Noe Valley Voice October 1997

Short Takes

By Erin O'Briant, Dodie Hamblen, and Jane Underwood

Breast Cancer Film Screening

Rachel's Daughters, a documentary film that explores the causes of breast cancer, will premier on HBO Wednesday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. It will also be aired five more times in October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The film mixes historical footage and short dramatizations with interviews with experts on cancer research. It also features seven women living with breast cancer as the film's main interviewers.

Rachel's Daughters was directed by Academy Award winners Allie Light and Irving Saraf and co-produced by 13-year Noe Valley resident Nancy Evans, who also appears as one of the interviewers.

"[Light and Saraf's] daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39," says Evans, "and one of their responses was to try to figure out why, and to make a film." Rachel's Daughters asks some hard questions about this country's rising breast cancer rates and the environmental causes of the disease, she adds.

The documentary will be shown this month at the Mill Valley Film Festival. For further details, call 957-1205.

Library Is Seismically Unsound

The S.F. Library and the Department of Public Works will hold a meeting Oct. 16 at the Noe Valley Library to discuss a proposed bond measure that would pay for seismic upgrading at the branch.

"One of the purposes is to find out the direction people want to go and what people in the community want for their library," says Marcia Schneider, chief of library branches. "Of course, at the same time we are very concerned about the safety of the people in the building."

The city has given the Noe Valley Library a seismic hazard rating of 4, which means that in a major earthquake "extensive structural damage...would pose high life hazards to occupants."

In addition to quakeproofing, the bonds could be used for expanding and modernizing the branch. The library hopes to put the measure on the ballot as early as November 1998.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at 451 Jersey St. Call the library at 695-5095 for further details.

Restaurant Crawl for Ministry

You can sample some of the tastiest food in Noe Valley on Sunday, Oct. 19, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Noe Valley Ministry Restaurant Crawl -- a progressive dinner party to benefit the Ministry and its community programs.

The evening begins with a visit to Savor at 3913 24th St., where diners can enjoy crepes, beer and wine, and entertainment by Fat Chance Belly Dance. The party then moves to Java 'n' More, 1351 Church St., for a Middle Eastern plate. Next in the lineup is the Courtyard Cafe at 1361 Church St., where drumsticks and Caesar salad will be waiting. The evening winds down at MikeyTom Market, 1747 Church St., with coffee and dessert and organic pumpkins for all (complete with on-site jack-o-lantern carving).

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at all four eateries or at the Ministry, 1021 Sanchez St. Proceeds will offset recent renovations at the building. For information, call Dawn Summers at 282-8526.

Laidley Block Sale

Attention, garage sale shoppers! The Laidley Street Block Sale is coming up on Saturday, Oct. 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The sale, sponsored for the ninth year in a row by the block's neighborhood watch group, will be held on Laidley Street (at the southern end of Noe) between Harper and Miguel.

Co-organizer Yolanda Aguirre reports that "some people have antiques, and others have stuff like ashtrays and figurines to sell. And sometimes the little kids open a lemonade stand."

She adds that Laidley Street is worth seeing even if you're not in the mood to buy. "At one end of the block the houses are built below street level, so you have a wonderful view of the city and the Financial District." While you're there, check out the architecture -- it's unique.

Poll Workers Wanted

Civic-minded folk in Noe Valley will have an opportunity to help out during the Nov. 4 municipal elections. Workers are needed at poll sites throughout the city, in-
cluding the Noe Valley Library on Jersey Street and the firehouse at 419 Eureka.

To participate, you must be a U.S. citizen, registered to vote in San Francisco, and at least 18 by Nov. 4 (or 16 if you're attending a city high school). Compensation ranges from $69 to $72 for the day.

Come in person to the elections office at 633 Folsom St., Room 107, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, to fill out an application.

Baked Goods and Bargains

The Noe Valley Ministry's annual Flea Market and Bake Sale will be held Saturday, Oct. 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Festivities include a quiche luncheon, an all-day bake sale, and plenty of bargains on clothes, furniture, and knickknacks.

"Members of the church do all the baking," says organizer Carol Maerzke, "so everything is fresh and wonderful. We're also expanding the operation this year and using both floors of the Ministry."

Maerzke noted that the sale would have special sections for books and toys and that the increased space would allow more room for kids to try out toys and games before Mom and Dad bought them.

To donate items, drop them off on Friday, Oct. 10, from 2 to 8 p.m., at 1021 Sanchez St. If you need a pickup, call the Ministry at 282-2317.

Democratic Yays and Nays

The Noe Valley Democratic Club has made its endorsements for the Nov. 4 city election. The club supports Board of Supervisors member Susan Leal for City Treasurer, and Louise Renne (so far the only candidate) for City Attorney.

"We endorsed Susan Leal because she has a record of financial independence on the board," said club president Dave Monks, "and because of her background in economics and business. Plus, she lives in Noe Valley and has been attentive to the needs of the neighborhood."

The club also gave its seal of approval to propositions A through G. Props. A and B would issue more than $300 million in revenue bonds for improvements to the city's water system. Prop. F would enable the city to sell off the land on Mount Davidson where the giant cross now sits. And Prop. G would require campaign consultants to register with the city ethics commission and file quarterly reports.

The Noe Valley Democratic Club decided not to endorse Prop. H, which authorizes Caltrans to rebuild parts of the Central Freeway and construct above-ground ramps north of Fell Street.

For more on the club vote, call Dave Monks at 821-4087.

Noe's Emergency Squad

As we come upon another anniversary of the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake (Oct. 17), the Friends of Noe Valley and our local Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) are taking action to prepare for future disasters.

The Friends meeting on Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Noe Valley Library, 451 Jersey St., will feature speaker Kent Paxton of the Mayor's Office of Emergency Services. Paxton will bring the group up to date on San Francisco's emergency plans and will discuss a citywide alert on Oct. 18 at 10 a.m. for current NERT members.

The "real-time" emergency exercise will be held at James Lick School at 1220 Noe St. "The premise is that we pretend a quake has happened," says Bill Kuhns of the Noe Valley team. "We then report five major disasters in the neighborhood, like collapsed buildings, streetcars off the tracks, and fires. We triage the disasters to determine what we can do about them."

The next Noe Valley training for NERT volunteers won't happen until March 1998, but an October training is scheduled in the Castro on six consecutive Tuesday evenings beginning Oct. 21. Trainings will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Sanchez School, 325 Sanchez St.

"The training is very physical and lots of fun," says Kuhns. "Slides, demonstrations by firefighters, lots of hands-on first aid, and some search and rescue." For more information about NERT or Friends of Noe Valley, call Kuhns at 826-2304.

Book Lovers, Lend a Hand

The eighth annual San Francisco Bay Area Book Festival is coming to the Exhibition Concourse Nov. 8 ­ 9, and organizers need volunteers to help with everything from setup and decorations to ticket sales and information booths.

Noe Valley's own Phoenix Books at 24th and Vicksburg will be among the exhibitors, which will include more than 300 publishers and booksellers. Several Noe Valley poets, including Marya Grambs, Cyra McFadden, Catherine Wagner, Mary Wings, and Jess Wells, will be reading from their work.

The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. The Concourse is located at Eighth and Brannan streets. If you can volunteer, call 908-2833.

Ways to Unlock Gridlock

Noe Valley residents who dread traveling to work may benefit from the 12th annual California Rideshare Week, Oct. 6 to 10. Organizers are offering prizes, including a mountain bike and a trip for two to Hawaii or Mexico, to commuters who pledge to carpool, vanpool, or take public transportation during that week.

"For carpoolers, we send people a list of other people who have similar schedules, and leave it up to them to screen each other," says Katy Katzenberger of RIDES for Bay Area Commuters. "We also encourage biking and telecommuting. People in Noe Valley may even want to walk to the Financial District."

To register for California Rideshare Week, call 1-800-755-POOL or check out the Web site at Entries must be received by Oct. 15, and prize winners will be announced by Nov. 20.

Let the Sun Shine In

You can find out how local residents use our sunny days to lower their utility bills by attending the National Solar Home Tour on Saturday, Oct. 18. The tour will include two homes in Noe Valley, one with a solar electric system and another with a solar water heating system. Homeowners will be on hand to answer questions about benefits, costs, and maintenance of their solar-powered homes.

In addition to the Noe Valley homes, the day-long San Francisco tour will include a third home on Potrero Hill, a solar-powered electric car charging system in the Presidio, and solar water-heating systems in residential complexes in the Mission and Western Addition.

The tour is sponsored by the Northern California Solar Energy Association (NCSEA), the American Solar Energy Society, and local coordinator Occidental Power. It will start at 10 a.m. at Occidental Power, 3629 Taraval, and proceed by van to other sites. Participants should bring a lunch and expect to return to Occidental Power around 5 p.m. The cost is $15 for the general public, $10 for NCSEA members. For details, contact Colleen O'Brien at 681-8861.

A Pumpkin Patch in Glen Park

Glen Park has put out the welcome mat for the second annual Glen Park Community Festival, to be held Oct. 19, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the heart of Glen Park at Diamond and Wilder streets.

Glen Park resident Kevin Janssen says, "For the children's area, we will be having face painting, a pumpkin patch, and crafts and games, as well as story time in the pumpkin patch. There will also be a fire truck for the little ones to climb on and a talking police car." The adult area will offer live music, crafts vendors, and information booths, "and an opportunity to sit down, relax, and enjoy the festival."

Raffle tickets will also be on sale, for prizes donated by more than a dozen Glen Park merchants, including Creighton's Bakery, Glen Park Books, Glen Park Dental, Sol Gym, and Tyger's Restaurant.

Proceeds from the festival will go toward summer scholarships for Silver Tree Day Camp and other community causes. "This year's festival is larger than last year's, but retains the flavor of what Glen Park is all about," says Janssen. To get on the bandwagon, call 239-4375.

Teach Tenant Rights

As rental prices soar, the San Francisco Tenants Union has been swamped with inquiries about tenants rights. To keep up with demand, the union will train new volunteer counselors starting this month.

"Volunteers will get an overview of tenant law that will include rent control, eviction, repairs, and maintenance," says the union's Ted Gullicksen. "There will be smaller sections on security deposits, roommates, and subletting." Gullicksen notes, "We have volunteer counselors right now who are from Noe Valley, and Noe Valley is one of the biggest areas for membership in the Tenants Union."

The training will be held on Saturdays Oct. 25 and Nov. 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 558 Capp St. To register, call the San Francisco Tenants Union at 282-6622.

Letters for a Tibetan Prisoner

On Oct. 18, from 1 to 5 p.m., Amnesty International Group 80 -- which meets at the Noe Valley Ministry on the first Thursday of each month -- will sponsor a write-a-thon on behalf of a Tibetan prisoner, Phuntsog Nyidron. The letter-writing session will be held at Modern Times Bookstore, 888 Valencia St.

According to group member Dave Spitzer, Nyidron was sentenced to nine years in prison for chanting slogans and peacefully marching in support of Tibetan independence. "The demonstration lasted only a few minutes, but resulted in arrest, imprisonment, and torture for Nyidron and five other nuns," said Spitzer.

"Everybody is invited to come by and write a brief letter to the Chinese authorities appealing for her release. There will be speakers on the situation in Tibet, entertainment, and Tibetan food." For more information, call 587-7299 or 826-9414.

Dance at the Castro Street Fair

"The Castro Street Fair was founded by Harvey Milk in 1974," says Rick Thomas of the fair office, "and we continue it today as a tribute to him." The fair's 23rd anniversary will be Sunday, Oct. 5, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Festivities will be centered at Castro and Market and "radiate out from there," says Thomas.

As usual, all kinds of groups will be setting up booths. "Practically every AIDS group, political club, and social group will be there," Thomas says. Organizers also have made slots for dozens of arts and crafts booths, with the Best of Show arts and crafts located on Castro between 18th and 19th streets.

The fair's latest attraction is a country-and-western dance, set to take place from noon to 5 p.m. at the corner of 18th and Hartford. Call 467-3354 for the scoop.

Alternatives to Nursing Homes

San Francisco's Long-Term Care Task Force is holding a series of community forums to hear from consumers and caregivers on alternatives to nursing homes for seniors and adults with disabilities or chronic illnesses.

The task force wants personal feedback about options such as home health care, elder day care, and meal delivery, recreation, and transportation services.

The forum closest to Noe Valley will be held Oct. 9, 2 to 5 p.m., at Horace Mann School at 23rd and Valencia streets. The meetings will provide the basis for San Francisco's application to become one of five California counties chosen for a state pilot project. For a complete schedule, contact Bill Haskell at 554-2769.