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News Briefs: Get ready for Give OUT Day

by Cynthia Laird

The LGBTQ-focused national Give OUT Day is April 19.
The LGBTQ-focused national Give OUT Day is April 19.  

It's almost time for Give OUT Day, the national day of giving for the LGBTQ community that takes place Thursday, April 19, from midnight to 11:59 p.m.

Throughout the daylong event, thousands of people make gifts to support a diverse array of LGBTQ nonprofits, ranging from social service agencies to health care organizations to advocacy groups. Community centers, arts groups, and sports leagues also take part.

Now a project of San Francisco-based Horizons Foundation, Give OUT Day has become an important tool in helping raise awareness and funds for LGBTQ nonprofits. Last year it raised more than $750,000 from more than 10,000 individual donors.

Organizers hope to raise $1 million this year.

Participating groups often revamp their social media sites, posting short videos about their work and why a financial donation is important. Participating nonprofits can also sign up to win one of 11 different leaderboard prizes, which are used to generate excitement during the day.

For more information, visit https://www.giveoutday.org/c/GO.

Judicial forum at Golden Gate University
The candidates for four San Francisco Superior Court seats will meet at a forum Thursday (April 12) at 5:30 p.m. at Golden Gate University, 536 Mission Street, Room 2202 (between First and Second streets). Organized by the university's law school students, this may be the only public event regarding the judicial races.

Four incumbent judges - Andrew Cheng, Curtis Karnow, Cynthia Lee, and Jeff Ross - have drawn challengers from four deputy public defenders - Phoenix Streets, Maria Elena Evangelista, Kwixuan Hart Maloof, and Nicole Judith Solis. Another candidate, Elizabeth Zareh, is also running against Lee.

Bakery files appeal over formula retail
The ongoing battle of the longtime Castro cafe Sweet Inspiration to stay in the neighborhood continues, with the now-closed bakery appealing a city determination that the eatery violated the planning department guidelines for formula retail.

[Updated: Sweet Inspiration withdrew its appeal on Wednesday.]

The cafe, which closed in February, was fined more than $2,600 for illegally using the Ike's Place sandwich shop advertising and marketing materials. Last year, celebrity chef Ryan Scott and Ike Shehadeh of Ike's Place bought the cafe from previous owner Michael Colder. Scott and Shehadeh opened on New Year's Day, but the planning department quickly issued a notice of violation, the second time the city determined that the cafe violated local guidelines for chain stores, defined as any business with 11 or more locations.

The San Francisco Board of Appeals heard the matter April 11.

Out of Site postpones tour
Although it had sold out shows in North Beach in March, Out of Site, a performance event and walking tour, has canceled its Tenderloin tours scheduled for May 12-13 and 26-27. It does, however, plan to run weekend performances in North Beach in tandem with San Francisco Pride June 23-24 and in the Tenderloin in the fall, although exact dates for both locations have not been set.

Under the direction of Seth Eisen, founder and artistic director of Eye Zen Presents, the theater company behind Out of Site, the company canceled its shows to pay the performers a higher rate for future performances.

John Hill, spokesman for Eye Zen Presents, said the cancellation will allow the company to fundraise for its actors, dancers, musicians, and artist performers.

"The company came to a collective decision under the direction of Seth Eisen that it was important to pay all of the artists more," he said. "The artists were paid at a lower level than they were happy with when the show mounted, so we canceled to fundraise for higher pay for future performances."

As the Bay Area Reporter previously noted, the performances focus on specific LGBTQ figures, places, and significant cultural moments. Each of the tours stops at four to six locations, where audiences experience site-specific performances that are as entertaining as they are valuable with theater, dance, puppetry, live music, and lots of interaction with the audience.

For more information, and to donate to Out of Site, visit http://www.eyezen.org/donate/.

Chung to receive Phoenix Award
Cecilia Chung, a human rights and community activist, will receive the Phoenix Award from the Asian Pacific Islander Queer Women and Transgender Community at its Lunar New Year Banquet Saturday, April 21, in Oakland.

Chung, a transgender woman who is HIV-positive and sits on the San Francisco Health Commission, is a senior director of strategic projects at the Transgender Law Center. She is a founding producer of the Trans March and formerly headed the board that oversees the San Francisco Pride parade and celebration.

APIQWTC was formed in 1999 as a means of networking and communicating among the Bay Area queer women's and transgender organizations and community members. It is the largest Asian lesbian and trans organization on the West Coast, with over 800 members.

The upcoming banquet is expected to draw about 300 members. The Phoenix Award is given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the APIQWTC community.

Chung recently received the Trailblazer Award from Openhouse, a nonprofit that has programs for LGBT seniors.

The banquet takes place from 5 to 11 p.m. at the Cinnamon Tree Restaurant, 708 Franklin Street, in Oakland.

Tickets are $50, general admission, or $30 for students and seniors. For more information, visit http://www.apiqwtc.org/ and click on "Banquet."

Earth Day at the Oakland Zoo
While Earth Day is formally celebrated April 22, the Oakland Zoo will get an early start with its popular event Saturday, April 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

According to zoo officials, more than 50 local conservation, green, and educational organizations will be taking part in a zoo-wide, family-friendly festival to celebrate the planet. There will be interactive stations, live music, demonstrations, and live animal presentations.

Attendees can get a free train ride ticket if they bring an old cellphone to be recycled.

Earth Day activities are included with regular zoo admission. The zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road. For more information, visit http://www.oaklandzoo.org.

Castro Street Fair meeting
There will be a community meeting about the Castro Street Fair Saturday, April 21, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Eureka Valley Recreation Center, 100 Collingwood Street in San Francisco.

The fair's board decided to hold the meeting to solicit input and to hear ideas for this year's event. For more about the fair, see the Guest Opinion.

Elections department seeks poll workers
The San Francisco Department of Elections is seeking poll workers for the upcoming June 5 primary election.

Poll workers operate polling places on Election Day and assist voters in many parts of the voting process.

Applicants must be a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., a California resident, and at least 18 years of age. All positions are one-day assignments that pay between $142-$195. Applicants who speak Chinese, Spanish, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, or other languages in addition to English are encouraged to apply.

Interested people can apply in person at the Department of Elections, which is located in the basement of San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 48. For more information, visit www.sfgov/org/elections/serve-poll-worker or call (415) 554-4375.

Contact the reporter at c.laird@ebar.com.

Alex Madison and Sari Staver contributed reporting.

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