Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor – Sunset Beacon


Enough is enough. It’s freezing tonight and a neighbor does not have heat. I received more e-mails that others in the Sunset also have broken heaters that the landlord refuses to fix.

I wanted to open a hot dog stand in my neighborhood. I offered $10,000 for a lease to the City. They refused and a city planner told me the food was too low brow.

I had a police captain at Taraval Station call me at home and ask me to stay away from discussing farmers market and arts shows.

I protested parklets and was threatened with arrest.

I have been censored and banned more than a dozen times on Nextdoor. Now, I am banned for shaming a greedy landlord? And I used his initials!

What is happening with my City?

Well, I am going to City Hall, to the Elections Department, to register my intent to run for District 4 supervisor.

I will use my hot dog cart money that the City refused to take ($10,000) and lend it to my campaign.

I will knock on every door in the Sunset until November.

This is not right. My 14-year-old daughter will be my treasurer, and my 12- and 9-year-old children will be on my campaign staff.

I will share my tax return with the public and I want other candidates to do the same. I will sign a pledge not to permit political action committees on my behalf and to not run a negative campaign.

I have never run for political office before and I have no experience in politics, but I am mad.

Wish me luck.

Tim Murphy

P.S. If anyone wants to help, please let me know.


Robert Heaton’s “Grow the Richmond” letter (March issue) offers a poor rationale for more housing units in the west side of San Francisco.

How can the writer compare SoMa with the west side? SoMa is an evolving neighborhood that had lots of available properties to develop or re-zone and repurpose in a high-density environment. The Richmond and Sunset districts were developed decades ago and have very few lots left to build on.

I agree that the neighborhood has a lot to offer but I am not sure that the local population is interested in multiple seven-story developments, more traffic congestion and residents fighting for fewer parking spaces. There is such a thing as “quality of life.”

Many commuters on I-280 live in San Francisco already because of its attributes; that’s why buses transport the techies south every day. And “strengthening renter protections?” Rent control contributes to the housing shortage with tenants holding on to their protected units. Many property owners that are subject to the onerous rules decide against renting out available units.

Yes, it’s time to seriously revisit San Francisco’s short-sighted housing policies, but not necessarily jump on the“more housing – no matter what the ramifications are” bandwagon.

Curt Cournale


Arthur Liddell Menzies, as a survivor of the Bataan death march, was one tough cookie. But he must be rolling over in his grave at the desecration wreaked by the hands of the SF Botanical Garden Society on the native plant garden he founded.

As assistant curator, he knew his way around wildflowers. But he never would have consented to what has been done to his garden. The trails have been widened enough to allow a tank through and a granite-covered, crescent-shaped gash big enough to land a UFO has been carved from a formerly vegetated area frequented by hummingbirds. The reason? “Student tours” (which appear to be few and far between), but making more area available for the annual piano event appears to be a reasonable supposition.

A similar desecration is taking place over by the pond near the ugly entrance booth. Want to know why? Call the director of the SF Botanical Garden Society at (415) 661-1316, ext 415. If we don’t comment, it will only get worse.

Harry S. Pariser


Re: San Francisco as the Winchester Mystery House

In April, Sacramento will hear Assemblyman Scott Wiener’s YIMBY-authored SB-827 to allow buildings within a quarter or half mile of transit stops to be 85 to 105 feet tall with increased density. The law’s unintended consequences prompted the SF Board of Supervisors (BOS) to hold a meeting on March 12 to work on amendments to a resolution.

Residents from citywide showed up at the BOS meeting; including east side neighborhoods that objected with their own anti-SB-827 concerns (info: https://sfceqa.wordpress.com/oppose-senator-wieners-sb-827).

It would be wise to keep land use issues local in San Francisco. Say “keep land use local” to the members of the BOS by e-mail (individual e-mail addresses at http://sfbos.org) or write to: BOS, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, City Hall, Room 250, SF, CA 94103.

The board will hear the matter on Tuesday, April 3, at 2 p.m., Room 250, City Hall.

Also, Wiener’s SB-828 (housing element revision) seeks to change how the City meets its housing quota – calling for an increase in housing units by 200 percent with unmet annual quotas tacked on cumulatively to keep building.

Rose Hillson


A moment of reverie, a note despairing paradise that may yet be lost.

There are so many elements of quiet beauty, nature’s art and neighborhood warmth in the Sunset that, now with sharpened focus and “death-bed” appreciation,

I catch myself framing mental pictures I have accumulated over my 40 years of returning from around the world on business and exhaling in mute enjoyment at the renewed sight of our Sunset.

I made it a point to descend into the amphitheater of homes from the Route 1, ribboning by the horse farm, Fort Funston and the Olympic Club.

We have long dodged the bullet of developer greed. No longer. With SB-827, we stand to lose:

Our ocean. Always different. A challenge as we pass by and cast about for a word that could paint the picture of its temperament each day. How to capture that “thing” that only the Sunset has. Shrouded in fog or brilliant in the sun, which animates a kaleidoscopic pallet of painted houses all the same and all different, each sheltering a family of every sort. We share this quiet delight … block by block, in the alphanumeric grid we appeal to as we help our foreign guests navigate to secret local spots that refresh us and delight those we host.

We know how this will unfold. We need only to look at Manhattan. Particularly, surrounding Central Park. We have the analogous potential to replicate that model along Lincoln Way and Fell Street. The prime real estate will be framing a wall around Golden Gate Park, the SF Zoo and along the Great Highway. That is where the luxury towers will erupt into the sky, seizing the trophy views, charging the most. No affordable housingin these.

The rest of the 11-story silos speckled throughout the avenues will be “stack-o’- cubes,” whose penthouse suites will eke out the views we all used to enjoy. Their lower storied residents will live in the caves beneath, sunless, viewless, packed in a Tokyo subway car of humanity.

Today, I see the ocean and glimpse the tips of the Golden Gate Bridge’s towers. I look out on the verdant forest in the park, and see the Marin Headlands like an island across the Gate … another world. I can’t imagine losing this.

The once “seedy” outer-lands of the City, the lower rung of a ladder to better neighborhoods, every new family’s starter home. We have always had what only we have appreciated. Now others want to exploit it. Speculate, flip and profit from its transformation into the Western Manhattan. Money laundered and expatriated, real estate ghouls horse trading SB-827 permits to further drive the house value bubble,absentee landlords, Hi-tech monopolies and Airbnb hoteliers snap up our little family homes that should go to our children and other young families as they always have.

Only these deep pocket monoliths can drive up home values in a speculative feeding frenzy to scourge and scar the Sunset as they canyonize and uglify our once quiet and beautiful neighborhood.

Yes, save our backyards! Leave our diverse, livable, blue collar family homes alone.

Want to densify? Want to make a killing? Start with St. Francis Wood and Sea Cliff.

James Parke

3 replies »

  1. Regarding Mr. Murphy’s assertion in his April 4 Letter to the Editor that “…I had a police captain at Taraval Station call me at home and ask me to stay away from discussing farmers market and arts shows…”:

    I have served on the Taraval Station Community-Police Advisory Board for the past nine years, have collaborated closely with six captains, and am presently the co-chair. I’ve reached out to both former captain Denise Flaherty (Taraval captain, June 2015 – October 2017) and current captain Robert Yick (October 2017 – present) regarding Mr. Murphy’s purported conversation.

    Both responded most assuredly that they had had no telephone conversation with Mr. Murphy at any time, for any reason, period.


    • John, I have a text copy along with the police officer’s telephone officer.

      As the president of the La Playa Park Neighborhood Association, I will attend the next police community meeting and will privately discuss the text with the officer.

      It might be time to involve the neighborhood to make substantive changes to address homelessness, property crime, and car break-ins. Past policies are not working and we need to start a serious plan to address these quality of life issues.

      We are not going to “gentrify” our way out of crime, homelessness, and lack of affordable housing.

      We need to increase the number of businesses, offer loans to make businesses disabled assess compliant, reduce the number of empty store fronts, improve public transportation, and most importantly create a liviability for all residents with food trucks, farmers market, art shows + studios, music venues.


      • Mr. Murphy, I am going to respectfully stand by my assertion that you are not going to be able to substantiate the essence of “…I had a police captain at Taraval Station call me at home and ask me to stay away from discussing farmers market and arts shows….”

        Yes, you may have talked with a police officer. It most certainly was not a captain, as you have tried to claim. And I’d wager — am wagering — that no one at Taraval at any point in any conversation told you to “…stay away from discussing farmers market and arts shows” or anything like that.


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