News in brief: Castro 17th Street plaza to get makeover
compiled by Cynthia Laird
The popular 17th Street pedestrian plaza in San Francisco's Castro District is set to get a makeover, thanks to a grant from the city.
Andrea Aiello, executive director of the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District, announced the news Friday, February 12.
The $56,500 capital improvement grant from the city's Office of Economic and Workforce Development will fund new landscaping, concrete planters, and a textured pavement. The new paving, provided in-kind by the city, will more clearly define the space as a plaza. The work is scheduled to begin this spring and will take about a month.
"This is a wonderful public space for everyone to enjoy. The additional trees, drought tolerant plants, and street furniture will make it even more aesthetically pleasing," Aiello said in a statement.
She added that one of the requirements of the grant was that it has a long-lasting impact on the community. Aiello said the changes would make the plaza a more permanent fixture. The plaza first opened last May and quickly became a popular spot in the neighborhood.
AHP dating workshop
The UCSF AIDS Health Project will hold part two of its 2010 "Men Connecting" workshops with one on how to be successful in meeting men. The session takes place Friday, February 19 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the AHP Services Center, 1930 Market Street in San Francisco.
Entitled, "Meeting Men: How to be Successful," the workshop will explore what makes a successful social life, including what to do once at an event and how to initiate healthy connections and relationships. The workshop is for gay and bisexual men regardless of HIV status. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. People are welcome to bring their friends. To register, call (415) 476-6448, ext. 1. For more information on AHP, visit www.ucsf-ahp.org.
Forum on LGBT workplace issues
Spectrum LGBT Center in Marin will hold a free forum on workplace issues Saturday, February 20 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Marin Nonprofit Resource Center, 555 Northgate Drive in San Rafael.
There will be a discussion on personal experiences of LGBT workplace issues, being out, being in the closet, and everything in between.
Additionally, there will be a panel discussion on creating an educated and equal workplace featuring Larry Brinkin, who recently retired as a senior manager for the San Francisco Human Rights Commission; Kevin Jones, deputy director of Out and Equal Workplace Advocates; and Shane Snowdon, director of the LGBT Resource Center at UCSF.
To RSVP, contact Cristin Brew at (415) 472-1945, ext. 203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forum for District 8 supe candidates
A coalition of neighborhood groups is hosting a District 8 candidate forum on Monday, February 22 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Harvey Milk Recreation Center, 50 Scott Street (at Duboce Avenue).
According to organizers, all seven declared candidates are scheduled to participate: James Boeger, William Hemenger, Rafael Mandelman, Rebecca Prozan, Laura Spanjian, Starchild, and Scott Wiener. Barbara Taylor, City Hall bureau chief and veteran on-air reporter for KCBS radio, will moderate the forum.
The forum is sponsored by the Lower Haight Merchant and Neighborhood Association, Buena Vista Neighborhood Association, Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association, and the Mount Olympus Neighbors Association.
'Bulldyke Bingo' in Oakland
The Pacific Center for Human Growth in Berkeley is the benefiting agency of the weekly "Bulldyke Bingo" games that take place every Monday at the White Horse bar, 6551 Telegraph Avenue (at 66th Street) in Oakland.
Games run from 5 to 8 p.m. and are hosted by "Captain."
The next game night is Monday, February 22. Bingo games will also take place every Monday in April, but not in March. All proceeds will go to the Pacific Center.
Spotlight on black men in the Castro
Experiences of many black gay, bi, and trans men in the Castro are spotlighted in a landmark print and video campaign being launched this month by Our Love, the black men's program of the Stop AIDS Project.
The stories in the campaign, entitled, "Welcome to Our Neighborhood," echo mixed feelings about the Castro that many black men have expressed over the years.
In conjunction with the new campaign, Stop AIDS will host a community forum on Tuesday, February 23 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Mom's Pharmacy, 4071 18th Street. [UPDATED: Monday, February 22: Tuesday's forum has been canceled due to a scheduling conflict.]
"The campaign amplifies ongoing conversations about prejudice, invisibility, belief in community, and a desire for more welcoming places," said Kyriell Noon, executive director. "This campaign is just one part of an overall effort to create a healthier community and more supportive spaces for all gay, bi, and trans men."
The campaign uses quotes from 17 black men who work, live, or play in the Castro. Difficult issues of prejudice and social isolation are addressed, along with advice on how to create a more welcoming neighborhood for everyone.
Community members are invited to join the conversation and view the videos by going to http://www.facebook.com/ourloveweb - !/ourloveweb?v=wall
Lottery for Easter Egg Roll tickets
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama announced Tuesday that this year's White House Easter Egg Roll will be held on Monday, April 5 with the theme of "Ready, Set, Go!" promoting health and wellness.
The event will feature live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling, and, of course, the Easter egg roll. All of the activities will encourage children to lead healthy and active lives and follow the first lady's "Let's Move" initiative, a national campaign to combat childhood obesity. The White House will open its South Lawn for children aged 12 years and younger and their families.
Tickets for the event will be distributed through an online lottery system, allowing guests from across the United States to participate in a tradition that dates back to 1878.
The lottery will be open for entries on Thursday, February 25 and close on Sunday, February 28. Full ticketing details can be found at www.whitehouse.gov/eastereggroll.
Black History Month celebration
Radical Women celebrates Black History Month with a book review of Want to Start a Revolution? Radical Women in the Black Freedom Struggle at its meeting on Thursday, February 25 at 7 p.m. A buffet (with a vegetarian option) for $7.50 will be served at 6:15 p.m. The meeting takes place at New Valencia Hall, 625 Larkin Street, Suite 202 in San Francisco. For more information or child care, call (415) 864-1278 or e-mail email@example.com.