September 2002

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Tues., Sept. 3 1:00­3:00 p.m.

Board meeting at the office. All welcome! State and local propositions are

on the agenda this month. You have a right to have your opinion

considered by your board. Use it!

Tues., Sept. 3 5:30­7:30 p.m.

SF Art Institutes Free Faculty Reception/Exhibition. 800 Chestnut.

Thurs., Sept. 5Sun. Sept. 8

SF Public Library Annual Sale. Ft. Mason, Herbst Pavilion. Hours,


Sun., Sept. 8 1:30­3:30 p.m.

Opera in the Park. Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park. Free.

Tues., Sept. 10 7:30 p.m.

Slide lecture: "Awash in Monuments." SF Historical Society. 9th Ave. and

Lincoln Way, Golden Gate Park. Free.

Wed., Sept. 11 Day of Remembrance

The SF Museum of Modern Art along with many museums around the

country will be open and free to those who wish to spend the

day in the company of art.

Thurs., Sept. 12 12:30 p.m.

"Jazz Composer Mania!" Yerba Buena Gardens. Mission and 3rd Street.

Sept. 16, 20, and 27 Free Cholesterol Screenings

At local YMCAs. Info, 415/923-3155

Tues., Sept. 17 12:30­3:00 p.m.

General Meeting: "Off the Streets." See below.

$200 Million Spent on Homeless?

How is it being used? How should it be used?

We will have a choice in November.

Our September meeting will feature a panel on this hot topic of homelessness, general assistance and proposed plans of action: "Continuum of Care," "Care Not Cash," and "Exit from Homelessness."

The panel will describe the current laws, how well they do or do not work and the three main proposals currently under consideration. The presentation will be factual. The following discussion with input from all of the audience will surely be impassioned. Come prepared with your questions and opinions on how the Gray Panthers can participate in this important community debate and subsequent ballot propositions we will be asked to vote on.

European View

"Bush, himself the most intellectually backward American president of my political lifetime, is surrounded by advisers whose bellicosity is exceeded only by their political, military and diplomatic illiteracy." (We didn't say it, he did!)

Gerald Kaufman, former British labor minister

Summer Respite

For one sunny July afternoon the SF Gray Panthers let go of our pressing causes and enjoyed each other's company, devoured the delicious potluck contributions and appreciated the arts, crafts and the books that we brought to trade for ones we'd not yet read.

We were entertained by Susana Mariles at the Western Park's piano, playing many old favorites tirelessly as we ate and chatted. In her daily routine, Susana is a piano teacher, undoubtedly hearing loads of scales and etudes, so she "let out all the stops" in her performance for us. We hope she will come back again when we have another social event.

The party, in addition to enjoying a break in our routine, was planned as a tribute and well-wishes to our convenor, Wende Dawson Chan, as she embarks on her new study and career. Wende has moved to San Diego, studying there in the wide-ranging discipline of Gerontology. It is hoped that she will enliven the Gray Panthers Network of San Diego and, in time, bring them into the hoped-for Gray Panthers Networks of California!

Wende came to the party laden with books, more than any attendee could cope with, so the left-overs were taken to our office where you are welcome to choose from among her broad collection.

As we return to our GPs causes, let's plan for another get-together next year!

Imitation is the sincerest of flattery

Charles Caleb Colton, 1780­1832

Bubba was castigated for rewarding donors with nights in the Lincoln bedroom; Dubya has proudly hosted at least 160 donors to White House sleepovers so far, according to Ann Womack.

Media Plays Catch-up on Health Care

Eventhe Labor Department's Consumer Price Index has finally admitted to the skyrocketing 5 percent jump in all health care costs in just the past year, more than any other consumer costs in the inflation gauge.

This fact is no news to Medicare enrollees or to any population sector that is underserved by health care insurance and/or users of prescription medications. The national Gray Panthers and all our networks have been waging a campaign for Universal Health Care/Single Payer Health Care/Medicare Prescription Drugs for years with the emphasis in the past few months on overcoming Congress' foot-dragging in not passing any kind of drug benefit for Medicare recipients. Of late, the AARP has joined in the lobby and, with seniors being the most reliable voters, local politicians have weighed in on the Democratic plan that would guarantee a prescription drug benefit to all seniors under Medicare.

We must contact our Congresspeople by phone, mail, e-mail and in person whenever possible, and to plainly state our demand that people should not have to choose between food and drugs! In November the politicians' jobs will depend on it!

Whose "Free" Market?

Excerpts from SF Chronicle, 8/7/02: "Disillusioned Latin America Shifts to the Left" by Colin Barraclough, Chronicle Foreign Service.

"The growing popularity of the left is based on opposition to free- market policies advocated by the International Monetary Fund and implemented by a generation of U.S.-trained economists and politicians. thousands of unionists, retirees and others in Buenos Aires waved anti­U.S. placards at Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill the protest underscored a growing resentment against the United States.

"For the past decade, much of Latin America has struggled to adopt Washington's recipe of free markets and free trade. Across the region, governments promised prosperity through foreign investment, tight monetary policies and privatization.

"At first, inflation tumbled, competition improved services, and investment fueled growth. But the promised prosperity materialized only for the few. For the majority, privatization led to higher unemployment, cutbacks in service and price hikes.

"And after most big-ticket state-owned items [utilities, natural resources, consumer necessities] were sold off, foreign investment slowed to a trickle. As economic growth slowed in the late 1990s, governments adopted austerity measures that slashed social services, pension payments and funds for education and health care."

Sound familiar? We might say "I told you so!" but that's small comfort to the victims.

Names in the News

Congratulations, Rep. Barabara Lee, D-Oakland, who received the 12th Annual PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles National Literary Awards sixth annual Censorship Award.

Retiring House Majority Leader Rep. Dick Armey, R-Texas, is, as a lame duck, eschewing the party line by coming out with such heresies as being against the invasion of Iraq, opposed to the embargo of Cuba and slamming the Justice Department's plan for Operations TIPSthe Terrorism Information and Prevention System. Armey admitted feeling liberated by his iminent retirement: "I have found the most comforting words in the English language are, 'Dang it, I'm not running again. I'll do the right thing.' "

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. Production, Michael Flandi. Printed by Graffik Natwicks; Webpage design: Barry Simpkins

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