...Three day weekends are the greatest invention since the "Chop Wizard." The phone calls and emails dwindle down to a manageable roar, and real work can get done. Yesterday -- "officially" a holiday -- was spent reaching out to others I knew using the day for "catch up." Got my coffee (as per usual) at the Queen Malika Cafe in the Castro (18th Street near Douglass) and chatted up the owner, Hamid.
"Of course we'll put out your 'No Halloween in the Castro' flyers," he said. "Whatever will help to keep the neighborhood safe." I got much the same reaction from Nic, the owner of our corner store on 17th. Everywhere I turn, people have HEARD about the Castro Halloween party being cancelled and are supportive. It's efforts like this that define a community and show real civic involvement. I'm really humbled by how many people have called, written and otherwise voiced their support. This Halloween -- keep it safe! Stay HOME (especially if the Castro is NOT your home and you're thinking about doing mischief) for Halloween!
Speaking of voices (and faces): today, spent the morning taping PSAs (Public Service Announcements) at KRON-4 TV. Hats off to KRON 4 TV for producing our PSAs and for the EXTRA-ORDINARILY generous offer of sharing the product with sister stations around the Bay. This is the definition of public spiritedness and civic involvement: makes me miss being a journalist. Also, thanks to ClearChannel Radio for being a media sponsor as well and helping us spread the word: No party in the Castro this year -- tune into http://www.homeforhalloween.com/ for OTHER "closer to home" options.
I digress: today, the indomitable spirit and persona that is Harry ("Starlight Room") Denton joined with "Chronicle" cartoonist and stand-up comic Michael Capozolla and artist Donny Lumpkins of New America Media to get our PSAs in the can. Here's the script -- which each of them taped today at the KRON-4 studios on Van Ness Avenue:
"FOR THE LAST FEW YEARS, HALLOWEEN HAS GOTTEN A BIT
SCARY. I’M TALKING ABOUT THE FREAKY CHARACTERS THAT
SWOOP INTO SAN FRANCISCO’S CASTRO WITH BAD INTENTIONS.
SO THIS YEAR, THERE IS NO PARTY IN THE CASTRO. STAY HOME
THIS HALLOWEEN. BUT, THERE ARE MANY SAFE AND FUN EVENTS
ALL OVER THE BAY AREA. CHECK THEM OUT AT
HOMEFORHALLOWEEN- DOT-COM. HAVE A FUN HOLIDAY
AND DON’T FORGET TO KNOCK AT HOMEFORHALLOWEEN- DOT-COM
BECAUSE THIS YEAR, CASTRO IS NOT WHERE IT’S HAPPENING."
Look for these video PSAs online and on your favorite TV station later this week AND on your radio dial.
Later, got a call from our colleagues at Encore Communications. They had heard of our efforts to promote "Non-Castro Halloween events" and offered up their special Halloween night performance at Teatro ZinZanni. "We wanna' help," said Brenda in her cool British elan. "Let us know what we can do."
When the going gets tough, the flacks get going. Thanks to my brothers-and-sisters in PR arms. Together -- we WILL keep the Castro -- and the rest of San Francisco -- safe on Halloween.
Later in the day, fielded interview requests from the "Examiner" and "Chronicle" (check your front stoops and computer screens tomorrow). That delights me -- means our efforts are WORKING. The more our colleagues in the Fourth Estate track and write about the "No Party in the Castro / Home for Halloween" Campaign", the better.
Here's the link to tomorrow's article in the "Chronicle". Our thanks to Wyatt Buchanan for his attention:
Isn't that the job of a free press? Conveying information of use to the commonweal? Or, in layman's terms: telling it like it is.
And -- this is like it is: No party in the Castro. No tolerance for bad behavior. No reason to come. Stay HOME for Halloween.
Enough for tonight's drum beat.
PS -- before I forget, a BIG thank you to Bill Longen and the Castro Theatre who have volunteered to hang our "No Halloween Party in the Castro" banner from the front of the Castro Theatre. What BETTER marquee could we want than that!