News Briefs: SF library panel discusses banned books

  • by Cynthia Laird, News Editor
  • Wednesday October 4, 2023
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Authors of children's and young adult books that have been banned or censored will discuss the topic at a program at the San Francisco Public Library. Photos: From the book websites
Authors of children's and young adult books that have been banned or censored will discuss the topic at a program at the San Francisco Public Library. Photos: From the book websites

This week is Banned Books Week, and the San Francisco Public Library and Litquake will host a panel of children's and young adult authors who will discuss what it's like to write as a creator whose work has been banned or censored.

The free event will take place Saturday, October 7, at 11 a.m. at the main library, 100 Larkin Street, in the Koret Auditorium, lower level.

Featured authors include MariNaomi ("Losing the Girl," "Turning Japanese"), Sarah Hoffman ("Jacob's New Dress," "Jacob's School Play: Starring He, She, and They!"), and Jasmine A. Stirling ("Dare to Question: Carrie Chapman Catt's Voice for the Vote"), in a discussion moderated by Ian Hoffman.

For information on other activities related to banned books, and a list of adult books on the list, go to

Horizons opens grant applications

Horizons Foundation has announced that its flagship funding program, Community Issues, is now accepting applications. The 2023 Community Issues program aims to provide support for organizations and programs/projects serving the LGBTQ community in the San Francisco Bay Area, an email announcement stated.

The grant program is open to all LGBTQ nonprofits and fiscally sponsored LGBTQ organizations or programs that meet eligibility criteria and are based within one or more of the nine Bay Area counties. Horizons will also consider applications from non-LGBTQ nonprofits that have LGBTQ-focused programs that have annual program budgets of $1 million or less if the applicant can demonstrate that the program serves a specific area in the nine-county Bay Area region where LGBTQ-primary organizations do not provide sufficient, comparable services or reach a specific LGBTQ population, the announcement stated.

In addition to agencies across the multiple demographics and identities within the LGBTQ community, Horizons stated that based on its 2020 strategy update, priority will be given to transgender-primary organizations, LGBTQ people of color-primary organizations, and bisexuals-primary organizations; nonprofits that primarily serve LGBTQ youth or LGBTQ elders; and organizations that primarily serve LGBTQ refugees and asylees.

To find out more about eligibility requirements and the proposal process, click here.

The deadline to apply is October 31.

Castro mural tagged during restoration

The Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association has reported that the restoration of a mural at upper Market and 18th streets is proceeding, but that the artwork was tagged with graffiti multiple times last week.

As the Bay Area Reporter noted in the News Briefs column in late August, EVNA is working to crowdfund for the restoration of "The Chant of the Earth, the Voice of the Land." Acclaimed muralist Betsie Miller-Kusz painted the mural in 1981, and she has been restoring the mural with the help of assistants and volunteers.

As a result of the graffiti, volunteers are needed this week to help out and funds still need to be raised, EVNA President Alex Lemberg wrote in the group's newsletter.

Volunteers are welcome to drop by the project Thursday, October 5, between 5 and 7 p.m. and Friday, October 6, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The Castro Community Benefit District is serving as the fiscal sponsor. People can make tax-deductible donations here.

Construction to temporarily derail F-Line streetcars

The popular F-Market and Wharves streetcars will be replaced by bus service from October 14-28 to accommodate phase 1 of the Better Market Street construction that will see Market Street itself shut down between Fifth and Eighth streets during that timeframe.

According to San Francisco Public Works and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, all above-ground transit, as well as bicycle traffic, will be rerouted off of Market Street between Third and 11th streets. Rerouting will be via Mission Street.

For the F-Market and Wharves, bus service will run to Mission from 10th to Third streets inbound, and to Mission from Fourth to Ninth streets outbound.

The route for the L Taraval bus, which has stops near the Church and Castro Muni stations, will be rerouted to Mission from 10th to Third Street inbound, and to Mission from Fourth to Ninth Street outbound.

For more information, go to the Better Market Street website at

Berkeley bird fest returns

The third annual Berkeley Bird Festival will be held Sunday, October 15, and includes a range of free, family-friendly activities.

According to a news release, the festival will offer birding field trips throughout the city at sites such as Berkeley Aquatic Park, Cesar Chavez Park, Vollmer Peak, and more.

On the UC Berkeley campus, the local student-led Bears for Birds Club will run birding tours. There will also be two community chalk art sites — one in front of Li Ka Shing Center and the other at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ), which will also host "behind the scenes" tours of its collection. The chalk art sites will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In downtown Berkeley, the David Brower Center will host arts and craft activities, bird-related information and action tables, and an in-person program, "Winged Wonderment," an afternoon of bird-related stories, images, poems, songs, and demonstrations by writers, poets, birders, scientists, activists, artists, and bird lovers, the release stated. New programs this year include a bird stories corner for children and a "bird zine" workshop, in addition to returning favorites like decorating gourd bird houses and the folding of origami birds. The Brower Center is located at 2150 Allston Way and the programs there take place from noon to 5 p.m.

The bird festival is produced by the Golden Gate Bird Alliance and the California Institute for Community Art and Nature. Other entities, such as the City of Berkeley, UC Berkeley and the Brower Center, are providing financial support.

For more information and a schedule of activities, go to

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