Tag Archives: Jeffrey Betcher

Cancer and community

By Jeffrey Betcher

Maybe there should be a more uplifting title to this article, not just because it might be gentler on you, dear reader, but also because there is so much about “cancer and community” that is positive.

It’s a strange way to start a sentence, but…  The good thing about dying is how it can make a person feel more alive than ever, a phenomenon that can extend to the family, friends and community of the person dying.  Most of my relationships are healthier as a result, just as the hole my death will leave in my community has clarified.

When you’re sick, it’s hard to remember this:

Death isn’t just about the dying. It’s also about those left behind.  I’ll be pissed at myself enough to come back for a do-over if my friends and neighbors are shocked to learn of my death. Ideally, I will have included them in my journey so that whatever beauty there might be in my passing will help balance the grief.

In past updates about my own illness and how it relates to the community of place I love so much, I’ve talked about how those living in traditionally under-served communities like Bayview can be at higher risk for all sorts of diseases than those living in more affluent places.  That’s something communities can help address, primarily through education and advocacy.  More

I’ve also talked about how my neighbors have helped me in ways that only neighbors can, and how being part of a local community improves my odds. Wherever you live, when it comes to being sick, the closest support is next door if not in the house with you.  Clearly, being part of a community comes with benefits for the sick person.  More

We’ve lost two more neighbors to cancer here on my block of Bayview in just the past couple of months. One of them a relatively young long-term resident, something that may speak to the incidence of cancer rates here.  The community response as I’ve observed it speaks to the value of social networks to getting through tough times. While it may be impossible to understand loss suffered by others, folks in Bayview seem to understand that acknowledging it and reminding those in grief that they are not alone makes a difference.

Connecting with the people and physical environment where we live takes some effort. But I believe it’s important. A sense of community contributes to a better life for even the healthiest neighbors. And when a community member dies, the community context helps make sense of the loss.

I’ve come to think that a person with a life-threatening illness or injury has a unique role to play in their community that goes beyond being the receiver of help from neighbors.  Active awareness of death, something we will all grapple with one day, can be depressing. But it can also make each day more valuable.  Every word and act can be more compassionate, intentional and responsible.

Trust me on this: get a terminal diagnosis, expect to change in practical ways. No one could blame you if you lowered the blinds, powered-down your phone and burrowed under the covers. On the other hand, you could find yourself picking up litter in the SuperSave parking lot, waving at the person across the street who you had been angry at for some reason you can’t quite recall, seeing beauty in precisely those things that had made your life less beautiful the day before your diagnosis….

Folks have told me that by witnessing my journey (and by my willingness to share it) they are living life more fully and dealing with their fears more successfully. It seems that I am contributing to my community in a new way these days: by living with death, openly. Sometimes, building community is as easy as breathing.

Get a recent update on Jeffrey’s health and cancer treatment, and a whole lot more, by going to CaringBridge.org and searching on his name.

A walk above the Shipyard

Shipyard tile map
Detail from tile art by local artist.

Construction is fast and furious at Hunters Point Shipyard (which marketing folks wish we’d call the “San Francisco Shipyard“). But a nice walk and quiet moments are possible in Constructionville.

The sidewalk rising from behind The Storehouse located just inside the gates forces a decision. To the right is a climb into asphalt and cement where sections of the massive building project emerge in various stages of completion. To the left is public art and a football field-sized patch of green grass at the crest of the hill.

Either way you proceed, you can get to the visitors’ center, a pleasing Southern California-esque structure where salespeople await. Never far away is what may be the development’s major sales point, a grand view of a long-neglected swath of the SF Bay’s waterfront.

Text and images: Jeffrey Betcher

Marketing meets construction.
Marketing meets construction.
Art frames nature.
Art frames nature.
An industrial gazebo with circular metal bench swing.
An industrial gazebo with circular metal bench swing.

More about Bayview’s changing natural and built environment

Bayview Hill trail, the perfect walk

Bayview Hill Trail is the perfect walk.
Bayview Hill Trail is the perfect walk.

The trail, from the end of Key Avenue, up and around Bayview Hill, is steep enough you feel like you’ve gotten some exercise, but not so long you’re down for the count by the time you make it to the top.

According to a 2013 report, the park’s distinctive characteristics include that it offers the highest publicly-accessible view in the southeast part of the City, and it retains some of the most diverse natural habitat in the City.

In many ways, walking the hill is the perfect way to get a break from city life without forgetting where you are. The trail circles between sweeping urban views and jagged reminders of Bayview’s natural environment.

Here and there are vantage points that bring to life the neighborhood’s densely populated future, as predicted in urban planning studies.  Yet the park has a peaceful aura about it, and the critters still outnumber the people by a wide margin.

Along one side of the hill, new housing has sprouted like gazillion dollar weeds. On the other side, Candlestick Point is missing a stadium and largely remains a blank canvas for the mixed-use development under construction.

On Bayview Hill, the natural beauty of the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood is as unmistakable as it is comforting in the midst of the rapid change raising dust in all directions.

Text and images: Jeffrey Betcher

Rows of new housing press the northern slope of Bayview Hill.
Rows of new housing press the northern slope of Bayview Hill.
Nature still asserts herself on Bayview Hill.
Nature still asserts herself on Bayview Hill.

Jeffrey’s cancer and community journey

Mango Baby-eating panda by Rhonda Winter
Mango Baby-eating panda by Rhonda Winter

Jeffrey Betcher

The further from home my cancer journey takes me, the more I land right back at the gardens in Bayview.

While visiting Lex in Florida last week, I tried to sketch a panda which turned out no better than if a panda itself had done it.  When I returned home, a letter from Rhonda Winter, Latona Garden co-founder and now German resident, was in my mailbox.  It was exactly what I had pictured in my meditations about a mythical animal keen to eat a mango sized tumor stuck up my butt.

(Visit www.caringbridge/jeffreybetcher for gory (gorier) details. Point is, this daily sort of community synchronicity happens all the time.  It’s like dependable magic.

The connections between my unwieldy journey with cancer and the place I live, people I live near and others who have come through my life by way of the gardens emerge every day.

The experience so many have, that Bayview Hunters Point’s environmental and social history have bequeathed chronic and sometimes terminal health problems, has roots in reality. At the same time, I hope the internal strength of the social and cultural fabric here serves to make us healthier: a sort of karmic balance between adversity and folks coming together because life is just easier and more joyful that way.

In my reading about cancer and treatment, I’ve stumbled on serious studies and anecdotal evidence that social connections, like those that form around positive activities, can prevent disease and dramatically help those dealing with it.

Just across the Bay, in Alameda, a study by Peggy Reynolds and George Kaplan makes a case that people with the fewest social ties were three times more likely to die over a nine-year period than those who reported the most social ties. I’m not sure what that means about my getting this cancer, but it sure makes me value my neighbors as I deal with it.

And it makes me happy to share a bit of promising news with you, my neighbor near or far.  After a September diagnosis of a Stage IV “incurable” cancer, I’ve just met with researchers at UCSF Mission Bay who are conducting a clinical trial that simply didn’t exist that short time ago.  I’m not in the study yet, and there’s no guarantee (in life or cancer), but it’s hopeful.

For those of you who don’t know, Mission Bay is just up 3rd Street from where I live at Quesada Gardens, and includes a premiere cancer hospital that opened just in time to serve little ole me.  I’m privileged, and I’m grateful to be part of a caring community that is beautifully unavoidable.

Thanksgiving and cancer in Bayview

Jeffrey Betcher

Almost immediately after sending out word at the bottom of the last Bayview Footprints’ edition that I had received a challenging diagnosis, I heard from sympathetic neighbors facing similar struggles. Other neighbors offered to help with rides, dropped off bread and treats, ordered healing juices, delivered the biggest “Get Well” card I’ve seen, and … well … it just keeps coming. Color me truly grateful this Thanksgiving.

Biggest “Get Well” care EVER! Photo: Patti Tuori

Equally moving to me has been the fact that so many Quesada Gardens leaders have (re)committed to the work that we have done together, alongside hundreds of other contributors since 2003, ensuring grassroots community building will remain a force in the rapidly-changing Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood.

The last edition of Bayview Footprints Local News ended with a question mark about the newsletter’s future. It’s beautiful to me that just a month later, in our inboxes, is yet another free community-created issue of Footprints. I give thanks to Liz, Wei Ming, Beth, Craig, Shane, Linda, Hydra, Eric, Joel and Mary, John and … well … my Bayview neighbors!

The new voices and workers behind Bayview Footprints will need help.

I hope you’ll send Liz content from time to time: a photograph about life in the neighborhood, or a bit of text she can use along with your name. Not a press release or PDF event flyer, but something that will give readers a glimpse at the special place and its people we call “Bayview” that they can’t get elsewhere.

Please ask your neighbors to sign up for Bayview Footprints online. Although we reach thousands of readers, about 10% of Bayview’s population, that leaves a lot of folks out when it comes to all the good stuff in the neighborhood.

Contact our leaders: Shane about volunteering in the gardens, Joel and Mary about helping out at Bridgeview, Craig about contributing to social media, and Wei Ming about general organizing. And since I’m not shy about these things: our online costs alone are about $100 a month and we’re all volunteers. Got a couple bucks?

I expect to be contributing Footprints’ content between trips to UCSF’s Cancer Center. For now, here’s an update about cancer in my corner of Bayview: 1) Thanksgiving is more meaningful than ever, 2) Chemo starts on Monday (Yup, I have a ride), and 3) LOTS OF NEIGHBORS HAVE CANCER!

About that last bit, the high incidence of cancer in the neighborhood often seems like our really-badly-kept dirty not-so-little secret. Word got out around the time the old power plant was demolished and the Shipyard cleanup really got underway as links between the environment and health were explored. (Reminder to neighborhood women, especially black women: get that mammogram done. Guys, colonoscopies are not the end of the world.)

A professional should do the math, but when I told a friend in the public health field that I counted eight people on just my side of the Quesada Gardens’ block who have had cancer in recent years, she said that it sounded like “a cluster.” People like Judith, Tom, Tony, Na’im who have passed, and others like Linda and me living with the disease.

I am in a relatively low-risk category, yet the cancer I have is late-stage and aggressive. For you, prevention and early detection may be lifesavers. Eat well. Be physically active. Know the signs of cancer, and see a doctor if you spot those symptoms.

As a community, we have work left to do. Neighbors will be needing neighbors, and Bayview will become a healthy and socially-just place to live only if we insist on it.

I’m an open (digital) book. If you can stomach more wild theories and details about my cancer and treatment journey, see the online journal on CaringBridge [dot] org. Fair warning: you’ll be exposed to butt zombies, a mango baby and a belly butthole. Be strong, or be 12 years old.

I usually host Thanksgiving at my place. This year I didn’t know if I’d be up to it or if friends would want to come to a dinner that might be emotional. But you can’t cancel life, not with my friends around. As it turned out, the mood was light, and familiar faces and foods around the table reminded me that, if I’m healthy another half a day or half a century, I’m blessed.

Be well, neighbors, and ponder some numbers:

In the mid-1990s, a health department study found that 41 percent of black women with breast cancer were under age 50. For the City at large, the rate was 22 percent of women in that age group. High rates of cervical cancer were found, too!

An often quoted but aging study showed that “residents of San Francisco’s Bayview/Hunters Point neighborhood have a life expectancy on average 14 years less than their counterparts on Russian Hill.” Is life expectancy longer now?

Footprints is changing

Jeffrey Betcher

When you get a serious illness, what should you say to people?

As I’ve been telling family and friends that I’ve been diagnosed with cancer, questions about how broad to go with the news have come up. Some folks think it’s weird to share such personal news about a topic uncomfortable to many. Others say that illness isn’t just about the person who is sick, but also about all the people who care about him or have a stake in his work.

It’s been just a couple weeks since the actual diagnosis, and I’m still adjusting to what I’m learning will be a “new normal.”  But the need to whittle back my commitments is already here. If you read Footprints, that affects you.

Bayview Footprints Local News will not publish as often as it has in the past, at least for now.  I believe that, if I am to be a responsible member of the Footprints community, and if I am to honor Quesada Gardens’ principle of complete transparency, you deserve to hear that from me.

The future is always uncertain.  For Bayview Footprints, that future could include occasional special editions, collaborators building on the Footprints foundation, or some other reinvention.  Whatever happens, I will remain deeply grateful to the Co-Founders and early member organizations in the Bayview Footprints Network of Community Building Groups, our thousands of loyal readers, the hundreds of change-makers who have contributed content since 2008, and the advertisers who have cover some of our costs.

Fortunately, Footprints’ content (over a thousand posts) lives on at BayviewFootprints.org where Bayview’s longest-running blog makes its home.  If you haven’t visited this community-generated portal website recently, be sure to check out the updated resource hubs.

I feel great about what Bayview Footprints has accomplished.  It started as an expose that should never have been necessary: a revelation that the much maligned Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood is actually a nice place where nice people live, work, study and play.  That word got out, both through Footprints and through the journalists and academics who culled our pages looking for story ideas and innovations in community building.

Footprints has been both a celebration of grassroots, place-based, community-emergent change-making, and a call for restraint when, in the name of community benefit, external powers duplicate what locals should be empowered to do for themselves.

Why “Community Building?” And what does that have to do with cancer?

I chose the phrase “community building” in 2006 as I did research about why Quesada Gardens had been able to create rapid change when nothing else seemed to work. (Traditional community-based strategies such as Safe Block/law enforcement and Broken Window Theory/beautification approaches had produced such disappointing results.) I was drawing from Jamie Kalven’s work in Chicago.

Around the same time, Esta Soler, my boss at the national violence prevention organization where I worked, handed me a summary of a study by Robert Sampson as evidence of a connection between “social cohesion” and “community strength.”

Both at Quesada Gardens and through Bayview Footprints, converts like me have been preaching in those terms ever since … messages that have seeded digital and traditional media locally, and traveled across the country and as far as Europe and Asia.

Now we see the language of “community building” and “social cohesion” showing up everywhere. There’s no way to know the extent to which we led that change, but I’m sure we contributed, and I believe it’s something all of us involved in Bayview Hunters Point change-making can be proud of.  Whatever you call it, “community building” is in our DNA here.

Since I moved to Bayview in 1998, my house at Quesada Gardens has been in constant motion on the magnitude of Dorothy’s house spinning toward Oz, first with construction to keep the thing standing, then with orienting it toward community center functionality, and more recently with the launch of a small community-based apparel business.

Now I’m reorganizing the place again, this time around the needs of a guy in cancer treatment and the community offering to help get him through it (which is to say everyone I’ve told and a half dozen people who have already been helping out in practical ways).

Organizing work makes you good at asking for help.

By the way: donations are always welcome at BayviewFootprints.org and QuesadaGardens.org. Donations typically go to online costs, public space maintenance, and the purchasing of gardening tools and materials. Your donation implies faith in that Footprints and Quesada Gardens will go on, and will help out new leaders who are already plugging away at creating sustainable, socially-just grassroots change.

It’s still tough for a lot of folks in Bayview Hunters Point. But at least now Quesada Gardens and Bayview Footprints stand in evidence that change is possible. Now we know that strengthening the social fabric of our diverse community is as important as beautifying property, calling the police a million times, and signing off on every beautification and urban planning blueprint that external powers think is good for us.  (“As important,” if not a whole lot more so.)

Times are a little tough for me now, too, with this cancer thing. But I know I can turn to my neighbors any time I need help. And I believe there is a future for me, just as there is for the gardens, art projects and communications work I’ve been part of. I’ll get to that future along with the strong community I’m so blessed to be part of.

 

Jeffrey Betcher - headshot 160x160Jeffrey Betcher is an organizer, writer and entrepreneur.  After many years in the national violence prevention field, he co-founded the award-winning Quesada Gardens Initiative which builds community through art and gardens in the heart of San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood.  He is the editor and primary writer for Bayview Footprints Local News, serving the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood where he lives and works.  More recently, he co-founded PeopleWearSF, the region’s trade association for the apparel industry, and launched his own sustainable apparel business called YamStreet.  He believes that place-based change strategies that empower people and small businesses represent the surest path to a sustainable and socially-just world.  LinkedIn

Foo Fighters bounce off San Bruno Mountain

Foo-Fighters-Dreamforce-Gala croppedJeffrey Betcher rolled out of bed and into a snarky mood this morning:

Why anyone would pay $500 or more to go to last night’s SalesForce concert is beyond me.  You could hear every word and drum beat just fine several miles away, for free.

At my @QuesadaGardens home, I stepped outside to find out which neighbor across the street had not invited me to their raucous party.  Turned out, of course, the party I wasn’t invited to was a neighborhood away at Pier 70, and the folks who actually live or work around here weren’t there.

No problem, that, if you don’t mind the cheap seats.  The sound quality was pretty good, compromised only by the echo off San Bruno Mountain.

We locals won’t complain. We’ve come to understand that urban developers like those who green-lighted the event know what’s best for us, and that anything the Benioff’s bless gets a pass.

But this event is worth comment if only for where it was, and for the fact that huge names in entertainment crept south of the ballpark, stamping as “officially discovered” the neighborhoods that once made visitors’ palms sweat from fear.

I hope @DaveGrohl and his @FooFighters got a chance to visit places like Quesada Gardens while they were around for their gig. They would have met folks just as nice as the conference-goers staying on the @DreamForce cruise ship.  And later they could say they experienced the streets of Southeast San Francisco before they were turned over to frat-like funsters relying on their smartphones to know where they are.

Really Mr. Grohl, if your driver took you down 3rd Street to get out of town after the concert, and if you glanced out the window, you can say you saw a cool neighborhood before it became indistinguishable from other quads of the San Francisco campus.

There’s no stopping the cookiecuttersmartgrowthparkletbulboutdoublepanedwindowstuccoloftification of urban America.  But who would want it stopped, especially when the sound track just got so good?

Gardening to dance, dancing to garden

by Wei Ming Dariotis

The words “garden” and “dance” don’t often appear in the same sentence, but maybe they should be linked more often, if my experience as a gardener with the presence of 14 young dancers on our Quesada Gardens block recently is any example.

During the 4 weeks that the young women were choreographing and then rehearsing their performances, I looked out my window and saw them moving through and around the garden in ways that created spaces that hadn’t previously been significant. Their dances called my attention to parts of the garden that I didn’t really see before.

Before they came I knew who they were because the Quesada Gardens community had been planning for the program and I’d seen the video of their previous visit—and I totally supported them in theory. Yet, my first reaction when I saw them moving through a bed of tomatoes carefully tended by my neighbor, Shane, was to say, “Don’t step on the tomatoes!” They quickly reassured me that they were very aware and respectful of the work we gardeners do in the garden, both by stepping carefully and by working themselves to prune, weed, and clean out trash from the space. It might have been to make their dancing easier and safer, but it also meant they were giving to us and to the garden.

I felt inspired to give in return, and spent a bit more time than I might have otherwise under the summer sun (which we have in abundance in the Bayview!) pruning and weeding and generally trying to tuck everything into shape. I also felt inspired to start a mural on the side of my steps in my driveway, as a kind of artistic call and response. Seeing the girls dance every day—especially the solo taking shape on the stairs right across from my bedroom window—filled me with creative energy. My high school and college dancing days may be mostly over (never say never), but I can still swing around a paintbrush.

My favorite interaction, however, was more direct. Neighbor Jeffrey invited me to participate in the education portion of the girls work, so I got to meet with them for a (too brief!) lesson on feminism, Womanism, and Pinayism related to how we as women experience walking down city streets. I shared my own experiences of being their age growing up in San Francisco, and how I have handled catcalls, for better and worse.  We talked about what those experiences mean, especially for women of color. The girls also analyzed poems I brought them and I realized that they were equally astute intellectually as they were physically impressive. We could have talked for hours. I wish all my neighbors had had the same opportunity to talk with these amazing young women and just gotten to know how smart they are—how brilliant they are.

The day of the performance was so exciting! I had taken the opportunity to invite friends and neighbors over to enjoy barbecued peaches and nectarines from the Alemany Farmers Market, as well as veggie and beef burgers and chicken, of course. We stayed out all day, through both performances, and we met several new neighbors (including the new owner of the castle on Newhall). It was an exciting, community building experience. The dances were just amazing. As often as I had watched them rehearsing, seeing them perform the dances wholeheartedly brought another level of intensity and emotion to the experience.

In the end, as a gardening neighbor, I feel our garden has become a more sacred and beloved space because of the energy brought by the dancers.

A San Franciscan born in Australia, Wei Ming Dariotis teaches Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University and is the co-editor, with Laura Kina, of War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art (University of Washington Press, 2013). She is co-chair of the Quesada Gardens Initiative.

KALW lands journalist in surprising spot

David cropped
David Boyer wears a SF Opera costume as part of another KALW feature.

I met David Boyer the old-fashioned way.  He was roommates with Larry who was dating Mimi who worked at the same nonprofit as me.  It took Mimi to introduce us even though, as it turned out, David and I lived a block from one another in the Western Addition neighborhood.  It was like that, pre-Grindr.

At that time, David was launching one of the first public education campaigns aimed at preventing HIV/AIDS among youth.  I was impressed.  And I admired his flame red hair and surgical sarcasm.

And so, in the mid-90’s, the two of us shared a couple dates, a couple too many cocktails, and a couple years of friendship before losing touch as our lives hopscotched in different directions.  The last time we sat down and talked was years ago, in New York City where David had moved.

Then last May, his voice came out of the speakers in my car to tell me a story about the neighborhood I’ve lived in since 1998: Bayview.

David had spent months, off and on, talking with people at 3rd Street and Jerrold Avenue to create a reflective radio essay for KALW about life in a changing place.  He was unaware that I was living just blocks away, peering through a similar place-based lens.  That’s how we do, David and me.

“Having spent five months at that intersection, I’m ready to move to Bayview,” he said later. “It’s a phenomenal community.  Exciting and real.  It’s everything you want in a neighborhood.”

I sense a fondness for both Bayview and its people in David’s radio essay, The Intersection: Four Stories from One Bayview Corner.  As he takes listeners on a round of introductions to folks at KFC/Taco Bell, St. John’s Baptist Church, All Good Pizza and College Track, I imagine him effortlessly striking up conversations with all sorts of people, each friendlier than the last.  This is Bayview, after all.

Bayview residents are as different from one another as different can be, all doing their different things within a stone’s throw of each other and, for the record, never actually throwing a stone.

“As the rest of San Francisco changes and becomes perhaps more homogenous,” David said, “it’s good to know that a neighborhood like Bayview still exists in the city.”

He meant it.  Like too many people, David was struggling to find secure housing in the city.

“I’m being forced to move out of my apartment on Potrero,” he said. ”Moving to Bayview is actually a very real option.  I’m not sure I would have thought of it if I hadn’t spent time there.”

That’s the persistent irony about Bayview.  The neighborhood that, for many of us, is the best in the city, is the neighborhood people know little about and probably avoid unless there’s a reason to come.

David Boyer’s mental map of San Francisco expanded on the intersection of 3rd and Jerrold.  The same thing happens at Quesasda Gardens where we’ve hosted hundreds of visiting groups.  Almost every time someone will comment how surprised they are that the place is beautiful and the people are nice.

It may be that, one day when I am out in the Quesada Gardens, I’ll spot David moving into a house across the street.  I won’t be surprised this time.

“Welcome to Bayview,” I’ll say.  “Welcome to the San Francisco you remember, a place where the lives of all different sorts of good people can still intersect.  And, oh, by the way, I live across the street from you.”

Jeffrey Betcher

Healthy Heroes at food access event

Healthy Heroes 1-25-2014 adjusted
Healthy Heroes Awardees: Jeffrey Betcher, Javarre Wilson, Antonio Jones, Samuel Thomas and La Shea Sanchez. (Awardees not pictured are Lena Miller, Hunters Point Family, and Joel and Mary McClure, Quesada Gardens Initiative and Bridgeview Teaching and Learning Garden.)

Healthy Heroes Awards were presented on Saturday January 25th at the Bayview Opera House to locals contributing to wellness in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood at an event hosted by Southeast Food Access Working Group (SEFA) Food Guardians.

The event was designed to bring together groups and individual leaders who care about food production in the neighborhood.  Mishwa Lee (Northridge Cooperative Housing Community Garden) and Andrea Tacdol (Bayview HEAL Zone) helped organize the event on behalf of SEFA and the Bayview HEAL Zone.

SEFA Co-Chairs Jacob Moody (BVHP Foundation for Community Improvement) and Michael Janis (SF Wholesale Produce Market) and SF Department of Public Health leaders Christina Goette and Susana Hennessey-Lavery.  SPUR’s Eli Zigas attended.  Jacob Moody officiated while SEFA Food Guardians gave out the awards with help from Kenneth Hill and son.  Healthy food options, a raffle and information tables rounded out the spirited event.

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Christina Goette, SF DPH and Bayview HEAL Zone Director and Roberto Vargas, Bayview resident and HEAL Zone adviser, take a moment for the camera.
John and Angelique 1-25-2014 adjusted
John Weiss, Bayview BOOM, won a raffle prize at the event.
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BVHP Foundation’s Jacob Moody and Angelique Tompkins lead the raffle.
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John Weiss, Mishwa Lee (event organizer) and Anne Eng, SF Department of the Environment enjoy the proceedings.