your Miraloma Life … online – November 2007

  • Annual Holiday Party
  • Walgreens’ Voting Results
  • Legal Ease
  • Design Matters
  • Fall Social/Political Event
  • From the President…
  • A Safety Tip from Ingleside Station
  • Miraloma Park Residential Guidelines
  • Connections Run Deep in Lagunitas Creek
  • NERT News
  • Sunnyside Park Ribbon Cutting
  • Los Palmos Community Garden News
  • Leave A Legacy
  • Los Palmos – Foerster
  • Winter Rains

Annual Holiday Party

by Kathy Rawlins
Once again it is time to fire-up the oven and get out your favorite recipe to prepare for the MPIC Holiday Party and Cook-Off. 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, and the merriment of the entertainment.

Music will be provided by the very talented Laura Lee Brown and Company.  An encore appearance was requested after they performed so well at last year’s party. Also, to the delight of young and old, Boswick Turnstyle, Jr., clown extraordinaire and veteran of Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Circus, will perform his holiday magic from 6 to 7 PM.

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. Please bring enough for at least twelve people.   Remember, the more you bring, the more people can sample, and the more votes you’ll have and a better chance to win one of the spectacular prizes.  The Holiday Pot Luck has had an international flavor in past years with such favorites as Taco Mix, Stilton Cheese, Moroccan Pasta, Chicken Mogul and a host of other treats.  Categories include Appetizers, Salads/Soups, Entrees and Desserts.

Winners of the each category, will choose from among gift certificates and gift items from our local merchants. Past donors have included Tower Market, Round Table Pizza, Bird and Beckett Book & Music Store, Creighton’s, Miraloma Cleaners, Tower Burger, Chenery Park Restaurant and many others.

Those not able to bring a dish to share will be asked for a small donation or to volunteer for set-up or clean-up duties.

If you have questions, please call 281-0892 and leave a  message.


Walgreens’ Voting Results

by Gary Noguera

Of the approximately 2400 questionnaires distributed in the September issue of, “Miraloma Life” 320 responses were received. Thank you to all the residents who took the time to give feedback and write comments (some quite extensive) about their feelings. The overall voting was rather closely split between, “yes” 128 and “no” 153. There were 36 undecided votes. 

We found that certain themes kept recurring, some of which crossed among the three categories. I’ll try to summarize the major areas and briefly quote some of the comments.

In the yes category, most felt that having a larger store with a wider selection of products would be very convenient. A number of our elderly neighbors particularly liked the idea of not having to drive very far to go shopping. Some respondents wanted a 24 hour operation, some did not. In fact, Walgreens management stated that the store would NOT be open 24 hours, but rather from 8- 9 or10. Some voted yes, fearing the existing store would close. This is not the case. The existing store will remain open regardless of the outcome of the proposed bigger store. A large number of the “yes” votes were contingent upon the design of the building etc. More on that later.

In the no category, many people opposed the larger store based on the fact that Walgreens and Rite Aid had already saturated nearby neighborhoods such as West Portal, Diamond Heights, Ocean Ave etc. “Why do they want another big store when I can go to “X” location just minutes away?” Opposition to a “big box” chain store coming to our small commercial area was a recurrent theme. Note that the two stores immediately to the east of the existing Walgreens have been vacant for months. Some fear that another chain store would petition to have the spaces combined to accommodate another large retail operation should the larger Walgreens’ open.

Overwhelmingly, people were concerned about inadequate parking and increased vehicular congestion especially during peak business hours. This issue came up by those voting, “yes” and “undecided” as well. Some feared that westbound Portola traffic feeding into Fowler would backup, jamming the intersection. Others feared that the residential areas adjacent to the commercial area, for example Juanita, Evelyn and the first blocks of Teresita would be further saturated with spillover parking.

Many of those voting were very interested and concerned about the design of the building. The majority of the, “undecided” voters brought this up, as did the, “no” voters who opposed “big boxes”. The issue of trees and other plantings was another concern. The MPIC Board is working closely with the developers to be sure a design in keeping with our neighborhood is created. Remember that the Board has NOT taken a yes or no position yet, but we are staying involved to be sure we do not wind up with something ugly should the project proceed. We will also work with the City, once a Planner is assigned to the project.

Regular updates will continue here in Miraloma Life. Please feel free to post your comments in the  Local Business/Walgreens’ section of the website at


Legal Ease

by Steven Solomon

Q: I’ve been reading the series of articles in the SF Chronicle about the murder of three people almost 30 years ago in San Mateo, then, I just learned that a dear friend of mine was burglarized & had a large sum of money stolen. What are our rights as crime victims?

A: Since the late 1970s, the law has tipped the balance of victim rights in a positive direction. Now, victims of crimes, and their family members too, have much greater rights. Victims are eligible for compensation for the physical & emotional injuries from crimes, including reimbursement for medical, dental, mental health counseling, & funeral expenses, lost wages & income, & job retraining costs. Go to for more information. Of course, a crime victim must file a police report. But the local district attorney’s office will keep crime victims & their families informed of the progress of prosecution, whether a plea has been offered & accepted, & when the convicted criminal is released from prison & put on parole. A crime victim & family members may speak at sentencing of the criminal, & may ask the judge for restitution (a juvenile’s parents are liable for up to $25,000 in restitution). Make sure to check with your homeowner’s & renter’s insurance to see if additional crime-related losses are covered, & aside from the criminal justice system, you can also sue a criminal in civil court (remember the success of the Goldman family in the OJ Simpson case).

Steve Solomon is a lawyer and an 18 year resident of Miraloma Park. 


Design Matters

by Peter A. Zepponi

Q: Can I save money by doing part of the work myself?
A:  Sometimes, but is it worth it?

Clients always wonder if it’s a good idea to do some of the work themselves in order to save money.  Even with the glut of Do-it-Yourself TV shows out there telling you how easy it is, my answer is still generally no.   A construction project is not like a handy-person repair job.  Construction projects typically last from a couple of weeks to months and are larger in scope than a typical weekend project for a homeowner. 

Even for homeowners who are ‘handy’, I don’t typically recommend it for several reasons. The number one reason is that your time is probably way more valuable doing whatever it is you do for a living than the amount you’d pay someone to tear out your old carpet.   The jobs most home owners volunteer to self perform tend to be the low skill jobs like demolition.  The crews that are hired to do this work are usually at the lower end of the pay scale which is most likely less than you make if you own a home in San Francisco.  Demolition work is also dirty, dusty, and dangerous.  Why would you even want to do it?  If you get hurt or sick it could cost you more in time off work than you saved.

The second most important reason is because you have a life other than construction.  That means most people plan to do the work in their ‘spare’ time, which takes four times as long, slows down the project and delays the overall job.  If you slow down your contractor or make them wait for you to finish your work, it’ll end up costing you.  Contractors know this, and will adjust their prices accordingly if you ask to ‘self-perform’ certain aspects of the work.  Sometimes the up charge is just for the shear hassle factor, but usually because the scope of the overall project has been reduced so there isn’t as much profit for them.  Contractors will also worry about your job site safety, and the safety of their crews with you on site.  You are also now spending all your spare time working instead of spending it with your spouse, partner, children, pets, or whatever else you do to keep you happy.  Construction projects are stressful. 

It’s very valuable for everyone to stay happy and healthy.   You may find yourself ‘paying’ for a missed dinner date way after the paint on the walls dries.  Don’t neglect your life to save a few bucks.  As soon as you step onto a job site and start working, you start to blur the lines of responsibility.  If something goes wrong on the job site, did you just give the contractor the opportunity to say it was your fault and not theirs?  Did you not do your work properly? Was it done out of sequence or not to plan or the code?  Does it need to be corrected?  Do you have the proper tools and supplies or will you need to make repeated runs to the hardware store in order to complete a job?  A plumber will usually have all the fittings they need in their truck, whereas most novices can’t anticipate all the pieces and special tools they might need and end up spending half the day driving back and forth to the store wasting time and money on a tool or supply they use once.

So before you start thinking you’re going to save money by piecemealing a project, honestly evaluate your skill and the value of your time.  You may find it’s really not worth it.

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 is an AIA Architect who lives in Miraloma Park

Fall Social/Political Event

by Jim O’Donnell

The Fall combination social mixer and political discussion this past October 14 was the first of its kind for the Miraloma Park Improvement Club. Like many “first time” events, this one may have been a hybrid that needs to evolve to something with a bit more appeal among the locals. The ballot propositions A and D were discussed after an initial snack, beverage and schmooze time, with people from both the Greater West Portal Neighborhood Association as well as MPIC in attendance.

District 7 Supervisor Sean Elsbernd presented Proposition A, which is an attempt by the Board of Supervisors to gain more leverage with the MUNI union. Instead of a ceiling for awarding compensation, Prop. A represents a “floor” for which compensation can be used as leverage by the supervisors to gain concessions on MUNI work rules. For example, unlike other public transportation systems, MUNI does not have to maintain any kind of schedule for transportation routes. I know I have experienced no buses for 30 minutes and then seen three in a row because the drivers were all having a break together at the end of the line and then left from there at about the same time. Since MUNI supervisors are part of the union, don’t expect pressure on drivers to do anything different. Proposition A is the hope that more leverage will be created by a new arrangement for awarding budget monies to MUNI. Melinda Lavalle of the Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods spoke in opposition to A, and made the point that just a “hope” of leverage is not the same as real leverage, which should be part of a real solution to having an affect upon MUNI work rules. Read the measure for yourself at in the elections area.

Proposition D is also a charter amendment proposition, which featured Charles Higueras, President of the San Francisco Public Library Commission speaking in favor, and Peter Warfield, speaking against. This was actually a livelier debate than on A, with a passionate plea for a continuation of the library funding from 1994 to finish renovation of branch libraries in the system. Since the library was supposed to have enough money to cover all the renovations of the branch libraries in the past, it is really a request for more money to finish the job. Peter Warfield spoke eloquently in rebuttal, and it was great to see a real debate of issues, which is something new to most people, since real public debate has pretty much dropped by the wayside of the political landscape over the years.  In any event, it was an event worth having, since we at MPIC are dedicated to providing a forum for public issues that affect not just our neighborhood, but the entire City. Thanks to all who participated.


From the President…
by Phil Laird

Who would think that the largest state in the nation could learn from the smallest or that a city like Honolulu could inform us in San Francisco? On a recent trip to Hawai’i I was surprised by the similarities between San Francisco and Honolulu. Both are beautiful, hilly cities on a bay with a mild climate and home to some of the best restaurants in the world. Both have a multi-ethnic population, many of Asian descent. We share with Honolulu a climate of high taxes, mediocre schools, and a progressive government, and we compete with them nationally for the highest real estate and gasoline prices. And tourism is, of course, a major part of both economies.

The population of greater metropolitan Honolulu is about 900,000, concentrated mainly in the southeast corner of the island of O’ahu. Like San Francisco the disparity between rich and poor in the city is great and growing. According to the 2000 Census nearly 12% of the population lives below the poverty line (versus 8% for San Francisco). Median family income is about $56,000 (versus $67,000 for SF). Homelessness is a problem, but how big of one is hard to measure because Honolulu is not friendly to the homeless: in 2004 the National Coalition for the homeless ranked Honolulu ninth of the “ten meanest cities” in the country.

Although panhandlers are rare in the tourist and commercial sections of town, homeless encampments dot the beaches and parks at night, visited regularly by police patrols. Traffic conditions throughout the week can be very congested on both city streets and interstate highways, and crosswalk casualties make Honolulu one of the most dangerous places to be a pedestrian, according to a recent AARP report. No “transit first” here: although a moderately adequate bus system serves the metropolitan area, proposals to create light rail or express-bus lanes have failed in the polls. Tourists rent cars to gain access to most other areas of the island, and residents typically drive to work alone in cars.

Miraloma Park’s efforts to promote traffic calming are similar to those throughout the residential neighborhoods of Honolulu: roundabouts, curb narrowing, traffic humps, and view-limiting plants are among the measures in use and under review. Infrastructure problems are a constant challenge for a city that suffers boom and bust cycles in tourism development. During heavy rains last year the sewage systems were overwhelmed. A sewer line break allowed unprocessed sewage to flow for six days into the Ala Wai canal that runs through the Waikiki section of the city and onto tourist beaches. As development continues to move into the scenic hills north of the city, flooding, ground movement, and landslides have become annual events challenging both homeowners and developers.

If San Francisco and Honolulu are comparable, what about their states? Despite being opposites in population size, Hawai’i and California have much in common. Politically Hawai’i is solidly Democratic and pro-labor. Nevertheless in 2002 they elected Linda Lingle, a staunchly pro-business Republican, as the first Republican governor in 40 years, and re-elected her by a landslide four years later. Major interest groups include developers who profit from the real estate boom, labor, mainly in government jobs, and businesses such as shipping and finance.

Agriculture and ranching have largely dried up because of high costs. The high cost of doing business in the state affects other businesses as well. In fact the Milken Institute finds that Hawai’i is the costliest in the nation for doing business—16% more costly than the next highest state, New York. The hottest controversy right now concerns the inter-island Superferry, a $90M high-speed service designed by private company to transport cars and people between the major islands.  Currently airlines transport passengers, while vehicles and cargo travel by barge. (Imagine that people could fly between San Francisco and Los Angeles, but that cars and goods could move only by truck.) After the investment of both private and public money and over seven years of planning, the company had state and court approval to begin service in August. But four days before the first run the state Supreme Court ruled that that an environmental impact study on changes to the port of Kailua had to be completed first. In response the Superferry offered service on a “trial run” from Honolulu to Maui for $5 but was stopped after the first trip by a restraining order.  A few weeks later approval was given for travel to the island of Kaua’i, but outraged residents of the port there mounted surfboards and blocked entry to the harbor—Hawai’i’s equivalent of Critical Mass. So now the Superferry sits idle in Honolulu harbor, while the owners are losing millions of dollars every day. They have threatened to go out of business if forced to remain closed for months or to operate at 5-knot speeds, as conservation groups have demanded. If they do so, both Hawaiian and U.S. taxpayers will be stuck paying for hundreds of millions of dollars in bonds and loan guarantees, all for nothing. How could this have happened?

The Superferry fiasco is a canonical instance of Hawai’i’s struggle to develop a viable business climate on the one hand and preserve its fragile ecosystems on the other. Honolulu bustles with shoppers crowding the upscale shops along Kalakaua and the huge Ala Moana mall, while a trip to Hilo city on the big island is like traveling back to the 1950’s. Tourism accounts for over 25% of the state’s tax revenues, but with high land, energy, and labor costs launching a new enterprise such as the ferry is daunting. Like Hawai’i California struggles to balance its business climate, its agriculture, and its quality of life.

Last month a summit entitled “Hawaii 2050” presented a consensus plan for the state’s long-term sustainability, but whether this plan will be more effective than a 1961 land use plan for balancing growth and environment is questionable. What about planning statewide in California? Here long-range planning is a highly fragmented process divided among local communities and counties, the Federal Government, a gaggle of interest groups, and the voters. Is there a vision for where our state wants to be in fifty years? Will increasing costs and the struggle to balance the needs of business with the need for a sustainable environment lead us down a road similar to the one in Hawai’i? And will San Francisco move toward a tourism and government economy where new business ventures have almost no opportunity to succeed?

A correction: Last month I reported that our newest board member Robert Gee brings twenty-five years of public service with the F.B.I. In fact his service is with the I.R.S.  Mulder and Scully can breathe a sigh, but they had better double-check their returns. 


A Safety Tip from Ingleside Station

The health of a neighborhood can be measured by the participation of its residents in public safety. Suspicious activity, unsafe driving, or public disorders are some of the matters that can be reported to the proper authorities.

Often a criminal will use seemingly innocent behavior as a prelude to a crime. Home burglars will ring a doorbell or knock on a door in an effort to determine if a house is occupied. If a resident answers the door the burglar will ask for someone by name. The named person never resides at the house in question. This ruse is used to get past the awkward moment of a burglar being confronted by a potential victim.

If you find yourself face to face with an unknown person at your door and that person is asking for another who’s name is not familiar to you, call 911 or 553-0123. Please report to the call-taker that you have encountered a potential burglar and that you wish to speak to a police officer about it. The call-taker will ask you for a description of the suspicious person. This information is crucial to the police officer assigned to your call as the officer may search your neighborhood for the suspicious person before arriving at your home.

Captain Denis F. O’Leary
Ingleside Police Station
(415) 404-4030


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


Connections Run Deep in Lagunitas Creek

by Geoffrey Coffey

November rain sings a song of connectivity: it raises the rivers and recharges the aquifers, pouring from the air to the earth and back to the ocean whence it came.  We find an extraordinary example of its ramifications in western Marin County, where the rainfall not only paints a fresh coat of green on the sun-blasted hills but also summons a legion of deep sea creatures to return to the highland haunts of their birth.

The Lagunitas Creek watershed  begins on the northern slopes of Mount Tamalpais and flows on the landward side of the Bolinas Ridge approximately 25 miles north to drain into Tomales Bay, fed by numerous streams along the way including Nicasio Creek, San Geronimo Creek, Olema Creek, Devil’s Gulch and Deadman’s Gulch.  At more than 100 square miles, it is the largest watershed in Marin County, but its stature stands all the higher for the abundance of life it supports.

The riparian plant community here exists in layers of height-based competition for sunlight.  Redwoods, Douglas firs, California bays, and madrones reach for the sky, while beneath them willows, alders, big-leaf maples and dogwoods jockey for position in the increasingly dappled shade.  Hazelnuts, huckleberries, and elk clover fill in the lower levels, adapted as they are to the darker conditions near the forest floor. One of the most beautiful trees in fall is the Oregon ash (Fraxinus latifolia), a deciduous species that grows 50 feet tall.  The distinctive pinnate leaves (usually 5-7 leaflets each) cling to their branches through the end of November, catching the filtered sunlight with a delicate glow.  More suitable species for the home gardener are the low-growing specimens that thrive in the shady understory of these trees. 

Consider redwood ivy (Vancouveria planipetala), a slow-growing rhizomatous groundcover  with polished deep-green leaves that unfurl in the spring like fiddleheads and an unusual bloom of white-lavender “inside-out” flowers with turned-back petals.  Another favorite is the five-finger fern (Adiantum aleuticum, formerly A. pedatum), distinctive for its hand-like array of “fingers” (usually more than five per stalk) and delicate fan-shaped frond segments.  The five-finger fern goes dormant in the winter, so don’t be afraid to cut off dead fronds; they will return with vigor in the spring.

The deep shade of the forest keeps the waters of Lagunitas Creek cool and protected from the sun, which is good news for the anadromous fish who return here to spawn.  Mature salmon and steelhead mark the onset of the November rains by leaving the ocean and swimming upstream into the freshwater creeks and streams of their youth.  This lifecycle that embraces both fresh and saltwater ranks these fish among the most remarkable members of the animal kingdom.

Lagunitas Creek has lost some 90% of its breeding coho salmon population, from an estimated 6,000 annually before 1950 down to currently around 500.  Specific current impacts to the Lagunitas coho include losing 50% of their habitat to dams (mostly for reservoirs), sedimentation and destruction of riparian habitat from development, trampling of redds (nests) by humans and animals, pollution of streams, water diversion from creeks and withdrawal from reservoirs and groundwater wells, and the introduction of non-native fish like the large-mouth bass and the bluegill.

But the salmon that do return here are considered among the most robust runs in California, representing 10% of all wild California coho surviving today.  These fish are now protected under the federal Endangered Species Act, so it is illegal to catch, harass, or disturb them.  But the watershed offers several excellent viewing spots to see the salmon in action.

Roy’s Pools, a series of man-made waterfalls, lie at the edge of the golf course on San Geronimo Valley Dr. near the intersection of Nicasio Valley Rd., approximately 5 miles west of Fairfax.  This site is not signposted; only a small wooden box of informational brochures labeled “SPAWN” (Salmon Protection and Watershed Network) marks the spot.  You can stand by the side of the road in the shade of a lovely tanbark oak and watch the salmon leap over the falls, or (for the more adventurous) sneak onto the golf course and stroll upstream to find the fish in their spawning grounds.

Easier to discover is the Leo Cronin Viewing Area, just past the Shafter Bridge on Sir Francis Drake Blvd., at the confluence of San Geronimo and Lagunitas Creeks.  A sign in the parking lot explains the complex lifecycles of salmon and steelhead – how an egg becomes an alevin becomes a fry becomes a smolt becomes a fish – which are the necessary stages of development in the adaptation from fresh- to saltwater.  If the bank of the stream below the parking lot is crowded with sightseers, walk the fire road upstream toward Peter’s Dam and Kent Lake to find a more secluded spot.

Those willing to pay the $6 entrance fee at Samuel P. Taylor Park campground can find an even more peaceful perch to witness the shape-shifting fish.  Try the site directly behind the headquarters building at the entrance, which is known as a popular spawning spot. Or follow the path downstream about a mile to the old mill site, after which this stream was once dubbed Papermill Creek.  (Sam Taylor made his first fortune in the gold fields, then opened a paper mill here and ultimately supplied newsprint, election ballots, brown bags, and other paper products to the growing city of San Francisco throughout the late 19th century.)

Every weekend from November 20 through mid-January, naturalists affiliated with SPAWN will lead creek walks to view steelhead and salmon at various sites in the watershed.  The tours meet Saturdays and Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. – call (415) 488-0370 x102 to make a reservation (required), or visit for more information.

Water conservation saves salmon – all our best restoration efforts are for naught without sufficient water in the creek for the fish.  Rainfall in the watershed is a finite resource; the more that goes to reservoirs for city consumption, and the more drained from streams for rural irrigation, the lower the creek will run that year.  This is yet another reason for homeowners to consider ripping out their thirsty, impractical, high-maintenance lawns and replacing them with drought-tolerant California natives, the plants that grew here before there were water hoses and sprinklers.

Using natives in the planned landscape connects the modern gardener to eons of natural history, just as sightseers at a salmon run in the Lagunitas watershed  can witness the wilderness in civilization’s backyard.  Give thanks for these links to the ancient chain of life, and do your part to uphold them – once broken, they never will return.

Find more from freelance writer and landscape designer Geoffrey Coffey by swimming upstream to



by Jed Lane

We had a very successful drill on October 13 and thanks to all of our neighbors that came out and worked through the practicing of their emergency preparedness skills including our Supervisor, Sean Elsbernd and the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, Daniel Homsey and Fire Commissioner Paul Conroy.

Last month I wrote about a new program that is being taught by NERT and San Francisco SAFE (Safety Awareness For Everyone). The focus is to teach as many people how to be safe when disaster strikes. This is a 3 hour course and is beneficial for everyone but is aimed at people that are interested in being block captains. So if you are the person on your block who watches out for your neighbors and likes to connect with the people around you, this is really for you.

The next dates they are having the training are November 14 and November 26. Both training classes are 3 hours from 6:30 to 9:30pm at the SFFD Division of Training 2310 Folsom St. @ 19 St. If you want to attend please contact them at or call 415.970.2024 to RSVP.

We can also arrange to have a training here in our neighborhood if we have 30 people that want to sign up. If you’re interested in having me organize then contact me at with the subject referencing “Block Captain Training” or go through my blog at


Sunnyside Park Ribbon Cutting

by Andrea O’Leary

San Franciscans have a new park to add to their outdoor enjoyment with Sunnyside Playground & Park’s completed renovations. A Party will commemorate this auspicious occasion on Saturday, November 17, 11AM to 3 PM.  Music, food and artistic remembrances will add to the pleasure of now having a multi-age children’s playground, resurfaced tennis and basketball courts, bathroom facilities and a Plaza. 

There will be no more extensive improvements made to the park in the foreseeable future, making this an occasion to last a lifetime. Many residents played in the park as children and now their children play there. This is a noteworthy occurrence.

Sunnyside Park Families & Neighbors (SPFN) has been shepherding the project along by following the project design and surplus budget allocations as well as working to acquire grants and other commitments to make the reopening celebration worthy of the over forty years of waiting. Rec. center building renovations are next. Many residents and merchants have generously contributed to the offerings that will make the Ribbon Cutting event a celebration to remember. San Francisco Parks Trust has honored SPFN for their efforts in the Partner

Salute section of the Fall edition of ParksVoice ( A Community Grant from the Mayor’s office was awarded. Design About Town, a multiple award winning graphics design group, has created promotional and craft materials. Further contributions are greatly appreciated and donations are tax deductible; contact SPFN (, 334-3601).  Many hands make for lighter loads, as the saying goes, is also true of sharing the tasks of party throwing. Set-up and breaking down, grillers as well as tenders of the food tables, and assistance in making crafts to take home. 


Los Palmos Community Garden News

Miraloma Park is fortunate to have great residents who have devoted their time and efforts into creating beautiful community gardens. One of those gardens is located on Los Palmos Drive near Foerster. It was created in 1995 and has continued to enjoy support from the neighbors who weed, plan and enjoy its beauty.  

Gundula, Sky, Margaret, and Joanie, get together on Mondays around 8:30 am to work in the garden. Please join them, even if you only have a few minutes to spare. The garden is funded with CA redemption recyclables. Every two weeks neighbors contribute their plastic, cans, and bottles. In addition, there are garden work parties. Our last garden work party was on April 1, 2007; we collected over 21 bags of weeds and trimmings. Thanks to all of you who got dirty and shared in the barbecue.

The San Francisco Parks Trust has identified Los Palmos Community Garden as a site for their Youth Garden Project. A workday was on October 20 with support from high school students, volunteers from San Francisco Parks Trust and neighbors. Free lunch was provided. The San Francisco Public Works Department picked up the green waste and provided wood chips.  Supporting your community garden builds great neighbors and offers green space for all to enjoy.

Leave A Legacy

Over 70% of Americans contribute to nonprofit groups during their lifetimes.  Only 6% continue this support through a gift in their will or estate plan. By making a planned gift you can continue to help organizations that make a difference in your community.     You can talk to your attorney, financial planner or accountant regarding such a gift.  A professional can advise you about getting the maximum tax and legal benefits of planned gifts.

The Miraloma Park Improvement Club is in constant need of funds to continue our efforts to preserve our neighborhood as a safe, clean and desirable place to live, and to bring you news of the neighborhood through the publication of the Miraloma Life. Advertising dollars alone do not cover the cost of the publication of the Miraloma Life – a lifeline to disseminate important neighborhood information to you.  The MPIC Club House is expensive to maintain, insurance and other costs are constantly climbing.

Your financial support of the MPIC through your annual dues are greatly needed and appreciated.   Leaving a legacy, through a planned gift to the Miraloma Park, would leave a valuable legacy to the neighborhood you have called home.


Los Palmos – Foerster

A Neighborhood Watch group has been formed to empower neighbors to learn how to protect themselves, their families and their property. Three meetings, one in March, April, and May 2007, were held with a representative from San Francisco SAFE.

SAFE ( is a community crime prevention and public safety program that works with the Police Department. At the last meeting in May, the group identified two neighbors as Co-Captains of the L.P.F.N.W.; they are Paul Businger, and Joanie van Rijn. David Volansky has created a map of our neighborhood that shows names, and phone numbers of those who wanted to be included. The map is distributed to those who submit their information. Mike Dahlin created a Yahoo Group, Los Palmos Foerster. It is another way to stay connected and informed.  At this time no future Neighborhood Watch meetings have been planned.


Winter Rains

by Sue Kirkham

Many Miraloma Park homes have light wells, center patios and gutters than can become clogged by wind driven leaf/needle debris, bird’s nests, and even by roofing materials from adjacent recently roofed homes.    Fall is a good time to check and clear these rarely viewed areas of accumulated debris. Failure to do so can result in water damage to your home, and the possibility of dry rot and mold (both expensive items to eradicate).

A mesh type cover for the drain is a good idea to prevent plant and other material from getting into the drain, and to allow for easier cleaning. Also check for rusted gutters and downspouts, particularly in light wells where an exceptionally heavy rain can cause your light well to fill with water, even with a clear drain (spoken from experience). Take a look around the perimeter of your foundation, and exterior drains, to ensure that they are clear and adequate for heavy rain runoff.

Do you have any other tips to share with our Miraloma Park neighbors? If so, please send them to the editor at whitney@  Or go to and place them on the website for all to see.