Notes from the Glen Park Association meeting July 30

GPA graphicBy Bonnee Waldstein

Considering it’s the middle of summer, or what most people outside of San Francisco experience as summer, the recent meeting of the Glen Park Association in the Glen Canyon Rec Center offered up a well-attended, wide ranging community meeting.

GPA president and meeting chair Michael Rice, periodically begins GPA gatherings by having each person introducing him or herself to the group and, at the least say how long they’ve been a Glen Park resident. Attendees ranged from two-year newbies to 59 years, the latter accompanied by a warm round of applause.

Topics at the meeting on July 30, 2014 ranged from hyper local to statewide.

Glen Canyon Trails Improvement Project:

Melinda Stockmann, project manager in the Rec and Park Department, presented the “Creeks to Peaks Trails Project,” which is underway with 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks bond funding and other sources. The San Francisco Parks Alliance is also pitching in via its September annual fundraiser.

Trails will be connected between Twin Peaks and Islais Creek in Glen Park. It’s in the planning stages and will be completed sometime in 2016. One of the connectivity issues is that the trail encompasses some land in the School of the Arts campus. Some arrangement needs to be made with the Board of Education to include this property in the trails connection. It also could provide a valuable opportunity for SOTA students to participate in the project.

This past March, a contest was held to name the three main corridor trails in Glen Canyon Park. To date there have been 75 nominations. Three names selected by a trail naming committee will be presented to the Rec and Park Commission on Thursday, August 7, 2:00 PM at City Hall, Room 416: Coyote Crags, Islais Creek, and Gum Tree Girls – the last being the affectionate nickname of the group of women who fought freeway expansion into the park in the 1970’s.

Other works in progress are way finding signage, maps in several locations and interpretative illustrations.

Work on the grasslands continues. Currently the eastern slope is almost complete; alternate routes and trails are opened and closed as materials are staged and work takes place, causing some confusion among park goers. Along the Turquoise – Amber stretch, two asphalt ditches were demolished and the vegetative swale restored, which will improve drainage and control erosion.

For the slide presentation updating the project, go to http://sfrecpark.org/wp-content/uploads/Glen-Canyon-Trails-Improvement-Project_Glen-Park-Association-Meeting-Presentation_7.30.14.pdf

Updates will be posted monthly.

 

Recreation Center Improvements:

Karen Mauney-Brodek of Rec and Park updated the group on the renovation and expansion of the Glen Park Recreation Center, which is being financed with 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks bond funds. Design development will continue through the fall and construction is slated begin in Summer 2015.

Among the improvements will be additional space; upgraded mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems; seismic and safety upgrades; ADA and LEED compliance improvements; and overall renovation of the building, both exterior and interior, including the restrooms and gymnasium.

Some changes to the plan had to be made, owing to funding shortages, and creek and other environmental conditions that were uncovered during the recreation area renovation. Instead of three indoor multipurpose rooms, there will be two plus one outdoor multipurpose space. Also, the teaching kitchen will be reconfigured.

 

Current designs can be seen at:

http://sfrecpark.org/wp-content/uploads/Presentation-Glen-Park-Neighbors-7.30.2014-Update-on-Rec-Center-Design.pdf

The tennis court rebuild, which was a contentious issue throughout the play area renovation, continues to be a thorn. It turns out the slope of the court is not in compliance with U.S. Tennis Association guidelines and needs to be redone. Repairs will begin in September and hopefully be done quickly. The playground and Rec Center will remain open in the meantime.

For information and updates, go to http://sfrecpark.org/project/glen-canyon-park-2012-bond/

 

 

Public Art Selection:

There are three finalists competing to have their artwork become part of the renovation project. The SF Arts Commission noted that it got more comments on this than any other recent project in the City. Selection of the winner will take place Monday, August 4, 1-5 PM, at 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70. Go to http://sfrecpark.org/about/recreation-park-commission/ for the agenda.

 

 

Public Safety:

Captain Timothy Falvey reported an array of statistics for the Ingleside Station. There was some good news: Overall crime is down in the first half of the year. There’s been an 11% drop in felonies year to date. Violent crime is down 28%. “Only” one homicide.

Robberies in Glen Park are down 20% compared with this time last year. Burglaries in Glen Park are down 23%; half of them involve residences undergoing construction or remodeling in which tools and equipment are stolen. Other burglaries are made easier by open doors and unlocked windows, especially those on the second floor.

In many cases, after a few arrests, crime tapers off, indicating the same perpetrators may be responsible for many of the crimes. Investigative tools used to tie crimes together result in a lot of arrests.

Education about safety while using cell phones and mass transit is paying off.

Problems remain. One is pedestrian and bicyclist safety. While police staffing levels are down around 10%, citations are up around 40%. Officers are focusing attention on the streets around the top of Diamond Street, and the violations most likely to cause collisions.

Auto thefts are up quite a bit. Police are trying to track patterns of where vehicles are stolen and where they are dropped off. The favorite targets are Hondas pre-2001, which are known to have worn out locks. Captain Falvey suggests getting a steering wheel club: “Criminals are lazy.”

Vandalism of autos is a growing problem and one that’s hard to deal with, since it can take only 30 seconds to smash several car windows. What’s being done: There are grants for vehicle theft abatement, in part by using “bait” cars; police are tracking people on probation and parole, mapping their addresses and paying parole informational visits; plainclothes officers are being deployed.

 

Supervisor Scott Wiener:

Our District 8 Supervisor gave a rundown on citywide issues he’s been engaged with:

 

. Passing a two-year budget and finalizing the November ballot

. Rebuilding the police department, which is now 300 officers short. With additional academy classes, staffing should be fully restored to 2,000 by 2017-18.

. Road resurfacing is fully funded for the second year in a row.

. From the local budget, the City backfilled $3 million in HIV federal funding cuts.

. Park patrol officers will be increased with additional funds. This will hopefully abate the out of control vandalism and graffiti in the parks. Currently there are two or three for the entire 220-park property system.

. Additional resources will be allocated for Animal Care and Control officers, staff and shelters.

. A ballot measure for Muni funding is planned for November. There is a $2.2 billion shortfall in deferred maintenance.

. Legislation is pending to allow in-law units in the Castro in order to promote affordable housing. Hopefully it would be expanded to include Noe Valley and Glen Park in the future.

. A “Soda Tax” will be on the ballot in November, 40% of which would go to the school district for programs that promote physical activity and healthy nutrition.

 

Closer to home, Supervisor Wiener said that work on improvements to the Diamond and Bosworth intersection will begin in September; and the total replacement of Christopher Playground will begin after the new year.

Keep up with the Supervisor at www.scottwiener.com.

 

 

California State Parks:

Glen Park resident Elizabeth Goldstein is also the Executive Director of the California State Parks Foundation, an advocacy organization for the state parks system. Its 13,000 members are dedicated to conservation and keeping state parks alive in peoples’ imagination. Their current project is to gather information on why state parks are great places.

Goldstein noted that while we assume the parks are always going to be there, “the system has been embattled by it financial situation, some by its own causing.” She detailed the years long up and down of threatened parks closures and last minute salvation.

 

One Glen Park resident asked what changes will be taking place regarding financial transparency—in light of the $54 million that was suddenly found in the state parks’ coffers after threatened closures due to purported lack of funds. Goldstein detailed the series of government agencies involved in auditing the parks’ budget and the internal checks and balances being put into place. However, “Unless there’s citizen pressure, we’re never going to get it right,” she said.

There are many benefits to becoming a state parks member, including: passes to the parks, Sunset Magazine, a beautiful state parks calendar, maps, and a day hikers guide.

 

Other announcements:

The San Francisco Mime Troupe will be performing in Glen Canyon Park:

Sat, Aug 16th @ 2:00 PM (Music 1:30)
Bosworth & O’Shaughnessy, San Francisco
Ticket Info: FREE (donation)

A public forum will follow the performance on a civic topic to be determined.

The Glen Park Neighborhood History Project will meet Saturday, August 16, from 1:30 – 5:30 in the Glen Park Library. Volunteers are invited to begin the digital conservation of vintage issues of the Glen Park News. The project is being spearheaded by Evelyn Rose, aka, Chief Tramping Officer of Tramps of San Francisco.

 

 

 

 

 

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