July-August 1996 Newsletter

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Sun., July 7 2:00 p.m.
Stern Grove Festival 1996. Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Sigmund Stern Grove, 19th Ave. and Sloat Blvd.

Tues., July 9 12:30-2:00 p.m.
Coleman Advocates. Forum on welfare reform in S.F. Hamilton Family Center, 1525 Waller. All welcome.

Wed., July 10 1:30-3:00 p.m.
Board meeting at the office. All welcome.

Thurs., July 11 10:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
SAN. St. Mary's Cathedral; Ask our supervisors and Mayor to support "Lucky Senior 7" Platform. Geary and Gough. Info 863-2033

Thurs., July 11 10:30a.m.-noon
Feeling Fit After Fifty. Presented by Chuck Paden, Chief, Respiratory Therapy. St. Luke's, 3555 Army. Reservations required. Call (415) 821-3627

Sun., July 14 2:00 p.m.
Stern Grove Festival 1996. Merola Opera Program. Donizetti, The Elixir of Love. Sigmund Stern Grove, 19th Ave. and Sloat Blvd.

Tues., July 16 12:30-3:30 p.m.
Membership Meeting: Preserving the San Bruno Mountains. A slide presentation by David Schooley, Director of the San Bruno Mountain Watch

Tues., July 16 6:00 p.m.
N2N at 2600 Mission Street (22nd St.)

Sun., July 21 2:00 p.m.
Stern Grove Festival 1996. Midsummer Mozart Festival Orchestra. George Cleve, Conductor. Sigmund Stern Grove, 19th Ave. and Sloat Blvd.

Sun., July 28 2:00 p.m.
Stern Grove Festival 1996. San Francisco Symphony. Alasdair Neale, Conductor. Sigmund Stern Grove, 19th Ave. and Sloat Blvd.

Sun., Aug. 4 2:00 p.m.
Stern Grove Festival 1996. San Francisco Ballet. Emil de Cou, Conductor. Sigmund Stern Grove, 19th Ave. and Sloat Blvd.

August ...
Happy Vacation! See you in September

Sun., Aug. 11
Stern Grove Festival 1996. ODC/San Francisco, 25th Anniversary Celebration. Sigmund Stern Grove, 19th Ave. and Sloat Blvd.

Sun., Aug. 18 2:00 p.m.
Stern Grove Festival 1996. Spirit of Jazz. Sigmund Stern Grove, 19th Ave. and Sloat Blvd.

In September ... Date and time to be announced
Membership meeting will be a benefit for the National Gray Panthers.

Wed., Sept., 11 1:30-3:00 p.m.
Board meeting at the office. All welcome

Tune In and Keep Up

The Gray Panthers of San Francisco have entered cyberspace. Now your friends and kin who surf the web can keep tabs on your comings and goings, your causes and results. Let them all know that: http://www.igc.org/graypantherssf is our progressive home on the web and gpssfastrid@igc.apc.org is our e-mailbox for instant or urgent messages. Promote the GPsSF website ... keep up with the times!

June Meeting Recap

Ever since Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring was published more than thirty years ago describing the cumulative toxic effects upon animal life, both domestic and wild, of DDT, the public has been aware of the risks pesticides pose to human life. And yet pesticide use has continued to increase in the U.S. thanks to the bland assurances of chemical manufacturers that the product is "safe."
The GPs were fortunate to have Dr. Marian Moses, a physician specializing in occupational and environmental medicine with many years' experience working with pesticide-related illnesses in farm workers and their families, present a slide show and talk on the toxic effects of pesticides in humans and safe alternatives to use for controlling "pests" in the home, garden and parks. Dr. Moses testified before the S.F. Board of Supervisors in the morning of the same day she spoke to us. She asked the Board to ban the use of broadcast sprays and that only safe, nontoxic alternatives be used in parks and recreation areas in the city in order to protect the health of its citizens. Dr. Moses is the founder of the Pesticide Education Center to provide information so that the public can make better informed choices on the use of and protection from the toxic effects of pesticides. Dr. Moses is the author of the book Designer Poisons: How to protect your health and home from toxic pesticides. For more information call or write the: Pesticide Education Center, P.O. Box 42087, S.F., CA 94142, (414) 391-8511.

July Meeting

Come join us for a different kind of meeting in July. David Schooley, Director of the San Bruno Mountain Watch, has been fighting to preserve the last remaining area of a unique and diverse habitat for endangered species from developers-the San Bruno Mountains. David Schooley invited the GPs to go for a hike on the mountain to see for ourselves why this area is so precious, but a compromise was reached when he agreed to show us slides and tell us about the endangered species, the beauty of the area and the fight to preserve this small piece of prime habitat on the mountain from being developed.

Medical Alert

Conservatives in the House and Senate want to attach a rider to the Kennedy-Kassebaum Bill that will impose increased costs for medical insurance especially for seniors. The purpose of the bill is to protect an employed person who has lost his or her job or moved to another job from also losing his health insurance. The proposition the Republicans want to add to the bill calls for medical savings account that is supported by the insurance companies. The Consumers Union has warned the public that the medical savings account provision will especially hurt seniors with high deductibles and increased costs for medical insurance. To protest this provision you are urged to call the White House, (202) 456-1111 and ask President Clinton to veto any bill which includes this medical savings account.


Last month (June) San Francisco threw a big party for Herb Caen. I would like to add something that wasn't said in all the extravagant, laudatory comments. When Herb Caen says, "God, I looove this city," he is talking about what is arguably the most progressive city in the country. His column quietly and consistently endorses that progressiveness. His Baghdad by the Bay includes all the diverse peoples of our city. Granted, there is lots of the usual gossip column population-the rich and famous, the saloon habitues and the oddballs. But ordinary people and movers and shakers of all political persuasions and colors and backgrounds are also present and appreciated.
A few examples: When Herb Caen talks about "little old ladies in tennis shoes-with sharp umbrellas" it is with admiration, not derision. When the Chronicle went on strike, as a Guild member he went on strike, too. His column includes not only the opera but the street musicians; not only the Washington Square Bar and Grill shenanigans but also the peace marches, the civil rights demonstrations, the antinuclear campaigns; both the Gettys and Harry Bridges; and the beatniks, the flower children, the gays, the homeless-all with interest and acceptance and compassion. Unlike Walter Winchell, to whom he was so often compared, he is not vicious nor mean-spirited, nor destructive of people, nor reactionary. He promotes not hate but humanity. For a gossip columnist or any columnist that's not bad.
Like so many San Franciscans I have read Herb Caen every morning for some 40 years. I think he deserves the title of Mr. San Francisco.

On the Prowl

Gray Panther Caty Powell prowled to Cleveland for the historic founding convention of the Labor Party on June 6-9, 1996. She hopes to give a report back soon. The party platform as adopted has many things to love, including support for a single payer health plan, guaranteed adequate annual income, no NAFTA and other progressive planks. Labor Party meetings usually take place on the fourth Thursday of the month.
Call the S.F. Labor Council for more information at 543-2699 or write 660 Howard St., S.F., CA 94105.

Letter Writing Update

The third power plant in toxic-challenged Hunters Point-Bayview was unanimously stopped by the Board of Supervisors, in a show of support for the health of San Franciscans. There was a great busload of supporters, confetti, lots of illegal signs and much cheering when the vote was right.
The owner-move-in-evictions reform bill protecting long term renters was introduced to the Board with the backing of four supervisors.
The possible or even probable ill health effects due to electromagnetic fields generated by hundreds of transmitter-receiver sites for the new "technological break-through" digital cellular phones was dealt an unfortunate blow. A compromise, easy to beat, was agreed upon over the valiant dissent of three supervisors who wanted a complete moratorium until a Telecomunications Commission could be established which would investigate objectively the effects of megavolts on individual's health.
The Miami Gray Panthers describes a program funded by public and private funds to establish centers not only to shelter homeless people but assist in generating a self-help momentum. We need volunteers on this issue also.

A New Book by a Friend

Remember Wade Hudson? He recently spoke at one of our meetings. He is a co-founder of the S.F. Alliance and leader of a discussion group focusing on articles in The Nation. Now he has self-published a book, Economic Security For All: How to end poverty in the United States. It is well researched and documented with thirteen pages of footnotes and a seven page index. The Gray Panthers Board of Directors voted to buy three copies which are available for your perusal in the office. The printing costs are $10.00 per copy. Any money left over will be used to distribute the book to those seeking to find solutions for homelessness and to help children caught in the poverty cycle. People interested in getting involved with outreach for the book can call Wade at (415) 749-0591.

Action Needed: Congress Threatens to Repeal the Delaney Clause!

Both the House and Senate are threatening to repeal the Delaney Clause of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which bans the use of cancer-causing pesticides in processed foods. S.1166 is moving through the Senate Subcommittee on Agriculture and action is needed now to stop this bad bill.
Write or call Senator Dianne Feinstein and tell her to vote no on S.1166.

Send your letters to:
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Also write or call your U.S. Representative and tell her to vote no on H.R. 1627, the House version. Send your letters to:
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Or call: 415-556-4862

New & Recommended . . .

Randy Shaw's The Activist's Handbook: A Primer for the 1990s and Beyond. Available at A Clean Well Lighted Place for Books and other fine bookstores.

The Newsletter of the San Francisco Gray Panthers is published each month, and distributed free of charge to members and friends of this nonprofit organization.

Editorial Board:Agnes Batteiger, Rebecca Hirshleifer, Mitzi Raas; Publisher, Astrid M. Spector; Art Director, Fannie Biderman; Proof, Lurilla Harris; Circulation: Harold Greenblatt and Mary Francis Smith. Printed by Graffik Natwicks; Webpage design: Barry Simpkins

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