Noe Valley Voice October 2010

Short Takes

This month’s Short Takes were written by Heather World unless otherwise noted.

New Leaf Clinic to Close

Harsh economic times have forced mental health services provider New Leaf to close its doors this month, ending a 35-year commitment to serving the special needs of the gay community.

New Leaf provided an array of mental health, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS services at its offices at 1390 Market Street. Recently the organization faced increasing lease and healthcare costs, making it impossible to continue to operate.

“I think we forever changed the face of mental health and substance abuse services for the LGBT community,” says Ricki Boden, a 27th Street resident who served as New Leaf’s director of women’s mental health services from 1977 to 1998. Boden created a respected intern training program, which like other pieces of New Leaf, will now be shifted to other providers in San Francisco. After Oct. 15, clients can seek mental health and substance abuse services at the Lyon Martin Health Center, HIV/AIDS and mental health services at the AIDS Health Proj­ect, and substance abuse services at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

The need for New Leaf, which began as Operation Concern in 1974, was realized in the gay bars of the Castro—the most popular and perhaps safest place for men to socialize safely. Bartenders and others heard story after story of patrons who had no place to get mental health services that looked beyond sexual orientation, Boden says.

“Up until then there were no gay-identified services,” she says. The program started small but quickly grew, offering individual therapy and family support services as well as a wide range of group therapies. Clients were not the only beneficiaries, Boden says. Therapists, too, could be open about their sexuality.

“That allowed us to do the training program to ensure therapists being trained were not homophobic and were sensitive to gay and lesbian issues,” she says.

Barbara Garcia, of the city’s Department of Public Health, says her office is working closely with New Leaf employees to help them apply for positions at other counseling centers.

“New Leaf’s mental health intern program has trained hundreds of mental health professionals that work throughout the city, including here at DPH,” she says. “Its important legacy will be continued by existing LGBTQ community organizations.”

The Lyon Martin Health Center is located at 1748 Market Street at Valencia Street. The AIDS Health Project is at 1930 Market Street near Guerrero Street. The San Francisco AIDS Foundation is at One Sixth Street at Market.


Classical Season on Fair Oaks

Noe Valley Chamber Music launches its 18th season of afternoon concerts Sunday, Oct. 10, when the New Esterh‡zy Quartet puts bow to string in Holy Innocents Episcopal Church, a new home for the series while the Noe Valley Ministry undergoes a yearlong renovation.

Kati Kyme and Lisa Weiss on violin, Anthony Martin on viola, and William Skeen on cello will play selections from Franz Joseph Haydn’s string quartets, including Op. 64, No. 6, in E flat major; Op. 20, No. 5, in F minor; and Op. 54, No. 2, in C major.  

The coming seven-show season will feature emerging artists, chorale singers, and accomplished San Francisco Symphony veterans, culminating in a May gala with soprano Ann Moss and guitarist Luke  Mayer performing flamenco, cabaret, and opera arias. All shows start at 4 p.m.

Holy Innocents Episcopal Church is located at 455 Fair Oaks Street between 25th and 26th streets. Tickets cost $18 for general admission and $15 for seniors and students. They can be purchased online at or by phone at 648-5236.


Grading Public Education

The Noe Valley Democratic Club will explore the state of public education in San Francisco with a panel discussion and Q&A on Wednesday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Philip’s Church, 725 Diamond Street between Elizabeth and 24th streets.

Titled “Public Education in San Francisco: Where Are We, Where Do We Want to Be, and Can We Afford It?” the panel will feature Hydra Mendoza, a member of the San Francisco School Board and a parent of public school students; Lisa Ernst, a teacher and resource specialist at the Alice Fong Yu Alternative Middle School in the Sunset District; Ellie Rossiter, director of Parents for Public Schools; and Todd David, a Eureka Street father of two Alvarado Elementary School students.

Besides local and state school issues, the panelists are expected to discuss education reform proposals offered by the Obama administration.


Rail Work at End of Line

Muni expects to wrap up its J-line rail replacement in southern Noe Valley by November, which means a month of diverted weekend traffic to lay down the final tracks, weather permitting.

“Our goal is to finish the major rail work the weekend of Oct. 8, so that we can run the regular J-Church rail service the next two weekends,” says Jay Lu, a spokesman with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

Bus shuttles will ferry J-Church riders over Columbus Day weekend as 30th and Church is shut down from 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 8, to 4 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 12. The remaining work is scheduled for the following two weekends, Oct. 15 and 22, from 8 p.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Monday.


Four Ladies in Jazz

The Noe Valley Music Series presents Ladies in Jazz, four songwriters who will each sing their own songs as well as perform together on Saturday, Oct. 16, at the Noe Valley Ministry.

“We’re all really different, and I think that is one of the things that makes it work,” says Cathi Walkup, who lived in Noe Valley for 11 years but has played jazz for 30.

She describes her own work as “either very romantic or very funny.” Leanne Weatherly is “the gentler side of jazz,” Jennifer Lee “an interesting blend of innocence and sophistication,” and Melissa Dinwiddie “a sort of jazz and comedy person,” Walkup says. “Melissa will probably use her ukulele because she just wrote a song about it and how it’s easier to get along with than a man.”

David Udolf and Paul Smith will accompany the group on piano and bass, respectively. Walkup says the four singers debuted Ladies in Jazz to a sold-out crowd in Santa Clara and will play in San Jose after the gig at the Ministry.

The evening begins at 8:15 p.m., and tickets cost $18 in advance or $20 at the door. The Noe Valley Ministry is at 1021 Sanchez Street at 23rd Street. For ticket information, go to or call 415-454-5238. Advance tickets are available at Phoenix Books & Records, 3957 24th Street.


Shop with the Chef

Join chef and cookbook author Vanessa Barrington at the Noe Valley Farmers Market on Saturday, Oct. 9, for a “Shop with the Chef” event co-sponsored by Omnivore Books. Barrington, whose latest book is titled D.I.Y. Delicious, will give a talk and demonstration on what to buy at the market and how to cook it.

A former Noe Valley resident and a founding board member of the Noe Valley Farmers Market, Barrington will be available for book signings at 10 a.m. in the market’s information tent. Her talk and produce tour starts at 10:45 a.m.

For more information, contact the Farmers Market manager on Facebook (start by “liking” the Noe Valley Farmers Market, then post on the Wall). The market runs each Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the Noe Valley Ministry parking lot on 24th Street between Sanchez and Vicksburg streets.


Heroes & Hearts Awards

Do you know a person like Clem Donahue? He’s a doctor who helps youthful victims of violence from poor neighborhoods. Or a couple like Marsha and Bruce Deyer? The Deyers created a foundation to fund research into traumatic brain injury.

The San Francisco General Hospital Foundation, which honored Donahue, the Deyers, and several others last year for creating positive changes, is looking for a new crop of nominees for its sixth annual Heroes & Hearts Award.

The award recognizes individuals who live or work in San Francisco and inspire others through exceptional community service.

"The term 'hero' is usually reserved for celebrities or athletes, but we all know local heroes who do extraordinary community-building every day," said Mayor Gavin Newsom during last year’s awards ceremony.

Nominations are being accepted now through Nov. 1. The Heroes & Hearts Awards recipients will be feted at a luncheon Feb. 10 in Union Square. For complete information and to download a nomination form, visit

—Corrie M. Anders


Tech Search Widens

You can get geeky for a good cause Saturday, Nov. 13, during Alvarado Elementary School’s second Tech Search Party, a fundraising scavenger hunt expanded this year to benefit four schools.

The hunt starts at the James Lick Auditorium at the corner of 25th and Noe streets. At 5:30 p.m. sharp, each group gets a map with clues, which leads to answers in various Noe Valley locations. Members take a photo of each answer found, and email it back to home base. A team of four costs a tax-deductible $50, but if you pay $75, you can have six or more minds working on the clues at once.

Last year’s event drew about 250 people and raised about $12,000. Organizer Tim Smith believes twice as many people will be combing the neighborhood streets this year.

In a twist designed to help neighboring schools, Alvarado will partner with James Lick Middle School, Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, and Marshall Elementary School this year. Funds will be divided based on sponsorships brought in. So far, Tech Search Party has already secured sponsorships from Google, Circle Bank, the new Patxi’s Pizza at 4042 24th Street, Riviera Partners, a high-tech recruitment firm owned by a neighborhood resident, and District 8 supervisor candidates Rafael Mandelman, Rebecca Prozan, and Scott Wiener.

Three teams last year answered nine of the 10 questions—Indomitable Immersion Mamas brought it home first to win Bon Jovi tickets—but the one that stumped them all was Question 8: Credit Card Fee Limitation and Accountability Act and Temple Street. (The Act is also known as H.R. 3977. Temple Street is the former name for 25th Street. Thus the answer, 3977 25th Street.)

No matter how many clues they solve, contestants will be invited to an “after party” following the event at the Valley Tavern, 4054 24th Street.

For details and registration go to


Leo Holub Celebration

Family and friends of Leo Holub will pay tribute to the Noe Valley photographer at a memorial set for Sunday, Oct. 24, 11 a.m., at the San Francisco Art Institute. The renowned artist died April 28 at his 21st Street home. He was 93.

Art historian Paul Karlstrom, one of the memorial organizers, says plans are under way to show a number of Holub’s works during the commemoration.

The longtime 21st Street resident specialized in black-and-white photography. His works are in collections at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the de Young Museum. Holub also founded the photography department at Stanford University where he taught for a decade until retiring in 1980.

The family asks that contributions be made to the Leo Holub Fund for Photography, c/o Elis Imboden, Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305.

The memorial will be held in the Art Institute’s auditorium at 800 Chestnut Street.

—Corrie M. Anders