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Rumors Behind the News: 'Tis the Season to Avoid Stress
HALLOWEEN MADNESS has passed. Veterans Day is upon us (it's really Ar-mistice Day), and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. There are about 55 days until Christmas. And then it will be New Year's. Yikes! Are we stressed yet?
No problem for Jay Davidson, who resides in Eureka Valley and commutes to work in Noe Valley. Davidson is a first-grade teacher at our own Alvarado Elementary School. He has been teaching for 29 years. He is also a personal organizer and member of the National Association of Professional Organizers.
Davidson has written and published an 18-page booklet titled, "65 Ideas for Reducing Stress." My favorites are:
1. Allow extra time.
10. Live one day at a time.
18. Schedule daily quiet time.
50. Tell the truth.
The last one is good, too:
65. Think about somebody else.
But during the holiday crunch, perhaps Davidson's best advice is:
43. Maintain a spiritual connection.
He adds: "Whether you get it from meditation, prayer, beating a drum, or writing poetry, find a way to keep a spiritual connection in your life."
Davidson says the key to reducing stress -- and this is what he tries to instill in his students -- is learning how "to take charge of your life, to make things happen."
As far as his own stress level at Alva-rado goes, "The lowering of class size has certainly made things much more manageable for me," says Davidson.
Unfortunately, his stress reduction booklet is not currently available in any local shop. But it is published by Tojabrel Press, and available by mail order at P.O. Box 51996, Palo Alto, CA 94303.
The cost is $5 including postage and handling. But Davidson says, "Tell your readers that if they write "Voice Rumors" on the envelope, they can get a special discount and have it for $4 instead of $5." (Make checks out to Tojabrel Press, and request the booklet by title.)
All you stressed-out parents might be interested to know that at about the same time this issue of the Voice hits the streets, Jay Davidson's latest booklet will be hot off the presses: "99 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Success in School."
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NO LATER THAN OCT. 31 was when Rec and Park project manager Marvin Yee told me that two picnic tables would finally arrive at Douglass Park, to be installed next to the children's playground... just in time for winter.
Friends of Noe Valley (FNV) put in their bid for the tables some two years ago, in a modest request to Friends of Rec and Park (FRP).
FRP awarded a $1,000 grant to FNV at the end of June 1996, with a few strings attached. The final approval for two tables and two trees came in February of 1997.
According to Yee, the day of delivery was set for Sept. 6 --to coincide with the Friends of Noe Valley's annual picnic -- "but because of some miscommunication, the tables were not available on that day. But they planted two Mayten trees."
To make up for the delay, "the Rec and Park Department is donating the installation expense and will paint the two six-foot-long Douglas fir tables and benches green," says Yee.
Question: If it takes Rec and Park two years to install two donated tables and two trees, how many years do you think it will take to fix the bathrooms at Noe Courts? Answer: One light year.
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BACK TO THE FUTURE: The Department of Public Works announced Oct. 2 that it had finished installation of historical lampposts in Dolores Heights, as part of a long-planned effort to put the utilities underground in that neighborhood.
Dolores Heights is the area southwest of Dolores Park bounded by 20th, Church, 21st, and Noe. The new acorn-shaped streetlights, which are 16 feet tall and hearken back to the early 1900s, were switched on in late September. They will replace the metal "cobra" fixtures mounted on the telephone poles, and according to DPW's Frank Lee, "will actually cast more light onto the streets since these lamps are below most of the tree foliage."
Lee says DPW should start removing the old light poles and overhead wires by the end of the year.
When that day comes, the members of the Dolores Heights Improvement Club will undoubtedly shoot off fireworks. They've been waiting more than 20 years to bring down the wires.
"The new light poles are beautiful," beams Amy Powell, president of the club. "DPW did a great job."
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A SHINING LIGHT GLOWS at On Lok's 30th Street Senior Services. That would be senior center director Valorie Villela. Villela just got back from Baltimore, where she accepted an award from the Social Security Administration for helping out noncitizen seniors affected by the so-called Welfare Reform Act of 1996.
The award she received, the Commissioner's Citation, is the highest award given within the SSA to "individuals or groups that have demonstrated outstanding service in support of Social Security programs and/or their community."
Villela, who has run the senior center and its nutrition program since 1987, was specifically honored for expanding the agency's citizenship services. The center offers two citizenship classes for Spanish-speaking seniors, and participates in the Mission Southeast Naturalization Hub, which guides seniors through the naturalization maze.
If you've never visited 30th Street (225 30th St.), now's a good time. The place will host its annual Carnival of Cultures on Saturday, Nov. 8, 7 p.m. There'll be two Latin bands and western line dancing, which is a great stress-buster.
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DOWNTOWN NOE VALLEY parking stress may soon be alleviated, if the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association can continue to lay on the horn at City Hall. To give the Department of Parking and Traffic a little push in the right direction, the merchants took it upon themselves to conduct a survey last summer. The group wanted to find out exactly how many parking places would be gained if we converted to diagonal parking on side streets off 24th Street and if the Muni switched all the 24th Street bus stops from "bus zones" to "coach stops," like the one at Church and 24th.
Well, the survey has been done. According to the NVMPA newsletter, the use of "prudent diagonal parking would result in 35 additional parking spaces." And by changing the bus zones, "a minimum of 14 spaces would be gained on 24th Street, 9 on Castro, 4 on Diamond, and 3 on Douglass, for a total of 30 additional spaces."
That makes 65 new parking spaces and 65 new parking meters, folks. By my calculations, that would be almost $200 more for the city per day (averaging only $3 per meter per day). Now if we could only take that money and repair the Noe Courts bathrooms.
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SPEAKING OF PARKING, there are some never-before-seen parking control signs now posted on Sanchez between 22nd and 23rd streets, on the west side near the intersection with Alvarado. The signs say vehicles "over six feet high" are now prohibited.
According to Ricardo Olea of DPT, the signs were posted to avoid visibility problems at this T intersection. "The Department received a request for a three-way stop sign," Olea explains. (There are no stop signs now.) "After we looked at the intersection, we determined that we had to increase visibility [for cars turning onto Sanchez from Alvarado], which was being obstructed by large vehicles being parked on the west side of Sanchez Street." If that doesn't help, maybe then they'll consider the stop signs.
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CHURCH STREET is becoming the place to have a hair salon. "We have been over in the Haight for the past 17 years," says Vaughn Hood, who, with his wife Beverly, just opened Jaboh (1515 Church near 27th). "And we found many of our clients were from Noe Valley and wanted us to move over the hill."
Vaughn and Beverly work together and say they have been amazed at the warm reception they've had from neighbors and fellow merchants. "This neighborhood is definitely more comfortable, the weather's better, the parking is easier, and the merchants are so nice."
Jaboh is open 9 to 9 Tuesday through Friday and 9 to 4 on Saturday. "We are a full-service salon," says Beverly, "and we welcome men, women, and children."
Just down the block at 1478 Church St., Teresa Donnelly has opened a full-service hair salon called Danu.
"I'm coming home to where I grew up," says Teresa. "We bought the building and live in the residence above the store, and my three kids will soon be going to St. Paul's School down the street, and I can work and be close to my kids."
Before "coming home," Teresa worked for nine years at a Potrero Hill salon called Hair Now . She features Aveda hair products and will give you "a full scalp treatment with every haircut, and take the time to pamper." The shop is open from 10 to 7 Tuesday through Saturday.
And while we are still on Church Street: On the corner of 27th, you will notice that Lady Sybil's old storefront is still vacant and there's a "For Sale" sign in the window. What's going on?
According to Jon Cellitti, of Coldwell Banker, the store is not for rent separately. The whole building is for sale. You can buy the front store, a one-bedroom unit behind the store, a three-bedroom flat above (with two parlors and long halls), and a one-car garage for $600,000.
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BEFORE I GO, many congrats, well wishes, and many more happy tax returns to Downtown Noe Valley's only full-service shoe store, Astrid's Rabat Shoes, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last month. Astrid and Hal Doder opened the store on Vicksburg Street on Oct. 17, 1977. But it wasn't long before it moved to its prime spot on 24th near Sanchez.
By the way, the store was an early supporter of the Noe Valley Voice, back when we were a mere eight pages.
Manager Veronica Ruedrich says the main reason the store has endured so long is that people can find "comfortable shoes at a reasonable price here, so they don't have to go downtown."
Veronica notes that people are once again buying Frye boots. In fact, they're the most requested item in the store.
"You know it's kinda funny," she says wistfully, " but we have come full circle. When this store first opened, we had a Frye logo on our awning. Then they fell out of fashion from the mid-eighties to the mid-nineties. Now they are back again."
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I'LL BE BACK HERE AGAIN in December. I hope to help you celebrate the holidays by reading a monster December/ January issue of the Voice. Let's hope it's full of discount coupons to enable us to meet all our Chanukah/ Christmas/Kwanzaa shopping needs.