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

Did you know that there are eleven different dance classes being offered at the Harvey Milk Recreation Center for the Arts? There are three different Dance Conditioning – Adult classes that offer a full body workout with a focus on a unique and balanced selection of exercise sequences designed to shape and sustain a healthy body, whether you are an expert or just starting out. Those classes start on January 12, 13, and 14 at 9:30 a.m.  or 9:45 a.m.

There are three Dance – Youth classes starting. The Harvey Milk Youth Dance Ensemble meets on Fridays from 5-6 p.m., starting January 15. HMCA Hip Hop Dance Crew will meet on Mondays from 4:30-6 p.m., starting on January 11. The HMCA Junior Dance Company will meet on Thursdays from 5:30-7 p.m., starting on January 14. 

There are other dance classes for adults being offered this Winter, including: CAT Kinetics; Chinese Folk Dance (fundamentals); Groove is in the Heart (movement and dance-based exercise); International Folk Dancing (from around the world); Strength and Technique Fusion (combines NYC Ballet Floor Barre exercises with small weight training and Pilates-based core strengthening).

Courses being offered at the Harvey Milk Recreation Center include art courses for tots and youth; 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. 

You can register online at sfreconline.org or in person at the Harvey Milk Recreation Center. You can also pickup the 104-page 2016 Winter Activities Guide in the Harvey Milk Recreation Center for the Arts lobby or click here to browse the catalog of offerings and get ready to get out and play with Rec and Park! 

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 831-2717 for information on how to qualify.

Join the Friends of Duboce Park at our next volunteer day this Saturday, January 9, 10 a.m.-noon. . We will be supervised by a Rec & Park gardener with all supplies, plants, tools, and gloves provided.  The December volunteer day was cancelled because of the threat of rain. A special thanks to the volunteers who did some planting in two of the beds near the main entrance to the Photo Studio at our November volunteer day and in the Pierce Street planting circle in October which is looking great two months later (see picture at right).
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.
The west end of the Youth Play Area remains dark at night since a tree is blocking light that would normally 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.

During the rainy season, water washes dirt from the hill above to the west end of the YPA. Water barriers or diversions are needed to keep the water from running onto the blue rubber surface.

The huge bare area in the middle of Dog Play area is once again fenced off to allow grass to grow. The nearby areas that were also fenced off recently did allow grass to grow, but heavy use by dogs in that area makes it a difficult to keep the area green. The corner of the playground that was planted by families and kids in March is also remains fenced off to allow plant growth in that area. 
Many of the grassy areas that were brown are now showing signs of green after the recent rains. Some of most heavily-used areas, around benches and in the middle of the Dog Play Area, are down to dirt. This is partly the result of state and city mandated water cutbacks and also part of Rec and Park’s “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.
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.
Due to wet weather conditions, MTA has rescheduled the Sunset Tunnel construction planned for the weekend of January 9. The rainy weather will create unsafe working conditions for the workers and will adversely affect the quality of the work.

After the most recent work on the Sunset Tunnel Trackway Improvement Project  on the weekend of November 21-23, the construction paused for the holidays. So far MTA has performed 13 weekend shutdowns to complete over 70% of the Sunset Tunnel work. There will be four more weekend shutdowns scheduled for 2016. The tentative dates are January 23-24, February 12-14, February 26-28 and March 4-6. 

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.

Two great photo shows open at the Harvey Milk Photo Center on Saturday January 23 from 1-4 p.m. The opening reception for In Motion – A exhibition of Bay Area Photographers Collective Artist features photos taken by the Bay Area Photographers Collective, a nonprofit organization committed to building a community of artistically committed photographers. BAPC currently consists of about 22 members dedicated to furthering each other’s professional development and artistic growth. Our work ranges from fine art to documentary, color to black and white, traditional darkroom to digital imaging. 

The show was curated by Hal Fischer, a Pierce Street resident. Fischer said, “The ability to perceive motion is fundamental to our human capacity to interpret, adapt to, and shape our environment. The camera, designed to capture a single moment in time, would appear poorly suited to the recording of movement, whether subtle or dramatic, fast or slow. Yet some of the most iconic photography in history does just that: it captures objects and people in motion, and does so in ways that stir the mind and heart. In this exhibition, we present photographs in which motion is a central theme. Some blur while others stop the action cold. In some images, the viewer is moving while the subject remains still. Ironically, the very lack of motion where we expect it, or the very slight hint of motion where the scene is otherwise still, provides a motive force in the image.” The show continues through March 3. (Photo: Three Red Women by Steve Goldband and Ellen Konar)
The Photo Center’s Annual Staff & Volunteer Photography Exhibit opens at two locations --Harvey Milk Photo Center and McLaren Lodge at 501 Stanyan Street – at the same time and offers a current look at what is being created in their darkrooms and digital Labs by their staff members and volunteers.  This exhibit has been curated by staff members and volunteers, and encompasses a wide and exciting subject matter, including Wet Plate Photography, Film and Digital imagery.  You’ll have the change to meet the artists at the opening reception. The show runs through March 3. 

The Panama-Pacific 1915 Centennial Photography Exhibit, which opened on November 12, has been extended through January 23. 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.

Most of us are taking lots of pictures with our smart phones and other digital cameras. The Photo Center offers great courses to improve your skills with your digital camera. For starters, there’s Secrets of iPhone Photography 1 on January 16 and 23 and an iPhone Photography Workshop on March 3 and 10.

If you have an SLR camera and want to learn more about how to use it, consider Level 1: Getting to Know Your Digial SLR Camera, starting February 18 and Level 2 will be offered starting February 1. You can learn to edit like a professional in Intro to Adobe Lightroom 5 – Part 1, starting March 2.

There are lots of other Winter 2016 classes being offered at the Photo Center. Information on courses, times, and 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:  January 16, February 27, and March 12.  

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.

Be sure and check out Garden Railway: 1915 Pan-Pacific, the Conservatory of Flowers’ newest garden railway exhibit. The all new garden railway display celebrates the centennial of San Francisco's 1915 Panama–Pacific International Exposition. In an enchanting display landscaped with hundreds of dwarf plants and several water features, model trains wend their way through the festive fairgrounds, zipping past whimsical recreations of the fair's most dazzling monuments and amusements, including the Tower of Jewels, Palace of Fine Arts, and more. Interpretive signs, memorabilia and interactive activities throughout help visitors to understand the colorful history of the grand fair that signaled San Francisco's recovery from the 1906 earthquake.

Hundreds of city kids came out and got their kicks in at the opening of the new Beach Chalet Athletic Fields in Golden Gate Park on December 12. The new fields at the west end of the park will dramatically increase public access to the fields, tripling the amount of playtime there to more than 14,000 hours annually. The project was the final field renovation project in a ten-year, $52 million public-private partnership with the City Fields Foundation that resulted in the renovation of 21 fields at nine facilities across the city. All told, the field renovations have resulted in 90,000 hours of additional playtime on city fields each year and more than 200 new youth sports teams in the city, including 85 new girls soccer teams.

The Reopening of Dolores Park is Thursday, January 15, 4-7 p.m., completing the renovation that began in March 2014. The northern half of the park was done first and was completed last June. The southern half of the park was then closed and work began there.  Improvements  include an overlook at 20th and Church, improved pedestrian paths, an underground bathroom near the playground and an open-air pissoir, intended to combat urination on the Muni tracks. Rec and Park is encouraging people to bring lighting “as we light up the new Dolores Park.”

With the $22 million lakeside cleanup of the site of the old Pacific Rod and Gun Club (shown at left) on the west shores of Lake Merced, Rec and Park have to decide whether the former shooting range will be replaced by boat rentals, a fishing pier, a kid-friendly play area, or even another shooting range. The city is accepting proposals from individuals or groups that have at least five years’ experience managing similar businesses and can show that they have completed at least two other projects of similar size. Construction will probably begin in 2017. “We’re looking for a way to add robust recreational uses to a unique piece of land,” said Rec and Park spokeswoman Sarah Madland. 
Despite the rain, groundbreaking ceremonies took place in Noe Valley on January 5 for the new Noe Valley Town Square, a recently acquired former parking lot at 24th and Sanchez streets. The proposal to establish a public open space at the site has evolved through more than five years of collaboration between Rec & Park, the community group Residents for Noe Valley Town Square, Supervisor Scott Wiener, and the San Francisco Parks Alliance. In June 2013, Supervisor Wiener authored legislation to utilize $2.4 million of the City's Open Space Acquisition Fund that led to the purchase of the Town Square by Rec & Park. 
A $6.8 million yearlong project will transform half of a busy four-lane road in McLaren Park into two lanes of designated bicycle and pedestrian only pathways. Groundbreaking took place on November 23 for the Mansell Street Corridor Improvement Project, scheduled for completion in late 2016.
Mayor Ed Lee told city departments, including Rec and Park, to cut spending by 1.5% since the city faces a $100 million budget deficit next fiscal year. He also asked departments to cut an additional 1.5% the following fiscal year, for a total of 3% in cuts since the city uses a two-year budget model.  Despite a booming local economy, pension costs are the main contributor to the deficit. Departments may opt to generate more income to cover the cuts.
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."


Saturday,  January 9, 10 a.m.-noon. Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day. Contact Rose at rose@friendsofdubocepark.org or 415-255-8370. 

Saturday, January 23, 1-4 p.m. Opening Reception: In Motion. Visit harveymilkphotocenter.org

Saturday, January 23, 1-4 p.m. Opening Reception: Harvey Milk Photo Center Annual Staff & Volunteer Exhibit. Visit harveymilkphotocenter.org.

Monday, February 8, 7-19 p.m. Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association General Meeting. Gazebo Room CPMC Davis Campus. Visit dtna.org.

Saturday,  February 13, 10 a.m.-noon.  Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day.  Contact Rose at rose@friendsofdubocepark.org or 415-255-8370. 

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

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