Noe Valley Voice November 2005

Short Takes

Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

Neighbors are banding together on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m., to figure out how locals can be ready for a major disaster. Richard May, newly elected president of the residents group Friends of Noe Valley, is organizing the free meeting, which will be held at St. Philip Parish Hall at Diamond and Elizabeth streets.

"Our disaster plan may take time to develop, but perhaps volunteers at the meeting will agree to meet to develop the outline for the neighborhood to discuss and refine," May says.

Through the web site, San Francisco officials have been encouraging residents to plan for three days without power following a quake, but May believes that's not enough. "From recent experiences with the tsunami [in Southeast Asia], the Kashmir earthquake, and [flooding in] New Orleans, we know we will be on our own much longer than three days. So, coming up with a seven-day plan for mutual survival sounds much more sensible."

May says his concern is in response to what he calls the "pitiful" response of city, state, and federal officials to the disaster in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in September. "We have to assume it wouldn't be any better for us," he notes. Call him at 206-0231 if you would like to participate in the disaster planning.

Fall into Autumn Art

Gallery Sanchez, the upstairs art space at the Noe Valley Ministry, will host an Autumn Art Fair on Saturday, Nov. 12, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Phoebe McAfee, who runs the gallery, says many of the artists featured at the fair are locals, including herself, sculptor and painter Nancy Reese, toymaker Betsy Bannerman, and knitter Ryckje Wagner.

"Nancy approached me this summer and said she has lots of sculpture at her studio and would like to sell it and give a portion of the proceeds to the Ministry building fund," says McAfee. "[That's when] the idea of an art fair was born."

The fair will include jewelry made by longtime Clipper Street resident Lynn Roberts, who passed away in October.

Reese's paintings and McAfee's weavings will be on display at Gallery Sanchez throughout the month of November; then for the art fair, they'll bring out their three-dimensional art and include the other artists' work. The items on display will be for sale that day. Reese and McAfee will donate half of the proceeds from sales of their art to the Ministry; the other artists will also make donations of their choosing.

McAfee adds, "It should be fun!" The Noe Valley Ministry is located at 1021 Sanchez Street near 23rd Street.

Rally for Women's Rights

Everyone is welcome to join the Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights in a Nov. 5 rally in support of women's health and freedom. The Saturday demonstration will start at 1:30 p.m. with a gathering in Dolores Park--at 19th and Dolores streets--and end at 4:30 p.m. with a Take Back the Night March.

Among the causes the group is championing are universal health care; access to safe birth control, prenatal care, and affordable childcare; and the nomination of Supreme Court justices who will safeguard women's rights and civil liberties. The organization is actively campaigning against Proposition 73, a Nov. 8 ballot measure that would require parents to be notified before their minor daughter had an abortion. At the rally, participants will learn what the coalition is doing to counter anti-abortion groups coming to San Francisco in January 2006.

The event features music, art, and speakers, including San Francisco City Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, Oakland City Councilwoman Nancy Nadel, writer Michelle Tea, and Women's Choice Clinic director Linci Comy. For more information, call 864-1278.

Neighbors Come Clean (Again)

Since the two Clean Sweep days during the summer were such a success, a third neighborhood cleanup will happen on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 9 a.m. until noon. Participants should meet at the Farmers' Market mini-park on 24th Street between Sanchez and Vicksburg streets. As usual, the organizers will provide free breakfast, brooms, gloves, and cleaning supplies, and children are welcome to participate with their parents. Volunteers will organize themselves into teams and set off to clean their designated areas.

According to co-organizer Richard May, residents are encouraged to hold block parties to clean, weed, and paint residential areas of Noe Valley. Team leaders are also needed to supervise cleanup crews and help ensure volunteers' safety. To be a team leader or to coordinate your block cleanup with the rest of the neighborhood, send an e-mail to May at

Bookstore Out for Blood

Cover to Cover Booksellers is hosting its first-ever blood drive on Monday, Nov. 21, from noon until 4 p.m. During those hours, a donation truck from Blood Centers of the Pacific will be parked in front of the store, located at 1307 Castro Street near 24th Street. It's a good time to get in some holiday shopping, too, since Cover to Cover is offering a 15 percent discount that day to everyone who donates a pint of blood.

Store owner Tracy Wynne said she decided to hold the blood drive because she has family in Louisiana and wanted to help out after the floods caused there by Hurricane Katrina. She found out that Louisiana already had a surplus of blood, but that hospitals in the Bay Area needed some. "I decided to keep going with the blood drive because I believe it's important," she said.

City College Signup

It's time to ponder the wide array of educational opportunities available at City College of San Francisco's Castro-Valencia campus--known by day as James Lick Middle School at 25th and Noe streets. According to Bruce Smith, dean of the School of Liberal Arts, the spring course schedule will begin showing up in residents' mailboxes during November.

The Castro-Valencia campus offers courses in foreign languages such as Spanish, French, Italian, German, Chinese, and Russian. The school also offers theater; art; music; English; health; physical education; women's studies; gay, lesbian, and transgender studies; and behavioral and social science classes. Courses are open to all adults and cost $26 per unit for California residents.

For complete schedule information, or to file a new student application, visit the City College web site at

Snuff Out Your Smokes

In honor of the American Cancer Society's annual Great American Smoke-Out, a local organization is offering a free session to help smokers prepare to quit. Lori Feldman, LCSW, director of the QuitSmart smoking cessation program, invites those who want to be former smokers to visit her office at 3884 24th Street (near Sanchez Street) on Thursday, Nov. 17, from 3 to 4 p.m.

Feldman says her program helps people kick the habit by planning ahead, slowly overcoming physical addiction, thinking positively, and participating in hypnosis. "[This] hypnosis isn't the hocus-pocus that some people expect," Feldman says. "It's just a pleasant relaxation with the mind focused on being comfortably free of cigarettes."

Registration for the free informational session is required. To sign up, call Feldman at 285-9770.

Having an Art Attack?

Artery is the place for art lovers to be in November, with a new series of classes starting up for all ages.

For the little ones, there's a six-week Terrific Twos class for toddlers with adults, and a preschool class for children ages 3 to 5. Slightly older children can choose from Trading Card Creation, ArtBOTS, Art Girls, and Every Child Can Learn to Draw classes, all of which are available in six-week sessions.

The In-beTEEN art class is moderately priced for kids who are beginning to manage their own money, and it happens on Saturdays for students ages 13 to 16, with beginners very welcome.

A one-day collage workshop for adults takes place on Sunday, Nov. 13, and a beadwork jewelry class for anyone age 13 or older will meet for six weeks. For information on fees and times, visit www or call 285-0235.

It May Be Garbage, But It Isn't Cheap

Sunset Scavenger and Golden Gate Disposal, the folks in charge of taking out the city's trash, are asking for a rate increase. In other words, garbage bills may go up in 2006.

The Department of Public Works is holding a meeting on Friday, Nov. 4, from 1 to 4 p.m., to give the public more information about the rate increase process and a chance to prepare for a series of public hearings scheduled for early 2006.

Public comments will be accepted at the Nov. 4 meeting, says DPW spokeswoman Christine Falvey, but the real purpose of the meeting is to show people "what the process is, here's why the company is asking for it, and here's how the city responds to it."

Those who want to protest a rate hike will have the information they need to prepare for the next step. The meeting will be held in Room 400 of City Hall. For more information, visit the DPW web site at

Church Collects Socks for Homeless

For several years, Bethany United Methodist Church has prepared Thanksgiving boxes for W.O.M.A.N., Inc., a community-based agency that serves battered women in San Francisco and the larger Bay Area. Each box contains the ingredients for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner--turkey, stuffing, vegetables, rolls, cranberry sauce, and pie.

This year, members are gathering donations at the 11 a.m. worship service on Sunday, Nov. 20. "This is not just a food drive where people drop off food in big bins, although we do accept donations of non-perishable food throughout the year because people frequently come to our door asking for food," says Marilyn Herand, co-chair of Bethany's social justice committee. "For this, we carefully prepare each box." Residents who would like to donate or otherwise help should call the church to find out the logistics.

Something else the church is collecting from now until Dec. 18 is socks. "We're collecting them for Project Homeless Connect.... There's usually a thousand or more homeless people that come, and we want to have enough socks for all of them," Herand says.

People can drop off socks at any 11 a.m. Sunday church service or call to make special arrangements. To find out more, call Herand at 648-4092 or the church office at 647-8393. Bethany is at 1268 Sanchez Street, at Clipper Street.

In Dog We Trust

"We're really excited about hosting the first book event since our store opened," says Celia Sack, co-owner of the Noe Valley Pet Company. "I hope it will lead to many more."

She and co-owner Paula Harris are welcoming Tracie Hotchner, author of The Dog Bible, to their store, located at 1451 Church Street, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 3.

Hotchner will discuss her book and answer the gamut of dog-related questions. Dogs and their people are invited, and Sack promises party favors, too. A portion of proceeds from book sales will go to Rocket Dog Rescue.

Film Arts Fest Features Locals

Two local filmmakers' work will be showcased in the 21st annual Film Arts Festival of Independent Cinema, which runs Nov. 3 to 6 at locations in San Francisco, San Rafael, and Oakland.

On Friday, Nov. 4, at 11:30 p.m., Noe Valley resident Sasha Aickin's film Blood, Sweat, and Glitter screens as part of the festival's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Night. The documentary takes viewers behind the scenes during preparations for San Francisco's Miss Trannyshack beauty pageant.

Jay Rosenblatt's film Phantom Limb will also screen during the festival, as part of a series of shorts on Friday, Nov. 4, at 6 p.m. The personal film explores the impact of the death of Rosenblatt's 7-year-old brother on his family.

Both films will screen at the Roxie Cinema, located at 3117 16th Street near Valencia Street. To buy tickets, visit www or call 800-838-3006.

Clay and Glass Showcase

Potter Bonita Cohn, who teaches at Ruby's Clay Studio on Noe Street, will be exhibiting her work at the San Francisco Clay and Glass Festival on Saturday, Nov. 5, and Sunday, Nov. 6, at Herbst Pavilion in Fort Mason.

Cohn will be present to discuss the craft and answer questions from visitors. The event will include live clay and glassblowing demonstrations and a fun workshop for kids called "Clay for Kids."

The Festival is hosted annually by the Association of Clay and Glass Artists of California, a non-profit organization of over 300 artists and supporters of the craft.

This month's Short Takes were written by Erin O'Briant and Laura McHale Holland.