All posts by Mark D McHale

It’s EVNA’s DISASTER EDITION Meeting!

You won't want to miss EVNA's next meeting Thursday, July 26th from 7:00-8:30pm at Eureka Valley Rec Center, 100 Collingwood Street.

It's our first ever- DISASTER EDITION!

Member's Drawing for some cool emergency gear!

We'll welcome our new "Let's Get to Work!" D-8 Supervisor, Rafael Mandelman, and then...

We'll cover various topics related to disasters and emergencies, from updates on the earthquake retrofitting of the SF Seawall and the Twin Peak Tunnel projects, to creating a go-bag and an action plan for home evacuation.

For our valued members, there's a drawing for 3 emergency kits: a 3 day survival go-bag, a first aid kit, and an emergency broadcast radio...

Don't miss out- if you're not a member, join now/at the meeting (www.evna.org/join) for $20-30 and you can have a chance to win as well!

Please remember- it's at the Eureka Valley REC CENTER this time!

Hope you and yours enjoy a happy PRIDE event. After 30 years living in San Francisco, I still get excited to celebrate and take notice of how far we’ve come to be such a diverse and inclusive city, and remind myself how much work we have yet to do to stretch our understanding of what that means.

Welcome to Summer in the City; there’s nowhere with a more beautiful version of it then here in the Castro/Eureka Valley- it doesn’t escape my attention that the fog is often hanging above the crest of Twin Peaks, reminding me to enjoy the warmth of the blue sky and sun until Karl comes back.

It’s been a busy summer since our last edition, what with the debate and the elections. Thanks to all those who attended EVNA’s Sheehy/Mandelman debate to hear the candidates discuss the issues affecting District 8 communities and their respective plans as supervisor. I’d like to thank Jeff Sheehy for his hard work and effort over these past many months as our Supervisor. It isn’t an easy job, and Jeff worked hard to tackle the big issues of LGBTQ youth homelessness, chop shops, crime and more.

With election ballots now counted, I want to congratulate our newly elected Mayor London Breed, and D-8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman. EVNA looks forward to working with both officials to keep our community strong by reducing the barriers to building more housing for lower and middle income families and individuals, and to effect real and positive change by getting those on the streets into the services and the stability they need to reclaim their health and their lives, and in the process, making our streets more enjoyable, safe and clean for every citizen, resident and visitor.

Then came the scooters, huh? Wow, like locusts, they were suddenly everywhere! My old-man fist was shaking in the air on many a day, having to navigate scooters on the sidewalks and discarded carcasses everywhere: leaned against newly planted trees, tossed into the bushes, parked neatly right in the center of the crosswalk, not to mention jumping out of my skin every time one of them clipped me on the elbow from behind as the rider zoomed by on the sidewalk. ”Young whipper-snappers!” I heard myself yelling to no one who really cared. What sweet vengeance when SFMTA gave them the companies like Lime, Bird, and Spin the ultimatum to get them off our streets or be impounded with heavy fines. There is justice!

But, being practical and knowing how the SFMTA will sell a permit for anything as long as there is enough money involved, EVNA is sending SFMTA an advance letter in support of the scooters as long as a few important points are addressed: proper fees to handle increased enforcement, permits for approved vendors, implementation of rules for the safety of pedestrians, requiring rider helmets, and a better docking system to keep parked/unused scooters out of rights of way. That’s it! Easy fixes. I’ll be the first to use them if they can meet those simple standards.

Speaking of transit options, we all know the Twin Peaks Tunnel is now closed for 2 months while SFMTA updates the 100-year old tracks, walls and the drainage systems inside. It’s a good thing, and SFTMA has been very effective in getting the word out and educating riders on their alternative routes. On the surface, we’ll see lot’s more foot traffic at the Castro and Church Street Stations as riders scramble for buses and shuttle rides.(https://www.sfmta.com/projects/twin-peaks-tunnelimprovements 0). Making our transit more dependable, our city more ready for the transit challenges we face as a growing city.

EVNA is working with area neighborhood groups like Duboce Triangle, Castro Merchants, Ford Street NAG, and the Castro CBD, to launch an educational campaign on how to properly recycle cardboard. There are days, walking around the neighborhood, when things are just out of control. Some merchants are bypassing the expense and breakdown restrictions placed by Recology and instead relying on an informal scavenger system to pick their cardboard up from the curb. Unfortunately, when the driver doesn’t come around, and the wind and the street people have their way, large panels of cardboard get strewn all over the area overnight; in shop doorways, splayed out at the curb, dragged into the parking lots, used as signs for various enterprising individuals, etc. It means a lot of litter and a lot of extra work for the CBD cleaning crew every morning. I’ve noticed residents can be equally careless, putting huge flat panel TV boxes out on the curb any day of the week, stuffed with plastic, styrofoam and other boxes inside. We have to do better. An inviting street scene helps us all feel less stressed and our neighborhood more welcoming… you’ll see a joint campaign over the next couple months, and Recology has a system to encourage eventual compliance: educate, encourage, audit and finally, fining abusers who persist. If you’re a cardboard scofflaw, watch your Recology bill… it isn’t cheap.

Finally, the next edition of the newsletter and the agenda for our next public EVNA meeting is all about disasters and planning. I hope to see you at the meeting on July 26 th (notice it’s a Thursday, NOT the usual Wednesday) at Eureka Valley Rec Center (upstairs). We’re focusing on all the important ways to be prepared for the inevitable- whether it’s the BIG ONE earthquake, a power outage, or just a scraped knee needing a band-aid, being prepared for disasters and emergencies is a no-brainer, but too often a low priority in busy lives. We’ve got stories of great disasters lined up, disaster preparedness ambassadors, a sea wall earthquake plan, and more emergency stuff. If you’re a member (or you join at the meeting!), you’ll be entered to win one of several Emergency Supply kits and supplies! Be sure not to miss it!

Looking for Helpful Hands to Hand Out this Weekend!

Hi EVNA'ers-

We're in the middle of inviting everyone in the neighborhood  to the upcoming EVNA sponsored Supervisor's Debate being held on May 23rd. Last weekend, our volunteers delivered invites to over 1,100 households!

We're finishing up this weekend- I'm looking for a few more volunteers to join the team this Saturday at 10am May 19th picking up where we left off. It's easy work, fun, and feels good, too!

If you've got a couple hours to donate starting at 10am, send me an email (mark.mchale@evna.org) and I'll give you details, would love to see your smiling faces!

Let’s Get the Word Out…

EVNA Members-

We're looking for volunteers to help invite neighbors to our next general meeting in late May.

We'll meet Saturday May 12 AND Saturday May 19th at 10:00am at 221 Eureka Street, and the plan is to take a couple blocks each and place door hangers on every door we see.

As easy as you want to make it- if you'd like to knock and talk- that's great, or if you'd prefer to just tag the door handle and skidaddle, that's ok, too!

Can we count on you to help? Please email me with your "YES!"... mark.mchale@evna.org

Vote on Projects to Make Our Neighborhood Better!

District 8 Castro/Eureka Valley peeps- here's your chance to spend a little city money making our civic spaces a little nicer... vote for the projects you want most!
 
SAN FRANCISCO—At 12 PST, Wednesday, April 18th, 2018, voting for District 8 Participatory Budgeting Proposals went live. Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process that gives community members the opportunity to set budgeting priorities and make decisions on which community projects should be funded. District 8 residents will be able to help decide on how best to spend $250,000 for neighborhood enhancements, beautification, safety, open space and other improvements. All District 8 residents 16 and up can participate in the voting process. Non-U.S. Citizens, regardless of immigration status are also invited to participate in the voting process. Supervisor Sheehy, is the first District 8 Supervisor to initiate this process in our community. Sheehy said, “I am very proud to initiate District Eight’s first Participatory Budgeting process. We have set aside $250,000.00 in community funding initiatives and I encourage all of you to Vote!”
 

Looking for Some Talent…

Members- I need your help! As you know, we've made great gains this year getting our association set up, staffed, and activated once again. It's been an amazing journey, and I'm always thinking about what I can do to make it even better, and who can help me make it so for us.

I'm looking for a few special people with some very important skills... might this be you, or someone you know who is looking for a volunteer gig?

1) A Social Media and Marketing Campaign Manager. I'm looking for a creative and passionate person to help EVNA get the word out about who we are, what we do, and how others can plug in. The right person will have exceptional skills and creative ideas in the social media/marketing space to help us create and implement a consistent and branded message to encourage membership, acknowledge our heroes, call for attendance, and celebrate volunteerism right here in the hood.

2) Business Development Guru- help EVNA create a comprehensive financial model that will help us grow (appropriately) our inbound revenue stream and outbound support and grant giving capacity. This could really be a an exciting project: can you imagine bringing together corporate sponsors, local businesses, and our members/ residents to create a full cycle financial model of mutual support and benefit- OMG! (Sounds weird, but I can explain).

Ping me- I'm the prez, and I can get you introduced to the right people to put your talents to work! mark.mchale@evna.org.

Trust me- this volunteering stuff is way better than you can imagine sitting in front of your computer right now. You'll feel better you got involved.

 

Castro Street Fair Organizers are having a community input session…

The Castro Street Fair has changed a lot over the years, from a celebratory event in the early years, to a Little Folsom Street Fair, to a more family friendly social event these more recent years.

If you have comments or suggestions on any aspect of the event that would help them do an even better than usual job on anything from set up to tear down, and everything in the middle and whatever is left over, join the rest of us at this event -

Make the Castro Street Fair Great Again!

Community Meeting for Harvey Milk Plaza Redesign- THIS Saturday

Are you ready for it?
The Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza and architects Perkins Eastman are ready to share the designs created in response to the community feedback gathered in the community meetings held in February and March! And YOU ARE INVITED to attend the unveiling at Community Meeting #3, to be held from 3:00-4:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, 2018, at Most Holy Redeemer Parish Hall at 100 Diamond Street in San Francisco.
 
You will have a chance to be among the first to see the design proposals, and interact with others to provide comment and feedback on each of the options. Your input is so very important, especially at this stage, where the actual design is taking shape. Don't miss your chance to be part of the process!
 
If you were unable to attend the meeting on March 3rd, please contribute your input regarding the topics covered here. The 4th meeting is still TBA, but is planned to be an Open House format. You will receive meeting details, including date and location, once confirmed.
Also, we invite you to stay connected with the Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza online at www.friendsofharveymilkplaza.org
 
Finally, a huge THANK YOU from us for the time and enthusiasm you are bringing to this effort to #HonorHarveyMilk in the plaza that bears his name. The forward momentum will continue with the input gathered from these community meetings and through online engagement. We are so grateful that you share our desire to honor Harvey’s contribution to our neighborhood and to our community.
 
We look forward too seeing you on April 7th! Tell your friends and neighbors too!
 
Kindly,
Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza
www.friendsofharveymilkplaza.org

Neighbors Hear About SFPUC New Rate Hikes

We had a full agenda at last night's public meeting. With 40 neighbors in attendance, we listened to Rafael Mandelman and why he's the best candidate for D8 Supe;  what the SFMTA is up to regarding the Twin Peaks Tunnel Improvements; and below, we hear from the SF Public Utilities Commission representatives on the upcoming rate hikes that will pay for its much needed capital improvements projects.

Our committees also provided updates on some exciting progress:

  • Membership reporting 5 new members
  • Quality of Life working is reaching out to other local groups working on street behavior and homelessness on a fact finding mission to better understand how we can work with/compliment what's going on already.
  • Newsletter/Marketing committee is making advances on streamlining the Eureka! publication.
  • Training and Education is gearing up and showed attendees how and when to use the SF-311 app successfully.

The Board of Directors  is convening a special meeting in April, led by Alex Lemberg, to review and make recommendations for edits/changes to the governing documents of the Eureka Valley Promotion Association (EVPA, our official name). Stay tuned for a membership input forum coming up after May 2018.

Our next public meeting is May 23rd- EVNA will host a live debate between Supervisor Jeff Sheehy and Candidate Rafael Mandelman. It promises to be an informative and lively discussion on why either men are the best candidate to address the issues we face in Eureka Valley. See you there!