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Friends of Duboce Park - http://www.friendsofdubocepark.org/

Believe it or not, there used to be no signage on Scott Street identifying the eastern side of the street as part of Duboce Park which includes the Rec Center, Labyrinth, and grassy areas. To remedy that situation and turn a drab concrete pillar into a work of art that directs people to the various parts of the park,  artist Blake Sherlock installed a colorful mosaic piece in early October to surround the concrete pillar that supports the light pole located at the top of the passageway between the Rec Center and Carmelita Street.

As you walk south on Scott Street toward the Rec Center, you are greeted by a smiling Harvey Milk pointing the way to the “Rec Center.”  Walking north, there is a colorful ball and arrow that directing you to the “Play” areas of the park – the Playground, the Youth Play Area, and Dog Play Area. As you walk west up the passageway, there is a labyrinth with an arrow pointing right towards the site. That mosaic labyrinth in an exact copy of the table labyrinth on Scott St. As you walk past on Scott Street, a mosaic “Duboce Park” faces the street , providing identification for the park. 
The artist, Blake Sherlock, has lived in San Pedro de Laguna on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala for the past ten years. Sherlock was raised in Boise, went to school at Brown and RISD,  and lived in the Lower Haight for a time in the mid- 1990s.  Sherlock designed and installed the mosaic work around the base and sides of the table labyrinth at the Scott Street Labyrinth, as well as the handicap access and No Skateboarding signs.  He led the mosaic tile workshop at the Tag Sale (and day after) in 2006 where neighbors created the 225 square tiles that now surround the labyrinth. The last ten tiles left over from that event are now on the top of the pillar piece.

The mosaic pillar helps connect the area with other parts of the park that also have mosaic work – the Labyrinth and the mosaic thrones in the playground. Sherlock said, “Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know many of the neighbors who embrace and support the park…This mosaic piece is a labor of love for them, and very much a tribute to their community activism.”

“Mosaic for me is a metaphor for uniting disparate parts of our society, embracing differences to create one, harmonious whole. In no piece that I have created is that notion more heart-felt than in this one,” said Sherlock. “It is as if each shard of ceramic tile represents a resident of the neighborhood, and placing each piece is a metaphor for the neighbors coming together in the park.”
Join the Friends of Duboce Park at our next volunteer day this Saturday, November 14, 10 a.m.-noon. . We will be supervised by a Rec & Park gardener with all supplies, plants, tools, and gloves provided.  A special thanks to the volunteers who got their hands dirty by helping out at the Pierce Street planting circle at our October volunteer day.  Many of the volunteers were residents of the first block of Pierce St., which dead ends at Duboce Park. They had a planting party on their block recently and these volunteer efforts continued at the planting circle on Volunteer Day.  
Contact rose@friendsofdubocepark.org or 415-255-8370 for more information or with any questions or comments. Our volunteer day is always the second Saturday of every month. 30 minutes or an hour of your time makes a big difference in the appearance of our park. San Franciscan residents contributed more than 184,000 hours in 2014 in volunteer service in San Francisco parks.  
City departments, state and federal agencies, community partners, local businesses, philanthropic foundations and individuals, have helped Rec and Park make much needed renovations to city facilities and provided more than 7,000 program scholarships valued at over $1 to San Francisco residents.
Many of the grassy areas remain brown and some heavily-used areas around benches are down to dirt. This is the result of state and city mandated water cutbacks and also part of Rec and Park’s new “Brown is the New Green” campaign to remind park users of the very good reason for the dry, brown areas. Rec and Park cut water use by 25% last year through a variety of measures that include a shorter sprinkler schedule, improved irrigation, planting drought-tolerant vegetation and using recycled water on golf courses. On “Water Free Wednesdays,” irrigation is shut off completely. The predicted wet winter season will return most of the brown areas back to green. Overall, San Francisco used 30.5% less water in August.
Areas of the Dog Play/Multi-Use Area and Knoll (the hill in the middle of the park) were recently reopened after being repaired with new sod, dirt, and seed. The temporary fences were put up around those heavily worn areas to allow the sod and seed to take hold have been removed. The same process may be done for the worn area just west of this area.
Lighting at the west end of the Youth Play Area is poor since a tree is blocking light that would illuminate that end of the YPA. That dark area, combined with the undulating soft blue rubber surface has made that area attractive to late night partiers and drug users. We are working with Rec and Park to get additional lighting and with Park Station to get additional police coverage of that area at night.
Sand from the playground sandbox continues to spill onto the pedestrian pathway and MUNI boarding area sidewalk. Part of the problem is sand collects and builds up around the plants near the sand box and benches and eventually settles at a higher level than the top of the barrier at the bottom of the fence.
Graffiti remains a constant problem and Rec and Park does a good job of removing it within 24-48 hours of receiving a report…new graffiti that regularly appears on the MTA construction barriers and equipment along Duboce Avenue is also usually removed within a few days of being reported.  

All of the problems listed above were reported on the SF311 app or in an email report to Rec and Park. You can always also just dial 311 rather than using the app or email. You can track the status of your complaint using the incident number that you will be given when you report a problem.

The Harvey Milk Photo Center invites you to the Panama-Pacific 1915 Centennial Photography Exhibit, starting with an opening reception at the Photo Center tonight, Thursday, November 12, from 4-9 p.m. Images contributed from the SFMTA collections were selected from the work of John Henry Mentz, the company photographer for the private, for-profit transit company United Railroads/Market Street Railway, and from San Francisco Board of Public Works photographer Horace Chaffee. They are from 6.5”x 8.5″ and 5”x7″ glass plate negatives, which have been scanned and printed digitally.

Current SFMTA Photographer Jeremy Menzies and Photo Archives Aide Katy Guyon collaborated on this project. Jeremy has a Bachelor of Fine Arts working in analog motion picture and still photography and has worked in various media archives with traditional photographic and film materials. Katy is an Academy Certified Archivist with a background in cultural heritage and preservation. 

The SFMTA Photo Dept. & Archive holds over 100,000 prints, negatives, and digital images depicting transportation on the streets of San Francisco from 1903 to present day. The historic collections include negatives on glass of San Francisco’s earliest streetcars and pre-1906 Earthquake network of cable cars, as well as large format film documentation of the development of America’s first publicly operated transportation network—the San Francisco Municipal Railway, or Muni—starting in 1912. Visit the SFMTA Photo Archive online at SFMTA.com/photo, as well as on Twitter @sfmtaphoto and a Flickr photo stream at SFMTA Photo Archives to see pictures. 

More information is available here.

Most of us would love to know how to take a really great picture at night. The Night Photography Class – Postcards from San Francisco - Embacadero on November 25, 5 – 8 p.m.  offers a great way to learn. In the classroom portion of this workshop, you will investigate historic reference points of oft-photographed San Francisco icons and discuss technical considerations related to photographing at night. Following a brief lecture, the class will travel to the Embarcadero for some twilight work, and continue to photograph into the dark of night. Pre-requisites are a DSLR or Film SLR camera, tripod and remote control or cable release. The class will meet at Photo Center first.

There are lots of Winter 2016 Classes being offered at the Photo Center starting in January. There are courses in: Darkroom & Hand Made Printing, Digital Shooting & Printing, Lighting & Technique, and Artistic Development.  Classes and workshops are taught by working professionals within the industry in both fine arts and commercial photography.  Registration Winter 2016 Registration begins Saturday December 12.

Information on courses, times, or costs is available in the catalogue of classes available at the Photo Center or you can visit harveymilkphotocenter.org.  The one-hour Photography Center Orientation is a required course for all potential members of the Photo Center but is not required to take other classes or courses. The next Orientations will be offered from 1-2 p.m. on the following Saturdays:  November 14, January 9, February 20, and March 5.  

The Photo Center is looking for volunteers to help run their wet darkroom and digital lab. Contact the Center at 554-9522 to sign up. Established volunteers are welcome to take a complimentary course of their choosing each season.
Over the past 30 years, playgrounds have shifted toward the norm of safety. Structures were lowered and sand was replaced with thick rubber padding. According to an October 19 Chronicle article, Rec and Park is trying to put a bit more risk into the city’s playgrounds. That translates to installing equipment where children can jump, swing, run, and explore, forcing them out of their comfort zones and learning important skills. Without those opportunities, children have trouble learning to control strong emotions such as anger and feat, a series of case studies on school playgrounds in Berlin shows. Risky and physical play did not correlate to a rise in major accidents.
A tourist visiting the Bay Area for Fleet Week last year was reading and napping under a tree in San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park when a 16-pound pine cone fell on him and crushed his skull. The injury resulted in irreversible brain injury and the victim is now suing for $5 million. 
A spectacular and seamless 1.5-mile-long network of public parks on the city’s southeast waterfront is one step closer to reality as the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission approved on October 15 a partnership agreement to develop parks and open spaces along the India Basin Shoreline. The agreement between the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, The Trust for Public Land, the San Francisco Parks Alliance and India Basin Investment, LLC (Build Inc.), outlines a framework under which projects at 900 Innes, India Basin Shoreline Park, India Basin Open Space and the Big Green at 700 Innes would help create one of the largest contiguous waterfront open spaces in the city.

The Waterfront Plan focuses on seven parks:  Heron’s Head Park (fully-developed SF Port property); Hunters Point Shoreline (a 100’ shoreline zone owned and being remediated by PG&E);  RPD’s existing India Basin Shoreline Park;  900 Innes;  RPD-owned India Basin Open Space; Build Inc.’s proposed Big Green Park located at 700 Innes; and the future Lennar-funded Northside Park (part of the Shipyard-Candlestick development plan).
The Civic Center Plaza Playgrounds are getting a $10 million face-lift.  The money came from the Helen Diller Family, which has pumped nearly $16 million into San Francisco’s parks, including the Hayes Valley Playground and Clubhouse and Balboa Park.  Construction begins next summer.
McLaren Park, San Francisco’s 2nd-largest natural open space at 312 acres (Golden Gate Park is 1,017 acres) is finally getting the attention it deserves.  Altogether, McLaren Park has received about $3,600 per acre in the  2008 and 2012 bonds, more than the $1,700 per acre allotted to Golden Gate Park. The McLaren Trail Connector was finished last December, the Jerry Garcia  Amphitheater was renovated with a $25,000 donation, and the Peru Street Playground basketball court was repaved. A $6 million renovation to the Mansell Street Corridor will begin this winter.
Under a new set of rules from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area issued on October 21 permits would be required for bonfires on Ocean Beach. The proposal will be open for public comment for the until November 21 before becoming final. Permits are already required for groups of 25 people or more. The permits will cost around $35 and reservations would be made by phone or on the recreation area’s website. The Park Service estimated that it was spending nearly $90,000 each year to clean up after the fires. The proposal would also restrict fires from November through February for Spare the Air Days.
As Rec and Park searches for a long-term operator to renovate and operate the Palace of Fine Arts, the list of competitors has been narrowed tentatively from seven to three. Two potential finalists includes hotels, while the third would feature a history museau about the city and region. If the Rec and Park Commission goes along with the recommendation, the three will have until late May 2016 to submit detailed proposals. Restoration is estimated is expected to cost upward of $20 million.

About 50 concerned dog owners met recently at the Pine Lake dog park in Sigmund Stern Grove for a coyote-hazing information session. A coyote attack in Stern Grove  on August 26 left a 2-year-old bichon fries with serious injuries and a 7-pound maltipoo was killed by a coyotes in the same park in September.   Coyotes have been spotted in Glen Park, Bernal Heights, St. Francis Wood and at Lake Merced. 

Gina Farr, a wildlife educator for Project Coyote, said the best way to “haze” or scare coyotes away is by showing predator communication. Yelling, advancing towards the animals, and shaking rocks in a can or quickly opening an umbrella can allow humans to establish dominance and protect their pets, she said. 

Project Coyote then organized a community meeting on the coyote issue on October 22 at the Lake Merced Boathouse Community Room. Ultimately, the gathering resulted in no policy decisions, but much advice was shared. Namely, don't feed coyotes, don't leave pet food where they can get it, and pick up fruit under trees, because coyotes like fruit. DNA testing on some of the original coyotes in the city showed they came from Marin County; over the Golden Gate Bridge and into the Presidio, where the colonization began.

Registration for Winter 2016 Activities, programs, and classes begins on Saturday, December 12 for classes starting in January.  There are more than 1,300 classes for you and your family, everything from Zumba and fitness classes to art and science courses.  

You can register online at sfreconline.org or in person at the Harvey Milk Recreation Center or 12 other sites around the city. Click here to browse the catalog of offerings and get ready to get out and play with Rec and Park! 

You can also pickup the 2016 Winter Activities Guide in the Harvey Milk Recreation Center for the Arts lobby. The catalogue offers course descriptions, times, and costs. There are courses for all ages:  tots;  youth;  tweens & teens; adults;  and, adults 55 and older. 

Courses being offered at the Harvey Milk Recreation Center include art courses for tots and youth; dance classes for tots, youth, and adults; courses in digital arts and new media; music lessons; sewing and knitting for youth and adults;  theater and performing arts for youth; tot space and yoga. For more information, please contact melissa.kessor@sfgov.org. 

Recreation and Parks offers Recreation Scholarships to eligible individuals and families. More than $1 million in scholarships in Rec and Parks programs has been provided. Ongoing eligibility is dependent on attendance record. Please call Lillian Bautista, Scholarship Coordinator, at 415-831-2717 for information on how to qualify.


Annual Membership dues for a Supporting Member are $25 per person and entitle you to voting privileges and participation in the governance of the organization. Your dues help cover the few costs we have, such as our website, newsletter, movie nights, and insurance. 

Your tax deductible membership is gratefully accepted and should be sent to Friends of Duboce Park, 71 Scott Street, San Francisco, CA 94117. Friends of Duboce Park are a 501(c) (3) organization. General Membership is still available at no cost but does not carry any voting privileges. Another way to show your support is by getting involved. If you are interested, please contact President Doug Woo at doug@friendsofdubocepark.org.

Our Mission Statement includes the following: "to organize and represent the collective interests regarding Duboce Park; to beautify and promote safety within Duboce Park; and, to initiate and/or support beneficial neighborhood projects on behalf of Duboce Park."


Thursday, November 12, 4-9 p.m. Opening Reception: Panama-Pacific 1915 Centennial Photography Exhibit.  Visit harveymilkphotocenter.org

Saturday,  November  14, 10 a.m.-noon. Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day. Contact Rose at rose@friendsofdubocepark.org or 415-255-8370. 

Saturday,  December  12, 10 a.m.-noon.  Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day.  Contact Rose at rose@friendsofdubocepark.org or 415-255-8370. 

Monday, December 14, 7-19 p.m. Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association General Meeting and  Special Christmas Social. Swedish-American Hall, 2174 Market St.  Visit dtna.org.

79 Scott St. | San Francisco, CA 94117 | www.friendsofdubocepark.org

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