August 29, 2018
Once upon a time … in a reality far, far away … Amy D.C. Brownell, PE, a licensed professional engineer with the Environmental Division of the San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH), accepted the mandate to protect human health and the environment as a permanent regulator seated on the Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) of the Hunters Point Shipyard, a federal Superfund site. RABs are democratically elected bodies created by Congress to empower community stakeholders with the opportunity to direct the cleanup and reuse of former military installations.
May 29, 2018
Word has it that the first 20 enslaved Africans were brought to Jamestown, Virginia, sometime during the month of August in 1619. Wow! That means next year, August 2019 will extend that legacy to exactly 400 years. Look out, Jamestown, here we come to commemorate, commiserate and consummate 400 years of MAAFA! Below is an excerpt from my poem, “The Art of Living Black,” which summarizes those 400 years, opening with an addition of recent local occurrences and indignities that have become a part of the Black Experience.
May 26, 2018
Businesses asked the city to “do something” about the encampments. Perhaps it’s up to the businesses to work out something with the homeless. The solution to the conflict between the business and the homeless is not simply to evict the people. They will not find a solution to the conflict without talking directly to the homeless people. At these discussions, the homeless must be respected and treated equally. They must be treated like citizens with their own needs, not as problems. Businesses could benefit from such discussions.
April 26, 2018
Our story begins on any weekday morning in the mid 1940s, when thousands of men, migrants from the American South to “Frisco,” converged upon the gates of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard on their way to work. To do their jobs building and repairing ships for the biggest employer in the San Francisco Bay Area during the war time economic boom. By 1908, the San Francisco Drydock, operating at the shipyard, had become “the world’s greatest shipping yard.”
January 29, 2018
Breaking news reports in the mainstream media this week supplant the humble role the SF Bay View has played for over two decades in alerting the San Francisco community to the ongoing threats to health, safety and the environment stemming from the botched radiological remediation that continues at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. On Jan. 31, 2018, the US Navy has scheduled an Open House on Radiological Cleanup. Be there and be heard. It is time to take a stand against the final straw of criminal negligence, coverup and dangerous corruption that is driving the shipyard development like a diesel powered train on a track to nowhere!
January 15, 2018
We must raise the query, what is the value in a monument when our country has fallen so far backwards in race relations under this president? We need a movement. In Dr. King’s honor, every American must join this movement to establish justice, peace and equality of opportunity for all. Through reasoned compromise, both sides resolve every injustice with a plan of action. Each act of reconciliation is one step closer to King’s “Beloved Community.”
January 2, 2018
More than 200 people died while living on the streets of San Francisco in 2017. I recently received an invitation from the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness to attend the annual homeless persons memorial on the evening of Dec. 21. Throughout the evening, readings and songs by community and religious leaders were followed by the most powerful part of the memorial, the reading of the names of those who have died. As the death toll mounted to over 200, my anger grew.
July 26, 2017
On Thursday, July 27, the Planning Commission will be deciding whether or not the formerly homeless, low-income vets in 15 units in the Bayview will get to stay or be forced out to face an uncertain future. Housing Rights Committee, a local tenants’ rights organization that has been working with the tenants, is calling on the commission to reject the permits to demolish these units, which are rent controlled.
June 2, 2017
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered locally by the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth & Their Families (DCYF), 60 sites in every San Francisco neighborhood will offer free lunches and afternoon snacks to children and youth age 18 and under every Monday through Friday from May 30 to Aug. 18. No proof of need, registration or identification is required in order to receive a lunch or snack. Arrive at a designated site during the site’s serving time.
March 9, 2017
The redevelopment of the Hunters Point Shipyard was derailed last year by whistleblower reports that Navy contractor Tetra Tech had faked more data than previously believed about the cleanup of the toxic and radioactive Superfund site. With land transfers on hold and city powers reeling, the Navy hired global engineering company CH2M Hill to review Tetra Tech’s data and do community outreach. One problem: CH2M Hill also faked environmental data on the very same project.
December 16, 2016
A young man shown on video in a physical confrontation with BART police has been acquitted of four counts of battery on a police officer, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi announced Thursday, Dec. 16. Jurors deliberated two days before finding Michael Smith, 22, not guilty Wednesday afternoon of the four counts. Jurors deadlocked 9-3 in favor of acquittal on two additional counts of battery on a police officer and one count of resisting arrest. Prosecutors on Friday are expected to announce whether they will dismiss the remaining charges or retry Smith.
October 17, 2016
The “Merit Center” at the San Francisco Juvenile Justice Center is a new room at the detention facility designed to reward kids for good behavior. According to staff, it was “100 percent complete” eight months ago. According to Juvenile Justice Center Chief of Probation Allen Nance, it is “95 percent complete” as of Oct. 6, 2016, and will be ready in “a few weeks.” No kid will be able to enjoy or play one game in this new room, until Allen Nance is finished playing the bizarre “Dog and Pony” game.
August 28, 2016
A proposal by HUD and the Obama administration that is allegedly meant to combat segregation and break up concentrations of poverty actually threatens Section 8 renters (Housing Choice Voucher holders) – the elderly, poor and disabled – with higher rents and eviction. It has many Section 8 tenants worried about their future in the Bay Area, New York and elsewhere.
August 1, 2016
The hub of Hunters Point at Third and Oakdale was buzzing with traffic and throngs of people as they assembled outside of the Bayview Opera House. The Moon Candy soul band was on the stage as people began to sit in the new seats in the outside auditorium. The Opera House had been closed for remodeling for four years. Finally, on July 20, the new Opera House was unveiled to the public.
July 27, 2016
As police murders accumulate, and police chiefs get fired and replaced because they cannot stop it – as in Oakland and San Francisco – the notion that this represents a political crisis becomes a truism. It is not a “crisis of policing,” which would suggest a situation beyond the capacities of the police. It is the police who have become the crisis.
July 25, 2016
The No New SF Jail Coalition has been selected to receive the prestigious Hero Award by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and its Equity Advisory Committee. The coalition celebrated a monumental victory last December, when, after years of community organizing and advocacy, they persuaded the Board of Supervisors to reject plans for a new jail in San Francisco.
July 21, 2016
The Blue Ribbon Panel on Transparency, Accountability, and Fairness in Law Enforcement has released its final report detailing its year-long investigation into issues of potential bias in the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD). The panel found that the SFPD is in need of greater transparency, lacks robust oversight, must rebuild trust with the communities it serves, and should pay greater attention to the potential for bias against people of color, with respect to both its own police officers and members of the public.
June 30, 2016
The air has gotten worse, not better. So these are some of the things that are caused by the dust, the construction and the latent chemicals they have not cleaned up since World War II – plus the current concentration of light industry just outside our neighborhood that all blows into our neighborhood. Yet currently less than 1 percent of African Americans who live in Bayview work in that area and reap the economic benefits. All we get is the pollution and death.
June 17, 2016
Oakland City Council President Lynette McElhaney discusses the most recent sex scandal sweeping OPD and other Bay Area law enforcement agencies, where over two dozen officers and agents had sex or inappropriate dealings with the same underage girl. Councilwoman McElhaney equates sex work with slavery. She also stresses the need for the community to help organizations that support women and girls who have been abused by the sex industry.
April 6, 2016
The politics, color and income of Oakland is changing rapidly, similar to what happened over in San Francisco, where the population went from 16 percent Black in the 1970s to 3 percent Black and shrinking today. Oakland, like many other largely Black cities, is being plagued by gentrification. Instead of suffering in silence, Timothy Killings, a member of the Northern California People’s Housing Union, invites you to join the collective this Saturday, 12-3 p.m., at the Quilombo Community Center, 2313 San Pablo in West Oakland. Food and child care will be provided and all are invited.