Tags Treasure Island
Tag: Treasure Island
Behind a chain link fence on Site 6’s northern border across Avenue M from the island’s Wastewater Treatment plant, the Navy stores, moves out and continually replaces a trail of thousands of large boxcar shaped containers full of radiologically toxic materials to be shipped off-island. “There have been several (high-radiation) shipments and about a thousand intermodal (containers) of radium waste shipped from Treasure Island.”
Situated at Treasure Island’s northwest corner on Site 12, Halyburton Court consists of a small cluster of vacant 24-unit apartment buildings that, from the 1970s to 1996, housed military families. Considering all possible contamination sources, it is noteworthy that from 1957 to 1969, before Halyburton Court was built, the Navy operated a radiological training school just south along the perimeter facing San Francisco.
Think of Treasure Island as an iridescent green glowing ghost ship whose prow divides the blue waves as it navigates San Francisco Bay waters gliding northwest under the Golden Gate Bridge. On the tidy front lawn of your market rate or low income Site 12 rental brought to you courtesy of The John Stewart Co., it is as if you are standing at the bow of the radioactive vessel as it carries its toxic contents ever forward into a stunning red-gold sunset.
On March 24, following years of monthly RAB meetings with a skeptical Treasure Island community, the Navy announced “a radiological finding beneath a non-leased housing unit” and will “conduct radiological surveys of all the units under lease within Site 12 at the former Naval Station Treasure Island.” Supervisor Kim asks: “What is the Navy’s commitment and contribution ... to ensure that (current residents) have a safe place to live? Moreover, are there any health concerns living here on the island while the survey is being conducted?”
Since the early ‘90s, the Navy has been locating and “remediating” radioactive hot spots from Treasure Island. But it wasn’t until two weeks ago, Feb. 12, 2014, that Kathryn Lundgren learned of the presence of a toxic former burn pit buried next to her home. It was never revealed by Navy officials in any monthly Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) meeting.
Before beginning construction on Treasure Island’s massive high rise project, the Navy is committed to “restoration.” It must test the soil to locate “hot” or “radioactive spots” and what it terms “hot commodities.” “Hot commodities” are radioactive objects the Navy left behind during World War II that rendered the surrounding soil radioactive and dangerous to life.
One Treasure Island resident suspects that her mother’s mysterious death, her children’s strange maladies and her husband’s cardiac event are attributable to at least 14 radioactive elements, a minimum of 26 chemical contaminants and other pollutants deposited in soil after 1941, when the Navy commandeered the island during World War II.
Due to San Francisco’s housing crunch, Treasure Island became a repository for low-income families and people at risk of homelessness. Consequently, the Navy’s ad nauseam public reassurances to largely poor and people of color at Treasure Island that no dangerous levels of radioactivity now exist imparts a suspicious race and class taint to its minimizations and denials.
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.
Over the last several months, a conversation has been underway about job standards for maintenance workers at Treasure Island. The fundamental question of the Treasure Island dialog is: How do we serve a targeted population of candidates while delivering the wages, benefits and retirement enjoyed by workers doing the same work in the City and County?
District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly, champion of the have-nots in San Francisco for a decade, has passed the torch and endorsed James Keys, his longtime legislative assistant and campaign coordinator, to be his successor. “James was by my side through my toughest battles,” Daly said.
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!