Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

News in Brief: Halloween safety event Sat.


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Several Castro groups are joining forces Saturday, October 30 to promote public safety in advance of Halloween. While there is no Castro Halloween street party this year, bars and restaurants will be open in the gayborhood.

With that in mind, Castro Community on Patrol, Triangle Martial Arts, and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will hold their pre-Halloween safety event Saturday at 4 p.m. at the 17th Street pedestrian plaza, at Castro and Market streets.

One of the things safety representatives will do at the event is distribute whistles.

"We want to get a whistle into the hands of everyone in the Castro," said Ken Craig, a grand master and founder of the Triangle Martial Arts Association. "The safety whistles were made famous by Harvey Milk and immortalized in the movie, Milk ... but a lot of people don't have one yet, and many who do have one don't know how to use them effectively."

It's not just about blowing your own whistle if you are in trouble, Craig said, but people also need to know what to do when they see or hear someone else in trouble.

The Saturday afternoon event will inform people of the "whistle 1-2-3" safety information. "It's a simple three-step process that anyone can follow," Craig said.

Greg Carey, chair of CCOP, added, "It's not possible to have a policeman or Castro patrol volunteer on every corner, so we need to return to the notion that as a community we take care of each other."

San Francisco Police Sergeant Chuck Limbert, who works out of Mission Station, reiterated the city's "Home for Halloween" program.

"I want to encourage the community to enjoy the festive weekend by perhaps having a home party or going to a planned event at a club," Limbert said, adding that people should drink responsibly and should not leave their drink unattended. Also, he cautioned people not to mix drugs and alcohol.

Sister Flatulina Grande said that recent hate-motivated assaults in the Castro prompted the charitable drag nun group to "return to our street ministry and resurrect our successful Stop the Violence campaign."

SFPD, the San Francisco Patrol Special Police, and the San Francisco Safety Awareness for Everyone organization will also be on hand at Saturday's event.

CBD seeks Castro 'ambassadors'

In an effort to make the Castro more accessible and welcoming to visitors and tourists, the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District is starting a new program and looking to people to volunteer as ambassadors and guides. Andrea Aiello, executive director of the CBD, said that the organization hopes to have the program in place for the upcoming holiday season.

Aiello said that the CBD did some recruiting at the Castro Street Fair but that they ideally would like to have between 25-30 people in the program. The guides would provide information only, there is not a patrol component like the Castro Community on Patrol or the San Francisco Patrol Special Police, which provide volunteer street patrols and private security services, respectively, in the area.

These guides would help answer questions and point tourists to area attractions and places of interest, such as slain Supervisor Harvey Milk's old camera store and Pink Triangle Park.

"The volunteer ambassadors are a friendly resource to improve the experience of all Castro users, residents, and tourists," Aiello said in a statement.

Aiello said that the volunteers would receive two to three hours of specialized training and generally work in the core Castro business district. If people are interested or want to learn more, they should visit or e-mail Aiello at

Fabled ASP director honored

Laura Rifkin, the founding director of Fabled ASP, a storytelling project focusing on disabled lesbians, is being honored for her contributions.

Rifkin, an out lesbian, will be recognized tonight (Thursday, October 28), at the GLBT Historical Society's 25th anniversary "Unmasked" gala. Rifkin is one of the 25 specially invited Bay Area luminaries to be honored at the event.

Then, next month, Rifkin will receive a Local Heroes Award from Bank of America. Awardees are selected by a community advisory board and Rifkin will be among five people honored.

Fabled ASP, which stands for Fabulous/Activist Bay Area Lesbians with Disabilities: A Storytelling Project, currently has a retrospective on exhibit at the main San Francisco Public Library in the James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center and on the sixth floor.

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