Miraloma Life: October 2005

    • MPIC Fall Clubhouse Event
    • Picturing Miraloma Life
    • Influenza Season in Here
    • What Happened To Our Summer/Sun?
    • Big Easy Lessons – A News Poem
    • Sunnyside Playground Gets Another Look
    • The $225,000 Question – How to Remodel Miraloma Playground
    • Editor’s Note re The Miraloma Park Coyote
    • S. F. Office of Emergency Services – The More We Know, The Safer We Are
    • What’s Wrong With In-Law Apartments?
    • Katrina Sparks Renewed NERT Awareness
    • Legal Ease
    • Design Matters
    • Menzies’ Wallflower
    • The Whirlwind Tour – Sean Elsbernd
    • Parents for Public Schools


    MPIC Fall Clubhouse Event

    by Jim O’Donnell

    Your Miraloma Park Improvement Club wants to meet you! Following our successful garage sale last Spring (organized by board member and local real estate agent Sue Kirkham), we are having a “welcome to the neighborhood” event for new and old residents alike at the Miraloma Park Clubhouse, 350 Del Vale at O’Shaughnessy. If you are not familiar with it, you can see the Clubhouse every time you drive along O’Shaughnessy. It is the quaint green building at Del Vale with the parking lot. The MPIC ffers the clubhouse for rental, and many of you have had your important events there in the past. Hundreds of local residents are members of the Miraloma Park Improvement Club, and of course, you are all invited to come to our soon-to-be-a-tradition of this Fall neighborhood “meet and greet” event. The event is completely complimentary, so put the time and date on your calendar: Sunday October 16 from 3 to 5 PM.
    Why attend? Firstly, many of you have participated in the Remodel, Kitchen and Garden tours in recent years. This event is another way to provide value to the neighborhood. If you have ideas for neighborhood events, we want to hear them. Secondly, you will be able to share your concerns with city officials, such as Ingleside District Police Captain Paul Chignell and Supervisor Sean Eslbernd. The Miraloma Playground has $225,000 in capital funding for its improvement, so your ideas about how to upgrade the playground are not only welcome, but essential! We will also have representation from the Fire Department as well. Thirdly, we will also have some updates on recent recommendations for traffic safety improvements to the neighborhood, like the well-traveled Teresita Boulevard. Lastly, and not least, this is a casual event where you can enjoy some wine and cheese, talk with neighbors, and be part of an active neighborhood association, the Miraloma Park Improvement Club, dedicated to maintaining the high quality of life on the slopes of Mt. Davidson.
    So join us Sunday, October 16, 3-5 PM in the afternoon at the Clubhouse. And since the 49ers have the day off, we are the best event in town. And the price is right, it’s free! See you there!

    Picturing Miraloma Life

    by Jacquie Proctor

    Do you have pictures of the good life in Miraloma Park? Here is a picture of the Miraloma Bluebirds “flying up” ceremony to become Camp Fire Girls at the M.P.I.C. Clubhouse in 1954. This picture is courtesy of their leader, Bertha Jones. Charter Number 102520 for I – WI- Ten- Ya is on the mantle:

    We welcome you to the Circle of Camp Fire Girls, which extends around the world. This charter grants you the privilege of joining the program of Wohelo – Work, Health and Love.  The Camp Fire Trail leads to new worlds of adventure. You will find yourselves growing in skill and more and more capable of splendid accomplishment. You will find joy in working together during happy, healthy hours out of doors, joy in quiet, treasured hours of understanding and friendship as you gather around the Council Fire. May you follow the Law of the Camp Fire Girls all your life long and share your happiness with
    others along the way as you travel the Camp Fire trail.

    Members who may be included in the picture below: Carolyn Bohn, Jill Cala, Annette Cattini, Judy Cordini, Vicki Dodson, Diane Dyer, Barbara Elbe, Geraldine Fletcher, Nancy Jones, Linda Madsen, Kathleen O’Mea, Nancy Ann Pledger, Patricia Rice, Wila Stelter, Cheryl Watson, Linda Welter, and Patricia Wheeler.

    Do recognize anyone in this picture; have memories to share about it or other aspects of Miraloma life? Email me at jacquieproctor@hotmail.com or leave a message at the club house phone number, 281-0892. I can take a digital picture of your photo to duplicate it for the newsletter and avoid removing it from a frame or photo album.

    Influenza Season in Here

    by Joanne Whitney

    The influenza vaccine has been given a go by FDA and it is time to get your shot. Until October 24, physicians, clinics and pharmacies must give preference to people over 65 years old, to people with chronic diseases such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, HIV, bronchitis and to children 6 to 23 months old. After October 24, the vaccine will be available to everyone. Anyone aged 5-49 years who is not pregnant can receive the Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine at any time. You may have heard on the television that the flu vaccine is only effective completely in 28% of persons over 65. While this is the latest research, it does not mean you should not get a shot. Even if not completely effective, the vaccine may help you avoid some of the more dire consequences of a really bad influenza attack. People who should not get the shot include those who have had previous reactions, those who are severely allergic to chicken eggs (the vaccine is made in chicken eggs) and infants less than 6 months of age. At the same time as you are getting your flu shot, ask your doctor to administer the pneumococcal vaccine. It will protect you against pneumococcal pneumonia, a leading cause of serious illness and death in older people.

    There are things you can do to prevent the spread of flu. If a person with the flu sneezes or coughs, virus droplets are sprayed into the air. You may breathe in these infected droplets and get sick. You can also get the flu indirectly by touching door knobs, faucet handles, kitchen and workplace counters, sponges, utensils, telephones and computer keyboards that has been touched by an infected person.

    The best protection against indirect infection is frequent and proper hand washing. You should wash your hands at least before, during and after you prepare food, before you eat, after you use the bathroom, after handling animals or animal waste and when your hands are dirty.

    Wet your hands with warm running water and lather well with soap or liquid cleanser. Rub your hands together vigorously and scrub all surfaces including under your nails. Continue rubbing and scrubbing for at least 15 seconds. Rinse well and dry hands thoroughly on a clean towel. Use another clean towel to turn off the faucet.

    There are some antiviral medications available to treat flu such as amantadine, rimantadine and oseltamivir. They are most often used to control flu outbreaks in institutions and must be given within 2 days of the onset of symptoms. They don’t cure the flu but lessen the severity and duration of the symptoms somewhat. They are expensive and they do have side effects so they should be reserved for high risk patients. Most healthy people recover from the flu without any complications.


    What Happened To Our Summer/Sun?

    by Kathy Rawlins
    What a dank and dreary summer we have had, especially for gardeners! Each summer I plant a ‘token’ tomato plant. I have always been an optimist and pray for enough sun to get at least a few tomatoes. This year the plants not only did not produce tomatoes but they just curled up with mildew and DIED!! A very sad and pitiful site.

    The rest of the garden has not done as bad but it sure did not do well either. Usually about this time of year I am filling vases with the last of the summer roses, and picking the last of the blackberries for one last pie. I think I got about 3 roses, fairly scrawny, and not enough blackberries for even one pie. Now when the blackberries don’t produce you know it has been one sad summer of fog.

    I know that in areas of the country where winter is long and dark some persons get SAD (seasonal affective disorder). One treatment has been to use a lamp with a special light that simulates sunshine. Well, I had gotten to the point of considering replacing my garden solar lights with these lamps to help cheer-up the sadness in the garden.

    I am almost looking forward to the fall to cut back all the leggy, unproductive plants and clean-up for winter. Perhaps with all the ‘rest’ the garden had this summer it will be more bountiful next year. Perhaps those of you who were able to get more satisfaction from your gardens can share your secrets. I for one am willing to listen.

    Big Easy Lessons – A News Poem

    by Stan Andersen

    We learn that
    A full hurricane
    Lashing a city
    Beats war for indiscriminate
    Damage you can’t
    Prepare for.

    It can lay low and drown
    A city overnight
    Leaving no way
    To rebuild but
    Clearing the ground
    To start it all over.

    Make this a fortress city
    That onslaughts of wind
    And rain in fury
    Bounce away from
    Shielding music.


    Sunnyside Playground Gets Another Look

    by Andrea O’Leary

    The Rec. & Park Dept. Planning Division is making another courtesy call visit to the neighborhood to refresh memories and give more details about the upcoming Sunnyside Park and Playground renovations cutting months off the waiting game. The meeting will be on Wednesday, October 26 at 7 pm at St. Finn Barr Church, Gooode Hall, 415 Edna St./Hearst Ave. in the Sunnyside neighborhood. Childcare will be provided.

    The new R&PD Director of Capital Programs, Rhoda Parham, heard the pleas of residents who have planned, advocated and waited for over 61 years for a playground, and has pressed the Dept. of Public Works to expedite their final design when they weren’t expecting to dust off the plans until sometime in 2006. The Master Plan has already been approved.

    Parents and neighbors met in November 2004 to confirm the kids playground on the field level as priority one with nearby bathroom facilities and to suggest some alternatives to playground equipment. Additionally, the approved plan called for leveling the field to maximize space for community events, recreational sports and exercise programs, resurfacing tennis and basketball courts and create a community patio and gathering space. American Disability Act (ADA) ramping is a given to all areas where improvements occur.

    Although the $3.7 capital allotment is expected to cover all major priorities, there is still not enough to renovate all areas, and only the roof of the recreation center building. Sunnyside Park Families & Neighbors will continue its campaign to solicit additional funding, local talent and helping-hands to plan and build complementary elements not covered by capital funds. Once bids are received and actual dollars are spent on major construction, those additional community contributions will be better defined and could include making the community patio and gathering space a more inviting place for activities such as on-going Tai Chi classes, private and organization parties and recreation programs. Creating a riparian garden from the naturally occurring water spring has also been a long sought-after project. For more information or to become a part of this exciting process, call 334-3601.

    The $225,000 Question – How to Remodel Miraloma Playground

    by Jim O’Donnell
    Representative democracy is alive and well in Miraloma Park. Sean Elsbernd, your district supervisor, has managed to acquire $225,000 from the City capital budget for a one-time upgrade of the Miraloma Playground. Instead of the usual arbitrary way that government makes “improvements” without neighborhood input, you have the chance to make your voice heard. Dan Mauer, Capital Program Manager for SF Recreation & Parks, met with neighbors, MPIC board members, and Sean Elsbernd at the Miraloma Playground to come up with ideas to improve the site late last month. No prior agenda was present and all alternatives are still on the table. Most of the discussion fell into two categories: 1) the playing field and 2) the building and play structures. The playing field is uneven, lower at one end and higher at the other, and drainage is always a problem. Mud seems to stay forever. The play structures date from 1985, and the sand blows onto the field regularly, which helps to tear up the grass. The floor of the building is torn in places, but could be improved with an all-purpose carpet.

    You may think that $225,000 is a lot of money, but there are always plenty of fingers in the pie when it comes to spending public funds. This means that one area or the other can be funded for improvements. However, these were just opening discussions. Sean expressed his view that the playing field should be upgraded, but wants input from any and all residents on this important neighborhood issue. He also emphasized that the funds must be spent before 6/30/06, the end of the current fiscal year. “Spend it or lose it,” as the saying goes. So do not delay, go over and check out the Miraloma Playground at Sequoia and Bella Vista and put your suggestions together. Email Supervisor Elsbernd at Sean.Elsbernd@sfgov.org. He personally reads all email, so let him know what you think! He will be at our MPIC Neighborhood Mixer on Sunday, October 16, 3-5PM, and you may speak with him personally, but be sure to get your initial comments on record via email. The decision for how to spend the $225,000 should be made before the end of October.

    Editor’s Note re The Miraloma Park Coyote

    I have not had any messages from the Miraloma Park Coyote taped on my garbage can this month. His equally annoying friends and enemies have been silent. I decided to find out a little bit more about our elusive friend. The coyote, Canis latrans, is a member of the dog family and is found throughout North America. Coyotes in the desert weigh about 20 pounds while those in mountain areas can weigh up to 50 pounds. The coyote’s sense of sight, hearing and particularly smell is highly developed and is used to detect prey and carrion. The sense of smell is used to detect the scent left by other coyotes as territorial markers. Coyotes mate for life. They can interbreed with both domestic dogs and wolves. You are very unlikely to see a coyote since they are nocturnal and avoid human contact as much as possible.

    You are likely to hear their howling which is used as a means of communication with others in the area. Coyotes play a big part in many Native American Myths and Legends as the quintessential trickster. Weshall explore some of these stories in upcoming issues. I hope this makes our friend happy.


    S. F. Office of Emergency Services – The More We Know, The Safer We Are

    Make a Plan

    After a major disaster, it is unlikely that emergency response services will be able to immediately respond to everyone’s needs so it’s important to be prepared to take care of yourself and your family. Plan to be on your own for at least the first 72 hours.

    The following steps will help you prepare for any emergency:

    · Designate an out-of-area contact person. Try to select someone that is far enough away to not be affected by the same emergency.

    Provide this person with the names and contact information of the people you want to keep informed of your situation. Instruct family members to call this person and tell them where they are. Long distance phone service is often restored sooner than local service.

    · Duplicate important documents and keep copies off-site, either in a safety deposit box or with someone you trust. Documents may include: passport, drivers license, social security card, wills, deeds, financial statements, insurance information and prescriptions.

    · Inventory valuables, in writing and with photographs or video. Keep copies of this information off-site with your other important documents.

    · Make a household/family plan. Involve all key people in planning.

    · Make your home safe.

    · Put together a disaster supply kit. Plan to have supplies for yourself and family for at least 3 days following a disaster.

    · When planning, consider the special needs of children, seniors or people with disabilities, family members that don’t speak English and pets.



    What’s Wrong With In-Law Apartments?

    by the MPIC Board
    Miraloma Park is zoned RH-1, which means that it is a single-family home district, and renting out secondary living units (“in-law apartments”) in the home is illegal. Secondary units are generally defined as those that are equipped to be used as a separate dwelling place from the main house, and thus include kitchens, stoves, separate entrances, and/or other components necessary for use as a separate unit.Over 86% of Miraloma Park homes are owner occupied. This high level of owner occupancy, and the neighborhood’s single-family occupancy zoning, contribute to the fact that Miraloma Park is such a clean, uncongested, and safe neighborhood, where parking is typically much easier than most parts of San Francisco. While in-law apartments are commonplace in many parts of San Francisco, neighborhoods with such units become more and more congested as extra cars are brought in by the tenants. There is more trash on the streets in these areas, and often more noise from younger tenants playing loud music in their apartment or in their vehicles. In addition, there is more traffic on the streets, some of which are narrow and difficult to navigate.Because in-law units are not legal in Miraloma Park, there are fewer of them than in neighborhoods zoned for occupancy of a home by more than one family. Nonetheless, there are some illegal in-law units in Miraloma Park, and the MPIC has received complaints by homeowners living near illegal in-law apartments whose tenants are noisy, leave trash on the street, and make parking more difficult due to the additional cars they bring. In Miraloma Park and in other parts of SF, homeowners have concreted their front yards in order to provide more parking for themselves and tenants, which not only violates City Code requiring green space in the front area but also decreases property values by detracting from the pleasant ppearance of a home that might otherwise have a nice front garden.Thus, your property values and your quality of life are both at stake when in-law apartments are tolerated. Certainly, there are some quiet and considerate tenants living in in-law apartments.

    However, one has only to travel to the neighborhoods where in-law apartments are more common to see how the neighborhood deteriorates and property values decline or do not increase as much as they do in other neighborhoods.When a property is sold in California, it is required that seller and the seller’s realtor disclose to the buyer any known defects and certain other information, including, in San Francisco, the presence of an in-law apartment, using language similar to the following: Buyer understands that the in-law apartment is not a legal unit, it may have been built without a building permit, and a certificate of final completion and occupancy may not have been issued. Buyer acknowledges that if the City [of San Francisco] becomes aware of the illegal unit(s), it may require Buyer to bring the unit(s) into compliance with building codes, or to remove any bathroom, kitchen or other facilities in violation of building codes, at Buyer’s expense. A substantial fine of up to 9 times the amount of the permit fee, in addition to the permit cost, may be imposed, and the Buyer may be prevented from renting the illegal unit(s).In-law apartments in Miraloma Park have been reported to the Department of Building Inspection (DBI) and closed down. It is important that all property owners in Miraloma Park understand the implications and potential consequences of having an illegal unit (in-law apartment), including the possibility of having to abate (modify or eliminate) the unit, and understand the disclosure requirements.Please keep Miraloma Park an exceptional neighborhood by not renting illegal units, and in this way helping to preserve our zoning, and thus our quality of life, for everyone here. Some homeowners in Miraloma Park may have in-law apartments with wonderful tenants who have no cars and provide extra income to the homeowner. But taking into account the broader picture of the negative impact that in-law apartments has had on other neighborhoods, and that a proliferation of such apartments could have on Miraloma Park, the MPIC feels that it is important to avoid them in our neighborhood. They are illegal here in Miraloma Park, after all, for a reason: so that we can enjoy the benefits of a single-family zoned neighborhood, for which we all paid a premium when we bought our homes, and which the City has promised us by zoning Miraloma Park RH-1.

    Katrina Sparks Renewed NERT Awareness

    by Phil Laird

    Lt. Erica Arteseros, coordinator of the San Francisco Fire Department’s Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) program, reports that the phones have been ringing non-stop since the recent devastation of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. The images and descriptions of desperate people without food, water, or shelter have reminded San Franciscans that we, too, will inevitably face a major disaster one day and that we need to be prepared to fend for ourselves for three to five days before emergency services become available.

    The primary goal of NERT training is precisely to inform citizens what they need to do to prepare for and get by after a disaster. In addition the classes cover basic search and rescue techniques, so that as many victims as possible can be helped safely before fire and emergency medical services are available.

    Another important role that NERT plays, one seldom mentioned in the media, is the support and development of neighborhood teams of trained NERTs able to respond in a coordinated and organized way (something clearly needed, but lacking, in New Orleans). Mt. Davidson/Miraloma Park has an active NERT team that has worked out disaster plans, stashed boxes with critical supplies at key sites around the neighborhood, and helped organize ham radio teams that will be critical in communicating with emergency services following a disaster.

    The annual NERT neighborhood drill will take place on Saturday morning, October 15. During this drill our neighborhood NERT team reviews organizational and practical techniques. Often we join NERT teams in surrounding neighborhoods to share knowledge and experience. Details of the drill are still being planned at this writing, but all residents of greater Miraloma Park are invited, whether they have been NERT trained or not. For time and location, please contact either of our NERT coordinators: Gary Isaacson (garyi6n@aol.com, 585-9729) or Phil Laird (pdlaird@pacbell.net, 469-0876). Information about upcoming NERT training classes is available on the Internet at www.sfgov.org/sfnert, or by phone: (415) 970-2022

    Legal Ease

    by Steven Solomon

    Q: Watching the TV show “Law & Order” got me wondering whether security guards can arrest someone?

    A: A private security guard can make a citizen’s arrest if s/he sees you attempt to or commit a crime. You must then be taken to a police officer or judge, who is required by law to take you into custody.

    Q: On a related issue, when can I be arrested & taken from my house?

    A: You can be arrested at home only with an arrest warrant signed by a judge/magistrate, who must have good reason to believe you committed
    a crime. But, you can also be arrested at home without a warrant when speedy police action is necessary to prevent your escape, destruction of evidence, endangering another’s life, or seriously damaging property.

    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.

    Design Matters

    Peter A. Zepponi, AIA – Architect

    This is a monthly column addressing basic residential design and home improvement topics of interest to Miraloma Park residents. If you have a question or topic you’d like considered for a future article please send an email to: pazdesignmatters@aol.com or call 415.334.2868.

    Q: What color should I paint my house?

    A: You mean, ‘what colors’…

    Now don’t you wish that certain neighbor had asked you that question BEFORE they painted their house? I think just about everybody has done it, or thought it. Not just architects. You drive by a house and wonder ‘what were they thinking?’ Or you get all excited because the run-down house on your block with the peeling paint is finally getting repainted, but then your joy soon turns to horror as you see the color going up. Sometimes your neighbor’s treat you to a ‘sneak preview’ by painting several square patches on the side of their house so that everyone driving by can guess at what color they will choose. Which makes me think it would be kind of fun to paint four of the worst colors you could think of side by side just to make everyone really nervous!

    But what should you do? What is the best color? How do you choose? Where do you start? Why will one house look so good and another house just like it look flat and dull? Well I’ll let you in on a secret that will be obvious once you start looking around: ADD A THIRD COLOR.

    Simple isn’t it? No, not really. You have to pick the right colors that go well together, but generally the addition of a third color can really make your house pop. Look around. There are several examples here in Miraloma Park, even just along Teresita. Most people think about a ‘field’ color and then a ‘trim’ color, but will often skip or not consider an ‘accent’ color. But I think it’s the accent color that really adds some character and depth to a house. It can be as simple as painting your front door a different color” ‘I see a black door and I want it painted red’” or something like that… However, you may already have an accent color built into your house and not know it. Your windows are a strong color. They might be white vinyl or dark brown aluminum, so if you paint the trim another color that becomes a third color. Be careful though, you don’t want to just have a hodge-podge of color going on. Develop a logic and carry it through. For example all large wall areas can be the ‘field’ color, all trim (gutters, downspouts, window/door trim, etc) can be the “trim” color, and then doors and shutters and special architectural detail are a third “accent” color. There are some houses in Miraloma Park that have done a really nice job of blending their colors. I can think of one house that judiciously used a black to outline the raised panels on the garage door as well as other select areas to really add dimension. By and large many of the houses in San Francisco are relatively flat with architectural ornament and detailing added to them. By using a gradation of three colors you can emphasize the architectural character of your façade much as an artist uses shades and shadows to create depth and ‘three dimensions’ on a flat piece of paper. That’s why houses with a third color can look really good while the same model house in a single color will look flat.

    Another thing to be sure and consider is the color of your roof when selecting your colors. That is a big architectural element that needs to be incorporated into the color scheme. Landscaping is another very important consideration that is often overlooked. If you have a beautiful purple princess flower tree in your front yard you may not want to paint your house a shade of purple. Consider the color of your seasonal foliage and flowers.

    Think of your house as a backdrop or canvas for your landscaping. If you were to create a painting of your blossoming cherry tree, what color would you paint the background? That might be the color you should paint your house. There is a vast amount of information on Color Theory available to anyone who is interested. The Munsell System of Color is one of many systems, and organizes color visually in a hue circle or ‘color wheel’ with complimentary colors diametrically opposed to each other. In color theory you study the three dimensions of color: Hue, Value and Chroma. You also study the harmony of colors and what is pleasing and what is not. Which colors are ‘warm’ colors, and which are ‘cold’, and how to create dominance and contrast. But luckily for all of us that want to paint our houses the paint manufacturers have made it easy. At virtually all paint stores you can pick up fold out brochures that have already created many balanced color schemes that include accent colors. But even this is still difficult for many people to visualize how a 1″x1″ color chip will look on their entire house. If that is the case do a ‘mock-up’ on your own house as I mentioned previously. It really is one of the best ways to see how the color will look on your particular house. The other highly recommended technique is to copy someone else. Let their entire house be your mock-up. There is nothing wrong with driving around the neighborhoods to find a house you like the colors of. Just try to make sure it’s not your neighbors! This brings me to another consideration when selecting colors: Your neighbors. Stand back and look at your block and your next door neighbors in particular. Is there a dominant theme or harmony? How will your new colors fit into that scheme? You might even want to take a photograph of your house and neighbors with you to the paint store.

    If that happens to be a digital photo, and you know how to use Photoshop on your computer, you can even virtually experiment with different house colors on your own house!

    – The name of a specific color family, such as blue or yellow.
    Value – The lightness or darkness of a color, as compared to a neutral gray scale.
    Chroma – Indicates the saturation, or brightness, of a color.
    Primary colors – Hues that cannot be made by mixing other colors together – red, yellow and blue.
    Secondary colors – Hues made by combining two primary colors – orange, green and purple.
    Adjacent colors – Colors that appear next to each other on the color wheel, such as yellow and green-yellow or blue and purple-blue.
    Monochromatic – A color scheme that uses various values and chromas of one hue.
    Analogous – A color scheme that uses various values and chromas of two hues that are next to each other on the color wheel.
    Diad – A color scheme that uses two hues that are located two colors apart on the color wheel, such as yellow and red or blue and purple.
    Triad – A color scheme that uses three hues that are equidistant on the color wheel, such as red, yellow and blue.
    Complementary colors – Hues that appear opposite each other on the color wheel.

    Color Drawing, by Michael E. Doyle ISBN 0-442-22184-3
    A Van Nostrand Reinhold Book. An architectural color theory book.

    Peter A. Zepponi, AIA – Architects, is an architectural firm in San Francisco specializing in residential and commercial architecture.

    Menzies’ Wallflower

          by Dan Liberthson

    Four-petaled, mustard bright,
    it lives sheltered among dunes
    on the gray California coast
    and nowhere else on earth:
    lives in such sparse numbers,
    it is jailed in small wire cages
    to save it from browsing deer.

    Seeking tongues stick in,
    curl between thick wires,
    lick the fleeting odor
    whisked away by sea wind.
    Will the last Wallflower
    eaten by the last deer
    be the sweetest ever?

    May that deer never know:
    so vibrant breeding yellow
    is Menzies’ small wallflower,
    even imprisoned may it multiply,
    spreading like small suns until
    it grips and holds whole beaches
    and the gray dunes turn gold.

    (c) 2002 by Dan Liberthson

    The Whirlwind Tour – Sean Elsbernd

    First-year Supervisor of District 7

    by Jim O’Donnell

    Sean Elsbernd certainly seems more self-assured than he was a year ago when he was appointed by Mayor Gavin Newsom to be the replacement for Tony Hall, who resigned to become head of the redevelopment for Treasure Island. And no wonder, he had been mainly supporting the political process rather than as an actual candidate where all the stakeholders can take a shot at you. He had been the chief aide to Tony Hall and then impressed the mayor later as his liaison with the Board of Supervisors. “The Mayor asked me for a short list of potential replacements for Tony, so I submitted it to him and instead of naming the appointee, he asks me to join him for dinner that night” recalls Elsbernd. Completely taken aback, Sean found himself at the top of the appointment short list with just two days to file for candidacy for the district supervisor slot. It would have been a very short appointment indeed if he had not acquired the needed signatures to run on last November’s ballot. “I started to relax a little only after I was declared the unofficial winner on the evening of November 5”, he remembers. While such a stressful sendoff into the boiling pot of San Francisco politics might have affected an older person, Sean had the advantage of youth and positive energy to carry him through. Twenty-eight at the time, Sean was one of the youngest supervisors in San Francisco history.

    A lifelong resident of Miraloma Park, Sean has paid attention to the needs of the neighborhood. The much-needed stop sign at Teresita and Stillings should be in before the end of 2005. Funding to renovate Sunnyside Park, on-going maintenance of Portola Drive, and enforcing local building codes are several of his specific efforts over the past year. Recently, Sean secured $225,000 to renovate Miraloma Playground. Please see the other article in this issue on the ideas for what can be done to upgrade the playground. Justifiably, Sean is proud of his ability to secure capital funding for infrastructure improvements in District 7, such as the 16 Avenue steps, the Aptos Playground, and the opening of the new West Portal playground.

    In relation to Sean’s commitment to infrastructure improvements, he had a major disappointment when his proposed City Charter Amendment on the November ballot to keep capital funding allocated to one-time expenditures lost by one vote at the Board of Supervisors. This proposal would have kept consistent funding for infrastructure work without raising taxes. Unfortunately, this is a good example of the “spend it now” attitude which seems to permeate all levels of government, and in this case, our Board of Supervisors.

    The MPIC Neighborhood Mixer on October 16, 3-5PM will find Sean present if you would like to speak with him. Sean loves to get email from his constituents, so if you have questions or ideas on how to spend the $225,000 at Miraloma Playground, email Sean directly: Sean.Elsbernd@sfgov.org

    Parents for Public Schools 

    Looking for an Elementary, Middle or High School for your child? Don’t miss the San Francisco Public School Enrollment Fair at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on Saturday October 29th from 9:00am – 3pm. Meet staff and families from every public school in San Francisco.

    Get the information you need in order to enroll your child in an SF public school. Need help? Check out Parents for Public Schools. We have resources for families choosing a school on our website www.ppssf.org. We can connect you with families currently enrolled in schools so that you get the most up to date “inside scoop” on our schools. Did you know that you may select up to seven public schools throughout the City?

Last Updated
November 15, 2017
News & Events

Stay informed with our monthly newsletter and latest announcements.


Perfect for different types of events and available to rent. Plus, it's discounted for members.


Established in 1939, we inform, advocate, and celebrate the neighborhood.

What We Do

From Resilient Miraloma Park to NERT, see our list of activities and achievements or sign up to volunteer.


Miraloma Park is a community of 2,200 homes on Mount Davidson in San Francisco.