Carmen Chu newsletter June 2011
As we head into the month of June, the Board of Supervisors Budget Committee will be considering the Mayor’s 2011-2012 budget proposal for the City. Over the past several months, I have been meeting with community organizations and have heard from many constituents about their budget priorities. In addition to contacting us directly, all residents also have a formal opportunity to weigh in on the City’s budget at the Budget Committee on Friday, June 24th at City Hall’s Board Chamber (room 250). The Budget Committee will be hearing public comment between 10:00am – noon and after 2:00pm until all members of the public have had an opportunity to speak.
Without structural reform, it is estimated that the City’s pension and health costs will increase to over $2 billion per year over the next 10 years. On top of that, the City’s unfunded liability for retiree health care stands at over $4.3 billion. That is why I recently co-sponsored a proposed Charter Amendment, along with the Mayor and Supervisors Sean Elsbernd, David Chiu, Malia Cohen, Mark Farrell and Scott Weiner that takes a comprehensive approach to these challenges. Under consideration by the Board of Supervisors, the pension reform measure may come to San Francisco residents for a vote in November.
N-Judah Express Pilot Begins on June 13
For many of you who ride the N-Judah line, it goes without saying that the N-Judah has had its share of problems. In the outer avenues, some of the concerns include early turn-backs, bunching of rail cars, or sometimes trains that are very late or even missing. On June 13, the Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) will launch a six-month pilot N-Judah express bus service, called the Nx. The intent of the N-Judah Express is to be an additional service to the existing N-Judah LRV service – not a substitution. The intent is to provide an alternative for commuters who board the N-Judah from 19th Avenue to the ocean to be able to get to downtown San Francisco (6:30am -9:00am) and for riders to return home in the reverse direction (4:00pm- 6:30pm).
Great Highway Update
Every spring the strong westerly winds pick up sand from Ocean Beach and the dunes and sweep it onto the Great Highway creating unsafe driving conditions. The Department of Public Works Operations staff has the responsibility to remove the sand and reopen the Great Highway. This spring has been particularly windy, requiring more sand to be swept and dumped and causing more road closures than usual. The City and the National Park Service have an agreement that all suitable sand swept up from the Great Highway is to be placed back on the beach or dunes. However, due to federal regulations regarding the snowy plover, this work can only be done during a very limited time. In June, when the snowy plover have left the beach for their breeding season, the City will move the large stock piles of sand that have built up along the Great Highway on to the beach.
One of the unfortunate consequences of these closures is increased traffic on the Lower Great Highway. Making matters worse, drivers in the mindset of rolling at a steady 40 mph to timed signal lights on the Upper Great Highway often do not alter their driving habits when using the Lower Great Highway. This is a problem for the Lower Great Highway residents, the preschool at Lawton, and the many people who recreate in the area. Our office has worked with DPW to install detour signs on the Great Highway gates, directing motorists to use Sunset Blvd. as an alternate. We have also worked with the SFPD to monitor traffic on the Lower Great Highway when these closures occur.
Principal of the Year: David Wong of Francis Scott Key
On May 23, Mayor Ed Lee honored three principals from the San Francisco Unified School District: JoLynn Washington
of Jose Ortega Elementary School, Jim Fithian of Court Community Schools, and the Sunset’s own David Wong of Francis Scott Key Elementary School.
The Mayor’s Principal of the Year Program began in 2007 as a way to recognize the outstanding San Francisco public school principals for their dedication, professionalism, and work on behalf of the City’s young people. Recipients of the Mayor’s Award are nominated by parents, youth, educators administrators, and other community members for excellence in their classroom, their school, and their City.
This is third year in a row Francis Scott Key Elementary School has been honored by the Mayor’s office. Sheila Maffei was named Teacher of the Month in 2009; Karen Leong was Teacher of the Month in 2010; and now Principal Wong, Principal of the
year for 2011.
Martin Lam honored for APA Heritage Month
May marked the celebration for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and Supervisor Chu took the opportunity to recognize Martin Lam as our District 4 honoree.
Martin is the Store Manager of the Goodwill store in the Sunset District on 25th Ave and Irving. In addition to his leadership and efforts in the Outer Sunset Merchants & Professional Association, Martin’s generosity really shines through his other volunteer work. Martin volunteers once a week at Project Open Hand, twice a month as an acolyte at St. Ignatius Church, and, Martin has donated blood 85 times because of / since September 11, 2001! Thank you Martin for all of your dedication to the Sunset District and beyond!