Noe Valley Voice June 2003

Short Takes


The Clean Team Wants You!

Each month throughout the year, the Clean City Coalition and the San Francisco Department of Public Works (DPW) coordinate an intensive cleanup of one San Francisco district. This month, the beneficiary is our very own District 8. That's nice, you say, but what does that have to do with me?

Well, volunteers are needed to join Community Clean Teams at two Saturday kickoff events from 9 a.m. to noon. The first will be on June 7 at Harvey Milk Plaza, located at Castro and 17th streets; the second will be on June 14 at Dolores Park, at 19th and Dolores.

After signing up, team members can roll up their shirtsleeves at the plaza (or park), or they can get their mojo workin' in other areas in our district, which includes Noe Valley, Twin Peaks, the Castro, Glen Park, Diamond Heights, Duboce Triangle, and parts of the Mission District. Work will proceed until about 11:30 a.m. Then people can return to the park (or plaza) for a free lunch.

"In Noe Valley, there will be some tree trimming on Dolores between 28th and 30th, as well as on 24th Street, and some general cleanup that includes street-sweeping and weeding around tree bases and sidewalks," says Tim Dewey-Mattia, outreach coordinator for the Clean City Coalition. "If people want to work at a particular site, they can tell us where it is, and we'll bring them all the supplies they need and haul out the trash when they're done."

Also, DPW will be working in the district throughout the month. If you have areas you would like them to spiff up, call Dewey-Mattia at 508-0050.

For more information, surf on over to

Meet Angela and Tom
and Gavin and Susan

The Noe Valley Democratic Club is bringing the four top candidates for mayor to the neighborhood this summer on two separate dates. Tom Ammiano and Angela Alioto will begin their dialogue on June 18 at 7:30 p.m. Gavin Newsom and Susan Leal will appear on July 16 at 7 p.m. Both events will take place at the Noe Valley Ministry at Sanchez and 23rd streets.

"It's an opportunity for people to talk with the candidates about the future of the city and hear their perspectives. We're hoping it will be fairly intimate and non-combative. We want it to be a discussion about important issues with people who've thought a lot about them," says Rafael Mandelman, president of the club.

Here is an informal description of each candidate provided by Mandelman:

Angela Alioto is the daughter of former Mayor Joseph Alioto, and she has called herself the "heart of San Francisco." She has run for mayor twice before and has a lot of support from labor unions.

Tom Ammiano has run for mayor against Willie Brown, is a former president of the Board of Supervisors, and is currently on the board. He's been sort of a chief thorn in Willie Brown's side.

Susan Leal is the current city treasurer. She has also been on the Board of Supervisors. She has called herself a pragmatic progressive, and she presents herself as a small businesswoman with practical experience. She also grew up in San Francisco and has connections to Noe Valley.

Gavin Newsom is a member of the Board of Supervisors and gained fame for the Care Not Cash initiative. Some people feel that he's too conservative for this city; other people feel that he's sort of a refreshing change.

If you need more skinny on how these mayoral hopefuls will face off, call Mandelman at 648-4010.

Fake Illness for the Public Good

Have you ever wanted to be an extra in a movie, but blanched at the prospect of committing several days to sitting around in an embarrassing costume? On Tuesday, June 17, at Bill Graham Auditorium, the San Francisco Department of Public Health is offering you the chance to be part of something akin to a movie, except no cameras will roll. You can be one of 2,000 volunteers in a practice exercise that will test our city's ability to respond to a public health emergency. No costumes are required, just your normal street clothes, and you can be in and out in under two hours.

"This exercise is going to further our planning process to make sure that if we do have a health emergency--whether it's a naturally occurring event such as a flu pandemic or a meningitis outbreak, where we need to give people drugs as prophylactics, or if there's a bio-terrorist-related event, like a smallpox or anthrax release--we will be prepared for this type of unfortunate event," says Dr. Susan Fernyak, director of epidemiology and disease control for the Health Department.

Volunteers are encouraged to sign up before the event, picking any two-hour slot between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. You will receive a script describing what type of patient you will be, participate in a short educational session, fill out paperwork, and pretend to be vaccinated with Q-Tips. Workers on-site will be a mix of doctors, nurses, runners, and administrative personnel from a variety of city departments. They will include people fluent in English, Chinese, and Spanish.

For your time, you will receive a certificate of participation and a chance to win a raffle prize such as a restaurant gift certificate, a breakfast cruise on a yacht, and gift baskets donated by organizations from across the city.

You can sign up several ways: Download a registration form at and fax it to 206-2303; call 206-2358 to register by phone; or e-mail Judith.S. Bill Graham Auditorium is at Grove and Larkin streets in the Civic Center.

Summertime and the
Playin' Is Easy

If you have young people in your orbit, you will be pleased to know that our neighborhood has a variety of free or low-cost activities available for young people this summer.

Upper Noe Recreation Center at the corner of Day and Sanchez streets will have three directors working to keep things hopping seven days a week. Yes, even Sundays. Activities will include basketball camps and leagues; toddler and preschool gym times, art workshops, baseball, softball, at least two field trips to Great America, and, of course, lots of open space for free play. Also, a free lunch for kids 7 to 18 will be served on weekdays from noon to 1:30 p.m. To find out more, call the rec center at 695-5011.

Douglass Playground, nestled against a commanding hill at 26th and Douglass streets, will continue to rent out its clubhouse and picnic tables for birthday parties. To reserve your date, call 831-5520. To find out what organized activities the playground directors have in mind, call 695-5017.

Also, the Mission YMCA is holding its popular Noe Valley Day Camp from June 9 through Aug. 15, at the Noe Valley Ministry (1021 Sanchez Street). It provides youths in kindergarten through fifth grade a range of activities including field trips, swimming, sports, arts, and cooking classes. Each weeklong session has a distinct theme and a related field trip. For example, the gang will go to the San Francisco Zoo during "Where the Wild Things Are" week. "Yummy Yummy Tummy" week will find the youngsters at the Jelly Belly Factory, and the Santa Cruz Boardwalk will be the destination when the kids are having "Fun Under the Sun." Complete details are at

Each session is $157. Campers can arrive as early as 7:30 a.m. and stay as late as 6:30 p.m. To reserve a spot, call 586-6900.

An Odd Monday to See Dufty

Want to get up close and personal with one of our elected officials? Here's your chance. Bevan Dufty will be the featured guest of the Odd Mondays Series on Monday, June 23. Dufty is the supervisor for District 8, which includes Noe Valley.

"He will talk about the state of our neighborhood. And he's likely to discuss any number of concerns on everyone's minds, such as traffic, residential parking permits, dogs, noise, burglaries, and police coverage. He'll speak for about 20 minutes starting at 7 p.m. and then take questions up until 9 p.m.," says Ramon Sender, who co-sponsors the series along with Judith Levy-Sender and the Noe Valley Ministry.

The purpose of the Odd Monday Series, which is free of charge and occurs on Mondays with odd-numbered dates throughout the year, is "to bring professionals in all fields as presenters to the Noe Valley neighborhood for the pleasure and edification of the public at large," notes Sender.

All are welcome to attend a 5:30 p.m. no-host dinner at Noe Valley Pizza (corner of 24th and Sanchez streets) prior to the event. The meeting itself is up the block at the Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez Street at 23rd Street. For more information, call Sender at 282-2317.

More Than Fiddling with Scottish Dance

On Thursday, June 19, the San Francisco Scottish Country Dancers are bringing in the summer solstice with a frolicsome party. From 7:45 to 10 p.m., dancers, accompanied by live music, will reel and jig around the Noe Valley Ministry's upper floor. And everyone's invited to enjoy the show for free.

"We'll have 12 dances in the program, and the band consists of three wonderful musicians on piano, flute, and fiddle, playing mostly Scottish fiddle tunes," notes Susie Langdon Kass, one of the group's dance instructors. "If spectators stay for the whole program, they can join us for refreshments at the end."

Later this summer, seasoned dancers from the group, which has been kicking up heels at the Noe Valley Ministry for almost 20 years, will begin rehearsing for a performance at the Pleasanton Scottish Games on Labor Day weekend. With that feather in their cap, the dancers will offer an introductory party and class for $3, on Thursday, Sept. 4, at 8 p.m. Ongoing classes for beginning and experienced dancers will then start up on Thursday, Sept. 11. The fee is $40 for an eight-week session.

The Noe Valley Ministry is at 1021 Sanchez Street, at 23rd Street. For more information on how to get into the swing of Scottish dance, call 333-9372.

GLBT History on Parade

The 33rd annual San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade will take place Sunday, June 29. The theme, "You've Gotta Give Them Hope," is a quote from Harvey Milk. He was San Francisco's first openly gay supervisor and an esteemed community activist whose life was cut short in 1978 by the infamous Dan White.

Celebrated author Armistead Maupin will be the parade's grand marshal. It is the 25th anniversary of the publication of his first Tales of the City novel. Revelers will also be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the rainbow flag, the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, the Freedom Band, and Theatre Rhinoceros. All are icons of freedom for the community.

The parade begins at Market and Beale streets at 10 a.m. and proceeds west on Market Street to Eighth Street, one of the entrances to the Civic Center celebration site. Along with food, drink, and information booths, there will be 13 stages full of entertainment. Headliners will include the as yet unknown winner of "Pride Idol 1," S.F. Pride's search for a star à la America Idol on Fox TV. Full details about this rousing event can be found at

Meanwhile, if you'd like to delve further into the spirit of Harvey Milk, visit the Museum of GLBT History at 657 Mission Street (between Second and Third streets). An exhibit entitled "Saint Harvey: The Life and Afterlife of a Modern Gay Martyr" opens June 6. It documents Milk's life and legacy, and includes rarely seen artifacts from Milk's estate, including the clothes he wore at the time of his assassination. For the museum's days and hours, call 777-5455 or visit

This month's Short Takes were compiled and written by Laura McHale Holland.