Noe Valley Voice September 2006

Short Takes

By Erin O'Briant

Noe Courts Will Be Jumpin'

Join music-loving neighbors for the third annual Music in the Park picnic on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., in Noe Courts Park at the corner of 24th and Douglass Streets. The event is a fundraiser for park upgrades, but admission is free.

"All three bands are great," says Richard May of Friends of Noe Valley, which is cosponsoring the event with the San Francisco Parks Trust.

Noe Valley residents Sharon Gillenwater and Jimmy Goetz will take the stage as the rockin' Playdate. The Jakes, who advertise themselves as "the Bay Area's best damn blues band," won't leave anyone blue. And the San Francisco School of Rock, a group of super-talented 10- to 15-year-olds, will cover classics from Queen, Led Zeppelin, and the Who. "Sounds truly fab, doesn't it?" says May.

A "jumpy tent" will be on hand for the kids. "Kids can enter, bounce off the walls, flop on the floor, and generally mess around without getting hurt," May says.

The barbecue grill and wine bar will be staffed by Chef Scott Maddux and members of Friends. Food and drink will be available for purchase, and all proceeds will go toward the upcoming renovation of Noe Courts Park. Plans for the renovation will also be on display.

Harvest Fest Has a Scarecrow

Kenzie Maloney, a 10-year-old sixth-grader at St. Philip's School, won the Noe Valley Harvest Festival Logo Contest this year for her drawing of a scarecrow. She's working with a graphic designer to turn it into the official logo for the festival, which will appear on all festival signs and merchandise.

Kenzie's mom, Norine Traci-Maloney, is the festival chair. She was supposed to be one of the judges of the contest but stepped down from the panel because her daughter's artwork was under consideration. The runner-up was Deserea Sabo, age 13, also a student at St. Philip's.

Traci-Maloney says festival-goers can expect last year's fun, and much more, at the second annual event, which takes place Saturday, Oct. 21, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. "The main change is that we may be able to have food this year," says Traci-Maloney. She's not promising anything, but says the Harvest Festival organizers are trying to have several food choices available at the fair, which will stretch along 24th Street from Sanchez to Church. In addition, the Noe Valley Farmers' Market will be open all day.

Four or five bands will take the stage, including Groovus Funk and the blues band the Nitecaps. An array of student musicians from San Francisco's School of the Arts also will perform. Entertainment for the kids will include a caricature artist, a magician, Monster Twister, pumpkin-painting, a treasure hunt, and the popular stroller obstacle course. There will be a costume contest for human children and a pet costume contest for folks whose kids have four legs.

All sorts of arts and crafts will be for sale, including jewelry, photography, children's clothes, handmade chocolates, and even belt buckles, according to Traci-Maloney. Tae Kwon Do performers will demonstrate their skills, and schools and local clubs will make an appearance. "Things are really looking good," Traci-Maloney says.

Volunteers are needed for the day of the event. To offer your services, e-mail Norine at To check out Kenzie's scarecrow, go to the web site ( or see page 7 in this month's Voice.

Scotch Plaid Optional

If you've ever dreamed of wearing a kilt--or dancing with someone who did--it's time to discover Scottish country dancing. This fall, the San Francisco Scottish Country Dancers will celebrate their 21st year of dancing at the Noe Valley Ministry. Part of the celebration includes inviting more people to join in. "We try to welcome everyone and get them dancing right away," says dancer Susie Landon Kass. "We do dances with very easy patterns and have the newcomers dance with experienced dancers."

A free introductory lesson will be held at the Ministry, 1021 Sanchez near 23rd Street, on Thursday, Sept. 7, from 8 to 10 p.m. The lesson and party will provide a chance for newcomers to find out what Scottish dancing is all about, enjoy a few refreshments and live music, and meet veteran dancers. All you need to bring is yourself (no partner needed) and a pair of soft-soled shoes such as sneakers.

The Scottish Dancers also will present a second demonstration and hold open dancing at the Noe Valley Farmers' Market, located on 24th Street between Vicksburg and Sanchez streets, on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 10:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. Look for the kilts.

Any Problems with Noe Valley?

What's wrong with Noe Valley? You're invited to answer that question at the next meeting of the Friends of Noe Valley on Thursday, Sept. 21, from 7:30 until 9 p.m.

The neighborhood association will present the results of a survey on local issues and invite comments on priorities for the coming year. Come ready to discuss possible improvements for the neighborhood and identify problems that haven't been addressed. A new board will be elected at a brief meeting just before the community forum, and the group's new leaders will use the results of the survey and the meeting to direct their activities.

The meeting will take place at St. Philip's Church Parish Hall, on Diamond Street between 24th and Elizabeth streets. If you'd like to suggest topics but can't attend the meeting, contact group president Richard May at

Wild Parrots Film Roosts at Pier 39

Former Noe Valleyan Judy Irving caused quite a flutter with her award-winning documentary The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. Now the tale of the remarkable relationship between a homeless street musician and a flock of wild parrots in San Francisco has again found a venue on the big screen. You can enjoy San Francisco's famous parrots at Theatre 39 on Monday, Sept. 4, Tuesday, Sept. 6, and Monday, Sept. 11, at 2 p.m.

The theater is located at the corner of Beach Street and Embarcadero. Look for surprise appearances by Irving, the film's human star Mark Bittner, and "Big Bird," a cherry-headed conure from the wild flock. Tickets cost $10 to $12 for these special events. For tickets, call 415-433-3939 or visit

Big Grants for Artists

The Creative Work Fund has about half a million dollars to dole out to visual and traditional artists working in collaboration with nonprofits.

Grants range from $10,000 to $35,000 and are earmarked for artists living in Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, San Francisco, Solano, or Sonoma counties, and organizations based in those counties.

The Creative Work Fund has contributed more than $5.5 million to advance the work of San Francisco­ and Alameda County­based artists. The fund was formed by four family foundations in San Francisco as a way to honor artistic excellence and contribute to the creation of new work by local artists.

Because the grant proposal process is highly competitive, the fund's staff is holding a series of optional informational seminars. The one in San Francisco happens Tuesday, Sept. 26, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., in the Koshland Room of the San Francisco Foundation at 225 Bush Street. Call 415-402-2794 to reserve a seat at least two days before the seminar.

Application guidelines are available on the Creative Work Fund's web site at; call the number above for a printed call for proposals. All letters of inquiry must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 3.

Parents Needed for Homeless Bunnies

San Francisco Animal Care and Control is searching for people willing to adopt or foster a pet rabbit. This summer, the organization received an abundance of bunnies, many abandoned by former owners. In late August, 19 homeless rabbits were still living at the ACC shelter.

According to the ACC's announcement, Marcy Schaaf of Save a Bunny has worked tirelessly to find permanent homes for all of them. Thanks to her efforts, no rabbits have been euthanized in three years. That could change, though, unless more people are willing to take a bunny into their home.

Anyone willing to adopt or foster a rabbit should call 554-6364. To learn more about bunnies as pets, visit Schaaf's web site at To visit the rabbits in person, stop by Animal Care and Control, 1200 15th Street near Harrison Street. ACC's kennels are open from noon until 6 p.m. every day except Wednesdays, when they stay open until 7 p.m.

Freedom Band Conductor's Farewell Show

Jadine Louie, who has served as artistic director and conductor of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band for more than a decade, takes the podium on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 8 p.m., for the last time. Her farewell concert, titled "The Best Is Yet to Come," will include guest performances by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus and the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco; guest soloists including mezzo-soprano Leslie Hassberg; a memorabilia display; and a program of "some of the flashiest music ever written for wind ensemble," performed by the Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band."It's my last whirl around the block as artistic director here, so I'm really letting my imagination fly," says Louie. "Expect a program that will bring the house down."

The concert takes place at Everett Middle School Auditorium, located at 450 Church Street near 17th Street. Admission is $25, or $50 for preferred seating. For tickets or more information, call 415-255-1355 or visit

University Welcomes Folks Over 60

Anyone over age 60 is welcome to sign up for 60 Plus at San Francisco State University, a lifelong learning organization. Program activities begin in September, so now's the time to join. Members meet on campus twice a month to hear speakers on a wide range of topics, including current events, the arts, politics, and history.

For a small fee, participants can get a student ID card at SFSU, which allows them access to the university library and recreational facilities. Sixty Plus sponsors several small-group activities, tours including day and overnight trips, discount theater tickets, and social gatherings. The annual membership fee is $75. For more information and a membership application, call Eileen Ward at 415-566-9347.

Volunteer at Botanical Garden

Share a love of the outdoors with others by volunteering with the San Francisco Botanical Garden Society. Volunteers are needed to lead garden tours at Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park, and a 12-week training session begins Sept. 16. No previous horticultural experience is required--just an interest in learning some basic botany and an eagerness to share that information with others. Participants will learn about ecology, botany, horticulture, and biodiversity, as well as the special features of the Botanical Garden's collections.

New volunteers are likely to meet others from Noe Valley, says Botanical Garden Society representative Genevieve Antaky. "There are many plant-oriented folks in that neighborhood, as evidenced by their many beautiful private gardens, and many of those people have found their way to us over the years," she says.

Trainings take place at the Botanical Garden at Ninth Avenue and Lincoln Way from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays from Sept. 16 through Dec. 9, excluding Thanksgiving weekend.

Participants must make a two-year commitment and be willing to work with people of all ages and backgrounds. There is an $85 fee for the training, but some scholarships are available. Preregistration is required. For more information, call 415-661-1316, ext. 312, or visit

Free Exhibit Reflects on Terror

Beginning on the fifth anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, Intersection for the Arts presents an art exhibit about fear. The exhibit, titled "Terror?", runs Monday, Sept. 11, through Saturday, Nov. 11. The free opening reception takes place on Sept. 11 at 6 p.m.

"Terror?" is an interdisciplinary project investigating how people experience fear and how it affects individual lives. The exhibit includes works on paper from all over the world. Organizers hope the event will provide a personal and collective response to one of the most pressing issues of our times.

Intersection for the Arts is also planning a related film screening, readings, and public discussions and performance. Intersection is located at 446 Valencia Street near 16th Street. Visit for more information about the programs. The exhibit is free and the gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from noon until 5 p.m. and Tuesdays by appointment.