April 2016 Newsletter

 Newsletter | April 2016

Spring in Full Bloom
UNN Panel Discussion
Sanchez Tree Trimming
Community Events
Volunteer Opportunities

Spring in Full Bloom at Upper Noe
Joan shows her artistic side
Now that heavy rains have ended, our 
park is basking in the
colorful aftermath. The California Native Plant Garden along the Sanchez side is lush with new growth and blooms. Although chosen as a drought-tolerant alternative to traditional
gardens, these species are showing their appreciation of a good soaking. Elsewhere, daisies, daffodils, irises and other blooms are showing all around the grounds.

To top it off, Upper Noe’s custom birdhouses that had come down for the winter are returning with fresh colors. Joan and her crew of Ladybug Gardeners recently spent a sunny Saturday morning putting fresh paint on the repaired and primed avian abodes. Our little helpers and families joined in to add their artistic flair. Look for these eye-catching art pieces throughout the park, sometimes in the least expected locations.

Little helpers get artistic California Native Plant Garden

UNN Panel Discussion

UNN-panel-discussion2a-March9-2016-smFormer mayor Art Agnos moderated a panel of local community association leaders at the March meeting of Upper Noe Neighbors at the Rec Center. Art gave a grand introduction, emphasizing the importance of neighborhood associations. He noted the unique situation Upper Noe Neighbors created by bringing together adjacent associations into one forum.

About 40 people attended. Art mentioned that this was typical of these types of meetings where the vanguard of the community comes together to spotlight issues and to gather and exchange information to disseminate to their neighbors. Art went on at length about the power of neighborhood associations and the need for them to exercise that muscle to overcome the centralized power of City Hall. He championed neighborhoods with making the difference in the 8 Washington and Prop B (waterfront construction height limits) initiatives.

The panelists included GPA President Michael Rice, Friends of Noe Valley President Todd David, Diamond Heights Community Association President Betsy Eddy, and Upper Noe Neighbors President Marianne Hampton. He asked each to introduce themselves, tell how long they have lived in their neighborhoods, how they came to be involved in their neighborhood association and for how long. Each had an interesting story to share that illuminated their long and deep-seated connections to their communities and protracted histories of tackling neighborhood issues.

While the responses to the Art’s prompts were rarely short during this hour and a half discussion, a comparison of each organization shakes out like this:

What type of organization?
GPA: Board, committees, writers. Diverse interests and project-based.
FNV: Board, directors-at-large. Focused on public event only. Leaves issues to the wide array of other local organizations.
DHCA: Board, Project-based
UNN: Board, committees. Project-based.

What type of issues?
GPA: SFMTA – Bosworth disaster
FNV: public events only
DHCA: MUNI routes, water main breaks
UNN: SFMTA – projects sprung upon the neighborhood without notice, shuttle buses, J-Church

How do you communicate/interact with your group?
GPA: website, blog and quarterly newspaper delivered to every doorstep
FNV: website, email, Noe Valley Voice
DHCA: email, NextDoor
UNN: website, email

When the floor was open to questions, someone mentioned tech shuttles. SFMTA just announced plans to designate two whole blocks of Dolores Street near 29th Street as new tech shuttle stops despite a large stop at Dolores and San Jose Ave two blocks away. Ed Mason of UNN, an expert on the subject, spoke at length. A study of the available records shows that less than 8500 people in San Francisco use tech shuttles. He proposed that Millbrae Station can easily accommodate a large number of buses and that workers can get there by taking BART.

Throughout the discussion, Art intervened with advice about how to approach problems with SFMTA and other City agencies. He stressed the need to identify the source of the irritation within an agency and approaching the Board of Supervisors to cut funding for that part of the agency until the irritation stops. This specifically addressed the current shell game that SFMTA is playing with tech shuttle stops.

Ron Halbert of the new Fairmount Heights Association asked the panelists how they stimulate participation. Ron mentioned that since forming the group last summer, monthly attendance steadily dropped as the initial excitement waned. All of the panelists agreed that maintaining active member participation is a perennial struggle, and that a small, core group generally serves to maintain the association. All agreed however, that neighborhood associations are important community assets. The panelist also voiced sentiments that bringing associations together in forums such as this is a great idea and should be repeated on a regular basis.

Sanchez Tree Trimming
 Gloomy overhang is now gone 

The low hanging branches over the sidewalk on Sanchez Street finally presented enough of a danger to demand action. The large limbs not only cast a shadowy gloom over the sidewalk but also threatened to take out the fence.

Despite discussion over the years about the hazard, the danger did not gain any traction. Concerns were that nature would take its catastrophic course during a major storm. All that melted away when inspectors suddenly roped off the sidewalk with caution tape. Rec & Park crews were on the scene within days.

Remember to report conditions that concern you to 311 or to the Rec Center office. Patience and persistence won out. Stroll by and experience the sunny difference.


Community Events
At the Rec Center

7 pm - auditorium
Upper Noe Neighbors
Dolores shuttle stops, June ballot initiatives.
All are welcome. Refreshments will be served.
contact: president@uppernoeneighbors.com

May 18
7 pm - auditorium
Upper Noe Community Recreation Council / Friends of the Noe Valley Rec Center
Help plan events and shape activities at Upper Noe.
contact: Cheryl Woltjen (415) 970-8061 cheryl.woltjen@sfgov.org

Contact info@noevalleyreccenter.com if you have an event that you would like to list.

Volunteers Needed
• Help advise the city on what classes should be offered at the Upper Noe Rec Center. Serve a term on the Upper Noe Recreation Center’s Community Recreation Council and help shape programming at the Center. A teen member is still needed! Please contact Cheryl Woltjen at 970-8061. The form is available on our website and at the center. Please either drop it off or mail it to: Cheryl Woltjen, UNRC, 295 Day Street, SF, 94131.
• Distribute our new Friends of NVRC postcard. This newsletter is distributed to nearly 1,000 “friends.” Make sure interested neighbors know about our group by helping distribute our informational postcard around the neighborhood.

• Lead a new event. Are you interested in organizing a new event at the Center? Maybe a game night or movie night? Please contact us at info (at) noevalleyreccenter.com.

• Garden at the Park. Help keep the park beautiful by volunteering with the Ladybug Gardeners on the second Saturday of each quarter. The next date in 2015 will be August 8. All ages welcome, no experience necessary, community service hours credited. Even an hour would be a big help! Please email ladybugs (at) noevalleyreccenter.com.

Thanks for your interest and support of your park! Please contact us with any questions or suggestions. Let us know about any community events you are planning at the park so we can promote them.

Please forward this newsletter to your friends and neighbors who use the Noe Valley Recreation Center. We want this newsletter to help build the park community -- please help us connect with members of the community.
Enjoy your Park!

Friends of the Noe Valley Recreation Center