Planning Notices – Late May 2020

The following are all upcoming dates for permits submitted in our neighborhood.

For 22 Henry Street, there will be a pre-application meeting on June 1.

For the other three addresses (4735 19th St.; 178 Douglass St.; and 357 Cumberland St.) discretionary reviews for the plans submitted must be submitted to the Planning Department by June 1, June 10, and June 11, respectively.

2020.06.01 PreApp 22 Henry St

2020.06.01 Permit App 4735 19th St

2020.06.10 Permit App 178 Douglass St

2020.06.11 Permit App 357 Cumberland St

Planning Notices – May 2020

The EVNA receives all notifications for planning and land use hearings, reviews, and pre-application notices for the Castro, Duboce Triangle, Corona/Ashbury Heights, and surrounding areas.

This post contains links to copies of all notices sent to us with deadlines or hearing dates in the near future.

Glossary:
"Permit App" - Permit Application. This means that a new permit has been applied for. There is a one-month period during which neighbors can submit requests for discretionary review.
"Variance" - This is a project that requires a specific exception to the planning code. An example is a restaurant in a block designated residential.
"Pre-Application Meeting" - This is a courtesy meeting thrown by the property owner to hear feedback and concerns from neighbors.

2020.05.26 Permit App 246 Eureka St

2020.05.26 Permit App 704 Castro St

2020.05.27 Variance 427A Buena Vista Ave E

2020.06.01 Permit App 4735 19th St

2020.06.01 PreApp 22 Henry St

2020.06.11 Permit App 357 Cumberland St

We will be sending this list out every two weeks or so.

President’s Update: New Years Resolutions for the Castro

In January of each year, millions of Americans make resolutions. Resolutions to better themselves: to go to the gym (this is the Castro, after all); to eat healthier; to spend more time with family and friends. Resolutions to expand your horizons: reading more books; traveling to far-flung destinations; cooking new recipes.

Self-improvement is a noble goal, and an important one, but what of the greater good?

In 2020, my resolution is to help improve the Castro, this beautiful, historic, vibrant neighborhood we all live in. I have a lot of ideas, but what I really want is to create a way to get everyone in the neighborhood involved to make a difference. To enact and execute tangible, momentous projects and leave a lasting legacy for future generations.

I invite you to share your vision, your passion, and your commitment at the Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association’s first public meeting of the year. We will meet this Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. at the Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, 100 Diamond St.

 This meeting is an opportunity to brainstorm and help set the EVNA’s agenda for 2020 and beyond. I hope you will join us.

Some proposals I’ve heard from neighbors include the following:

  • Collingwood Park Revitalization/Rebuild
  • Neighborhood Block Party
  • Greater insight into and educational opportunities for planning and land use issues
  • Decreasing commercial vacancies
  • Creating hyperlocal services for our unhoused and transient neighbors
  • Traffic improvements for a safer neighborhood

The power of one person is inherently limited, but the power of a committed group of citizens can accomplish anything. Please join us on Thursday to help build a vision for the Castro’s future!

Introducing… Andrew Gabel, our newest EVNA Board Member!

Hello everyone! Thank you for voting for me as your newest Board member. There's a fun little gift of thanks at the end of this article. I couldn't help it.

I'd like to briefly introduce myself to you again here in the newsletter for those that couldn't make the last meeting.

I feel both honored and challenged to be able to contribute to my local neighborhood. Born and raised in Pinole, (10m North of Berkeley-no traffic) I've lived in Contra Costa, Alameda, Marin and now San Francisco counties. As a member of the EVNA Board, being able to honor a couple of my core values, contribution and service, in such a diverse and much needed area is both challenging and fulfilling. There is so much to learn. Neighborhoods require passion, drive and gusto to create lasting change. There are a myriad of challenges ahead of us to dream in to. I'm ready, willing and able to roll up my sleeves and serve.

By day I work at the Co-Active Training Institute www.coactive.com in San Rafael, CA where I've been employed for over 25 years. I have the privilege of working alongside a global community creating Co-Active Leaders who want to have an impact in their world. Lucky me! A lover of the arts, I grew up in a musical home that also contributed to local bay area community theaters for decades.

Below is my modest gift to you because every newsletter needs a recipe. Here is one I discovered online. I was looking for something special and different on an old family favorite for the holidays. All I can say is that both my family and co-workers loved it! This is from Bon Appetit. I added the onion powder. It's so delicious it just might make you cry. Really.

Caramelized Shallot Dip (gf)

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large shallots, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 cups low-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon sliced chives, plus more for serving

Chips or crackers or veggie chips(!) or fresh veggies (for serving) - firm crisps works best

Recipe Preparation

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium. Add shallots and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and reducing heat if needed, until shallots are golden brown and tender, 15-18 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Mix shallots and vinegar and onion powder into yogurt in medium bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stir 1 Tbsp. into yogurt. If entertaining, divide into bowls and top with more chives.

Do ahead: Yogurt (without chives) can be made 3 days ahead; cover and chill.

*My personal notes: Make this at least one day in advance and remove from refrigeration at least one hour prior to serving. The low-fat yogurt is much more firm than the standard sour cream versions. I cooked my shallots a bit longer than the 18m. It's all about the color and your intuition.

Again, Thank you for voting me into this position. See you at the meetings!

The Red Mailbox on Thorp Lane

By Bonnie McGregor

Shortly after Harvey Milk's election as San Francisco Supervisor in November of 1977, where he won by 30% against 16 other candidates, he quickly identified the problem of dog excrement. In a city that has always had more dogs than children, the health hazard of dog excrement had become endemic.

Savvy politician Milk selected to work on an a political piece of legislation anointed the “pooper scooper law;" who couldn’t get behind a dog poop law? It is commonly understood that City Supervisor Dan White voted against the proposed law.

Everyone knows about the strategically placed poop in Duboce Park where Milk cleverly staged his “step” for the awaiting TV cameras, Milk always at the ready to maximize news coverage with dramatic edge.

What many may not know is the little red mail box on Thorp Lane, up the down & dirty stairs on beautiful Caselli Avenue is the first doggie bag receptacle in all of San Francisco.

Contributed by San Francisco City Guides, who do Castro Tours 3x weekly and 60 weekly tours throughout San Francisco. Tours are free with a contribution gladly accepted.

Is the Drum Major Instinct Leaving You Down Beat? There’s a Solution for That!

By Mark D McHale, Member, Resident

In our ever-connected digital world, I have to admit I spend a lot of time judging and comparing my life with the lives of my online family, friends, and neighbors. Digitally dropping in may feel innocent enough, like I’m just staying in touch with those I love and care about, but I need admit it out loud- it’s also a lot about fostering jealousy, too. My posts, fixated on my own self-promotion, seem at times to be an attempt to tell the online world “I’m here! I’m important, too!” Too much of this unending, unwinnable beauty contest, and it just makes me feel anxious, lonely, and even depressed. There are days I find myself walking around in a black fog, not sure why I feel so horrible.

Dropping in on the “feed” is not the same as being in on the stream of life. If I’m going to stay sane, I need to take a break from all the binge scrolling I catch myself mindlessly doing, and actually get out to be with others now and again. Reconnecting with my surroundings and the people I care about helps me to restore my spirit and re-adjust my perspective. You want the whole truth? Living in the world helps me to take stock of just how blessed I am to get to live the life I do. Take it one step further, and it’s being of service to others that’s the most healing- sure to help me forget the petty problems of my life.

Today is Martin Luther King Day, and funny enough, I  ran across an article in the Washington Post, “We Volunteer to Help Others, but Research Shows How Much it Helps Us, Too” which asserts more and more people are being duped by the same foolish and self-defeating behaviors of competition and self-promotion. In the article, the author Jamil Zaki writes, “we flourish not by besting others, but by being part of something greater than ourselves. By clamoring for status, we deprive ourselves of one thing that would actually help us — each other.” The result of this backward behavior is that we are distancing ourselves from each other and left feeling exhausted, anxious, and lonely in the process. Zaki shares with his readers that Dr. King’s simple solution was to be of ‘service to others’. The necessary and essential chance to be other-focused- even for a moment. While being of service to others, we actually  get to forget our own ailments to become a vessel for the needs of another.

This January, I’ve made my resolutions as I do every year, but this time they’re not about making more money or having more of any thing. This year, my resolution is to spend less time fixated on me and my experience, and more time being of real, genuine, and compassionate service to others. My resolutions are:

  1. Once a month, volunteer: hand out groceries at Project Open Hand, visit a senior at the Castro Senior Center on Diamond Street, read a book with a kid at Harvey Milk Academy.
  2. Take care of my world, first. Instead of focusing on what the Republicans are doing that makes me so angry, I’m going to focus on how I show up in my world, by being a loving person, picking up trash on the sidewalk as I walk by, paying some small kindness forward to another. This is where I have the most power- right here where I am.
  3. Continue my membership with EVNA, and attend the public meetings. This is such a triple good deed: getting out of the house and into the world, meeting some wonderful (and sometimes weird) neighbors, and doing something good. This year we’ll get to do a few fun things: clean up the Sanchez Street Steps, host the movie night for the neighborhood, join a shift of the Castro Community on Patrol for a safety patrol.

Three simple steps to keep upbeat and feeling impactful. Most importantly, to stop fixating on me so much, and start focusing on others. It’s my resolution- and I know it will help us all.

 

 

 

Getting More Than I Gave

Getting More Than I Gave

By Rob Cox

This December will be my last EVNA Board Meeting.  I have been on the Executive Board of the Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association (EVNA) for a dozen years.  I’ve been a member of EVNA for 22+ years.

I have seen membership in EVNA ebb and flow over the years.  I have worked with an amazing array of Board members and committee members.  And I have seen EVNA take on some difficult situations and participate in some very fun events and tasks.

The one message that I want to share with you is that I got more than I ever gave.  The experience is sometimes difficult but always rewarding.

The Castro neighborhood often feels like a “small town “and not a neighborhood in a large City.  Through my association with EVNA I have deepened my relationship with our “small town”.

Getting to know my neighbors – whether merchants, residents, City officials or people who come here to work & play – has expanded my horizons and broadened my life views.  I have not always agreed with everyone but I have always respected them and their opinions.

There is still (there is always!) more to do.  The challenges that face the Castro are not easy and they require our attention.  EVNA is your voice at City Hall, at Mission Station, to your Supervisor, to SFMTA, even to Sacramento and more.

Just a few of the projects that I have worked on at EVNA:

  • Castro sidewalk widening
  • Demanding security (Patrol Special) at night clubs and bars
  • Demanding activation of the Patio Café space (now Hamburger Mary’s)
  • Retail Study
  • Jane Warner Plaza
  • Castro Cares
  • Sponsoring Mayoral debates at the Castro Theater
  • Hosting neighborhood meetings in times of critical events like Halloween violence and the homeless/unsheltered problem

These and many others are issues that affect the quality of life here in the Castro.  Affect your quality of life.

EVNA is a volunteer organization and is the oldest neighborhood association in California.  It needs your help to keep moving forward and to remain vital.

If you are not a member, please join.  If you are a member, thank you.  And consider joining a committee or the executive Board and help guide EVNA.

It has been a pleasure and so rewarding to have been on the Board.  I remain a member and will help where ever and whenever I can.

See you around the neighborhood, neighbor!

Rob Cox

Working to Improve Life in Eureka Valley Since 1881