September 1997

Back to Newsletters

Back to Gray Panthers Home Page

September 1997 Newsletter

Convention Update - September 15

Opening speaker for the Convention on Friday, 
September 26 will be the Rev. Cecil Williams of
Glide Memorial Church. Rev. Williams will set the
tone for this convention in its dedication to fairness
and equity for all peoples.

Opening remarks on Saturday, will be presented by
Sarita Gupta, President, U.S. Student Association

At the Luncheon on Saturday, September 27

Featured speakers will be Matthew Martinez, 
	Congressman from Los Angeles;
Dolores Huerta, Leader of United Farm Workers;
Tom Ammiano, San Francisco Board of Supervisors

Dinner Banquet, Saturday, September 27 honorees:

The Maggie Kuhn National Award for Social Justice
will be presented to San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown,
and to the National Leadership of the AFL/CIO (John
Sweeney, Linda Chavez Thompson, Richard Trumka) and 
accepted by Mark Splain, Western Regional Director.
Walter Johnson, San Francisco Labor Council and 
Barbara Aldave, Dean of St. Mary's Law School will 
complete the list of dignitaries at the banquet.

On Sunday, September 28, opening remarks will come
from Fred Azcarate, National Director of Jobs With Justice.

Starting at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday there will be a demonstration at
Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco against the hazardous 
Cassini Project. We could be dooming our children to 
Plutonium poisoning just because NASA won't
wait for a safer energy source. Voice your opposition!

Info on times, places, fees, available at (415) 552-8800



Mon., Sept. 1, Labor Day.
Mon., Sept. 1, 1:30 p.m.
Shakespeare in the Park. Free performance of Much Ado About Nothing in Golden Gate Park. Plus Sat. & Sun. through September 28.
Sat., Sept. 6, 12:00 noon-4 p.m.
Youth for Economic Justice Summit: Afternoon of interactive activities, fun, refreshments for all interested in issues of unemployment, economic insecurity and related subjects. No cost. New College, 766 Valencia St. Call 928-1205 for more info.
Wed., Sept. 10, 1:30 p.m.
Board meeting at office. All welcome.
Thurs., Sept. 11., 10:00 a.m.
SAN: Seniors and Managed Care. Unitarian Church, Geary & Franklin.
Fri., Sept. 12, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Broken Ties: An Issue of Choice. Documentary by Debra Baker. 1967 attitudes toward unwed mothers at that time. Discussion of reproduction rights and benefits and reception with special guest Sen. Barbara Boxer and the film makers at the Women's Building. Info 861-8880.
Sat., Sept. 13, 8:00 p.m.
Freedom Song Network Songswaps: Uukani Mawethu, sings S. African Freedom songs. 885 Clayton.
Sun., Sept. 14, 2:00 p.m.
Memorial in honor of Violet "Vi" Jacobson at 4 Berry Street in San Francisco.
Sept. 26-28, Fri., Sat., and Sun.
Gray Panthers Biennial Convention. See first page for schedule, agenda and events. This convention will replace our usual monthly meeting, especially the Saturday Working Groups and assemblies. See you there!
Wed., Oct. 1, 12:00 noon
4th Annual Cancer Industry Tour of San Francisco. Join the Toxic Links Coalition in front of Chevron at 555 Market Street protesting shameful records of environmental injustices.

Voting delegates from the San Francisco Gray Panthers Network include:

Any of the above will be happy to explain further the plans, speakers as they accept, and workshop requirements and agendas.

You May Never Win a Sweepstakes But. . .
. . . you do have a chance to be a winner at this convention. We have a few $10.00 daily registration tickets which entitle you to everything but the food. There will be workshops, discussions and networking opportunities. Volunteer for just an hour or two at the convention or help with the preparations to qualify for the special rate. Call Mary Francis (621-7456) and let her know the day you want to attend and the area in which you are prepared to assist.

One of the richest experiences that come out of a convention of Gray Panthers is the one-on-one exchange that comes from sharing your home and its facilities. Some out-of-town members have requested your hospitality. Open your door and home if you have any room- a bed, futon or even a couch-call Augusta 452-1910 ASAP to make arrangements for your guest.

Convention Schedule At-A-Glance
Friday: Issue Day 8:30-11:30 a.m. Registration 9:30 a.m. Welcome and Hospitality 10:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Exhibits 12:30-1:00 p.m. Opening Remarks: Business 1:00-1:30 p.m. Gen. Assembly: Opening Speech 1:30-3:45 Jobs & Workers; Health Care; Education; Family Security; Political Integrity & Economic Opportunity; Environment; Foreign Policy 4:00-5:30 General Assembly: Reports from working groups Saturday: Action Day 8:00 a.m.-noon Registration 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Exhibits 9:00 a.m.-noon General Assembly: Reports Noon Luncheon with speaker 2:00-5:00 p.m. Reports and Skill-building 6:00 p.m. Gala Reception 7:00 p.m. Dinner Banquet with a featured speaker Sunday: Business Day 8:00 a.m.-noon Exhibits 9:00 a.m. Business Meeting: Bylaws; Reports; Elections; Director's Report; Farewell from Charlotte Flynn, retiring National Chair 12:00 Convention Adjourned

Northern California Network Notes
The regional meeting of GPs networks was held in San Lorenzo on July 26. Representatives from Southern Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Oakland, Berkeley, Sacramento and San Francisco attended. The main subject of the meeting was the upcoming convention. In addition, Augusta agreed that the SF Network would publish notes from our region whenever possible. Keep them coming!

The next regional meeting is scheduled for Saturday, November 1 in Marin.

From Sacramento: It is estimated that 50,000 women will die from breast cancer in 1997. Senate Bill S726 supports an optional 33¢ stamp for breast cancer research. That could net as much as $300,000,000 annually for research! Write to Dianne Feinstein, 1700 Montgomery St., Suite 305, S.F., CA 94111 and urge her to support the bill.

The free Congressional switchboard number is 1-800-962-3524. Use it to call Boxer, Feinstein, Matsui and Fazio. The Older Americans Act must be reauthorized immediately! At-risk, poor and disabled folks depend on the services the Act brings to the community.

Bay Area: Many HMO users do not know to whom to turn with problems or for advice. The following organizations are dedicated to give consumers independent medical advice.

Care Counsel in San Rafael (1-888-227-3334) will conduct a quality review of your cancer treatment in conjunction with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

In San Francisco HICAP, an acronym for Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program, is state financed and set up to address the problems Medicare recipients encounter with their health care providers. There is no charge for the program. For more information call 861-4444.

Care Counsel in San Rafael (888-227-3334) will conduct a quality review of your cancer treatment in conjunction with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Violet Jacobson 1920-1997
Family, friends and colleagues will join in a memorial for Violet "Vi" Jacobson who passed away on July 14, 1997. The memorial will be held at 2:00 p.m. on September 14, 1997 at 4 Berry Street in San Francisco.

Donations in her honor should be made to the Gray Panthers, National Council of Jewish Women and the San Francisco School Volunteers, efforts that Vi worked with and supported.

Vi was born in New York City and came to San Francisco fifty years ago. She worked with the California Labor School and for the United Jewish Community Center where she served as controller for more than 20 years. Vi was an active member of the San Francisco Gray Panthers and in 1988 became a member of the National Board of Directors. In 1992 she became the Secretary-Treasurer of the National Board and member of the Executive Committee and the Mahler Committee. And in 1995 Vi became a member of the National Gray Panthers Strategic Planning Committee of 15 members. The upcoming convention owes much of its planning and (we hope) successful fruition to Vi's dedicated critical, thoughtful foresight. Vi is survived by two sons, Joseph of Benicia and Michael of Rio Nido and by a myriad of friends and associates who shall miss her sorely.

An Urgent Message from Dr. Helen Caldicott
"Remember the old Hollywood movies when a mad scientist would risk the world to carry out his particular project? Well, those mad scientists have moved to NASA!" -Dr. Horst Poehler, Scientist for NASA contractor
This deadly nuclear experiment must be stopped.
On October 6, NASA plans to launch the Cassini Space Probe from Cape Canaveral. On board will be 72.3 pounds of plutonium-238, the most deadly form of plutonium. The Cassini launch could endanger millions of lives on earth. Scientists estimate that 20-30 million deaths from cancers alone would be caused by a re-entry accident. Other effects of exposure could include an increased incidence of genetic diseases and birth defects. Just one pound of Plutonium-238, hypothetically, if evenly distributed, could induce lung cancer in every person on earth.

Meanwhile, a safe alternative for powering missions like Cassini does exist. The European Space Agency has already developed highly efficient solar cell technology for deep space missions. Solar cells could provide the 745 watts of electricity that Cassini requires to power the instruments aboard the probe. Most of NASA's Earth orbit satellites already use solar power, and several studies have indicated that deep space missions such as the Cassini mission could be powered by solar cells. Excerpted from a letter from Dr. Caldicott to WILPF

What you can do: Send a postcard to President Clinton (see below). Copies of Contra Costa GPs' petitions are in the office. Get one or more and fill them out. Call the local offices of Senators Boxer and Feinstein and Representatives Pelosi and Lantos. Ask them to help stop the Cassini Space Probe.

President Bill Clinton 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Clinton, I am calling on you to use the power of your office to cancel the Cassini Space Probe. It could cost as much as $3.4 billion, spread 72.3 pounds of deadly plutonium through the atmosphere and and endanger as many as 30 million people. Solar technology is available to power the mission- even NASA admits the technology is possible. We can't afford nukes in space.



Dangers of Ruling on Older Workers from S. F. Chronicle, 8/5/97 Editor-I could not believe my eyes when I saw the article regarding the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruling regarding the legitimate dumping of older workers in favor of younger, lower paid employees. . . .

To me the ruling seems totally unconscionable. . . . By replacing older workers they will say goodby forever to loyalty, morale and dedication to the job. This ruling threatens the very fabric our country is made of. It must be overturned before it does irreparable damage. Hans G. Roenau, Tiberon

National Effort to Save Headwaters Forest
Will the world's last unprotected ancient redwoods be sacrificed in the name of corporate profit? Headwaters Forest in northern California, the world's last unprotected ancient redwood wilderness, teeters on the brink of extinction. These 60,000 acres of redwoods, including six ancient groves,are comprised of one of the few intact remnants of the primeval temperate rainforest that once blanketed the northwestern coast. In a mere 150 years, logging has decimated 96% of its original expanse. Headwaters supports giant trees over 300 feet tall and up to 2,000 years old and provides critical habitat to endangered species like the marbled murrelet, the northern spotted owl, and coho salmon. This forest also serves as an important ecological link between Redwood National Park to the north and Humboldt Redwoods State Park to the south. The establishment of a permanently protected Headwaters Forest Sanctuary is essential for the survival of this vanishing ecosystem.

For over a hundred years, Headwaters Forest was sustainably logged by the family-operated Pacific Lumber Company. In 1985, Charles Hurwitz and his Texas-based Maxxam Corporation acquired Pacific Lumber through a junk-bond financed hostile takeover. Hurwitz immediately doubled the rate of logging, clearcutting thousands of acres. For the past 11 years a coalition of environmental groups has waged a heroic struggle to preserve Headwaters through litigation, legislation and grassroots organizing. As public outrage increased, federal and state officials crafted a tentative agreement with Hurwitz to acquire 7,500 acres -only 12% of the 60,000 acre forest-and only two of the six ancient groves.

Under the tentative "deal" with the government, Maxxam will be allowed to begin the destructive practice of "salvage logging" on September 15, 1997. Headwaters Sanctuary Project is organizing candlelight vigils around the country to take place on the evening of September 14 to protest the pillaging of this national treasure and to draw attention to the urgent need to protect the entire 60,000 acres.

Gray Panthers volunteers are needed to attend and help coordinate vigils in their cities. To find out what's going on in your area and how to help, please call Aroza at the SF Gray Panthers, 567-5348 or Susan Stephenson at the Headwaters Sanctuary Project at (510) 444-4710, or e-mail her:

Toxic Links Coalition
Dear Friends of Toxic Links Coalition, October is approaching and we are preparing for the 4th Annual Cancer Industry Tour of San Francisco, scheduled for October 1st, Wednesday, at noon in front of Chevron, 555 Market Street. We are taking back the industry-endorsed "Breast Cancer Awareness Month" again this year by renaming it, more appropriately, Cancer Industry Awareness Month. The purpose of our protest is to expose, confront, and hold accountable: corporate polluters; public relations firms which clean up polluters' public images; government officials who display shameful records of environmental injustices; and, most importantly, the American Cancer Society whose national agenda does not acknowledge the environmental connection to cancer. We need your help!

Please call (510) 548-9286 or (415) 243-8373x305 to get more involved or get more info.

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; Webpage design: Barry Simpkins

Back to Newsletters

Back to Gray Panthers Home Page