Richmond Roundup

Holiday caroling for seniorsThe SF Institute of Aging is hosting a motorized cable car caroling fundraiser on Sunday, Dec. 6, from noon to 5:30 p.m. The singing troubadours will go to senior centers and visit seniors at their homes. Afterward, there will be a dinner and silent auction at the Presidio Officers Club.The cost for adults is $35 to $45 and children aged six to 16 is $10. Ticket and auction proceeds support the IOA's Center for Elderly Suicide Prevention and Grief Related Services."We all know the holidays can be a hard time for those living alone and on fixed incomes. Giving something of yourself, joining with others to give the gift of music and hospitality to other makes everyone feel a little brighter," said Dr. Patrick Arbore, director of the Center for Elderly Suicide Prevention.For more information or reservations, call Marie at the Institute of Aging at (415) 750-4180, ext. 143, or go to the Web site at

Belloni Appointed to Rec. and Park Committee
Nicholas Belloni, a past candidate for District 1 supervisor, has been appointed to the SF Recreation and Park Department's Open Space Advisory Committee.Belloni attended his first meeting in November. The committee is charged with finding and developing open space in the City.According to Belloni, former Planning Association for the Richmond (PAR) president Ron Miguel and Michael Antonini, both members of the SF Planning Commission, have been instrumental in helping his understanding of the issues and in learning the importance of doing extensive research.

Star of the Sea Presents "An Evening of Stars"
In 1909, when Star of the Sea School in San Francisco was formed, the City was well on its way to recovery after the disastrous 1906 earthquake. All around the City, residents and institutions like the Cliff House and the Palace Hotel were celebrating their rebirths. Fashion, too, was having a rebirth, with a new silhouette emerging from the fashion houses of Paris: the pigeon-breast shapes popular at the turn of the century were giving way to a narrower, straighter silhouette.Amidst this backdrop, the Star of the Sea School was established by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, and their legacy lives on in this thriving Inner Richmond school.To celebrate its centennial anniversary, Star of the Sea is presenting "An Evening of Stars," a centennial fashion show using Star of the Sea alumni and families as models.Alumni at Star of the Sea include actor Gracie Allen, clothes designer John Talesfore, Nebraska Cornhusker football quarterback Zac Lee, and cabaret singer Mary Cleere Haran.The event takes place on Dec. 6, from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m., at the school gymnasium on Eighth Avenue, between Geary Boulevard and Clement Street. There will also be a boutique, with proceeds benefiting the school.For more information, call (415) 221-3399, e-mail [email protected] or go to the Web site at

Banks Help Strapped City Schools
The Wells Fargo and Wachovia banks have joined forces to contribute $56,000 to San Francisco schools, including $1,000 gifts to numerous schools in the Richmond and Sunset districts. The money will be used to help offset budget deficits.Getting a check were Abraham Lincoln, Newcomer and George Washington high schools, A.P. Giannini, Roosevelt and Presidio middle schools, and Sunset, Jefferson, Lawton, Sutro, Frank McCoppin, George Peabody and Star of the Sea elementary schools.As part of its effort to support local schools, Wells Fargo and Wachovia locations will provide volunteers and financial literacy education through "Hands on Banking," a free financial literacy resource created by Wells Fargo as a service to the community to promote responsible personal money management.Last year, Wells donated a record $16.7 million to local non-profit organizations and employees logged in more than 75,000 volunteer hours.

National AIDS Day Celebrated
As part of the worldwide observance of World AIDS Day, an event was held at the National AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park on Dec. 1.Featured were the SF Gay Men's Chorus and the Lesbian choral ensemble Voices; Stephen Morin, director of the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies; Bishop Yvette Flunder, executive director of the Ark of Refuge, Inc.; and the Rev. Douglas Fitch.World AIDS Day is the one day each year that the world sets aside to honor all of the people whose lives have been touched by AIDS.This year's theme was "Renewing Our Commitment." It is a day of reflection and appreciation of those who have died, those who are fighting to survive, the caregivers, and those who are finding new treatments and cures.

Students Create Clothes from Recycled Materials
Eighth-grade students at Roosevelt Middle School's Home Arts class created their own fashions in November by creating new clothes out of old blue jeans, T-shirts, reusable grocery bags and backpacks, which were destined for a landfill.Presidio, Hoover and Roosevelt middle schools all have Home Arts classes offered as an elective where boys and girls can learn to sew and cook.

Dancing Sisters to Perform at Fort Mason
Two sisters, one who lives in the Richmond District (Gangqin Zhao) and one who lives in the Sunset District (Yangqin Zhao), are key players in Melody of China, an organization that teaches music to youth. Both women teach at the Chinese Arts and Music Center on Balboa Street.In December, the music group is teaming up with a dance troupe, the Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company, to put on a performance at the Fort Mason Center featuring the Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company's world premiere of SenseScape.The event will be held on Thursday, Dec. 10, at 8 p.m., at the Cowell Theater at Fort Mason. Tickets are priced at $35 and $28. Discounts are available for students, seniors and groups. For more information or tickets, call (415) 345-7575 or go online to learn more about the Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company, visit the Web site at For more information about Melody of China, visit

Local Craftswomen to Exhibit Creations
Numerous artists from the Richmond and Sunset districts will display their creations at the 31st annual Women's Building Celebration of Craftswomen at Fort Mason.Artists from the Richmond include Susan Gould (fine art).Artists from the Sunset include Eileen Goldenberg (ceramics); Mendy Marks (jewelry); Heidi Paul (fiber); and Barbara Sebastian (ceramics).The Celebration of Craftswomen will be held Dec. 5 - 6, at the Herbst Pavilion at the Fort Mason Center, Buchanan Street and Marina Boulevard. The show is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and features a changing roster of more than 200 craftswomen. The celebration is San Francisco's biggest holiday fine crafts retail fair, and the largest event exclusively celebrating the crafts of women in America.For more information or tickets, call (650) 615-6838 or visit the Web site at

Marines need Toys for Tots
The Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program helps needy children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas and helps play an active role in the development of children. The public can bring new, unwrapped toys to the San Francisco Scottish Rite Masonic Center, located at 2850 19th Ave., to drop off donations. Hours are Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Financial contributions are also accepted. For more information, contact Kloess at (415) 776-6400 or (415) 753-3792 or visit the Web site at

New exhibit at Presidio
A new exhibit now open at the Presidio tells the story of America's Nisei heroes, Japanese-American soldiers recruited for secret training at the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) language school at the Presidio.

Presented by the Presidio Trust and the National Japanese American Historical Society, "Prejudice and Patriotism" opened at the Presidio Officers' Club on Veterans' Day, Nov. 11, and runs through Jan. 31, 2010.

The Army established the MIS language school in 1941, secretly training Japanese-American soldiers for strategic and tactical operations as military linguists. Attached to every combat unit in the Pacific War, the MIS soldier linguists translated captured documents and intercepted radio intelligence, interrogated prisoners of war, saved the lives of civilians trapped on the battlefield, and ultimately helped American and Allied forces win the war in the Pacific.

Although only one class would graduate from the Building 640 facility, the valuable mission it began at the Presidio would continue at Camp Savage and Fort Snelling in Minnesota, where, in the wake of the mass evacuation of Nisei from the West Coast, the MIS Language School was forced to relocate. Eventually the MIS Language School grew into the renowned Defense Language Institute of Monterey, California.

Today, plans are in place to rehabilitate Building 640, which housed the original MIS language school, and create the MIS Historic Learning Center, which will serve as a permanent home for the preservation and interpretation of the MIS story.

"Prejudice and Patriotism" features a unique collection of portraits of and interviews with Nisei veterans from photographer Tom Graves' exhibit, "After the Wars: Lessons From America's Nisei Heroes."

"Prejudice and Patriotism" runs through Jan. 31, 2010 at the Presidio Officers' Club, 50 Moraga Ave. It is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit the Web sites at or