Simple, Courteous Parking Note Discovered on West Slope

Nice parking notes: They exist!

As the parking wars rage in some parts of Bernalwood, a neighbor on Elsie Street recently expressed him/herself rather more courteously in this vehicular memorandum:

Please be [considerate] next time [of] limited parking space[s] by parking in rear closer to driveway thereby allowing more space in front of you.

Could the lack of passive-aggressiveness be due to… the lovely weather we’ve been having? The civilizing influence of the nifty new Bernal-based service CurbTxt? The effects of the pharmaceutical substance on the note’s letterhead (Fluoxetine = Prozac)?

Whatever the cause, point is: Nice parking notes are possible!

Valiant 4-Year-Old Rescues Baby Snail From Compost Bin

Oh, babies. They just get into everything, don’t they? Case in point: This juvenile gastropod was spotted gliding along the outside of an illegally-left-by-the-curb green bin earlier this week.

Had it managed to gain ingress, it would no doubt have been pleased by the seemingly endless all-you-can-eat buffet… before facing certain death in the Bay Area’s industrial composting facility.

Luckily for this creature, it was airlifted to a nearby bush by one Ember, age 4, of Elsie Street. Crisis averted!

How To Get Free Family Admission to City Museums

Though they look glamorous, this is not another Bernalwood fashion shoot. Instead, here we see Laura (8), Hanna (11), Max (1), and mother Lene waiting for the Bernal Heights Branch Library to open, so they can check out a Family Pass and get complimentary admission (for the whole kit and caboodle!) to the California Academy of Sciences.

Any San Francisco resident who has a library card and kids in their family can do this, at any branch library. Individual branches have passes for a rotating selection of 15 “Participating Attractions,” which include SFMOMA and the zoo, at different times. A single pass is good for one or two adults accompanied by up to four children under 18.

Check out SFKids.org or the S.F. Public Library’s website for more information.

Beer and Wine Now on the Menu at Progressive Grounds

To some, this will certainly represent progress: you can now enjoy a glass of beer or wine with your lunch at venerable Cortland Street cafe Progressive Grounds.

Technically speaking, you could enjoy the same with your morning bagel, starting at 10 a.m., but staffers say that hasn’t been happening. (Phew!) It’s been about a month since the cafe has been offering such brews as Blue Moon, Anchor Steam, and  Fat Tire, and the word is that it’s been a slow, gradual ramp-up in terms of actual consumption.

You gotta hand it to Progressive for covering its bases: coffee, food, Mitchell’s ice cream, a killer patio, and now this.

PHOTO: Bronwyn Ximm

The Right Way to Dispose of Big Stuff (Hint: Don’t Just Leave It Outside)

Dumped mattress in Bernal Heights

Why do this when Recology will take it from your curb at no extra charge?

It goes without saying that the citizenry of Bernalwood was outraged by the recent rash of dumping incidents on Bernal Hill.

But while we’re on the topic of dumping, the Bernalwood Research Department has uncovered an interesting litter-related fact: The majority of the 20 million pounds of abandoned crap our cash-strapped city cleans up every year, to the tune of four million dollars, does not come from piles of construction debris left by miscreants skulking about under cover of darkness.

Nope. “The bulk of what we pick up is innocent household items just set out on sidewalk,” says Greg Crump of the Department of Public Works.

We’ve all seen this kind of small-scale dumping: that splotchy mattress slouching against the side of a building, or that lopsided media cabinet optimistically adorned with a “Free” sign in the mini-park.

Which means that some inhabitants of our fair dominion are, apparently, doing it.

Not that you ever would, of course. But if you happen to see or know of anyone whose idea of spring cleaning is leaving their oversize clutter on the sidewalk, please spread the word: THERE IS A BETTER WAY, and it’s EASY.

Just go to RecycleMyJunk.com or call 330-1300 and tell the fine folks at Recology Sunset Scavenger what you’ve got and when you want them to haul it away. (I recommend calling, despite the annoying recording you have to listen to, because even if you fill out the online form, you’ll still have to call later.)

Why expend the very minimal effort required to do this?

Reason #1: It’ll probably be free, because—get this—if you have garbage pickup, you’re already paying for this service (more on that later).

Reason #2: Your stuff is less likely to end up in the landfill. Over 60% of what Recology collects is recycled, public relations manager (and Bernalwood resident!) Robert Reed told me. “If you illegally dump, you’re creating an environmental problem,” he says. “Let’s say you abandon a mattress. How long before a dog comes along and lifts a leg, or it rains? If it gets moldy or something, at least part of that thing is going to just get tossed.”

Properly-disposed-of mattresses, by the way, are taken to … the largest mattress recycler in North America(!), a place called DR3, which happens to be in the East Bay. Between 85 and 90 percent of each mattress DR3 gets its hands on finds a new life, including the wood, the steel springs, and the outside material. “The foam gets turned into carpet padding, and a portion of the cotton actually ends up in the oil industry, to help clean up oil spills,” says DR3 manager Robert Jaco.

Reason #3: You won’t be inviting yet more blight to our glamorous neighborhood. Nuff said.

But what if you don’t have any bulky-item pickups left? This can happen. If you live in a single-family home, you’re entitled to two collections of up to 10 big items a year at no extra charge. If you live in a multi-unit building, you only get one.

But not to worry! If you’re out of curbside collections and you can’t sweet-talk your neighbor into letting you share one of theirs, you can still schedule a pickup. It won’t be free, but it won’t break the bank either. And if you can’t or don’t want to schlep your cast-offs to the curb, Recology will handle the lugging. “We collect stuff from garages,  houses, storage rooms,” Reed says. “We even carry mattresses right out of the bedroom.”

A bevy of free options exist for getting rid of non-broken furniture, appliances, etc. The Salvation Army has a conveniently close drop-off location at 26th and San Jose, but you can also have them come to you. United Cerebral Palsy of the Golden Gate will also come to you — and they send also trucks to our neighborhood every few months to pick up usable items and even e-waste; watch for their flyers in your mailbox to get a heads-up.

But whatever you do, don’t just abandon your stuff outside, or the dumping terrorists have already won!

PHOTO: Bronwyn Ximm

Carnaval Dancers Shake Their Stuff in Precita Park

Precita Park is never a bad place to spend a glorious weekend afternoon. But it got even better yesterday with the arrival of Fogo na Roupa, a Bay Area-based Brazilian Carnaval dance and percussion troupe whose members young and old were producing some mighty fine hip-shaking rhythms.

Here they are (well, about a quarter of the full group, according to one dancer), preparing for San Francisco’s big Carnaval parade, which takes place in the Mission on May 27.

Bernal Native and Smarty-Pants Political Comic Performs Tonight in Oakland

Our sources at the Bernal Heights Parents Club tell us that Bernal native and Bay Area comic luminary Nato Green – whom writer Lemony Snicket has likened to “finding a shot of bourbon at your co-worker’s stupid vegan potluck” – is doing stand-up at the New Parish in Oakland at 7 and 9 tonight (and recording the performances for his first comedy album).

You can read more about Green and his roots in union organizing in this East Bay Express article; it sounds like Green could be a good antidote to all the outrage we’re feeling over the Great Bernal Dumping Epidemic. Plus, for all the moms and dads out there, rumor has it there will be jokes about being a San Francisco parent. Tickets ($12-$15) available here.