January 26: Heidi Melton and other SF events 

click to enlarge Heidi Melton
  • Soprano Heidi Melton appears in recital, accompanied by pianist John Parr.

The Absence of Mercy

By John Burley ($14.99)

The psychological thriller and murder mystery, written by by a California emergency room physician, explores the lengths to which parents will go to protect their children.


San Francisco Recreation and Park Department: Volunteers are needed to perform weeding, mulching and other gardening tasks at Esprit Park. [9 a.m. to noon, Minnesota and 19th streets, S.F.; RSVP: recparkvolunteer@sfgov.org]


Fine prints: The San Francisco Fine Print Fair features works by top artists. Fare ranges from traditional Japanese woodcuts to modern works. [11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Golden Gate Club, 135 Fisher Loop, Presidio, S.F.]

Swing dancing: Lindy in the Park presents its weekly swing-dance event. A beginner lesson and community dancing make up the session. [11 a.m. to 2 p.m., between de Young Museum and Music Concourse, Golden Gate Park, S.F.]

Fluttering heights: The Conservatory of Flowers has extended “Butterflies and Blooms” to March 16. The exhibit features hundreds of butterflies and colorful flowers. [10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 100 John F. Kennedy Drive, Golden Gate Park, S.F.]

Floral spectacle: “Magnificent Magnolias” are the feature attraction at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Nearly 100 types of the fragrant flower erupt in pink and white. [7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., 1199 Ninth Ave., Golden Gate Park, S.F.]


Sex workers rights: Dr. Melinda Chateauvert is the keynote speaker at a benefit event for the Litigate to Emancipate Fund, which seeks to bring a constitutional challenge to prostitution laws. [3 p.m., Alchemy, 1060 Folsom St., S.F.]


Film noir: The San Francisco Film Noir Festival salutes international noir this year. Akira Kurosawa’s “Drunken Angel” (1:15 and 6 p.m.) and “Stray Dog” (3:30 and 8:15) screen today. [Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., S.F.; www.noircity.com]


Opera vocalist: Soprano Heidi Melton appears in recital, accompanied by pianist John Parr. Featured composers include Berlioz, Haydn, Heggie and Horowitz. [2 p.m., San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak St., S.F.]


Funny biz: SF Sketchfest, the San Francisco Comedy Festival, is underway. Today’s shows include “An Afternoon With the Venture Bros.” at 1 p.m. at Cobb’s Comedy Club, 915 Columbus Ave., S.F., and “Talkin’ Toons With Rob Paulsen” at 4 p.m. at the Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson St., S.F., to name a few. [www.sfsketchfest.com]


Whale watching: The Oceanic Society hosts naturalist-led whale-watch cruises, departing from the Peninsula. [9 a.m., Pillar Point Yacht Harbor, Half Moon Bay; www.oceanicsociety.org]


Field of dames: Baseball scholars discuss the history of women in baseball in a lecture held in conjunction with the library. [1 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

Nombe Restaurant: Chef-owner Mari Takahashi serves Japanese fare, and a Dine About Town brunch menu ($18.95) is highlighted today. Diners can select a ramen burger (with meat or tofu), served with Nombe fries and fire tomato sauce, or a pork-belly okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancake). Bottomless mimosas complete the deal. [11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 2491 Mission St., S.F.; (415) 681-7150]


Warriors vs. Blazers

6 p.m., Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

Klay Thompson and the Warriors host Oakland native Damian Lillard and the surprising Portland Trail Blazers.


NFL: It’s not the AFC vs. NFC this year, it’s Team Rice vs. Team Sanders in the NFL’s annual Pro Bowl. [4:30 p.m., Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, NBC (KNTV, Ch. 11)]

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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