Noe Valley Voice November 1998

Short Takes

Broom Brigade Arrives Nov. 7


This fall's Great Sweep, a citywide neighborhood cleanup sponsored by the mayor's office, will take place on Saturday, Nov. 7, from 9 to 11 a.m., exactly a week after Halloween. So get ready, gang. We may have lots of candy wrappers to pick up.

Our neighborhood volunteer captain is Noe Valley Democratic Club president Dave Monks, who lives (and tidies up) on Dolores Street. Monks says those who'd like to participate in the Great Sweep should meet at one of three locations: the Fire Station at 3880 26th St., the Fire Station at 100 Hoffman Ave., or the Upper Noe Recreation Center on 30th Street.

The city will provide maps, brooms, and bags, and several Noe Valley businesses will be donating breakfast munch-ies. "I sure hope Noe Valley folks show up and help out," Monks pleads. "It's difficult to clean up an entire neighborhood by yourself."

If you have questions or can lend moral support, call Monks at 821-4087.

Chaim Potok Visits Bookstore


According to Cover to Cover's Susan Talbott, "The store was just incredibly lucky," to be chosen for a visit from acclaimed author Chaim Potok.

"His new book is for children, so we do tend to be on that circuit," Talbott admits. Still, it's quite a treat to welcome the man whose works include such modern-day classics as My Name Is Asher Lev, The Chosen, and Davida's Harp.

Potok will read from and sign his new children's book, Zebra, on Sunday, Nov. 22, at 2 p.m.

Since the store anticipates a larger crowd than usual, Cover to Cover will not open until noon on Nov. 22. About 200 complimentary tickets to the reading will be issued from Nov. 1 to 21, but no tickets will be available the day of the event.

If you wish to buy Potok's new book, please do so before the day of the reading. To get your tickets, stop by the store at 3910 24th St., or call 282-8080.

Thanks for a Thanksgiving Feast


The tots at the Noe Valley Nursery School, located within the Noe Valley Ministry on Sanchez Street, will host their annual Thanksgiving dinner this year on Wednesday, Nov. 25.

A tradition since 1970, the Nursery School Thanksgiving started as an event just for the preschoolers and their families. But over the years the free dinner has grown to include the Noe Valley Seniors (whose group also meets at the Ministry for its weekday lunch program), assorted Noe Valley merchants, the alumni of the nursery school, and anyone who is hungry for a Thanksgiving meal, especially local homeless people.

"The parents do the baking -- including about 10 turkeys," says organizer Nina Youkelson, "and the kids bake bread and pies." The dinner will start at noon and continue "until people go home," laughed Youkelson.

The feast will be held on the main floor of the church at 1021 Sanchez St. For more information, call the school at 647-2278. It's open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Music Fest at Two Local Bars


You can hear some great local musicians -- and support the Noe Valley Senior Center and Centro Latino de San Francisco -- at the upcoming 14th annual Noe Valley Music Festival.

This year's event will take place on Nov. 14, from 2 to 10 p.m., at two local bars: Noe's Bar on the corner of 24th and Church, and Kennedy's Pub at Church and 25th streets.

The lineup at Kennedy's will include the bands Jimmy and the Weasels and Rattle Can, while Noe's will showcase the Palm Garden Band, Rise, the S.F. Links, and the Robbie MacGregor Band. "These are all terrific musicians," says festival co-organizer Roy Derrick. "They can really play."

A $5 donation pays your way into both bars, and T-shirts will also be on sale. Call Derrick at 826-1103 or Gus Vallejo at 285-2892 for more information.

How's Our Quality of Life?


The San Francisco Department of Public Works wants to hear your views at a forum Nov. 19 assessing the quality of life in Noe Valley, Twin Peaks, Eureka Valley, Dolores Heights, and nearby areas.

The forum, to be held at Mission High School, 3750 18th St., from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., is the 12th in a series of neighborhood meetings designed to improve city services and make them more user-friendly.

DPW planners are asking Noe Valley residents to call the city's "Quality of Life" message center at 554-5440 prior to the meeting, to let them know their top concerns. Other neighborhoods' wish lists have included cleaner streets, more trash bins, easier access to zoning and building permits, traffic and parking improvements, and better Muni scheduling.

If you have questions, feel free to call DPW at 554-6926 or check out the city's web site at Anyone who has special needs because of a disability can call 558-4524 to make arrangements 72 hours in advance of the meeting.

Alvarado Holds Open House


When we were starting kindergarten, most of us just trotted down the street to the nearest public school. Not so anymore. If your kid is starting school next fall, you may need to enroll her now.

To find out how the process works, stop by Alvarado Elementary School on Saturday, Nov. 7, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Margaret Wells, director of the school district's Educational Placement Center, will be on hand to explain the intricacies of optional enrollment requests.

You can also meet with Alvarado's kindergarten teachers and Principal Phyllis Matsuno, who will deliver a "State of the School" address and help her colleagues lead tours of the school.

To get more information about enrollment, call the Educational Placement Center at 241-6085, or visit the public schools' web site at

Also on Nov. 7, the community will be banding together for the annual Alvarado School Work Day. Neighbors, merchants, parents, and other volunteers will spend the day washing windows, painting benches, tending to the school's gardens and courtyard, mopping floors in classrooms, and tackling other minor repairs.

You can join the crew at the school at 625 Douglass St. any time between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. For more information, call Dianne Platner at 648-6462.

What's Cookin' at the Food Bank


Do you want to volunteer to make others' holidays happier, but don't know how to go about it? If so, consider spending some time this season at the San Francisco Food Bank.

During the weeks before Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Food Bank needs at least four "holiday chiefs" to confirm orders with other agencies and help distribute food. The agency also needs distribution people and a warehouse receiving staff to pitch in at its warehouse at 900 Pennsylvania Ave. near 23rd Street.

On Nov. 20, 23, and 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., groups of three to five volunteers are needed at St. Anthony's Church (at Golden Gate and Jones) to do "turkey receiving" -- collect turkeys from donors and load the birds into Food Bank trucks.

If you think you could handle a shift, give Food Bank volunteer coordinator Frank Burtnett a call at 282-1907, ext. 244.

The Best of Blue (films, that is)


Doesn't it seem as if porn films have gone downhill over the past couple of decades? The folks at Good Vibrations, the sex toy store at the corner of Valencia and 23rd streets, think they have -- so they're bringing back the best of the '70s "Golden Age" of blue movies at the Castro Theater on Nov. 5.

The celebration begins with a reception at which guests can sip wine and mingle with past and present porn stars. Then well-known sex educator Carol Queen will host and curate clips from the best and most important porn films from the '70s, including The Devil in Miss Jones, Behind the Green Door, and Talk Dirty to Me. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with several Golden Age luminaries, including Annie Sprinkle, Candida Royalle, and Richard Pacheco.

Reception tickets (which include the film and panel discussion) are $50; film and panel tickets are $10. The reception starts at 6 p.m., and the film at 8 p.m.

Advance tickets are available by calling Good Vibrations at 974-8980 or stopping by the store at 1210 Valencia St. You can also buy tickets for the film and panel discussion at the Castro Theater box office at 621-6120.

Crafts Fair Celebrates 20th


The San Francisco Women's Building needs volunteers to help put on the 20th anniversary Celebration of Craftswomen, the largest juried women's crafts fair in the country. The event will be held Dec. 5, 6, 12, and 13 at Fort Mason's Herbst Pavilion, located at Buchanan Street and Marina Boulevard.

More than 280 craftswomen will display their artistry at the two-weekend fair, which endeavors to show a cross-section of art by women of different cultural backgrounds. The celebration also gives new artists a way to introduce and sell their work.

Volunteers receive a free Celebration of Craftswomen T-shirt, as well as free parking and refreshments. To sign up, call 731-1818, or write Helynna Brooke, Celebration of Craftswomen, 1342 38th Ave., San Francisco, CA 94122.

Pinocchio Comes to McAteer


Treat your kids to a musical -- and show them just how long their noses can get if they tell fibs -- at the Bay Area Educational Theater Company (E.T.C.) production of Pinocchio, to be staged Nov. 6 to 8 and Nov. 13 to 15.

The play, which includes lively music and dance and a cast of 45 local kids and adults, is based on Carlo Collodi's classic tale about free will, responsibility, and the power of love.

Pinocchio will come to life in the theater at McAteer High School, 555 Portola Drive. Evening shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. But theater-goers can also attend matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Daytime "field trip" performances will be held Nov. 5, 6, 12, and 13 at discounted prices for school and senior groups. Tickets are $10 for adults under 65, and $7 for kids and seniors.

E.T.C. describes itself as a "parent-organized, family-oriented educational group dedicated to fostering self-esteem, individuality, and teamwork while creating quality theatrical productions." For more facts, give E.T.C. a buzz at 248-1770.

Volunteer Support for Patients


If you have a little spare time, why not share it with someone in need? Two local organizations are asking for your help.

Shanti, a San Francisco nonprofit serving people with AIDS and HIV, will be holding a comprehensive volunteer training on five days in November: Nov. 6 to 8 and 14 and 15.

Volunteers will learn how to provide emotional and practical support to people with AIDS and their loved ones.

To apply for the training, call Shanti recruiter Maureen Smith at 487-4722 or e-mail

Meanwhile, MidPeninsula Hospice Services, with offices in Mountain View and San Francisco, has announced a critical need for volunteers to provide companionship and support to patients near the end of life. There is a training coming up this month, and volunteers will be placed in their own community.

For information and an application, call 650-947-4271 or toll-free 888-755-7855. Ask to speak with volunteer coordinator Sharon Beckham.

A Rayne-Day Workshop


Looking to break into nonfiction writing for newspapers or 'zines? Noe Valley Voice contributor Rayne Wolfe can show you how she did it at a one-day workshop on Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In addition to writing for the Voice, Wolfe pens two columns: "Bum Luck" for America Online's Digital City, and "What Works" for the San Francisco Examiner's Sunday Career Search section.

She can teach you about targeting submissions, composing cover letters, understanding style issues, focusing your energies, and networking with editors and other writers.

The $100 workshop is sponsored by the Writing Parlor at 4475 23rd St. Call 642-7875 for the scoop.

This month's Short Takes were written by Erin O'Briant and Sally Smith.