Noe Valley Voice March 1999

Short Takes

A Tree Grows in Noe Valley


If you own a house that has space for a tree in front, Friends of the Urban Forest can help you improve your environment and your property's value at the same time. The group will be holding a major Noe Valley planting day in mid-June, and neighborhood organizer David Murphy is scouting out potential spots with the goal of creating more tree-lined streets in the neighborhood.

If you sign up, you'll pay only $25. More than 90 percent of the cost of the tree is subsidized. Friends of the Urban Forest will assess the climate conditions at your house and guide you in what type of tree would work best. They'll also do all the legwork, coordinating the sidewalk and utility preparation.

When planting day comes, Friends will help with the actual digging and give you care instructions for the new tree. A year later, the group will prune and re-stake the tree, if needed.

Though the homeowner is ultimately responsible, Friends makes it as easy and painless as possible, and has already planted 27,000 trees in San Francisco in the past 15 years. For more information or to request a tree, call Murphy at 695-7940 or 643-7753.

Coping with Divorce


Kids' Turn, a Bay Area nonprofit organization, has openings for a six-week workshop for separated or divorcing families. The workshop will be held on Saturdays, March 13 to April 24, from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Presidio.

Kids' Turn teaches children ages 4 to 14 how to cope with changes in the family, while showing parents how to better support their kids. At the workshop, the kids learn ways to identify and communicate their feelings and solve potential conflicts with their parents. They are also taught a few basics about the laws relating to divorce and child custody. Parents learn how to help their kids adapt to the family reorganization. They also explore new parenting skills and styles.

Kids and parents attend together but are in separate rooms for most of the workshop. (Ex-spouses do not meet in the same group.)

Fees are assessed on a sliding scale. Families interested in the workshop should phone the Kids' Turn office at 437-0700 and ask for registration materials.

A Year in Sacramento


State Assemblywoman Carole Migden, D ­ San Francisco, is urging individuals to apply for the 1999­2000 Assembly Fellowship Program. The 11-month program offers 18 college graduates the chance to become full-time Assembly staff members, working on fiscal and policy issues in Migden's and other representatives' Sacramento offices.

The Fellows actively engage legislative members, senior staff, officials, and lobbyists on issues of state importance. Fellows are paid a stipend of $1,792 per month, plus health, dental, and vision benefits, while earning 12 graduate units at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS). The program is jointly sponsored by CSUS and the California State Legislature.

"I know of no other program that offers so much insight into the governmental process," says Migden.

Applicants must have earned their undergraduate degree by June of 1999. Individuals with advanced degrees or those in midcareer are also encouraged to apply.

For an application, call Migden's Capitol office, Room 2114, at (916) 319-2013, or the Center for California Studies at CSUS at (916) 278-6906.

Be a Gallery Greeter


Volunteers are needed to serve as greeters in the James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center and in other galleries and reference rooms in the Main Library at the Civic Center, 100 Larkin St.

"We're looking for friendly, articulate, and reliable volunteers who are as excited about the centers as our patrons are," says Paul Signorelli, director of volunteers for the San Francisco Public Library.

Greeters welcome the public, hand out brochures, talk about the exhibits, assist with special events, and refer patrons with reference questions to other library staff. They also answer questions about the Main Library's architectural features, interior finishes, and physical layout.

Shifts are generally two to three hours a week (on a set schedule), and volunteers are asked to take on the assignment for a minimum of six months. Interested? Sign up for a free two-hour training session by calling Signorelli at 557-4280.

Are You Meant to Be a Mentor?


Do you have some time to share with a young person, but you're not sure how to get "connected" in a mentoring relationship? The San Francisco Mentoring Coalition (SFMC) can help.

The coalition, comprised of more than 30 groups and programs, works to increase the number of mentor/mentee matches in the city. To boost its efforts, it recently published a brochure listing each program's specific needs. The brochure gives a general program description, ages of youth served, levels of mentoring sought, minimum hours per week, duration of commitment, and training required.

The coalition also holds brief orientation sessions, where you can learn valuable tips on mentoring. Call 982-8999, extension 240, for a copy of the brochure and a schedule of orientations.

A Stitch in Time


The "Blankets for the Needy" class at On Lok, Inc.'s 30th Street Senior Services is looking for volunteers. No sewing experience is necessary, and all supplies are donated.

The class is held at the senior center at 225 30th St. Participants make patchwork blankets to be given to abused, neglected, or homeless women and children, now living in "safe" residences. Blankets are also donated to programs that help rehabilitate these families for employment.

The group meets twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. -- though volunteers are not required to stay the entire time. Some participants enjoy taking the work home with them as well.

Lee Bloom, who has been working with the group for nearly 10 years, would welcome your call for more information or to volunteer. She can be reached at 30th Street Senior Services at 550-2210. Or call Kim Longenecker at 550-2214.

Video Group Offers Grants


The Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) is calling for entries for its 1999 Artist Equipment Access Awards. The awards, which are intended to be used for postproduction work on innovative video or new media projects, consist of $1,500 worth of access to BAVC's media facility at 2727 Mariposa St.

The studio has linear and nonlinear video editing equipment, Windows NT and Mac computer labs, closed and open captioning services, and a video preservation center. BAVC takes special interest in video artists who are working on projects related to community issues.

The application deadline is April 30. Recipients must use the grant between July 1, 1999, and June 21, 2000. For an entry form or to get more information, call Natasha Perlis at 558-2119. Entry forms will also be posted online at

BAVC has also announced its March schedule of workshops. The classes, at all skill levels, range from basic video production to advanced video engineering taught with broadcast-quality equipment. Among the workshops is a "Video Production Boot Camp" set for March 27 to April 3, covering everything from storyboarding to shooting to editing on video.

BAVC's web site has information on all its workshops, or call 861-3282 and ask for a catalog.

Keep Your Home Green


Mothers & Others for a Livable Planet and the San Francisco Public Library's Wallace Stegner Environmental Center are co-sponsoring a free workshop called "Your Home: Clean and Green."

Participants will learn how to clean a home and manage pests using nontoxic techniques and eco-friendly products. They'll also discuss how to recycle household products, use homemade remedies that are safe and inexpensive, and dispose of hazardous materials.

The workshop will be held on Wednesday, March 17, from 6 to 7:15 p.m., in the Latino/Hispanic Meeting Room at the Main Library at Civic Center.

For more information, call Mothers & Others at 433-0850.

Community Music Sings


The Community Music Center is bursting with song and activities this month.

On Friday, March 19, at 8 p.m., New Hampshire's Apple Hill Chamber Players, whose Playing for Peace project was the subject of a PBS documentary, will give a concert featuring works by Dvorak and Richard Hartshorne. The string and piano ensemble will also perform One and Many, an interactive piece by L.A. composer John Steinmetz. The Steinmetz piece will include guest musicians from the Community Music Center's Inner City Young Musicians Program. Members of the center's Chinese instruments group will perform as well.

Then on Sunday, March 21, at 3 p.m., the San Francisco Children's Chorus will present its 25th anniversary Spring Sing Alumni Concert. In addition to doing songs of the season, the kids will lead an alumni singalong, featuring tunes like "San Francisco," "California Here I Come," and "This Land Is Your Land." All past and present members of the chorus are encouraged to attend.

Both concerts are free and will be held at the CMC Recital Hall at 544 Capp St. (between 20th and 21st streets). For information call 647-6015.

After hearing all that wonderful music, you'll be highly motivated to register as a new student at Community Music Center. Registration for the 1999 Spring Quarter will be held Friday, March 26, from 3 to 7 p.m., and Saturday, March 27, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Students of all ages and backgrounds can enroll in private lessons in 29 instruments, or in group classes in music theory and other fields.

Students who'd like to register should call the center on or after March 8 to schedule an appointment. Free catalogs are available on request.

Hospice by the Bay


Hospice by the Bay of San Francisco is offering two classes for people who take care of those with life-threatening illness-es. For volunteer and professional caregivers, there will be an all-day class in Shintaido meditation on Saturday, March 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The workshop will be held at the Headlands Institute near Rodeo Beach in the Marin Headlands.

Shintaido instructor Haruyoshi Ito will teach participants breathing techniques to build chi (inner energy), moving meditations for calming, and safe stretching exercises. Ito, one of Shintaido's original developers, says that although its roots lie in the traditional arts of Japan, Shintaido is a modern system of body movement and exercise that is relatively simple to learn. Please call 626-5900 to register.

A second program, "Living with Grief: At Work, At School, At Worship," is a live-via-satellite national teleconference moderated by Cokie Roberts of ABC News and sponsored by the Hospice Foundation of America. The local presentation will be on April 14 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at San Francisco State University's Guest Conference Center at 798 Font St.

The program is geared to human resources staff, health care professionals, bereaved families, social workers, clergy, and other caregivers, with a panel of experts exploring the ways grief affects our ability to function. The program will also offer practical suggestions on how to assist those in grief.

The local presentation, sponsored jointly with Green Street Mortuary, is free of charge, but seating is limited, so register with Hospice by the Bay at 626-5900.

Harvey Milk School Fundraiser


The Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, an alternative public elementary school over the hill in Eureka Valley, will hold its second annual Rummage Sale and Silent Auction on Saturday, March 20, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Lots of goods and services, plus items donated by more than a hundred families, will be auctioned off or sold at the sale (donations still welcome). Refreshments and baked goods will also be available.

Admission to the main event is free, but there is a $5 charge to attend an early-bird sale, from 8 to 9 a.m. The fundraiser will be held at the school at 4235 19th St., between Diamond and Collingwood.

For more information, call Principal Sandra Leigh at 241-6276.

Mission Library Over the Top


The Friends and Foundation of the San Francisco Public Library, which set out to raise $320,000 to furnish and equip the newly renovated Mission Branch Library, are elated that the fundraising campaign has exceeded its goal by $50,000.

Recent gifts from the Sara H. & William R. Kimball Foundation, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the Liberty Hill Neighborhood Association, and the Mission Merchants Association, among others, sent the campaign over the top.

"The Mission Branch Library will reopen with new furniture, shelving, and computers, thanks to our generous donors," says Chuck Forester, executive director for the Friends.

Grassroots fundraising was a major part of the campaign. Café La Boheme, Janice's Java Joint, and Muddy Waters cafes all raised funds by offering used books to customers in exchange for donations to benefit the library.

The Mission Branch Library currently provides service at a temporary location at 2601 Mission St. Construction on the permanent historic Carnegie library on 24th Street near Bartlett will be completed this month.

The library will reopen in early May, and an opening celebration has been scheduled for Saturday afternoon, May 8.

For more information on the Mission Library Fund, call the Friends of the Library at 557-4257.