December 2012

Short Cuts


Despite its growing population — particularly new families with children — there isn’t a single playground in Dogpatch. The Dogpatch Playground Working Group wants to change that, and is calling on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) to make good on promises to build and maintain a playground and park at its 22nd Street property...Ariel Braunstein, Antje Kann and Dave Maltz, who led successful efforts to renovate Franklin Square’s playground, have resigned as the leaders of Friends of Franklin Square. The trio hopes that a fresh face or two will step-up to help maintain, or better yet, continue to improve the green space...


According to a survey by Eastern Neighborhoods United Front (ENUF), 46 percent of the customers of neighborhood businesses rely on cars to reach them, while just 16 percent depend on public transportation. Forty-three percent of the enterprises that engaged in the survey offer professional services, with 11 percent in the distribution business. ENUF has collected more than 670 signatures protesting wider deployment of parking meters, extension of meter hours to Sundays and later in the night, and higher meter rates. SFMTA has indicated that it will hold additional meetings to discuss neighborhood parking management plans for Dogpatch, Potrero Hill, and Western South of Market sometime next spring....The American Industrial Center houses more small manufacturers than any other building in the City, right here in Dogpatch...

Cell Phones

AT&T wants to install nine wireless cell phone towers on the roof of a building at the Southeast corner of Third and Mariposa streets. Neighbors are concerned about potential negative impacts on the value of their residential properties, as well as the possible health risks associated with electro-magnetic fields, and are trying to block erection of the towers...EMFs may pose risks, but if they do a stroll towards Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s gigantic substation on Illinois Street will get any EMF detecting meter to dance...


A “Publisher’s View” column in last December’s paper called for donations to the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda (“Tikkun Olam”). Next month the village will graduate its first class of orphans, sending 125 of them into the world. Many have college scholarships, some will attend vocational schools; all need continuing support to thrive. The View’s publisher, Steven Moss, will be traveling to Rwanda to attend the graduation, and his daughter’s elementary school, Brandeis Hillel, is raising money to buy caps and gowns for the ceremony. Consider helping out: Hill resident Dimitri Staszewski, currently a Music Industries Studies major at Loyola University, is going to Mongolia next year to film a documentary about cultural Mongolian music and its relation to nomadism, and needs to raise $6,000 to fund the effort. Staszewski was born and raised on the Hill, played in Jackson Park when the play structures were still wooden, ate at Goat Hill Pizza, rented videos at Dr. Video — before it became 5 Star Video, and then closed – and trick or treated on 18th Street. To learn more about the project, and pledge just $25 (or more), go to and search “Dimitri,” “Dimitri Staszewski,” “Mongolia,” or “Dimitri Mongolia.” 

Ballot Numbers

District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen traveled to China last month, as part of a municipal trade junket. Perhaps she consulted with the Chinese about how to manage the kind of rapid development occurring both in that country and Southside San Francisco...Did you wonder why last month’s state ballot initiatives started with the number 30? Initiatives appear on voters’ ballots in the order in which they qualify for the ballot. Bond measures appear first, followed by constitutional amendments, legislative measures, initiative measures, and referendum. Starting in 1998, state ballot initiatives have been numbered in consecutive order, beginning with the number one, for a period of 10 years; after that period, the numbering of initiatives begins again at one. Now you know!


Charles Chocolates opened last month at the former site of the Potrero Brewing Company on Florida Street. Following the cupcake craze – in which the cakes diminished to the size of a quarter – chocolates appear to be the confection du jour in San Francisco, perhaps because they typically pack some caffeinated punch, the City’s favorite drug...

Train Accident

The family of an elderly woman who was struck by a Caltrain locomotive and severely injured on the tracks near 16th and Mississippi streets is looking for witnesses to what happened. The accident occurred mid-morning on October 13th. The woman is 85 years old, and lived alone in a South of Market home. She has five children, who checked on her regularly. According to the family, she left her home the morning of October 12th with a friend; when she didn’t return her daughter reported her missing that afternoon. The family can be contacted at or through their attorney, Scott Righthand, 544.0115;

Pay Attention

A man sat at a Washington, D.C. Metro station during rush hour on a cold January morning. He started to play the violin. The man played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. Three minutes after the man started playing, a middle aged man noticed the music. He slowed his pace, stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till without stopping. A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen, but quickly looked at his watch and started to walk again. The one who paid the most attention was a three year old boy. His mother tried to hurry him, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, craning his head as long as he could. This action was repeated by several other children. All of the parents, without exception, forced them to move on. In the time the musician played, only six people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed. The violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million. Two days before playing in the subway, Bell sold out at a Boston theater at an average ticket price of $100. Bell playing incognito in the Metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about people’s perception, taste and priorities, to investigate whether, in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour, whether we perceive or appreciate beauty? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context? If f we don’t have a moment to stop and listen to one of the world’s best musicians playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?


In “New Cafe Enlivens Bayview” (November issue) Bob Baum was incorrectly identified as a co-owner of Boudreaux’s CafО. Baum is actually the cafe owner’s, Tunisia Boudreaux, partner.

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