JTF, Inc. Board Meeting

1765 Sutter Street, Conference Room

January 27th, 2003, 6 -8:30 p.m.


Attendees:†††† Scott Belser, Jon Osaki, Pat Shiono, Seiko Fujimoto, Caryl Ito, Mark Moriguchi, Tak Matsuba, Benh Nakajo, Rosalyn Tonai, Linda Jofuku, Chris Durazo and Ernie Yoshikawa


Guests:†††††††††† Frank Lee (DPW), Shirley Wysinger (San Francisco Redevelopment Agency), Olivia Swilley (Mayorís Office), Karen Kai (advisory), Steve Suzuki (Kokoro), Officer Kiyotaka Kanamori (SFPD), Sandy Mori (advisory) JK Yamamoto (advisory), Alan Woolman and Takeno Chiyo


Excused:††††††† Mariko Watanabe, Sheila Chung, Doug Dawkins, David Ishida, Jeff Mori and Bob Otsuka


Unexcused: Colin Gomez


A.    Meeting begins at 6:15pm


B.      Presentation by Frank Lee from Department of Public Works (DPW)


New signal lights on Bush Street from Presidio to Kearny:

This project will last from 11/02 to 11/03.The project includes new mast arm poles for better visibility, pedestrian countdown clocks and synchronized lighting for rush hour. Curbs and sidewalk work will occur between Presidio and Van Ness until April, however, street excavation has already been completed.


The Central Freeway will come down in mid-March:

Caltrans will remove the central freeway from mid-March to October 2003. DPW will rebuild Octavia Boulevard (into six lanes from October 2003-04). DPW will then build the freeway ramp to Market Street from October 2004-06. Holly Thier is the public relations contact and can be reached at (415) 440-0234. Those coming to Japantown from the Bay Bridge (West-Bound 80) and/or North-Bound 101 will need to identify detours. The last exit will be at the corner of Duboce and Mission Street. There are two City-sponsored community meetings regarding these projects on February 6th and February 13th (please see posting on www.jtowntaskforce.org or call 346-1239).Board members expressed concern over the impact on people coming to Japantown, especially during the upcoming Cherry Blossom Festival in April. The Task Force will work on identifying viable detours to circulate throughout the community. The ad hoc signage committee will also work on integrating this new info with their mapping of replacement directional signs to Japantown.


C.    Recognition of Quorum



D.     Minutes of November 25th, 2003 approved unanimously as submitted


E.      Chairís Report -Caryl

Tak Matsuba (search committee) introduces and nominates Scott Belser for a position as a new board member.


1.1††† Action Item: Motion passed unanimously to accept Scott Belserís nomination as a new board member.


F.      Directorís Report -Linda


Budget/New Bank Account

Linda opened a new savings account with California Bank and Trust with donations that came from the newsletter. Our contracts are on a reimbursement basis. JCYC has been very generous to the JTF by allowing us to use their general fund for payroll and bills, but we are asking that the board help us develop a general fund.Jon asked if there has been a goal set for when JTF plans to operate and administer its own funds. Jon recommends looking into affordable loans from the Northern California Community Development Fund for the development of a general fund.


Japan Center Garage Contract

Five-year contract split between capital costs and operational costs. The capital project for this year is signage for Japantown. The ad hoc signage committee would like signage from the freeways to Japantown and will identify specifically where to place the signs. We are also looking for pro bono artwork for the signs with three different directional arrows.


Litter Hawk photo shoot February 7th

Wendy Nelder (Mayorís Neighborhood Beautification Fund) and Dee Dee Workman (San Francisco Beautiful), Tak Matsuba (Japantown Merchants Association) and Rich Hashimoto (Japan Center Parking Garage) will meet on February 7th for a photo shoot to be sent with press release. The Litter Hawk is a Cleaning Machine that is available for community rental at $25/hour.


California Japantowns Preservation Committee January 24th meeting

The California Japantown Preservation Committee (CJPC) is a subcommittee of the California Japanese American Community Leadership Council (CJACLC).The governor had set aside $1,000,000 through State Parks & Recreation for the preservation of the three Japantowns.The purpose of the meeting was to decide what projects the Three Japantowns subcommittee would put forward for the Prop. 40 funds.Among the projects suggested by Linda were the Peace Pagoda, Kokoro, and YWCA.Paul Osaki had also received $150,00 for the CJACLC through the Civil Liberties program to do a historical installation or marker in San Francisco Japantown.JCCCNC and Los Angles were particularly interested in a streetscape proposal, which included artwork, such as a historical marker, and cherry trees.The subcommittee, though, wanted to work in unity and set forth similar projects.Jon also adds that the emphasis was less on the projects being similar than having the projects be consistent with the governorís priorities, and working with the state in a uniform and coordinated manner.Steve Suzuki, President, Kokoro Board of Directors, states that the importance of Kokoro is not only the jobs it produces, and the housing it provides, but that it maintains the fabric of the community and provides valuable services that support the community.Karen Kai, not acting as a representative of Nihonmachi Little Friends, reports that NLF is still working on raising acquisition funds, and has created a dedicated committee to work on this issue.She also adds that San Francisco YWCA and Kokoro projects are in fact consistent with the priorities of the governor and the mandate of the Task Force.Jon remarked that he had the sense that the California Japantowns Preservation Committee will be looking for each community to submit only one project, since they would like it to have a significant impact.††† Linda, Jon, and Benh, as representatives of San Francisco Japantown, will be attending the next CJACLC and California Japantowns Preservation Committee meeting in February to put forward which projects they would put forth for Prop. 40.


1.2        Action Item: Motion passed recommending that the capital projects of Kokoro and the YWCA be put forth to the Leadership Council as preservation projects. Pat Shiono abstains.


G.    Committee Reports


Health and Safety Committee

Captain Cashman has designated someone from the police force to be a liaison to our health and safety committee. Alan Woolman discussed a report he made two years ago around a rape in the NPC lot behind his apartments. He also heard another incident this past Friday night. Because the victims do not report these crimes, the police were not able to take down a report. Mark noted that because a report is not filed does not mean that it doesnít happen. Benh announced that the committee would meet for first time on Thursday, January 30th at 6:30pm. He encouraged anyone interested in the health and safety of Japantown to attend


Communication Committee

Seiko provided a written report and asked people to call either her or David with any questions. The committee meets every third Tuesday at 5pm for those interested.


Cultural and Historical Preservation Committee

Rosalyn discussed the written report she submitted. Two committee work objectives were having follow-up meetings with the Landmarks Advisory Preservation Board president, Tim Kelley and coming up with a definition for cultural preservation. The committee will meet on either Mondays or Wednesdays at 4-5pm and are encouraging others to participate. Talks arose regarding the California Civil Liberties Education Program (CCLEP) funded Three Japantowns Historic Markers Project. Rosalyn reported that she had been asked to be on the judging committee. They are trying to identify the top three artists from the request for qualifications (rfq) process.A request for proposals (rfp) will happen in the future. The project will be something that links all three Japantowns and somehow integrates this history into historic markers, costing a total of $150,000 (to include design and drawings). Curt Osaki is the administrator. Concerns were raised about if the Prop 40 monies were going to be earmarked for the fabrication/installation of this project. People felt that this would not be the best usage of these preservation funds. Another concern was whether this project would solely focus on WWII (because of the funding limitations), forgetting the contributions of the earlier and latter generations within SF Japantown.


Economic and Business Development Committee

Tak Matsuba, committee chair, will hold his first meeting on Thursday, February 20th at 6pm


Fundraising Committee

No report


Personnel Committee

The committee will meet in February to go over Lindaís six-month performance evaluation.


Finance Committee

No report


H.     Other Business and Announcements

Please see the calendar of events posted online at www.jtowntaskforce.org for more details.


I.        Meeting adjourns at 8:30pm