Richmond Roundup

Local man awarded Purple Heart
Army Specialist Ramsey Raher was awarded a Purple Heart Oct. 1 for injuries sustained while on duty in Tunis, Iraq.

The Richmond District resident was given the medal by Army Capt. Michael Gerold in a ceremony held at St. Monica's Church. Raher was injured during a rocket attack, a blast that killed two of his friends. Raher attended St. Agnes and St. Anne grammar schools and graduated from Sacred Heart Cathedral Prepatory High School in 1994. He also attended the University of San Francisco before enlisting in the Army.

After convalescing in the City, Raher returned to his home base at Ft. Richardson in Arkansas.

Asian film fest at 4 Star, others
The Korean American Film Festival and the San Francisco Asian Film Festival (SFAFF) have joined forces to create a larger festival that will have films showing at three different locations. The festival, which will be held Nov. 8 to Nov. 18, will be held at the 4 Star Theatre, located at 24th Avenue and Clement Street, and the Castro Theatre and SF State University's August Coppola Theater.

"A wide variety of films is ready for your flavor and mood," said Frank Lee, owner of the 4 Star and a programmer at SFAFF. "Just name it; we have it."

There are films from five countries and some classic, older films from the '50s and '60s will be shown. A total of 33 recent films, shorts and documentaries will be shown along with seven classics during the course of the festival. For more information, call 794-2943 or go to the Web site at

KUSF to host holiday opera show
Radio station KUSF (90.3 FM) is the University of San Francisco's non-commercial community service radio station, and one of the Bay Area's premiere locations for opera programming.

On Sunday, Nov. 18, in partnership with the American Concert Association, KUSF will present "Music Welcoming the Holiday Season." The public is invited to enjoy talented young singers perform excerpts from opera and musical theater, along with holiday entertainment and selections from Pocket Opera's 2008 season.

The program, which will be held in the Presidio Chapel at the Presidio, will begin at 6 p.m. The show will feature special guest Pocket Opera Director Maestro Donald Pippin, who will play the piano for the evening. Broadcast legend and longtime KUSF opera Host Al Covaia will serve as the master of ceremonies.

Tickets are $40 each and include a post-performance artists' reception. They can be purchased in advance until Nov. 14 by mailing a check to KUSF Opera Gala, 2130 Fulton St., SF, CA 94117-1080 or via credit card by calling KUSF at 422-2836. All tickets will be held at the door.

Keep teen drivers safe
In observance of the first annual national Teen Driver Safety Week, AAA Northern California has issued 10 safety tips for parents of teenage drivers. These relatively simple steps could be enough to save a life.

Evaluate your teen's driving readiness based on maturity and responsibility; Be a responsible role model behind the wheel since teens learn from their parents' behavior; Eliminate distractions such a cell phone usage; Restrict passengers and night driving, which both increase the chances of a crash; Take advantage of extra training, such as the interactive DVD DriverZed or the AAA Teen Driver Safety Program that entails home study coursework; Choose the safest vehicle and consider factors like vehicle type, size and safety technology; Practice with your teen by providing supervised driving lessons, reinforcing proper driving skills and giving constructive feedback; Encourage teens to get enough sleep to maintain optimal vision, hand-eye coordination, reaction time and judgment; Establish a parent-teen driving agreement that emphasize that driving is a privilege and not a right via rules, conditions, restrictions and consequences; Conduct weekly reviews and discussions to evaluate your teen's performance and chart progression towards established goals and benchmarks.

For more information about these tips, additional training offerings or the parental guide called "Teaching Your Teens to Drive," call the AAA at 565-2141 or visit

Local students honored, graduate
Seven former Richmond District residents recently earned university degrees, and two more were recently honored for their academic achievements.

Stephen Widup earned a bachelor of science degree in computer information systems from Saint Leo University, Marina A. Gibbons was awarded a bachelor of arts degree in English from Colgate University, and Montshona Edwards received a bachelor of arts from Emory College.

Other local students who have graduated recently include: Kelly Alyson Barnes, who graduated from Bryn Mawr College; Jack Chan, who earned a masters degree at the University of Vermont; and William Brooks, a graduate from Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut. In addition, for the spring 2007 semester, both Zoe Unruh and Cory Lopez were named to the dean's lists at Washington University and Emory College, respectively.