Northside SF

I would like to extend a warm welcome to Tony Long and his new column, “North Beach Beat,” and kudos to your paper’s recent North Beach focus. I agree with those who believe North Beach is one of the best urban neighborhoods in America and isn’t just trading on its former glories. I also think the lack of consistent independent coverage lends itself to neighborhood generalizations and untruths by the writers of the majors who only treat North Beach as a slightly off-kilter loaded cannon. There’s much to celebrate here and change is in the air: the recently created North Beach Neighborhood Coalition (a bi-monthly gathering of all neighborhood organizations); the fact that the North Beach Merchants Association (NBMA) and North Beach Chamber of Commerce are starting to work together for the benefit of all our merchants; and NoodleFest, North Beach Fair, and the confirmed Grant Avenue Walking Streets (which will take place on Grant Avenue from the Dragon Gates to Coit Tower).
There’s a lot going on here, and as Tony states, “assuming I don’t step on the wrong toes, I can see doing this for a while.” If your editor in chief’s extremely well-researched and written article on Stow Lake is any indication of the journalistic latitude he will be given, then I look forward to having an ally to help NBMA fight for the neighborhood, while at the same time highlighting the wonderful community and truly amazing neighborhood of North Beach.

Shell Thomas, President
North Beach Merchants Association

Stow still simmers

The judge in the Stow Lake boathouse lawsuit against the Recreation and Park Department has ruled. “There is no question the process was handled in a way that was forthright and fair to all bidders, legally, lawfully and fairly,” she said.

As the city attorney noted during the court hearing, the current boathouse operator’s allegations “had a fatal collision with the facts”.

So, too, has Northside San Francisco’s coverage of this issue. Your claims of fraud and corruption and a tainted decision were not substantiated. Indeed, they have no basis in reality.

One fact is indisputable: The boathouse belongs to the public, not to a single person, regardless of how long his family owned the concession.

Recreation and Park had every right to ensure that this asset is in the hands of competent management committed to providing the public with a better experience, and it has done so. The new operator, Ortega Family Enterprises, will purchase a new fleet of boats, upgrade the cafe menu to include more healthful, organic offerings, and fix long-neglected maintenance problems. It’s a welcome change.

Dale A. Carlson, Richmond

Holy smokes! I have read every word of your piece and am so disappointed about our political landscape. Hiring an organizer ($3,000) to get the neighbors to speak favorably, giving tips to the applicant, telling the City a wildly inflated amount of revenue will be coming in, and knowing the applicant says it is a meaningless stepping stone to better paying projects etc. And the McLellans had no such help. Now the elders will be pressured to move on?

I want to think we are better than the usual back door coziness often found in small towns.
Please keep beating the drum. Keep it out there. How could this not be favoritism, fraud or corruption? They got to the judge.
Good work. 

Sherry Kramm, Cow Hollow

Please keep the heat on that underhanded phony Phil Ginsburg and his cronies who are trying to sell something to the locals that we don’t want. He just wanted to get his way and now this scandal is percolating and you are right on top of it. This is a hot issue of great local concern and you scooped them all. Keep writing every month and expose this scam for what it is – an outrage on a moral, political and personal basis.
Keep up the good work. 

Garry Graham, Twin Peaks

Your outrage at what happened at Stow Lake and then writing about it – right on. Most of the old timers I know feel they don’t have a voice. I’m a City boy who grew up using the boats from the ’40s to the ’60s and later just walking there. I hope the dye isn’t already cast in favor of the Ortegas.
Anyway, thanks for your efforts in giving us folks a voice.

Dick Boyd, San Francisco
Concern about Jazzy

I just read the first two articles about Jazzy’s cancer in full on the Northside San Francisco website. They have me on the edge of my seat. I must stop to feed my foster dogs, but Susan Dyer Reynolds is a great writer, and I am right there with her based on how she writes. I will continue reading later.

Janet Cook,Los Angeles

I am one of Jasmine’s many fans and followers. My heart really went out to Susan Dyer Reynolds, having gone through a similar experience with my dear rabbit, Fiona. 

To help support Jasmine’s recovery, I wanted to suggest animal Reiki. It is a wonderful way to allow them to help themselves in their own healing process. It is noninvasive and can aid in physical and emotional healing as well as being a wonderful way to relax and relieve the stress associated with illness. (For more animal Reiki information, visit
I look forward to reading more about Jazzy’s recovery.

Andrea Rock, Lower Pacific Heights

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