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News Briefs: SFMTA board OKs plaque for former chair Nolan

by Cynthia Laird

The San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Agency board voted earlier this month to install a plaque in the Castro Muni station honoring Tom Nolan, a gay man who sat on the transit oversight panel for many years.

Nolan served as the SFMTA board's chair from 2010 to 2017, and was first appointed as a member in 2006. Nolan led other transportation projects in the Bay Area, including serving as the founding chair of the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board. He formerly served on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.

Many in the LGBT community know Nolan from when he served as executive director of Project Open Hand, which provides meals and groceries to people living with HIV/AIDS and other illnesses.

Throughout his career, Nolan has advocated for projects like the extension of BART into San Mateo County and to San Francisco International Airport, the Central Subway, and the Muni Forward program to improve and expand Muni service. He also led the SFMTA board as it approved groundbreaking programs like Muni's all-door boarding policy and free Muni for low- and moderate-income youth, seniors, and people with disabilities.

Due to term limits, Nolan left the SFMTA board earlier this year.

Cohen to hold cannabis forum
San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen will hold a cannabis forum to introduce the District 10, and citywide, community to the legal cannabis industry landscape.

State voters approved Proposition 64, the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative, last November. It allows adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and grow up to six plants indoors. Now, San Francisco is working through its own regulation and permitting ordinance.

The forum will take place Saturday, October 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bayview Opera House, 4705 Third Street.

Topics include the proposed permitting and regulation that Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Jeff Sheehy introduced last month, job opportunities, and equity programming and records expungement for activities now legal under Prop 64. Some legal services will be provided onsite, according to a news release.

Panelists will include Juell Stewart, communications director for Hood Incubator; Jude Pond, the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Fellow from the Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area; Christine Johnson, the San Francisco director of SPUR, a nonprofit research group; and Nikki Elliot, director of the San Francisco Office of Cannabis.

Interested people can RSVP for the free event by visiting .

Maitri names new ED
Maitri Compassionate Care, which operates a hospice in the Duboce Triangle neighborhood, has announced it has hired a new executive director.

Anne Gimbel will start at the nonprofit October 30.

Gimbel is a licensed marriage and family therapist and has worked in Chicago, her hometown, and Los Angeles. Her prior experience includes serving as executive director of Lawyers for the Creative Arts, a nonprofit serving Illinois, and development director at Make-A-Wish Foundation in Century City and Geffen Playhouse during the 14 years she and her husband lived in Santa Monica.

For the past five years Gimbel has been the regional director of the Alzheimer's Association of Coachella Valley that includes Palm Springs.

"Anne Gimbel brings to Maitri a seasoned leadership experience with aging populations, and a proven track record of development success in the nonprofit sector," Maitri board President Michael Niemeyer said in a statement.

Gimbel and her husband have adult twin sons living in San Francisco and Oakland, and two granddaughters.

Gimbel will take over for Bill Musick, who returned for a second stint as executive director after the departure of Michael Sorensen, who resigned after about six months on the job.

According to Maitri, Gimbel's salary will be $115,000.

AIDS quilt exhibit at Grace Cathedral
For the 30th anniversary of the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, 29 panels will be on display at Grace Cathedral beginning October 22.

The exhibit will culminate with a special event on World AIDS Day (December 1) at 7:30 p.m. that will include the rededication of the cathedral's recently renovated AIDS Interfaith Memorial Chapel.

The panels can be viewed from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Grace Cathedral is located at 1100 California Street.

The exhibit is free and open to all. For more information, visit .

Auditions for queer walking tour
EyeZen will present Out of Site, a queer history walking tour, and is now seeking performers, musicians, artists, and collaborators.

According to a news release, people must live in the Bay Area and be comfortable with interdisciplinary devised ensemble theater in which the cast participates in the creative process.

The work premieres in March and may continue through the summer. Performers need to be reasonably available beginning in January and be able to begin work later this month.

Trans, genderqueer, and cis men and women of diverse ethnic backgrounds with strong acting, dance, and music skills are encouraged to apply. The project pays $1,500-$2,000 depending on experience, skills, and involvement.

Auditions are scheduled for Saturday, October 21, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at CounterPulse (upstairs studio), 80 Turk Street in San Francisco. There is an additional audition date October 25. Those interested in auditioning must complete a form by Friday, October 20 and can view it at .

SF Suicide Prevention raffle
San Francisco Suicide Prevention is holding a travel raffle and people can enter online or by mail until the drawing November 3.

Prizes include trips and experiences to destinations such as Las Vegas, Seattle, Canada, Hawaii, and Florida. The grand prize is two round trip Alaska Airlines tickets (which are valid on Virgin America flights but exclude trips to Cuba).

Raffle tickets are $25 for one; $200 for 10; and $500 for 25. To purchase online, visit . To purchase by mail, send a check to San Francisco Suicide Prevention, P.O. Box 191350, San Francisco, CA 94119.

Raffle proceeds will go to support the agency's long-running HIV/AIDS Nightline, which receives phone calls from all over the U.S. and around the world. This 24-hour service provides emotional support and crisis intervention for those most affected by HIV/AIDS.

The HIV/AIDS Nightline number is (415) 434-2437. San Francisco Suicide Prevention's crisis line number is (415) 781-0500. For more information, visit .

Financial planning day
The Financial Planning Association of San Francisco, in partnership with the city treasurer's office and public library, will hold its eighth annual financial planning day Saturday, October 28, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the main library, 100 Larkin Street.

Bay Area residents will get to meet one-on-one with dozens of highly qualified certified financial planner professionals to discuss their personal finance questions, concerns, and interests.

Organizers said the event is a good opportunity for a free, private consultation with an expert on a variety of personal finance issues, including debt management, retirement planning, investment strategies, income taxes, insurance, and estate planning. Programs will run throughout the day covering budgeting and credit counseling.

There are no strings attached. Financial planners are volunteering their time and will not pass out business cards, marketing materials, or sell products or services. They will be stationed at tables and will meet with one individual or one couple at a time. There will also be informative classroom workshops.

For a complete schedule, visit .

SF HRC seeks members for LGBT panel
The San Francisco Human Rights Commission is seeking members for its LGBT Advisory Committee for 2018. The committee identifies and addresses issues and concerns of the LGBT and HIV-affected communities and advises the full commission on policy recommendations.

The LGBT advisory committee is looking for members who are active in the community and who possess demonstrated experience and knowledge in subject matter areas dealing with racism, youth, aging, HIV/AIDS, anti-bullying and violence, civil rights, disability, women's rights, class, gender identity, bisexual visibility, faith-based advocacy, intersex, and health issues.

Applicants must be able to make a firm commitment to attend advisory committee meetings on the third Tuesday of every month from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and participate in a related working group.

Interested people can download and complete the application at or send a letter (via mail, fax, or email) detailing why they would like to serve on the committee. Email correspondence can be sent to David Miree at ; faxed to (415) 431-5764; or sent via mail to Miree at SF Human Rights Commission, 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 800, San Francisco, CA 94102. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Friday, November 3.

Shanti HIV retreat set
The Shanti Project will hold its "Honoring Our Experience" retreat for people impacted by HIV and registration is now open.

The retreat will take place December 8-10 at Saratoga Springs Retreat Center, 10243 Saratoga Springs Road in Upper Lake.

Organizers said a special invitation is extended to women, people of color, trans people, young adults, elders, and HIV-negative people. There is no cost, as it's a program of Shanti.

Those who attend are asked to refrain from alcohol and drugs immediately before and during the retreat, as this leads to greater clarity and group cohesion. Additionally, the workshop requires full participation involving sharing, experiential exercises, group activities, and connecting with one another with the goal of mutual healing.

Gregg Cassin, a long-term survivor of HIV and staff member at Shanti, will facilitate the retreat, and has been leading such events for LGBT HIV and at-risk youth for 25 years.

For more information and to register, visit . Priority is given to people who have not previously attended a retreat.

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