I have worked with Russians before on many fronts and many issues. My first encounter was in Europe in the early 70's in Vienna, Austria.
The projects I was engaged in were mostly scholarly and I always admired the high standards maintained by many then Soviet Universities. Russia has always produced high caliber scientists.
Much of my present work brings me to address the Environment. I have had extensive participation as a stakeholder working on the Cleanup at the Presidio of San Francisco. The same with the Naval Shipyard at Hunters Point. Many of the articles on this web site attest to the fact.
The Russians were here visiting us at the Bayview to understand and dialog - check out the constituents, address the environmental issues at hand. Most of the Russians are involved in some organization or project involving the Environment. Among them a few scientists who work extensively on environmental concerns back home in Russia.
Among the many the few names I will mention are Olga Senova, Alexander Fedorov PhD, Oleg Bodrov. This Russian Group was invited here by Fund for International Nonprofit Development (FIND). Jennifer Gaspar represented FIND and I presented to the Russian Group a documentary that deals with Environmental Injustice called "Hunters Point on Fire". You should all see this documentary.
The Russians posed some very practical questions most of them laced with scientific findings. Again and again the few who answered the questions linked to the toxins on the Hunters Point Shipyard went on the defensive. We cannot blame the NAVY for everything. It is the easy way out. We ought to be united and have a progressive plan.
The Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) formed to address the concerns of the constituents of Bayview Hunters Point have not held one single Public Meeting. Not a RAB meeting but a meeting where all or some of the RAB members call for a real Public Meeting - giving the Public sufficient notice and discuss the cleanup facts in a factual manner. We had one such meeting on a small scale at Kiska Road but it was at short notice and too many issues were discussed including the beating of the innocent children on Dr. Martin Luther King's holiday - January 21, 2002.
Again and again the Russians asked the local activists present why do we (the constituents) not go forward and carry out independent air tests, water tests, soil test. Again and again the answers tended to blame the NAVY, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the City and so on.
The Navy indeed has polluted the Shipyard. The Navy should have had a through cleaning years ago - when over 400 million were spent before 2001. The RAB did not do its job years ago. The RAB infighting and at least one member who lives in the vicinity of the Naval Base - her whole purpose was to disrupt any progress. This woman is still on the RAB as a member having lost her job as the co-chair.
The local activists gathered could not stand their ground in any other neighborhood - where environmental activists are united and have a clear strategy. We in Bayview Hunters Point cannot attain any concrete goals if we are NOT united and if we do not have accountability and transparency. The empowerment MUST come from the community.
The so-called leaders who speak for the Bayview Hunters Point community - mostly African Americans were not present at the meeting with the Russians. These are the same leaders who talk to Supervisor Sophia Maxwell, represent us on the Southern Waterfront Area Committee, negotiate with Pacific Gas and Electric and are on the take, get their salaries from the San Francisco Department of the Energy from grants - DOE got its money from mitigation fees which were given by power plants - which includes PG&E.
The mitigation fees some $13.5 million should have been spent on the children, the infants, the youth, the seniors - all those who were adversely impacted by the pollutants from PG&E. How ever not one single cent has been spent on those who have suffered all these years. It is a shame that the mandated language, which states that the money should be spent in the Hunters Point area - has been diverted by the crooks elsewhere. This is a shame and I ask what are our local activists doing? What is Supervisor Sophia Maxwell doing? The Mayor?
We have so called environmentalists who want to build a Living Classroom at Heron's Head. Heron's Head Park, which comes under the jurisdiction on the San Francisco Port Authority, is polluted. It stands on a toxic dump - to date Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ) has NOT provide the public with soil tests from the site. Yet the plans call to take the children to this toxic site so that they may learn about the environment. PG&E pollute this site every single day, as it is a stone throw away. Just imagine taking our children to Chernobyl.
It is a shame that the President of the United States does not want to represent our Nation at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). National Leaders from all over the world are at Johannesburg, South Africa from August 25 to September 4, 2002 - but NOT President George Bush. His father attended the Rio Environment Meeting at the eleventh hour. I remember the UN Conference on Human Environment way back in 1972. On the National Level our concern for concrete Environmental Issues has been lack luster.
Back to Bayview Hunters Point - our so-called environmental activists do not have a clear strategy. They have no unity. Again and again what you clearly see is inflated egos. The ones that talk the most are on the take.
The Bayview Hunters Point is very polluted. The 3rd Street corridor carries the heaviest traffic of diesel vehicles. We know that diesel toxins cause 70% of our cancer. The freeways are concentrated in the Southeast Sector, which is Bayview. Piles of dirt, which are toxic sit at Pier 92 and have been for 7 years - our activists are just talking. I have posted the sites on this web site and have initiated legal action. Talk is cheap - there are many that talk the talk but just a couple who walk the walk.
We could have had an accountable dialog with the Russian delegation of environmentalists. We had some. Missing were our so-called community leaders (most of them on the take) - some of our local activists were throwing arrows in the air - this stems from not understanding the real environmental issues at hand. Not having a concrete plan of action.
I look forward to the day to produce a documentary on a child that is affected by ASTHMA. I would like to show it to the so-called activists. A child dying from asthma says it all - I have seen strong men break down. However our politicians, grant distributors are nonchalant. Most of them have NOT been to ground zero - most of them live in a dream world and what is most disgusting they have no compassion.
I remember well when the children were beat up on January 21, 2002. I did not see too many so called activists join hands to support the victims, the mothers and the community on the HILL. Speak before the Police Commissioners about environmental injustice. Take a stand for the children and innocence. For the future leaders of our Nation.
I for one will be in touch with many of the Russians. Some of these Russian scientists are willing to conduct the air, water, and soil tests our rich country cannot. They are willing to walk the walk - unlike many of the so-called activists in the Bayview Hunters Point - who just talk the talk. Check out Http://www.greenworld.org.nu
I would encourage some of the readers to view the Bayview Hunters Point Link and e-mail me. I would especially encourage the youth and I would not mind visiting some of the schools and revealing to you all what exactly is happening in the Southeast Sector, which is the Bayview Hunters Point.
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