Noe Valley Voice April 2009

Short Takes

Bunnies Boost Flowers at Easter Egg Hunt

Hop on over to Douglass Playground on Saturday, April 11, from 10 a.m. to noon for the second annual Easter Egg Hunt, hosted by a group of local merchants as a benefit for the Noe Valley Association.

The success of last year's hunt at Noe Courts--about 500 people showed up--has necessitated some changes this year, says organizer B.J. Droubi of Droubi Team/Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

"All the eggs were found in about 30 minutes," she laughs. Some volunteers made repeated runs to Walgreens to satisfy the seekers, while others contended with a line for chocolate bunnies that wrapped around the block. "I said, 'I guess this is needed in the neighborhood!'"

This year, Droubi decided to change the venue to dog-free Douglass Playground at 26th and Douglass. Then she rounded up more volunteers. She also stocked up on jellybean-filled plastic eggs to be hidden in the park, and is asking children to stop hunting after they've found three eggs. (Good luck!) A free chocolate bunny will go to each child who presents three found eggs.

The fun won't end with the hunt, though. Dozens of hard-boiled eggs will be ready for coloring, and Terra Mia has donated ceramic eggs that can be fired in the kiln after children decorate them. Fima Photography will have a professional on hand for photos, an Easter bunny will be around for color, and the two-woman band the Shake Sugarees will play their string-band music.

Also this year, the organizers will sell donated coffee, pastries, and cupcakes as well as lottery tickets for giant chocolate bunnies. Droubi says they hope to raise money to offset the $12,000 annual cost of maintaining the colorful flower planters hanging from light poles along 24th and Castro streets.

"We're asking for a dollar here and a dollar there, hoping to get some money for that purpose," Droubi says. "People should come with their pockets full of dollars."

In addition to those named above, sponsors include Janet Moyer Landscaping, Brown & Co., Small Frys, Just for Fun, Alexanderson Properties, Noe Valley Bakery, Bernie's Coffee, Noe Valley Law Office, and Noe Valley Tuttimelon.

If you'd like to help the bunnies, call Droubi at 920-8232.

--Heather World

City College Off to Everett

City College of San Francisco will start registering students in April for summer session at nine of its satellites in the city, including the Castro Campus soon departing James Lick Middle School in Noe Valley.

Online registration begins April 20 for continuing City College students. They can register at (New students should go to and click "admissions" to complete an online application. Summer registration for those students will start May 18. They will receive a registration appointment based on the order in which they applied.)

Summer classes at the Castro Campus, which begin June 15, will be held at Everett Middle School at 450 Church Street near 17th Street. City College is moving from James Lick because the building at Noe and 25th streets fails to meet current accessibility standards.

The Castro Campus will offer 18 classes at Everett this summer, according to Dean Bruce Smith. They include foreign language courses in Spanish, French, Italian, and German, and classes in modern art history, LGBT cinema, and the history of jazz.

Smith says City College will keep the Castro Campus at the Everett site next fall. All of the courses and services previously available at James Lick will be available at Everett, which he notes has free parking and is close to public transit.

Students can also sign up for classes at other sites, including the year-and-a-half-old Mission Campus located at 1125 Valencia Street.

A complete schedule of summer courses is available at For questions about the Castro Campus call 415-239-3127 during the day or 415-550-4501 in the evenings.

--Corrie M. Anders

High Tea for Dogs

On April 24, one of the neighborhood's most prim and proper establishments will be going to the dogs. Best known around the neighborhood for its monthly mobile-adoption events outside Zephyr Real Estate on 24th Street, Rocket Dog Rescue will be holding an evening benefit at Lovejoy's Tea Room on the fourth Friday of this month to raise funds for its ongoing efforts to foster homeless dogs and place them in permanent, caring homes.

After rebounding from a devastating fire that destroyed much of founder and animal welfare advocate Pali Boucher's home in late 2007, the organization is preparing to open a permanent headquarters in the Outer Sunset neighborhood in a space once home, appropriately enough, to one of the original Doggie Diner locations. With an opening tentatively scheduled for May, the facility is intended to serve as an office and retail shop for the non-profit, as well as a place to meet and adopt available dogs.

"We're going to be using the funds, of course, to save dogs, but a portion of [the money raised during the event] is also going to necessary renovations of the office," explains Rocket Dog Rescue volunteer coordinator Tammy Hilbrich.

The fundraiser will take place at Lovejoy's (1351 Church Street) from 6 to 8:30 p.m., and will feature a lavish dinner and dessert inspired by traditional High Tea; a silent auction; and tarot card and palm readings. Tickets are $150 each, $250 for two, $450 for a table of four, and $600 for a table of six.

Tickets are available for purchase online at or via phone by contacting Geri Hunter at 415-883-7359. Space for the event is limited, and those interested in attending are encouraged to purchase tickets by April 15.

--Lorraine Sanders

Earth Needs You on April 18

Want to honor Earth Day in a local way? Volunteer to spiff up the San Francisco School of the Arts campus on Saturday, April 18, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The city's Department of Public Works will be on hand to help you tame weeds, erase graffiti, pick up trash, and do small repairs.

The high school is located at 555 Portola Drive at O'Shaughnessy Blvd., about five minutes by bus or 30 minutes by foot up the hill from Noe Valley. For more information, call 415-641-2600 or e-mail

Meanwhile, San Francisco's Clean City Coalition will be bringing "Gigantic 3" debris boxes to St. John's School at 925 Chenery Street on that same Saturday, April 18, 8 a.m. to noon, to allow residents of District 8 to drop off their bulky throwaway items or recyclables. Items accepted include yard trimmings, wood planks, scrap metal, old VCRs, computers, mattresses, stoves and refrigerators, used motor oil, and fluorescent bulbs and tubes. But residents must be sure to make an appointment: call Sunset Scavenger at 330-1300 by April 16. For information, go to

--Heather World

Get Ready to Rummage

Bargain hunters will be lining up outside 625 Douglass Street at 9 a.m. on April 18 and 19. That's when Alvarado Elementary School opens the gates to its annual Rummage Sale.

"There are always incredible finds," says organizer Christina James, mother of an Alvarado fourth-grader. The first year she attended, James says, she bought a book by popular children's author Mercer Mayer. "I opened it a few months later and saw it was signed."

Another time, she saw a doll, valued at $1,000 on eBay, go for $25 at the sale.

Donors to the event are asked to drop by gently used goods on Saturday, April 11, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

By the following Saturday, the motor skills room at the school will be transformed to a children's store stocked with books, toys, and cars. Clothes, dishes, and other household items will fill the breezeway and school stage. Furniture will be set outside to lure the casual passerby. There will also be a boutique section for valuable items, like gold and antique jewelry, paintings, and photographs.

"It's usually pretty busy at the beginning of the day," says James. "We have regulars who run in."

The free Saturday sale runs all day, till 3 p.m. But the prices--and the hours--are different on Sunday.

April 19 is bargain day, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For a $10 fee, buyers can walk in and take out as many loads as they can carry. In the second hour, the price drops lower. "You can take your car, come home, and come back," James says.

She notes that charities often come to the sale, as do folks with families back in Latin America or Eastern Europe. In addition, garage-sale entrepreneurs take carloads to re-sell at their own sales.

James promises to give back the entrance fee to anyone who finds nothing to buy.

"There's always amazing stuff leftover on Sunday," she says.

Alvarado asks donors to leave at home their computers, televisions, mattresses, metal furniture, and stuffed animals. Additionally, items that change frequently for safety reasons, like car seats, are not accepted.

Last year, the rummage sale netted the PTA about $3,600. The funds are used for extracurricular programs at Alvarado. For information call the school at 415-695-5695.

--Heather World

Glen Park Has Bounce

Sleepy Glen Park will shake off the fog on Sunday, April 26, to celebrate the 11th annual Glen Park Festival from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Having missed last year, organizers are coming back with a bang this year, adding a special children's area and a bouncy castle to draw in the kids.

Small by San Francisco standards, Glen Park's version of a street fair distinguishes itself by hosting booths for local elementary and preschools along with the traditional variety of arts and food. In the past, the schools have run crafts for children to entertain the kids while parents ask questions. As always, a San Francisco Fire Department fire truck will be on hand for children to explore.

The booths will run along Diamond Street between Chenery and Bosworth streets, and a band area in the center will feature the Jeffrey Gaeto Jazz Quartet in the morning and the Latin sounds of Mestizo from 2:30 on. Dan Lopez of Dejavu Productions will be the Master of Ceremonies.

Proceeds from a raffle for prizes donated by neighborhood and Noe Valley merchants will go to the Friends of the Library (Glen Park Branch). Other funds will be made into grants for children's programs and schools in the Glen Park area.

For more information, call 415-835-2112 or visit

--Heather World

88-Key Marathon

Watch the fingers fly nonstop at the Community Music Center's sixth annual Keyboard Marathon Sunday, April 26, at 3 p.m.

This year's fingerfest is titled "Dances." Thirteen pianists will showcase solo and four-hand works by a range of composers, including Antonin Dvorak, Ignacy Paderewski, and Johannes Brahms.

Many dances will include the rhythms of Slavic countries, Spain, and Argentina, mixing mazurka with flamenco for a lively afternoon. A new piece by faculty member Erik Walker will also be played. Two harpsichordists will set the stage with dance suites by French Baroque composer François Couperin and late Renaissance composer Girolamo Frescobaldi.

The 88-year-old Community Music Center began keyboard marathons six years ago when piano teacher Juliet McComas suggested the school's keyboard teachers collaborate on a large-scale production to educate students and entertain the public.

CMC's Sonia Caltvedt says previous marathons have run up to three hours.

"We've had a full house of about 150 people with some standing in the back," she says. "I think they've enjoyed the variety of players and styles."

Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. The Community Music Center is located at 544 Capp Street near 21st Street. For more information, call 415-647-6015 or visit

--Heather World

Indulgent Sisters Reveal Habits

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, in all their campy splendor, will show off three decades of gay pride at an exhibit this month at the San Francisco Library.

The group's display of posters, photographs, costumes, and other artifacts will be on view at the James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center within the library's Main Branch.

The exhibit recalls the birth of the Sisters on April 17, 1979, when three gay men ventured out in the Castro in habits "loaned" by retired nuns, just to cause a stir on a moonlit night.

Instead, the library notes, the trio "quite by accident...discovered a new form of political and social activism and community service that lives on 30 years later."

Exhibit visitors will be able to see the habit worn by founding member Sister Soami (formerly Sister Missionary Position), as well as the promotional relics of the Sisters' often scandalous but still philanthropic events, such as themed bingo nights and the annual Easter celebration at Dolores Park.

"We, the Sisters, hope that the general public will come to understand our purpose as community builders, activists, and fundraisers for those in need," says Sister Mary Ly Onward. "Above all, we hope the exhibition helps everyone to see us as the merrymakers and guilt dissipaters we are."

The exhibit, which opened March 20, runs through May 7. The library is located at 100 Larkin Street.

--Corrie M. Anders

Picture Books for the Fair

First Book San Francisco, a consortium of nonprofits bringing books to under-served families in the Bay Area, is hosting a May book drive and fundraiser in Noe Valley. Throughout the month, you can drop new or used books, in good condition, in collection bags at various locations, including the Noe Valley Ministry, Starbucks, and Wells Fargo Bank. Wells Fargo will also accept monetary donations.

In addition, bargain hunters attending the 34th annual Fair Oaks Street Fair on Saturday, May 9, can bring books, cash, or checks to the First Book booth in the 200 block of Fair Oaks Street the day of the event. The fair runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fair Oaks between 21st and 26th streets.

"Hint--this is the day before Mother's Day," notes Carla Hatley, a volunteer for First Book. "Why not honor your mom this Mother's Day by providing books to low-income children?" For a $20 donation, First Book will provide Mother's Day cards notifying the recipient of a donation made in her honor.

First Book San Francisco is part of a national organization that provides books to children at preschools, after-school programs, mentoring and tutoring programs, shelters, and daycare centers. Board President Jude Deckenbach estimates the group reaches more than 3,000 children each year.

All donations are tax-deductible. To get details, e-mail or visit the group's website at

--Heather World

Two Ways to Play on a Saturday in May

Looking for weekend fun in the sun that celebrates local community? You're in luck. Two free cultural events for families and children beckon on Saturday, May 2.

The Fairmont Elementary School FiestaVal transforms the Chenery Street campus into a fair boasting homemade food and such kid-friendly attractions as a jumpy house, hair-painting, and games with prizes. Student and community groups will showcase their talents on an outdoor stage dedicated to musical acts and dance performances, while both silent and live auctions offer an opportunity to give and receive through bids on merchandise, gift certificates, and tickets to Bay Area restaurants, businesses, and tourist destinations.

Money raised from food sales, games, and auctions will help fund Fairmount School programs in the arts, music, drama, physical education, and science, as well as library staffing and one-on-one tutoring and counseling services. FiestaVal takes place from noon to 4 p.m. at 65 Chenery St. Visit www.fairmount or call 415-695-5669 for more information.

On the same afternoon, the Mission Neighborhood Centers, Inc., invites families and children to a free, day-long Cinco de Mayo Festival in Dolores Park. The alcohol-free, outdoor event will feature a wealth of Latino vendors from around the Bay Area, children's activities and games, Latino and Mexican food, arts and crafts, and musical performances from local dance and Mariachi groups.

A special focus will be given this year to green vendors and businesses offering earth-friendly products and services. Proceeds from the event will go to programs benefitting children, youth, and seniors at Mission Neighborhood Centers, Inc., which celebrates 50 years in San Francisco this year.

The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Dolores Park, between 18th and 20th streets. For more information, visit

--Lorraine Sanders