Noe Valley Voice September 2003

Short Takes

Who Will Wear Willie's Hat?

If you want to get a good look at the six leading contenders for mayor of San Francisco, here's your chance.

Four prominent civic groups in Noe Valley will join forces to host a mayoral candidates forum on Wednesday, Oct. 1, in the Alvarado School auditorium, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Confirmed speakers include candidates Angela Alioto, Tom Ammiano, Matt Gonzalez, Susan Leal, Gavin Newsom, and Tony Ribera.

"You'll get to see them in a setting where they have to relate more to each other and to the audience. You learn a lot about a person that way," says Jeannene Przyblyski, president of Friends of Noe Valley, which is co-sponsoring the event with the East & West of Castro Street Improvement Club, Upper Noe Neighbors, and the Collingwood Hill Neighborhood Association. "This is also a chance [for us] to create educated voters and raise awareness about the importance of the mayoral race," she adds. "With the recall [of Governor Gray Davis] and the approaching presidential race, people are getting voter fatigue, and we can't afford that. People need to vote."

After timed introductory remarks by each candidate, a representative from each of the sponsoring groups will ask one question. Then the moderator will accept questions from the audience. (In an effort to be non-partisan, and to keep the discussion from being hijacked by inflammatory or biased remarks, the sponsors will ask audience members to submit questions in writing, Przyblyski says.)

If you have questions, call her at 282-4334. Alvarado Elementary School is located at 625 Douglass Street, at Alvarado Street. Election Day is Nov. 4.

A Balm for Parents

Does the G.W. Bush in bomber jacket action figure trouble you? Are you seeking a peaceful haven in this tumultuous world? The Calm and Confidence for Parents workshop could be a refuge. Co-led by yoga instructor Elise Collins and local author Andrea Gosline, the workshop is designed to help parents create harmony and balance in their busy lives.

"I will share peaceful parenting practices that include ways to awaken to the day with a grateful heart; antidotes to negativity; strategies for releasing the struggle around eating and sleeping habits; practical ideas for cooking and serving nutritious, delicious kid chow; activities and rituals to simplify playtime; and easy steps for de-cluttering your mind, your schedule, and your home," notes Gosline.

Gosline will present material through personal anecdotes and excerpts from her writings. At key points, Collins will introduce helpful yoga poses that address workshop themes. There also will be plenty of time for parents to share their experiences.

The workshop is set for Saturday, Sept. 20, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Open Door Yoga, 1500 Castro Street, at 25th Street. The $90 fee includes supplemental materials to take home. For more details, visit Pre-registration is encouraged; call the studio at 824-5657. If you have questions, Gosline will welcome calls at 824-6511.

Gosline is the mother of two children and author of six parenting books, including Mother's Nature: Timeless Wisdom for the Journey into Motherhood. In 2004, HarperCollins will publish her first two children's picture books. Collins is a yoga instructor and mother of one child.

After the workshop, Gosline and Collins will begin a weekly drop-in parenting circle on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and on Mondays from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Lost Pets Found Online

San Francisco Animal Care and Control (ACC), also known as the city pound, has a new service that will speed up the search process for anyone who has lost a dog, cat, iguana, parrot, rabbit, or other beloved pet. It's called the PetHarbor Lost Pet Reunion System, and to celebrate its inauguration, ACC will hold a party at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 10, at its animal adoption center at 1200 15th Street near Harrison Street.

Funded by the Friends of San Francisco Animal Care and Control, PetHarbor will enable a person to search for a lost pet online at or by using a touch screen in ACC's lobby. The system contains photos and a brief description of the stray or lost pets currently housed at ACC.

"It will go very far in helping us in our lifesaving efforts. Can you imagine looking to adopt an animal from your own home, or if you've lost your pet, being able to search our kennels through the Internet to see if your animal is down here? It's a wonderful service," says 23rd Street resident and ACC director Carl Friedman. "It also basically turns us into a 24/7 operation. People can now utilize some of our services any time of the day or night."

For the full scoop, call 554-6364.

St. Philip's Festival Sept. 27­28

When St. Philip's Parish was established in 1938, the fledgling congregation held its first festival. Sixty-five years later, the annual fundraiser is still going strong. This year, the celebration is on for Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27 and 28, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will also be a dinner dance Saturday night beginning at 6 p.m.

Booths, staffed by parent volunteers and alumni, will offer inexpensive temptations for just about everyone, including games, baked goods, candy, plants, groceries, holiday items, toys, face painting, a caricature artist, a raffle, and a bounce house. And, of course, the food will run the gamut from hamburgers to lumpia, and churros to pad thai. Prizes are all new, donated by neighborhood merchants and families.

Then there's the entertainment. You can see an array of acts including an Elvis impersonator, Polynesian dancers, Taekwondo, Irish dancing, a magic show, the St. Philip Choir, and a talent show featuring the children of the parish.

"It provides you with that small-town feel in the middle of a big city," says Doreen King-Roberts, who is on the festival planning committee. "It's about a community getting together and having fun and doing something safe. There are only two entrances, and they're monitored, even though admission is free. So everyone can relax and enjoy themselves."

All proceeds will benefit St. Philip School, which serves children in kindergarten through eighth grade. The parish is at 24th and Diamond streets. For more information and for dinner dance tickets, call 824-8467.

A Show of Hands

Knobby knuckles, short life lines, tiny fingers, French-tip nails, smooth skin, or bulging veins. It doesn't matter. If you're a fan of the Eureka Valley Recreation Center, artist Vicki Saulls wants to memorialize your hands in two artworks planned in conjunction with the center's upcoming renovation. She needs 50 volunteers of all ages.

The project is part of the San Francisco Arts Commission's Public Art Program. Saulls was selected by the community from a pool of artists who submitted proposals for the site. "My sense of the center is that it's a really welcoming place for diverse interests and community groups. I wanted to use the welcoming theme, and came up with the idea of using hands and gestures. My plan is to use various groupings--parents and children, friends, couples, partners--doing gestures. They could be holding hands, holding a basketball, playing cards. I expect some people will have ideas better than mine as far as the final gestures used," says Saulls.

At a community meeting on Saturday, Sept. 13, from 2:30 to 5 p.m., Saulls will demonstrate the casting technique she will use to create a large artwork of sculpted hands for the center's new main lobby and a smaller artwork, also incorporating sculpted hands, for columns that will be near the building's main entrance.

Don't worry, prospective volunteers. Molds of your hands will be made of alginate. It's non-toxic and comes off easily. If you have any doubts, call 252-3215.

The Library Has Designs on You

If you've ever felt like your opinion didn't matter, the Noe Valley­Sally Brunn Branch Library has an antidote for you. It's a two-part Community Design Workshop on the renovation of our neighborhood library. Saturday, Oct. 4, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. will be a design workshop. Thursday, Oct. 9, from 7 to 9 p.m. will be a presentation and discussion.

Architects from Carey & Company will bring in several design schemes to stimulate ideas. Library staff and other experts will be on hand to help explain the priorities of the San Francisco Public Library's Branch Library Improvement Program. It was established in November 2000 when voters passed a $106 million bond measure to upgrade our branch library system. Input from neighbors of all ages and inclinations is an integral part of the process. The workshop will also be a chance to help shape the look and function of a neighborhood resource.

"We're looking forward to working with the community to find creative solutions to accommodate 21st-century library services, while still retaining its [the library's] beautiful historic nature," commented Susan Hildreth, City Librarian.

The Noe Valley­Sally Brunn Library, located at 451 Jersey Street between Castro and Diamond streets, is scheduled to close for the approximately two-year renovation in the summer of 2004. The building will undergo a seismic retrofit, as well as major improvements to the facilities, such as a new elevator and a remodeled children's room. For more information, call the bond division of the San Francisco Public Library at 557-4354.

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