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The Hunters Point Shipyard remediation and development has spawned an environmental justice “engine” that drives media and government transparency. The SF Bay View newspaper remains the source of disinfecting sunlight and the science of community protection.
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.
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.
We caught the vision of the Shipyard, asked our Lennar sales rep. some pointed questions about the safety of this former Superfund site and were told it had been “thoroughly cleaned up, inspected and certified by the EPA as safe to build homes on.” As they often stated, the land that had been transferred for development had previously housed “officers’ quarters,” so none of the radiological testing being done on other parts of the Shipyard had happened there. I mean, of course they wouldn’t build if it wasn’t clean … right?
Daniel Hirsch, president of the nonprofit Committee to Bridge the Gap and former director of the Program on Environmental and Nuclear Policy at the University of California Santa Cruz, spoke with the press in advance of a community presentation at Hunters Point Shipyard. Many Shipyard residents have been frustrated with what they feel are less than forthcoming answers from the Navy and regulatory agencies regarding the radioactive contamination at the Shipyard.
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.”
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.
Liberation News spoke with Bradley Angel, the executive director of Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, about the news that a U.S. Navy-sponsored review of the radioactive cleanup at the former shipyard in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point revealed massive fraud by federal contractor Tetra Tech. According to the review, nearly half of the data produced by Tetra Tech has been manipulated, falsified or is otherwise suspect.
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!
Jennifer Ford has been fighting since February of 2015 to have her grandson placed in her custody. She passed the kinship home assessment, submitted five character letters, passed the criminal background check, and took parenting classes and a foster care class – all of which resulted in her approval for kinship care. In the end, none of Jennifer’s efforts or good intentions, nor the best interests of the child, mattered.
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.
When SF’s top officials gathered for the annual State of the City address on the morning of Jan. 17, 2014, instead of the elegant environs of City Hall, they descended on a construction site at the Hunters Point Shipyard. Despite the rosy picture painted by the mayor, some of the people working at the Shipyard were on their way to losing everything. The program meant to help small local construction companies benefit from the development was instead driving some against the wall. A survey of the Shipyard’s local contractors and a review of public documents reveal systemic issues with the local builders program.
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!
State and federal regulators asked the Navy to stop transferring land from the Hunters Point Shipyard to San Francisco’s control while investigators look into reports that contractor Tetra Tech misrepresented its work cleaning up the toxic Superfund site. In a Sept. 13 letter to Navy official Lawrence Lansdale, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Angeles Herrera and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control’s Janet Naito requested confirmation that the Navy will not propose any land transfers for the time being.
Although Bayview Hunters Point is one of the most beautiful Black communities in California, it is also one of the most toxic places in the country due to the radiation experiments that took place on the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in the ‘40s and many other generators of deadly toxins, most of them government owned. Dr. Ray Tompkins, a historian and a scientific expert on the pollution in Bayview Hunters Point, gives an in-depth interview. Check him out in his own words.
We want to invite every friend of the SF Bay View newspaper to our 40th anniversary party. It’s a free event this Sunday, Feb. 21, 1-5 p.m., at the Main Library, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco. Come one, come all and let’s celebrate 40 years of the most radical Black newspaper in the country. Enjoy a panel of Bay View writers, a fashion show and performances by the legendary Avotcja, Stoney Creation and Sista Iminah reminding us of the beauty and talent in our community.
Lennar’s track record in Bayview Hunters Point and on Yerba Buena Island clearly demonstrates a pattern of offering assurances they will provide poor, Black and Brown people affordable housing, then finding ways to renege on their promises and kicking them out. Join the protest by residents of Bayview Hunters Point, the Mission and Treasure Island at Lennar’s sales office at 645 Howard St., between Second and Third in downtown San Francisco on Thursday, Jan. 28, at noon, for a rally and a quick march to US EPA headquarters.
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.
In the mix, during the recent hot Friday early evening, for the PORT OF SAN FRANCISCO RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY, that included Supervisor SCOTT WIENER, D-8. Local Bayview community members and Port officials, that included Commission President LESLIE KATZ and Commissioner KIMBERLY BRANDON. Special guest GUY JOHNSON, son of the late MAYA ANGELOU, accompanied by his wife, lovely STEPHANIE FLOYD JOHNSON, took part in the celebration.
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.