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11/28/16from Roberta McLaughlin, who attended the 11/28 program on the early history of Sunset Heights, with Woody LabBounty.

I recommend that SHARP fund the WNP in their project to scan photos. The Golden Gate Heights section only has 7 photos!
The Western Neighborhoods Project is a nonprofit organization formed in 1999 to preserve and share the history and culture of the neighborhoods in western San Francisco. Thank you for inviting Woody La Bounty to share his expertise with us. He is an engaging speaker. Invite him again! Best wishes to the new Board. Thanks for agreeing to serve.

Reply from SHARP Board member Jeremy Friedlander:

Thank you, Roberta. . . [T]he Grants Committee will consider a grant to Woody’s group. The earliest that can happen will be in the spring of 2017. Everyone seemed to enjoy Woody’s presentation. He told me he would be happy to return to update the story. The SHARP Board will have to decide if/when.

4/3/16: from Jack Barry, SHARP Board member:

The meeting at the end of March [about crime in the neighborhood] was an example of how government response to problems is only as good as the amount of “red hot pokers” that the citizenry applies.  It is just not in the nature, due to “human nature” of police and DA staff…to solve the majority of problems like burglary and assault and battery. If they eliminated half the stats… there goes half the need for those staffing positions. This cynical view may exaggerate reality, but elsewise ….why would not the DA staff say “The stats” are rotten, and getting more so, and here is our action plan for turning this around:………

The DA man only said “Blame it on the judges, who don’t lock up the repeat offenders, etc..  Why did he not “drop the other shoe” and suggest how to get the judges’ attention and defense of their “no jail” policy. The police officer, also had no “action plan”.

That being so, it seems like we have to devise and implement a plan…. Lets see if SHARP is “up to the challenge

4/29/15: from SHARP member Jake Sigg:

SHARP in the last couple of years has presented outstanding programs that should have a much larger audience than the few who attend our meetings. The last two months have been particularly inspirational to me and it sorrows me that the speakers put so much of themselves into the presentation for such a small group. Is there any attempt being made to encourage other neighborhood groups–e.g., Coalition of SF Neighborhoods–to engage these highly effective speakers with their important messages?

Reply from SHARP Board member Jeremy Friedlander:

Thanks for the encouraging words, Jake. We do not reach out directly to other groups to engage speakers who have presented programs to us. We do post extensive summaries of our meetings on the website, in reverse chronological order by year.  Here are summaries of the 2015 meetings. Anyone can use these summaries to get and/or give an indication of what the program was like. Anyone wishing to contact the speaker can do so by sending a message to us through this feedback form.


10/16/14: from Board member Jeremy Friedlander regarding SHARP’s endorsement of Proposition L in the November 2014 election:

I voted against endorsing Proposition L.  I did so in part because I oppose the measure but mostly because the endorsement is a bad idea even if the proposal is a good one.  SHARP needs to add value to the neighborhood. The endorsement doesn’t, regardless of the merits of Proposition L.

We endorsed the measure because six people on the Board strongly favored it. Even if justified, their passion added heat but no light to the matter.  It may feel good to endorse a worthy cause, but that does not mean our endorsement actually does good. We are a small group, and no one does or should seek guidance from us on this issue. We bring no special expertise, insight, or study to it. As our explanation of the endorsement demonstrates, we are merely repeating arguments anyone can find in the voter pamphlet and elsewhere.

Our endorsement has costs. As volunteers, we in SHARP have limited time, energy, and resources. We should therefore focus on doing what we are equipped to do to improve the neighborhood: bringing neighbors together in our meeting space for congenial, enriching programs; using our income to support worthy charitable causes; maintaining a website that provides useful information to the neighborhood; lending helpful support or opposition on neighborhood-specific issues. These things take precious time and energy (as does the routine maintenance of the organization). We only lose time and drain energy when we distract and divide ourselves by taking positions on ballot measures about which we have significant disagreement.

In my view and that of many others far more informed than any of us on the SHARP Board, Proposition L will do more to increase congestion than to alleviate it. No elected official supports the measure. Nor does any transportation expert or study. Opponents include the Chronicle, SPUR, SFModerates, Assembly Member Phil Ting, and Supervisor Scott Wiener, none of whom is a captive of anti-motorist forces in the city. These facts alone should have given the Board pause.

The SHARP Board should take no position on a ballot measure unless, at a minimum, we have no significant disagreement among us. We did have such disagreement here, so we should have taken no position. I am writing this comment in the hope that it will help us avoid making a similar mistake again.

SHARP’s Board members are kind, civic-minded people. Some have been helping to improve our neighborhood for a lot longer than I. I respect them. One measure of their kindness is that they tolerate me. I trust we will continue to work together despite our disagreements.

10/21/14  Reply/comment by Jack Barry, SHARP Board member:

SHARP, by voting on issues, IS adding to the knowledge base of its neighborhood. It should publish the votes of its Board, to be “on the record”. Where its vote is a super majority of 2/3, it should endorse that side of anything on the upcoming ballot. On Prop L, the vote was 6 in favor, 2 abstentions, and 2 opposed. So, 75% of the vote went for L. An abstention is, by definition, NOT a vote.

To have guests at SHARP meetings presenting their position and then not to vote on the issue, is a disservice to all.

L strives to restore balance to the SFMTA policy, which has been blatantly trying to stop private motor vehicle use in the city, block by block. Yes, “carbon footprint” and “global warming” are valid and vital issues. That said, let us encourage use of vehicles that are more efficient, or are Zero Emission, etc. To jackhammer up parking spaces is not science, but “the meat axe”.


9/30/14:  from Stacy Mathies, who attended her first SHARP meeting on 9/29/14, about climate change adaptation: “I enjoyed last night’s presentation by guest speaker Laura Tam.  Also, the thoughtful questions from members of SHARP.  Next time, I’ll sample the cookies.”


9/16/14: From Jack Barry (SHARP Board member) :

The 9 15 2014 Candidates and Issues [program] was impressive, and took a hell of a lot of work to organize, by our officers.  Kudos.

We should have a de-brief form for the attendees to complete, as they leave, with up to 10 Questions [including]:

1) How will you vote on the candidates and issues presented.
2) Who was the most impressive speaker, and the least, and why.
3) Which issue was the most well presented/debated, and why.
4) How were the formats laid out — well, or poor, or “needs a bit of change”