Noe Valley Voice March 2010

Short Takes

Quiz the Candidates for Supervisor

This month Noe Valleyans will have two chances to grill four of the candidates vying to replace Bevan Dufty as District 8 supervisor next year.

Attorney Rafael Mandelman, Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Prozan, SFPUC's Laura Spanjian, and Deputy City Attorney Scott Wiener will appear together Thursday, March 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Alvarado Elementary School on Douglass between 22nd and 23rd streets. The event, hosted by the school's PTA, is open to all.

"I expect there will be a lot of questions about education, but it's an open discussion," says Todd David, the Alvarado father who organized the forum.

On Thursday, March 25, from 7:30 to 9 p.m., the quartet will be at St. Philip's Church on Diamond between Elizabeth and 24th streets at a forum hosted by the Noe Valley Democratic Club.

The four appeared together last October in a candidates forum hosted by Upper Noe Neighbors, and they have been seen in various com binations at neighborhood association meetings and events throughout the district. There are three other, less-known candidates in the race--exotic dancer Starchild, Diamond Heights resident William Hemenger, and James Boeger, a therapist--though they had not yet been scheduled to debate at the March forums.

The election will be held Nov. 2, with the winner ascending to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in January 2011. District 8 encompasses more than a dozen city neighborhoods, including Noe Valley, Glen Park, Diamond Heights, and the Castro District.

--Heather World

Nursery School Goes Out with a Band

The Noe Valley Nursery School's annual fundraiser on Saturday, March 20, will be less about bidding and more about bringing together the school community for what might be its last big party as the co-op struggles to find a new location.

The fundraiser takes place at the Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez Street, where the preschool has operated for the past 40 years. However, the Minis try plans to close next November for major renovations, and the preschool must find a new home.

"If we can't find a new location, we have to close down," says auction committee member Trudi Spork. "If that happens, this is our last party."

Though the preschool has a couple of leads on locations, nothing had been settled as of press time.

Organizers still hope to raise about $11,000--comparable to the $12,000 raised last year--but the event itself is smaller, in part because so many parents are working on finding a new location for the school.

"We'll be happy just to make the cost of the party," Spork says, estimating that to be about $5,000. Anything above that could help pay for bringing a new location up to code for a preschool.

Spork describes the event, which runs from 4 to 7 p.m., as a kids party with a mini silent auction. The families at the school come from many different cultures, which, along with the timing of the 2010 Olympics, put an international twist on this year's festivities. The children will decorate the school with flags of various countries, and the parents will bring food that represents their ethnic backgrounds.

Spork, who is from Australia, plans to bring lamb sausage rolls and lamingtons (a kind of cake) to set alongside Chinese spring rolls and macaroni and cheese.

There will be items to bid on, but the focus will be on carnival games for the kids, like "fishing" with magnets and a beanbag toss. There will be face-painting and movies as well.

At 5:30 p.m., Charity and the JAMband, of Rock Your Socks Off fame, will take the stage.

"We haven't had the band before, so we're hoping that will draw people," says Spork.

You can buy a ticket online at www.noe for $15. Tickets at the door cost $20. Children's tickets are $5. An $8 open-bar ticket is also available. For information, call the school at 415-647-2278.

--Heather World

The Fests of St. Paddy

Sacred or secular, local residents have a variety of options to help the Irish celebrate St. Patrick's Day, with humble food, live music, and, of course, green beer.

St. Philip's Church gets an early start on the official March 17 celebration. The church will host a dinner dance March 6 at the parish hall of the church, at 725 Diamond Street.

Chairwoman Margaret McAuliffe says the meal will include corned beef and cabbage for adults, and hot dogs and chicken nuggets for kids. The Frank Rooney Trio will play traditional Irish music.

About 100 people are expected for the festivities, which start at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults; $10 for children 10 years old and under. For reservations, call McAuliffe at 415-334-7212 or the rectory at 415-282-0141.

A week later, on March 13, the Men of St. Paul's Catholic Church will dish up corned beef and cabbage, along with soda bread and dessert, at the church's own special dinner. Dancing and live Irish music are also on the bill for the 150 guests expected to attend.

"It's not a fundraiser--more of a fun-raiser," says S t. Paul's pastor, Mario Farana. "It's a get-together to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in a nice way with families."

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with drinks at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m. Adults pay $15 in advance, or $20 at the door; children's tickets are $5 and $7. The event will be held in the parish hall at St. Paul's, at Church and Valley streets. For more information, call 415-641-4829.

On the big day itself, Wednesday, March 17, everyone becomes Irish at Noe Valley's local taverns, where patrons are invited to partake of Irish stew.

The Dubliner at 3838 24th Street and its sister bar, the Valley Tavern at 4054 24th Street, will provide corned beef and potato salad throughout the day. Owner Vince Hogan hopes to hear bagpipers on 24th Street starting around 7 p.m.

At Noe's Bar at the corner of 24th and Church streets, the usual corned beef and cabbage will be complemented this year by potatoes and carrots. The Irish repast will be served "from noon until we run out," says Noe's manager Nancy Emery. Noe' s is also where you'll find the green beer.

O'Greenberg's will dish up plates of cabbage and potatoes, too. The feasting starts at 11 a.m. at the bar, 1600 Dolores Street at 29th Street.

--Corrie M. Anders

How to Be Green, Mellow, and Smart

The San Francisco Library is offering free peace of mind this spring, from meditation and rooftop gardening to a workshop for seniors on how to avoid scams.

The quietude starts Saturday, March 6, at 2 p.m., when garden designer Maya Donelson leads a workshop on rooftop gardening at the Noe Valley/Sally Brunn Branch Library, 451 Jersey Street. Donelson, who is an expert in sustainable and edible gardens, will start with pictures of roof gardens from around the world before talking about the environmental and health benefits of growing.

She will spend the rest of the hour introducing methods for planting your own rooftop garden, including a demonstration on how to build a self-watering container for plants.

On Sunday, March 14, Jaymie Meyer will lead a free "Resilience for Life--Breathing and Meditation Workshop" from 2 to 3:30 p.m., at the Noe Valley branch. In addition to showing techniques for gentle breathing and relaxation, Meyer will discuss the health benefits of meditation, particularly as an antidote to stress.

"Breathing and meditation practices reduce stress, strengthen the immune system, calm and steady the mind, and are scientifically proven to benefit a variety of conditions," says Meyer, a certified stress management counselor, yoga therapist, and reiki master.

Seniors might breathe easier after attending a seminar on scams aimed at the elderly, on Thursday, April 8, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This free event takes place at the Main Library, 100 Larkin Street.

John O'Grady, who practices trust and estate planning law and volunteers for the State Bar of California, and Mikael Wagner, a consumer advocate from the nonprofit Consumer Action, will identify a variety of common scams, offer advice for fighting back, and answer questions from the audience.

The seminar is part of the Senior Scams program organized by the library's Business, Science, and Technology Center, and is held in connection with the San Francisco Library's Wise Up series.

For more information on these and other library events, go to

--Heather World

Noe Valley Celebrates the Book

Mindy Kershner of Friends of Noe Valley is pleased to announce the latest edition of Noe Valley's annual literary fest:

Once again the Friends of Noe Valley and our neighborhood booksellers are planning a wonderful week of events for our annual Noe Valley Celebrates the Book. Now in its fourth year, the week highlights our pride in having four independent bookstores in our midst. Each will host literary events and invite the neighborhood to get up close and personal with authors while enjoying the fellowship of neighbors.

This year's offerings kick off on Saturday, April 10, at Omnivore Books on Church Street with famed restaurateur Alice Waters sign ing her new book In the Green Kitchen from 3 to 4 p.m. Then Wednesday evening, April 14, from 7 to 9 p.m., join friends at Cover to Cover on Castro Street for another exciting program (to be announced soon).

Thursday evening, April 15, rejoice that your taxes are in the mail at a soirée at Phoenix Books on 24th Street, and make another date to meet Friday, April 16, at 7 p.m. at the San Francisco Mystery Bookstore on 24th near Diamond.

We end the celebration back at Omnivore on Sunday, April 18, 3 to 4 p.m., with author Rose Levy Beranbaum, who will showcase her new book Rose's Heavenly Cakes.

More details will be forthcoming, but save the dates in mid-April to savor the offerings of your neighborhood bookstores.