JTF, Inc. Board Meeting

1765 Sutter Street, Conference Room

February 25, 2003 at 6 -8:30 p.m.



Attendees:††††† Scott Belser, Sheila Chung, Seiko Fujimoto, Rosalyn Tonai, David Ishida, Caryl Ito, Tak Matsuba, Jeff Mori, Jon Osaki, Mariko Watanabe

Guests:†††† Holli Thier (Thier PR), Karen Kai (advisory), Manito Velasco (DPT), Mitchell Omerberg (Thier PR), Sandy Mori (advisory), JK Yamamoto (advisory).

Excused:†† Mark Moriguchi, Benh Nakajo, Bob Otsuka, Pat Shiono.

Absent: ††† Doug Dawkins, Colin Gomez


A.Recognition of Quorum


B.Minutes of January 27, 2003 unanimously approved.


C.††† Presentation from Holly Thier, Central Freeway Demolition in late March


Holli Thier, and Mitchell Omerberg with Thier PR have been hired by Caltrans, DPW, the Transportation Authority, DPT, and various city, state, and mayoral agencies to facilitate the demolition process with the public.In 1998, Proposition E required Caltrans to demolish the Central Freeway structure and replace it with an elevated structure which will touch down on Market St.A new Octavia Boulevard will be built in the process.The freeway is scheduled to close at midnight of March 29, and demolition will begin soon thereafter.On March 30, there will be a demolition celebration at Octavia and Market.For more information visit the website at www.octaviacentral.org or email info@octaviacentral.org.


Manito Velasco, of the Department of Parking and Traffic, reports that, signage to Japantown will begin coming off of Ninth St to Larkin and then to Geary to replace current signage off the Fell Street exit.


D.     Chairís Report


Mayor Willie Brown Jr. Dedication: March 21, 6:15-8:30 pm, Miyako Hotel.Junko

Nakagawa and Benh Nakajo have been confirmed to MC the event.George Yamasaki has committed to play music at the event.Admission to the reception is $25 per person.


Tak Matsuba Appreciation Dinner: March 10th, 6:30pm, Miyako Mall


Executive Committee: The new executive committee has yet to be confirmed, so a committee needs to be appointed to review the current executive committee and make recommendations for the next year.


E.     Directorís Report


California Japantowns Preservation Committee February 24th meeting: Jon, Sandy, and Linda attended a joint meeting of the California Japantowns Preservation Committee and the California Japanese American Community Leadership Council in Sacramento to discuss Prop. 40 and SB 307.Currently, San Jose is in the process of re-submitting itís application for SB307 funds, Los Angeles has submitted theirs and San Francisco has yet do so.Sup. Gonzalez has asked the Planning Department to hold off on applying for the funds, so currently the money is not available although the funds are intact.The committee asked that all proposals from each Japantown be similar although Task Force members supported Kokoro and NLF projects.Sandy reports that she spoke with Diane Chun from Parks and Rec who stated that they would preferably give funds to a 501c3 nonprofit or a public agency.Parks and Rec would also prefer to see something that has California statewide significance.††


Within the 3 Japantowns subcommittee, Sandy states that eachJapantown has 3 votes, and there is one at-large vote by Laura Takeuchi which will give a direction and concept to promote the proposals.San Francisco representatives also raised the issue that all cities do not have to have the same proposal since each communityís needs are different.Los Angeles has decided to use their money on public art, educational markersand signage while San Jose wants to use the funds for signage and landmarks indicating historic sites.


Karen Kai from NLF reports that there is a need for the funds even if it is shared with the historical markers project.Monies could be used to fix the roof needs fixing, for restoration, or interior work, which is all needed.


Linda states that there is an upcoming meeting of the subcommittee on March 7.Benh, Jon, and Linda, are representatives of San Francisco on that subcommittee, but Benh will not be able to make that meeting.Linda requests that Sandy be put on the committee so that San Francisco can use all 3 votes.


Accounting Software: The Task Force is looking for affordable nonprofit accounting software.So far staff has checked out Nonprofit Books, and is pleased with its functionality.Linda will investigate further with Scott Belser, and Eric Ha of AARS.


Staff Resignation: Chris Durazo will be resigning her position at the Task Force and will be working at the South of Market Community Action Network.


DSL: The Task Force will be signing up for a DSL account.


F.      Committee Reports


Communication Committee:The communications committee is looking into translation services, and Japanese language software.In addition, they are in the process of compiling information on events that are coming up during the year so that the committee can distribute this information at the Cherry Blossom Festival as part of their outreach and marketing.At the festival, the committee is asking that board members volunteer their time to staff the booth.For the mapping project, the committee is working with JCGC to ensure that they have input into the final project.Finally, they are looking at editing previous documents to identify the core ofa community planand doing the same to create a marketing plan.Jon mentions that he is having difficulty finding the JTF website using a search engine.Rather than going to the JTF website, it goes to the Nichi Bei Times website which contains certain Task Force documents.


Cultural and Historical Preservation Committee: Ros reports that the Cultural and Historical Preservation Committee met and focused on verifying the accuracy and content of the draft historic context statement created by Tim Kelley and Gerald Takano.The document, which can be modified, changed, or added to over time, mainly establishes the parameters of the historical and cultural significance of Japantown.Suggestions were made to hold meetings to engage the community and document the process.The board suggested putting off submission of the document for another month.There was also concern among the board that the City Supervisors may be using the Task Forceís process to apply for SB307 funds but ultimately leave the Task Force out of the use of the funds.Ros requests that the board review and the statement and submit any revisions or comments they may have.

Economic and Business Development Committee: Tak reports that the 1600 Webster street retail space is available at a 1.5 million dollar asking price.At this time, no merchants are interested in purchasing the space although a lease may be an option.The committee also entertained the idea of having medical offices in the space if it is subdivided.Tak also states that they are approaching the Consul Generalís office, who may be able to use the space for an information and outreach office.David suggested that NJAHS use the space to supplement their existing exhibit space.Seiko will be meeting with the Consul General to discuss the possibility of using the retail space.


Regarding the koban, Tak reports that it was his understanding that the Merchants Association purchased the koban and donated it to the SFPD.However, it was recently discovered that the Merchants Association still owns the space.Caryl raised a concern that NPC has certain rights over the use of koban since it is on their property.


The garage is also working with the Task Force and the Merchants Association looking into starting a parking receipt program with advertisements from Japantown from merchants.


Health and Safety Committee: Since chair is absent, there is no report.


Finance Committee: No report.


††††††††††† Fundraising Committee: No report.


Personnel Committee: Caryl reports that the personnel committee met with Linda to establish the parameters for an evaluation process.In addition, the committee will be distributing a short survey for the board at the next meeting.


G.     Other Business and Announcements