Miraloma Life: June 2006

  • The Second MPIC Social Mixer 
  • Picturing Miraloma Life
  • Los Palmos Gardens
  • Wanted Delivery Person
  • Mother’s Day Garden Tour
  • Sunnyside Park Renovations Go Out To Bid
  • Host International Students
  • MPIC Election and Jake Sigg Presents “Native Flora of Glen Park Canyon and the MPIC Native Plant Garden”
  • A Word About Gardens
  • Legal Ease
  • Neighborhood Names
  • Miraloma Life Is On Vacation
  • Disaster Preparedness
  • Principal Parrott of Miraloma Elementary School to Retired Mayor Dedicates New Kindergarten Play Yard

The Second MPIC Social Mixer

by Jim O’Donnell

Like our Fall social, we had a good turnout, although not the same bevy of politicians, which many may think is quite all right. I enjoyed myself and like meeting the neighborhood residents. After all, 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 of Miraloma Park. With this kind of facility, it only makes sense to use it twice 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. Captain Chignell could not make this one, but we had a number of officers, all of whom were impressive. Display tables included information about Miraloma Life, the Miraloma website, the School of the Arts, the Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT), Miraloma native plants and animals by Kathy Rawlins and Dan Liberthson. There was an impressive array of plants that can be cultivated in Miraloma Park by Gabriella Solomon, a landscape architect who lives in the neighborhood. Look her up at Earth Angel Gardening.

The only politician who came was Janet Reilly, running for Assembly against Fiona Ma. Fiona was also invited but had other commitments, not unusual since the primary is in the beginning of June. All-in-all, this is an event that the MPIC is committed to for the spring and the fall. With a great clubhouse, it only makes sense to offer something neighborly for that small town feel, the feeling that built America over the past two centuries.

This is also the end of my two-year stint as your president of MPIC, and I have enjoyed being of service to Miraloma Park. If I see you around, don’t be shy and be sure to say Hi!

Displays and People at Spring Social

From Jacquie Proctor’s New Book

Picturing Miraloma Life

by Jacquie Proctor

The history of our wonderful Miraloma Park and surrounding neighborhoods on the slopes of Mount Davidson will be available for purchase at local bookstores and from the author (415-584-8694) on July 28th.

Originally part of Rancho San Miguel, the West of Twin Peaks District was among the last to be developed in San Francisco. Behrend Joost, using the fortune he made to start dredging the Panama Canal, built a railway in 1891 to bring people out to his “crème de la crème” subdivision next to the forest planted by Comstock Lode millionaire Adolph Sutro. After the streetcar tunnel was bored through Twin Peaks in 1918, A.S. Baldwin found gold in the neighborhoods he planned on Sutro’s estate around the City’s highest hill, Mount Davidson. With noted architects and engineers, he created “residential parks” with well-built craftsman, art deco, English, and Spanish style homes on curvilinear landscaped boulevards. To these “suburbs in the city” in the heart of San Francisco: Sunnyside, Balboa Terrace, Ingleside Terraces, Westwood Park, Westwood Highlands, Monterey Heights, Mount Davidson Manor, Sherwood Forest, and Miraloma Park came the children of the Gold Rush in pursuit of the American dream.

Local historian, Jacqueline Proctor, offers a view of San Francisco’s development from its highest point. Home to some of the city’s most beautiful neighborhoods and influential citizens, this story of those who dared to dream is part of the tapestry that makes San Francisco the city it is today.

See a preview of it at www.MtDavidson.org.

….Jacquie Proctor -584-8694 jacquie@mtdavidson.org

Miraloma Park Improvement Club
2006 Membership Form

Los Palmos Gardens

The Friends of Los Palmos Gardens will be holding their annual Garden work event on Sunday, June 25 from 11:00 to 2:00 . Come view how the neighbors turned a weed infested City lot into a oasis with many colorful plants and lush foliage. The Garden is located on the 100 block of Los Palmos betwen Foerster St and Teresita Blvd.

Wanted Delivery Person

The Miraloma Park Improvement Club is looking for someone to deliver Miraloma Life starting in September, 2006. The paper is delivered once monthly from September through June usually on the first weekend of the month. The person delivers approximately 550 papers and is paid $50.00 a month. If an insert needs to be added an extra $10.00 is paid. There are sometime bonuses for good work. Usually, high school students take this job but there is no age limit. It is fun to see the neighborhood and help with the community newsletter.

For more details and to apply, call the Miraloma Park Clubhouse at 281-0892 and leave a message for Gary Isaacson. He will respond to your call as soon as possible

Mother’s Day Garden Tour

by Jeanne Halpern

Of the many gardens featured in the Mother’s Day Native Plant Garden Tour this year, an unusually high number comes from the Miraloma, Mt. Davidson, Glen Park area of San Francisco.The self-guided Mother’s Day Tour takes place on May 14, 2006, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. To see the initial list of gardens on the tour, plus photos, go to the California Native Plant Society website. Gardens will be added through April. To recommend a garden featuring native plants, or if you have questions, contact Jeanne Halpern, manager of this year’s tour, at 415-841-1254 or jeannehalpern@hotmail.com.

website. Gardens will be added through April. To recommend a garden featuring native plants, or if you have questions, contact Jeanne Halpern, manager of this year’s tour, at 415-841-1254 or .website. Gardens will be added through April. To recommend a garden featuring native plants, or if you have questions, contact Jeanne Halpern, manager of this year’s tour, at 415-841-1254 or .website. Gardens will be added through April. To recommend a garden featuring native plants, or if you have questions, contact Jeanne Halpern, manager of this year’s tour, at 415-841-1254 or .website. Gardens will be added through April. To recommend a garden featuring native plants, or if you have questions, contact Jeanne Halpern, manager of this year’s tour, at 415-841-1254 or .One Last Note, and Then (Alas!)
He’s Gone (for Now)

I have no idea how, on one of those rare hot clear days we’ve had in the past few weeks, a certain somebody managed to get a message, written with some sort of stylus on eucalyptus leaves stitched together with ivy, onto my dining room table without my noticing a thing. The cat apparently saw something, since she managed to get up on top of the refrigerator in a big hurry (quite a feat for a kitty of her girth) and stayed there all afternoon, directing fearful glances at the window as if she’d seen the Hound of the Baskervilles coming at her. But I, not the world’s least observant person, if I may flatter myself just a bit, saw utterly nothing. I did hear a familiar maniacal cackle echoing in the distance, which seems to have become the signature of our furry friend M. Coyote. I felt like a victim of Zorro, with a Z carved into my clothing-whit-whit-whit-and no idea how it (he) got there. Really, how in the universe did that creature manage to get through my front window, admittedly open to the fine weather, but SCREENED-and in plain view of my neighbors (who saw, of course, also, nothing)! Well, I suppose there are some mysteries with which we mortals should not meddle. Here follows the curious Eucalyptus Script-but first, I must put to rest the rumor that I have made up this Mt. Davidson Coyote and have been having a belly laugh at my our readers’ expense. Absolutely false-I am a cat person (vide supra) and will have nothing to do with canids although I did have three beautiful mixed-breeds and two superlative big poodles. Look elsewhere, dear reader, for your mythmaker (perhaps some furtive dog lover), if in fact this coyote creature is fictive, and not the real goods.- Ed

I’ll tell you what’s fiction, and by my snout and tail it certainly is NOT me-no, it’s this wretched giant Easter Bunny I’ve been hunting high and low since the rumor that its main rabbit hole was on Mt. Davidson first tickled my twitching ears after I returned from the Big Apple. I state unequivocally for the record, in perpetuity, there is no such thing as this giant bunny rabbit: you can’t smell it, you can’t see it, you can’t catch it, you can’t stew it with raisins and cinnamon, and you sure as hell can’t eat it, because IT DOES NOT EXIST. What a mean trick to play on a wild creature such as myself, at the mercy of the elements, scrabbling a hard living here among the racing perils of a modern city-raising false hopes. Hunger is no joke my friends, nor is having to settle for squirrel or pigeon or even (yechh) banana slug when you’ve got your heart set on succulent, simmering coney. Ah, my good two-legged friends, imagination has always been my downfall, for it maketh me to wander in the green field (or lately, in the ivy underbrush) craving a meal fit for the connoisseur I am at heart, a meal, I fear, never to be found. As the poet has said, “Where is the caprezzo of yesteryear?”

Speaking of imagination, I lately found, on this very Mountain in the vicinity of the cross at its peak, a buried piece of arcana the like of which I’ve never before encountered. It is written in the ancient coyote tongue, which very few of us can grasp nowadays, but I have a special gift for decryption inherited from my great grandfather Christopher and who knows whom before him.

Written on hide of convincingly antediluvian appearance, this ancient text claims to be the true story of how, in tribal times, a certain purportedly celibate holy shaman and his presumably likewise virtuous consort in fact were not so . . . and parented a secret line of gifted magi that has stretched down through the ages, even unto the present! (Whoa!) Well, it looks authentic, if I’m any judge (and I’ve been before enough of them to do a superb imitation!), and even if it’s not true, all the better-some enterprising soul among you could surely work it up as a novel, get it published and made into a film and get filthy rich enough on the package to supply me, out of eternal gratitude for the idea, with any delicacy my forlorn and faithful stomach could ever desire. Any takers? You can reach me, care of our dear editor, over the long, hot (you wish! No doubt it will be colder than a winter in Minnesota) summer.

Sunnyside Park Renovations Go Out To Bid

by Andrea O’Leary

Sunnyside Park renovation plans are advancing according to plan with bids from contractors due back to the Rec. & Park Dept. Planning Division by mid June. Late September remains the expected ground breaking timeline.

The San Francisco Arts Commission requires that an art element be included in any significant public space renovation. Sunnyside will do double duty by beautifying required safety railing around the new Plaza. The proposed design by metal work artist Deborah Kennedy will be unveiled by the Art Commission at the Sunnyside. Center on Monday, June 5, 6-7 PM.

Sunnyside Park Families & Neighbors (SPFN) has earned funding for a Ground Breaking event for mid September to celebrate accomplishments and to party in the park before bulldozers take over. A planning session for this and the reopening Ribbon Cutting celebration, projected for July 2007, will be held on Thursday, June 22, 7- 8:30 PM at the Sunnyside Rec. Center.

With the completion of renovations, many other projects that have been stalled will be put back onto the schedule of enhancements to the neighborhood park. SPFN continues to seek expertise and funding to make the natural spring fulfill its potential as a Riparian Garden instead of the incorrect perception as a spillage nuisance.

The Plaza will receive more improvements to create an inviting environment for meetings, parties and children’s programs. Community-interest programming is sought for kids and adult after-hours and outdoor activities such as volley ball, outdoor theater, music and movies, the popular kid’s scootering event called Scooter-O-Rama, equipment for Micro Soccer, T-ball, and more greening throughout the park. For information or to participate, contact SPFamilies@aol.com, P.O. Box 318096, SF 94131, or call 334-3601.

, P.O. Box 318096, SF 94131, or call 334-3601., P.O. Box 318096, SF 94131, or call 334-3601., P.O. Box 318096, SF 94131, or call 334-3601., P.O. Box 318096, SF 94131, or call 334-3601.

Host International Students

Have a cultural experience with a international student here to study English at Converse International School of Languages. We are looking for families or single persons who have an extra bedroom in their home and would like to share a dinner meal with a student for 2 to 6 weeks. Compensation will be provided.

Please call 971-3227 or use the website at sfhomestay@cisl.org.


MPIC Election and Jake Sigg Presents “Native Flora of Glen Park Canyon and the MPIC Native Plant Garden”

by Dan Liberthson

On Thursday, June 15, the MPIC will hold its annual election of Directors and Officers at 7:30 pm. All members in good standing (dues paid by May 15) are encouraged to come and vote.

Candidates for Director are Vivienne Antal, JoAnn Eastep, Joanne Whitney, Gary Issacson, Cassandra Mettling-Davis, Mike Naughton, Jim O’Donnell, Phil Laird, Pete Renteria, Terry Still, and Karen Wood.

Candidates for Office are: President, Phil Laird; Vice President, Mike Naughton, Treasurer, Terry Still; and Sergeant at Arms, Joanne Whitney.

Then, at 7:45 pm, everyone (MPIC members and non-members, Miralomans and folks from elsewhere) is welcome to hear noted California native plant expert Jake Sigg talk and show slides about the native plants of Glen Park Canyon, the wonderful open space that stretches along the north side of O’Shaughnessy Boulevard.
Jake has been a leading member of the California Native Plant Society for many years, and has been instrumental in the founding and growth of the native plant garden at the MPIC Clubhouse, just off the edge of Glen Canyon Park, as well as the preservation and nurture of native plant species all across San Francisco. His special focus in this presentation will be what’s been done so far in terms of the native plant garden at the Clubhouse, and what he plans to do to expand the Clubhouse native plant garden to incorporate more representative species from the Glen Canyon Park ecosystem. Along the way, he will touch on the history and fauna of the Glen Canyon area. As Jake himself says, “I am interested in ecosystems, and that includes all components that constitute an ecosystem: plants, animals, other organisms (including diseases!) that make a system go. I like to network with other organizations, individuals, and community groups, such as MPIC to work toward mutually beneficial goals, and that is why I want to integrate the MPIC garden into the canyon.”

This will be an excellent opportunity for Miraloma Park residents and others to learn more about native plants, and to get a feel for which ones would work well in their own gardens. Jake is a tremendous resource for our community and a great fount of knowledge about indigenous plants, as well as the exotics that threaten them. Be sure to attend this special event, free to all, to be accompanied by light refreshments and followed by a spacious question and answer session.

A Word About Gardens

by Mike Naughton

Few things are more rewarding than a beautiful, healthy landscape. A well maintained garden is a pleasure to view, raises property values and benefits the environment by controlling storm-water runoff, moderating temperature and improving air quality. Gardens are also a vital ingredient of healthy human functioning. Simply looking at a planted and well-tended yard can reduce stress and anger, lower blood pressure and ease muscle tension. The original developers of Miraloma Park conceived our neighborhood with a garden atmosphere in mind, and built homes with front-setback space for plant life. This has created a positive community image for both residents and visitors.

Whether you would like to maintain your current garden or begin a new one, it’s always good to begin with a plan. Sketch your yard with locations of existing structures, trees, shrubs, plants and grass areas. Then consider your budget, plants which appeal to you and will thrive in our climate, maintenance and water requirements. Amazon.com, Borders and local book stores are good places to search for literature to get you started on the right path to designing and implementing the garden that’s right for you. Also consider searching the internet for ideas about a garden that will thrive in our climate. If you would like to consult with a professional landscaper, please contact MPIC either at www.miralomapark.org, or call us at 281-0892, and we will help you connect with someone. You will be well on your way to making your surroundings more attractive and enjoyable, giving pleasure to all who use and see it.

Miraloma Park Residential Guidelines on Line

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. The Guidelines are available at www.miralomapark.org.

Legal Ease

by Steven Solomon

Q: I have elderly neighbors who moved an unrelated younger person in with them a couple months ago. I suspect this young person is exploiting my neighbors. What can I do?

A: One option is to call the San Francisco adult protective services (557-5230). The Calif. Attorney General’s office has a reporting hotline, 1-888-436-3600. You can order A Citizen’s Guide to Preventing & Reporting Elder Abuse by sending a fax-request to (916) 327-2384, or ordering online at http://www.ag.ca.gov/. You can also request the S.F. Police Dept. to conduct a well-being check on your neighbors.

. You can also request the S.F. Police Dept. to conduct a well-being check on your neighbors.. You can also request the S.F. Police Dept. to conduct a well-being check on your neighbors.. You can also request the S.F. Police Dept. to conduct a well-being check on your neighbors.. You can also request the S.F. Police Dept. to conduct a well-being check on your neighbors.Did you know dept. In March, the Calif. PUC eliminated many protections of the Telecommunications Consumer Bill of Rights, such as allowing customers to rescind new or renewal cell phone contracts within 30 days & preventing providers from changing contract terms without customer permission. Have a great summer!

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.

Neighborhood Names

by Gary Noguera

Have you ever driven on the streets in Miraloma Park and wondered what the names mean? Many have Spanish origins, including our community’s name. Here are some of the translations, in no particular order:

Bella Vista = Beautiful View
Gaviota = Seagull
Vista Verde = Greenview
Cresta Vista = Crestview
Reposa = Tranquil or Restful
Agua= Water
El Sereno = Night Watchman (Sereno also means Calm)
And for our grand finale:
Teresita = Little Teresa (I wonder who she was? Perhaps a relative of one of the developers? If anyone knows, please contact us.)
Mira Loma = “Small Hill View” or “Slope View”

Miraloma Life Is On Vacation

Following tradition, Miraloma Life will not be published
in the months of July and August. We want to thank the many
contributors who made this year’s edition special.

In the meantime you can access neighborhood news and events on our website at www.miralomapark.org. You can rent the clubhouse (members get a discount), check out the design guidelines, read about the history of our community, check out old newsletters, sentimentalize over photos from previous parties and give your opinion on current issues on the Discussion page.

We hope you have a wonderful summer and when you come back in the fall, remember we are always looking for writers, poets and photographers to enhance Miraloma Life.

Disaster Preparedness

Natural Gas

  • Natural gas leaks can cause an explosive and flammable atmosphere inside a building.
  • If you smell gas, hear gas escaping, see a broken gas line, or if you suspect a leak, shut off the main valve and open all windows and doors.
  • Never use candles or matches if you suspect a leak. Do not turn on electrical switches or appliances.
  • Identify the main shutoff valve, which is located on the gas line coming into the main gas meter.
  • To turn gas off, give the valve a quarter turn in either direction. When the lever crosses the direction of the pipe the gas is off. Keep a crescent wrench or gas shut-off tool nearby to turn the lever.

Once you turn off the gas, never attempt to turn it back on yourself. Call for your utility company to do it. Be aware that it may take several days for the gas to be turned back on.


Electrocution can result from direct contact with live wires or anything that has been energized by these wires.
Locate your home’s main electric switch, which is normally in the garage or outdoors, where the power lines enter the home. The panel box may have a flip switch or pull handle on a large circuit breaker.

Shut off electricity when:

  • Arcing or burning occurs in electrical devices.
  • There is a fire or significant water leak.
  • You smell burning insulation.
  • The area around switches or plugs is blackened and/or hot to the touch.
  • A complete power loss is accompanied by the smell of burning material.


Water leaks can cause property damage and create an electrocution hazard.

  • Shut off the water when there is a leak inside the building.
  • The water shutoff is usually located in the basement, garage, or where the water line enters the home. The water shutoff is located on a riser pipe and is usually a red or yellow wheel.
  • Turn wheel clockwise to shut off.

Emergency Water Supply

In a disaster, water supplies may be cut off or contaminated. Store enough water for everyone in your family to last for at least 5 days. Store one gallon of water, per person, per day. Do not forget to plan for your pets.

If you store tap water:

  • Store water in food grade plastic containers, such as clean 2-liter soft drink bottles. Heavy duty, reusable plastic water containers are also available at sporting goods stores.
  • Replace water at least once every six months.

If you buy commercially bottled “spring” or “drinking” water:

  1. Keep water in its original container, and don’t re-store a bottle once it’s been opened.
  2. Label bottles with their replacement date, and store in a cool, dark place.
  3. Replace water at least once each year.

Treating water after the disaster:

  • If you run out of stored drinking water, strain and treat water from your water heater or the toilet reservoir tank (except if you use toilet tank cleaners.) You cannot drink swimming pool or spa water, but you can use it for flushing toilets or washing.
  • Treatment process: Begin by straining any large particles of dirt by pouring the water through a couple of layers of paper towels or clean cloth.
  • Next, purify the water one of two ways: 1) Boil – bring to a rolling boil and maintain for 3-5 minutes. To improve the taste, pour it back and forth between two clean containers to add oxygen back. 2) Disinfect – If the water is clear, add 8 drops of bleach per gallon. If it is cloudy, add 16. Shake or stir, then let stand 30 minutes. A slight chlorine taste and smell is normal.

For additional information about disaster preparedness, visit http://www.72hours.org/.

….The more we know, the safer we are.

MPIC Safety Committee

Principal Parrott of Miraloma Elementary School to Retired Mayor Dedicates New Kindergarten Play Yard

by September Jarrett and Dan Liberthson

Mayor Gavin Newsom arrived at the Miraloma Elementary School promptly at 9:00 am on Thursday, May 8 to meet the students and dedicate the school’s new kindergarten play yard-the Marcia Parrott Playground-in honor of Principal Parrott and her 30-year career in education. Principal Parrott will retire at the end of this school year for a well-earned rest.

Creation of Miraloma Elementary’s new play yard was a collaborative community project that took four years to blossom from idea into reality. The beautiful new structure was made possible by a joint effort of the students’ parents and the PTA, the San Francisco Conservation Corps, Paulett Taggart Architects, and the Mayor’s Office of Community Development.

Mayor Newsom cut the ribbon together with the other key partners in the project, and played on the new structure with all 60 kindergartners. He then visited three classrooms, grades 5 (Ms. Kirman), 3 (Ms. Jabar) and 1 (Ms. Huang), accompanied on the tour by Principal Parrott and parent leaders Nanoska Johnson (incoming School Site Council President) and Lori Lack (outgoing PTA president).

I (Dan Liberthson) happened to be at Ms. Jabar’s 3rd grade classroom when the Mayor arrived, about to accompany the class on a visit to the zoo to start a bit later. Through the SF School Volunteers (website: www.sfsv.org; phone, 749-3700), I have been tutoring kids in reading at Miraloma Elementary and occasionally helping out on field trips-a richly rewarding experience that I recommend to everyone who wants to help, work with, and enjoy children. Mayor Newsom was terrific with the kids, engaging them in banter while slipping in discreet lessons in civics and answering most of their questions (I think he was stumped only twice).

The entire morning was great fun: I’ve often noted and enjoyed an atmosphere of play at the school that also seems to inspire the children and help their learning. It had been declared Backwards Friday, so everyone, even Principal Parrott, wore their coats or vests or jackets backward, and every kid had a parrot pin similar to the one worn by their eponymous (never though I’d get to use that word in print!) principal. The events of that Thursday morning crowned a collaborative effort by parents, teachers, City government, and others to improve even more an already fine school, and were a fitting farewell to Principal Parrott. The MPIC wishes her a wonderful retirement!

Last Updated
November 15, 2017
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Miraloma Park is a community of 2,200 homes on Mount Davidson in San Francisco.