The Presidio Brat

Friday, November 5, 2010


According to Officer Torche of the park police (yes, that's a link, check it out!), there's been a bit of theft on the Presidio lately, and the police want to encourage you all to use their free courtesy checks while you're out of town. They'll swing by your home a few times a day for however long you're gone. (And even occasionally your neighbors will notice and report the surveillance to...the police. Yes, it's happened. They're keeping people on their toes.) Maybe we can even get them to come by on horseback. So don't hesitate to call:

from a cell: 561-5656
from a landline: 561-5505

There's an interesting article that goes with that horse photo, check it out here.

The other thing the police do is focus on a particular issue for a month. In October it was stop signs - and those who blow right through them - and this month it's cell phone use while driving. (Yet another reason you should come to the town hall meetings: to get the heads-up on this month's theme.) Someone said it feels like cheating. And it sort of invites the idea that now that it's November, you can brazenly blow through stop signs, just don't be texting while you're doing it. But I was happy to hear that they're focusing on cell phones, because DAMN people. You know what I mean.

Town Hall Notes

It seems like we talked about animals a lot at this week's Town Hall meeting. Community gardens attracting all the raccoons. Coyotes getting evicted from the PHSH area during construction and moving deeper into the park. Birds nesting on people's houses. Silverfish in someone's drains. I mean, yeah, this is a national park. We have animals. But THAT, my friends, is a coyote.

Just sayin.

Town Hall meetings are excellent. First, it's a great place to learn about everything that's going on in the Presidio. The Trust folks are there, the police give a blotter, and residents show up to discuss issues in various neighborhoods. It's also a good place to bring the Trust's attention to issues you might have -- with anything, literally. To get yourself on an email list for these meeting, send an email to presidiotownhall [at] gmail [dot] com. They generally meet on the first Wednesday of every month.

Next month, the meeting will coincide with the Log Cabin event "Filming Nature in the Presidio". It's at 7 pm on Thursday, December 9th. Filmmaker Melissa Peabody has been filming the Presidio for five years, and the event will screen two of her short films, "Oasis" and "The Daylighting of Thompson Reach".

Peabody also recently produced a documentary about coyotes. Check it out:

I like that the coyote expert they talk to is named Camilla Fox.

Open House!

First, an invitation: everyone is welcome to come to the Presidio Fire Station's open house on December 3rd at 3 pm to meet the firemen and see the station. It seems like this will be a great event for kids, and there's a tree-lighting ceremony afterwards at 5 pm.

The Presidio Fire Department was made defunct this year after 93 years of service. It was originally created after the tragic fire that killed General Pershing's family in 1915. While Pershing was off pursuing Pancho Villa on the Mexican border, the lacquered floor in his Presidio home caught fire and killed his wife and three of his children. Only their 5-year-old son was saved (by an "aged negro servant" named Johnson.)

That's the house after the fire. Today, the main post flagpole marks the site where it stood.

So our new firemen are actually from the San Francisco Fire Department (although some of them are original Presidio firefighters who were able to keep their positions), and the Open House is a sort of welcome-to-our-part-of-the-woods event. So come on out!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dances With Zombies

An important tidbit from last night's Town Hall meeting: the Presidio is collecting winter clothing to be donated to the Standing Rock reservation in South Dakota. Why? Because our cops do rotations there to augment the BIA police. They see the need and they're asking for your jackets, sweaters, pants - anything you don't really need here in San Francisco anyway -- go on, admit it. What was it, 75 degrees today? And doesn't that photo make you just a little cold? They have snow. So head down to Building 34 or to the police station to drop your stuff off before November 17th.

And it looks like it's a good thing the reservation is doing a police surge, since Standing Rock features so heavily in this Amnesty International report on this country's failure to protect indigenous women from sexual assault.

On a related note, the American Indian Film Festival opens in San Francisco this week. They say:

"In film we find...a vehicle for Indians and non-Indians alike to "unlearn" damaging stereotypes and replace them with multidimensional images that reflect the complexity of Native peoples."

I can get behind that. Not to mention that Saturday night is fright night. WITH ZOMBIES!!!

And then there's the documentary that's going to make you realize who the REAL zombies are:

But first: Big, plush down jackets. Warm woolen sweaters. Those fur-lined boots you mistakenly thought you'd need for a hike to Mt. Tam....BRING IT ON!

A Grave Mistake

Um, excuse me, ma'am, can you tell me where to find the Presidio's famed Pet Cemetery, home to PeeWee and Laddie?

Why yes, it's right beneath that 50 thousand tons of freeway!

But thanks, CalTrans, for leaving what - 5 feet of head room?

Here is one person who is never - I repeat NEVER - going to be caught dead (wah-wah) beneath the new Doyle Drive with an average of 80 cars a minute roaring overhead in the most dangerous earthquake zone in America, thank you very much. I guess I'm going to have to stand at the lip and toss my flowers onto Fluffy's grave.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Blue Angels

Spectacular as always!

Thanks sweet Serenella and brave Bernhard.