade efforts, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) will move heavy equipment onto Mt. Davidson early in 2008 to stabilize the water tank at the summit and replace the pipelines up and down the north and south flanks. SFPUC’s initial plans would have trenched up some of the most biodiverse, irreplaceable remnant habitats on the hill, but vigorous efforts by park advocates have convinced the SFPUC to revise the project.

The pipeline running north has been the most crucial contested issue. The current pipe runs right beneath the junction between the grasslands and the trees, which contains the most complex collection of plants in the park  — including thirteen species of berries that attract more birds than nearly any other location in San Francisco. SFPUC’s plan simply to replace the pipeline in place and thus destroy this area was first discovered when orange survey flags suddenly erupted there — to the shock of the public as well as Rec&Park Department Natural Areas Program (RPD NAP) staff who manage Mt. D.

The pipeline running south lies under the trails leading up from the bus turnaround and passes through sensitive areas but can be replaced without damaging them.  The tank itself is a twenty-three feet deep concrete structure buried in the bedrock to which SFPUC will add more concrete supports on its eastern flank.

After numerous meetings with SFPUC and RPD staff, the plan has been modified to the satisfaction of RPD NAP and park stewards. The north pipeline will be moved about 150 feet west into the trees where there are no sensitive species, and the south pipeline will be replaced with careful attention to keeping construction impacts limited to the width of the paths.

However, these are only verbally agreed-upon plans, and as yet not all of the commitments from SFPUC exist on paper. A Memorandum of Understanding between SFPUC and RPD NAP that was to have been written a long time ago is still “pending”. The contracts that will govern the actual construction — particularly the penalties for contractors who fail to adhere to these carefully negotiated constraints — still aren’t written. Until the work is correctly done, there is no cause for celebration.

When construction actually begins in early 2008, every person who cares about Mt. D should make frequent trips to monitor the work sites and make certain that nothing goes awry. We’ll provide contact information to responsible officials so that any transgressions can be quickly reported and stopped.


Miraloma Park Residential Guidelines

The Miraloma Park Residential Guidelines were adopted in 1999 by the City Planning Commission to promote preservation of neighborhood character by encouraging residential design compatible with neighborhood setting. 

Residential Design Guidelines can facilitate the complex and often frustrating process of permit application and design review and can prevent costly and time-consuming Discretionary Review proceedings. Guidelines at


Heavy Demand on Sunnyside Park Surplus Budget

The Rec. & Park Dept. Capital Division is pondering how to distribute “surplus budget” dollars to Sunnyside Playground & Park’s Phase 2 capital renovation project. Currently they are applying a 75/25 formula (construction to design and project management) to the $900,000 which is leaving some advocates wondering if it is flexible enough to accommodate inclusion of amenities that would make the park more fun or if it’s become the cash-cow for delayed maintenance. A fortunate construction bid freed up the residual that will focus on the recreation center building and stress “barrier removal” for wheelchair accessibility. Because this Phase is a remove and replace project, versus ground-up design, advocates wonder why the costs are so high for basic remodel work, even in San Francisco where costs of construction are amongst the highest in the nation.

At a community meeting on May 21 to discuss the options, residents were being cautioned to not expect to get a whole lot more than the basics from the near million dollars. Sunnyside Park Families & Neighbors (SPFN) stress that overhead costs must be controlled and accounted for in order to free up the maximum number of dollars for facilities identified over 12 years of neighborhood discussion. Additional facilities include creating a full-functioning Plaza area in order to attract private functions versus going to another park, bleachers and night lighting for the basketball and tennis courts, tree maintenance, a small stage for musical and theatrical offerings on the field level, and a Riparian Garden for control and beautification of the natural spring that feeds into the park. Further input can be submitted to Project Manager, The latest date for a Ribbon Cutting celebration is late October where the popular pumpkin carving event usually associated with the Sunnyside Conservatory can be held.

For more information contact SPFN at:



In a tree on Mount Davidson the mockingbird
with his bright barred back called and called
in every language he had mastered, come here,
come here, my pretty. He flew up from his
branch a few feet and floated down, singing,
then cycled through the whole display again.

My dog could not grasp why I stayed and stared.
He tried to haul me down the hill by force,
back to where his dinner waited in the kitchen.
The bird looked once and then ignored us both.
He flew up, dipped down, flew up, dipped down,
sang and sang and sang, but no mate came.

California poppies, wild iris, bright Blue Dick and
Footsteps of Spring spangled the slope on both sides.
A plane distant enough to be about the bird’s size
disappeared behind him, then continued straight
and quiet, carrying its load of lovers and mourners
clear through our world and beyond.

Copyright©Dan Liberthson, 2004


Miraloma Park Improvement Club Clubhouse

The beautiful original wood has been refurbished. There is a clean gas burning fireplace to add that extra bit of cheer to your special event. New colorful curtains grace the stage. There are modern, lightweight tables and new really comfortable chairs.   Free parking is in the adjacent parking lot. Members get a discount. Trash and recycling available. Call 415-281-0892 for rates/availability.


Wanted: An Angel with a Piano

The old piano at the Miraloma Park Clubhouse is in sad condition.  Many of the keys stick, it cannot be tuned properly and we have been told by an expert tuner that to sink any more money into it would be foolish. 

We are looking for a generous person who has a piano that is in good working condition and would be willing to donate it to the Club.  The donation, of course, would be tax deductible.  If the piano is suitable, the Club would arrange to have it picked up at no cost to the donor. 


Glorious May Community Garden Tour

by Connie A. Freeman

On a bright and sunny Sunday in May, your community gardens were overflowing with blossoms.  The Miraloma Park Garden Club held a Community Garden Tour on Sunday, May 20.
Easily walking the route, we began with the Melrose/Detroit Botanical Garden, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary.  Yvonne Hipskind, founder of this garden, was smiling, as she led us through the cascading roses.  We continued along the path to take in the spectacular view from the garden bench, which her husband, Lou Johnson the Beekeeper, had just restored.  To volunteer in this garden, call 415-334-5284.

Gundula Schmidt-John, leader of the Los Palmos Garden, stood among a kaleidoscope of color reflecting off the Watsonia flowers and clear blue sky.  The Friends of Los Palmos Garden gathered under the shade by the garden bench and admired the magenta fuzzy buds of Geranium maderense alongside the deep pink blossoms. To volunteer in this garden, call 415-469-0163.

Jed Lane spread his arms wide as he showed us the site of the newly planned Bella Vista/Sequoia Garden.  Neighbors are deciding what kind of garden they would like to see at this intersection skirting the ball field.  On Saturday, May 26, garden cleanup began with pruning and weeding.  Planting will begin next year, after the restoration of the ball field.  Go to to find out more about your latest community garden.

Geoffrey Coffey led us up Mt. Davidson’s meandering path, beginning at Myra Way and La Bica Way, to show us a beautiful display of native plants.  Orange blossoms of sticky monkey flower, purple Douglas iris, and yellow California poppy, to name a few, played along our way, as we took in the sweeping view from the mountain top. 

To learn more about our native plants, go to

Tall white blossoms of angelica and cow parsnip caught our eye as we came upon the native plant garden of the Miraloma Park Improvement Club.  You can see plants native to Glen Canyon Park in this garden, where mature and newly planted species stand side-by-side.

We are so lucky to have these gardens in our neighborhood.  Thank you, thank you to all of the leaders and friends of our community gardens who inspired us on this bright and sunny Sunday in May.  More information regarding the Miraloma Park Garden Club can be found by calling 370-9035.


We Can Always Talk About the Weather!

Apparently, all is returned to normal, or at least status quo. The following appeared, sans treachery or trickery, gummed to the underside of our garbage can lid per usual. My kitty, other than a moderate raising of the hackles and a smartish hissing when she caught scent of it, had a calm evening, untraumatized by missives dropped down the chimney or worse, tied to her poor tail. For this relative peace we are both grateful, though I must admit I can’t stop peering around corners and listing more intently than I am able ever since our canid friend usurped my domicile and my computer to compose his last message. Now it’s back to bubblegum and semi-rank garbage bags inscribed with rotted avocado, no doubt pilfered, as usual, from the Mollie Stone’s dumpster. So much for another Spring: we and our four-pawed denizens head toward Summer with bated breath: will it bring sun and simmering romance, picnics by the pool, warm walks arm in arm in our fine Mt. Davidson Park? Or will it bring—wait, let us guess, surely we can have no doubt—FOG!! Stay warm, everyone, and check back in the Fall. — Ed.

My Dear Editor, 

I have awaited with great anticipation some word from Goats Are Us regarding my application for useful employment in the way of guarding their tender (whoops! I mean talented) goats, but to no avail. Apparently I am to be passed over in favor of some less capable creature, canid non grata. And so, once again, I am cast out, to make my way alone, my worth to society only vaguely suspected by the very people who, more and more often, perpetuate rumors of my existence. How many disputes among the animal kingdom must I adjudicate and equitably settle, how many neighborhood perils must I warn of, before I will be provided with at least the three squares I deserve for my beneficence? My reform from would-be goat eater to dedicated goat protector has gone for naught: still I am outcast and suspect. No rest for the reformed or the wicked—both are as one to the cruel whims of life on this biped-loving planet.

A squirrel is watching me warily from the corner of his eye as I dutifully pen my scratchings for the voracious maw of our content-hungry editor. I tell you, I know very well what a squirrel looks like when it’s laughing, and though this one is trying hard to keep a straight face, it is, indeed, laughing. AT ME! Of all the impudent, unappreciative little monsters, I have to be plagued with this one. Why I’ll … just have to invite the dear little creature down from his push for a bit of collegial time together. Come down, that’s it, my precious, you have nothing to fear from me, the most emphatically declared reformed and pious Goat Protector in the known universe. My reputation precedes me, you say, ah yes—but haven’t you stopped to consider that creatures can change, that I may be truly penitent, and not in fact up to what you call “my old tricks?” Seriously, give a brother a chance, won’t you? That’s it, come to Papa—we’ll have such a fine time. Just trust me.

And now, begging your pardon, dear readers, I must arrange for a bit of harmony with my new friend. That’s it, little guy, nothing to fear—oh what a cutie! As for you all, have a lovely summer, even if you can’t see the end of your nose for trying, and remember, the fog always clears sometimes. It has to. Doesn’t it?

What do you think, my tasty, sorry, make that trusty, little friend?  Until the Fall then, my Mt. Davidson neighbors, adieu: look for me on the heights, and pray leave a little something savory by my den: perhaps some stew? For I do get hungry, yes, I do. Beg pardon, must attend to company. Don’t want to be impolite. Come, little bushy tail, almost there, have no fear … we’ll have such fun!

[Still waiting for the CHOMP, my fellow Miralomans? Ye of little faith!]

Your most courteous and expectant servant—
W. Coyote, Esq.


Neighborhood Turns Out for Sunnyside

by Friends of Sunnyside Park

On May 14, neighbors met at the St Finn Barr Parish Hall to offer suggestions for programming ideas at Sunnyside Playground and Park.  The meeting was co sponsored by a coalition of community groups including the Friends of Sunnyside Park, the Sunnyside PTA, the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association and the Canine Community of Sunnyside Park.

Special guests at the meeting included Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, and Recreation & Parks Department (RPD) representatives Marianne Bertucelli, Darlene Lockwood and Gilberto Rocha.  Supervisor Elsbernd reminded the community that involvement in the park is important now while planning occurs, but also to urged the audience to stay involved once the park reopens.  RPD representatives provided valuable information about the department and plans for Sunnyside Park.  RPD is revising a number of outdated policies as they implement a new service delivery model.  One of the components on the model includes an online registration system for families. Once a family registers, all family members can signup online for classes, playground programs, etc.  RPD also announced they are searching for a new director for Sunnyside Park.  Details were not available yet, but RPD is looking at a number of options including one full-timer; one full-timer plus one part-timer; or two part-timers. 

Members of the community contributed great suggestions for activities and ancilliary features at the park including transportation issues, programs and sports activities, language groups, bicycle safety, availability of the recreation room for programs, clean and safe restroom,  music animal related, education games,  intergenerational activities, safety issues and pet behavior.

Neighbors can submit other suggestions for programming and other activities to or to

Delightful Musical Social

by Dan Liberthson

On Sunday afternoon, May 20, a string quartet from the SF Conservatory of Music played at the Miraloma Park Improvement Club while neighbors chatted and chewed on tasty hors d’hoeuvres (including a selection of fruits, cheeses, wines, and those wonderful aram sandwiches).

The three violinists and a cellist then settled down to some serious music, with an attentive audience ranged before them. Mendelssohn and Mozart comprised most of the repertoire, which the quartet handled with singular unity and grace. Some of those in attendance had just finished the Miraloma Park Garden Club’s tour of the lovely gardens at Detroit-Melrose, Los Palmos, and Bella Vista, followed by a guided flower exposition on the blooming slopes of Mt. Davidson, ending with a look at the native plant garden in front of the Clubhouse, which is on its way to becoming one of the largest gardens in the City dedicated to native plants mainly from its own locale (Glen Park Canyon). 

The SF Conservatory of Music, which puts on an excellent program of classical performances at reasonable prices, has moved from the Avenues to downtown, and now resides at 50 Oak Street near the Civic Center. Tickets for their concerts may be purchased at the box office (503-6275) and a schedule is available on the website (