Sunday, October 21, 2007

Notes from Middle Polk Neighborhood Association Meeting 10/15

Dawn Trennert opened the meeting at Its a Grind coffeehouse and introduced Sergeants from Central and Northern police stations for neighborhood updates.

Sergeant Vanderbilt from Central Station reported that they are staffing a prostitution abatement detail 3-5 times a week.

If you need to report suspected prostitution, call the non-emergency line at 415-553-0123. It is important to report incidents because this line also records statistics that are used for resource allocation decision making. When phoning in a report, give as full a description of what you saw as possible including what activities transpired, physical descriptions of the suspects and any vehicles involved. The report can be anonymous, but giving your name will increase the effectiveness and probable cause.

Auto burglary enforcement teams are operating and are also training incoming officers for the detail.

Sergeant Ford of Northern Station gave us the names of the Sector Sergeants responsible for Polk Street: Sergeant Flaherty on the early shift, Sergeant Pena on the swing shift, and Sergeant Cruz on the late shift.

Polk Street Merchant of the Month, Elizabeth Shypertt of Velvet Da Vinci (2015 Polk near Pacific), shared information about their current show of earrings from 100 artists from around the world. Items in the show range from $50 to $5,000. Elizabeth has been on Polk Street with Velvet Da Vinci for 3 years and enjoys it very much. The gallery moved to Polk after 13 years in Hayes Valley.

I have been helping out on the Trees and Beautification Committee and I gave the following update:
-MPNA is helping coordinate volunteers for a tree planting day organized by the Friends of the Urban Forest. Volunteers can show up Saturday, November 10, at 9am rain or shine at 1465 Washington between Leavenworth and Hyde. We will start off with instruction and get all the equipment necessary and then move on to the planting sites.
-MPNA has pledged 100 hours of volunteer service to assist the Russian Hill Neighbors with their Greening the Broadway Tunnel project. These efforts will begin in January.

Frank Cannata gave updates on developments that the MPNA is watching. 1650 Broadway has a proposed 80 foot condo complex with 34 market rate units. 2550 Van Ness at Filbert is slated for a 150ft condo project. The Cala Market at California and Hyde has been sold. The current owners reportedly have a lease on the building until 2010 and plan to keep it open at least until then. There are plans for a mixed-use development on the site which may include the market. The area is zoned for development up to 65 ft tall.

Michael Skoolnick reported that the planning commission voted to support approval of landmark status for 1601 Larkin. The developer has been seeking approval for a 26 unit luxury condo development replacing the existing church structure. The item moves on to the Board of Supervisors for further consideration.

Also at issue is the 1601 Larkin developer's plan to remove 6 mature trees. Arborists have determined that 2 of the trees are diseased and 4 are healthy. After a Sept. 6 DPW hearing, the DPW Director issued a decision that all 6 trees could be removed, and are to be replaced with 8 new trees, but did not specify any date by which the trees must be replaced, leaving the MPNA concerned that the trees may never be replaced. It was suggested that since the previous incarnation of the MPNA paid for the planting of the trees, that they have an additional interest in the matter.

The possibility of the tree removal proceeding when the proposed development is in limbo, pending landmark decision, does not make much sense. Deputy Director of the DPW, Mohammed Nuru promised to look into the conundrum.

Kimberly Bryant reported on the Pacific Terrace development at Polk and Pacific. The committee met with Michael Lee of the Planning Commission on Oct 2 to discuss neighborhood concerns about the height, 65 ft, and girth of the building being out of character for the neighborhood and obstruction of the view corridor. Additionally, the committee is concerned that the developers want to put below market rate housing off-site, which is a housing policy that does not fit with the economic diversity of the neighborhood. It will be 3-4 months before the next public hearing. In the meantime, they are meeting with other community groups.

John Faust reported on 1645 Pacific, a proposed 65 ft, 50 unit luxury condo project, again with off-site affordable units. His committee met with members of the planning commission to walk them through the neighborhood.

Developers have three options for fulfilling their affordable housing quota. They can build the units on-site (which the MPNA fully supports), off-site in some other parcel and even neighborhood, or they can pay an in-lieu fee. The in-lieu fee goes into a pool that has no timing on it - the units will be built sometime in the future.

Judy Junghans and Steve Kendrick of the Russian Hill Neighbors presented details on the "Greening the Broadway Tunnel" project. The RHN put together a proposal for a city grant to plant trees on the ramp up to the tunnel, trees flanking the retaining walls and vines to drape from the top of the retaining walls for cover. The work will start in January and take about 9 months. There is a general meeting November 7 in the Clubhouse at Alamo Park at 6:30 pm to discuss the project.

Mohammed Nuru, Deputy Deputy Director of DPW announced that as a result of the All-Star Game being hosted in San Francisco, the Giants will support the planting of 800 trees in existing empty planting basins. Additonally, the City is planting 1500 trees.

The DPW has been considering a proposal to clean the alley streets from Franklin to Larkin 3 times a week. Due largely to objection by the Senior Housing on Myrtle and Van Ness, the proposal has been altered and will only cover alleys to Van Ness. The DPW has had a difficult time getting a clear answer from the effected neighborhoods about whether they would prefer an afternoon or late evening cleaning.

Hopefully you saw my earlier posting about Lights Out and Polk Street Clean up, both events took place yesterday.

Save the date - December 17th the MPNA will hold a fund raising holiday party at Amelie. The MPNA leadership has been spending about $100/ month from personal funds to keep the MPNA going and could use some help.

Next Meeting is November 19th, 7pm at Its a Grind.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lights Out; Trash Out

Besides being a big art weekend, we also have a couple of great ways to contribute to the community.

Turn off Your Lights is a citwide energy conservation event on Saturday, Oct 20. From 8 to 9 pm everyone in the city is invited to turn off all non-essential lighting and install one energy efficient compact fluorescent bulb.

The goal of this event is to conserve 15% of the energy consumed in an average night in San Francisco and to raise awareness of our ability to reduce the city's appetite for energy and protect out planet from the effects of the climate crisis.

To celebrate this event, Lights Out is hosting an evening of dancing to DJs and live music in Dolores Park.

See for more info.

Clean up on Polk

All of the neighborhood associations for the Polk Street Corridor are coordinating a clean up day this Saturday. I have participated in this event and had a surprisingly good time. It felt great to clean up the street and I met some of our great neighbors.

The Middle Polk Neighbors will be meeting at Its a Grind, 1800 Polk Street @Washington, 9:45 am, Sat, Oct 20. All equipment is provided by the DPW.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Art Show Openings on Polk

Three art shows open this week on Polk Street.

At Studio Gallery we have "Curious Travels" with paintings and scuplture by two of Studio's regular artists - Dave Higgins and Ayu Tomikawa. Opening today, Wednesday, Oct 17 through Nov 4. Opening reception Sat, Oct 20 4-8pm. 1718 Polk.
Jennifer, of Studio Gallery writes fanciful description of the show - this direct from website:

"Two of our most popular artists, Ayu Tomikawa & Dave Higgins, have teamed up for Curious Travels, which depicts the recent adventures of their well-loved characters. The show includes new sculptures and paintings from Dave, as well as Ayu's woodblock prints starring Hato, everyone's favorite space alien. Whether it's Hato traveling to the moon, or the Birdhouse Blend Birds zipping around in their new cars, you are sure to enjoy the trip. And the best part: there's even a bit of cross-pollinization, with Hato appearing in Dave's sculptures and Ayu using bird costumes in her prints."


Ayu Tomikawa_____________________ Dave Higgins

"Hato in Red Bird Suit" ____________"Curious Meeting You Here"

VELVET DA VINCI presents "The Earring Show" celebrating the publication of 500 Earrings, by Lark Books and an Artist Showcase: Diane Komater. This show also opened today and will run through Nov 25. The artists' reception is Friday, Oct 19, 6-8 pm.

VELVET DA VINCI is at 2015 Polk Street.
Space Gallery presents "Footsteps with Ink Filled Dreams", paintings, drawings and installations by Ako/ Akayo. This show opens Oct 20 with a reception from 6 pm to 2 am and runs through October 28.
I found out about this opening from . I have no idea what to expect, but I am intrigued and will be there. Space Gallery - 1141 Polk Street at Sutter.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Grove Street Closure 10/13-10/17

Grove Street will be closed from Polk to Larkin 8 a.m., Saturday Oct. 13 through Noon, Wednesday, Oct. 17.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Polk Corridor Community Meeting Oct 10

Wednesday, October 10, The Mayor's Office of Economic and Workforce Development will be holding a Polk Corridor Community Meeting from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Cathedral Hill Hotel, 4th Floor, 1101 Van Ness.

This meeting is part of the Neighborhood Marketplace Initiative from the Mayor's Office with a mandate "to develop economically viable neighborhood business districts where existing businesses can grow and expand and new businesses can locate; increase the potential of commercial districts to provide jobs, services and entrepreneurial opportunities for community/local residents; attract public and private investment to improve the appearance of commercial corridors; address quality of life issues such as the perception and/or reality of crime, safety and cleanliness; and build neighborhood-based collaborations between merchants, property owners, residents and community groups that have the capacity to be the stewards of vibrant commercial districts over the long term, " according to the Mayor's Office website.

This meeting will address tree planting, business attraction, cleanliness and safety programs among other topics.