DogFest returns to Duboce Park on Saturday, April 16th from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 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 offers something for dogs, kids, and parents of both breeds. 
There are lots of great competitions for dogs and their human owners and celebrity judges will pick winners in eight categories: Best Costume, Best Tail, Best Trick, Best Coat, Best Mutt, Best Ears, and Best Lap Dog. Register your dog to be part of the contests at sfdogfest.com.

There’s also the Openly Corrupt Best-In-Show category. Here’s how that works: the winners of each of the main categories (bark, trick, etc.) and anyone who wants to buy their way in for $50 will be entered in the final contest of the day, the Openly Corrupt Best-In-Show contest. The audience will then vote for their favorite dog by putting donations into different buckets for the different dogs. At the end, the dog with the most donations will be crowned Best-In-Show. It really is corrupt, but it’s all in good fun with the goal of raising the most money possible for the school.

The very entertaining Daniel Handler, best known for his work under the pen name Lemony Snicket, will once again be the Master of Ceremonies for the Dog Show. Supervisors Scott Wiener and London Breed, Chronicle columnist Leah Garchik, Eric Rasmussen from KTVU, Charly Kayle from KOIT, and (Three) Sister of Perpetual Indulgence are among the judges. 

Cheer San Francisco will provide half-time entertainment and perform cutting-edge cheerleading routines.  Some of their volunteers are college age, but most range in age from the mid-20s to mid-40s and have jobs in variety of professions. 

There’s also 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. For more information, the schedule of events, or to register your dog for a contest, visit www.mckinleyschool.org/dogfest. 

Join the Friends of Duboce Park at our next volunteer day this Saturday, April 9, 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 continued work on the succulent garden on the hill near the stairs on the south side of the Rec Center. 
Eileen Gross
Alpha Gardner
Rich Gonzalez & Doug Woo
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 2015 in volunteer service in San Francisco parks

Expect to see Park Station officers walking through Duboce Park more often. Capt. John Sanford, Jr. announced the creation of a new, dedicated foot beat in the Duboce Triangle after four additional officers were assigned to Park Station on March 26.

Sanford made the announcement at the Crime and Quality-of-Life Town Hall Meeting at the Rec Center on March 28 and pointed out that they won’t necessarily be available every day since they have days off, vacation time, and training commitments. He introduced one of the two officers on the foot beat, Officer Nathalie Peraza, and Sgt. Carl Ueber, their direct supervisor. Both of them encouraged neighbors to approach them when they see them and to contact them via e-mail them with any concerns. Their emails are Carl.T.Ueber@sfgov.org, Nathalie.Peraza@sfgov.org, and Mikayla.Connell@sfgov.org.

A few nights later, Sgt. Nakano, who handles quality-of-life issues at Park Station and is the midnight shift sergeant, walked the Duboce Triangle at night with a few residents, including Friends of Duboce Park board member Mark Scheuer. They reviewed all of the hot spots in the park, especially the ones hard to see at night: the top of the east stairs, the dark west end of the Youth Play Area, the stairs on the south side of the Rec Center, the edges of the park next to residences, and the Scott Street Labyrinth bench and bushes behind it. 

On Friday, the two new beat officers did another walk of the Triangle, again covering Duboce Park. Sanford said that it is important for the officers to know the community and vice versa. There will be another chance to meet him and the two new beat officers at the Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Assocation Meeting on Monday April 11 at the Gazebo on the CPMC Davies Campus, 7 p.m. Sanford has definitely given Duboce Park and the Duboce Triangle the foot beat and the attention that we have all wanted for some time and we can expect to see a reduction in crime as a result.
Officer Peraza
Sgt. Ueber
Officer Connell

Rec and Park gardeners have been telling us for years that most of the brown areas in our parks will turn green after a normal rainy season. We finally had once recently and most of the park is green again. Some before-and-after comparisons are shown below. The center section remains roped off to allow new seed to take hold and the progress is easily seen. That area will be reopened in time for DogFest on April 16. 
But not all of the brown areas returned to green, like the heavily used area of the Dog Play Area near the benches at the Potomac Street entrance, which is so bare and so rutted with holes that grass may not grow back in that area. The center section remains roped off to allow new seed to take hold and the progress is easily seen. That area will be reopened in time for DogFest on April 16. 

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.

The goal of the San Francisco Shared Schoolyard Project is to provide a safe, clean space for the city’s children and families to play and gather on weekends. Schoolyards that are normally closed on the weekend are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. So far, 28 public schools are enrolled and new locations are opening every month. The goal is 80 schoolyards.
The closest ones currently are at Alvarado Elementary School, Grattan Elementary School, and New Traditions Elementary School, none pf which are really that close to Duboce Park. Future sites that will be closer to Duboce Park include McKinley Elementary School, Ida B. Wells High School, John Muir Elementary School, Everett Middle School, Sanchez Elementary School, and Harvey Milk Elementary School. A map of all the schools participating and the planned expansion to other schools is available on their website, sfsharedschoolyard.org
The project was started by Supervisor Mark Farrell and the annual budget of $300,000 does not cost San Francisco taxpayers a cent. The money is raised from private donations or grants. Parents and school staff originally expressed concerns that campuses and schoolyards would be damaged, but that has not been the case. Spokesperson Gentle Blythe said, “Over the seven years of the program’s existence, there have only been a handful of incidents of vandalism or theft at schools that were part of the program, and these incidents appeared to take place outside of the program hours.”
Check out the Photo Center’s Student Photography Exhibit, going on now through April 29 at McLaren Lodge in Golden Gate Park, 501 Stanyan Street. The Film and Darkroom Basics class at The Harvey Milk Photo Center is a long form introduction to processing black and white film and making prints in the darkroom. In addition to the fundamentals, students learn advanced printing techniques like split filter exposures and complicated dodging and burning.

This work exemplifies 9 weeks of focused learning, creativity, and determination on the part of the students. The Film and Darkroom Basics class at the Photo Center introduces students to processing black-and-white film and making prints in the darkroom. 
Three local photographers show their work at the Harvey Milk Photo Center’s monthly Lecture Series, 6:30- 8 p.m., on the third Thursday of each month.
The Photo Lecture Series continues on Thursday, May 12, 6:30-8 p.m. Three local photographers will show their work for about 30 minutes each, show approximately 25-35 images each, and discuss their approach. The event is free and open to the public. The Lecture Series is always the third Thursday of each month. More information is available here

The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce released the results of its 2016 CityBeat Poll in March, and while there remains a great deal of angst over a number of issues facing our city, Rec and Park fared pretty well in the survey. 70% of San Franciscans gave Rec and Park department services a favorable rating, the highest approval rating of any other city agency polled. 13% gave the department unfavorable ratings. Additionally, 48% of respondents felt the condition of parks was getting better, up from 38% just two years ago-- again, the highest rated city service in the poll. Just 14% felt our parks were getting worse.  
In Rec and Park’s winter recreation survey, a whopping 92% of respondents gave Rec and Park programs a favorable rating and would recommend their class to family and friends. On March 19, Rec and Park’s summer day camp registration began with more than 5,000 registrations in the first hour alone. Overall, more than 10,000 people registered in the first weekend, a testament to the quality, affordability and popularity of Rec and Park’s programs citywide.

A week later, San Francisco Magazine released its 2016 City Report Card, an assessment of city services including schools, parks, housing and transportation and also gave our park system high marks with a solid A-minus, citing new renovation projects, investment and access to all residents. 

These numbers are significant because they confirm that Rec and Park is headed in the right direction and is being recognized by the people who matter most, the people who use and rely on our parks and programs each and every day.

Learn new iPhone tips and tricks and shooting techniques while meandering through the Mission as part of the iPhone - Experimental Workshop starting April 19 and 26, 6:30-9 p.m. You’ll be taking photos of strangers and interesting places and be taking breaks at cafes and bars for peer critiques and to cover apps and editing techniques. You’ll need to bring a fully charged iPhone 5s-6s and a headset with volume controls.

Matting, Framing, and Presenting Your Photos this Saturday from 12-3:30 p.m. will teach you the easy methods and tools for matting, mounting, and framing your work, including preparing your work for presentation. With experience in conservation and preservation practice, the instructor, a fine art photographer, will recommend the use of archival materials. Students are invited to bring examples of their work for the hands-on instruction and demonstration.

There are lots of other great courses that cover Darkroom and Hand Made Printing, Digital Shooting & Printing, Lighting & Technique, and Artistic Development. For more information on courses, times, and costs, pickup the catalogue of classes available at the Photo Center or visit harveymilkphotocenter.org.  
Explore color, texture, pattern and basic sewing skills together with your young one, ages 4-7 years, in the Textiles – Sewing Together class on Saturdays, April 9-30, either 10:30-11:30 a.m. or 12-1 p.m. Children and parent will work together to complete a project each week. Using basic sewing stitches and kid-safe sewing tools, children will be introduced to the fun and creative world of textiles. All materials all provided and classes can be taken independently or sequentially.

Tots 1-3 years can enjoy a play space filled with music, balls, manipulatives, hula-hoops, tunnels, scooters, trikes and bike wheels at Roly-Polys, offered Fridays April 8-May 13 from 10-11:30 a.m. Part open playtime, part structured class, this program gives toddlers an opportunity to engage in motor skills with the use of different apparatus, free play, and exploration. 

Register at SfRecOnline.org or at the Harvey Milk Recreation Center for the Arts. The complete catalogue of classes and activities for all ages is available here
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.

An estimated 5,000 people showed up for Rec and Park’s annual Eggstravaganza Easter festival at Golden Gate Park’s Sharon Meadow on Saturday March 26. The festival featured two stages with live entertainment, carnival games, age-based Easter egg hunts, rides, face painting and the annual barbecue cook-off between the city’s police, fire and recreation and park departments. At the arts and crafts tent, children and parents were shown how to glue bunny ears and noses onto a bag they could use to carry eggs and other treats. In the food area, Police Officer Therese Deignan of Taravel Station served the SFPD’s secret recipe ribs.
Kezar Stadium will host 15 to 20 games next season for the San Francisco Deltas, a new professional soccer team and the first West Coast team in the Division II North American Soccer League. Their five-year lease includes a minimum of $500,000 for stadium improvements that will: improve decaying benches; repair the leak, repaint, and improve the lighting in the historical tunnel; repair, clean, and paint the locker rooms; and, install cameras in the stadium. The games will not interfere with the normal use of the stadium by schools and youth groups.
Angel Alley, a pedestrian alley located between 22nd and Tubbs streets off of Tennessee Street, has been transformed from a dangerous area with no street lighting, trash in the streets, and illegal dumping, into a street park that now has street cleaning and a succulent garden. The park will be maintained by organizers of the Green Benefit District of the Dogpatch and Potrero Hill neighborhoods and volunteers. The ribbon-cutting took place last Saturday.
More than 5,000 families registered for Rec and Park’s Summer Day Camps in the first hour of registration on March 19. A small line began to form at 1 a.m. outside McLaren Lodge in Golden Gate Park. Registration opened at 10 a.m. at the lodge, 12 recreation centers, and online and the most popular of the 92 camps sold out very quickly. Many parents were frustrated when they couldn’t log on because just 1,000 log-ins are allowed at once on Rec and Park’s website. A complete listing of Summer Day Camps is here. 

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, April 9, 10 a.m.-noon. Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day. Contact Rose at rose@friendsofdubocepark.org or 415-55-8370. 

Monday, April 11, 7-9 p.m. Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association General Meeting. Gazebo at CPMC Davies.  Visit dtna.org.

Thursday, May 12, 6-8 p.m. May Photo Lecture Series. Harvey Milk Photo Center. Visit harveymilkphotocenter.org. 

Saturday, May 14, 10 a.m.-noon. Friends of Duboce Park Volunteer Day. Contact Rose at rose@friendsofdubocepark.org or 415-55-8370. 

Save The Date. The 19th Annual Friends of Duboce Park Tag Sale is Saturday, September 10.

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