Noe Valley Voice April 2007

Short Takes

Forum on the Future of Iraq

Three experts on politics in the Middle East will speak at a forum on the war in Iraq hosted by the Noe Valley Democratic Club.

Panelist Stephen Zunes is a professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco. He is also the author of many articles for both scholarly and general readership on Middle East politics, United States foreign policy, international terrorism, social movements, and human rights.

Another speaker, Amer Araim, is a former Iraqi diplomat and U.N. Secretariat official, as well as a professor at San Francisco State University. The third panelist is Banafsheh Keynoush, a lecturer at SFSU who specializes in Iranian affairs and has interviewed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. After the three panelists speak, the audience will have an opportunity to ask questions.

NVDC Vice President Lois Lieberman organized the event. Her husband Noel explains, "We hope the panel will take a look into the future, including what may happen in Iraq and the region if the U.S. withdraws its combat troops." The discussion is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18, at the Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez Street near 23rd Street. For more information about the Noe Valley Democratic Club, contact Andy Fleischman at 641-5838.

Spring Cleaning, Summer Reading

Church Street Professionals (formerly Church Street Business) and the Noe Valley Library Campaign are teaming up to host a summer sidewalk book sale, with proceeds to support the Noe Valley­Sally Brunn Branch Library's future interior renovation.

From Sunday, April 1, to Friday, May 11, Church Street businesses will collect donated books from Noe Valley residents and shoppers. To donate your books, look for the "Donate Here" posters in the windows of Church Street stores such as Artery, Chloe's Café, Forbeadin', Lynn Antiques, and Noe Valley Pet Company.

Church Street Professionals member Paula Benton says she is already "collecting some great cookbooks, thrillers, autobiographies, children's picture books, some Harry Potters, Lemony Snickets, and my favorite, Captain Underpants."

On Saturday, May 12, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Church Street merchants from Elizabeth Street to 30th Street will sell the donated books in a festive sidewalk sale. The suggested donation is $2 per book, and no trading is allowed. For more information about the Noe Valley Library Campaign, e-mail Kim Drew at kkdrew or Marian Chatfield-Taylor at

Notes from Noe Valley

Neighborhood artist Royce Vaughn has recently launched a web site featuring his own watercolor, oil, and acrylic paintings as note cards. The collection includes more than 25 scenes, from the spires of St. Paul's Church at Church and Valley streets, to the Golden Gate Bridge and back roads of Northern California. Vaughn's portrait of 1960s civil rights leaders, titled We Shall Overcome, is also available as a note card. Fans of Vaughn's work who'd like to see his paintings in larger sizes can order calendars, and some of the original paintings are available for purchase.

Vaughn, who lives with his wife Judy Vaughn on Valley Street, studied art history at Princeton. His work is in the permanent collection of the Oakland Museum and has been purchased by the San Francisco Art Commission. It is included in books, publications, monographs, and indexes from the Boston Library, the University of Southern Alabama, and Indiana University. To find out more about Vaughn's cards and art, visit

Tango No. 9 Kicks Off the Music

The Noe Valley Music Series' April schedule features something for everyone: an evening of tango, a string summit, a Cuban jazz pianist, and a gamelan orchestra performance.

On Saturday, April 14, tango nuevo ensemble Tango No. 9 returns to the Noe Valley Ministry. The performance highlights compositions by revolutionary tango composer Astor Piazzolla and features dancers Christy Coté and Chelsea Eng of the gender-bending ensemble Tango ConFusión. Partners Darren Lees of San Diego and Gregory Phillips of Seattle will join them.

The following weekend, banjo virtuoso Bill Evans holds a string summit on Saturday, April 21, along with guitarist Scott Nygaard, dobro player Michael Witcher, bassist Cindy Browne, and fiddle champs Tristan and Tashina Clarridge. On Friday, April 27, Cuban jazz pianist Elio Villafranca tickles the ivories accompanied by his quartet. A 20-piece Balinese gamelan orchestra, Gamelan Sekar Jaya, performs on Saturday, April 28, along with dancers and special guests.

All performances are scheduled for 8:15 p.m. at the Noe Valley Ministry at 1021 Sanchez Street near 23rd Street. Admission is $16 in advance or $18 at the door for all shows except the gamelan orchestra, which is $18 in advance or $20 at the event. Doors open 30 minutes before each concert. For more information, call 454-5238 or visit Tickets are available in advance at Streetlight Records at 3979 24th Street near Noe Street.

Meet the Writers from the Grotto

Join Fair Oaks Street author Julia Scheeres and other literary experts at a wine and cheese reception for a new series of workshops and seminars offered by the San Francisco Writers' Grotto. The workshops will begin on Monday, April 16, and include classes in magazine writing, memoir, fiction, and screenwriting.

A memoir course will be taught by Scheeres, who wrote the acclaimed Jesus Land, the story of her childhood experiences in a religious camp in the Dominican Republic. (It was featured in the December 2006 Voice.) The class takes place on eight consecutive Tuesday nights, beginning April 24.

The reception is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 12, at 490 Second Street, Suite 200, in San Francisco. Visit for more information.

Free Festival in Glen Park

Celebrate community spirit just south of Noe Valley's border at the 10th annual Glen Park Festival, scheduled for Sunday, April 29, from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., on Diamond Street between Chenery and Bosworth streets. Participants will enjoy lots of arts and crafts booths, food, and an all-day raffle with prizes donated from merchants in Glen Park, Noe Valley, and beyond.

Parents will be especially interested in the preschool and school booths, and kids will love the visit from a San Francisco Fire Department fire truck. Dan Lopez of Dejavu Productions will provide toe-tapping entertainment from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.; Mestizo will take the stage with Latin tunes from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Proceeds from the festival benefit the Glen Park Branch Friends of the Library and other children's programs. For more information, call 835-2112 or visit

Info for Entrepreneurs

If you've got questions about running your own business, the Small Business Institute of City College of San Francisco may have the answers. The institute is offering five free courses during the month of April. All of them take place during the evening, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the downtown campus, 88 Fourth Street.

Getting the Right Loan is scheduled for Tuesday, April 10, room 720. Pricing a Product or Service will be offered on Tuesday, April 17, also in room 720, and Small Business Bookkeeping occurs on Tuesday, April 24, in room 425. Two other courses meet for three nights each: Green and Sustainable Business happens on Wednesdays April 11, 18, and 25, in room 318; and Developing a Business Plan is scheduled for Thursdays April 12, 19, and 26, in room 425.

For more information, call CCSF's Small Business Program at 267-6577. To learn more about all the small-business courses offered at City College, log on to

Maritime Park Offers Youth Jobs, Volunteer Training

A free three-day training course takes place this month for anyone who'd like to become a docent at the Maritime National Historical Park, located in Fisherman's Wharf at the edge of the San Francisco Bay. The training will take place from 10:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on three consecutive Sundays: April 15, April 22, and April 29.

Once trained, docents share their knowledge with park visitors and enjoy free access to park activities, including regular sailing trips on San Francisco Bay. To register, call Terry Dorman at 556-1613 or e-mail

Teens ages 15 to 18 can sail into summer employment--and a chance to learn about historic ships--through the San Francisco Maritime Youth Conservation Corps program at Maritime Park. This six-week opportunity is scheduled for Sunday, July 8, through Saturday, Aug. 18. Wages are $10 per hour and participants work 40 hours per week. The application deadline is April 16. For further information or an application, call 561-7047. To find out more about the park and its programs, visit

Live Jazz at Bird & Beckett

On Friday, April 13, Noe Valley is invited to help Glen Park's Bird & Beckett Books & Records celebrate Samuel Beckett's 101st birthday. The Jimmy Ryan Quartet performs jazz at 5:30 p.m., with a reading of Beckett's work to follow at 8:30 p.m. Live jazz is a tradition at the bookstore, where it is performed every Friday night from 5:30 to 8 p.m. (It's free, but donations to pay the band are strongly encouraged.)

Three other groups meet monthly at Bird & Beckett, all at 7 p.m. The store's book club convenes on the first Wednesday of each month; the Eminent Authors' Birthdays open reading takes place on second Tuesdays; and a political book discussion group gathers on third Thursdays. For those who'd like to join the Wednesday book club, the selection for April 4 is Langston Hughes' The Big Sea.

Coming-Out Support Group for Women

The San Francisco non-profit mental health agency New Leaf is offering a low-cost coming-out support group for women who are attracted to other women. The group will provide a supportive place for self-identified women to explore their sexuality and the coming-out process. Discussion topics will include family responses to coming out, how to meet women, finding a lasting relationship, religious faith, and being out at work. The group will meet Tuesdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at 103 Hayes Street. A $5 donation is suggested. For more information, call Nina Moreno at 626-7000, ext. 448.

Artists' Studios Spring Open

Several Noe Valley artists are showcasing their work at the Hunters Point Shipyard the weekend of April 28 and 29 as part of their annual Spring Open Studios. Art aficionados will have the chance to meet and talk with the artists and purchase their work, often at reduced prices.

The Noe Valley artists participating this year are Agathe Bennich, Marc Ellen Hamel, Wynne Hayakawa, Irene Hendrick, Bodhanna Kesala, Debra King, Dennis King, Derek Nunn, Linda Saytes, Jenny Robinson, and Karen Wenger. Their studios will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

If you'd like to visit them, log on to for details or look for Open Studios programs in and around the neighborhood in early April. They'll be stocked at many local stores, including Forbeadin' at 1185 Church Street near 24th Street, Ladybug Ladybug at 3870 24th Street near Vicksburg Street, and Artsake at 3961 24th Street between Sanchez and Noe streets. Maps are included on the programs.

Guitar Classes for Teachers

If you're a classroom teacher or other professional who works with kids in kindergarten through eighth grade, you're invited to take free guitar and song-leading classes. The non-profit Guitars in the Classroom is offering the class on Tuesdays from 4 to 5 p.m. to help teachers incorporate live music into their curricula. Materials and loaner guitars are provided at no cost.

Meet at the Bernal Heights Branch Library, 500 Courtland Avenue between Moultrie and Andover streets, in the community room. Classes begin on Tuesday, April 17, and space is limited. To register, contact Susan Pena at susanmpena or 647-6878.

Birds and Beauty in Corona Heights

The Randall Museum is looking for volunteers to help keep Corona Heights Park healthy for birds, insects, and other wildlife, from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday, April 28. Volunteers will remove invasive weeds and clean debris from trails while learning about the San Francisco ecosystem.

Bird lovers are invited to discover Corona Heights Park's feathered inhabitants during a morning bird walk on Friday, April 20, at 8 a.m. During this two-hour walk, participants will explore the park's east canyon, south cliffs, north forest, and hilltop grasslands and learn to listen for nuthatches, warblers, and more. The walk includes several stairs and a steep path.

For both events, meet at the Randall Museum, located at 199 Museum Way, off Roosevelt Street above Castro and 14th streets. Kids ages 10 and up are welcome to participate in either event if accompanied by a parent. Call ahead to sign up for the April 28 volunteer party or request binoculars for the April 20 bird-watching walk by calling 554-9600, ext. 16, or visiting

Transit Advisers Needed

If you've got a lot of opinions about transportation planning in San Francisco, now's your chance to serve on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. The MTC is accepting applications for membership in three committees: the MTC Advisory Council, the Elderly and Disabled Advisory Committee, and the Minority Citizens Advisory Committee.

Participants will attend monthly meetings and will receive travel reimbursement and a small stipend for their time. The MTC commissioners will review applications and appoint committee members for a two-year term that begins in September 2007.

Applications are due on Friday, April 13. Applicants must live in San Francisco or another county in the Bay Area. To learn more about each of the committees and download an application, visit .gov/get_involved/advisory, e-mail, or call 510-817-5757.

The Short Takes were compiled and written by Erin O'Briant.