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A Friendly Picnic in the Park
You can find out what's up in the neighborhood by attending the annual Friends of Noe Valley picnic at Douglass Playground at noon on Saturday, Sept. 6. The Friends will enjoy a potluck lunch, elect new officers, and oversee the planting of two trees in the park. The celebration will also mark the arrival of two new picnic tables, purchased with a grant from the Friends of Recreation and Parks.
"We hope to have the tables installed in time for the picnic," said Friends member Laure Moon. "We had none before, and the playground really needed them. It also needed some shade trees, so the Friends of Recreation and Parks threw two trees in for free."
Noe Valley residents, friends, and family are all welcome at the party, and the Friends will supply beverages and eating utensils. "People should come out because it's fun and social," said Moon. The park is located at 26th and Douglass.
Friends of Noe Valley normally meets at the Noe Valley Library on the second Thursday of the month. For more information call Cecile Lozano at 695-9502.
Hear Handel in a House
Noe Valley residents Kathy and Mark Perl have announced the fall schedule for Chattanooga Chamber Music, a series of intimate afternoon concerts held in their Victorian home at 152 Chattanooga St.
"The house has two adjoining parlor-type rooms with sliding doors between them," says Kathy Perl. "We open the doors and set up chairs all the way to the back. The acoustics are fabulous."
A professional harpsichordist, Perl started the classical concert series last year. So far, the performances have been very successful. "A lot of people from the neighborhood are just thrilled to be able to walk to a concert," she says. "And we usually fill all the seats."
The Fall 1997 season begins on Sunday, Sept. 7, with solo harpsichordist Byron Schenkman performing works by Handel, de la Guerre, and a new piece by Ted Allen. The Streicher Trio performs a month later on Oct. 5, and features Charlene Brendler on fortepiano, Carla Moore on violin, and Elizabeth Le Guin on cello. The trio will play music by Beethoven, Boccherini, and Mozart.
Les Voix Humaines, a viola de gamba duo composed of Susie Napper and Margaret Little, will offer a concert of music from France, England, and Germany on Oct. 26. And on Dec. 7, harpsichordist host Kathy Perl will play selections from J.S. Bach, including The Well-Tempered Clavier II and French Suites.
All performances start at 3 p.m. Seating is limited to 50. For reservations, call Kathy or Mark Perl at 641-0940. Admission is $12, and parking, says Perl, is "not impossible."
Renters Hold Convention
"Think about it," says Kate Gordon of the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco. "If you were evicted today, could you still afford to live in your neighborhood?" Most tenants in Noe Valley would have to say no. And that's just the issue Gordon and others plan to address at the citywide Tenant Convention at Mission High School (Dolores and 16th) on Sept. 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Delegates from 10 San Francisco neighborhood conventions will gather to produce a tenant platform for 1997- 98. Convention leaders hope to capitalize on the fact that renters now make up 65 percent of San Francisco voters, and push through a city ballot measure that would give tenants more protection from evictions.
"Noe Valley is specifically affected by the rising rent problem," said Gordon. "There will be a Noe Valley delegation, and the more people who attend, the better."
For more details, call the Housing Rights Committee at 398-0527.
Best-Told Tales for Children
Former Noe Valley resident Jerry Sontag, of Mornum Time Press, is calling for submissions to a new anthology of original stories parents tell their children.
"A lot of professional writers already have something around they've written," says Sontag, "but I'm really interested in the children's stories that were told first and then written down. Those stories have a very distinctive flavor to them."
The tale could be an old standby or one you made up on the spur of the moment. "It might be anything from a ridiculous flight of fancy to a moral tale," he says.
Sontag has already received stories from several Noe Valley families, and he hopes to use a local artist for the book's illustrations. "This book will have a Bay Area flavor," he adds. "I want a diverse group of parents, including lesbian parents, and people from different backgrounds."
The deadline for stories -- which should be aimed at kids ages 3 to 10 and no more than 10 double-spaced, typewritten pages -- is Dec. 1. The book will also include a brief biography of each contributor.
For more information call Sontag at 434-2542. Send submissions to Mornum Time Press, 381 Bush St., Suite 500, San Francisco, CA 94104.
How To Be a Hospice Worker
Visiting Nurses & Hospice of San Francisco, a patient care provider for people living with AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses, will begin a 20-hour training for new volunteers on Sept. 9. "Volunteers should have a real desire to work with people," says Pat Bregant, "but we don't require any experience.
"Volunteers can offer practical and emotional support for the patient, or do other types of work for the organization," she adds. "After the training, we interview all the volunteers individually and try to find a good match."
Noe Valley residents who would like to assist patients in this neighborhood can be paired up accordingly. "We have several volunteers and patients in Noe Valley and the Castro," Bregant notes.
The training features role-playing, bereavement counseling, and hands-on instruction in caring for patients in the home. Says Bregant, "I've been doing this for nine years, and every time I get something new out of it."
Workshops will be held the evenings of Sept. 9, 11, and 15, and all day Saturday, Sept. 13, at California Pacific Medical Center, 2333 Buchanan St. For an application, call Bregant at 750-6800, ext. 21701.
Seniors Cut a Rug
If you're a senior who loves to kick up your heels, head on over to 30th Street Senior Services and sign up for some free dance lessons. Participants can choose from ongoing classes in Western line dance, ballroom dance, folk, and tango. On Friday afternoons, there's a free dance featuring Latin music.
"People here, especially those in the Western line dance class, have performed at the Gray Cabaret, which is a benefit performance. So has the folk dance group," notes Jorge Santis, coordinator at the senior center.
Some of the dancers are quite skilled, but beginners are welcome. For a class schedule, call 550-2221. Or come by and register at 30th Street Senior Services, located at 225 30th St. near Dolores Street.
Art Crawl in the Mission
Noe Valleyans who stroll a few blocks down 24th Street on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 6 to 10 p.m., can take part in the Mission Art Crawl -- a showcase of arts and cultural events in the Mission District.
Numerous art galleries and businesses, including Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center, Galeria de la Raza, Back to the Picture, Intersection for the Arts, Southern Exposure, ArtBeat Gallery, the Marsh, Mission Cultural Center, and "4 walls," will present some of San Francisco's most exciting art exhibits, performances, and artists' receptions.
Mission Art Crawl is a collaboration of hundreds of arts and cultural organizations. Call Intersection for the Arts, 626-2787, for a full list of events and locations.
Family Grief Counseling
Beginning Sept. 22, Hospice by the Bay will offer a free 10-week family bereavement program for anyone who has experienced a loss through death in the past two years.
The program has separate sessions for children, teenagers, and adults. "With adults it's a straightforward support group, with discussion and videos," says coordinator Anna O'Brien. "The teenage group is similar, but with some art, story-telling, and music," she adds. The children's group focuses more heavily on expression through art and stories.
"What we see when people leave here is less fear, less of a feeling of isolation, and more a feeling of being normal," O'Brien says. "It's important not to feel scared, not to feel that everyone will think you're crazy if you're going to this bereavement group."
Sessions run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Hospice by the Bay's office, 1540 Market St., near Van Ness Avenue. For further details call 626-5900.
Remember the One About...
Over age 60? Have a good story to tell? If so, you might want to enter the Mission YMCA's Legacies Writing Contest. The contest, now in its third year, was created to honor and preserve the stories of elder Americans.
Contestants are encouraged to tell true stories about an important event in their lives -- about grappling with and transcending a low point, turning point, or crisis. Or they might just pass on a humorous anecdote to future generations.
Winners of the local contest will be notified in December, then entered in the National Legacies Contest, where they'll be eligible for $15,000 in cash prizes. In the last competition, two local contestants became national winners.
Entries must be typed, double-spaced, on 81/2 x 11 paper, and should not exceed 1,500 words. The cover page must include the author's name, address, phone nums
Send your story by Sept. 30 to Legacies Contest, Mission YMCA, 4080 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94112.
To find out more, contact Gloria Garcia at 452-7569.
This month's Short Takes were written by Erin O'Briant and Jane Underwood.
Wales Needs Poetry
Penhaligon Page, a publishing house situated in Wales, is currently seeking poetry from America for a new series of hardback anthologies. If you have something in verse, managing editor Kelly Olsen would like to see it.
Olsen points out that Wales has long been recognized as the poetry and literature capital of Britain.
She invites you to send up to three poems by the end of September 1997. There are no restrictions as to style, form, or subject. But each poem should be less than 30 lines, and authors should send copies rather than originals. No work will be published without permission of the author. Mail submissions to Kelly Olsen, Penhaligon Page, Upper Dee Mill, Llangollen, Wales, LL20 8SD, UK. If you would like to talk to her beforehand, call 011-44-1978-869109, send a fax to 011-44-1978-869110, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.