Noe Valley Voice November 1999

Short Takes

If You Have a Hammer


The Alvarado Elementary School PTA wants you -- for painting, cleanup, and repair work.

The parent-teacher group is reaching out to the community for help with its annual Work Day on Saturday, Nov. 6, at the school at 625 Douglass St. Projects on the to-do list include gardening, cleaning up graffiti, painting benches, cleaning carpets, and repairing broken items.

"It's about bringing our schools back into the community and our community back into the school," said Dianne Platner, a member of the PTA executive board who is helping organize the event.

Besides getting their hands dirty, volunteers will have a chance to meet teachers, administrators, and district personnel, Platner said.

The event starts at 9 a.m. and runs through 3 p.m. Volunteers are welcome to bring gloves and gardening tools, as well as a dish for the potluck lunch.

For more information, call Platner at 648-6462.

Flush with Success


If you like flushing money down the drain, just wait until after Dec. 30 to replace your old toilet. That's the deadline to apply for the San Francisco Water Department's $50 toilet rebate program.

Here's how it works: If you replace your old commode with a new toilet that uses 1.6 gallons per flush, the Water Department will cover the first $50 of the replacement cost.

"This is designed to encourage homeowners to replace their inefficient toilets with more water-efficient ones," said John Mullane, the department's manager of customer service.

The average customer will save 29 gallons of water a day and $70 a year in water and sewer costs by switching to a "low-flow" loo, Mullane said.

In the past four years, the Water Department has helped San Francisco residents replace about 43,000 toilets.

For more information, call 923-2473.

Free Tutoring at St. Aidan's


Kids in grades 2 through 5 can get free tutoring after school at St. Aidan's Episcopal Church in Diamond Heights.

The program is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:45 to 5:30 p.m. Students spend the first hour focusing on schoolwork with adult and teenage volunteers. In the last 30 minutes, children turn to a group project designed to provide constructive learning.

And there's even a snack. For more information on the program, held at the church at 101 Gold Mine Drive (near the Safeway on Diamond Heights Boulevard), contact program coordinator Kate Flexer at 285-9540.

It's Only Natural


Even babies like massages. That's the idea behind the infant massage class being offered at Natural Resources, the pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting center at 1307 Castro St. (near 24th).

The weekly, four-session class starts Monday, Nov. 1, at 2 p.m., and costs $70.

Also on tap in November at Natural Resources: a workshop in infant and child CPR (Nov. 13, 12:30 p.m.), a 22-hour training for labor assistants, a seminar in postpartum care for childbirth professionals, and a mother and baby music class called "Rhythm Kids." The music class comes in four- and eight-week sessions, starting Nov. 2.

For further details or to sign up, call 550-2611.

Lights, Camera, Festival


Some of the Bay Area's edgiest movie makers will converge on San Francisco for the 15th annual Film Arts Festival set for Nov. 3 ­ 10.

Among the 86 filmmakers taking part is Noe Valley resident Jay Rosenblatt. His short film Drop (made with fellow Noe Valleyan Dina Ciraulo) screens at the Roxie Cinema Nov. 4 at 10 p.m. A second Rosenblatt short, Restricted (part of the "Paranoia Will Destroy Ya" program), plays at the Roxie at 6 p.m. on Nov. 5.

The festival has been a launching pad for many acclaimed and controversial works such as Tongues Untied, All the Vermeers in New York, and Naked Spaces. Last year's Regret to Inform by Barbara Sonneborn was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary.

For tickets and more information, call 552-FILM or log on to The Roxie is located at 16th and Valencia.

From Brazil, with Love


It's a fluid mixture of dance, acrobatics, martial arts, and music -- and capoeira is coming to Noe Valley.

On Nov. 6, students from the ABADÁ Capoeira teen program will perform the 300-year-old Brazilian art form at James Lick Middle School, at 1220 Noe St. at Clipper. Joining the students will be the teen program director, Mestranda Márcia Cigarra, and her performance group Axé Abadá Capoeira. Also set to perform: two prominent Brazilian capoeiristas -- Mestrando Morcego of Rio de Janeiro and Peixe Cru of São Paulo. The performance starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12.

Axe Abada Capoeira, Morcego and Cru will be back at James Lick on Nov. 7 for the eighth annual batizado (baptism) ceremony, in which new students are welcomed and given a nickname. That show starts at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5.

For more information, call 284-6196 or check out the site

A Glen Park Gala


Here's one way to do some holiday shopping and aid a good cause at the same time. Attend the 14th annual Glenridge Cooperative Nursery School Silent and Live Auction Gala.

Attendees will be able to bid on gift certificates from Target and C.P. Shades, buy a dinner for two at Eos or a two-night stay at the Westin St. Francis, and compete for tickets to Slim's, the Fillmore, the San Francisco Opera, and a 49ers game.

The proceeds will help fund the operating costs of the school (located in Glen Canyon), as well as provide scholarships for disadvantaged children. At 29 years old, Glenridge is one of the oldest cooperative nursery schools in the Bay Area.

The gala, which will be held Nov. 20 at the Hall of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, will include a complimentary bar and an international buffet -- plus music by the Saturn V. Tickets are $15.

For more information, call 550-1819.

Exhibit on Castro Sweep


A decade has passed since the night of Oct. 6, 1989, when 200 San Francisco police officers swept through the Castro and broke up a march by gay and lesbian activists protesting the federal government's neglect of people with AIDS.

Officers declared the area an illegal assembly and violently cleared at least seven blocks of all pedestrians and protesters. Three years of legal proceedings followed. In the end, only one police officer was disciplined, but the city paid out $250,000 to settle lawsuits brought by victims.

To mark the 10-year anniversary, an exhibit titled "Police Riot '89: Remember the Castro Sweep" will be on display through Nov. 30 at A Different Light Bookstore, 489 Castro St.

The exhibit, organized by the Castro Sweep Project, will feature photographs by Rick Gerharter and Marc Geller, graphics by Boy with Arms Akimbo, and artifacts from the Gay and Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California.

A web site is also being developed in conjunction with the display. Organizers invite witnesses of the sweep to recount their memories and post them on the site. For details, visit SFPDRiot/sweep.html or send e-mail to

Fairmount a Hidden Gem


"I consider it a diamond in the rough. We have a great secret in the Noe Valley and Glen Park area," said PTA president Chris Loughran.

The secret is Fairmount, the public elementary school at 65 Chenery St. (between 30th and Randall). But Loughran, who has a son in first grade and a daughter entering kindergarten, is rapidly spilling the beans.

"We have a terrific Spanish immersion program -- my kids are going to be biliterate and bilingual," she said. "What I like too is the principal [Linda Luevano] and the teachers, and how they look at an individual child's needs."

Loughran also reports a steady rise in student test scores. "Last year, we made the greatest gains in math scores of any school in the district."

She invites parents of children who are approaching kindergarten age to come see for themselves. The school will conduct guided tours for Fall 2000 enrollments on Wednesdays in November and December (through Dec. 15), from 9 to 10 a.m. Visitors will get to meet with the principal, view classes in session, talk with other parents, and of course ask questions about the academic programs.

For more information, call the school at 695-5669, or just drop by on a Wednesday morning.

Turkey Day Extravaganza


The whole neighborhood has been invited to a Thanksgiving party at the Noe Valley Ministry.

The smorgasbord and potluck dinner on Sunday, Nov. 21, is another chance to check out the Ministry's timeline project, launched in September. The timeline traces 111 years of history in the church, the neighborhood, the country, the world.

Partygoers will be invited to scribble in their personal recollections on the timeline posters, which have been filling up with entries since the project was unveiled in September.

"The correlation of more than 100 years of history has yielded a fascinating portrait of the last century," said Keenan Kelsey, the ministry's pastor. "It's a wonderful portal into the next millennium."

Neighborhood restaurants will be on hand to give tastings. The party will also include representatives of the dozens of programs offered at the ministry -- from yoga and tai chi to jazz dance and Alcoholics Anonymous.

The event runs from noon to 3 p.m.

For more information, call 282-2317 or log on to

S.F. Pride Parade 2000


The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Pride Parade Committee is seeking new members to help plan Pride 2000, the millennial gay pride celebration in June of next year.

"Bi's, women, and TG's [transgender persons] are especially wanted," says committee co-chair Edward Goehring, "and our board of directors in particular needs more women."

To join the organization, call the committee at 864-3733 or e-mail sfpride Goehring says join as soon as possible if you'd like to vote in the upcoming board of directors election -- the cutoff date is Nov. 1.

This month's Short Takes were written by Mark Robinson, Kathy Dalle-Molle, and Sally Smith.