Miraloma Life: September 2013

  • PDF Version – September Miraloma Life
  • Don’t Miss the 2013 MPIC Fall Fiesta
  • National Night Out and Other Summer Highpoints
  • Summary of MPIC Board Meetings of June 6 and August 7, 2013
  • Miraloma Elementary School Traffic Plan
  • What’s Growing in our Backyards?
  • A Place to Learn
  • This Injustice Too Shall Fade, and Quickly with your Aid!
  • Ruth ASAWA SF School of the Arts (SOTA): Check Out the Fall Offerings
  • How to be a Responsible Neighbor

Don’t Miss the 2013 MPIC Fall Fiesta

by Shannon Chu

Join your neighbors at the MPIC Clubhouse (350 O’Shaughnessy Blvd. at Del Vale) on Saturday September 21, 2013 from 5 to 8 pm for fabulous free food catered by La Corneta and great entertainment provided by YOU! A Karaoke DJ will queue up your favorite tunes for you and your neighborhood friends to sing along. The MPIC will provide beverages to accompany the great food and loosen up your vocal cords. This event is for all ages, so if you have kids please bring them along so they can learn the words to “I Will Survive” and other Karaoke classics.

Curious facts about Karaoke:
• The word comes from the Japanese kara (empty) and okesutora (orchestra). Legend has it that karaoke started in Kobe, Japan, in 1971, when a bar owner whose guitarist didn’t show up made tapes of instrumental backgrounds for vocalists to sing to. The Japanese like singing at parties; even out of tune it loosens people up. Now karaoke has spread worldwide.

• In 2003, Chinese car maker Geely included a karaoke machine as standard equipment in their Beauty Leopard model. In London’s karaokecab, a TX4 taxi with a karaoke machine inside, fares could sing as they rode, and there is now a Kabeoke fleet of vehicles for hire. • In Japan the karaoke box, a roadside building with insulated rooms for singing, appeared in 1984 in a rice field in the countryside of Okayama Prefecture, built from a converted freight car. The fad caught on: though authorities were concerned that young people might get up to no good in the isolated rooms, it was families that mainly used them, with members performing for one another rather than for strangers in bars or clubs.

• Karaoke has caused violent reactions in some Asian countries. In the Philippines, there have been “My Way” killings in response singers of Sinatra’s song, and some bars won’t allow it. Fights may be caused by too much alcohol plus bad singing, hogging the mic, or mocking the singer. Of course, Miraloma Park residents are too nice and well-behaved for any of that!

• Portland, Oregon’s many karaoke bars make the US capital of karaoke.

• The 2011 Karaoke World Championships took place in Killarney, Ireland in September.

• Robbie Williams holds the record for the most people singing karaoke at one time: over 120,000 singing “Strong (song)” live at Knebworth 2003.

• Hungary holds the record for the longest Karaoke marathon with multiple participants: over 1011 hours, in 2011 between July 20 and Aug. 31. Each song was over 3 minutes long, no gap between songs was no longer than 30 seconds, and no song was repeated in any 2 hour period.

National Night Out and Other Summer Highpoints

by Robert Gee

On August 6, the MPIC hosted the 30th annual National Night Out event for the Ingleside Police District. National Night Out is a nationwide yearly event designed to raise crime prevention awareness, strengthen neighborhood spirit and unity, and foster community-police partnerships. Attendance exceeded all expectations, with well over 200 neighbors from all parts of the Ingleside District: Glen Park, Bernal Heights, Ingleside, Sunnyside, Noe Valley and Miraloma Park just to name a few. The officers commented that it was the largest National Night Out event in years. In fact, so many attended that the officers had to run out and buy more burgers and hot dogs!

I want to thank Ingleside Station Captain Tim Falvey, his officers, and the Ingleside Community Police Advisory Board (CPAB) for working hard to put together this event and make it such a success. A big thank you goes out to MPIC Director Joanne Whitney, a member of the CPAB, for her efforts. And, of course, we thank all of you from the neighborhood who found the time to come and meet these men and women who serve and protect us every day, and at this event, barbecued and served us hamburgers and hotdogs with all the trimmings. Thanks also to Recology, who took care of all the garbage, and to the Recreation and Parks Department for providing the big BBQ pit.

Traffic officers brought their Harleys, a big hit with the kids who got to sit on them and hear their sirens, specialty officers from SWAT were in attendance, off-road patrol officers brought their trail-bikes, and members of the SFPD command staff came, including Captain Lazar from the Diamond Heights training academy. SFPD’s newest patrol car was on display—a popular exhibit for kids of all ages. The District Attorney’s Office attended and several safety and disaster preparedness organizations had tables, including Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT), Auxiliary Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT), and SF Safe.

In other news, during July, MPIC Director and Clubhouse Maintenance Chairperson Kathy Rawlins repainted the Clubhouse kitchen. Donated in the mid-1930s by the developer of the neighborhood, the Clubhouse is a major community asset and the MPIC dedicates a lot of attention to its upkeep and improvement, much of it on a volunteer basis. The Maintenance Committee and the MPIC Board’s Events Planning Committee—Shannon Chu, Thad Sauvain and Carl Schick—both welcome ideas and volunteers from the membership. Please let us know if you are interested in attending a particular sort of event.


We are grateful to Captain Falvey and Ingleside Station officers for maintaining a presence on Mt. Davidson on July 4, as they have done for many years, to prevent illegal fireworks, which once caused a dangerous brush fire on the mountain’s western slope. The MPIC Safety Committee communicates with the police to arrange the patrol and supplies dinner for the two officers on mountain duty as an expression of our appreciation. Happily, all was well on the mountain that evening. Lastly, you may have noticed that the landscaping around the Miraloma Playground has been well tended of late, for which we send out a big thank you to Rec and Parks gardening staff.

Summary of MPIC Board Meetings of June 6 and August 7, 2013

by Dan Liberthson and Carl Schick

June 6 Board Meeting
Presentations: Charles Sheehan, CleanPowerSF, described the City’s plans to offer
electricity derived entirely from renewable sources (solar, wind, bio gas and hydro). PG&E would administer the plan, which would roll out gradually, with a goal of 90, 000 households in the first year. Leamon Abrams, SF Sewer System Improvement Program, talked about the City’s effort to improve and update the waste water management system: 35% to 40% of the city’s sewer pipes are at least 100 years old.

Treasurer’s Report (T Sauvain): Net worth was $26,187 in May and $25,395 in June. Rental income was $3075 in June vs. $3730 in May. In June we had income of $270 from newsletter advertising and $351 from membership dues. We retained a full $1500 deposit from a non-member rental due to contract violations. Over and above normal monthly expenses (newsletter costs, utilities, etc.), we spent $1250 on a new water heater (old one found defective by PG&E when relighting our pilot lights after a gas outage), a $390 down payment for floor refinishing scheduled in October, $1018 on replacement of the damaged stage floor lip, $564 on an additional insurance premium on the Clubhouse (partly due to a mistake by our agent’s office and partly because the City now requires us to keep auto insurance even though the MPIC does not own any vehicles), and $97 on the June 20 Election and Play date event.

Committees: Traffic and Membership (R Gee)—The MPIC had 557 members on 5/31 and 545 members on 6/30. Events (S Chu)—Miraloma Park Neighborhood Night Out police event planned 8/6 at Clubhouse (J Whitney coordinating). Motion by S Chu to grant up to $250 for refreshments for the 6/20 Election and Neighborhood Play date event (passed). Motion by S Chu to approve $400 for the DJ/Karaoke entertainment for 9/21 Fall Fiesta event (passed). Motion by R Gee (based on C Schick suggestion) to use the member e-mail list to send a reminder of the next event to members (passed). Clubhouse Maintenance (K Rawlins)— In May an emergency gas leak at the Clubhouse led to replacement by PG&E of the main pipe leading into the building. The damaged Clubhouse stage lip was replaced. Planning and Zoning (C Mettling-Davis, CMD)—CMD to step down as Director; new director to be sought.

Community Organizations: Coalition for SF Neighborhoods (CSFN, 2/19, K Breslin)— AT&T is sending notices to make residents aware of utility boxes in the neighborhood. CSFN passed motions not to support Supervisor Wiener’s CEQA legislation and to support undergrounding utilities.

New Business: ReviveSF offered to install a projector over the stage that would connect to a computer to be used for its Sunday services. R Gee to follow up with them.

August 1 Board Meeting
Guest: Hillary Mahon, adjacent Clubhouse neighbor, asked the Board to reassess the use of amplified sound at MPIC Clubhouse events. Discussed were a recent party at which, violating their contract, renters played music too loud and past 10 pm; also the fact that the contract has strong wording limiting noise but renters may ignore the contract even though this puts their deposits at risk. Clubhouse committee to discuss issue and make recommendations to full Board.

On-Line Votes: 6/12, R Gee moved that up to $1,200 be spent to repair or replace the Clubhouse water heater (passed). 7/8, R Gee moved that up to $300 be spend on the 8/6 Neighborhood Night Out police event (passed).

Treasurer’s Report (T Sauvain): Net worth increased to $34,524 in July, with rental income of $3075. Most rental income now comes from recurring rentals, including a newly signed jazzercise group, which should keep our income relatively steady. July income from newsletter advertising was $574 and from membership dues $397. Over and above normal monthly expenses (newsletter costs, utilities, etc.), we spent $45 on CSFN annual dues and $79.95 for our yearly Box.com fee. A sharp increase in clubhouse supply costs should be addressed.

Committees: Safety (K Wood)—Committee members meet with Ingleside District Captain Falvey on a regular basis to address safety concerns. SFPD officers responded to our request to patrol Mt. Davidson on July 4th. Membership (R Gee)—Membership was 545 in June and 543 at the end of July. Several members renewed their memberships that expired more than 2 years ago. Nominations (R Gee)—On 6/20, J Whitney was elected Sergeant at Arms and J Whitney, S Chu, K Rawlins, K Breslin and D Homsey were elected to 2 year terms as MPIC Directors Events (S Chu)—R Gee moved that up to $1200 be spent, in addition to the $400 approved in June, to cover the cost of food, beverages and the cleaners for the Fall Fiesta. K Wood suggested we set up a Google group for MPIC members to let them know about upcoming events. Election Night/Play Date discussed: suggestions included combining election night with showcasing various resource groups in the City to make people more aware of services more publicity to generate better attendance; starting earlier so people could drop by before dinner and nighttime activities. Clubhouse Maintenance (K Rawlins)— Six broken chairs must be replaced. Alternative cleaning services under consideration. Planning and Zoning—Tim Armour is new committee chair.

Community Organizations: West of Twin Peaks Central Council (WOTPCC, K Breslin)—SF general retrofitting will be paid for by taxpayer dollars. SF Waterfront Alliance, a non-profit group, opposes the proposed Warriors stadium on the Embarcadero at Piers 30-32. Coalition for SF Neighborhoods (CSFN, 2/19, T Armour)—New highrise at Howard Street.

Old Business: R Gee wrote to SF Parks and Rec regarding the D rating the Miraloma Playground received and advocating for funding to make improvements.

New Business: R Gee received a letter from the Sunnyside Playground President asking if MPIC would like to have some governance over the playground. The Board concluded that we would not but we do support that group’s efforts.

Miraloma Elementary School Traffic Plan

by the MPIC Board of Directors Safety Committee

On August 19, Miraloma Elementary started the 2013/2014 school year, welcoming over 350 students. With the start of school many cars begin entering and leaving the school vicinity between 7:40 and 8:15 am. Traffic becomes quite congested in the morning during arrival time. Some children will be dropped off but many parents park their cars for about 20 minutes in order to attend the daily Morning Circle, an opportunity for children, parents, and teachers to gather in the school yard for announcements, important messages, and daily lessons delivered by Principal Ron Machado.

In the past, residents in the immediate vicinity of the school have reported serious problems from school-related parking and traffic congestion. The MPIC appreciates that parental involvement has been a key factor in improving the school’s performance and we commend the efforts of parents and faculty to make Miraloma Elementary an excellent school.

The MPIC Board Safety Committee has continued to work with the school and SFPD on a comprehensive traffic plan with both educational and enforcement components. Mr. Machado has issued guidelines to the school community emphasizing a need to maintain positive relationships with the neighbors by not blocking driveways or parking illegally at corners, intersections, sidewalk bulb cutouts, red zones, and fire hydrants, and to obey the 15 MPH speed limit and stop signs. Parents are encouraged to car pool and to leave home earlier, seek parking a few blocks away from the school, and enjoy the walk to school with their children. The school has a very effective traffic flow plan to reduce congestion, outlined in the map on page 10.

All Miraloma Park residents who drive within the vicinity of the school during student arrival times should follow this recommended traffic flow. Traffic congestion always occurs on Reposa Way because cars parked on both sides prevent two-way traffic. Add a 36 Teresita MUNI bus and traffic can grind to a halt. So please follow the traffic plan and avoid going down the hill on Reposa Way. These guidelines will result in good relations with the neighbors and provide the most secure, efficient and safe environment possible for the community, especially the students.

During the first few weeks of school, the school will have staff on Rockdale to help ensure that people are going with the correct flow of traffic. SFPD along with SFMTA also will be on hand to provide traffic control and enforcement.

Throughout the school year, if you are a resident whose driveway is blocked, please call Mr. Machado’s office at 469-4734 and he or his staff will immediately advise the car’s owner to move his or her car. Just be sure to provide the following information: your address and the license number, make, model and color of the car blocking your driveway. You can also send an email to Mr. Machado at machador@sfusd.edu regarding any nonurgent traffic and parking matters. Please keep the MPIC posted regarding improvement or continuing traffic and parking problems by emailing us at miralomapark@gmail.com or by leaving us a voice message at 281-0892.


What’s Growing in our Backyards?

by Denise Louie

This new column will focus on invasive and native plants. Not all non-native plants are invasive. But invasive non-native plants should definitely be removed, for the sake of biodiversity. We can each do our part for what remains of local native plants and wildlife that coevolved with them. The principle of planting local native plants, which is further explained at the website listed below, is important because Miraloma Park is situated near two Significant Natural Resource Areas–one at the top of Mt. Davidson and the other at the foot of Mt. Davidson in Glen Canyon.

One of the worst weeds in San Francisco is French broom. It grows to up to 12 feet in height and has lovely, bright yellow flowers. You have probably seen it along O’Shaughnessy Blvd. or outside the church on Teresita. A group of English kings took its Latin name, Planta genista, for the name of their house. You guessed the Plantagenets? Right! They even took the flower as their emblem. This plant was brought to California, where it grows too well. Some people consider this plant ornamental and attractive, but it is in fact harmful. It grows in dense monocultures, has a volatile oil that makes it burn easily, and is toxic to wildlife. Each plant may produce thousands of seeds, which remain viable for decades. French broom should be removed from our yards and put in our green bins. To remove broom, you can use a weed wrench to pull it up by the root. Or, you can cut it 4 inches above the ground and then peel the bark down to the soil; it’s as easy as peeling a banana. If you just cut it back without peeling the bark, it’ll come back stronger. I pull small ones by hand all year long.

If you love trees, in place of the French broom removed (or elsewhere) you may choose to plant a coast live oak or a California buckeye. Coast live oak is said to host the highest number of wildlife species. Or choose a shrub like toyon, which grows at least 15 feet tall and produces red berries in December to feed wildlife and to decorate your holiday wreath.

Now is the time to remove weeds, unwanted plants, or even part of your lawn. Get your native plants at the annual plant sale of the California Native Plant Society on Saturday, October 26, 1-5 pm at the MPIC Clubhouse. The best time to plant is the Fall, so get ready!

A Place to Learn

by Caitlin Hong

More often than you’ll probably want to know, in all my 17-year-old-college-freshman-to-be wisdom, I am called upon for advice. Friends and family, hearing of my plans for the Fall, bombard me with questions ranging from the polite “How did you do it?” to the awkward “What classes, extracurricular activities, and bedtimes should I choose for my children to make their lives as secure as yours? ” Unfortunately, my apocryphal wisdom usually leaves me wanting and I’m forced into insincere rambling about how lucky I am, professing my excitement for classes I know nothing about and faculty I’ve never met, when in reality all I can think of is my fear of leaving home.

Because, despite my regular diatribes against the speed of the 36-Teresita bus, my love of Miraloma Park extends far beyond any love I could have for some far-off college campus I’ve scarcely set foot on. Let me elaborate. When I was a toddler, Miraloma’s delicate teetering between urban liveliness and suburban friendliness set my nearly unrealistic expectations of community dynamics. Small enough that our neighbors generously looked after my sisters and me when our kitchen caught fire, yet cosmopolitan enough that I could take for granted the quality of the Miraloma Market’s carnitas burritos, Miraloma Park’s ability to play to its strengths and overcome its size always validated my demands for “big school results and small school teamwork” from my high school’s debate team.

When I turned 11, the neighborhood became my escape from the Pythagorean theorem-induced turmoil of middle school. On frappuccino-filled walks, my friends and I found the hidden treasures of Miraloma—the “Whomping Willow” atop Mount Davidson, the rope swing overlooking the Castro on Marietta, the flower garden in the Malta median—and I discovered the capacity of our picturesque neighborhood to ease stress. From then on, I turned testing the bounds of Miraloma Park’s calming capabilities into a craft, piling on honors classes and extracurriculars secure in the comfort of the scenic mental getaway just outside my door.

Once I entered high school, my view of Miraloma Park evolved when I became a delivery person for Miraloma Life. It was my first job, and with Lowell-freshman cockiness I delivered half my newsletters along the wrong route. Nonetheless, Mr. Isaacson, his wife, and the people of Miraloma Park were nothing but patient as I interrupted their Sunday mornings with fumbling apologies and requests for directions. Together, they taught me the power of compassion and perseverance.

Although I was asked to write this piece in the light of my acceptance to Princeton, I really don’t know enough about Ivy League admissions to shed any light on that subject; the process is just as crazy to me as it was 9 months ago. What I do know is that, by instilling in me an appreciation of balance, inspiring me with its surreal loveliness, and forgiving and humbling me throughout my attempts to gain a bit of financial independence, Miraloma Park has—cheesiness aside—made me the person I am today.

Of course, I’m ecstatic about going to New Jersey in the Fall, but I (perhaps in fear of the future, perhaps in rare teenage-girl wisdom) recognize that I’ve had a lovely education right in my backyard. Whether you’ll be attending The Princeton Review’s infamous top 377 after high school or diving head first into work, there will always be mistakes to make and lessons to learn. A spot in the Ivy League can’t guarantee any more success in life than a “gap year” at home working and living with your parents; all we can do is try our best and learn from the world around us. If, like me, you’re fortunate enough to have Miraloma Park as your classroom, then I say, with complete sincerity, lucky you!

This Injustice Too Shall Fade, and Quickly with your Aid!

It appears our long-silent coyote friend intends to stay awhile this time, and be anything but silent. In fact, he seems to have achieved the equivalent of a Ph.D. in the Art of Whining and Yapping, to accompany his BS in Howling and Yipping. Astonishing that a mere quadruped could achieve such heights of technological finesse as to photograph and scan a message and send it electronically (see picture on next page), but we do live in an astounding age. If lowland gorillas can be taught to speak in sign language and African gray parrots can utter complete sentences with vocabularies of 1000 English words, why should not Canis latrans send emails? It seems that this is not the only way in which we have underestimated the gifts and talents of our emblematic, perhaps soon to be official, canid. For proof positive, see below. -Ed.

Approaching Den, Sweet Den, last night after my customary perambulation in search of edibles, I found the entryway blocked by a huge bag of paper, which upon opening and inspection proved to be letters of protest (trust UPS to get the job done!) from hundreds of members of the Society for the Liberation of Easter Bunnies. It appears I am to be impugned for frightening one of their members, which alleged misdeed occurred on the steep slopes of Mt. Davidson, purportedly an Easter Bunny sanctuary (see May issue of this inimitable newsletter). That in fact it was I who was terrified by the bouncing of a buck-toothed behemoth upon my beleaguered snout, as the beast jumped over and fled, is of no consequence, and apparently I am not redeemed in the eyes of the SLEB by my gallant refusal to eat the monster in one snap. Good intentions count for nothing, though in fact my only goal was to comfort what I thought was a homeless, orphaned rabbit in need of the warmth of my generous mouth.

Well, you can’t please everyone and it’s all politics anyway, but in our democracy are there not certain basic privileges granted to creatures of all beliefs and persuasions—carnivore, herbivore, or omnivore, like the right to a good meal every once in a while? Yet, having foregone, out of the goodness of my heart, a fine bunny dinner, what is my reward? A bag of letters attacking me even for being in that rabbit’s vicinity, including a restraining order signed by a prominent SF judge and an ominous, though non-binding, resolution by none other than the Board of Supervisors declaring that the City will not tolerate wanton consumption of other creatures. Now, I ask you, how are I and my brethren to make a
living in these tough economic times? Yes, people tantalizingly parade their small dogs on leashes nearly under my nose, in the evening no less—the best hunting time—yet I am not supposed to gobble these tempting offered tidbits. On pain of “removal” (is this a polite word for “termination”?), I am warned not to avail myself of cats that people heedlessly allow to roam the neighborhood. Yet am I to subsist on a diet of squirrels and mice and beetles alone? How would you like that, gentle reader? San Francisco, I’m told, has declared itself an immigrant haven, even flaunting the Feds in its offer of sanctuary to “illegal aliens.” Yet here I am, an immigrant if ever there were (my forebears made the perilous journey south across the Golden Gate Bridge in the dead of night), innocent victim of political correctness and exclusionism, wasting away on a diet unfit for a rat. On July 4, the MPIC brings dinner up to the officers stationed on Mt. Davidson to prevent fireworks starting blazes, but does anybody bring dinner to me, though I do my best to keep rodents from taking over the neighborhood? Nooooo!

Is there not a Society for the Liberation of Coyotes? Will no champion take my cause to the Board of Supes—or do I have to make use of my legal training to win election to that august body myself and get something underway (btw, when is Supervisor Yee’s term up)? How about a nonbinding—no, let’s make that very binding—motion to establish depots of lovely dinner meat for humble self and family within convenient strolling distance from my den? Think of how much your karma would benefit from such a noble deed, dear reader. Why, you might even accrue enough brownie points to be reincarnated in so elevated a life-form as a coyote. It’s happened before; how do you think I learned to write with such eloquence? Look at my poor, starving self (I kid you not—see below my emaciated image), so skinny I can fit through the slightest crack in a dumpster, and reach out. Extend the milk (or better, meat) of human kindness, my friends,
and reach out!


Ever your faithful and hopeful (and hungry) servant,

W. Coyote,
Esq., MdClmp.,

Ruth ASAWA SF School of the Arts (SOTA): Check Out the Fall Offerings

Miraloma Park residents are fortunate to live next to the School of the Arts at Portola and O’Shaughnessy. The school’s very talented students, trained and directed by gifted staff and visiting artists, present enjoyable, polished performances. Visit the www.sfsota.org/sotashows for upcoming events, all very reasonably priced and conveniently located for Miralomans. October events include drama, creative writing, and vocal and instrumental music.

How to be a Responsible Neighbor*

There is an etiquette for and a recommended way of walking dogs on leash. Please keep them on a 6-foot leash and train them to follow you rather than surging ahead. Extendable or long leashes can be a problem if you allow canines to run ahead of you, where they may damage gardens or interfere with other dogs. Make sure at all times that you can see where your dogs are. Do not allow them to precede you around a street corner or trail bend where your view is blocked by a building or hedge. If they then surprise another, reactive dog, or chase a squirrel or a cat, you won’t know what’s going on could have trouble restraining them. This may put you or someone approaching with a dog from around the corner at risk of fall and injury. In such situations, keep your dogs close, putting them in a “heel” position so you can see and control them. Dogs can move unpredictably even on leash, so it is important to train them to obey and heel. The SPCA provides dog training classes and advice (visit www.sfspca.org/programs-services/dog-training).

*These are suggestions from Miraloma Park residents. Submissions from readers are welcome.

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