News Brief: Parks group seeks volunteers for Earth Day event
compiled by Cynthia Laird
The California State Parks Foundation will hold its 18th annual Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup event Saturday, April 16 and is seeking volunteers. Cleanups take place at 27 state parks across the state, and more than 3,000 people are needed, officials said.
"We are proud to host this meaningful Earth Day event 18 years running," Elizabeth Goldstein, president of the parks foundation, said in a news release. "Our annual event provides Californians across the state a great opportunity to honor the Earth Day tradition with real service, not lip service."
The cleanup takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Locally, some of the participating state parks are Angel Island State Park, Benicia State Recreation Area, Candlestick Point State Recreation Area, Half Moon Bay State Beach, Mt. Diablo State Park, and Sonoma Coast State Beach.
To volunteer, visit www.calparks.org/earthday or call 1-888-98-PARKS. Space is limited so advance registration is required. Parking fees are waived for Earth Day volunteers.
The cleanup event is presented by PG&E. Other sponsors include the Nature Conservancy, Subway restaurants, Edison International, Oracle, Goldman Sachs, Southern California Gas Company, and Microsoft.
Earth Day itself is observed April 22.
McDonald to speak at AHP event
CeCe McDonald, a formerly incarcerated African-American trans woman, will appear in conversation with Re/code senior editor Ina Fried at a fundraiser for the UCSF Alliance Health Project Thursday, April 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the Twitter Building, 1355 Market Street in San Francisco.
McDonald was sent to prison for fatally stabbing a man who had attacked her and her friends several years ago. She was released in early 2014 after serving 19 months.
During her talk, McDonald will discuss trans inclusion and the intersectionality of identity, as well as social justice issues, with Fried, who is also a trans woman.
Admission is free but this is an RSVP-only event. To register, visit http://tinyurl.com/hk8fcmv. (IDs do not have to reflect gender expression or name preference.)
SF looking for bus rapid transit committee members
The San Francisco County Transportation Authority is looking for people to serve on its Geary Corridor Bus Rapid Transit Citizens Advisory Committee, or GCAC.
The GCAC consists of 11 members, representing corridor and at-large interests, and meets every two months to advise the authority throughout the environmental analysis for the Geary Corridor BRT project.
There are currently two vacancies on the GCAC, one for a representative of the Richmond district and one for an at-large representative. GCAC members are expected to attend all meetings, which are open to the public.
For more information and to download an application, visit http://www.sfcta.org/geary-corridor-bus-rapid-transit-citizens-advisory-committee. The deadline is Friday, April 8.
Comments sought on SF LGBT historic site demolition
The planning department is inviting the public to comment on a major Market Street redevelopment project that would see the demolition of buildings with ties to San Francisco's LGBT history.
As the Bay Area Reporter noted in a February article, San Francisco-based real estate development company Group I wants to replace the existing buildings at 950-974 Market Street with a 232-room hotel, 242 housing units, ground floor retail, and an 82-space parking garage.
The plan has caught the attention of LGBT historians because the Tenderloin's first gay bars were once located there. As detailed in the Citywide Historic Context Statement for LGBTQ History in San Francisco, the Old Crow Bar opened at 962 Market Street around 1935 while the Silver Rail opened at 974 Market Street about 1942.
Additionally, the Flagg Brothers shoe store that had occupied 950 Market Street was documented in the report as a well-known gay cruising spot. Shayne Watson, a co-author of the historical report, appealed the initial environmental review of the project due to the omission of the site's LGBT ties.
The planning department is now conducting a new environmental review that will look at the LGBT historical significance of the triangular block at Market, Turk and Mason streets. The public can weigh in on the proposed project and its impacts by Wednesday, April 13.
Email comments to planner Melinda Hue at mailto:Melinda.Hue@sfgov.org. The project's case number is 2013.1049E.
Santa Clara County seeking LGBTQ rep for panel
Gay Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager has announced that the county's Senior Care Commission is currently seeking to fill a vacancy for an at-large representative of the LGBTQ community. The appointee will serve the remainder of a three-year term ending June 30. In his newsletter, Yeager said it's a great opportunity to serve for an LGBTQ senior or a resident of any age who can provide a critical perspective on the unique needs and disparities faced by seniors in the LGBTQ community.
The panel works to assess existing services for seniors by identifying and addressing areas of unmet needs and fostering programs that promote independence, good health, and quality of life for persons over 60. Through its various committees, the commission seeks to expand community awareness and education, participate in concerns involving the quality of care or lack of it, and advocate for senior legislation in collaboration with the Board of Supervisors. It meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 2 p.m. at the County Government Center in San Jose.
For more information on the panel, visit https://www.sccgov.org/sites/ssa/commissions/Pages/seniorcare.aspx. Interested people should contact Yeager's chief of staff, Jim Weston, at (408) 299-5040 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supes approve gender-neutral bathrooms
San Francisco supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday, April 5 to require local businesses and city-owned properties to make all one-person bathrooms gender neutral.
Gay Supervisor David Campos, who proposed the change, recently said that his "common-sense piece of legislation" should have happened "many, many years ago."
Besides transgender people, "This bill will benefit many people in our community," Campos said, including parents with opposite-sex children, and seniors and people with disabilities who have opposite-gender caretakers.
Trans people and others have faced harassment and threats in restrooms, and Campos said people "often think twice before they go to the bathroom. ... Going to the bathroom should not put anyone in danger."
Other municipalities already have such legislation, but Campos has said San Francisco's would be unique because it would include an enforcement mechanism through the city's Human Rights Commission and Department of Building Inspection.
Theresa Sparks, a transgender woman who serves as executive director of the city's Human Rights Commission, has said, "This is a very important bill for many communities."
A second and final vote on the legislation is expected soon.
Applications open for arts scholarships
Beach Blanket Babylon, one of the city's popular entertainment shows, is now accepting applications for its Scholarship for the Arts. The scholarships are open to all Bay Area high school seniors, and ask students to submit an entry form and a three-minute video showcasing their talent in one of three categories: singing, dancing, or acting.
Officials said that nine finalists – three from each category – will be chosen and will get to perform their three-minute piece live at Club Fugazi, the home of Beach Blanket Babylon .
This year, to keep up with the rising cost of tuition, Beach Blanket Babylon producer Jo Schuman Silver has announced that they will be raising each of the three scholarships from $10,000 to $15,000.
For more information, visit https://beachblanketbabylon.com/scholarships/. The deadline to apply is Friday, April 29.
Applications open for young leaders scholarships
The Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship Program is now accepting applications from students interested in applying for the Fall 2016/Spring 2017 scholarships.
The Zamora scholarships is a program of the National AIDS Memorial Grove and recognizes, supports, and encourages the educational efforts of young people committed to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The scholarships are named in honor of Zamora, an AIDS educator and television personality who died more than 20 years ago from an AIDS-related illness. The scholarship program is funded primarily through grants provided by Wells Fargo, United Healthcare, and AIDS Walk San Francisco.
Scholarship applications are being accepted through May 2 and can be downloaded from the grove's website, http://www.aidsmemorial.org. Scholarships will be awarded in August and range from $2,500 to $5,000.
The program is open to all current high school seniors, and college freshmen, sophomores, and juniors (ages 27 and under) who demonstrate an active commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS and taking on roles of public service and leadership.
Questions can be directed to Matt Kennedy at (415) 765-0446 or email@example.com.
Matthew S. Bajko and Seth Hemmelgarn contributed to this report.