Meetings – 2016

  • 2016 Winter Solstice Luncheon

    Sunday, December 18, 2016

    Jack Barry, spouse May Pon, and SHARP again hosted a winter solstice luncheon, featuring tender, tasty turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, veggies, salad, apple pie, tea, and coffee, plus the usual incredible array of potluck donations.



  • The Early History of Sunset Heights, with Woody LaBounty

    Monday, November 28, 2016

    Before there was the Sunset District, there was Sunset Heights, a 19th century hamlet of dairies, hog ranches, and roadhouse owners surviving in foggy isolation just west of the bustling city. Woody LaBounty, one of San Francisco’s most engaging and knowledgeable historians, traced the development of our neighborhood from the 1860s to the 1920s.  A packed house attended, and no one left until the last question was answered.

    At the start of the meeting, SHARP’s outgoing President, Frank Noto, gave a 10-minute review of SHARP’s activities in the last year. We then held our annual elections. We elected Dennis Minnick as President, Frank Noto as Vice-President, Deane Hartley as Secretary, Chooi Eng Grosso as Treasurer, and Jack Barry and Andrew Mihailovsky as at-large members of the Board of Directors.


  • What’s So Funny: Jewish Humor and the Great Jewish Comics of the 20th Century

    Monday, October 24, 2016

    Veteran actor, writer, storyteller, teacher, and comic Steve Budd explored Jewish humor through the work of the Jewish comic geniuses of the 20th century, from Groucho Marx to Jerry Seinfeld.  Part lecture, part performance, Steve’s  presentation traced the roots of Jewish humor and explained its character with jokes and routines from the greats.


  • Local Election Forum II

    Monday, October 10, 2016

    Of the 17 state and 25 local measures on the ballot, we examined some of the less publicized ones: state Proposition 53 (requiring a statewide vote on revenue bond measures above a certain amount), and Local Measures D (restricting the power of the Mayor to make vacancy appointments to the Board of Supervisors), J (increased funding for homelessness programs and transportation), K (an increase in the sales tax to pay for J), M (creation of a San Francisco Housing Commission), P (requiring competitive bidding on affordable housing projects), Q (prohibiting tents on public sidewalks), U (increasing the income eligibility level for units to qualify as “affordable” in affordable housing).


  • The Origins of Silicon Valley, with Paul Wesling

    Monday, September 26, 2016

    The Bay Area is home to the world-renown hub of technological innovation and explosive economic growth called Silicon Valley.  Silicon Valley veteran Paul Wesling explored how and why that engine of progress happened here.



  • Understanding the Presidential Election, with Melissa Michelson

    Monday, August 29, 2016

    We looked at the election through the eyes of someone who studies elections. Melissa Michelson is a professor of political science, a widely quoted authority on Latino voter turnout, and the prize-winning co-author of two books and numerous articles. She predicted that Hillary Clinton will win by a sizable margin, that gridlock between the President and Congress will continue unabated in a Clinton administration, and that the Republicans will be favored to win the presidency in 2020.


  • Local Election Forum I

    Thursday, August 25, 2016

    We held a forum presenting the candidates for Supervisor in District 7.  We also heard advocates for and against Proposition H and an advocate in favor of Proposition G.


  • Brain Work: A Scientist Studies Neurogenesis

    Monday, July 25, 2016

    Georgia Panagiotakos, Ph.D, is one of those hotshot biomedical researchers at UCSF.  A Sandler Fellow at UCSF, she runs a lab that studies how the brain develops (neurogenesis). Her talk introduced us to neurogenesis and to the research that her lab and others are doing. Our synapses may never be the same.


  • Shake Happens: Home Preparedness in Earthquake Country

    Monday, June 27, 2016

    UCSF cardiology professor by day, modern-day Paul Revere by night, Matt Springer gave a tightly organized, beautifully illustrated, brightly conversational briefing on what you need to know and do to prepare for an earthquake. The talk took an hour. An overflow crowd attended. No one left early, including the standees. Then Matt answered questions forever. Missed it? Here is an earlier version of the talk. Or catch an upcoming talk. All the information (and more) is also on Matt’s website and blog, including helpful links. The blog provides an index of covered topics by category. Matt has been doing all this since 2007, for the princely salary of zero. The website and blog are free as well, and Matt has no commercial interest in any of the products mentioned there. This man is going to heaven, hopefully not soon.

    At the start of the evening, we heard a brief report from Sherry Boschert of NEST (Neighborhood Emergency Support Team), a group of people in the neighborhood (many of whom have NERT training) who will help first responders in a major earthquake. Sherry spoke about what is likely to happen in our neighborhood when such an earthquake strikes and how NEST will help.

    The first attendees from 25 households got a free hanging LED flashlight, courtesy of Cole Hardware, which sold them to SHARP at cost.  Others got $5 gift certificates to Cole Hardware. Thank you Cole Hardware!


  • America’s Role in Conflicts in the Muslim World

    Monday, May 9, 2016

    Major General (Ret.) Eric Olson commanded the largest American ground force in Afghanistan, led one of the first battalions into Iraq in Desert Storm, served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraqi Reconstruction, and wrote the after-action report on the Black Hawk Down operation in Mogadishu, Somalia. Gen. Olson traced the roots of conflict in the region and offered pungent remarks on America’s interventions there.


  • State Senate Debate: Jane Kim and Scott Wiener

    Monday, April 25, 2016

    Jane Kim and Scott Wiener are opposing each other in a competitive race to represent the 11th State Senate district, which covers San Francisco. (Mark Leno, the current State Senator, is term-limited out.) The new State Senator will be San Francisco’s only State Senator, will be eligible to serve a total of 12 years, and will be well positioned to run for Congress when 76-year-old Nancy Pelosi retires.

    Kim and Wiener debated each other at the County Fair building before a crowd of about 80.


  • DA George Gascon and Representatives from the Taraval and Park Police Stations Discuss Crime in the Neighborhood

    Monday, March 28, 2016

    We invited District Attorney George Gascon and representatives of the police captains from the Park and Taraval stations to discuss the crime trend, what they are doing about it, and how we can help.  DA Gascon did not show up. He sent a representative, Assistant District Attorney Marc Massarweh, who was assigned to the Park, Taraval, and Richmond districts.  Within a month of the meeting, Massarweh was replaced by ADA Archie Wong:  No one from the Park Station came, though Captain Sanford did speak to SHARP President Frank Noto on the phone earlier in the day.  Acting Lieutenant Paul Weggmann represented the Taraval Station.  An overflow audience attended. The meeting was respectful, constructive, and mostly unsatisfying.


  • Assemblymember Phil Ting

    Friday, March 4, 2016

    In a one-hour visit to SHARP, Assemblymember Phil Ting answered questions on a variety of topics.


  • San Francisco’s Art from the New Deal Era

    Monday, February 29, 2016

    During the Depression, artists in San Francisco showed us their world in vibrant public artworks as big and powerful as the events and people they depicted. Robert Cherny, history professor emeritus at SF State, explored these spectacular artifacts of an era that profoundly shaped our own.


  • Cityscapes 2, with John King

    Monday, January 25, 2016

    The award-winning urban design critic of the Chronicle, John King, took us on an architectural mini-tour of San Francisco with a focus on six buildings that show the combination of change and continuity in the cityscape.