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Twenty years ago, the city of San Francisco moved thousands of its homeless and low-income residents into former military housing on Treasure Island, a small artificial land mass whose 55 years as a Navy base left it covered in toxic radiation. Today, construction on the island has it on track to becoming a bustling, upscale extension of the city. The problem is, some of those residents from 20 years ago are still there. So are thousands of others who have moved in since. So is the radiation.
On Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, the second San Francisco Board of Supervisors audit hearing will be held on racial discrimination in City jobs. The public is urged to attend the press conference on the City Hall steps at 12:30 and the hearing in the Board Chambers beginning at 3 p.m. The first hearing on Sept. 19, 2018, brought literally hundreds of workers to the Supervisors’ Chambers and the overflow room. Dozens testified that they had faced numerous instances of racist discrimination and retaliation and even physical assaults by city managers.
As a shockwave of disclosures expands the Hunters Point scandal, more startling historical and scientific facts were revealed by Daniel Hirsch, former University of California Santa Cruz Program on Environmental and Nuclear Policy director on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018. A clutch of powerful federal, state and local politicians has been involved for decades in the remediation and redevelopment of Superfund sites Hunters Point and Treasure Island.
At the March 2018 Treasure Island Restoration Advisory Board meeting, remediation project manager Dave Clark “recollected” that, between 2006 and 2016, the Navy unearthed 1,280 radiological objects, one for every two residents. By contrast, on Sept. 13, San Francisco Chronicle reporters announced the “startling” discovery at Hunters Point of a single “radium deck marker about the size of a silver dollar” near condos on 75-acre Parcel A, which was transferred to the city in 2004 – startling because “contamination ... was cleaned up years ago.”
I was born on July 11, 1954. My brother Charles was born on July 17. We’re cancers. We’re tough. He’s older than I am. He’s an Irish twin. We’re the same age for six days. I was born in a Kansas City hospital – County Hospital Number Two – a segregated hospital. Hospital Number One was for white people. Hospital Two was for Black people. Kansas was a border state. They didn’t have slaves, but they didn’t like Black people.
At 11:00 a.m. Monday, April 16, 2018, community organizer Steve Zeltzer introduced former Treasure Island residents Andre Patterson and Felita Sample, who had been invited to speak at this press conference where whistle-blowers exposed the malfeasance of remediation contractor Tetra Tech on Hunters Point and Treasure Island. “I want to introduce two people today who’ve been personally affected by the corruption and the coverup at Treasure Island."
Join us today, June 19, at Building One, Treasure Island, at 5:30 to speak at a Tribunal holding bad actors Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Nancy Pelosi to account for their RICO crimes. The Tribunal is being held just before the 7:00 p.m. RAB meeting, where speakers will talk to the Navy and the RAB members. Looking forward to seeing you today.
Hunters Point and Treasure Island are historical Siamese twins, inextricably linked by Navy nuclear activity and toxic dumping. As Tetra Tech’s fakery and malfeasance is exposed, Hunters Point is receiving massive attention, but Treasure Island victims continue to be poisoned and evicted, attracting scant notice and no help. Taxpayers are footing the bill to the tune of billions for massive Navy remediation, botched cleanups and two redeveloped, but toxic, Naval bases, where, in the end, no one can safely live.
On Monday, April 16, at 11 a.m. at the U.S. Federal Building, 450 Golden Gate Ave. in San Francisco, United Public Workers for Action and concerned citizens will hold a press conference calling on San Francisco’s U.S. Attorney to begin a criminal investigation and prosecution of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who have refused to investigate the massive $1 billion fraud by the Navy and Tetra Tech in their botched and faked cleanups of both Hunters Point and Treasure Island.
For both armed and unarmed combat, the United States military is unparalleled in the world. So, when the U.S. Navy points the finger for its bungled Hunters Point cleanup at Tetra Tech to deflect from its own liability, it’s a carefully thought-out advance strategy that has worked for decades on contaminated Naval bases around the globe.
Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, marked the death of the 1,044th person that we know of killed by Tasers in North America, the most recent in Oakland after a man, Marcellus Toney, tried to flee a multi-vehicle accident. This unnecessary death reveals the primary reason why San Franciscans have consistently rejected Tasers for the SFPD. Yet on Nov. 3, the San Francisco Police Commission voted and approved a renewed proposal to arm the SFPD with these weapons. This begs the question: Who are the proponents of Tasers?
After 18 years subjecting San Franciscans who were homeless, poor and mostly of color to massive toxic hazards and environmental racism on radiation and chemically contaminated Treasure Island, the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA)’s redevelopment consortium – Five Point, Stockbridge Capital Group, Lennar, Wilson-Meany, John Stewart Co. and other financial interests – seem to be attempting to induce tenants to leave the island while forestalling possible legal roadblocks.
I have chosen to use a piece of poetry as my editorial for this month. I had not written poetry in years but was inspired after reading an article written in the Bay View by Chinyere Egu, listening to the music of Grand Opus, and spending the weekend with my daughter and grandchildren. Spoken word, whether it came in the form of old Negro spirituals or old school hip-hop, has always inspired our people to move beyond the limitations of our current situation.
For those who are trapped here, San Francisco’s Treasure island shares similarities with a death camp they can’t escape. Men, women and children are stricken with tumors and cancers from exposure to radiation, chemicals and lead the Navy dumped into island soil during 50 years training sailors for nuclear war, as well as lung disease from asbestos and mold in the walls of military housing.
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.
My name is Felita Sample. My mysterious illnesses and my daughter LaKrista’s strange afflictions developed after we moved from San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood to Treasure Island. Imagine never-ending nausea and daily dizziness. You can’t tolerate the thought of food. You override this loathing and force yourself to eat. You soon find that anything edible, including water, triggers dry heaves that wrack your chest and abdomen.
When The John Stewart Co., which functions as Treasure Island property management, got wind of this San Francisco Bay View news story exposing an employee for illegally bullying and attempting to break in on a subsidized tenant, the company hired the San Francisco-based Zanghi law firm to threaten the publisher, editor and reporter with a cease and desist letter. Read their letter and our response.
After LaKrista and I were manipulated into moving onto Treasure Island, we discovered it was toxic and was making us sick. So we decided to tell the world. I experienced no ill health and had never been hospitalized until, in 2004, I moved to Treasure Island. Soon, my young daughter LaKrista and I manifested similar strange symptoms. Years later, I put two and two together. I learned that neighbors on my block suffered the same illnesses as LaKrista and I.
The Navy is withholding from San Francisco taxpayers that, to jump-start billions for FivePoint Holdings, a branch of the Lennar corporation, it is fast-tracking Treasure Island redevelopment. San Franciscans remain uninformed that because the Navy is conducting 20 simultaneous building demolitions and site excavations, 39 chemical digs, and 820 radiation, arsenic and petroleum removal actions, islanders are currently hard-hit by wind-borne toxins.
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!