Tag: Ahimsa Porter Sumchai M.D.
One photo in particular caught my attention. It’s simplicity and composition stand out when viewed from the eye of the photographer…a man dedicated to his work and loyal to his purpose as a longshore worker. Taken in the mid 1960’s, it depicts an isolated freighter ship offshore from a pier at the Hunters Point Shipyard. I call it “View from the Shipyard.” I don’t know why that cargo ship was so important it became the centerpiece of a technicolor photo. My Dad was probably the shipping clerk responsible for accounting its cargo.
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.
The United States Navy is not a public health organization. It is a military organization complicit in an exploding public health crisis at the Hunters Point Shipyard in San Francisco, California. Yet, with no evidence-based human health risk data to support its pronouncement, the Navy is the lead voice in a deafening echo chamber of government officials, health department representatives and mainstream media outlets who absurdly claim no risk to public health or harm to residents, workers or the environment has occurred due to dangerous redevelopment activities on a federal Superfund site!
San Francisco is home to the former Hunters Point Shipyard. Once called “the world’s greatest shipping yard,” it was declared a federal Superfund site in 1989, defined by USEPA as “one of the nation’s most contaminated lands.” Contaminated by radioactive and toxic waste from decades of military and industrial use, including toxic metals, PCBs, radionuclides, pesticides and volatile organic compounds. Numerous studies document Southeast SF is burdened by adverse health impacts due to cumulative exposures to toxic air pollution, carcinogens and industrial waste.
On behalf of thousands of victims including residents, deceased family members and unborn children, renowned civil rights attorney Charles Bonner filed a $27 billion lawsuit on May Day for damages arising from threats of cancer and other incurable illnesses relating to the documented fraud by U.S. Navy contractor Tetra Tech in assuring that the radiated land at the Hunters Point Shipyard had been cleaned. Learn more and JOIN THE LAWSUIT at the townhall meeting on Saturday, June 9, 1-3 p.m., at the Joseph Lee Rec Center, 1395 Mendell St. in Bayview Hunters Point.
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.”
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!
Now, as the San Francisco Bay View newspaper’s 40th birthday year comes to a close, is the time to bring up to date the historical sketch of our paper that I began with Part 1 in the January paper. Piles of old papers rest on my desk, waiting to be read once again – a banquet of stories and pictures of our lives, our hopes, our goals. Let me let you taste the flavor of the freedom we continue to fight for in the age of Trump.
It’s 2016, 40 years since Muhammad al-Kareem founded the New Bayview, now renamed the San Francisco Bay View, in 1976. Inspired by Malcolm X, he wanted to bring a newspaper like Muhammad Speaks to Bayview Hunters Point. He’ll tell the story of those early years, and I’ll pick it up now at the point when my wife Mary and I took over in 1992. Watching our first paper roll through the huge two-story tall lumbering old press at Tom Berkley’s Post Newspaper Building on Feb. 3, 1992, was a feel-like-flying thrill we’ll never forget.
The SF Bay View newspaper applauds the strength and integrity of state and federal regulators who have taken the ultimate stand in protecting the health and future of the Bayview Hunters Point community. In so doing you have joined the “Forest of Mighty Oaks” planted in Bayview Hunters Point who have stood in open defiance against the tyranny and onslaught of political corruption and for-profit development operating in San Francisco. But we hate to say we told you so ... for over 15 years!
To: Lily Lee, Cleanup Project Manager, Superfund Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 - I wish to submit the following comments regarding human health and safety concerns stemming from the proposed transfer of HPNS (Hunters Point Naval Shipyard) Parcels D2, UC1, UC2 and associated buildings 813, 819, 823 and IR 50 storm drains and sanitary sewer lines.
A cleanup worker at the decommissioned Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in southeast San Francisco is facing a rare life threatening cancer he believes is caused by his exposure to known toxins at the federal Superfund site. Diagnosed with a Peripheral T Cell Lymphoma, an aggressive high grade lymphoid malignancy with a five year survival rate of 32 percent, the worker has retained the high powered New York law firm Weitz & Luxenberg.
Whistleblowers at the Hunters Point Shipyard told a reporter, “I wouldn’t feel comfortable living there having a yard where I could grow a garden. Absolutely not." “I wouldn’t go there, I wouldn’t take my grandchildren there, I wouldn’t walk my dog there.” A Treasure Island whistleblower said, “My job is to protect people and the environment, and it’s just not getting done.”
Many scientists are looking at the role caesarian sections and early induction of labor is having on the rising incidence of preterm births in our country. Recent evidence suggests that infant mortality in Black women is linked to a low incidence of breast feeding.
A survey sent in April of 2008 by the Union of Concerned Scientists to 5,419 EPA scientists reports that 900 scientists say the White House watered down documents regarding climate change and inserted industry language into EPA power plant regulations and that scientific advisory panel conclusions about toxic chemicals went unheeded.
In 2001 I founded the Radiological Subcommittee of the Hunters Point Shipyard. I became obsessed by the potential for one of the worst toxic environmental impacts to the human cell being realized with this development project on a federal Superfund site: Small radioactive particles called radionuclides becoming airborne on dust and breathed into the lungs and circulatory system of children.
Recent DNA analysis confirms the earliest inhabitants of modern day China migrated from the African continent thousands of year ago and brings to full circle a genealogical journey I have embarked upon to embrace my African and Asian roots. I grew up in public housing in southeastern San Francisco where racial tension and conflict today exist between the African American and Asian communities sparked by culture clash and kindled by gentrification.
The latest “evolutionary debutante” is Ardi – Ardipithecus Ramidus – whose complete skull and pelvis crowns her as the greatest grandmother of modern day humans. About 2 million years ago these women evolved into the species Homo erectus. They walked upright out of Africa to populate the world.
By the 1980s, the largest population of African Americans in the state of California owned homes, property and businesses in the Bayview Hunters Point district of San Francisco. Now, the BVHP Redevelopment Project threatens to deprive them of their land, historical legacy and culture, fulfilling the United Nations definition of a government sponsored genocidal campaign.
Back on the front burner! The Obama White House has taken the “bull by the horns” in an effort to move the momentum of national health reform forward in the midst of stagnation, charges of political corruption and back room deal making and a shifting tide of public opinion regarding the need for massive overhaul of our nation’s health care system.
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