Noe Valley Voice March 2012

Short Takes

By Heather World


Garden Grows Thanks to Grant

James Lick Middle School’s steady conversion of its Clipper Street side yard from blacktop to green-scape got a boost in January when Lowe’s Home Improvement awarded the school $5,000 for greening efforts.

“The school could definitely use some prettying up for spring, and we are very excited about the grant,” said Angi Blackwell, secretary of the school’s Parent Teacher Student Association.

Blackwell credited fellow parent Tim Olson with writing up the winning application to the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. Olson, whose daughter started sixth grade at the school last August, said the money would pay for materials like planters, trees, tables with seating, and other greenery. The growing garden is on the southeast side of the building at 1220 Noe St., facing Clipper Street.

Parents will provide the sweat equity when everything is ready to go this spring, he said.

Teachers are already using some of the scattered planters as learning gardens, and the grant will help those gardens grow. There are other benefits, too, Olson said.

“It’s not just for James Lick but also for people in the community,” said Olson, noting the history of Noe Valley residents’ support for the school. The group Friends of Noe Valley has twice awarded James Lick a share of the proceeds from its annual Garden Tour, for a total of $3,700 going toward landscaping and shade structures for the campus.

The fundraising efforts are also growing at Lick, Olson said. Local real estate agent (and Lick godfather) Jean-Paul Samaha donated $5,000 that was matched by his employer, Vanguard Properties, last fall.

“It’s nice to see, particularly in these times,” Olson said. California public schools are already bracing for another round of cuts, which could mean fewer days of school and larger classes next year.

One easy way to contribute to James Lick will be to eat at Patxi’s Pizza, 4042 24th St., on Wednesday, March 14. The PTSA will receive 10 percent of everything sold that day: lunch, dinner, and takeout.


Easter Scramble Arrives April 7

Children can search for candy-filled eggs, devour chocolate treats, and line up for the face-painting at Noe Valley’s fifth annual free Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 7, from 10 a.m. to noon in Douglass Park.

Exact details like raffle prizes, refreshments, and the Easter Bunny’s appearance time are still being worked out, said Debra Niemann, director of the Noe Valley Association, which co-sponsors the event with other local groups and businesses. But she would love new donors and volunteers, especially those with egg-decorating skills.

“People come to rely on these things, and we don’t want to disappoint,” said Niemann. You can contact her at or call 415-519-0093. The April festivities will be held in the lower playground at the park, at 26th and Douglass streets.


A Child’s Vision of the Golden Gate

Cash prizes and deep pride await nine school-age winners of “My Vision of the Golden Gate Bridge,” an upcoming art contest celebrating the landmark span’s 75th anniversary.

The contest, sponsored by the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society, is one of many public events in the yearlong tribute to the bridge. The fest peaks May 27 with a full day of performances and exhibits.

Student work in three groups—kindergarten to fifth grade, sixth to eighth grade, and ninth to twelfth grade—will be judged by a panel of art teachers, local artists, and Society board members. The art will be on display from Friday, May 11, to Sunday, May 13, in the Old Mint at Fifth and Mission streets.

Winners in each age category will receive $250 for first place, $150 for second place, and $75 for third place. In addition, the three students who win first prize will also win a class visit to the Old Mint with a tour of the historic vaults and rare coin collection.

Artwork should not exceed 20 by 30 inches and may be submitted in any media, including collage. Computer-generated art will not be considered. Each submission must have a sheet of information with the student’s name, age, and home address; grade and the name of the student’s teacher; and school name, address, and phone number.

All artwork must be received by March 30 at the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society, 785 Market Street, Suite 510, San Francisco, CA 94103. Winners and finalists will be notified April 27, and their work will be on the organization’s website,

For more information, call the Society office at 415-537-1105, ext. 100.