By Bonnee Waldstein
The summer meeting of the GPA on July 13 was billed as a dessert social, and most folks brought a goodie to share. Another special feature was its location at the Sunnyside Conservatory, where residents could marvel at their surroundings as they participated in a jam-packed agenda. Sally Ross of Friends of Sunnyside Conservatory gave an historical summation of the property, its decay and rebirth over the years. More information can be found at www.sunnysideconservatory.org.
Michael Rice, President of the Glen Park Association, announced that $500 had been raised for the families of firefighters Vincent Perez and Anthony Valerio and the GPA would be matching that amount. Firefighters Union Local 798 will administer the fund.
For many, it was the first time they got to meet our new Ingleside police captain, Daniel Mahoney, since our previous captain, Louis Cassenego, moved over to Forensic Services. Citing the fact that our precinct has had three chiefs in two years, Mahoney acknowledged the community’s frustration: “I get it,” he said. He attributes the turnover in part to changes in the top command, which lead to changes in the district commands.
Mahoney’s background includes stints at internal affairs, the legal division, professional standards, media and community relations, and risk management. Also, he was the other finalist for the City’s police chief job that went to Greg Suhr.
He’s pleased with the job Mayor Lee is doing and says Lee is taking the department in the right direction, especially with his support of community policing.
Regarding crime in Glen Park, there are several challenges. Lock picks and attempted burglaries are on the rise. There’s also been an uptick in robberies. The BART station is one of two major trouble spots in the Ingleside district, the other being the Sunnydale housing. Lone people exiting the station and walking on local streets, such as Chenery and Thor, have been targeted by thieves driving around looking to steal iPods and iPads, cell phones, and laptops. White headphones, with their high visibility, make pedestrians particularly vulnerable.
In an example of poetic justice, Capt. Mahoney told of a person who’d had his iPhone robbed on Mission Street. He had a free Mobile Me app on it, the police officer used his own phone to log onto the Mobile Me phone app, and located the suspect whose “pocket” had sounded in response. The best advice if you have a smart phone is to get a GPS system on it that you can log onto.
Our district is 6.5 square miles and is very transitory, Mahoney says. The police are trying to focus their efforts on the major arteries leading to Diamond Heights and Sunnydale. They are increasing their visible patrols in Glen Park early in the day at 8 AM or so, plainclothes at noon or 2 PM, and using decoy operations.
Other items of interest that Capt. Mahoney mentioned:
Glen Park will be having NERT (Neighborhood Emergency Response Team) training beginning in August. He urges everyone to take the free course. For information, go to www.sfgov.org/sffdnert.
911 information: Dialing on a land line will go directly to San Francisco dispatch on Turk Street and will display your name and address. Using a cell phone will route the 911 call to CHP in Vallejo, which will transfer it to San Francisco dispatch, and will display the cell phone number but not your location. If using a cell phone in an emergency, using the number 553-8090 will route the call directly to San Francisco dispatch.
Contact Captain Mahoney at 404-4030 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our District 8 Supervisor, Scott Wiener, brought us up to date on his activities. To name a few that have particular local interest:
-Half of the proposed $6 million cut in tree maintenance has been restored. The original proposal was to shift the entire cost over to the property owner. Wiener is working on getting a sustainable funding stream for this vital service, which impacts public safety in terms of tree falls and sidewalk damage.
-A police academy class has been added, which hasn’t taken place in several years. The force has gone from 2,000 to 1,900 officers and may get as low as 1,300, so new recruits are essential.
-He’s also looking into regulations for commercial dog walkers using city parks. “The bad ones give the good ones a bad name,” he says.
-Wiener also talked about the ATT Uverse proposal and the utility box issue. He gives a full explanation of his vote in the July 21 entry on this website.
Contact information for Sup. Wiener: email@example.com 415-554-6968
We also had a visit from District 7 Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, whose district includes a small part of Glen Park and Sunnyside. He spoke about one of his signature projects, the pension reform charter amendment which will go to the voters in November. He is also shepherding the redevelopment of ParkMerced, which will entail demolishing 3,200 of the low-story units and building 30,000 new ones over the next 20-25 years.
Residents then received updates on the two major projects for improvements in Glen Park. Jon Swae and John Billovitz of the Planning Department summarized where we stand in the development of the Glen Park Community Plan. Swae has written about this in the July 16 entry on this website.
Karen Mauney-Brodek of Rec and Park, and Alejandra Chiesa, of the Trust for Public Land, presented the Glen Canyon Park Improvement Plan update. The Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks bond of 2008 provided $5.8 million in funding for Phase 1 improvements in the active recreational areas of the park, plus $900,000 for trails improvements.
Based on numerous community meetings, focus groups, and written comments, a consensus was reached about how the funds should be allocated:
. The play area will be expanded
. New tennis courts will be built in a different location
. A welcoming entryway to the park will be built
. Basic amenities in the Rec center will be improved, including restrooms and ADA accessible entrances
. The Elk Street entrance will be made more user friendly
. The foundation of the gym will get minor improvements
Future projects that will need to be funded over time, through bonds, grants, and other agencies are the major renovation of the Rec center, improvements in athletic fields, and the addition of a nature play area.
This fall, another round of workshops will address the finer details of the plan, such as playground design and equipment, the tennis courts, and the main park entryway, as well as the specifics of the trail improvements.