The 10th Annual DogFest returned to Duboce Park on Saturday, April 22th and there were lots of great competitions for dogs and their human owners. This annual event is a celebration of dogs and kids benefitting McKinley Elementary School, a K-5 public school at Castro and 14th Streets.  The festival had something for everybody -- dogs, kids, and parents of both breeds. 

Celebrity judges picked winners in eight categories: Best Costume, Best Tail, Best Trick, Best Coat, Best Mutt, Best Ears, and Best Lap Dog. There was also the Most Openly Corrupt Best-In-Show where the audience voted for their favorite dog by putting donations into different buckets for the different dogs. At the end, the dog with the most donations was crowned Best-In-Show. 

The very entertaining Daniel Handler, best known for his work under the pen name Lemony Snicket, was once again be the Master of Ceremonies for the Dog Show. He is really a funny guy and the job he did as emcee for the event was as good as any stand-up comedy club. The celebrity judges included: State Sen. Scott Wiener; Supervisor Jeff Sheehy; Leah Garchik, Chronicle columnist; the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence; Neal Gottleib, found of Three Twins Ice Cream, and Katy Wilcoxen.

The was a raffle, a silent auction, a Chow Zone, a Rescue Zone, and a Kid Carnival featuring carnival games, bouncy houses, balloon animals, face painting, children’s activities, baked goods, cotton candy, popcorn, and snow cones. Cheer SF provided the intermission entertainment with some spectacular cheerleading routines which often included some of the kids attending. 

All of the proceeds from the event went directly to support the academic and enrichment programs for more than 350 children at McKinley. According to the event’s public relations person Asako Nagata, total gross income was almost $125,000 and the total net was about $108,000, making this the largest grossing DogFest to date.  There are event photos on both the McKinley Facebook page week and the Duboce Park Facebook page.

Join the Friends of Duboce Park at our next volunteer day on Saturday, May 13, from 10 a.m.-noon. We will be refreshing the planting beds on the east side of the Harvey Milk Center near the basketball courts with some weeding and pruning .  

Last month, we cleaned the playground play equipment in preparation for repainting it the week of April 24. The pink color on the equipment faded and was replaced with a forest green; the yellow pieces were repainted yellow. The paint was a gift from Friends of Duboce Park, who used funds from our last tag sale. 

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. Volunteers gave more than 187,000 hours of their time and energy to improving our 225 parks and recreation facilities in 2016.

The park bulletin board was vandalized again for the fourth time, including three in the 18 months. In the most recent incident last Sunday night, the lock was broken and the plastic door was smashed beyond repair. The lock was also broken last December and all of the posted content was removed but only the lock was damaged and Rec and Park put in a new lock a few days later. 

Friends of Duboce Park purchased a second new bulletin board at a cost of $450 last October to replace one that was damaged in January 2016 when someone punched a hole in the plastic door and bent its aluminum frame, which allowed moisture to get inside. One was also replaced in April 2015.

The original bulletin board was installed in 2003. Plans for the board began way back in 1998 when we were working on the new Children's Playground. Rec and Park paid for the construction and Friends of Duboce Park paid for the insert that had a cork back and a plastic door that could be locked. 
The bulletin board keeps the community up-to-date on park happenings and maintenance, course schedules, special events at the Harvey Milk Art Center, and exhibitions at the Photo Center. Pictures of events in the park are usually posted after the event. 

We are working with Rec and Park to find a new board that has a sturdier lock and a shatterproof plastic door. If you see someone in the process of damaging the bulletin board, please call 9-1-1 immediately and report it. 

Using funds from our last Tag Sale, Friends of Duboce Park paid for two new staircases in the playground to replace two metal perforated staircases that were rusting, leaving sharp edges on the rusted areas that could cause injuries. 

Worn areas of the rubber surfaces of the Playground and Youth Play Area were filled again using colors that contrast with the original color and have a very irregular shape. We have requested more geometrically-shaped repairs, e.g., all rectangles and/or circles, and fill that match the existing colors.  

According to Michelle Pallavicini, Park Section Supervisor, Rec and Park has “a severe shortage of the rubber product for about six months, so many of the safety priority repairs were dealt with first and with what product they had left in store. Many of the parks in the system are exhibiting the same wear patterns as Duboce…the (maintenance) yard has received a new supply of rubber product and they are making their way around to all the facilities to get these repairs accomplished. As for the irregular patterning... yes, we are pushing along a more uniformed neutral aesthetic…I have work orders for repairs in process.”

Most of the areas of the park that were fenced off during the recent rains are now open again, including the new grass laid near the Potomac Street benches and a huge section of the Dog Play Area. There are still a few areas that are still fenced off to allow them to recover from the recent winter rains: the southeast corner near Duboce and Steiner streets, an area near the house on Steiner Street that abuts the park, and a small area in the middle of the Dog Play Area. 

Graffiti remains a constant problem and Rec and Park does a good job of removing it within 24-48 hours of receiving a report. 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. 

Registration starts this Saturday, May 13 at 10 a.m. at the at the Harvey Milk Recreation Center for the Arts or online at SfRecOnline.org. Not as many classes are offered during the summer months but Rec & Park still offers some great activities and classes. The complete catalogue of classes is available online or pickup the 82-page catalogue at the Harvey Milk Center for the Arts. 

Three textile classes begin in July at the Rec Center, including Creative Embroidery class on Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m. starting July 12. Taking the traditional sampler as a point of departure, students will learn several classic and artistic hand embroidery stitches. You will be inspired to draw and write with thread, embellish garments, and create original works of art. You will learn to add new technical skills to samplers each week, explore text and shading, and build your embroidery skills. The other textiles classes are: Intermediate Sewing, starting July 11 and Introduction to Sewing, July 13. 
Healing Yoga will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-2:30 p.m., starting on August 8 and 10, respectively. Yoga is an ancient practice used for developing strength and balance between mind and body. These classes will build your knowledge and skill in addition to teaching fundamental poses which will increase your flexibility, enhance muscle tone, and improve coordination. We provide a certain number of mats but encourage you to bring your own.

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.

Rec and Park is offering more than 90 different camps this summer, including 12 art camps at the Harvey Milk Recreation Center for the Arts. There are two-week camps for each of four age groups (7-8, 9-10, and 11-12 years old) that offer intensive art making where campers can explore and develop their artistic abilities in art, dance, theater, and technology. The activities require the ability to follow multi-step processes and normal hand dexterity. 

Drop off is no earlier than 9:30 a.m. and pickup is no later than 3:30 p.m. Extended care is available from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Details can be found in the 2017 Summer Day Camp Guide, which is available at the Rec Center or online at sfRecOnline.org. Summer Camps begin inJune and end in early August and are led by talented art specialists. 

Registration began on March 18 and spots filled almost immediately, so sign up now to reserve a spot. The fee to participate is $430. Rec and Parks does offer Recreation Scholarships to eligible individuals and families. Ongoing eligibility is dependent on attendance record. Please call Lillian Bautista, Scholarship Coordinator, at (415) 831-2717 for information on how to qualify. Campers should arrive with a healthy lunch, snack, and water bottle daily.

The Harvey Milk Photo Center is offering 20 classes as part of their Summer 2017 class programming. Registration begins this Saturday, May 13 at 10 a.m. online or at the Photo Center. The complete class schedule and description of courses is listed online or pickup the catalogue of courses at the Center. 

This month we are featuring two classes that may appeal to young people: for ages 13-16 that start in June: Photo Darkroom for High School Students starting June 27, 4-6:30 p.m. and Zine Making (for 18 years and older) beginning on June 15, 6-9 p.m. 

Photo Darkroom is an introductory class designed for high school students who want to learn how to shoot, process and print film in Photo Center darkroom. It’s a fun class that is kept small so students can really have time to learn and experiment. This popular course fills quickly. 
Zine Making (Hand-Made Books) students will walk away with an understanding of what zines can offer them as photographers, writers, and artists. They will also be guided through the process of making their own zine, which will be shared and displayed at the Harvey Milk Photo Center. This is an opportunity to take your darkroom photographs and present them in your own way in your own D.I.Y. book. The class will also take some field trips to the epicenters of zine culture here in the Bay Area!

The Photo Center is looking for volunteers to help run their wet darkroom and digital lab. Contact the Center at 415-554-9522 to sign up. Established volunteers are welcome to take a complimentary course of their choosing each season.

The ShutterSpeed Skate + Photo Exhibit had its grand opening at the Photo Center on April 22 to celebrate skate culture with a gallery exhibition of art and photography by Bay Area locals and legends. The international exhibition went floor to ceiling and featured an intersection of photography, art, and the athleticism of skateboarding. A huge crowd of about 700 people, mainly young, many with skateboards tucked under their arms, hung out both inside the gallery and outside on the plaza and some practiced their skills on ramps set up in the basketball court in front of appreciative fans.
San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department is celebrating the art of skate boarding with five accessible skate parks: the newly renovated Hilltop Park & Skate Park at La Salle & Whitney Young Circle ; Balboa Skate Park, Ocean & San Jose; Crocker Amazon Skate Park, 1700 Geneva Ave; Potrero Del Sol Skate Park, Potrero & Army; and, SOMA West Skate Park, under the Central Freeway at the corner of Duboce and Otis Street, right next to Mission Street. 

Rec and Park has its own recreational skateboard program, Shread N Butter SK8board Camps, being offered this summer at many recreation centers and playgrounds in San Francisco. The camps teach students how to skateboard and new tricks on a variety of ramps and obstacles. Helmets and wrist guards are mandatory to participate and elbow and knee pads are strongly recommended. More information is available here.

Rec and Park is exploring the feasibility of offering horseback rides as a special recreational amenity in both Golden Gate Park and McLaren Park, similar to the experience they’ve provided at Camp Mather for decades. To evaluate the public’s interest and to gauge how this activity fits into the larger landscape of these parks, the same concessionaire who provides horseback rides at Camp Mather is providing guided rides in Golden Gate Park and McLaren Park until May 20. For reservations or more information, click here. Costs start at $35 for 30 minutes, 90-minute rides are  $75. Horses have been in Golden Gate Park since the 1890s. 
The grand re-opening of Alamo Square is scheduled for May 24 at 11 a.m.-1 p.m.  after being closed for about a year. A ribbon cutting with guest speakers and activities are planned. A new, water-efficient irrigation and drainage system has been installed, a new bathroom and picnic area has been added, and new landscaping and grass is now in place. The Painted Ladies viewing area remained open during construction.
Mayor Ed Lee said he doesn’t think PG&E is purposefully delaying the hookup to power at the Randall Museum and Noe Valley Town Square and attributed the delay to competition between PG&E and the PUC over who would power the sites. State Sen. Scott Wiener wrote a letter to PG&E, calling the delays unacceptable and demanding that the utility take immediate action. Supervisor Jeff Sheehy said he believed PG&E was dragging its feet because it is unhappy with the city’s push to sell clean power to PG&E through CleanPowerSF.
This year’s annual 4/20 event in Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate Park was granted permits for the first time to provide medical services, security, food trucks, and 200 portable toilets. Alex Aquino, who owns the clothing store Black Scale, and a group of other Haight Street merchants footed the bill, estimated to be over $100,000, including paying for clean-up. The Police Department was on hand this year to close streets as needed and event organizers shelled out tens of thousands of dollars for fencing, security, concessions and park maintenance. The event cordoned, like a traditional festival, and no one younger than 18 was allowed in through the four gates. A host of items were prohibited, including glass bottles, folding chairs, tents and large coolers. Also banned were unpermitted commercial sales and booths of any kind. No major problems inside event were reported. Attendance was about 15,000, the same as last year.
The Transbay Transit Center will have a 5.4-acre. 1400-foot-long rooftop park with more than 469 trees from all over the world, planted in areas similar to an arboretum. There will be a Desert Garden, California Garden, Palm Garden, Fog garden, Chilean Garden, South African Garden, Australian Garden, Grass Garden, Wetland Garden, Prehistoric Garden, Redwood Forest, and Mediterranean Basic. It will be called City Park and be open to the public as well as people who work in the building. 

San Francisco city officials celebrated the opening of a new open space in Potrero Hill, on 
what was once an underused, dead-end street. Daggett Plaza opened last month in the Showplace Square area, at the intersection of 16th and 7th streets, close to U.S. Interstate 280. The new park is one-acre and includes a lawn area, play and seating areas, a fenced-off dog run, a public art piece titled "Mission Marsh Bears," and landscaping. It was built by developer Equity Residential at a cost of $4.9 million, in return for a credit toward project impact fees on a neighboring development at 1000 16th St. Equity will also maintain the park site, which will be owned by the city and managed by a local nonprofit.
The Extraordinary Playscapes exhibition at the Main Library through July 8 explores the latest thinking in playground design while presenting how vital free play is to childhood development, thriving communities, and social equity. The show examines the art, history, science, and importance of play, while telling the story behind some of the most incredible play spaces in the world.  Using over 40 international playgrounds, drawings, sketches, videos, scale models, and playable installations, the interactive exhibition examines the importance of play and the latest thinking in playground design. Check out the latest way to play.


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

Saturday, May 13, 10 a.m. Summer Class Registration Begins. Visit sfreconline.or
Thursday, May 25, 6-8 p.m. Photo Lecture Series. Harvey Milk Photo Center. Visit harveymilkphotocenter.org.

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

Monday, June 12, 7-9 p.m. Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association General Meeting. Gazebo on CPMC Davies Campus. Visit dtna.org.
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