Noe Valley Voice September 1998

Short Takes

Demos' Candidates Night

The Noe Valley Democratic Club will host a candidates and ballot issues forum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, at the Noe Valley Ministry on Sanchez Street.

Club President Dave Monks says several candidates for Board of Supervisors, the school board, and Community College Board will make their pitch, in hopes of swaying voters by Nov. 3.

"In addition, we've invited speakers on some of the hotter ballot issues, such as Prop. E [Central Freeway], Prop. G (owner move-in evictions], Prop. I [rail on the bridge], and Prop. J [universal health care]," says Monks. The group will also hear speakers pro and con on Prop. 5 -- the state's Indian gaming initiative.

The forum starts at 7 p.m. For more information, call Monks at 821-4087.

Do the Hula at St. Philip's Fest

St. Philip Church, on Diamond near 24th Street, will stage its annual parish festival on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 26 and 27. "Everybody in Noe Valley knows if they're interested in having a good time they should come out to St. Philip's Festival," says Elizabeth Pepin, one of the event's organizers.

She adds that this year's entertainment will include an Elvis Presley impersonator, a deejay spinning CDs, and Polynesian hula dancers who'll invite the audience to participate.

At the many game booths, kids and adults will have a chance to win toys, candy, and other surprises. Grownups can visit the mini casino, where they can play the slot machines and blackjack.

Pepin says festival goers can also look forward to sampling some great food "and meeting lots of friendly people." All proceeds go to buying computers and supplies and supporting the music and physical education departments at St. Philip School at 665 Elizabeth St.

The festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Admission is free. For more information, call the church at 824-8467.

A One-Stop Shop for Seniors

Good news for seniors living in or near Noe Valley: a new bilingual resource center has opened in the 30th Street Senior Services building at 30th and Dolores streets in upper Noe Valley. The information and referral service, called Senior Central #5, is one of 10 Senior Central programs the city's Commission on Aging plans to open in San Francisco.

Senior Central #5, which got up and running in mid-July, offers free information about a broad array of services available to seniors and caregivers living in the Mission, Noe Valley, Bernal Heights, and Buena Vista districts. All staff are fluent in both Spanish and English.

Seniors or their friends and family can call or drop by to get help from 22 city departments and nonprofit agencies. For example, they can find out where to go for a low-cost meal, legal assistance, translation services, income support, or for doctor or nursing care.

"The majority of calls in San Francisco have been about housing issues," reports Valorie Villela, director of the 30th Street Senior Center. "This may be because of all the senior evictions happening [this past year]. Our staff tries to let people know about available housing in the city. People also ask us a lot about English classes and transportation."

Villela is especially excited about the program's outreach efforts. "Now we have a staff person who can knock on doors and reach seniors who aren't connected to any programs," she says. "Also, people in the community can call about a senior they're worried about, and someone will go check on that person."

Senior Central #5 is located at 225 30th St., and is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The phone number is 920-0588. In addition to the main office, the program also operates a "substation" on Fridays at Centro Latino de San Francisco, 1656 15th St. (phone: 861-8758).

Upper Noe Neighbors Turns 10

Over the past decade, the residents group Upper Noe Neighbors has done a lot for our 'hood. They've planted trees, raised funds for schools, kept an eye on commercial growth, warded off crime and graffiti, jump-started recycling programs, trained people in earthquake preparedness--whew! the list goes on and on.

But after 10 years of being neighborhood watchdogs, Janice Gendreau and Sue Bowie, the group's founders, are feeling a bit tired. And they're looking for some new members to bring energy to the Neighbors and maybe take over the reins of the group.

"We need some people with fresh insights," says Gendreau. "Upper Noe Neighbors is a good way to get resolution on issues and problems. And there are lots of projects to continue, like the recycling program, undergrounding the electrical wires, and improving the [Upper Noe] Rec Center."

Want to lend a hand? Stop by the group's next meeting on Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the Upper Noe Recreation Center, Day and Sanchez streets. Or give Gendreau a call at 641-5989.

The Ministry on Parade

The Noe Valley Ministry -- Noe Valley's community center at 1021 Sanchez St. -- will hold an open house featuring a bonanza of free classes and performances on Saturday, Sept. 12, from 1 to 4 p.m.

The Scottish Country Dancers will kick off a series of performances in the church's main hall at 1:15 p.m. This lively group will be followed by the Singing Rainbow (1:45), Living Tai Chi of Noe Valley (2:15), Jazz Dance (2:45), Irish Dance (3:15), and the Third Tribe from Fat Chance Belly Dance (3:45).

Groups giving demonstrations in the upstairs studio include New Dawn Yoga Therapy (1:00), Takami's Dance for Kids (1:45), White Crane Silat (2:00), Yoga & Breath (2:30), Music for Children (3:00), and the Rosen Method Movement (3:30).

Event organizer Lauren Coleman says she hopes the whole neighborhood -- kids and adults alike -- will stop by to watch the show or partake in a hands-on demo. There'll also be food, music, and artwork on display, as well as sign-up sheets and schedules for all the groups meeting or performing at the Ministry (including the Presbyterian church services and classical music series).

For further details, call the Ministry at 282-2317.

Tenants Try to Stem Evictions

Tenants who want to organize against the rising tide of evictions in San Francisco should attend the next meeting of the Noe Valley Tenants Association, on Saturday, Sept. 19, 1 to 3 p.m., at the Noe Valley Library on Jersey Street.

Discussion will focus on two attempts to reform owner move-in (OMI) eviction laws. The first, sponsored by Supervisor Sue Bierman, would force owners to live in their unit for three years after an OMI eviction and pay $1,000 to the evicted tenant for relocation costs. The legislation would also limit tenancy-in-common ownership to two per building. The proposed law is pending and may go before the Board of Supervisors late this month.

The other legislation, Proposition G, is coming up on the November ballot. Prop. G would eliminate tenancy-in-common ownership and outlaw evictions of seniors and disabled people who have lived in a unit for 10 years or more. It would also make it illegal to evict terminally ill tenants living in a unit for five years or more.

To find out more, call the San Francisco Tenants Union at 282-6622.

Art for All Ages at 17 Reasons

There are several good reasons to stop by 17 Reasons on 24th Street this month. First, you'll want to meet San Francisco painter and children's book illustrator Maya Gonzalez, whose show, "Images of Women: New Work by Maya Gonzalez," will be exhibited in the shop's gallery from Sept. 16 to Oct. 28.

Gonzalez has illustrated several award-winning children's books, including Prietita and La Lorona by Gloria Anzuldua, and Laughing Tomatoes by Francisco Alarcon. Her paintings and pastels have been featured at Galeria de la Raza on 24th Street and at U.C. Davis Medical Center.

A reception for the artist will be held on Saturday, Sept. 19, from 4 to 6 p.m.

The next day, from noon to 1 p.m., Gonzalez will return for a storytelling and art project especially tailored for kids. She will read from and show how she did the illustrations for her latest children's book, From the Bellybutton of the Moon, by Francisco Alarcon. Art supplies and snacks will be provided.

You might also want to check out the art show currently on display until Sept. 15. It's called "Bike" and features a dozen or so lavishly decorated bicycles, designed by artist Aimee Graham and 17 Reasons owner Sarah Compton.

For more information, call 206-1717, or drop by the shop, located at 3961 24th St. across from Bell Market.

The Taj Mahal of Blues Events

Blues fans, take note! The 26th annual San Francisco Blues Festival is coming to town this month. Organized by 30-year Noe Valley resident Tom Mazzolini, the event is one of the most respected blues festivals in the country.

On Saturday, Sept. 19, you can hear headliners Mavis Staples, Little Charlie and the Nightcats, and the Robert Cray Band, plus Bay Area performers Jimmy McCracklin, Sugar Pie DeSanto, and Jesse James. Taj Mahal and the Phantom Blues Band will top the bill on Sunday, Sept. 20, along with the True Spirits Gospel Singers, an Irma Thomas/Marcia Ball/Tracy Nelson combo, Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings, and the red-hot Tommy Castro Band.

The festival will be held at the Great Meadow at Fort Mason (Marina Boulevard at Laguna) from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. both days. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door per day, or $35 for a two-day, advance-purchase ticket. Advance tickets are on sale -- without a service charge -- at Streetlight Records on 24th Street.

Parking is free at the Presidio's Main Post, with free shuttle service to the Great Meadow. For the complete Blues Festival lineup, call 979-5588.

Youth Writing About Race

The San Francisco Art Commission has just released a book called Same Difference: Young Writers on Race. The anthology includes poems, stories, and drawings done by more than 100 young people in the city, including Castro Street resident Molly Ward.

The writers, ages 7 to 20, are part of the Art Commission's four-year-old writing program for youth at risk. The book is available for $12.95 at Borders Books, A Clean Well Lighted Place for Books, and the Friends' Library Store at the New Main Library.

For information about the program, call Michele Liapes at 252-2559.

Authors Against Breast Cancer

"As we like to say, this is a chance to do something besides worry about breast cancer," says Lenore Nash of Breast Cancer Action.

She's referring to Breast Cancer Action's second annual town meeting on Sunday, Sept. 27, dubbed "We're Raising Hell: Three Mighty Women Unite to Fight Breast Cancer." The event will be led by author-activists Dorothy Allison, June Jordan, and Anne Lamott.

Nash says the meeting is a chance for anyone concerned about breast cancer to speak out and get active in the fight to end the epidemic. Allison (author of Cave-dweller and Bastard Out of Carolina), Jordan (Kissing God Goodbye and Haruko: Love Poems), and Lamott (Crooked Little Heart and Operating Instructions) will each describe how their lives have been affected by breast cancer, through their own personal experience and that of family and friends. Then the floor will be opened to the audience for comments and questions.

Participants will have a chance to sign up for Breast Cancer Action task forces, including Media Response, Treatment Issues, Legislative Issues, Community Outreach, and Action Alert.

The meeting will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. in Cowell Theater at Fort Mason. Tickets are $3.50 for low-income participants, $15 for others. No one will be turned away for lack of funds -- just call Breast Cancer Action at 243-9301 ahead of time if you cannot afford a ticket.

Bounced Checks? Bounce Back

Ever been on the receiving end of a bad check in San Francisco? If so, you'll be glad to know that there's a way to get restitution -- through the Bad Check Enforcement Program, a free service offered by District Attorney Terence Hallinan's office. Since its inception one year ago, the program has paid more than $2 million in restitution for bad checks. "Over the past couple of months, we've been paying out $60,000 to $70,000 a month," said Glenn Baker, the program's director of community outreach.

The program operates on fees collected from people who have written checks on closed accounts or with insufficient funds. More than 3,000 of those people have taken the program's diversion classes, which teach basic financial skills such as how to keep check records and balance a checkbook. "Hopefully, that's 3,000 people who aren't out there writing bad checks anymore," Baker said.

If you have received a bad check, call the Bad Check Enforcement Program at 392-3070, or write to them at 500 Sansome St., #510, San Francisco, CA 94111.

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