Discussion of upcoming parks bond

San Francisco Parks Alliance will host a planning meeting focused on the upcoming parks bond:


Monday, March 12, 2012 

6pm to 8pm

Sports Basement, Grotto Room 

1590 Bryant Street 

San Francisco, 94103


Community input played a crucial role in the success of the 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond. Help us build on that success. This meeting will engage park lovers and users in city-wide planning for the November parks bond measure.


bond buttonRecreation and Parks Department staff will provide an update on the success of the 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond and highlight current park capital needs. We invite you to add your voice to this vital dialogue about what you want to see in your parks and what new needs may have emerged since 2008.


Please RSVP or send questions to policy@sfparksalliance.org by

March 9th.

Refreshments will be served, and attendees will receive 20% off purchases that evening at Sports Basement! 

Civic Center Community Benefit District

Come Meet Your Neighbors at the Civic Center CBD Community Meeting and Mixer
The board of directors of the Civic Center Community Benefit District would like to invite you to our first Community Meeting and Mixer on March 1, 2012.

We will host our mixer from 5:30 to 7:30pm at 25 Van Ness Avenue. We will offer light refreshments and the event is free and open to all.

At the mixer, you can meet some of the people who live and work in the area and learn more about what the CBD is doing to improve the Civic Center neighborhood.
Members of the Civic Center CBD board of directors will be in attendance, and you will also get a chance to meet some of the CBD’s new community ambassadors.
For a list of the current board members and to learn ways to get involved, please see the back page.

If you have any questions about the mixer or the CBD, please contact the Civic Center CBD at 415-626-1819, or send an email to info@ sfciviccentercbd.org.


Hayes Valley: Where Music’s in the Air

By Bob Barnwell

Did you know that there are at least 15 prominent music groups that perform or are headquartered in Hayes Valley? From the world renowned San Francisco Symphony, Opera and Ballet to the mentors and teachers of young musicians at the Conservatory of Music to the numerous choral groups, quartets, and chamber orchestras, every where you turn there is music.

The San Francisco Symphony is celebrating its 100th anniversary of providing world class performances to our city. Led by Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, and Executive Director Brent Assink, the Symphony has numerous GRAMMY® Awards to its credit and offers performances year round at Davies Symphony Hall. They also run a world class Youth Orchestra with many performances throughout the year. Across the street at the War Memorial Opera House, the San Francisco Opera will be celebrating its 90th year in 2013. General Director David Gockley and Music Director Nicola Luisotti have programmed a full season of operas from contemporary to traditional, including works from local composers John Adams (Nixon in China) and Jack Haggie (Moby-Dick). Also performing in the Opera House the San Francisco Ballet celebrated 75 years in 2008. Led by Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson and Executive Director Glenn McCoy, the Ballet just opened its 2012 season.

SFJAZZ will celebrate their 30th anniversary in 2013 by opening their permanent residence in Hayes Valley on Franklin at Fell. Founder and Executive Artistic Director Randall Kline and Executive Operating Director Felice Swapp will preside over a 700 seat auditorium and an additional ensemble room. A membership of 4,600 supports numerous performances by professional jazz musicians, as well as the SFJAZZ High School Allstars Orchestra and Combo.

If you want to be in the center of music in our area then stop by the Kanbar Performing Arts Center at 44 Page Street, which houses five different music organizations. The San Francisco Girls Chorus (owner of the building)has been around since 1978. The multiple GRAMMY® Award winner, led by Susan McMane, Artistic Director, Melanie Smith, Executive Director, and Beth Avakien, Chorus School Director, has over 350 members from all over the Bay Area. They have a Preparatory Chorus in which girls from 5-7 can join without audition. The four level Chorus School starts with age 7 and auditions for the school are open to girls ages 7-12. They may audition to the professional level performance, recording and ensemble at ages 12-18. They have over 40 girls performing with the Symphony and Opera.

On the top floor is the San Francisco Chapter of The Recording Academy, best known for the GRAMMY® Awards. This membership organization is led by Executive Director Michael Winger. They support the community through education, advocacy, and music preservation programs. Also at 44 Page is American Bach Soloists lead by Jeffrey Thomas, Artistic Director, and Don Scott Carpenter, Executive Director. They will be performing the St. Matthew Passion February 24-27 at various locations around the Bay Area. On the sixth floor, Chanticleer, an Orchestra of Voices, specializes in unaccompanied choral music of the Renaissance. Led by President and General Director Christine Bullin, Chanticleer has won two GRAMMY®s.

Another 44 Page Street group is the Cypress String Quartet. They started in 1996 and are continuing to celebrate their 15th anniversary. Cecily Ward (1st Violin), Tom Stone (2nd Violin), Ethan Filner (Viola), and Jennifer Kloetzel (Cello) perform throughout the Bay Area and in January, 2012 traveled to Oregon, New York and Belfast, Ireland. They do 40-60 concerts a year with their March 16, 2012: 13th annual Call and Response being performed at Herbst Theatre.

Also a GRAMMY® Award winner, the 241 member San Francisco Boys Chorus has trained young singers ages 5-18 since 1948. Led by Ian Robertson, Artistic Director, Claire Quinn-Duggan, Program Director and Margaret Nomura Clark, Training Chorus Director, the Boys Chorus believes the experience helps develop character and team work. In 2011, the Boys Chorus performed in over 41 productions in the Bay Area and toured to Russia, Denmark, Finland and Vancouver. Don’t miss their Annual Gala at the Ritz Carlton on March 3rd.

San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus headquartered at the LGBT Center and is lead by Teddy Witherington, Executive Director, and Dr Timonthy Seeling, Music Director. They were founded in 1978 and have over 300 singers, two small ensembles and an ambassador group. They have 30-40 performances a year and have produced 22 CDs.

The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra with Nicholas McGegan as Musical Director and Michael Costa as Executive Director celebrates their 31st year in San Francisco. They perform music from the Baroque to Early Romantic period at the Herbst Theatre and other venues around the Bay Area.
The San Francisco Conservatory of Music at 50 Oak Street educates talented musicians from around the world. The President is Colin Murdoch and the Dean Mary Ellen Poole, PhD lead a school of 400 collegiate, 500 preparatory and 100 adult extension students. With over 500 performances a year, many of which are free, the Conservatory looks forward to celebrating its centennial in 2017.

The Church of the Advent of Christ the King at 261 Fell Street offers a Concert series every third Sunday of the month. Admission is by donation.

Truly Hayes Valley is ground zero for great music.

For more information:
SF Symphony: sfsymphony.org
SF Opera: sfopera.com,
SF Ballet: sfballet.org,
SFJAZZ: sfjazz.org,
SF Girls Chorus: sfgirlschorus.org,
GRAMMY®: grammy.com,
American Bach Soloists: americanbach.org,
Chanticleer: chanticleer.org,
Cypress String Quartet: cypressquartet.com,
SF Boys Chorus: sfbc.org,
Gay Men’s Chorus: sfgmc.org,
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra: philharmonia.org,
Conservatory of Music: sfcm.edu,
Church of the Advent: advent-sf

Fifty Years at the International School

By Jane Camblin, Head of School, French American International School

French American International School is 50 years old. Over the February 10th-11th weekend, we celebrated our history and bright future with great pride showcasing inspiring presentations by students at the Conservatory of Music, i-Speak thought leaders at the Castro Theatre, and a nostalgic Treasure Hunt through Hayes Valley—the home of our campuses for over 45 years.

As alive and vibrant today as in 1962, our enduring mission is a true homage to the audacity, perseverance and imagination of our founders, who remarkably overcame great odds, with few resources, to establish a small bilingual school of 23 students all those years ago. Today, no longer regarded as an eccentric experiment in bilingual education, we number 1008 students from 56 countries, in Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Furthermore, our reputation as a world-class, highly accredited international educational institution is firmly established at home and abroad. The celebration of our many achievements, in fact, honored the vision, hard work, and courage of the innumerable and dedicated Trustees, parents, faculty, staff and alumni over the past half-century.

While taking a poignant look back and reconnecting with old friends, many of whom joined us from far and wide, we also looked ahead, to celebrate the exciting and ever-evolving future for our school. With new research and information about how students learn, with access to so many new technologies unimaginable 50 years ago, and with exciting and innovative teaching methodologies at our disposition, French American International School and its International High School are uniquely positioned to take the lead in 21st century education.

Please join us as we commemorate our students past, present and future in our yearlong celebration of 50 years of international education.
For more information, please visit: internationalsf.org.

Screening onto the Scene

By Larry Cronander

You may have noticed in your travels through Hayes Valley a new shop at 66 Gough Street near Market in the former space of the Fecal Face Gallery with the abbreviation on its awning “G.O.S.F.” My curiosity led me to the store, and what a wonderful discovery! G.O.S.F. is an acronym for “Gangs of San Francisco”, the brain child of Laureano Faedi.

Courtesy GOSF

Laureano was born in Buenos Aires but has lived in San Francisco for over thirty years. Laureano is a surfer and artist who lives in the Outer Richmond. His art works have been displayed at the Hotel Biron (45 Rose Street, where exhibitions of new artists are changed monthly; www.hotelbiron.com). He is a San Francisco history buff and decided to combine his interest in the arts with his love of San Francisco’s history by opening a business of his own products with a San Francisco theme.

“A self-taught maker of things, I do all the design work, silk screening, shipping and research….I have found San Francisco to be one of the best cities in the world to live in , Laureano said recently when I sat down with him to learn more about his unique business. “This project serves as an outlet for my learning of its history as well as a way to teach myself silk screening. I hope that not only will people enjoy my products but that it might also inspire them to learn more about the City.”

Beginning as an online business www.gangsofsanfrancisco.com about three years ago, Laureano opened the shop at 66 Gough in July, 2011. And what a treasure it is. Laureano researches famous and infamous San Francisco amusements, businesses, attractions and organizations from yore and silk screens their iconic logos on t-shirts, jackets, glasses and other items. These include Playland at the Beach, the Vigilance Committee logos, Zim’s , Woodwards’ Gardens, the Chutes, Sutro Baths and many others. He makes limited edition items such as pillows bearing the photo of Adolph Sutro, Emperor Norton and Lily Hitchcock Coit, and drinking glasses with some of the same images. He also makes and sells reproductions of antique bus and streetcar destination scroll signs, and has done a limited edition line of baseball hats with the San Francisco Seals emblem (sold out). About 40% of his products are made in his garage, and others in other parts of the Bay Area.

The tiny shop itself is an homage to the more colorful aspects of the City’s history, including the Vigilance Committees of the 1850s and some mug shots of female pickpockets on the Barbary Coast. Designed by Kelley of WorkshopSF, who also designed the offices of The Bold Italic, the shop uses only recycled and used wood to create the unique flavor of the shop.

The name Gangs of San Francisco derives from the work of the late author Herbert Asbury, who wrote the book Gangs of New York (later made into a movie by Martin Scorsese in 2002), and wrote another book published in the U.K. as Gangs of San Francisco and in the U.S. as The Barbary Coast.

Gangs of San Francisco at 66 Gough Street is open Wednesdays from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Stop by this wonderful Hayes Valley shop, learn about San Franciso’s history and check out Laureano’s great products.

21- Hayes Bus: Improved Service

By Bob Barnwell

There was a campaign late last year to increase the number of buses during the morning commute on the #21 bus line.  The buses are so overcrowded that once they reach Hayes Valley, they are too full to stop and allow more passengers to get on the bus at stops within Hayes Valley frustrating commuters.  Flyers were passed out to encourage riders to call or go on-line to the SFMTA and complain about the overcrowded buses.  The HVNA Transportation and Planning Committee sent a letter to the SFMTA Board of Directors and in mid-December four HVNA members met with the Director of Operations–Transit Services, Davide Puglisi, to discuss the situation.  On February 3rd we learned that MUNI will be increasing the number of buses in early March for the morning commute.  This was a team effort and shows we can make things happen with the city agencies that are important to the quality of life in Hayes Valley.

Arts Coalition work on Patricia’s Green

by Black Rock Arts Foundation

Congratulations to The Hayes Valley Arts Coalition (HVAC), for meeting their fundraising goal! HVAC has been a Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF) partner in such installations as Ecstasy by Karen Cusolito and Dan Das Mann, and The Hayes Valley Temple by David Best and crew.

Together, BRAF and HVAC have established Patricia’s Green in Hayes Valley as an ongoing site for temporary exhibition of large-scale works.

HVAC set out to raise needed funds for the upgrade of electrical components for lighting of the site. Thanks to the many Hayes Valley businesses, HVNA and residents who gave funds and to the San Francisco Recreation and Parks for their generous contribution.

Due to this effort, you will also be seeing a new installation on Patricia’s Green in the coming months called Future’s Past by Kate Raudenbush.

For more about this relevant, elegant work, visit blackrockarts.org/projects/futures-past

Reception Party will be announced in months to come. Stay tuned!

HVNA welcomes Supervisor Olague to D5

By Jason Henderson

In January, Mayor Ed Lee appointed Christina Olague as the new District 5 (D5) Supervisor.  Christina replaces Ross Mirkarimi, who was elected Sheriff in November 2011, thus vacating the D5 seat.  She previously served for seven years on the San Francisco Planning Commission where she helped craft the Market and Octavia Better Neighborhoods Plan, which includes Hayes Valley and the eastern part of D5 (see map).  Christina is familiar with the complicated transportation and planning issues in Hayes Valley, as well as affordable housing, public safety, and school issues in the eastern part of D5.

Map of San Francisco District Five with the Hayes Valley Neighborhood boundaries shaded.

The HVNA Transportation & Planning Committee met with Christina soon after her appointment, and we are thrilled to report that she will be an excellent defender of the Market and Octavia Plan and other critical transportation and planning issues in Hayes Valley. As our new Supervisor, Christina also serves as a commissioner of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA), which plans and funds key projects in the neighborhood.  She has pledged to work closely with HVNA to see that good choices are made.

This year the city will be selecting a locally-preferred alternative for the proposed Van Ness Avenue Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.  HVNA has long-supported BRT on Van Ness because it is crucial for providing optimal north-south transit in the central city.  Christina has stressed she will work with us to make this a signature transit improvement, specifically by advocating for either option “3B” or “4B,”* both of which have exclusive busways in the center of Van Ness.  Both of these options would bring considerable time savings for transit passengers, significant reductions in Muni operating costs in the corridor, offer dramatic improvements for pedestrian safety, and will smooth the flow of automobile traffic on Van Ness because buses will no longer shift in-and-out of traffic.

One of the expected impacts of Van Ness BRT is diversion of a small amount of automobile traffic to Franklin and Gough streets. Given the benefits of BRT, this is acceptable, and we see BRT as an opportunity to get more people to choose transit over driving (it should also be noted that if we do nothing, traffic increases on those streets anyway.) As deliberations get underway, Christina has stressed that she will focus on neighborhood livability, including improving pedestrian crosswalks throughout the Franklin and Gough corridor, as well as ensuring that Market and Page streets become safer bicycle routes.

Christina also spoke to us at-length about the transit crowding most of us experience on the 5-Fulton, 21-Hayes, and the 6 and 71 Haight buses, all of which span D5.  As a car-free resident, Christina regularly rides these buses and has promised to advocate improvements on these lines. She has also been appointed to the Schools Committee, where among other things she promises to advocate for safe routes to schools programs for our neighborhood schools. Additionally she has been appointed to the Public Safety Committee, where she can push for bicycle and pedestrian safety.

Affordable housing is also a key issue in Hayes Valley, and Christina has an excellent track-record as planning commissioner on advocating for affordable housing within new developments in the neighborhood.  Christina is especially familiar with the 55 Laguna proposal, and is committed to making sure that the 55 Laguna project stays within the parameters of the Market and Octavia Plan, including defending the parking policies of the Plan and making sure there is affordable housing built on site.

In sum, Christina has been a strong ally with HVNA on transportation and planning issues and her values mesh well with ours. We are delighted to have her representing us, and grateful that Mayor Lee appointed someone who shares the progressive values of our district.

To learn more about Christina, see her bio at the Board of Supervisors website: SF B O S

*See “3B” or “4B,”*