June 27, 2011

Rumor: AmberJack Sushi Sold

AmberJack Sushi has been for sale since at least June 2010. Now @Alycee tells us "The owner finally sold it. Buyer is supposedly a Japanese restaurant who is going to try to get some outside seating." We haven't been able to confirm ("currently for sale"), and while the beer/wine license is good through the end of the month there is no indication of a potential transfer.

AmberJack's website is down, as is the sign on the awning.

Anyone have more details?

[Update 6/29]: 1497 Church St is now papered over and there is a sign proclaiming "Kama Sushi Coming Soon."

[Photo: SF Restaurant Review]

June 21, 2011

Shifting School Lines: What Will Keep Noe Valley United?

The San Francisco Unified School District changed enrollment criteria in March 2010 to give children a better chance of attending their neighborhood school. Since Noe Valley's Alvarado Elementary is highly desired, not everyone is happy with the new borders. Vicki Rosen of Upper Noe Neighbors sent this along:
Dear Neighbors,

Upper Noe Neighbors has been involved in trying to get the School District to include all of Noe Valley in the Alvarado attendance area. Currently, the border ends at 29th Street and we're asking that it go to 30th Street (both sides of the street). We have been told by members of the School Board that now is the time to hear from neighbors who support keeping ALL of Noe Valley in the same attendance area.

Please see the sample letter below, and if you're so inclined, send an email ASAP to: attendanceareas@sfusd.edu.

If you have any questions about this, please contact Olga Milan-Howells at info@MilanHowells.com. Thanks.



Dear SFUSD District Staff,

Please extend the Alvarado Attendance Area Map to reflect the traditional southern border of Noe Valley - 30th Street (including both sides of the street). Currently, the Alvarado Attendance Area Map uses 29th Street at its southern border which randomly cuts off the neighborhood and also cuts off families from using the 24 Divisadero bus line which goes directly from 30th and Church to one block from Alvarado. All neighborhood maps show 30th Street as the southern border.

In addition, Alvarado had more available spots than neighborhood applicants according to the March placement data. While Alvarado did have a very high number of CTIP1 applicants, this could change over time. Also as non-neighborhood siblings from the previous assignment system work their way through the system, more spots will be freed up for neighborhood applicants.
It appears there is enough room for a small expansion of the boundaries.

Thank you for your work on this issue.

Best regards,
Member, Upper Noe Neighbors (and/or resident of 30th St or resident of Noe Valley, etc.)

In brief:
  • Families cite the school enrollment system as a primary reason for fleeing to the 'burbs.
  • The new enrollment takes effect for the 2011-12 school year.
  • The new maps were finalized in September of 2010, but may be adjustable.
  • No one understands this process.

What do you think? Do the borders make sense or need adjustment? Will enrollment changes keep your family in San Francisco?

[SFUSD: Elementary Attendance Area Boundaries]
[SFGate: S.F. losing kids as parents seek schools, homes]

June 20, 2011

Street Trees: FUF Planting Day This Summer

Reader Raphael is new to Noe Valley and is already trying to make things greener. He contacted Friends of the Urban Forest and is looking for people to organize a tree planting day in Noe Valley:
Want a tree in front of your home? Want more trees on your block? Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) is coming to Noe Valley for a Neighborhood Tree Planting this summer, and you're invited to participate.

FUF is a non-profit group that makes it easy and affordable for San Franciscans to get new trees in front of their properties. If you want a tree, you pay only $75 (for most trees); FUF covers 80% of the costs through the generosity of its funders and donors (FUF also offers a limited number of free trees; ask whether you qualify). In return, FUF provides the tree, permit processing, site preparation including concrete removal, two post-planting tree care visits, and a new tree owner's manual.

The tree recipient chooses the species; FUF's arborists recommend the species that are most likely to be suitable for the location. FUF coordinates the tree planting, which generally happens on a Saturday morning and includes the tree recipients, FUF staff and volunteers working side-by-side. Neighborhood Tree Plantings are community events that conclude with a potluck lunch.

Street trees beautify the neighborhood, increase property values, clean the air, reduce storm-water runoff, provide wildlife habitat, and generally improve the health and livability of the urban environment. To sign up for a tree or get more information, contact Doug at 415-268-0773 or dougly@fuf.net.
So sign up, select a tree and meet some neighbors. Most every block in Noe Valley could use some new trees, and while you wait for yours you can work on creative anti-dog-poop-signs.

See our 2009 post on FUF plantings for links to required applications.

[NVSF: Friends Of The Urban Forest Noe Valley Tree Planting]
[Photo: Friends of the Urban Forest]

June 14, 2011

Found: Beehive

A reader alerted us to a box full of bees on top of a ladder that may or may not be protecting the neighboring tree from dogs:
Someone has placed a box of bees (yes bees) on the corner of 29th and Dolores. It seems to be acting as a makeshift hive, which I assume is its purpose. Is it some kind of beekeeper's experiment or test? Is this sponsored by some city organization? Are we now a sanctuary city for bees?
Is your apiary missing its queen bee? Could be living in a cardboard box on Dolores...

June 13, 2011

So What’s the Deal with Real Foods?

2009 broken window
Enough readers were wondering about the controversial blight space that once housed Real Foods, so we asked our D8 Supervisor, Scott Weiner what the plan was – and if he had any news to share. He answered quickly with this:
Real Foods is anything but "low priority." It's a thorn in the neighborhood's side, and I want to remove that thorn. I'm trying to figure out if there's a better way of communicating with Real Foods. I'm also trying to figure out if we can get them to sell the building so it can be transformed into a useful part of 24th Street.
Hmmm…  sounds like more of the same for now, and Labor Day is just around corner. Here’s hoping…

Got ideas for what Real Foods should become? Leave them in the comments (and please keep it more civil than on the last thread).

June 7, 2011

NVV June 2011: We Read It So You Don't Have To

The Noe Valley Voice is published ten times a year and has been a neighborhood fixture since 1977. Here are highlights from the latest issue. Links are to items we've covered here on NVSF or outside sources as the Voice doesn't post stories online until mid-month.

June 2011

Front Page: Happy Donuts (home of the best glazed doughnut in SF) has a line of 6 people waiting for fresh donuts at 2 a.m.; SummerFEST is happening this June 25; Noe is losing another indie bookstore on June 15; profile of Randy Myers who does the heroic work of keeping 24th St. looking great. 

Letters: More stories about the dangers of 24th & Church crosswalks - and of walking on Sanchez; dog owner says "animals are our children" and asks for people to learn to curb their kids too; support for the AT&T communications boxes if they come with greening; a reader worried about the health of local hardware store Tuggey's (Ed- yeah, the shelves are looking pretty bare these days); more on the ADA lawsuit madness; fun St. Paul church trivia (an anecdote about the filming of Sister Act at the church).

Cost of Living in Noe: Firehouse 44 at 3816 22nd St. sold for $4,050,000 in April. It was one of 6 single-family homes that sold that month, and the 2nd most expensive sale ever in Noe. The most expensive house - called the T-house at 526 Duncan (aka the House that Google Bought) - sold for $5.3 million in 2005 and just went on the market again for $6.4 million

Short Takes: Cesar Chavez work begins this month; Noe Courts is looking to make a June 24 grant deadline; Glen Park now has a farmer's market that runs Sundays from 10-12 through Oct. 16 in the BART parking lot at Bosworth @ Arlington; Dolores Park renovations are underway.

Store Trek: Fahrenheit new hair salon (1195 Church St. at 24th).

Rumors: The lotion and soap store Common Scents is thriving - especially since Whole Foods opened; Fima Photography is not leaving to make way for a gluten-free bakery; lots of ongoing shop vacancies on 24th St. - though a sushi bar appears possible in the old Tamasei spot; The Animal Company is moving into the old Cover to Cover spot - expected open date is July 1; Tuttimelon is no more in Noe; Noe Valley Garden Tour was a success, raising several thousand dollars for local beautification projects; Friends of Noe Valley meets again June 23; DPT is cracking down on even partial sidewalk parking.

[The Noe Valley Voice]

June 2, 2011

Upcoming: Noe Valley SummerFEST and Harvest

Here comes summer. Two seasonal Noe events have been posted on the Noe Valley Merchants website, though not widely promoted yet:

Noe Valley SummerFEST: Saturday, June 25, from 1- 6 p.m.

Noe Valley merchants are kicking off summer with the 2nd annual SummerFEST, Saturday, June 25, from 1- 6 p.m. on 24th Street. Activities include hayrides, chalk drawing, a petting zoo, free live music and entertainment music, food, beer & wine, a honey bee demo, and face painting (not recommended after beer & wine).

Noe Valley Harvest Festival 2011, October 15, 2011 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Also announced is the date for this year’s Noe Valley Harvest Festival. The fun runs on Saturday October 15 from 10 a.m. to  5 p.m. on 24th Street near the farmer's market, and will include a pumpkin patch, costume contest, hay rides, jumpy tents, arts and crafts, and a balloon “artist.” Check out last year’s Giants-infused Harvest Fest here.

[Noe Valley Merchants: Events]