Noe Valley Voice April 2000

Short Takes

Earth Stars in Film Festival

The San Francisco Public Library's Wallace Stegner Environmental Center will be celebrating Earth Day early this year, by screening three award-winning films by Noe Valley's own Independent Documentary Group.

The films, which are geared to families and children, will air on Wednesday, April 12, beginning at 6 p.m. in the Koret Auditorium at the Main Library at 100 Larkin Street.

The Treasures of the Greenbelt explores the open countryside in the Bay Area and features a series of time-lapse shots revealing how fall changes to spring. Heron Island, a humorous visit to a colony of strange beings from the natural world, showcases four Great Blue Heron chicks born in the middle of Golden Gate Park.

Finally, Kids by the Bay, an award winner at last year's San Francisco International Film Festival, is about the efforts of grade-school kids working to restore the environment and having fun doing it. Nancy DeStefanis, a local heron expert, will be on hand to answer questions.

The Wallace Stegner Environmental Center is a resource for environmental awareness, scholarship, advocacy, and activism. For more information on the center, call 437-4852.

IDG Films (the Independent Documentary Group) is a nonprofit film and video production company run by Elizabeth Street resident Judy Irving. For more information on IDG or the films, call her at 824-5822. By the way, the real Earth Day is April 22.

The Great Green Sweep


What better way to wind down Earth Month than to grab a broom and join with other volunteers as they sweep away dirt and debris in the city?

The sixth Great Sweep, a semi-annual event sponsored by the Department of Public Works, takes place on Saturday, April 29, from 9 a.m. to noon. In Noe Valley, volunteer sweepers will meet at the Fire Station at 100 Hoffman Avenue (at Alvarado), the Fire Station at 3880 26th Street near Church, and Upper Noe Recreation Center at Sanchez and Day streets.

To volunteer, simply call 554-5447 or log on to to fill out an online form. Then just show up that morning at the location of your choice ready for work. If you can, bring a broom, heavy gloves, and trash bags.

Dress for the weather, and a hat and sunscreen are a good idea. Mother Earth thanks you.

Opera Over the Hill


McAteer High School is the latest venue for the San Francisco Lyric Opera, which will perform the opera Rigoletto on three weekends beginning April 15. Rigoletto is a story about revenge, deceit, greed, and murder. The opera will be fully staged and performed with a chamber orchestra. It will be sung in Italian with English supertitles displayed above the stage.

The San Francisco Lyric Opera company was formed five years ago by members of the San Francisco Opera chorus who wanted to perform leading roles in the language of the composer, as well as make performances available at affordable prices. Under the guidance of Artistic Director Frederick Winthrop, the company has performed over 20 different operas in San Francisco performance spaces.

Rigoletto performances will be on April 15, 17, 21, 22, and 29 at 7:30 p.m.; April 16 at 7 p.m.; and on April 15, 16, and 22 at 2 p.m. McAteer High is located at 555 Portola Drive (entrance on O'Shaughnessy). From Noe Valley, take Clipper up the hill and go left on Portola.

Ticket prices are $25 general admission, $20 seniors and students, and $12 for children under 12 years. You can obtain tickets by sending a check to SFLO at 1410 Steiner Street, #308, San Francisco, CA 94115, or through BASS at 478-2277, or at the door. For group rates or for more information, call 921-7410.

Parenting Is the Toughest Job


But you can make it easier on parents going through difficult times by volunteering at the TALK Line Family Support Center. The TALK Line (Telephone Aid in Living with Kids) is San Francisco's only 24-hour crisis and counseling line for parents.

Right now, the center is looking for volunteers to help answer the hotline. Telephone counselors must be at least 25 years old, and applicants will be screened and interviewed. Once selected, they are asked to complete 50 hours of training in crisis intervention, basic counseling skills, child development, and family dynamics. Volunteers make a one-year commitment to a weekly four-hour shift at the center and to one overnight shift per month, with the TALK line calls forwarded to the volunteer's home.

The center also needs playroom assistants to work alongside their professional staff, observing, caring for, and playing with some great kids. If you're at least 18 years of age, with a caring heart and a playful spirit, you can go through the screening process and then get training on the job. Volunteer playroom assistants must commit to one 2- to 3-hour shift per week, for six months.

The TALK Line Family Support Center provides a variety of services, including sessions in anger management; support groups for fathers, single parents, parents of adolescents, and parents in recovery; and the Give Kids a Chance program, focused on children of chemically dependent families. The center is located at 1757 Waller Street in the Haight, but its roots are in Noe Valley. (You may remember that the TALK Line started out more than 20 years ago at Castro and 24th streets, above what was then Bud's Ice Cream and is now Rory's.)

For more information on the center's services or to volunteer, call Anita Moran at 387-3684, ext. 225. If your family is in crisis, call the TALK Line at 441-KIDS.