April 2002

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Tues., April 2 1:00­3:00 p.m.

Board meeting at the office. All welcome!

Wed., April 3 6:30 p.m.

Bay Area Police Watch: Organizing meeting. 195 Kiska Rd., Hunters

Point. All welcome!

Wed., April 10 5:00 p.m.

Bay Area Police Watch: Rally and Protest re brutality at the Hall of Justice

and Police Commission, Room 551.

Thurs., April 11 10:00 a.m.

SAN general meeting. St. Mary's Cathedral, 1111 Gough. Info:


Fri., April 12 N2N. The last symposium on Universal Health Care for legislators in

Sacramento. Call 510/336-1065 for time and how to participate.

Tues., April 16 12:30­3:00 p.m.

General Meeting: Women on the Move. Stacey Karp of CARAL and

Lori Nairne of Wages for Housework. First Unitarian Church,

Geary and Franklin.

Sat., April 20 Noon­5:00 p.m.

5th annual town meeting for activists "Beyond the Pink Ribbon:

Challenging the Culture of Breast Cancer. Women's Building 3543 18 St.

Sat., April 20 11:00 a.m.­5:00 p.m.

Earth Day rally, with amusements, refreshments, speakers, music at India

Basin Park, Bayview/Hunters Point.

Sat., April 27 10:30 a.m.­12:15 p.m.

OWL: What Does the Senior Political Action Committee (PAC) Mean for

Midlife and Older Women? Bernie Rush, President, Senior PAC.

Info: 415/989-4422. Non-members welcome.

Wed., May 8 8:00 a.m.­for the day.

Senior Rally in Sacramento. Buses will leave from St. Mary's Cathdral at

8:00 a.m. A $7.00 donation covers the trip and lunch. Call Houston Zheng

at 415/546-1333 to register.

Call or e-mail our new Calendar Editor, Gretchen Davis, to haveyour event listed in our calendar: 415/931-3843 or <davisgretchen@hotmail.com>. Ten days before the first of each month is our deadline. Welcome aboard, Gretchen!

Women On the Move

Men, too, are invited to ourApril meeting to find out where women are going and how they plan to get there. Our April speakersare Stacey Karp from the California Abortion Rights Advocacy League (CARAL) and Lori Nairne of Wages for Housework. Stacey will bring us up-to-date on the fight to implement Roe v. Wadeeternal vigilance is the price of libertyand Lori will come with the good news of the world-wide celebration of International Women's Day and how it translates into local action in San Francisco.

Pollution is Everywhere in Bay Area!

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that our environment encompasses 50 miles from the source of contamination! And we, those who do not live in Bayview/Hunters Point, but live in the City and County of SF and all of the surrounding counties are well within that 50­mile radius!

Our March meeting featured activists from groups dedicated to the cleanup of the most polluted area of our environment, the Bayview/Hunters Point abandoned Naval Shipyard and the poison-spewing Hunters Point Power Plant. Maurice Campbell of the Community First Coalition detailed the major problems encountered in getting any meaningful removal of the toxins and radioactive waste still present despite $300 million spent so far including: little or no accurate data on contamination; stonewalling of local participation in planning, oversight, contracting and employment; and overt and covert efforts to cement over toxics and leave them in place as temporary expedients rather than remove them all at once.

Marie Harrison of Greenaction dramatically showed that this is not a concern just of the southeast corner of the city but that the pollution is areawide, citing especially the Faralones, under the Golden Gate bridge and in the atmosphere everywhere!

Dana Lanza of Literacy for Environmental Justice detailed local watchdog activities, especially of young people to make the Base Cleanup Team do a better job. All three talked about getting rid of Hunters Point Power Plant, a major polluter, and making sure it isn't replaced in the same neighborhood by something potentially almost as bad, and the importance of developing green energy sources.

Bulletin, 3/22/02: Bay Conservation and Development Commission unanimously found Mirant (Potrero Hill) power plant illegal. One down, lots to go!

Police "Action" Questioned

Deetje Boler showed a brief video at our March meeting of parents protesting a police action that terrorized five Hunters Point children, 12 to 14, on the night of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. She urged Gray Panthers to write to Police Chief Lau: (sample as follows)

Chief Fred Lau, Chief of Police, 850 Bryant Street, Rm. 525

San Francisco, CA 94103

Dear Chief Lau:

It has come to our attention that on the night of Martin Luther King Day, five children ages 12 to 14 were held at gunpoint and abused by SFPD officers. This happened in front of their homes as members of their families and neighbors witnessed this brutality and were prevented from intervening on behalf of their children.

We are concerned at this apparent violation of these persons' civil rights. We are also distressed to learn of the negative effects on the children as a result of this abuse and on the community's sense of safety from abuse by those supposed to protect them. What can or will be done to heal these wounds?

We request that you remove the officers involved from street duty until a full investigation has been conducted, as has been requested by the parents involved. We also request that you reassure the community that such actions as alleged are not police department policy, and that it be made clear to all members of the force that such abuse of their powers will not be tolerated.

Police Commission meeting will be held April 10 at the Hall of Justice, 850 Bryant Street 5:30p.m., Room 551. Protest at 5:00 p.m. on the steps of Hall of Justice. (See Calendar)

DPH Pharmacy Prescriptions

Michael Lyon of the Coalition to Save Public Health­SF, SEIU Local 790, talked about a proposed $5.00 co-payment for drugs for Medicaid patients, cutting the formulary, excessive costs resulting from the contract with a for-profit Pharmacy Benefits Manager company, and asking our support once again in keeping the DPH Pharmacy able to provide medicines people need.

Please urge the S.F. Health Commission to advocate for the following demands:

(1) No cuts in medicines, no co-pays for medicines,

(2) End to the current for-profit pharmacy prescription program contract,

(3) DPH do the work to qualify for Federal drug discount pricing for the neighborhood pharmacies,

(4) Staff the SFGH outpatient pharmacy,

(5) Give the Pharmacy Oversight Committee the data it needs.

Call Michael Lyon at 415/540-3644 to help in the campaign to provide affordable prescription drugs for those who need them.

Health Opportunities of the Month

Back Care for Seniors. Bob Bundy, M.D. (spine specialist)

Wed. April 17, 10:15­11:15 a.m. (Kaiser, 415/202-3450)

Stonestown YMCA Senior Center 3150 20th Ave.

Stroke Prevention/Recovery and Coping:

Sat., April 6 , 9:00 a.m.­noon. Laurel Heights Conf. Center and

Thurs., April 11, 1:30­3:30 p.m. Japanese Culture & Community Center of Northern California, 1840 Sutter, 1st fl. Kimochi

Nutrition site. Registration forms in the GP office.

International Connections

Last month we had two visitors from the Coventry, England, National Pensioners Union (N.P.U.). I was privileged as a representative of the San Francisco Gray Panthers to have a long breakfast with Pat and John Parks and their American friend Allen Harrison of Port Angeles, Washington. Pat and John wanted to share knowledge and tactics in maintaining and improving social security and health care and fighting privatization. Comparisons between our social networks and theirs were very interesting. Our social security is actually better, however inadequate we might consider it, both in income levels and COLAs.

Like us, they are threatened with privatization, a legacy of the Maggie Thatcher years. And their national health system is overworked and underfunded and under constant attack. Getting single payer is only the first step in an ongoing struggle. Still a lot better than ours.

The N.P.U. is a trade-union affiliated organization of retirees concerned with retirees' problems, not a broad social advocacy program like the GPs, thus much narrower in activities than we are. They came with a glowing picture of how influential we are and what we accomplish, left over from the '70s, I think. I wish it were true.

Anyone going to England who would like to talk to people off the tourist route and with ideals and aims like ours is invited to visit the Parks, who live about 20 miles from Stratford and are charming people. Anyone who wants to hear more about our very cordial meeting should talk with me. Mitzi Raas

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: 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;Production: Michael Flandi; Webpage design: Barry Simpkins

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