Kudos: Bayview Hunters Point social worker, author, songwriter

The Examiner spotlights good people and good work on its daily Kudos page. Here’s a look at Bay Area residents who are serving their community, reaching milestones, making discoveries and celebrating accomplishments.

SHARON K. SOBOTTA


“I wanted to show that everyone does have a universally applicable lesson to teach, a story to share and a means for inspiring others.”

Occupation Journalist; director, Women’s Resource Center, St. Mary’s College

Home Moraga

Achievement The avid traveler is currently promoting her book, “The Journey of Life: 100 lessons from around the world,” a collection of stories and insights she collected while interviewing people from around the globe.

LARKIN GAYL


“While working as a hospice caregiver, I was saddened by the stories of same-sex partners being kept out of the hospital rooms of their dying loved ones.”

Occupation Singer-songwriter

Home Fairfax

Achievement The musician’s song “I Do” — available at www.larkingayl.com — was written to support the movement to keep gay marriages legal. She hopes the song “will open more minds about the issue by November’s election.”

FARAH DEWS


“Life is too short to wait for life to happen.”

Home San Francisco

Occupation Case manager, filmmaker

Achievement The recipient of a Take Wings Foundation Angel Award is a case manager and substance-abuse and HIV/AIDS specialist at the Bayview Hunters Point Foundation, providing outreach services and youth counseling in the Bayview-Hunters Point community. He’s also an award-winning filmmaker. The San Francisco International Film Festival and the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame have honored his films about social issues.

Botanical Garden receives $2M to fund improvements

Flower power is alive and well in San Francisco, thanks to nine generous donors and ongoing efforts of the San Francisco Botanical Garden Society, which helped raise close to $2 million for the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park.

The money will fund improvements for several gardens in the 55-acre expanse in Golden Gate Park, including the Australian Garden, Chilean Garden, Garden of Fragrance and Gondwana Circle Garden. There will be repairs to the Horticulture Library roof, along with new work on the New Zealand Garden, Primitive Plants Garden, Southeast Asian Cloud Forest Garden and the Zellerbach Garden.

In addition to maintaining and improving upon existing gardens, the money will also go toward expanding plant collections and improving buildings.

“The scope of the improvements that these gifts allow is truly incredible. The new funding not only enables the Botanical Garden to expand plant collections and enhance garden designs, but it also allows for some much needed repairs and improvements to facility buildings and hardscapes,” said Michael McKechnie, executive director of the San Francisco Botanical Garden Society.

Not just a public garden, the SFBG functions as an outdoor classroom and a place to learn about biodiversity. Members of the San Francisco Botanical Garden Society hope visitors leave with a better appreciation of and commitment to global conservation.

The garden is open from 8 a.m. to  4:30 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends and holidays. Admission is free. For more information, call (415) 661-1316 or visit www.sfbotanicalgarden.org.

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