News Briefs: B.A.R.'s Besties voting is now underway

  • by Cynthia Laird, News Editor
  • Tuesday August 9, 2022
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Voting is now open for the Bay Area Reporter's Besties reader awards. Illustration: Jay Cribas
Voting is now open for the Bay Area Reporter's Besties reader awards. Illustration: Jay Cribas

Voting is open for the Bay Area Reporter's readers' poll known as the Besties.

The reader-generated contest was dark in 2021 due to the COVID pandemic. The 2020 edition was published shortly after the lockdowns began, as the paper had advertising commitments; voting had been completed before coronavirus disrupted life.

This year, the B.A.R. asked readers to help design the ballot by nominating their favorites in the following categories: Dining Out, Nightlife, Arts Scene, Community, Shopping and Services, and Weddings and Destinations. Those nominations are in, and now anyone can vote in the contest.

There are also prizes, and people who vote are automatically entered to win. (B.A.R. staff are not eligible for prize drawings.)

On August 25 there will be an early bird drawing for a pair of tickets to see RuPaul's Drag Race Werq the World Tour at the Masonic Auditorium on September 8 (Live Nation).

The grand prize is $500 cash.

First prize is a pair of tickets to see gay rapper Lil Nas X at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on October 23 (Another Planet Entertainment). Second prize is a pair of tickets to see gay "Queer Eye" star Jonathan Van Ness at the Castro Theatre on December 11 (Another Planet Entertainment). Third prize is a pair of season tickets to New Conservatory Theatre Center's 2022-2023 season.

Other prizes are: a pair of tickets for the GLBT Historical Society's Reunion Gala on October 19; $250 worth of product from the Apothecarium for just $1 (gift card); and a $250 gift card to Cliff's Variety.

Prizewinners and results of the Besties will be published in the September 29 issue.

To vote, click here.

Castro Theatre town hall sneak preview meeting

A special meeting will take place Monday, August 8, that is a sneak preview of the Castro Theater town hall scheduled for Thursday, August 11.

The August 8 meeting is from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Castro Community Meeting Room above Bank of America at 501 Castro Street. Masks are required.

Longtime cineaste and gay activist Michael Petrelis has organized the preview meeting. In an email, he wrote that Another Planet Entertainment, which took over management of the historic movie palace in January, will have representatives present. Bevan Dufty, a gay man and former city supervisor who's serving as community liaison for APE, will be on hand, along with APE's Margaret Casey, the project manager for the theater. They are expected to deliver short presentations.

In a text message, Dufty confirmed the meeting.

Petrelis said that film lovers, residential and commercial neighbors, and theater patrons are encouraged to attend. All are welcome.

The town hall next Thursday will be at the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. As the B.A.R. previously reported, the Nasser and Nasser-Padian families, which own the theater, will hold that meeting with representatives of APE. Dufty will moderate.

In the months since APE took over management of the theater, various organizations and individuals have raised numerous concerns, including APE's plan to replace the seating on the main floor of the theater.

LGBTQ center to offer anxiety support group for youth

The San Francisco LGBT Community Center is launching a managing anxiety, stress, and fear support group for LGBTQ+ youth ages 16-24. Facilitated by the center's mental health team, the weekly support group is an affirming space where queer youth can learn coping skills and gain tools to support managing anxiety and stress, according to an email from the center.

The support group will meet in person at the center on Thursdays from 4 to 5 p.m. for eight weeks beginning August 11. Masks are required. The center is located at 1800 Market Street.

The email stated that potential clients will participate in a brief assessment call before joining the group. There are limited slots available. Those interested should contact Emma Ewel, a youth mental health specialist at the center, by emailing [email protected] by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 9, to reserve a spot.

Town hall on trans income program

The Transgender District and Lyon-Martin Community Health will hold an in-person and a virtual town hall to solicit feedback on a guaranteed income program for trans people.

As the B.A.R. reported last year, San Francisco Mayor London Breed proposed a universal basic income program for transgender people.

The in-person town hall is scheduled for Wednesday, August 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Counterpulse, 80 Turk Street. The virtual meeting is set for Wednesday, August 10, from 3 to 5 p.m.

To RSVP for either town hall, email [email protected]

Silicon Valley history doc now on YouTube

The BAYMEC Community Foundation's documentary "Queer Silicon Valley" is now available on YouTube. The film memorializes the work of a generation of activists who were all part of the LGBTQ+ movement in San Jose and Silicon Valley, from the 1970s to now.

Spanning almost 50 years, this groundbreaking documentary showcases 22 history-making activists as they recount the struggles and discrimination they endured to ultimately build a local society that was accepting and inclusive, an email announcement stated. The film features many of the people who helped shape the vibrant and cohesive queer culture that exists today.

The film is directed and co-produced by award-winning documentarian and San Jose State University professor Bob Gliner for the BAYMEC Community Foundation.

Co-producer and BCF Executive Director Ken Yeager — also in the film as the first openly gay elected official in the county — stated: "Each of these 22 inspirational people interviewed deserve their own documentary. Their impact on queer culture has been that profound."

The documentary is about an hour and 15 minutes long. To watch it on YouTube, click here.

BART police panel has opening in District 2

The Bay Area Rapid Transit District's police citizen review board has an opening for a District 2 appointee. That district is in Contra Costa County and includes the Pittsburg/Bay Point, North Concord/Martinez, Pittsburg Center, and Antioch stations. BART director Mark Foley, who represents the district, will make the appointment, according to a news release. The position is voluntary.

Members of the police panel review, recommend, and monitor the implementation of changes to police policies, procedures, and practices; receive citizen allegations of on-duty police misconduct; advise the elected BART board of directors, general manager, independent police auditor, and police chief; and participate in recommending appropriate disciplinary action. The panel also meets periodically with representatives of the BART police associations and participates in community outreach.

The application period closes Friday, September 16. For more information and to download the application, click here.

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