Noe Valley Voice December 2002 - January 2003

Short Takes

By Laura McHale Holland

Friendly Fundraising

The residents' group Friends of Noe Valley will light up Latvian Hall with its annual Holiday Party on Thursday, Dec. 12, beginning at 7 p.m. Festivities will include a silent auction to benefit the Noe Valley Library renovation, music, children's activities, a no-host bar, plenty of food, and a toy drive for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation's holiday party for low-income women and families.

"We've had an incredible amount of support from all the organizations in Noe Valley--Noe Valley Democratic Club, East & West of Castro Club, Collingwood Hill Neighborhood Association, Upper Noe Neighbors. And so many local merchants and businesses have made contributions to help support the party. We're coming together for a great cause, and we're throwing a great party, and so now we need people in Noe Valley to come," says Friends president Jeannene Przyblyski.

Silent-auction items include restaurant gift certificates, tickets to sports events, certificates for business services, performances, food and wine, children's toys and clothes, one-of-a-kind art, and more.

Toys for the toy drive should be new and unwrapped and can be suitable for a youngster of any age. Przyblyski notes, however, that the greatest demand is for toys for kids in the 5 to 16 age bracket.

Latvian Hall is at 425 Hoffman Avenue, near 24th Street. Admission is $10. For more information contact Przyblyski at 282-4334 or

James Lick's Collegiate Side

The spring semester at City College of San Francisco begins Jan. 14, at nine city campuses including our own Castro/Valencia Campus, within James Lick School at 1220 Noe Street. The Noe Valley site offers low-cost credit and free non-credit classes, in everything from Classical Guitar, Practical German, and American Government to Tai Chi for Health.

All classes meet either on Saturdays or on weekday evenings. "We have five new classes this semester that we haven't offered at this campus either ever before or for a long time," says Debra Porter, of the Castro/Valencia Campus office.

The three new classes are Astronomy 1: Cosmic Evolution, which meets on Mondays; Women in Mass Media (Mondays); and a course in the psychology of sex differences (Thursdays). The two returning classes are Introduction to Literature in Spanish (Mondays), and Photography for the Enthusiast (Saturdays).

Another first this semester is Art 130A. "It's going to be a combination online and studio class. The lecture part of the class will be online, and the students will come in on Saturdays for the drawing/studio part. It's the first time we'll be offering an online art class," says Porter.

Sanchez Street resident Ellen Chestnut is enthusiastic about Professor Loren Bell's short-story class. "It's walking distance from my house, and he has introduced me to stories that I'd never read before. I grew up with the Anton Chekov traditional-type short stories, and we're getting very experimental works here," she says. "I especially like the mix of students-- all age groups, a good mix of men and women--and it's very supportive when we workshop one another's stories."

You can register onsite during the first two weeks of classes, space permitting. Preregistration information and a full class schedule are online at City College requests that you walk or take public transportation to class. If you must drive, please park in the school's lot at 25th and Castro instead of on the street. For further information call 239-3127.

Sleuth-sayers at the Library

The San Francisco Mystery Bookstore will host a suspense-filled night at the Noe Valley­Sally Brunn Library on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. Six Bay Area mystery authors will participate.

"There's going to be a panel, and each author will get 15 to 20 minutes to talk about their books, and there will be a question-and-answer period," says Diane Kudisch, the bookstore's owner. "Their books will be on sale too, and I will, of course, donate some of what we earn to the library [renovation]," she adds.

Featured authors will be Cara Black, a Noe Valley resident who pens mysteries about a female French-American computer whiz; Sheldon Siegel, who writes legal mysteries situated in San Francisco; Mark Coggins, who writes Silicon Valley­based private-eye mysteries; John Lescroart, who also specializes in legal mysteries; Michael Castleman, who has authored a San Francisco­based mystery that begins during the 1906 earthquake and jumps ahead to the 1989 earthquake; and Lynne Murray, author of the Josephine Fuller mystery series.

"I'm always very excited about promoting local authors, and these writers, in particular, are very supportive of the community," notes Kudisch.

The bookstore is on 24th Street near Diamond, but the event will take place around the corner at 451 Jersey Street, between Castro and Diamond. For more clues, call Diane Kudisch at 282-7444.

Get Out and Vote

November's race for District 8 supervisor was so close that we're facing a Dec. 10 runoff between the two leading candidates, Eileen Hansen and Bevan Dufty.

Among the six original contenders, Hansen garnered 36.3 percent of the vote to Dufty's 32.5 percent. Both candidates are highly regarded and experienced community leaders. For information about Dufty's credentials, platform, and endorsements, visit or call 355-9888. To get the skinny on Hansen, visit home.htm or call 552-0345. Readers can also look up last month's Voice story on the candidates (

District 8 encompasses Noe Valley, the Castro, and several surrounding neighborhoods. On Dec. 10, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. However, you can vote earlier by dropping by City Hall (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) on any weekday through Dec. 6. Early voting will also be available the weekend of Dec. 7 and 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information and the location of your polling place, go to www., or call 554-4375.

See Jane Run for Fun

The staff at See Jane Run wants you to hit the ground running in 2003. Each Sunday of the month, Jan. 5, 12, 19, and 26, the women's athletic store and resource center is holding a 5K Fun Run, open to all. To participate, just slip on your running shoes and dash to the store located at 3870 24th Street at 10 a.m.

Runners will be given maps for the course, which will take off from the store. Free water will be provided, along with coffee, bagels, and goodie bags. Each run will be followed by a footwear clinic, sponsored by New Balance, Mizuno, Adidas, Saucony, Asics, and Brooks.

For those with even more ambition, See Jane Run will hold an informational meeting and kickoff for its spring triathlon season on Wednesday, Jan. 8, at 7 p.m. For more information call 401-8338 or visit

9/11 Poetry Reading

The Noe Valley­Sally Brunn Library is hosting a powerhouse poetry event on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 7:30 p.m. Six of the Bay Area's best-known poets will read works they contributed to the anthology An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind: Poets on 9/11.

The lineup includes current poet laureate of San Francisco Devorah Major; the renowned activist and Beat poet Diane di Prima; Allen Cohen, editor of the Oracle, the famous 1960s Haight-Ashbury newspaper; Gerry Nicosia, a Vietnam veteran, peace activist, and author of Memory, Babe, a biography of Jack Kerouac; Clive Matson, author of Let the Crazy Child Write and seven books of poetry; and Gail Ford, who has run the Drunk on Poetry salon in the East Bay for 10 years. Admission charge: zero.

"We'll each have 15 to 20 minutes. That's enough to read what's in the book and several other pieces, and all of us have political poetry. It'll be a reading for peace," says Matson, who edited the anthology along with Allen Cohen.

Published this year by Regent Press, Eye for an Eye includes works by more than 100 poets. In addition to those reading at this event, some of the luminaries in the book are Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Robert Pinsky, Michael McClure, Nellie Wong, and Neeli Cherkovski.

The project began with Matson's poem "Towers Down," written within a week of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. "The poem came up in me. I pushed it away. I didn't want to write it, but it insisted, and finally I surrendered and wrote the poem," he says. He showed it to several friends, one of whom was Diane di Prima. Di Prima had also written a poem in response to the Sept. 11 events and proposed that they publish a joint chapbook. Word about the project spread, and it wasn't long before Matson and Cohen were selecting the best of 800 submissions for their book.

The Jan. 29 reading is part of a poetry series organized by Noe Valley head librarian Roberta Greifer. The branch is located at 451 Jersey Street, near Castro; for information call 695-5095.

Mind Over Food Matter

If you find that you can't resist the bonbons and honey-coated nuts at holiday gatherings this season, hypnotherapist Kerstin Sjoquist is offering a four-session class that uses group hypnosis to get you back on track. It's called "Create the Body You Desire: Weight Management with Hypnosis," and a new series begins Jan. 20.

"Students who've taken the class find that it's still supporting them, and I'm going to start a monthly follow-up session which people can use to stay motivated," says Sjoquist.

The class costs $160 and meets Mondays from 7 to 9 p.m. at Sjoquist's office, a converted garage she shares with two other hypnotherapists at 1423A Sanchez Street near 27th Street. "Each of us has a slightly different approach, and since rapport is something that's very important between a hypnotherapist and a client, this works out well because we can refer people to each other," Sjoquist notes.

In addition to weight control, Sjoquist offers classes and private sessions on such topics as career development, relationship enrichment, improving memory and concentration, and pain management. For more information, call 385-8382 or visit

Meanwhile, the members of Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA) are meeting on Thursday mornings from 8:15 to 9:45 a.m., at the Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez Street. There are no dues, fees, or weigh-ins at FA, which describes itself as a "program for individuals recovering from addictive eating and anorexia, based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous." If you'd like to learn more about the local FA, call Denise at 346-7407 or go to