Mayor's office to
host backpack giveaway
compiled by Cynthia Laird
The 2012-13 school year started this week in San Francisco and to help out local families, the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services and Mission Economic Development Agency will be giving away more than 2,000 free backpacks to children Saturday, August 25. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Garfield Square, 26th Street and Treat Avenue.
Out Supervisor David Campos will speak at the event, which is being held to help ensure that San Francisco's children are ready for the school year. There will also be a family barbecue, entertainment, yoga classes, sports activities, and a resource fair featuring local nonprofits.
Target and its partners will be giving away 2,150 backpacks filled with school supplies. Tangle Toys is providing free keychain toys and there will be other giveaways such as free museum tickets, as well as a computer raffle.
The event will also highlight the Mission Promise Neighborhood, an effort by the Mission community and led by MEDA to create a cradle-to-college-to-career continuum of services in the neighborhood that will ensure academic, social, and economic success for families.
Chick-Fil-A protest tonight in San Jose
Local activists with Marriage Equality USA and Get Equal will protest the grand opening of a Chick-Fil-A restaurant tonight (Thursday, August 23) at 6 p.m. The new fast food eatery is located at 50 Headquarters Drive in San Jose.
The fast food chain has been the subject of protests by the LGBT community and its allies in recent weeks since company COO Dan Cathy unapologetically took a stand against marriage equality. A so-called appreciation day on August 1 drew thousands of anti-same-sex marriage supporters to restaurants across the country; a gay-organized kiss-in two days later failed to draw as much attention.
There are not many Chick-Fil-A restaurants in the Bay Area, and LGBT activists with MEUSA and Get Equal are hoping for a good turnout tonight.
"We will protest at the opening of the new restaurant in San Jose to show that the millions of dollars that Chick-Fil-A's WinShape Foundation spends on anti-gay causes hurts real people," said organizer Billy Bradford.
According to MEUSA, WinShape, Chick-Fil-A's charitable arm, has given at least $5 million since 2003 to anti-gay organizations, including almost $2 million in 2010 alone. The company has a zero rating on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, meaning it offers no protections of benefits for its LGBT employees and has no diversity training regarding LGBT people.
For more information about the protest, visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/255710277878764/.
Sea music festival at historic ship pier
The San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park will be the setting for a day of traditional music from around the world on Saturday, August 25 in celebration of the America's Cup World Series races happening that day on the bay.
The festival takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., on two stages at the Hyde Street Pier, onboard the historic vessels Balclutha and Eureka, and in the visitor center theater. The pier and theater venues are free; there is a $5 fee for adults to board the historic vessels; kids 15 and under are free, and those with national park passes are admitted free.
People can experience traditional songs of the sea with The Johnson Girls, Shay Black, Dan Milner, The Barbary Ghosts, Holdstock and Macleod, and others, plus children's storyteller Cynthia Cudaback. Bay Area performers will represent the music and traditional dances of some of the countries competing in the America's Cup. The park's costumed Living History players will also be on hand.
The San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park is located at the west end of Fisherman's Wharf. For more information, call (415) 447-5000 or visit www.nps.gov/safr.
The America's Cup World Series is a regatta leading up to next year's America's Cup finals, which will be held in San Francisco.
Benicia goes to the dogs
Bay Area dog guardians can enjoy the Great Dog Day by the Bay Saturday, August 25 at the First Street Green, located at First and East B streets in Benicia.
In 2010, Benicia was ranked as the fourth dog-friendliest city in the U.S. by Dog Fancy magazine. In honor of the occasion, Benicia Main Street, a downtown revitalization organization, is hosting its third annual doggie fest for dogs and their guardians to have their day in the sun complete with contests, doggie treats, competitions, and other fun activities.
The event typically attracts 1,000 people and is being held on the city's active community green, located yards from the scenic Carquinez Strait, a great place for walking dogs.
For a second year, Benicia Main Street is teaming with Disc Dogs of the Golden Gate, offering a disc competition for dog and handler teams of all skill levels. Activities also include a dog contest (ugliest, cutest, owner-dog look alike).
The festival is free and open to the public. To enter a contest, there is a $5 fee per dog, as well as a $1 fee per vote. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Humane Society of the North Bay.
For more information, visit Benicia Main Street at www.beniciamainstreet.org or call (707) 745-9791.
Health care movie in Palo Alto
The Santa Clara County chapter of Health Care for All, Marriage Equality Silicon Valley, the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, and several other organizations are sponsoring a screening of The Healthcare Movie on Thursday, August 30 at First Baptist Church of Palo Alto, 305 North California Avenue.
The movie examines the differences between health care systems in the U.S. and Canada.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., the movie starts at 7. Street parking is available.
There will be a panel discussion after the film with Carol Dalrymple and Lynn Huidekoper, R.N, from Health Care for All; and Lars Osterberg, director of the Arbor Free Clinic.
Admission is free, although donations will be accepted. Donations will go to local organizations for expenses related to passing single payer legislation.
For more information contact Huidekoper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New name for SF HIV research section
The HIV research section of the San Francisco Department of Public Health announced this week that it was changing its name to Bridge HIV. The announcement comes as the section relocates to expanded research and clinical facilities on the first floor of 25 Van Ness Avenue.
The move is part of the San Francisco Office and Renovation project, a $9.5 million grant awarded by the National Center for Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health as part of the American Recover and Reinvestment of 2009.
Bridge HIV distinguishes the research unit of the health department's AIDS Office from a large field of organizations and institutions conducting HIV prevention research. The new name also reflects the department's history and efforts to reduce the impact of HIV and AIDS through collaborations with diverse communities across the Bay Area and throughout the world, according to a news release announcing the name change.
"We are excited to unveil our new name, which evokes our heritage of conducting groundbreaking HIV research in the San Francisco Bay Area," Dr. Susan Buchbinder, director of Bridge HIV, said in a statement. "Our name also symbolizes important tenets of our mission, such as connection through collaboration. By connecting to researchers and communities throughout the world, our scientific breakthroughs can be used to help people most affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic."
Delia Molloy, executive assistant to Buchbinder, said that the staff came up with the name, although the process was guided by the Taproot Foundation, a nonprofit that makes business talent available pro bono to organizations working to improve society. DPH received two services grants from Taproot for key messages and brand strategy and naming and visual identity. She did not respond to a message about the amount of the grants by press time.