Animal Assisted Therapy: Special Medication on Four Legs

Marleen Norman with Boudreax and a resident at the Jewish Home for the Aged. (Photograph courtesy of Alain McLaughlin)

Lying in his bed on the Kaiser Hospital pediatric ward, the little boy was crying and agitated, despite the best efforts of his parents and medical staff to console him. He was connected to a monitor which indicated that his blood pressure and heart rate were elevated.

In walked a bouncy Tibetan Terrier dog accompanied by his guardian, one of the volunteer teams from the San Francisco SPCA Animal Assisted Therapy program. The dog was placed on the bed and immediately began to nuzzle the child, whose mood and demeanor brightened noticeably. Continue Reading →

‘Saturday in the Park’ Music Series Kicks Off August 22

A group of tween rockers played Saturday in the Park” at the Jerry Garcia Ampitheater. (Photo courtesy of Donna McCann)

On Aug. 22, the third season of Saturday in the Park will kick off with an afternoon of acoustic soul music in John McLaren Park’s Jerry Garcia Amphitheater.

For those who don’t know of it, the amphitheater is a true treasure, situated in the heart of John McLaren Park, near John F. Shelley Dr. and Mansell St. This wonderful Greek-style venue opened in 1971 and was later renovated over several years beginning in 1999.

It has served as the home of the San Francisco Blues Festival, hosted a number of high school graduations, heavy metal concerts, charity events, Earth Day celebrations and occasional music and community concerts. Continue Reading →

Tony’s Watch and Jewelry Repair: A Tiny Family-owned Shop with Huge Character

Tony Watch Repair

When the bell is rung outside the single-story, 12-foot-wide peak-roofed building tucked between much larger buildings on Geneva Avenue near Mission Street, an El Salvadorian man behind a desk topped with a mountain of watches buzzes customers into his tiny shop full of shiny and ancient-looking items.

“Ask me what I don’t have,” Nelson Diaz said, the owner of Tony’s Watch and Jewelry Repair. “I have custom jewelry. I have gold. I have silver. We have a variety of products, merchandise for the whole neighborhood.” Continue Reading →