In the News in San Francisco: 2004

"An informed citizenry is the only true repository of the public will."

                                                                                                                          - Thomas Jefferson


39 Chattanooga St.

Save 39 Chattanooga

It wasn't until 39 Chattanooga was threatened by demolition that Moses Corrette of the San Francisco Planning Department, began to uncover the house's hidden history. The clues were all there - the building's front-yard setback, its central entrance, the size of its floor joists, the thickness of the window lumber. The building had to predate 1870.

39 Chattanooga Street is one of the oldest houses still standing in San Francisco, and perhaps the oldest in Noe Valley.

There is a finite number of intact, pre-Earthquake buildings in San Francisco. If all these historic buildings turn into big developments, our city's history will be lost. The physical presence of San Francisco's past will be gone.

As of Summer 2005, the developer's plans no longer call for demolishing 39 Chattanooga. Unfortunately, these plans would still alter the house beyond recognition.

To find out how you can help contact:

(above text adapted from this website)

See also story from Noe Valley Voice, May 2004


Peregrine in flight, downtown San Francisco
Peregrine Family Downtown

In 2005, the Pacific Gas & Electric Company set up a Peregrine Nest Cam so that anyone on the web can check up on the progress of this year's chicks.

In 2004, Peregrine Falcons successfully nested on a San Francisco building (33rd floor of PG&E headquarters at Beale and Mission Streets). Populations of this once-endangered raptor are now doing well, particularly in cities, where they are finding plenty of prey (like pigeons) to feed on and lots of high ledges to nest on. "To them, big skyscrapers are the same as the sheer cliffs they prefer for nesting and foraging," said Brian Walton, coordinator of the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group, which is affiliated with UC Santa Cruz.. (Adapted from SF Chronicle, 11 May 04)

Peregrine perching

The Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group

USGS Identification Tips for Falco peregrinus

The Peregrine Fund Peregrine Falcon Recovery

U of M Animal Diversity Web - Falco peregrinus

Peregrine - the fastest bird


Sacred Heart Church

Sacred Heart Church

An announcement by the Archdiocese of San Francisco that it plans to close Sacred Heart Church has sparked a backlash among parishioners eager to save what they describe as the Western Addition's only predominantly African American Catholic church. Sacred Heart has stood since 1897 but was badly damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Sacred Heart has special architectural significance, Pritchard said, because it is one of only two churches in California -- the other being St. Raymond's in Pasadena -- built in a classic Italian exterior style.

Complete story from SF Chronicle, 18 Sep 04

Have a look inside this spectacular church from website of 'Friends of 1800'


Grizzlies Back in California? - Well Sort of

The Grizzly Bear that adorns our state flag hasn't been a resident of California since the early 1900s. Now in 2004 this noble creature is back in residence, but not in the wild. Two adolescent female grizzlies arrived at the San Francisco Zoo recently and they are the only two of their species in northern California. While we'd love to turn back the clock and restore grizzlies to the wild, viewing them at the zoo may be the next best thing. At the zoo people can view these magnificent animals and learn how they became extinct in the wild in California. Together we can work to ensure that such decimation of local populations of wild animals is prevented in the future.

(Adapted from the Audubon Journal, 22 Oct 04 )

Grizzly Girls
California State Flag

Read about Monarch- the last of the California Grizzlies by clicking HERE (from the page).

For more information on the biology of the Grizzly Bear click HERE (from


Developers Deceive San Franciscans: Historic Features of Emporium Lost
what's left of the historic Emporium


The façade of Market Street's Emporium Department Store survived the 1906 quake. The central rotunda is magnificent. These two features are all that remains of the historic building since developers betrayed San Franciscans and demolished the rest. This despite their assurances that more would be preserved.

Complete story from SF Chronicle, 2 Sep 04

Story was also featured in SF Examiner,
21 Sep 04 (no longer available via the web)



Invasion of the African Clawed Frog

Northern California waters, already besieged by a variety of exotic species, hardly need an aggressive, taloned frog from a distant continent wreaking havoc on such a tranquil setting as Lily Pond in Golden Gate Park. African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) are a mighty beast. If their pond dries up, they either hop to a new one or burrow in the dirt until it rains. They're immune to most diseases and will survive almost any wound that doesn't kill them outright. They'll consume any bug, slug, grub, amphibian or reptile they can cram past their expandable jaws; they have among the highest salt tolerance of any amphibian. Lily Pond is tucked away between the AIDS Memorial Grove and JFK Drive at the east end of Golden Gate Park. It is surrounded by tree ferns and braced by a steep hill. It is a favorite spot for Song Sparrows that one can hear while strolling through or stopping in at this serene spot that offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Wildlife experts say it's only a matter of time before the clawed frogs spread to other locales, if they haven't already.

(Adapted from SF Chronicle, 7 May 04 )

male & female


Jan Richman, Alan Kaufman & Matt Gonzalez
Artistic & Academic Freedom and the Academy of Art

Instructor fired for encouraging free expression (SF Chronicle, 25 Mar 04)

Academy of Art class protests school censorship (SF Chronicle, 8 Apr 04)

Expelling Edgy Writers (SF Bay Guardian, 14 Apr 04)

"When we censor violent prose, we deny our humanity" (SF Chronicle, 16 Apr 04)



tree in music concourse A Garage in Golden Gate Park? bandshell in music concourse


Story on Golden Gate Park from the The New Colonist

SFPS Golden Gate Park pix page

Controversial Garage Opens (SF Chronicle, 14 Oct 05)

NE Pedestrian Tunnel Destroyed (Indymedia, 22 April 04)

Trees Being Felled (SF Chronicle, 10 April 04)



In the news, thenJoe & Marilyn get married at City Hall, January 14, 1954
and now And Marriage for All, 2004
City Hall

It is the position of the San Francisco Preservation Society that all people have the right to have any loving union of their choice, including marriage. San Francisco is a very culturally diverse place. The SFPS would like to encourage and celebrate this.

Great movements start with people who are willing to look past the rules at what is truly humane and just.


 Let the Mayor &/or the San Francisco Supervisors know how you feel about these issues.

CLICK HERE  for their contact information.