Noe Valley Voice June 2002

Short Takes

Walk to the YMCA


The Mission YMCA and the Noe Valley Ministry have teamed up to offer YMCA day camps this summer. For the first time, the Y's sports and specialty camps will be within walking distance for neighborhood children and teens.

Weekly camp sessions will be held at the Ministry, 1021 Sanchez Street at 23rd Street, from June 10 through Aug. 16. The hours are Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Offerings include animal safari and "shake-and-bake" camps for youngsters entering kindergarten through second grade. Third- through fifth-graders can enjoy soccer and outdoor adventure camps. Teen "roadtrip camp" includes cooperative games, team building, and other activities for the middle-school set.

"All camps include arts and crafts and field trips daily. Some camps include overnights too," says camp leader Shauna Eastberg. "We have lots of room, the prices are definitely affordable, and financial assistance is available."

There is also a counselor-in-training program for high school students. "The trainees learn leadership skills, and it's awesome how the younger kids look up to them," says Eastberg.

To get the whole scoop, call Eastberg at 716-1886. Sign up at the Mission YMCA, 4080 Mission Street at Bosworth.

The Babies Are Coming


Natural Resources, the childbirth and parenting center on Castro Street, will hold several classes this summer, for expectant parents and parents of young children.

A childbirth preparation class taught by Summer Andreason will start on Tuesday, June 18, 7 to 9:30 p.m. It will meet weekly (except July 2) until July 30. The class series is designed to thoroughly prepare parents for childbirth as well as for the early months of caring for a newborn, including breastfeeding. For those whose schedules do not permit weekly classes, instructor Media Aranda will cover the same bases in a one-day intensive on Sunday, June 9, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Aranda will also conduct a three-hour class in child and infant CPR on Monday, June 3, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Participants will learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques and how to respond if a baby starts choking. Meanwhile, the drop-in Mothers and Babies Support Group, led by Lucia Maya, will continue on Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Some of the other groups and classes offered to parents are prenatal and postpartum fitness workshops, pediatric first aid, and infant massage. Also available are movement and singing classes for youngsters from 18 months to 3 years old.

For more information, call 550-2611 or stop in at Natural Resources, 1307 Castro Street at 24th Street. You can also visit

Take Note, Avoid a Stroke


To improve our community's odds of staying healthy, an educational group called Life Line Screening is coming to the Noe Valley Ministry on Monday, June 24, at 7 p.m.

Life Line representatives will share information on preventive health care and discuss how to identify your risk for stroke, vascular disease, and osteoporosis.

The evening will also introduce four screening procedures to be offered by Life Line at the Ministry on Sept. 7. These include screening the carotid arteries in the neck for stroke vulnerability, the aortic vessel in the abdomen for aneurysms, the arteries in the legs for peripheral arterial disease, and a bone density test for osteoporosis. The osteoporosis test is $35; the other three are $40 each.

The Noe Valley Ministry is at 1021 Sanchez Street at 23rd Street. Preregistration for the tests in September is required. To make an appointment for screening, or for more information about June's open informational meeting, call 1-800-407-4557.

Birds! Bugs! Bats!


The group Friends of Glen Canyon Park is putting on Nature Fest 2002, its third annual park extravaganza, Sunday, June 9, from 1 to 7 p.m. There will be slide shows and nature walks guided by experts on birds, bugs, butterflies, and geology. Also included will be children's activities and a barbecue picnic.

"A lady from the Bat Conservancy will show slides, as well as live bats. She's so popular we usually have her do her thing twice during the day," says Jane Conner, of Friends of Glen Canyon Park.

A fundraiser to help with restoration of the canyon, the event costs $20 for adults and $5 for children under 12. To register, call Richard Craib at 648-0862. The center of activity will be near the Silvertree Camp building within Glen Canyon Park, located at Bosworth and Chenery streets.

Who Says 'I Do'?


For many heterosexuals, church bells and wedding bells are one and the same. But for gay couples, sanction by the mainstream church is often out of the question. Now Bethany United Methodist Church is paving the way for "holy unions" of gays and lesbians to be part of the official mix.

On June 7 and 8, Bethany will host "We Do Too in 2002," the first national conference on the United Methodist Church and its attitudes toward gay and lesbian domestic partnerships.

"The United Methodist Church does not allow pastors to perform holy unions, nor for holy unions to be performed in our churches. However, it does support the legal rights of gay and lesbian couples," notes Karen Oliveto, Bethany's pastor. "The conference is our way of pushing the UMC to greater faithfulness towards its gay and lesbian members."

Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, will kick off the conference as keynote speaker on Friday night at 7:30. She will be followed by singer-songwriter Judy Fjell. Saturday's conference will begin with registration at 8 a.m. and close with a worship service at 4:30 p.m. Workshop topics include domestic partnerships legislation, rituals and rites, the Bible, and the United Methodist Church and social change.

The entire event, including breakfast and lunch on Saturday, costs $80. If you attend Friday only, the cost is a sliding-scale $15 to $50.

Sign up via e-mail at BethanyUMC, by snail mail, or by stopping by the church office at 1268 Sanchez Street at Clipper Street. For further details call 647-8393.

A Day for the Parks


"Parks and other pedestrian places are essential to a city's happiness," says Enrique Peñalosa, internationally acclaimed speaker and former mayor of Bogotá, Columbia. He'll be addressing the crowd -- along with Mayor Willie Brown and Elizabeth Goldstein, general manager of San Francisco's Recreation and Park Department -- at the Neighborhood Parks Council's fourth annual Parks Caucus June 8.

This free event is open to everyone interested in improving our city's neighborhood parks. It will feature skill-building workshops on such topics as park publicity, neighborhood advocacy, and fundraising. Breakfast and lunch will be provided for those who preregister.

The caucus will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Delancey Street Town Hall, 600 Embarcadero (at Brannan). For further information and to R.S.V.P., call Alexis Kershner at 621-3260, or e-mail

Free Counseling for Seniors


Do you or someone you care for need support while going through a rough time? Family Service Agency of San Francisco has help for seniors who may be facing isolation, loss, depression, illness, or other challenges in their day-to-day life. The agency's Senior Peer Counseling program trains volunteers over the age of 55 to assist fellow seniors through emotional support, problem-solving, and compassionate listening. All services are voluntary and free of charge.

For information or referral, call Family Service Agency at 474-7310 and ask for Nancy Alpert, LCSW.

This month's Short Takes were written by Laura McHale Holland.