Noe Valley Voice November 2003

Short Takes

An Infamous Day

Nov. 27, 1978. Many San Franciscans vividly recall the day former Supervisor Dan White shot and killed Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk, San Francisco's first openly gay supervisor.

The University of San Francisco will mark the 25th anniversary of this tragic day with a series of programs Nov. 6 through 12, honoring the memory of both Milk and Moscone.

"This was an important and pivotal time in San Francisco's history, and as the city's oldest university, we felt it appropriate to remember the events that forever changed the politics and character of our city," notes Peter Novak, a faculty member in USF's Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

Highlights include a student production of Emily Mann's acclaimed play Execution of Justice, originally commissioned by San Francisco's Eureka Theater and subsequently performed across the country, including on Broadway; a screening of the 1984 Academy Award­winning documentary The Times of Harvey Milk, by Rob Epstein and Richard Schmiechen; selections from the opera Harvey Milk by Stewart Wallace and Michael Korie, performed by members of the San Francisco Opera; and a rare public appearance by Stephen Scherr and Douglas Schmidt, Dan White's attorneys, who successfully argued that White's judgment had been impaired because he ate Twinkies shortly before the crime. (Schmidt and Scherr will participate in a Nov. 12 panel discussion, "From Harvey Milk to Diane Whipple: 25 Years of San Francisco Legal History.")

Most events are free, open to the public, and will be held at 7 p.m. at Presentation Theater on the USF campus, 2350 Turk Street, at Masonic. The only admission charge is $12 for Execution of Justice. A complete listing of events is at If you have questions, call Peter Novak at 422-4286.

Also as a memorial to Milk, the Eureka Valley­Harvey Milk Library, 3555 16th Street (near Market Street), will present "Remembering Harvey: A Night of Memories" on Tuesday, Nov. 18, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. It is a reception and open house to be hosted by Susan Stryker of the GLBT Historical Society. A related exhibit about Milk's life will be on display at the branch from Nov. 1, 2003, through Jan. 13, 2004.

College in Your Back Yard

Now is the time to apply for admission to the Spring 2004 semester at City College of San Francisco. The school's Castro/Valencia Campus is situated within James Lick Middle School at 1220 Noe Street, and offers dozens of credit and non-credit classes. Most classes meet one night per week from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

"French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, and Chinese language courses for the beginner to the more advanced can't be found for a more affordable price. And the instructors are stellar," says Kevin Schaub, Castro/Valencia site supervisor. "I've taken a handful of Italian and Spanish classes at CCSF over the years. Not only have I improved my language skills, I've made many new friends."

The fee for California residents is $18 per semester unit. However, some non-credit classes are offered free of charge. The course schedule will be available on site and online on Nov. 10.

Offerings will include core academic disciplines such as English, history, and science, as well as creative challenges such as acting, drawing, and guitar.

Online registration for students who have completed the application process begins Dec. 3. It takes approximately 10 minutes to apply online at Classes begin on Jan. 15 and wrap up just before Memorial Day.

Late registration will take place on site throughout the first two weeks of instruction, provided there is room for additional students. For further details on the application and registration process call Debra Porter-Valdez at 239-3127, or e-mail her at

To Rolf or Not to Rolf

The field of alternative medicine is growing increasingly popular, with practitioners of all stripes hanging out their shingle. One way to sort through the options is to attend the Holistic Health Fair at the Noe Valley Ministry on Saturday, Nov. 15, from 1 to 5 p.m.

Sponsored by Beyond the Sea, an aromatherapy and gift shop on Castro near 24th Street, the fair offers people a chance to speak in depth with a variety of health practitioners, many of whom offer free sample sessions. Disciplines represented are Chinese, naturopathic, and chiropractic medicine; yoga; Reiki; Alexander technique; Pilates; energy healing; aromatherapy; psychic readings; and massage therapy.

"The last fair was a really cool event. I got some Rolfing done and had someone else do a little bit of energy work. It's great to check out these different things for free," says Uri Friedman. Uri is the son of Cary and Johanna Friedman, who own Beyond the Sea. "It's a nice environment, too. There's going to be live music, probably a jazz pianist and a bass player."

Questions? Call 283-4614. The Noe Valley Ministry is at 1021 Sanchez Street at 23rd Street, and the fair will be in the second-floor sanctuary.

A Racy Fundraiser

In keeping with its mission to "empower women through sports and fitness," See Jane Run, the 24th Street women's athletic store, is co-sponsoring the first Lollipop Family Fun Run. It will be on Sunday, Dec. 7, 10:30 a.m., across from the Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.

The event's co-sponsor, Girls on the Run, is an after-school running program that strives to prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. Founded in North Carolina in 1996, the group works with more than 10,000 girls in the U.S. and Canada each year. Proceeds from the event will benefit Girls on the Run's two local chapters, one headquartered in San Francisco, the other in Marin County.

Families with children of all ages are welcome to join the more than 150 girls, ages 8 to 14, who have prepared with Girls on the Run for their first ever 3.1-mile (5K) run. The registration fee is $20 in advance and $30 on race day. A post-race celebration will include a lollipop scavenger hunt for the kids, vendor booths, goodie bags, and entertainment.

Sign up for the run in person at See Jane Run, 3870 24th Street, or online at either or For information on Girls on the Run, visit or call 447-7494.

Meanwhile, See Jane Run is hosting a different sort of fundraiser two weeks earlier on Nov. 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Experts in chiropractic sports medicine will be on hand at the shop to videotape and do gait analysis for all those willing to donate $5 to the Breast Cancer Fund. For more details, call 401-8338.

St. Luke's Welcomes You

There's more to hospital volunteering than old-fashioned candy-striping. St. Luke's Hospital welcomes people in a multitude of areas from spiritual guidance to flower arranging, physical therapy to nutrition services, and marketing to arts and crafts.

Prospective volunteers must be at least 15 years old and committed to donating 100 hours within one year. The next orientation is Thursday, Nov. 20, from 3 to 5 p.m. at St. Luke's Volunteer Services Office, on the first floor of 3555 Cesar Chavez Street between Guerrero and Valencia streets. To request a volunteer application form, call 641-6538, or e-mail

Volunteers also power the St. Luke's Hospital Auxiliary, which is holding its 52nd annual Musée on Nov. 19, at the Palace Hotel, 2 New Montgomery Street in downtown San Francisco. Festivities begin at 10:30 a.m.

"The women's auxiliary used to make things and had them on display before Christmas at department stores downtown, and people would go to Gump's and other stores, pick out what they wanted, and the auxiliary made them to order. The Musée is carrying on the tradition. Volunteers still hand-make some of the things," notes Grace D'Anca, St. Luke's volunteer manager.

In addition to live and silent auctions, the event includes a luncheon, a fashion show, and music provided by the St. Luke's Emergency Room Band and by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Tickets range from $75 (friends) to $125 (patrons). Proceeds will benefit the St. Luke's Clinic at the Cannon Barcus Center for formerly homeless families. To reserve your spot, call 641-6490.

Shop to Save Lives

Some people kick off the holiday season by swarming the shopping malls the day after Thanksgiving. Others get the ball rolling earlier at Under One Roof, a nonprofit boutique in the Castro that has been raising money to combat AIDS since 1990.

Under One Roof receives individual and corporate donations to cover operating expenses, which are kept low due to the efforts of almost 300 volunteers. It also has an investment plan for the groups it serves.

"What makes us unique is that we purchase merchandise with investments from AIDS services organizations. Then we sell at a retail markup, and the investing agency receives 100 percent of the proceeds. If an agency initially invests $1,000, and then reinvests twice during the course of a year, they can turn that $1,000 into $8,000. So it raises a lot of money for them and their clients," notes Paul Olsen, Under One Roof's CEO.

The store stocks all manner of decorations and cards for Christmas, Chanukah, and winter solstice. As for gift items, Olsen says, "We have something for everyone on your list--everything from stuffed animals to martini glasses, personal care products, candles, and local interest items, including Tales of the City merchandise based on Armistead Maupin's novels. And if people shop here, the profits go towards helping people who are affected by AIDS/HIV. They can give joy with a wonderful gift, but also give the gift of life to people who rely on the organizations we support for their existence."

This year's kickoff, dubbed the Holiday Premiere Event, will take place Wednesday, Nov. 5, from 6 to 9 p.m. Refreshments will be served for as long as they last. The store is located at 549 Castro Street at 19th Street. To talk to the folks in charge, call 503-2300.

Short Takes were written by Laura McHale Holland.