Supervisor Eric Mar: Support local business

Seasons greetings! I wish you a joyous holiday season with your loved ones.

As you do your holiday shopping this year, I urge you to buy local and support San Francisco businesses, especially our Richmond District merchants. Please go to for more information on discounts for San Francisco residents at participating retailers.

I also encourage you to utilize public transit and carpool. Muni transfers will be good all day on Sundays from Nov. 15 to Dec. 27. Cars entering designated city-owned parking garages between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. get one hour validation for cars with three persons and a two-hour validation for cars with four persons.

Improvements to Golden Gate Park

As you may have already noticed, Golden Gate Park is receiving some much needed improvements. Thanks to funding from Proposition 40 in 2002, Golden Gate Park has received $32,673,000 for a myriad of public improvement projects.

Some of the projects have already been completed, such as improvements to the bison paddock, Children's Playground, Music Concourse, surface improvements, and the Spreckles Temple of Music. There are also a number of projects that are currently in the design phase or under construction. Those projects consist of improvements to the paths in the Botanical Gardens, improvements to the Rhododendron Dell, repaving of the west end of John F. Kennedy Drive (JFK), the Murphy Windmill and Murphy Millwright Cottage restoration, Polo Field restoration, and restoration of the Music Concourse Fountain, among others.

These are all very exciting and much needed improvements to our park. It is great to see our beloved park receive upgrades and enhancements to better serve all of its users. I, for one, am looking forward to riding my bike with my daughter on the soon-to-be-repaved, smooth and safer west end of JFK. Enjoy your park!

Upcoming Hearings

I am sponsoring a number of hearings in the coming weeks that I wanted to share with you and encourage your participation.

The first, is a hearing to discuss how the SF Department of Public Health and the SF Unified School District are working together to prepare for the flu season and administer the H1N1 vaccine to ensure that the high-risk communities who are most in need of a vaccine are receiving it. This hearing is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 7, at 10 a.m., in the Public Safety Committee, Room 250 at City Hall.

The second hearing is a discussion about the number of large events in Golden Gate Park and the interdepartmental coordination with the SF Recreation and Park Department and other city agencies during these events. The hearing is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 14, at City Hall, at 1 p.m., in the Land Use Committee. Your input is crucial to this discussion and could shape the way the Recreation and Park Department manages its events in the future.

This hearing was called in response to the number of large events in Golden Gate Park over the summer, including the Outside Lands Concert and the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass event.

The third hearing is on the abuse and misuse of disability placards. State law has recently changed to allow local authorities to impose greater fines on those who are misusing or abusing disability placards. I am very concerned about this issue because each placard that is used improperly takes a parking space away from those who truly need it. This means that parks, restaurants and other places of destination are not accessible to many with mobility or other types of impairments.

Coffee with Eric: On Thursday, Dec. 17, from 6 p.m. - 7 p.m., I will be at Cafˇ Muse (785 Eighth Ave.) in the Inner Richmond.

Come meet with me and other Richmond District residents and share what's on your mind! Bike to Work: Our monthly ride meets up at Velo Rouge Cafˇ, 798 Arguello Blvd., at Cabrillo Street, on Friday, Dec. 11, at 8 a.m.

Ride to City Hall with us! San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar represents District 1.