Sunset Beacon

Sunset Spotlight

Golden Gate Park Band Director Will Take Final Bow on Oct. 8

For the past 18 years, Golden Gate Park Band director Michael L. Wirgler has waved his

baton, leading the band to rousing renditions of a wide variety of music.



Band director Michael Wirgler (Courtesy photo)

On Sunday, Oct. 8, he will be handing over his baton

and taking his final bow with the band before retiring.


The Golden Gate Park Band has played a broad range

of music over the years, including classical

transcriptions, original works for concert band,

Broadway show selections, operas and marches. In

addition, a number of the concerts feature ethnic and

artistic groups from throughout the Bay Area.


Wirgler has been band’s conductor since July 4, 1999. Before that, he was a

member of the band for 25 years. He retired after a 33-year career as a music teacher.


The Golden Gate Park Band concert on Oct. 8, a free all-request affair, will be

held at the Spreckels Temple of Music at the Music Concourse in Golden Gate

Park, at 1 p.m.


For more information, go to the website at


Golden Gate Park Traffic Calming Measures OK’d

The SF County Transportation Authority (SFCTA), which is comprised of all 11 members

of the SF Board of Supervisors, allocated $580,926 in half-cent sales tax funds in July to

the SF Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) for traffic-calming measures in

Golden Gate Park.


A part of the plan will convert 30th Avenue from a two-way street into a oneway

street, running southbound from Fulton Street to JFK Drive. According to SFMTA

documents, converting that portion of 30th Avenue into a one-way street

will address concerns about drivers making a left turn from eastbound

JFK Drive onto 30th Avenue and colliding with bicyclists.


Mark Dreger, a planner with the SFMTA, said funding has been allocated and

that the transit agency is still working with the community and SF Recreation

and Park personnel on the one-way conversion.


The Golden Gate Park Safety Project will include installing seven more speed

humps, four speed tables, 10 raised crosswalks and 12 spot treatments, such as

turn guidance striping, safe-hit posts and painted crosswalks. There are also

planned improvements for the parking-protected bikeway on JFK Drive, according

to SFCTA documents.


Last year through an executive directive, Mayor Ed Lee called on city officials

from the SFMTA and Rec. and Park to study traffic-calming measures and

traffic restrictions after bicyclist Heather Miller was fatally struck by a vehicle inside

the park in June.


The driver of the vehicle that hit Miller was driving at excessive speeds

while trying to escape from an earlier altercation.


He lost control of the vehicle and crossed over the oncoming lane and

struck the bicyclist.


For more information, go to the website at


Golden Gate Park Meadow Named for Robin Williams

The SF Recreation and Park Department announced in September the

naming of Robin Williams Meadow, located adjacent to Golden Gate Park’s

Sharon Building, to honor the late comedian Robin Williams, who performed at

numerous comedy clubs in the City.


Uber Reports Traffic Accident in Richmond District

Uber Technologies Inc.’s self-driving car program has had its first reported

crash in California, a collision that happened on Aug. 16, at 2:25 p.m., in the

Richmond District.


According to the SF Examiner, one of Uber’s autonomous Volvo XC90s was

rear ended at the corner of Geary Boulevard and Third Avenue after its human

driver disengaged its self-driving technology to allow pedestrians to cross.


It was the first accident reported to the California Department of Motor Vehicles

since Uber got its permit to test autonomous vehicles in the state.


City Helps Neighbors Create Block Parties

Bringing neighbors together for a block party, according to the Neighborfest

Program, is a good thing. The program offers host committees an end-to-end experience

that empowers them to pull off “the best block party their neighbors have ever



The program includes a customized toolkit that offers step-by-step instructions

and a no-cost permitting process to receive a bin of disaster supplies for local



It is Neighborfest’s goal to have a stronger, more connected community.


This year, the Neighborhood Empower ment Network (NEN) has more than 35 groups

participating in street festivals.


For more information about NEN, go to the website at

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