Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

Veterinary center muzzles Castro location rumors

Castro residents longing for a veterinarian to open in the pet-friendly neighborhood will have to wait a little while longer. A local veterinary clinic has muzzled rumors of its looking to open in the city’s gayborhood.

Pets Unlimited, which runs a 24/7 state-of-the-art Veterinary Center in Pacific Heights as well as adoption and shelter programs [Sparky, seen at right, is one of its dogs looking for a home], had been floated this month as a potential tenant in the Market and Noe Center following the news that grocery chain Trader Joe’s was abandoning plans to open a store at the upper Market Street site.

But Sally Wortman, Pets Unlimited’s executive director, told the Bay Area Reporter that the company was not looking to expand at this time. A Castro area resident herself, Wortman said she was surprised to hear her company mentioned in addition to several other grocery chains as interested in the space where a Tower Records store operated until 2006.

“We are not actively exploring a new location at this time. We were three years ago but our plans changed after the economic downturn,” said Wortman. “It is nice to know we would be wanted there.”

As the B.A.R. noted in last week’s online Political Notes column, the property owner, Kent Jeffrey, whose family has owned the two-story building housing stores, offices, and a rooftop parking garage for decades, has so far been unable to find a new, long-term tenant for the bi-level storefront.

— Matthew S. Bajko, March 21, 2011 @ 10:15 am PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Breaking: Dufty snags Victory Fund endorsement

Out gay San Francisco mayoral candidate Bevan Dufty today received the endorsement of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. The national group, which works to elect qualified open LGBT candidates, is expected to make the formal announcement Sunday, March 20 at its 20th anniversary brunch in Washington, D.C.

Dufty, 56, a former supervisor, had been seeking the high-profile national LGBT group’s backing in his race for mayor. He recently abandoned his self-imposed donation policy of accepting funds only from people who live or work in the city. The change – Dufty now accepts the maximum $500 per donor – means he can accept money nationally, including donations from Victory Fund members.

Dufty (pictured at right) was pleased with organization’s decision.

“I’m really appreciative of them making an early endorsement,” Dufty told the Bay Area Reporter from D.C.

[Updated: Victory Fund spokesman Denis Dison said the group was proud to endorse Dufty.

“About 30 cities in the country have LGBT mayors,” Dison said. “San Francisco is long overdue for one.”

Dison said Dufty is an “extremely viable” candidate. “Obviously he knows the city like the back of his hand,” he added.

For his part, Dufty said the Victory Fund has given him invaluable training; he recently attended the group’s candidate sessions in Las Vegas.

“The Victory Fund has been singularly important in giving me a new direction with my campaign,” he said.]

In recent years, the Victory Fund has endorsed early in big-city mayoral contests. The group’s support was seen as key in the election two years ago of out lesbian Annise Parker as mayor of Houston. The Victory Fund has already endorsed Parker in her re-election race this November.

In the wide-open race to be San Francisco mayor, Dufty is so far the only out gay candidate. The filing deadline for the race is in August. This year the city will use rank choice voting in the mayor’s race.

The B.A.R. will have more on Dufty’s endorsement in Thursday’s edition.

— Cynthia Laird, March 19, 2011 @ 12:34 pm PST
Filed under: News,Politics

Sex workers in SF plan celebration on UN victory

Scantily clad sex workers and their friends will gather at noon tomorrow (Friday, March 18) in San Francisco’s Civic Center BART station, near UN Plaza, to celebrate a victory in the United Nations.

“86 the Violence” is an art demonstration meant to draw attention to the US State Department’s acceptance of Recommendation 86 in the Universal Periodic Review, the UN Human Rights Council’s report card for human rights abuses for individual countries.

In accepting the recommendation, the United States says, “…No one should face violence or discrimination in access to public services based on sexual orientation or their status as a person in prostitution,” according to event organizers Sex Workers Outreach Project of the Bay Area and St. James Infirmary.

Recommendation 86 equally condemns violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation.

“Discrimination against sex workers and discrimination against LGBTQ people are interconnected struggles,” Stephany Ashley (pictured at right), programs director for the St. James Infirmary, which provides services to sex workers, said in a statement. “Many sex workers are lesbian, gay, bisexual; those sex workers who are transgender experience significantly higher levels of violence. Human rights abuses against sex workers are attacks on the Queer community as well.”

Organizers say more issues still need to be addressed to improve sex workers’ rights in the U.S.

Sadie Lune, a sex worker, stated, “Poverty, homo- and transphobia and racism are the biggest factors compromising sex workers’ safety.”

Patricia West, a coordinator with the Bay Area chapter of the Sex Workers Outreach Project, stated, “It’s finally been acknowledged that sex workers are human beings deserving of rights.”

In 2008, San Francisco voters defeated Proposition K, which would have decriminalized prostitution in the city.

For more information about the Recommendation 86, visit

— Seth Hemmelgarn, March 17, 2011 @ 2:34 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Students address bullying – and entertain – in assembly

High school students in San Francisco will be addressing bullying and providing some entertainment at an assembly tomorrow night (Thursday, March 17).

Abraham Lincoln High School’s annual Brotherhood/Sisterhood Assembly features 300 students from 15 clubs, including the Gay-Straight Alliance.

The show will start with students sharing bullying statistics from San Francisco schools and will also include dancing, songs, and skits.

Ian Enriquez, an openly gay counselor at Lincoln, said in an e-mail exchange that the school’s “Pink Tsunami” efforts, where people wear pink in support of LGBT students and others who’ve been bullied, are  the centerpiece of assembly performances this week. (Pink Tsunami started long before last week’s tragic events in Japan.)

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One past Pink Tsunami participant is out Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), who introduced Assembly Bill 9  – “Seth’s Law” – Monday, March 14.

“As a former teacher, I know how important it is for our students to feel safe at school,” Ammiano said in a statement. “Each day throughout California, LGBT youth experience harassment. I am proud to introduce this bill in honor of Seth Walsh, which will give schools the necessary tools to prevent any young person from being bullied, harassed or worse because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.”

Walsh, a 13 year-old gay student from Tehachapi, California, killed himself in September 2010 after facing years of relentless anti-gay harassment at school that school officials effectively ignored, Ammiano’s office said.

Thursday night’s assembly, which starts at 7, is open to the public. The school is located at 2162 24th Ave.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, March 16, 2011 @ 4:16 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Gates for Britney Spears Castro concert will open at 9 a.m. Sunday, March 27

The producers of Good Morning America have announced that the viewing area for the Britney Spears concert later this month will begin letting people in at 9 a.m. It will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

But they warned that no one would be allowed to line up that Sunday, March 27 before 9 a.m. to get into the gated areas that will be erected on Castro Street between Market and 18th Street, and between 18th and 19th Streets. They also warned the public not to fall prey to ticket scams, as it is free to attend and no passes will be issued beforehand.

“The audience area will open at 9 a.m.; those arriving earlier will be turned away: no lining up will be permitted. PLEASE NOTE: There will NOT be wrist bands or tickets of any kind being issued nor will they be necessary to attend. Do not accept wrist bands from any media outlet,” stated GMA producers in a media release this week.

The pop diva will be singing in the Castro District that day from noon to 1 p.m. to promote her newest album, which drops Tuesday, March 29. The outdoor concert in San Francisco’s gayborhood will also air that day on the ABC morning show.

As the Bay Area Reporter reported in this week’s paper, the show also hopes to film Spears meeting with two local agencies that serve LGBT youth. Those visits, though, are not yet confirmed.

— Matthew S. Bajko, March 11, 2011 @ 4:04 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Hung jury announced in fatal bludgeoning trial

The second trial of a San Francisco man charged with bludgeoning his partner to death with a glass pitcher in 2006 ended in a hung jury this week, the city’s public defender’s office has announced.

Christopher Crandall, 37, had faced a murder conviction in the death of Guy West, 68.

Jurors in the San Francisco Superior Court case started at 10-2 in favor of voluntary manslaughter, but by Thursday, March 10, they’d ended at 3-9 for second degree murder.

A new trial is set to begin April 15. A pre-trial conference is scheduled for March 30.

One jury already convicted Crandall of second-degree murder in 2007, but in 2010 the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals tossed that verdict out.

According to Tamara Barak Aparton, a spokeswoman for the public defender’s office, some jurors in the original trial had felt pressured into voting for murder over manslaughter because of two of the jurors’ vacation plans.

She said Crandall’s defense doesn’t dispute that he killed West, but in the most recent trial attorney Sandy Feinland sought a manslaughter conviction because Crandall had been a domestic abuse victim. She didn’t know if abuse incidents had ever been documented with police.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 2:03 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

2012 Pride could be one-day event

San Francisco police have been talking to a San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration official about making Pride a one-day event or shrinking the festivities’ amount of space.

The street closure permits for this year’s events, June 25-26, were unanimously approved this morning (Thursday, March 10) by the city’s eight-member Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation for Temporary Street Closures.

At the meeting, however, police Sergeant Luke Martin raised concerns about problems that occurred at last year’s event. At least one brawl was captured on video.

Martin said Pride will be “a department-wide resource drainer” and possibilities include cutting a day or closing off less space. Those ideas are not being considered for this year, said Martin.

The annual celebration, which draws at least 1 million people to the city, takes place on a Saturday and Sunday and is centered around the city’s Civic Center area.

After the meeting this morning, Martin said problems have included “a lot of intoxicated people” and “several fights.” He also said that calls for ambulances add to the city’s burden.

“A small group can cause a huge problem for the crowd in general,” he said.

He said the police department’s faced with budget crunches and Pride is a “strain on resources.”

Asked what needs to happen to avoid reductions in time or space, Martin said, “As long as we see relatively few issues, that don’t zap the resources we have … I’d say it will probably stay the way it is.”

Martin said the number of police who’ll be assigned to Pride this year isn’t yet known.

Joe Wagenhofer, Pride’s longtime event manager, said after the meeting that reducing the number of days would be a decision for the board of directors and the community. Pride started out as a one-day event more than 40 years ago.

One advantage of including Saturday in Pride events is that “a lot of families and out-of-towners choose to go [then] because it’s not as crowded” as Sunday, he said.

One officer mentioned to Wagenhofer the possibility of merging Pink Saturday with Pride.

Wagenhofer emphasized “that’s coming from the police, not us,” and he noted there are several groups having events on the day before the Pride parade. Aside from Pride and Pink Saturday, which is organized by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, there’s also the Dyke March.

“In the minds of a lot of people, San Francisco Pride does everything that weekend,” said Wagenhofer.

He said reducing Pride’s physical size is “a big concern.”

“Where are all those people going to go?” if the event’s footprint shrinks, he said. Cutting the size would also mean fewer venues, he said.

Waggenhoffer and Martin both indicated the talks haven’t been contentious.

“It never hurts to talk and to brainstorm with them, and we recognize they have budgetary problems,” said Wagenhofer, as is Pride, which is almost $200,000  in debt.

At least some of the people who’ve been waiting for money from Pride this week should be getting payments soon, though.

Pride co-chair Alex Randolph said this week that the organization is sending out checks for approximately $100 to about 32 of its community partners.

Many of those are beverage partners who were upset last year when they got thousands of dollars less than they’d expected. The groups work Pride’s beverage booths in exchange for a cut of the proceeds. About $44,000 remains to be paid to the groups, said Randolph.

Shortly after those payment problems were revealed, Pride Executive Director Amy Andre resigned. The group is hoping to have an interim executive director in place by April 1.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, March 10, 2011 @ 1:21 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Folsom Street group announces 2011 partners

Revelers at a past Folsom Street Fair

Folsom Street Events has announced its beneficiaries for 2011.

Net proceeds from five San Francisco fetish events, including the Folsom Street Fair in September, will be donated to local charities working in public health, human services, and the arts.

This year’s major beneficiaries include AIDS Emergency Fund, AIDS Legal Referral Panel, Central City Hospitality House, Dimensions Clinic/Health Initiatives for Youth, Frameline, Mission Neighborhood Health Center, Pets Are Wonderful Support, Positive Resource Center, Project Open Hand, San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and Stop AIDS Project, Folsom Street announced Tuesday, March 8.

Supporting beneficiaries are Castro Country Club/Baker Places, National AIDS Memorial Grove, St. James Infirmary, Transgender Law Center, and Triangle Martial Arts Association.

Last year, Folsom Street Events donated over $326,000 to local and national charities.

Folsom Street Executive Director Demetri Moshoyannis said in a statement, “The economy is devastating our nonprofit sector. Many local agencies are suffering from the severe cutbacks in local, state, and federal government funding; and, Folsom Street Events helps to fill many of these funding gaps.”

Event sponsorships are still being finalized. The Bay Area Reporter is among the media sponsors.

Dates for this year’s Folsom Street events are: Bay of Pigs, July 30; Up Your Alley, July 31; Magnitude, September 24; and Folsom Street Fair and Deviants, September 25.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, March 9, 2011 @ 5:34 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Update: LGBT, police forum canceled for March

The San Francisco Police Department LGBT Community Forum that had been scheduled for tonight (Tuesday, March 8) has been canceled because several members weren’t going to be able to attend.

The next forum will be Tuesday, April 12 at 6 p.m. will be at 6 p.m. at the Noe Valley Library, 451 Jersey Street (between Castro and Diamond streets).

— Seth Hemmelgarn, March 8, 2011 @ 4:55 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

LGBT, police forum to include crime reporting, trans safety

Interim Police Chief Jeff Godown, left, speaks at the San Francisco Police Department's LGBT Community Forum in February.

The next San Francisco Police Department LGBT Community Forum will be at 6 p.m. today (Tuesday, March 8), at the Noe Valley Library, 451 Jersey Street (between Castro and Diamond streets).

Assistant Chief Denise Schmitt will be among department staff attending. Discussions are expected to include improving the quality of crime reporting in the LGBT community, and identifying issues surrounding crime and victims of crime in the transgender community.

Forum members include Alexandra Byerly, EL/LA Program Para Translatinas; Dennis Richards, Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association; and Greg Carey, Castro Community on Patrol.

The forum is meant to provide “LGBT community stakeholders” a chance to work with police “to build bridges, improve public safety and create positive change,” according to Officer Jennifer Thompson, police liaison to the LGBT community.

District Attorney George Gascon launched the citywide forum during his brief tenure as the city’s police chief.

There are also chief’s forums for the Hispanics, business leaders, and other communities. The forums are open to the public, but they don’t provide opportunities for public comment.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 9:31 am PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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