Noe Valley Voice September 2010

Short Takes

District 8 Supe Debates

Four candidates with aspirations to become District 8’s next supervisor will take their case to the public at two local forums in the last weeks of the campaign to succeed Bevan Dufty.

The residents group Upper Noe Neighbors will host the first meeting on Thursday, Sept. 16, at 7:30 p.m., at the Upper Noe Recreation Center, at Day and Sanchez streets.

UNN president Vicki Rosen said the public will be allowed to pose questions to the candidates scheduled to attend: attorney Rafael Mandelman, assistant district attorney Rebecca Prozan, deputy city attorney Scott Wiener, and former Oracle employee William Hemenger.

Then on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 7 p.m., the League of Women Voters will moderate a two-hour debate at the Randall Museum in the Castro District. Candidates will answer questions submitted at the forum or through the League’s website (email ­

Friends of Noe Valley and Upper Noe Neighbors are cosponsoring the debate, along with the Diamond Heights Community Association and the Corona Heights Neighborhood Association. The museum is located at 199 Museum Way, off Roosevelt Way.

The election will be held Nov. 2. District 8 includes Noe Valley, Glen Park, Diamond Heights, and the Castro District, plus several other neighborhoods. Dufty, who has served the maximum two terms, is running for mayor of San Francisco.

For further information about the debate, contact League program manager Mary Anderton at 415-989-8683. Contact Rosen at for information about the Sept. 16 event.

—Corrie M. Anders


Run! Walk! to Diamond Street

You may know her as your couch-potato enabler, but Video Wave’s Gwen Sanderson has started a jogging group that will wake your inner athlete.

All are invited to join Sanderson and the newly formed Noe Valley Joggers for a low-key run/walk through the neighborhood Mondays and Wednesdays at 8 a.m., and Saturdays at 8: 30 a.m. The tour starts at the corner of 23rd and Diamond streets and takes about 30 minutes.

Don’t let the initial ascent up Diamond to Alvarado Street deter you: Sanderson walks that part. From there the Joggers go east to Castro, north to Hill, east to Noe, zigzagging down to Elizabeth and Noe. The second half of the run encircles Alvarado Elementary School two blocks west of Castro Street.

“The goal is to build up to running for 25 minutes—eventually,” says Sanderson. For now the longest stretch of jogging is nine minutes, she says.

Her group has expanded and contracted since she started the jogging club last November, but she hopes it will grow.

“Unless I’m obligated to someone in some way to be somewhere, I won’t do it,” Sanderson says. “Even if I pay for a gym membership, I’ll just end up throwing that money away.”

For more information, contact Sanderson at 415-509-6261 or just show up!

—Heather World


Tom Sawyer at Ruth Asawa

The newly renamed Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts will give its first theater performance this month when a troupe of young actors presents the Broadway musical The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Students at the performing arts high school on Portola Drive will sing and dance their way through 10 shows on two consecutive weekends, starting Sept. 17. The cast includes two alumni from Noe Valley’s James Lick Middle School.

“It’s a family-friendly show, great for all ages,” says Dan Kryston, head of the school’s musical theater department. The play, written in 2001, tells Mark Twain’s classic story about a boy growing up in a Missouri riverboat town in the 1840s.

Kryston says Tom Sawyer is the first production since the school district last spring changed SOTA’s name to pay tribute to Asawa, a nationally known sculptor and one of Noe Valley’s most famous residents.

“I think lots of people in the neighborhood would be thrilled to know that the school is named after Ruth and about the quality shows and events they can be part of,” said Sandra Halladey, a Noe Valley resident and parent at the school.

Asawa, 84, helped establish the original School of the Arts in 1981 along with her late husband, residential architect Albert Lanier. The Castro Street resident also helped found the Alvarado School of the Arts.

During her career, Asawa gave solo exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the de Young Museum, the Oakland Museum, and the Japanese American National Museum, to name only a few.

Artistic talent definitely runs in the family. Freshman William Lanier, one of Asawa’s grandsons and a former James Lick student, will play Sid, Tom Sawyer’s half-brother, in the show. Senior Rafael Molina, another James Lick graduate, will star in the Tom Sawyer role.

Performances will run Sept. 17-19 and Sept. 23-25, at the main auditorium, 555 Portola Drive. Tickets cost $14 to $25. For tickets and times, call 415-695-5720 or visit

—Corrie M. Anders


A Gathering of Women Writers

Witty women will take the stage at the Upper Noe Recreation Center as part of San Francisco’s annual Litquake celebration running Oct. 1 to 9.

On Thursday, Oct. 7, from 7 to 9 p.m., female novelists, poets, and cultural critics will demonstrate their “Feminine Wiles” by reading selections from their most recent work. Look for authors Joyce Maynard (To Die For, Looking Back), Katie Crouch (Girls in Trucks, Men and Dogs), Thaisa Frank (Heidegger’s Glasses, A Brief History of Camouflage), and Shawna Yang Ryan (Water Ghosts). Poets Kaya Oakes (co-founder of Kitchen Sink Magazine), Marisa Crawford (The Haunted House), and literary critic Elif Batuman (The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them) will also read.

The Noe Valley evening is free and co-sponsored by the Friends of Upper Noe Valley Recreation Center. As a complement to the show, the authors’ books will all be available at Phoenix Books, 3957 24th Street.

The Upper Noe Recreation Center is at 295 Day Street between Church and Sanchez streets. See for more information.

—Heather World


Dream House Raffle Results

The dream of winning a luxury Noe Valley home in a charity raffle remained a castle in the sky for 36,313 people who purchased tickets last spring.

That’s because sponsors of the raffle, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, didn’t sell quite enough of the $150 tickets.

But not to worry. Though Anna Alberti of Oakland didn’t get the luxury Alvarado Street home, she held the winning ticket and picked up a cash prize of $1.5 million. The center valued the four-bedroom, 3.5-bath Arts and Crafts style home at more than $3 million.

“We sold 36,313 tickets. And in order for the house to be eligible as a grand prize, we needed to sell 38,000 tickets,” said Charles Ward, director of development for the center.

Despite not meeting its sales goal, Ward called the event a “big success.”

He said “it earned the organization over $1 million” and that the group planned another similar fundraiser next year. In addition to the $1.5 million grand prize, the center gave away another $300,000 in smaller prizes.

A list of the winners can be found at

—Corrie M. Anders