Noe Valley Voice December 2012

Short Takes

Secrets of How Obama Won

Obama campaign strategist David Binder will speak at the Noe Valley Democratic Club on Jan. 15 Jan. 16. 

David Binder, an eyewitness to history inside Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign, will be the guest speaker at the monthly meeting of the Noe Valley Democratic Club on Tuesday, Jan. 15 Wednesday, Jan. 16.

The longtime Church Street resident, who served the Obama campaign as a media adviser and research analyst responsible for online advertising testing, will discuss how the president overcame numerous hurdles to win a second term.

Among the “enormous obstacles” he faced were a troubled national economy, media attacks by heavily financed Republican PACs, and intransigent Congressional opposition to his policies, said Binder, while reviewing the campaign two weeks after the Nov. 6 election.

Binder, who runs his own political consulting firm, David Binder Research, said working with the Obama campaign, as he also had done in 2008, “was like a professional dream come true.

“I got to work with an incredible array of pollsters and strategists and consultants,” he said. “It was obviously one of the most important elections in the country, and I felt very honored to be a part of the team.” 

Was he sure all along that Obama would defeat Mitt Romney? Binder said it was in his nature to wait until the results started coming in election night before he could “feel relaxed…that I could believe he was going to be re-elected.”

Binder’s 7:30 p.m. talk, which will include a question-and-answer period, will be held at St. Philip’s Church at 725 Diamond St. For information, email or call 415-994-4610. 

—Corrie M. Anders

Not-So-Silent Noche

The Mission High School auditorium will be filled with music, laughter, and joy when the Mexican Christmas musical La Posarela returns on Sunday, Dec. 9.     2010 photo courtesy Community Music Center

The Community Music Center will perform its popular Mexican Christmas musical La Posarela on the Mission High School stage Sunday, Dec. 9, at 2 p.m.

La Posarela blends two holiday traditions (Las Posadas and Las Pastorelas) that celebrate the biblical journeys made by Mary and Joseph and the Three Wise Men. The bilingual script is modernized with social commentary and humor.

In the story, a mischievous devil tries to prevent Mary and Joseph from finding shelter and misleads the Wise Men. Two angels with attitude intervene, and a light-hearted fight between good and evil ensues.

CMC is a community arts organization that offers free and low-cost music classes. La Posarela’s cast of 70 features the organization’s children and adult choruses and young musicians from CMC’s Mission District Young Musicians Program. They will sing Christmas carols and original music by Chus Alonso, Miguel Govea, and Tregar Otton.

Music director Martha Rodr’guez-Salazar is joined by stage director Lisa Quoresimo of the Marsh. La Posarela is co-produced by C’rculo Cultural. Script writer and actor Carlos Bar—n stars as the devil.

The show will be followed by a Mexican fiesta and a pi–ata for the kids.

The Mission High School auditorium is located at 3750 18th St. Tickets cost $5 and can be bought at CMC, 544 Capp St., or on Eventbrite. See for more information.

—Heather World

School Pickup for Produce

Six-year-old Caleb Sohn, whose family is participating in a farm produce program at Alvarado School, recently discovered how to eat a spaghetti squash.

Neighbors can pick up weekly produce boxes at Alvarado Elementary School and benefit the school while enjoying seasonal fruits and veggies, thanks to a new school partnership with Capay Valley Farm Shop.

The Farm Shop is a network of 35 small family farms in the Capay Valley, which pool their produce for distribution. Customers choose the size of their delivery—a bite, a peck, or a bushel—but the farmers choose the produce.

“The thing I love is that you don’t know what you’re going to get,” says Jen Sohn, an Alvarado parent who helped start the program.

One of the first times she opened a box, her son Caleb, 6, pulled out a spaghetti squash and asked if it was a pumpkin. Sohn says she knew what it was, but didn’t know how to store or cook it. For that, she turned to the Farm Shop’s website, which offers recipes and other information on the produce.

“That’s what it’s all about,” she says. “It was a complete learning experience for everyone.” 

The boxes brought to Alvarado have a $1 surcharge, which goes to the school’s food bank.

About 32 families already subscribe, and the school is hoping neighbors will want to sign up, says Sohn, who co-chairs the PTA’s Healthy Kids committee.

Boxes are picked up on Thursdays from the breezeway on the 22nd Street side of the school. A shed protects the boxes from hungry raccoons, and the gate is open from noon until 8 p.m.

Anything not picked up by Friday or any unwanted food is also donated to the food bank.

“If you don’t want your box, don’t worry—it’s going to a good place,” Sohn said.

To join, visit the Capay Valley Farm Shop website and select Alvarado Elementary School as your pickup location,

—Heather World


A Way with Words

The Friends of Noe Valley will host its annual literary festival, Word Week, next March, and the planning has already begun.

The eight-day week starts Saturday, March 16, when A Working Theory of Love author Scott Hutchins reads from his writing. Later in the week, local literary luminary Cara Black will read from her work. Black is the author of the bestselling Aimee Leduc mystery series.

The events will be staged at neighborhood venues and will include an LGBT literature night, a children’s book event, and a spoken-word open mic. Once again, Friends will host writing contests for students of local elementary schools, and the winners will read their writing at an event called Kids Read.

New this year will be the Noe Valley Authors Festival: authors who live or work in Noe Valley or contiguous neighborhoods will be eligible to take a table at the festival and present their books to the public. Featured authors will read from and sign their books throughout the day.

Applications for the Authors Festival and more information, including specific venues and dates, will be available in January on the Friends of Noe Valley website,

If you have an idea for an event you’d like to organize, please contact Rick May at 

—Heather World