Noe Valley Voice May 2005



Republican Speaker at Demo Club

The Noe Valley Democratic Club plans to see how the other half lives, in order to improve the fortunes of Democratic candidates in future campaigns.

Molly Fleischman, co-chair of the group's program committee, has recruited Chuck Rund, a Republican consultant, to speak at the Democratic Club's next meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 4, at the Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez Street. Fleischman says she believes that Democrats can learn valuable lessons by listening closely to tactics that Republicans have used successfully in recent political campaigns.

Rund, president of Charlton Research Co., a public policy and opinion consulting firm, will speak on "The Pulse of the Nation" and will cover such topics as the national mood, the approval rating of the president and Congress, critical issues for political success, California politics, and strategies for 2006 and 2008.

Rund has helped clients in business, politics, and the law for more than 20 years. He has been active in four presidential campaigns: Howard Baker in 1980, Reagan/Bush in 1984, and Bush/ Quayle in 1988 and 1992. He also has been involved in numerous gubernatorial and legislative campaigns and as an election-night analyst for CBS.

For more information about the Democratic Club, which meets the first Wednesday of the month, call President Rafael Mandelman at 648-4010.

Hey Kids, Street Fair Needs a Logo

Tell your parents you don't need help to win this contest. The new Noe Valley Harvest Festival, a family- and pet-welcoming street fair scheduled for Oct. 22, 2005, needs a logo, and organizers want a local kid to design it.

Anyone under age 18 who resides or attends school in Noe Valley is welcome to enter the contest. There is one grand prize, which will include $100 in cash, a dinner certificate to the swank Firefly restaurant, a free art class, and other items donated by local merchants, says fair co-organizer Richard May.

The winner will work with a graphic designer to produce the final logo, which will be used on banners, pennants, posters, souvenirs, and all advertising and publicity. Parental help is discouraged, and the logo idea is more important than professional quality.

Why kids only? "The whole idea behind the Harvest Festival is to have a smaller, more community-oriented event rather than a big commercial event," says May. "We thought that if we had the logo that's going to be plastered everywhere designed by a young person from the community, this would have a softer, more fun, more approachable look to it and promote community involvement of all ages."

Entries should be no larger than a standard piece of paper (81/2( x 11(), and all mediums are welcome. To submit your idea, send it to: Noe Valley Harvest Festival Logo Contest, c/o Richard May, P.O. Box 460129, San Francisco, CA 94146-0129, or drop it off to Donna Davis at Forbeadin, the bead shop on Church Street just north of 24th Street.

All entries received by May 31 will be considered. For return of your artwork, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope along with the entry.

Meanwhile, the fair, which will be held on 24th Street from Church Street up to the Noe Valley Farmers' Market (near Sanchez), has started to collect applications from would-be vendors.

If you'd like to set up a booth, you can find an application form at Booth rentals cost $75 for schools and nonprofit groups, $200 for neighborhood artists and craftspeople, and $300 for commercial and food businesses. There is also a nonrefundable $10 application fee. Successful booth applicants will be notified by July 1 (commercial ones by June 15), and preference will be given to people living or working in Noe Valley.

The Harvest Festival Committee is also looking for commercial and individual sponsors, who can support the fair with donations of anywhere from $100 to $1,000. All sponsors will receive official recognition and thanks. For details, go to the festival's web site, or e-mail May at You can also reach him at 206-0231.

Neighborhood Tree Planting

Want a new tree in front of your house, apartment building, or store? If so, May is your month. The Friends of the Urban Forest is organizing a group tree planting in Noe Valley. If you live in the area bounded by 23rd, Clipper, Douglass, and Dolores streets, you could be eligible.

The cost of the program is partly subsidized by the San Francisco Department of Public Works, which means that instead of paying $300 or more, you pay $150 for the tree. That price includes permits, concrete cutting and removal of debris, new soil, volunteer help, and the tree of your choice.

Local organizer Stephen Fowler, who lives at 25th and Castro streets, notes that the benefits of planting a tree include cleaner air, shade, more wildlife such as birds, less street noise, and of course a more beautiful environment. When he wanted to plant a tree in front of his home a few years ago, he discovered he couldn't because of the way his sewer and utility lines are positioned. "We were unable to put one in, but I just wanted to see more trees in the neighborhood," he says, "so I called up [Friends of the Urban Forest] and asked how it works."

The Friends will provide advice on the types of trees that will grow best in specific locations and which ones will not damage sidewalks and cause allergies. According to FUF, the two trees recommended most for Noe Valley are the Victorian Box and Southern Magnolia, both of which have fragrant white flowers. Still, many other tree types can flourish in the neighborhood as well.

To find out more and to discuss eligibility requirements, contact Fowler at or 648-4811.

"Noe Strolls" Rides Again

Just when it seemed Noe Strolls had been permanently parked, founder Martine Paris says all babies and their caregivers are invited to participate in the 11 a.m. Welcome Stroll every Thursday. Other strolls, including those in other parts of the city, have been shelved due to lack of leaders and spotty attendance, says Paris, but she hopes to keep the original one rolling along.

All you need to participate is a baby and a stroller. The stroll begins at Holey Bagel at 3872 24th Street between Sanchez and Vicksburg streets. First, the grownups fuel up with a free, baby-sized bagel from Holy Bagel. Then the "baby brigade," led by two experienced strollers, heads up 24th Street and over the Castro Hill, along 16th Street, and back down Church Street to 24th Street.

If you'd like more information or are interested in leading a different stroll, visit or e-mail

24th Street Gets a Clean Sweep

"In the Friends of Noe Valley State of the Neighborhood survey, one of the most frequent comments was how dirty and cluttered with trash 24th Street is," says Richard May, a member of the residents group Friends of Noe Valley.

That's why the Friends decided to organize Clean Sweep Noe Valley from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday, May 14. To help beautify the neighborhood, join local volunteers at the Noe Valley Farmers' Market minipark on 24th Street between Sanchez and Vicksburg streets.

The Friends will fortify participants with free Starbucks coffee, juice, donuts, Holey Bagel bagels, and healthy snacks. Then groups of 10 will grab their gloves and bags and head out to tidy up 24th Street as well as outer Church Street. Kids and dogs are welcome to join in the fun. The Department of Public Works will come by afterwards to pick up bags of trash and any large items.

May says the Friends are planning another Clean Sweep on Saturday, July 9. They hope to expand the cleaning to the entire neighborhood and enlist folks to organize cleanup parties on their block.

Picture Book Creating a Buzz

Although it features a bee named Buzz Bumble, local author Lynn Hazen's second picture book won't sting at all. Hazen will be signing copies of Buzz Bumble to the Rescue at Cover to Cover Booksellers on Castro Street near 24th Street from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 15. The book, illustrated by artist Jill Newton, is appropriate for kids ages 3 to 8. It tells the story of Buzz Bumble and his jealousy over the newly arrived Baby Bumble.

This story of sibling rivalry is one of several books Hazen has written for kids. "I write across all genres," she says. "I have a young adult novel that's with an editor, and I have another picture book about a snail that's also with an editor."

She also has written a sequel to her picture book Mermaid Mary Margaret, published in 2004 by Bloomsbury U.S.A. Nowadays, Hazen is working on a novel aimed at middle-school children. When not writing, she is running a preschool out of her home on San Jose Avenue near 23rd Street. Catch her at Cover to Cover and find out what the buzz is about.

Design a Poster for Market

If you've got a poster design that would look good on Market Street, now's the time to submit your idea to the San Francisco Arts Commission. The commission is seeking proposals from professional artists who live in the Bay Area and who do work in painting, photography, drawing, printmaking, or mixed media. The deadline for submissions is Monday, May 16, at 5 p.m.

The winning artist will design and oversee the printing of new art posters to be installed along the tourist-heavy Market Street. The posters will be on display in the triangular kiosks on Market between Van Ness Avenue and the Embarcadero from mid-February 2006 until February 2007. Four artists' work will be chosen to run in three-month exhibitions.

For more specific guidelines and application requirements, visit the San Francisco Arts Commission's web site at or send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Art on Market Street, 2006 Kiosk Poster Series RFP, San Francisco Art Commission, 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 240, San Francisco, CA 94102.

Talent Show to Benefit Homeless

Formerly homeless entertainers will sing, dance, and more at the Community Housing Project's talent show, known as "A Night with the Stars," at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17. The performers will compete for cash prizes while raising money for CHP's nationally recognized supportive housing program.

The Community Housing Project offers permanently affordable housing to homeless people, along with supportive services such as counseling and training that allow tenants to maintain their housing. The agency currently offers more than 300 units of housing in San Francisco and plans to add an additional 300 new units over the next five years. CHP is celebrating its 15th year.

"A Night with the Stars" takes place at the Great American Music Hall at 859 O'Farrell Street. The event will feature a silent auction, cocktails, and appetizers, as well as special guest performances. Tickets are $75 each; corporate and individual sponsorships begin at $250. For more information, call 241-9015, ext. 304, or visit

History Walks for Free

Hundreds of free walking tours will be offered by City Guides San Francisco this month and throughout the summer. The city's topnotch tour guides (and history buffs) will lead excursions to Chinatown and Alamo Square, and hikes up Nob Hill and across the Golden Gate Bridge, to name just a few of the gems.

If you'd like to stay near the neighborhood, join in the "Castro: Tales of a Village" tour on Sunday, May 8, at 11 a.m. This popular tour was organized by two Noe Valley residents and gives walkers a sense of the history and beauty of the Castro neighborhood. To participate, put on some comfortable shoes and meet under the large rainbow flag in Harvey Milk Plaza at the corner of Market and Castro streets.

A walking tour of Noe Valley is usually offered in May and October, notes City Guides Program Director Abby Daniels, but the volunteer who leads the walks is unavailable this month.

To find out when a Noe Valley tour will be scheduled or to learn about summer walking tours in other neighborhoods, check in with City Guides' web site at The group is totally non-profit and sponsored by the San Francisco Public Library.

Summer Fun at the Zoo

Kids who love animals and the outdoors are sure to enjoy the San Francisco Zoo's summer camp program. Children ages 41/2 through those entering the sixth grade are invited to spend a week at the Zoo learning about the animals who live there and how the staff at the Zoo cares for them. Walks, snacks, crafts, and games are all designed to help kids learn about animals and have fun.

One-week sessions run June 13 through Aug. 26. Kindergarteners attend half-day sessions, while the older children stay from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Fees range from $155 to $270, depending on the child's age and whether or not the family has a Zoo membership. Aftercare is available for an additional fee.

For the scoop on registration, visit the Zoo's web site at or call 753-7073.

This month's Short Takes were written by Erin O'Briant and Noel Lieberman. Please send June Short Take and Calendar items to