Noe Valley Voice February 2007

Short Takes

Garden Tour Plans Budding

The Friends of Noe Valley committee that pulled off last year's successful Noe Valley Garden Tour has already picked a date for the 2007 tour, and is busy looking for six neighborhood gardens to feature this year. The walk, through some of the neighborhood's loveliest backyard gardens, will take place on Saturday, June 9, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. If you'd like to submit your garden for consideration, please e-mail Friends president Richard May at

May says the six gardens will be chosen for geographic diversity, differences in theme or appearance, and overall excellence. A seventh destination on the tour, he says, will be the large, flower-filled garden cultivated by the seniors at On Lok 30th Street Senior Center.

Tickets for the tour will be on sale for $10 at local stores, through Friends, and at selected gardens on the day of the tour. All net proceeds will be donated to the Peace Garden project at James Lick Middle School, which aims to re-landscape the Noe Street side of the school and display student art in the garden. Last year's inaugural garden tour raised $3,200 for neighborhood beautification, and the proceeds were donated to plant additional trees along 24th Street in Noe Valley.

CBD Crew Seeks Storage Space

The crew hired by the Noe Valley Community Benefit District to keep "Downtown Noe Valley" clean needs a small space to work from, says operations manager Bryan McCue. "Basically, we just need a one-car sized space to keep the maid carts and some supplies in," McCue explains. "The daily workers...would pick up things in the morning and return them at the end of the day."

Two to three workers use those carts to sweep, power-wash, remove stickers, and clean up graffiti on 24th Street and Castro streets. McCue is hoping to find someone who will donate space--possibly in trade for some additional cleaning--in or near the area between Douglass and Church streets and Elizabeth and 26th streets. If you can help out, give McCue a call at 415-559-8683.

Raise Money for Rocket Dogs

All are invited to celebrate and support Rocket Dog Rescue on Saturday, Feb. 24, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Terra Mia Studios, located at 1314 Castro Street near 24th Street. The fundraiser will include cocktails and an auction, and all money raised goes directly to rescue dogs from overcrowded Bay Area shelters.

According to Rocket Dog Rescue spokesperson Laura Beck, bidders will have a chance to take home goodies from the Giants and Gump's, as well as from spas, restaurants, and shops all over San Francisco. A $20 donation is suggested, but everyone is welcome regardless of ability to pay. For more information, call Beck at 415-756-6418.

Art Exhibit Questions Paradise

The Little Tree Gallery, just a short walk from Noe Valley at 22nd and Guerrero streets, is featuring a new exhibit by San Francisco artist Paul Zografakis, running from Saturday, Feb. 3, through Sunday, Feb. 25. The solo show, titled "Paradise Lost," will include installation, video, sculpture, and drawing that looks at the human struggle to find paradise. An opening reception will take place at the gallery on Feb. 3 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Little Tree Gallery is located at 3412 22nd Street. For more information, call 415-643-4929 or log on to

Low-Cost Job Training

The Mission Campus of City College of San Francisco offers a variety of job training classes, and it's not too late to join in some of the spring semester sessions that started mid-January, says career counselor Kate Ryan. "We have morning, afternoon, and evening classes," Ryan says. "I will be happy to meet and advise anybody who is interested."

The temporary Mission Campus of CCSF is located at 375 Alabama Street near 17th Street; the campus will move to a new permanent location this fall. Programs include computer skills, medical office receptionist certificate, digital printing and publishing, construction administration, emergency medical technician, and bridge to biotech.

Ryan notes that these programs can help students qualify for Employment Development Department benefits as well as City College financial aid and student support, including job search help, internships, and tutoring. City College credit courses are $20 per unit; non-credit courses are free. For more information, call Ryan at 415-551-1133 or e-mail

AIDS Benefit Hits a High Note

Celebrate love and raise funds for the Stop AIDS Project with Deep Red Jazz at the Elbo Room, located at 647 Valencia Street near 18th Street, on Saturday, Feb. 10. Shea Breaux Wells and Her Jazz Quartet will perform a Valentine's Day concert from 6 to 8 p.m.; doors open at 5:30 p.m. Wells, an accomplished jazz vocalist, will be accompanied by trumpet player Bill Ortiz, pianist Noam Lemish, bass player Lorenzo Farrell, and drummer Alex Aspinall. La Crema wine will be served and is included in the price.

Admission is $50, and all proceeds go the Stop AIDS Project, an organization that works to prevent the spread of HIV among gay, bisexual, and transgendered men in San Francisco. For tickets, call 415-575-0160, ext. 260, or visit www

Sprucing Up Your Sidewalk

The Bureau of Urban Forestry is making it easier for homeowners to beautify their sidewalks by accepting permit requests to convert part of a sidewalk into a landscaped area.

According to the Department of Public Works, private property owners are responsible for the care and maintenance of about two-thirds of the trees in the city, as well as the sidewalks around those trees. They know that trees, plants, and flowers not only look attractive but can also help reduce flooding. When residents spruce up the greenery near their property, however, they should be careful not to cut the top off of a tree. Doing so can result in a fine.

For more information on landscaping permits and tree care, call 415-554-6700 or visit

Indie Films Send Fans Reeling

More than 100 independently produced films and videos will be shown Feb. 8­20 at three local venues as part of the ninth annual San Francisco Independent Film Festival. The event, affectionately known as IndieFest, opens with the latest film by David Lynch, Inland Empire, which will screen at the Castro Theatre at 429 Castro Street. Lynch's longtime producer and spouse, Mary Sweeney, will be on hand to discuss the film.

Festival films will also play at the Roxie Cinema at 3117 16th Street near Valencia Street and at the Victoria Theatre at 2961 16th Street between South Van Ness and Mission. Tickets are $10 for regular screenings, $25 for opening night, and $15 for closing night; opening and closing night prices include after-parties.

The complete festival lineup is available online at For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the web site or call 415-820-3907.

Free Help with Taxes

Now through April 15, free tax filing help is available through the United Way's "Earn It! Keep It! Save It!" program. Taxpayers in households that earned less than $42,000 in 2006 are eligible for services at more than 100 sites throughout the Bay Area, including one at 450 Guerrero Street and another at 3120 Mission Street. The program also provides financial information, including classes on how to make the most of a tax refund. Classes are available in a variety of languages and offer information on everything from car buying to buying a first house. To make an appointment at a tax site, call 800-358-8832. To learn more about classes, call 415-217-3664 or visit

Protect Your Pets in a Disaster

Most pet owners have wondered what would happen to their animals in an earthquake or other emergency. Now the city's Animal Care and Control division has issued a set of guidelines for helping your pet through such a crisis.

In its Pet Disaster Plan brochure, the agency recommends making sure your pet is clearly identified with tags or a microchip, crate-training animals so that they are easy to locate if frightened, and preparing a first-aid kit ahead of time.

Among the items you'll want to have in your pet emergency box are an extra collar and leash, a seven-day supply of food and water, medications, vaccination records, your pet first-aid kit, and plastic bags for cleanup.

For more information on emergency procedures, call Animal Care and Control at 415-554-6364 or visit

This month's Short Takes were compiled and written by Erin O'Briant.