Noe Valley Voice November 2010


Poppies Bring Smiles

Addressed to Jean Amos
c/o Editor, Noe Valley Voice

Dear Ms. Amos,

It brought a smile to my face to read your letter to the editor in September about my work. I’m so pleased that my little flowers were able to bring a smile to yours as well.

Floridly yours,

“Johnny Poppyseed”
Alvarado Street

Evolution at St. Philip’s


I enjoyed your coverage of St. Philip’s history [“St. Philip’s Celebrates Its Centennial With Grace,” October 2010 Voice]. I am not a Catholic nor a congregant there, but have had the pleasure of the generosity of the church, which makes its meeting room available to the various Noe Valley groups I attend. Thanks.

My favorite moment of recent history happened when Friends of Noe Valley celebrated its own anniversary there last year. Both Supervisor Bevan Dufty and State Senator Mark Leno arrived with official proclamations to read. As Dufty rose to read his, he asked (a somewhat surprised) Senator Leno to watch his baby daughter in her pram. I thought how far all of our worlds had moved to have one openly gay man officeholder ask another to watch his newborn daughter, all in the parish hall basement of the local Catholic church! Vive la différence!

Charlie Spiegel
Elizabeth Street

Local Girl a Winner

Congratulations to Noe Valley resident Ella Scanga, 10, who was recently tapped for a 2010 Youth Honor Award from
Skipping Stones magazine. The awards program honors art, essays, and stories that promote cultural diversity and ecological sensitivity. Ella’s story “Ivy and the Maple Leaf” was picked as one of 10 winners among 200 entries in this year’s international competition. Her work was printed in the September-October edition of the magazine, based in Eugene, Oregon. The Voice thanks Skipping Stones, and Ella and her family on 26th Street, for letting us share the story with our readers.

Ivy and the Maple Leaf

By Ella Scanga

Once, there was a big Maple Tree with beautiful leaves that changed colors with the season. Ivy was a little girl with brown eyes and golden hair. She loved nature. Each fall, she loved to sit on a bench next to the Maple Tree, watching all the leaves dry up and blow away. One year, when fall came and Ivy was sitting on the bench, the leaves fell until only one leaf was left hanging.

“Don’t fall until you’re ready,” said Ivy as the leaf blew in the gentle wind.

The next day, when Ivy sat on the bench under the Maple Tree, the leaf had still not fallen. “Don’t fall until you’re ready,” Ivy told the leaf, which fluttered in the gentle wind.

The next day, Ivy sat under the Maple Tree with a notebook. She was doing a report on tree bark and decided that it was a good idea to come to the park for ideas. When she looked up, the leaf was still there.

“Don’t fall until you are ready,” said Ivy to the leaf.

On the last day of fall, the leaf finally fell off the tree. Ivy picked up the leaf off the ground and put it in her notebook. Years passed by, and Ivy was getting ready to move. She was going through her things and found the notebook and the little brown leaf. She loved that leaf.

When she grew up, Ivy decided that she would become a botanist and help save plants.

As a botanist, she taught a class called “Plants, Specimens, and Herbs” at a community garden. Every day, she would take her class to the park where the old Maple Tree lived. They would observe, draw plants, and learn about all the things that they could do to help the environment. The kids were inspired by Ivy’s love of nature, and some decided to become botanists too.

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San Francisco, CA 94146

The Noe Valley Voice is an independent newspaper published monthly except in January and August. It is distributed free in Noe Valley and vicinity, on or before the first Friday of the month. Subscriptions are available at $30 per year ($25 for seniors) by writing to the above address.

The Voice welcomes your letters, photos, and stories, particularly on topics relating to Noe Valley. All items should include your name, address, and phone number, and may be edited for brevity or clarity. (Unsigned letters will not be considered for publication.) Unsolicited contributions will be returned only if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

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Olivia Boler, Other Voices Editor

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Contents 2010 The Noe Valley Voice