News in brief: Gays
take part in Peace Corps Week
compiled by Cynthia Laird
As part of the events marking Peace Corps Week, gays and lesbians who have served in the volunteer service will take part in a panel discussion Wednesday, February 27 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin Street.
Peace Corps Week runs from February 25 through March 3. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a proclamation in honor of the week. "Simply put, the Peace Corps is America at its best ... It is a perfect example of friendship in action, and I hope even more of our residents will consider joining the corps," the proclamation reads. More Peace Corps volunteers come from California than any other state. Schwarzenegger's father-in-law, Sargent Shriver, became the first director of the corps when President Kennedy established the agency in 1961.
The Peace Corps is now recruiting volunteers for international assignments in education, business, health, computers, HIV/AIDS, the environment, and more. Assignments last two years and include travel and living expenses plus medical insurance. For more information about volunteer service, call 1-800-424-8580 or visit www.peacecorps.gov.
Next week's program takes place in the Mary Louise Strong Conference Room at the library, near the Grove Street entrance.
Women's homebuying seminar
Realtor Katharine Holland, formerly the Bay Area Reporter 's business columnist and one of the top 100 agents of Coldwell Banker, will host a "Women's Night Out" homebuyer's seminar Tuesday, February 26 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at her office, 2355 Market Street (near Castro) in San Francisco.
Janis Callon with Princeton Capital will also co-host the event. Holland noted that if people are paying San Francisco rent prices, they can probably afford to buy a condo or home.
Refreshments and sandwiches will be served. To RSVP, e-mail email@example.com or call (415) 437-4588.
San Francisco Wedding Photographers, a referral and marketing group of professional wedding photographers, will host a free Wedding Resource Workshop, Sunday, February 24 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Berkeley Marina Doubletree, 200 Marina Boulevard.
One of the breakout sessions will be about same-sex weddings and presented by photographer Jeanine K. Reisbig (also a Bay Area Reporter distributor). She will present information about planning your lesbian or gay wedding and how to strengthen relationship rights. She will also review how to find wedding professionals who are sensitive to LGBT wedding day needs.
Other workshop topics include photography, audiovisual consultants, planning a Jewish or interfaith wedding, vegetarian wedding menus, stage coach and limo transportation, catering, floral designs, and much more. There will be a drawing for a free dinner cruise for two on a Hornblower Yacht.
The San Francisco Department of Public Health's HIV research section will have a report-back from the recent Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston on Wednesday, February 27 at 6 p.m. at the Quaker Meeting House, 65 9th Street. The meeting will consist of reports on the HIV research section's presentations at CROI, said Gavin Morrow-Hall. Those include the recent STEP HIV vaccine study, a herpes suppression study, and serosorting practices. The meeting is open to the public.
Black gay biz mixer
Bill Doggett, a recipient of the And Castro for All Venture Seed Fund, will host a mixer for black LGBT business professionals in celebration of Black History Month Thursday, February 28 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market Street.
The event is open to corporate, small business, start-ups, and retired professionals as well as those looking to start their own business. Light refreshments will be served.
For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take the Castro survey
The LGBT Community Center has announced it is partnering with neighborhood groups and has launched a "Business Attraction Campaign" to ensure the Castro's future as a diverse and thriving area.
Part of that campaign, also sponsored by the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefits district and the Merchants of Upper Market and Castro, involves taking an online survey and people are welcome to do that, said Tracey Williams, a business assistance specialist at the center. The survey should take no more than 10-15 minutes and is being conducted to gather input about what types of businesses people want to see in the neighborhood. People should visit the Link Here . Williams noted that people must enter a response to every question to successfully complete the survey.
For more information, contact Williams at (415) 865-5611 or email@example.com.
Protest sex offender policies
Friends and Family of California Civil Detainees and the Reform of Sex Offender Laws groups are organizing a protest at Coalinga State Hospital Sunday, March 2 at noon to call attention to what they say are myriad problems. According to the groups, Coalinga State Hospital, the nation's largest facility for housing sex offenders after their prison terms are completed, has failed to implement changes ordered by a 2004 federal consent decree, provide effective sex offender treatment, and comply with state and federal laws.
Those interested in participating should call (702) 421-0467 or (916) 628-7201 to discuss possible carpool arrangements. The detainees have set up a Web site at www.voicesofthegulag.org.
Community Pride forum
The San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee Inc. seeks input from interested people at its community pride forum Saturday, March 1 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Women's Building, 3543 18th Street.
Lindsey Jones, executive director of the nonprofit Pride Committee, noted that people of color, elders, youth, the deaf and hard of hearing, people concerned about accessibility, leather folks, bears, people of faith, families, and LGBT and allied community members are welcome to attend.
The meeting will provide an opportunity for people to share ideas and provide feedback about the LGBT Pride Parade and festival and the role of the Pride Committee in the community. Forums in previous years have resulted in the expansion of the event to include the homo hip-hop stage and the Two-Spirit Nation space, among others.
Those interested in attending should RSVP by February 26 to Brendan Behan, community mobilization specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.