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As San Francisco Public Utilities Commission officials focus on developing a new property at Evans Avenue and Third Street in the Bayview, its facility at 1800 Oakdale Ave. sits in virtual suspense, putting in jeopardy the hard-won benefits intended to compensate for expanding sewage treatment facilities in the neighborhood since the 1970s. The handsome building at 1800 Oakdale, opened in 1987, exists only because community leaders demanded it be built in exchange for the community’s reluctant agreement to the City’s plan to treat 80 percent of San Francisco’s sewage in its Blackest neighborhood.
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.
My name is Troy Williams. On Monday, Juneteenth, Black Liberation Day, I agreed to be the editor for the Bay View newspaper. It is with great honor, respect and much consideration that I step into this position. I recognize that over the past 40-plus years the Bay View has been a voice for the people. Simply put, we speak truth to power, logic to the illogical, from the perspective of those who seldom have a platform to speak from. The time has come for us to stand together and share our insights in a manner that will continue to strengthen our voices and move us beyond the pitfalls that came before or lie ahead.
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!
Community activist, retired civil service employee and U.S. Navy veteran, we have lost a great man. Michael went on to live with the Lord. His memory and legacy of helping others and claiming their self-worth is immeasurable. For those of us fortunate enough to know Mike, failure was not an option. He never gave up on life, people or family! Michael will forever be missed by those of us he leaves behind.
Providence Baptist Church was packed for the second homegoing service for Dr. Espanola Jackson, a legendary icon to the people of Bayview Hunters Point and citywide. Her family and friends and city and state officials who have felt her pressure to do the right thing came to honor her so as to make sure, despite her transition, that justice prevails like a mighty stream – pure, powerful and calm.
Mama “E” was a well-loved woman who changed California, San Francisco and Bayview Hunters Point forever. With Bible scriptures, fearlessness, faith and divine love planted in her huge heart, chosen and powerfully guided from above, she set out to make changes, for justice and equality. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, Feb. 4, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at Grace Tabernacle Community Church, 1121 Oakdale Ave., and a homegoing service on Friday, Feb. 5, 12 noon, at Providence Baptist Church, 1601 McKinnon, off Third Street, both in Hunters Point, San Francisco.
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.”
On Nov. 13 the San Francisco Chronicle ran a lead story written by the S.F.-based Center for Investigative Reporting. The story was about the radioactive contamination of Treasure Island, a former U.S. Navy base in the middle of the Bay. This story is important in and of itself but also because it once again unearths the region’s role in the birth of the atomic age and also highlights the radioactive legacy that continues to haunt us.
The San Francisco Labor Council, working hand in glove with Lennar, expects Lennar to give the jobs building thousands of condos to its construction trade union members – mostly white men who don’t live in San Francisco. To appear concerned about the 40-50 percent joblessness in Hunters Point, they want $2.3 million in federal stimulus money to build a training center.
On Tuesday, Jan. 12, at 12 noon, a press conference will be held on the steps of City Hall in San Francisco by the Ohlone, the original people of the land. It will begin with a welcome and blessing by the Ohlone and, at its conclusion, they will deliver letters to the Planning Department calling for their inclusion in the planning process for Lennar's development of Candlestick Point and the Hunters Point Shipyard and an extension of the draft EIR comment period.
The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) predicts a 16-inch mid-century sea level rise, covering Bay Area coastal lands and eventually swamping downtown San Francisco up to Market Street. The primary global warming gas is carbon dioxide. Methane gas, heavily implicated in global warming, has been emitted for years from the Bayview Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. Sea level rise will release methane gas from wetlands and landfill, of which much of Hunters Point is composed.
On Thursday, Sept. 3, at their weekly town hall meeting, the leaders of SLAM (Stop Lennar Action Movement) reminded the audience of the kind of power they have in the battle to save Bayview Hunters Point. Minister Christopher Muhammad, Archbishop Franzo King and Francisco Da Costa shared the latest news of SLAM’s progress and urged the audience to understand that by staying focused and vigilant and not letting anything turn them around, they will win the war.
The San Francisco Housing Authority plans to tear down thousands of homes in public housing and give the projects to Bridge Housing, the John Stewart Co. and Mercy Housing to prey on the poor and gentrify the areas. Bridge will have Potrero public housing, John Stewart has already started executing its plans at Hunters View in Hunters Point and Mercy Housing is waiting for the green light to gentrify and make hay while the sun shines at Sunnydale. Where are the people? They are fast asleep!
On Feb. 19, hundreds of people who have been attending town hall meetings in nine cities in and around the Bay Area - motivated by the BART police execution of Oscar Grant III and other critical threats to our communities - made the first of many Caravan for Justice trips to Sacramento.