April ’11 General Meeting Recap

Last night we had presentations by:
Garden for the Environment’s Suzi Paladino
Friends of the Urban Forest’s Doug Wildman
SF Bee Coalition and SF Bee-Cause beekeeper Karen Peteros
North of the Panhandle’s Neighborhood Association’s President Jarie Bolander came to discuss Bay to Breakers.

Suzi Paladino of Garden for the Environment wanted to let everyone know all are welcome to take a number of classes at their demonstration garden at 7th Ave and Lawton. They have composting workshops, food growing workshops, ornamental xeriscape gardening workshops, and much more. Take a look at their class list here: Garden for the Environment Classes.

Doug Wildman stated that San Francisco is losing about 4,500 trees per year, and Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) is helping to plant 1,200 trees per year, but we are losing tree coverage. If you know of a spot that you would like to plant a street tree, please contact FUF at 415.561.6890 or go to this link : Tree Planting with FUF. If you plant a tree with FUF, you can do the planting for $75. This is a great deal.

Read more about FUF on our blog at Urban Foresters

SF Bee Coalition’s Karen Peteros noted that SF Bee-cause was just founded this year. Please check out their website at www.sfbeecause.org. Karen is leading a number of bee keeping classes at the Hayes Valley Farm this year. Read Karen’s Bee article here. The honeybee keeping and honeybee outreach classes have just begun. For more information about Honey Beekeeping Classes coming to Hayes Valley Farm, please contact bees@hayesvalleyfarm.com, or call (415) 763-SOIL. Please contact Karen with questions at bees@hayesvalleyfarm.com

Jarie Bolander explained how there is a Bay to Breakers Task force. Nine neighborhood groups came together to make Bay to Breakers better. Jarie came to let people know how to get involved with the monitoring of the neighborhoods this year during Bay to Breakers on May 15th. The group needs help. Volunteer to be a neighborhood ambassador at this link to become a Neighborhood ambassador. You can read more about “Making Bay to Breakers Fun for Everyone” here: on the HVNA blog.
You can also read about the police sobriety tents here: Police Tents.

Announcements:
Public Safety Meeting next Monday at 7PM at the Korean American Center.

When Hayes Valley Farm compresses onto its smaller parcel, it will launch a massive campaign to get 49 urban farms or pieces of urban farms throughout the city.
Jay Rosenberg states that there are already thirteen urban farms in some capacity throughout the city. Watch the blog for details.

What Patricia’s Green at the Linden and Octavia intersection. On May 21st there will be a Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association Ham and Eggs Fire Fundraiser. Watch the blog for details.

SFJAZZ Center to begin construction

Update from SFJAZZ’s Randall Kline, Executive Artistic Director, and Felice Swapp, Executive Operating Director

We are excited to be moving forward with the SFJAZZ Center project at the corner of Franklin and Fell Streets, which is intended to maintain and enhance the vitality and character of the existing neighborhood, and serve as a community facility we can all be proud of. The facility will also be the first concert hall on the West Coast designed with the specific, and various needs of jazz in mind.

We are pleased to announce that the project is moving forward on schedule. We plan to begin demolition of the existing building on May 1, 2011 and expect it will take approximately 2 months.

Become a Neighborhood Court Adjudicator

District Attorney George Gascón is looking for people interested in becoming a Neighborhood Court Adjudicator.

Neighborhood Courts are volunteer community panels that resolve nonviolent criminal cases through restorative justice.  Volunteers get trained in arbitration, the principles of restorative justice, mediation skills, and neighborhood problem solving.

Petty theft, graffiti, vandalism, disorderly conduct, fighting — these are the kind of neighborhood problems that often frustrate residents and rarely get resolved quickly and effectively through the traditional criminal justice system.

Through Neighborhood Courts, residents, merchants, students, parents — anyone in the neighborhood — can decide how to resolve these kinds of crimes to repair the community and address root causes.

The SF District Attorney’s Office, is launching a new initiative to expand Neighborhood Courts throughout the City and quickly refer nonviolent criminal cases to these courts so community members can decide how to address the problems.  Neighborhood court adjudicators can direct participants to engage in community service, pay restitution, get treatment, or many other creative actions.  The DA’s Office is working in partnership with California Community Dispute Services and Pre-trial Diversion.

NEXT VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION AND TRAINING

ORIENTATION: WEDNESDAY APRIL 27, 6 – 8 PM

850 Bryant, 3rd Floor, DA’s Office Library

TRAINING: SATURDAY, APRIL 30, 11 AM – 5 PM

War Memorial Veterans Building
401 Van Ness Avenue, #206

To RSVP or for more information please contact Jackson Gee at jackson.gee@sfgov.org or call (415) 575-6328.

Please see the link to the flyer and pass this information along to others who may be interested. Thank you!

Neighborhood Court Flyer

Walking tour of HV with Joel Pomerantz

Put on your your walking cap and your thinking socks, and join us May 7th for a special interactive tour of Hayes Valley!

Hayes Valley Walking Around Linking Clues with Joel Pomerantz of Thinkwalks
Saturday, May 7th at 1:00 PM

This active and exciting Walk SF fundraiser will combine a specially-designed Thinkwalks tour of the Hayes Creek watershed with a cooperative game of mental recall and social interaction. Joel Pomerantz will lead a walk from Hayes Green to Alamo Square that incorporates photos, maps, and clues for you to figure out. Topics will cover historical geography, urban development, transportation, urban agriculture and population flows that reflect the economic and social boomtown excitement of San Francisco.

As we go, we’ll be playing a new game called Caption WALC! Work together and re-examine the information that we explore during the walk for the chance to win some amazing prizes. Every dollar raised will go toward Walk SF’s work to make our city’s streets better, safer places to walk.

Tickets to this special event are on sale now, so click here to reserve your spot today!

The Walk SF Team
Walk San Francisco
San Francisco’s Pedestrian Advocacy Organization
Support Walk SF’s work to improve our streets and neighborhoods!

Earth Week at Hayes Valley Farm

Sunday, April 24 – Friday, April 29

Hayes Valley Farm is planning a week-long celebration of Earth Day, Arbor Day, and everything in between!

All classes and workshops will be FREE and open to the public. Everyone is welcome. Please pass the word along to other SF folks!

Join us for music, bike decorating, community art projects, kids activities, vermiculture workshops, fruit tree workshops (and sales), tabling with local environmental groups, bike blender smoothies, and MUCH more!

Potlucks Sunday and Friday. Please bring a dish to share or pizza dough and toppings. Help the farm reach its Zero Waste goal by providing your own plate/utensils. We’ll be firing up the cobb oven on both days.

A full schedule of events throughout the week can be found at:
http://www.hayesvalleyfarm.com/earth-week.html

You can sign-up for the potlucks and learn more about Earth Week throughout the week through our public Facebook event.

What better way to show your gratitude for Mother Nature in the city than an outdoor yoga class? For those of you who prefer more action-oriented activities, you can help start a new kitchen garden in the Haight! Then treat yourself to a refreshing smoothie sponsored by Rock the Bike and Bi-Rite. Don’t forget to help us become Zero Waste by bringing your own cup.

Sign up with the Time Bank to participate in the Bay Area’s bartering system. Take a gander at neighboring organizations that will be tabling at the farm, such as Food & Water WatchSan Francisco Permaculture Guild, and the Wigg Party. Then, help beautify our fence with succulent sacks.

Hayes Valley Farm Unplugged will be hosting local musicians, such as Front Country. Meanwhile, the cobb oven will be firing up homemade pizzas. Please bring a dish or toppings to share for the potluck, as well as your own plate and utensils.

Sunday is also a great day to bring kids out to the farm. They’ll have the opportunity to visit different stations for nature coloring, sensory scavenger hunts, rock decoupage, and an Easter egg hunt. Plus prayer flag painting will take place to add more flair to the farm!

During all of this activity, our regularly scheduled Sunday work party will continue as usual for folks eager to get their hands dirty!

Monday

Monday is a perfect day for new farm visitors. Our weekly Patterns in Nature class helps people get acquainted with local flora and fauna. Once your interest in nature is piqued, try putting into art or words. Or simply process it through guided meditation. Spend the rest of the afternoon observing and interacting with nature on the farm.

Tuesday

Outdoor yoga on farm-fresh earth will kick off our dirt day. Learn about soils in our Urban Permaculture Design class. Then apply your knowledge to a worm bin workshop, which will teach you how to compost in your home. Stick around for the Kitchen Garden SF potluck at Blue Tape Café!

Wednesday

Relax under the open sky with yoga and then help harvest greens for our partnership with Project Open Hand. Agenda-free workday will run as usual or you can learn more about our scarce resource, water, during our Wednesday Urban Permaculture Design class.

Thursday

Start the day off right with yoga at the farm, then join Food & Water Watch to stand up in solidarity for small farmers’ rights in the newest budget reforms. Food & Water Watch will be holding a press conference with supervisors, healthy food advocates, consumer groups, environmentalists, and farmers, urging Senators Boxer and Feinstein to oppose proposed 2012 federal budget cuts to farm bill programs that support healthy food and sustainable agriculture. You can also participate in our Thursday volunteer work party at any point during the day.

Friday: Arbor Day

Outdoor yoga will be available once more, for a total of six consecutive days! You can then learn about local flora by helping to identify and label trees and plants on the farm. Luckily most of the farm’s fruit trees are already labeled and ready for the picking! Fruit tree sales will take place all day Friday in honor of Arbor Day. You can even take the fruit tree workshop to ensure you’re ready to give your tree a good home! If you’re more interested in vegetables, a seed-starting workshop will run next to the farm’s greenhouse. To zoom out and get a big picture idea of the farm as a whole, participate in our weekly Strategies in Urban Permaculture Design class.

Urban foresters greening Hayes Valley and beyond

by Lauren Daley

Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) is a non-profit organization that helps individuals and neighborhood groups to plant and care for street trees and sidewalk gardens in San Francisco. By greening the streets of San Francisco, they support the health and livability of the urban environment. Since 1981, FUF has planted almost 45,000 trees (more than all the trees in Golden Gate Park), and is responsible for the planting of over 40% of San Francisco’s street tree canopy.

Street trees at Webster and Hickory

Street trees on Hayes

Street tree at Webster and Grove

Street trees on Hayes near Laguna

Street tree at Webster and Ivy

According to FUF, San Francisco still has a meager urban forest; our “tree canopy coverage,” or the amount of land covered by trees, is only 12%. Compare that to San Jose at 15%, Oakland at 21%, and Portland at 42%. Though some neighborhoods, such as Hayes Valley, are pleasantly leafy, others have room for improvement. And it’s not just a matter of beautification; street trees reduce storm-water runoff, clean the air, increase property values and reduce stress.

Friends of the Urban Forest started with five men: George Williams, Brian Fewer, Keith Davey, Jack Spring, and Fred Smith. After the City and County of San Francisco cut funding to urban forestry in the late 1970’s, they decided to take matters into their own hands by organizing neighborhoods to plant and care for their own trees. FUF’s first tree planting took place on March 7, 1981 – California’s Arbor Day – on Sanchez Street in Noe Valley.

Shortly thereafter, neighborhoods across the city began to organize their own tree-planting events with FUF’s leadership and support. Thanks to the partnerships and programs developed by FUF, the capital to purchase trees comes primarily from government, corporations, and foundations rather than individuals. The labor to plant and care for trees comes primarily from volunteers. Besides subsidizing the costs of trees and organizing volunteers, FUF also coordinates the permitting process of street greening projects and tree replacement.

Beyond the planting and organization of placement of new street trees, FUF is our urban forest steward. They are currently taking inventory and recording the health of San Francisco’s tree canopy through their Urban Forest Mapping Project and could use your help. Go to http://www.urbanforestmap.org to enter trees near you.

FUF volunteers are trained in TREEage (pronounced triage) where volunteers perform emergency tree rescue, or will intervene if trees are fallen or being abused. One instance of tree abuse is when people illegally top a tree, a process where people drastically prune their trees placing the trees’ future growth and health at risk. If you see a tree at risk or one being severely pruned, please call FUF at 415.561.6890 to prevent this from happening.

Along with planting and tree replacement programs, FUF also has tree care programs and educational and outreach programs. If you would like to spend some time on a delightful tree tour through San Francisco, learn proper tree pruning techniques, train to be a citizen forester, volunteer to provide tree care, or act as an advocate for more trees in your neighborhood and beyond, FUF makes it possible. For more information visit their website at http://www.fuf.net.

If You Would Like A Tree or Sidewalk Garden:

Neighborhood greening projects like tree planting and sidewalk gardening require a certain number of interested property owners or tenants working with the permission of their landlords. Usually, a neighborhood organizer who works closely with FUF to spearhead a planting event is necessary. Anyone can be a neighborhood organizer. If you are interested, call FUF’s Doug Lybeck at (415) 268-0773 or email him at dougly@fuf.net.

If you are an individual who wants a new tree, an unhealthy tree replaced, or a sidewalk garden, FUF has done all initial research and has made the information readily accessible on their website and they will assist you towards your planting goal. Visit http://www.fuf.net/treePlanting/solo.html to get your own project started.

FUF in Hayes Valley:

HVNA interviewed Adam Byrnes, a Hayes Valley resident who serves on the Board at FUF. Adam describes the state of trees in Hayes Valley as generally good, but that there is always room for improvement. FUF would like to organize a neighborhood volunteer planting event in the near future when enough interest evolves.

FUF sees large property owners as key partners to get more trees. Currently, FUF is targeting the Federal Mint at Buchanan Street and Herman Street and the UC Extension at 55 Laguna.
FUF has already held two successful planting events in Hayes Valley. You can see those happy, healthy trees on Ivy Street adjacent to AgeSong and on Page Street adjacent to Samovar and the Zen Center. You can identify the trees by their white FUF tags on their cross braces.

Adam strongly encourages everyone to participate in a tree planting or sidewalk greening event. Often, it brings neighbors together for the first time who have lived in the neighborhood for many years: Community is built through the act of planting trees.

Adam mentioned that during May on Monday nights, Straw, a new Hayes Valley restaurant on Octavia and Page, will be donating 10% of its profits to FUF. Enjoy a dinner on a Monday in May at Straw and help FUF in the process!

FUF today:

Today, FUF is a thriving nonprofit organization committed to revitalizing San Francisco’s urban forest, building community, and taking a local leadership role in mitigating global environmental problems through the simple act of planting trees. FUF has planted almost 45,000 trees in more than 1,000 neighborhood tree-plantings, has a strong partnership with the City and County of San Francisco, is well loved among San Franciscans, and has an outstanding reputation among urban-forestry organizations nationwide.

HVNA would like to thank Adam Byrnes and Ben Carlson for providing information and taking the time to be interviewed.

April May 2011 President’s Column

By Karen Mauney-Brodek

This April-May issue of The Hayes Valley Voice and our upcoming meeting on April 28th are centered around environmentally focused organizations in the neighborhood.

Today, more and more people are coming to realize what many of us have known all along: Hayes Valley and other urban, dense neighborhoods like ours are of the greenest places you can live. The more we can get our needs met here, our parks, our food, our shopping and other needs – the more sustainable we will be because we can walk, bike and ride transit to shop, work and get around.

We need to continue to do things to improve our neighborhood – getting a full service grocery store and other needed retail. While we do complain about Muni, we do have good transit compared to many areas (that is why many of us live here) and by using transit and walking we are making healthier choices for our planet and ourselves.

Some organizations that are active in our neighborhood include: Project Homeless Connect Community Garden, Hayes Valley Farm, CommunityGrows Koshland Educational Garden, Urban Sprouts (creating learning gardens at our public schools), Neighborhood Parks Council, and Garden for the Environment. Our neighborhood works with other San Francisco environmentally- focused groups including: Friends of the Urban Forest, Public Utility Commission (reducing water use), Trust for Public Lands and the Recreation and Parks Department (which together are renovating the Hayes Valley Playground), San Francisco Parks Trust, and the Department of Public Works (helping turn concrete into planting beds and other projects).

Come to the next meeting on April 28th at the Korean American Center at 745 Buchanan Street, where we will have presentations by Garden for the Environment and Friends of the Urban Forest.

Holistic Health and Wellness Fair

By Bob Barnwell

AgeSong, a business for 15 years in Hayes Valley, will host the Holistic Health and Wellness Fair in Hayes Valley on May 14th from 11 AM to 3 PM at the 600 block of Laguna. Holistic medicine, an alternative and natural wellness approach to healing, will be featured in the many workshops planned for the day. Presentations will range from meditation/stress reduction techniques, to the benefits of music therapy, to diet and lifestyle choices. The community is invited to join community groups and businesses including: Live Fit, the Original Hayes and Kebabs, Nabila’s, Hayes Vallley Neighborhood Assciation, Hayes Valley Farm, American Bone Health, Care Practice, Nutridel plus others that will join AgeSong for this special wellness day celebrating health, joy and vibrance.

AgeSong, a HVNA member, has two locations on Laguna. Laguna Grove and Hayes Valley are the flagships of the AgeSong Institute. These locations serve up to 95 residents with over 100 employees. Other AgeSongs are located in the East Bay. AgeSong’s elder care uses acupuncture, nutrition therapy, massage therapy and yoga to promote health and wellness in their residents. Join us on the 14th to learn how to get healthy and be well. For more information about AgeSong or the Holistic Health and Wellness Fair call 415-318-8670 or e-mail sfevents@agesong.com

Making Bay to Breakers Fun for Everyone

By Jarie Bolander

This year celebrates the 100th running of the Bay to Breakers. The centennial Bay to Breakers will have some significant changes to address the safety, sanitation and security of participants, spectators and neighbors. These changes have been championed by the neighborhood task force on the 100th Bay to Breakers whose work over the last year has focused on making the event Fun for Everyone. This group consists of city officials; participants; Bay to Breakers staff; the SFPD and nine neighborhood groups: North Panhandle Neighborhood Association (NOPNA), Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association (HVNA), Divisadero Merchants Association (DMA), Alamo Square Neighborhood Association (ASNA), Lower Haight Merchants and Neighborhood Association (LoHaMNA) , Haight Asbury Improvement Association (HAIA), Buena Vista Neighborhood Association (BVNA), Cole Valley Improvement Association (CVIA) and Inner Sunset Park Neighbors (ISPN).

We have worked hard to insure the following items will be in place:
• A 30% increase in bathroom capacity including the deployment of over 30, 6-man urinals in and around Alamo Square and the Panhandle.
• More security and police at traditional hot spots
• Clean up crew presence during the entire event and until everything is cleaned
• A central command structure for better resource coordination
• Bathrooms on both sides of the course for easier access
• A Neighborhood Ambassador program to provide local knowledge for optimum information communication and resource deployment.
• Strategic placement of barriers to prevent participants spilling off the course
• A race start at 7:00am (an hour earlier)

Our main focus is safety for neighbors, spectators and participants. In order to make this safer we’ve championed some changes in the Centennial Bay to Breakers which include: a ban on alcohol, no floats on the race course, and additional security. This year we are asking for changes from all parties impacted by the race. We ask merchants to limit the sale of alcohol until after noon, communicate to your local neighborhood group if you will be open or not, provide additional security, if needed, encourage patrons to respect the neighborhood, and donate funds to help clean up. We remind participants to pace yourself, drink plenty of fluids, remember sunscreen even if it’s cloudy, use provided Port-o-Johns – you are a guest in the neighborhoods and smile, and smile and have fun. We ask of our neighbors: volunteer to be an Ambassador, welcome participants and spectators to your neighborhood, report issues and keep house parties to friends and family. We recommend to spectators to thank neighbors for helping out, report issues to volunteers, familiarize yourself with facilities and volunteer locations while enjoying the race going by.

If you want to get involved with making the 100th Bay to Breakers Fun for Everyone, send an email to b2b@nopna.org or join us on Facebook by searching for “Bay to Breakers – Fun for Everyone.” With everyone’s help, we can make the 100th Bay to Breakers what it should be – a celebration of the resilience and uniqueness of San Francisco.

The Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association has had representatives at all of the neighborhood task force meetings and given input from the perspective of residents and merchants of our neighborhood. We support these efforts to improve Bay to Breakers.

Nucleus for New Art in San Francisco

By Bill Bulkley

Photo by Brian Brooks


For years the Lower Haight has been a center of the local new art movement primarily because of the international design and clothing enterprise Upper Playground (220 Fillmore). The business is a Lower Haight icon with venues in Berkeley, Portland, London, and Mexico City. Their associated art space Fifty24SF Gallery (218 Fillmore) showcases local, California, and international artists. The show for April/May is Los Angeles based artist Johnny “KMNDZ” Rodriguez. fifty24sf.com

The new kid on the block, but by no means in town, is Fecal Face Dot Gallery (FFDG) which recently moved from their postage stamp gallery on Gough Street to a new postage stamp gallery in the Lower Haight (248 Fillmore). But size doesn’t matter as this venue packs a punch with challenging work by rising local and other West Coast artists, primarily. Their website, for over a decade, fecalface.com, “ chronicl(es)… the contemporary arts scene in the SF Bay Area and beyond.” The April show at FFDG is Portland based artist Josh Keyes followed in May by SF artist Henry Gunderson.

Stand alone galleries are rare. Many promising art venues are doubling or tripling their programming to hedge the economic risks of the art market. D-Structure San Francisco (520 Haight) features “Broken Gears”, by Sean Sczepanik in April. Their “flagship store is an art gallery…boutique, print shop, design house and event space.” Lower Haters (597 Haight) is also a gallery and clothing boutique that features local, California, and international artists. The April show here features local artist Pete Dolittle. www.lowerhater.com Even Edo Salon, the beauty and gallery boutique, features fresh drawings and installation by the L.A.-based artist Ron Rege Jr. edosalon.com

The streets of the Lower Haight are filled with inspiration for the new art movement: graffiti, murals, tattoo parlors, music outlets, comics, and skate culture. The recent amalgam of art venues reinforces the sense of community and the seriousness of the art aesthetic happening here.