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

News Briefs: Openhouse names new ED


Karyn Skultety, Ph.D.
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Openhouse, the LGBT seniors agency, has announced that Karyn Skultety, Ph.D. has been named its new executive director.

Skultety, 40, is currently the vice president of health services at the Institute on Aging. She will begin her new position February 13. Skultety, who identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community, succeeds Seth Kilbourn, a gay man who shepherded through the first phase of the agency's 55 Laguna senior housing project that includes 40 residential units, with one set aside for a resident manager.

As recently reported, the first residents of the $16 million affordable development began moving in last month. According to housing officials, more than 60 percent of the initial residents self-identify as LGBT. (Due to anti-discrimination laws, the project can't restrict the units solely to LGBT seniors.)

Since Kilbourn's departure in late May, Tim Daniels has been serving as interim executive director; he had indicated he did not want the job permanently.

According to a news release, Skultety oversees a budget of more than $15 million and over 150 staff members. The Openhouse board said that her leadership and ability to build effective strategic partnerships would serve the agency well as it expands services. It is set to begin construction next year on 79 units of affordable senior housing as the second phase of the Laguna Street project.

Openhouse board President Bill Scherer said the agency cast a "wide net" for a new leader.

"We are delighted that we found that person right here in San Francisco in Karyn Skultety," he said. "As Openhouse prepares to enter its second decade of service, her strategic vision, leadership, and expertise will be essential."

Scherer declined to provide information on Skultety's salary.

"I am thrilled to become Openhouse's executive director," Skultety said in the release. "As the only agency in the Bay Area with a mission targeting LGBT seniors, the services provided by Openhouse have never been more important or needed more."

Skultety received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Massachusetts and earned her undergraduate degree at Johns Hopkins University.


Tenderloin holiday bazaar

The Tenderloin Museum will hold a festive holiday bazaar Thursday (December 8) from 6 to 9 p.m. at 398 Eddy Street in San Francisco.

Museum officials said that the celebration will feature exclusive merchandise for sale by local artisans, including photography, prints, ceramics, leather accessories, vintage apparel, handmade textiles, succulent planters, and much more.

The evening will also feature music, refreshments, and special holiday treats.

Among the participating artists will be Vacation, the Tenderloin's only vintage buy/sell/trade and underground performance space; Crack and Cider, a store where customers can buy useful items for people who are homeless; and Clay and Color, which offers affordable succulents in diverse arrangements.


Bridgemen hold annual toy drive

Bridgemen, a social program of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation for gay, bi, and trans men looking to give back to the community, is collecting toys for the San Francisco Fire Department's toy drive. This year marks the group's sixth year helping local kids.

People are invited to join in the holiday spirit at a party Friday, December 9 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Strut, 470 Castro Street. Attendees are asked to bring a new unwrapped toy for children ages 1-12.

According to Bridgemen, the SFFD's toy drive started over 50 years ago after a fire destroyed several homes in the Bay Area and firefighters wanted to help families who lost their homes. Today, the program collects and gives toys away to tens of thousands of kids every year.

An email noted that Bridgemen will be collecting toys at Strut until December 16, so people can drop off a donation even if they can't make the party.


Equality Wines to help Face to Face

Face to Face, which offers HIV services in Sonoma County, will benefit from wine sales on, the world's first "cause" wine portfolio dedicated to equality for all people. One of its co-founders is Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the winning same-sex marriage case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015.

From now until December 31, $10 of every bottle sold on the website will be donated to Face to Face. The special offer was made in conjunction with World AIDS Day, which was December 1.

"We are honored and also humbled by Equality Wine's generosity and willingness to support our important efforts to end HIV in our community and help those living with this disease," Dennis Agnos of Face to Face said in a news release.

Obergefell said he was glad that his activism is reaching issues beyond marriage equality.

"I'm humbled to have helped create a legacy for my husband through the fight for marriage equality, and he would be proud to know that his legacy extends beyond the landmark Supreme Court decision and into other issues that affect the LGBTQ community and many others worldwide," Obergefell said in a news release, referring to his late husband, John Arthur.

There are two wines available: Love Wins Cuvee, and the Decision Pinot Noir. Both wines are produced by famed wineries in the Russian River Valley. The cuvee comes from Iron Horse Vineyards and the pinot noir from Giusti Ranch. The website also offers a "Biscuits and Bubbles" gift set that includes Guerneville's own Big Bottom Market biscuit mix and orange blossom honey.


Holiday craft fair in Richmond

The 46th annual KPFA Crafts Fair, now called the Craneway Crafts Fair, will take place Saturday and Sunday, December 17-18, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way, on the Richmond waterfront.

Fairgoers can choose from a variety of vendors, including those selling wearable textiles, glasswork ceramic, and innovative furniture. There's also photography, original paintings, and hand-made jewelry.

The premier Bay Area craft fair benefits KPFA 94.1 FM public radio, which has a reputation for embracing diversity and supporting local communities through its programming. Organizers said the radio station applied similar principles in the selection process for exhibitors at the fair.

There will also be food and wine and beer sold during the event, as well as live music in the dining area.

Admission is $12 (ages 18-64), $8 for seniors and disabled; youth are free. There is free parking on site, or people can take the free shuttle to and from the Richmond BART station.

For more information, visit


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