If you are looking for local, handmade gifts to give this holiday season, shop at the 2nd annual Holiday Craft Fair at the Harvey Milk Center for the Arts this Sunday December 10 from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. There will be there a wonderful selection of unique gifts for all ages and interests. This a family event with activities for everyone: music, popcorn, interactive art demonstrations, and a holiday portrait photo booth. 

The event features local vendors that were selected by a panel that determined the best fit of merchandise category and quality of merchandise. For more information about the event, please contact Robby Roller at 415-554-8742 or 

Join the Friends of Duboce Park at our next volunteer day on Saturday, December 9 from 10 a.m.-noon. Our plan is to weed and refresh the planting beds in the park. 

Last month we put in some new plants around the Scott Street Labyrinth and did a general cleanup of that area, which included some graffiti. Despite warnings about poor air quality resulting from the Napa Valley fires on Saturday, October 14, Friends of Duboce Park still held their monthly volunteer day and weeded the planting circle near the Pierce Street steps and did a trash cleanup for the entire park.

Contact 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 Opening Reception for Jay Blakesberg’s Light and Dark Show at the Photo Center was on November 9 and the show continues through January 6. As the Chronicle pointed out in their November 6 story. this is Blakesberg’s first gallery show after spending the last 30 years documenting the Bay Area music scene. There is also a selection of his rock and roll photographs on display at McLaren Lodge in Golden Gate Park.

The exhibition features more than 120 iconic images of blues legends (all now sadly deceased) Muddy Waters, BB King, James Cotton and Johnny Winter taken in 1979 –  two weeks after Blakesberg’s high School graduation. There are portraits of Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Carlos Santana and many more that were shot on assignment for rock magazines such as Rolling Stone, Guitar Player, or BAM (Bay Area Music Magazine).  

Photographs of whirling dervishes shot at Grateful Dead concerts stand beside photographs of stage divers and of Festivals such as Lollapalooza. Blakesberg’s hyper sensitive personality is always scanning the scene looking for the unique and interesting photograph that will tell the story of that day! 

In 1978, at age 16, Jay Blakesberg’s father loaned him a Pentax camera to take pictures at a Grateful Dead concert in his home state of New Jersey. That was the beginning of a 40-year adventure photographing the rock and roll experience.
His first paid assignment came in September 1979 when the Aquarian Weekly paid Jay $15 to run two photographs in the free weekly. In November 1987, Jay landed his first assignment with Rolling Stone Magazine to photograph a free U2 concert in downtown San Francisco.

Beginning December 16, starting at 10 a.m., there will be three ways to register for Rec and Park activities and classes: online at; at McLaren Lodge in Golden Gate Park; or, at the Harvey Milk Arts Center or 12 other neighborhood registration sites. Winter programs run from January through mid-March. 

The Harvey Milk Center for the Arts offers lots of classes involving the arts. There are six encaustic painting classes, ten dance classes, nine textile classes, as well as classes in yoga, arts and crafts, and sound arts. The 104-page catalogue of classes is available on or at the Harvey Milk Center or Harvey Milk Photo Center. 

These classes are terrific values – just compare the prices to similar classes in the private sector. Rec and Park offers annual Recreation Scholarships to eligible, low-income individuals and families. Call Lillian Bautista, Scholarship Coordinator, at (415) 831-2717 for information on how to qualify.  

There are many large brown spots, some bare dirt, in the grass in Duboce Park. Friends of Duboce Park asked Michelle Pallavicini, Park Services Manager, for an update on these and other conditions in Duboce Park. Her responses are below. 

Fence in the Dog Play Area

The huge fence that covered most of the Dog Play Area was removed and a much smaller fence was put up in the southeast corner to give that area a chance to recover from heavy use. The area looks much better than it did a few months ago, but there are still some worn areas
Brown Areas in People Only Area

“The area was already compromised prior to the meter change out and a heavy heat spell. Then we had a valve break on that station. So the area went beyond salvageable. The valve break has been repaired and fine-tuned to ensure proper irrigation coverage. This area is a priority.”

“Also note, the park irrigation was designed in such a way as to flood the facility. As city mandates required severe cut backs in our irrigation outputs, we were required to adjust the system to avoid any flooding or runoff on the pathways. The irrigation heads are not in the correct positioning to achieve edge coverage without flooding the pathways. Ideally there should be irrigation along the edge. So now we need to find the perfect balance between runoff and edge coverage.”
Brown Areas on Eastern Edges of Knoll/Hill

Pallavicini said, “There is no irrigation in this area. When the park was renovated and that medial pathway was installed, the irrigation was not continued along the path, resulting in a large dry patch every summer. This is the next project following the item below. We will need to extend the irrigation along the edge corner to install at least two more turf rotors. This is a large project that requires trenching and assistance from our plumbing shop.”

Four new lights were installed in the alley on the north side of the Recreation Center and that area is now illuminated at night. However, one of the three lights at the western end of the Youth Play Area is burnt out and the light from another fixture is blocked by a tree, resulting in that area being dark at night. Also, the decorative lights in the front of the Rec Center are out. 

“The lights at this facility have been a constant headache the last few years -- bad photo cells, damaged wires from vandalism, broken timers, tripped breakers, etc. I'm still trying to get the light turned off adjacent to the DPA that hasn't been shut off in more than two years and the light turned on at the Noe entrance. The work orders are in for all items and the electricians are aware of the issues. Again, our shops are inundated with work order requests and getting to them as soon as they are able. All shops are extremely short staffed and many of the work order issues are not easy fixes.”

There are four new photography classes starting at the Photo Center in December, all on Saturdays. 
There are two two-week courses. Create a Photostyle is being offered on December 9 and 16, noon-5 p.m., and will teach students how to enhance their personal photographic approach, vision, and style. The instructor will emphasize the importance of the frame and how to be selective when photographing. 

Digital Workflow & Archiving Workshop is on the same Saturdays, but from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.  Students will use Epson scanners to learn the process of digitizing analog photography. The instructor will go over the step by step procedure of using Epson scanners to create digital files that are the correct file color profile, image size, and file type. Once the students are comfortable with scanning, they will move into file management. 

There are also two one-day workshops: Portfolio and Critique Workshop on December 9 from noon-4 p.m. and Wet Plate Collection Photography Workshop on December 16 from 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

These are the last courses being offered as part of the 2017 schedule. The 2018 Winter Activities catalogue has the complete class schedule and description of all of the courses offered at the Photo Center. You can always check out the class offerings online at or pick up the catalogue at the Center. Don’t hesitate to call the Photo Center at (415) 554-9522 with any questions. 

Join Rec and Park for "Winter Lights in Golden Gate Park" tonight, December 7, from 4-8 p.m., featuring the 88th annual lighting of the city's official holiday tree at McLaren Lodge (501 Stanyan and Fell) at 6 p.m., followed by a stunning new light art installation at the Conservatory of Flowers (100 JFK Drive) at 7 p.m.

From McLaren Lodge to Conservatory Valley, this free, family-friendly event includea carnival rides, a cookie factory, arts and crafts for kids, visits with Santa, music and live entertainment. Santa will arrive shorty before the office Tree Lighting ceremony scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

The Conservatory of Flowers light show will celebrate the natural wonders of the seasons with "Photosynthesis: Love for All Seasons," a new series of artistic illuminations on the building's iconic façade that will appear nightly through Spring 2018. For more information, click here. 
The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink at Union Square is celebrating its tenth anniversary. To commemorate the anniversary and thank the community for its continued support, the ice rink will showcase a San Francisco-based nonprofit partner each week throughout the rink’s ten-week season. Additionally, a portion of this year’s proceeds will benefit the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. The ice rink is open daily from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and will remain open through the holiday season and will close on Monday, January 15. Ticket prices for regular admission are $18 and $13 for children eight years old and under, with figure skate or hockey skate rental included in the cost of admission. More information and advance tickets are on sale at 
In celebration of National Recycling Day last week, Rec and Park announced with Recology that over 42,840 gallons of recyclables and compostable material were diverted from landfill at Dolores Park this year (May through October). That's equivalent to nearly 49 percent of the total waste collected at the park. The seasonal pop-up recycling and composting spots at Dolores, also known as Eco Pop-ups, are staffed to encourage park constituents to recycle and compost waste generated during their visits to the park. For comparison's sake, in 2011, before the park's most recent renovation and the launch of Eco Pop-ups, only 2% of the total waste collected at Dolores was recycled or composted. 
The Junior Acting Troupe, which is based at the Harvey Milk Arts Center,  presents Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" on December 15 and 16 beginning at 7 p.m. at Moscone Recreation Center (1800 Chestnut Street). Childlike in his innocence but grotesque in form, Frankenstein's bewildered creature is cast out into a hostile universe by his horror-struck maker. Meeting with cruelty wherever he goes, the friendless Creature, increasingly desperate and vengeful, determines to track down his creator and strike a terrifying deal. Urgent concerns of scientific responsibility, parental neglect, cognitive development and the nature of good and evil are embedded within this thrilling and deeply disturbing classic gothic tale adapted by Nick Dear from Mary Shelly's novel for the National Theatre of London. For more information, click here

Captain Una Bailey assumed command of Park Station on October 21. She replaces Captain John Sanford, Jr. who was assigned to the Community Engagement Division after being at Park Station for over three years. Sanford had previously announced that he would be retiring in 2018.

Captain Bailey grew up in in Dunmanway, County Cork, Ireland, arrived in San Francisco more than 30 years ago, and joined SFPD. She has had patrol assignments as an officer, sergeant, and lieutenant at Ingleside, Central, Mission, Tenderloin, Richmond, and Taraval stations. Her most recent assignment was heading the Special Victims Unit where she oversaw the investigations of some of the most serious and sensitive crimes in San Francisco. 

Captain Bailey said she is a big advocate of community involvement and thinks it “is the solution to what’s going on in your neighborhood…Having our community engaged and involved is what leads to successful resolutions to the issues we face.” She will be the featured speaker at the Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association general meeting on December 11, 7- 9 p.m.

Captain Sanford was also a big proponent of community policing. Supervisor London Breed recently said that she considers him a visionary in Community Policing. Capt. Sanford was quite familiar with the Duboce Triangle. He walked parts of the neighborhood numerous times, assigned two foot/bike patrol officers to a special Triangle beat (they will continue with Capt. Bailey), spoke at numerous DTNA meetings, attended SAFE Neighborhood Watch Groups, hosted three special community meetings in the Triangle, had a Meet the Beat event at the Scott Street Labyrinth, and held two National Night Out events in Duboce Park. He will be missed.

If you want to see exactly where and when crimes happen, Crime Mapping ( allows you to sort crimes for a specific geographic area, date range, and type of crime and is updated weekly. Park Station’s weekly newsletter lists crimes of note with some detail. Email to sign up to receive it. Park Station’s monthly Community Meeting is on the third Monday of each month at 1899 Waller Street from 6-7 p.m. 


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. Membership dues paid in December are good through the end of 2018.

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

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, December 9, 10 a.m.-noon. Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day. Contact Rose at or 415-255-8370. 

Sunday, December 10, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Holiday Craft Fair. Harvey Milk Center for the Arts. Contact Robbie Roller at or 415-554-8742.

Monday, December 11, 7-9 p.m. Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association General Meeting. Gazebo, CPMC Davies Campus. Visit

Saturday, December 16, 10 a.m. Winter 2018 Class Registration begins. Visit or call 415-831-2700.

Saturday, January 13, 10 a.m.-noon. Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day. Contact Rose at or 415-255-8370. 
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