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By Calvin Welch, HANC Board

HANC devoted its September meeting to hearing from campaigns that it endorsed and discussing a plan of action for the November election here in District 5.

As readers of the Voice may remember HANC has devoted its last two meetings to discussions about the crucial importance of this year's ballot. In a City that has the double whammy of having the greatest income inequality of any major American city AND the highest housing costs in the nation, two measures on the ballot--Proposition G, which would raise the transfer tax on speculative real estate transactions which result in “flipping” properties after holding them for 5 years or less and Proposition J which would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2018 – will actually seek to address these huge issues.

Additionally this November has two measures aimed at making San Francisco more “child friendly.” The first, Proposition C would extend the historic “only in San Francisco” funding program for children, families and youth. The second, Proposition E would tax sweet beverages, the proceeds of which will fund new programs aimed at healthy diets for children.

Two measures address the distressing conditions of Golden Gate Park, measures H and I. Proposition H, placed on the ballot by signatures, would prohibit the installation of artificial turf and event night lighting at the western end of GGP. Proposition I was placed on the ballot by Mayor Lee And Supervisor Chiu specifically to “kill” H should it pass. But Prop I goes farther than that as it automatically approves any “renovations” to playgrounds, fields or trails that have a certified EIR, basically overriding citizen concerns.


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The July 10th HANC general membership meeting was devoted to a review and evaluation of measures on the November ballot, to date.  july 2014 panel

It was a standing room only crowd, and guest speakers included Tim Redmond, Corey Cook, Conny Ford and Chelsea

All of the measures, so far, have been placed on the ballot by either the Mayor or members of the Board of Supervisors.  It was noted that if the Mayor’s issues are defeated, it might open the way for a strong candidate to run against him in his re-election campaign in 2015.  The anti-speculation measure may be the most important measure of the Mayor’s popularity, and needed to slow the rampant “flip” evictions that are threatening renters.

Some observations by the speakers:  Progressives need to come together and ID measures they can work on in common to educate SF voters, to impact choices on Absentee Ballots, (as much more voting is happening by mail), and to turn them out on election day.  San Francisco is in danger of losing it’s soul, and this upcoming election could go a long way to saving the City we all love.

july 2014 audience

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Our May meeting included presentations by Dera-Jill Pozner, North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association (NOPNA) Board Member and prime mover of an extensive improvement plan for the Panhandle, and Isabel Wade, Friends of Buena Vista Park, who has initiated an effort to focus attention on problems in Buena Vista Park.

Both addressed the specific needs of each Recreation and Parks facility in the neighborhood and expressed their support for the HANC request that in the fiscal year 2014-15, $1.1 million be added to the Recreation & Parks Department budget:  $625,000 for the reconstruction/paving of the southern pedestrian pathway from Stanyan to Baker Streets in the Panhandle, and $500,000 for tree replacement and recovery in Buena Vista Park.  In addition, the three neighborhood groups requested that $2 million be included in the 2015-2016 Recreation & Parks Department budget for upgrading the irrigation system in the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park.

Discussion also centered on the need to developed alternatives to the failed policy of short term "sweeps" of parks to remove campers. Agreement was reached to pursue more creative solutions to the problem of camping by involving social service organizations who currently serve young people in the neighborhood.

parking permit area

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By Tes Welborn, HANC Board

Urban School reported few changes to its plan to build on St. Agnes's parking lot. They expect to start construction in May 2015 with completion by August 2016. They will return late summer with more detailed schematics.

The French-American International School's Page Street Pre-School will have 108 kids ages 3-6, and occupies the school district land on a 30 year lease. They plan to open in August this year. Several neighbors had issues about both the white zone location and the pick-up and drop-off plans. While the pick up times are spread out from 3:15 to 6 p.m., drop off is concentrated in 8:15 to 8:45 a.m. The school requires at least the parents of the youngest children to park and walk kids into school. They have 12 off-site parking spaces available for this. They think that this, plus shuttles from Oak campus, carpool encouragement, and site monitors will work for all. We asked them to return in 1-2 months to discuss traffic plans further.



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At the HANC general meeting on Thursday February 13th at 7:00pm at the Park Branch Library, representatives from the SF Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) shared about proposed water rates increases to continue investing in San Francisco’s aging infrastructure.  We also discussed as a neighborhood techniques and strategies we can use to conserve water and support a diversified supply in our homes and neighborhoods.  

Representatives from the PUC shared many details about the capital intensive projects underway to secure and develop the water supply to the city and emerging capital projects to repair and redesign core components of the sewage treatment facility.  What does this mean for ratepayers in the Haight (and across the city). Here’s an outline of the proposal they shared:

Average Monthly Bill ($)

FYE 2014

FYE 2015

FYE 2016

FYE 2017

FYE 2018

24/7 Operations






Water Capital Improvements






Sewer Capital Improvements






Total Bill






Time Span: 4 years, starting July 2014

Average Annual increase: $7-10 on monthly bill (for average single family)

The PUC advised the neighbors of the process for the adoption of these rate changes:

April 22: Staff and Rate Fairness Board Recommendations and Public Hearing at Commission

May 13: Commission considers Rate Adoption

May 19: Submit rates to Board of Supervisors

June 19: Deadline for Board of Supervisors to review rates

July 1: New rates become effective

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