San Francisco
San Francisco
Indybay Regions North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area California United States International Americas Haiti Iraq Palestine Afghanistan
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature

Resistance To Putting Billionaire Doris Fisher's KIPP Hunters Point Charter On TI

by Repost
There is resistance to putting billionaire GAP owner Doris Fisher's KIPP Charter on Treasure Island. The SF School District wants to put her charter on radioactive contaminated Treasure Island at the closed Treasure Island Elementary School.
Doris Fisher pushed to have her school co-locate with the Malcom X Academy Public school and want to grab more of the space at the public school. This is allowed under Proposition 39 which allows charter schools to bust up public schools by taking their space. Prop 39 was written by Netflix billionaire Reed Hastings and supported by the Fisher family which owns the GAP, The A's and controls the KIPP charter. school chain.
Plan Relocate SF Bayview Hunters Point Doris Fisher GAP Owner Controlled KIPP Charter School In Contaminated Treasure Island Meets With Resistance

School district wants to move KIPP elementary to vacant Treasure Island school site

Feb. 19, 2020 5:00 p.m.
The San Francisco Unified School District wants to relocate a Bayview elementary charter school to Treasure Island to free up space at Malcolm X Academy.

But KIPP charter school is opposed to the idea and wants to remain right where they are to serve those in the low-income neighborhood. And those who serve on the board overseeing the man-made island are also not convinced the school district has it right.

Under state law, the district is obligated to offer space for approved charter schools to operate. In this case, school officials have identified a former elementary school site on Treasure Island to offer to KIPP Bayview Elementary, a charter school that has shared space with Malcolm X Academy since 2018.

The co-location has led to a space squeeze, school officials said.
Treasure Island Development Authority Board of Directors, which oversees the man-made island, would need to approve a lease with the school district, which in turn would then lease out the space to the charter school.

But the TIDA board postponed a vote on the arrangement last week, despite pressure from school district officials who said they had an April 1 deadline to make the deal work with the charter school for the upcoming school year.
The proposed lease between TIDA and the school district is for three years and six months.
TIDA board member Linda Richardson, a proponent of charter schools, was the most outspoken critic of the school district’s plan last week.

She said that she has heard from concerned parents that the charter school should remain in the Bayview. “It appears you are kicking them to Treasure Island,” Richardson said.

The district closed the Treasure Island elementary school site down due to low enrollment in 2005 after opening it in the 1960s. But the district plans to eventually reopen as a public school as the island is undergoing a major redevelopment of 8,000 new homes.

“Why subject at-risk kids that are barely making it in their community that is poor to this? It does not seem fair,” Richardson said. “They have to come down to Treasure Island and then kick them out when you are ready with your program. I think is unacceptable.”

However, Supervisor Shamann Walton, who represents the Bayview, told the San Francisco Examiner in a text message Wednesday that he doesn’t support charter schools and “would be ecstatic if KIPP Elementary School (a charter school) left the Bayview.”

“They are taking up space at Malcolm X and basically preventing growth at that school,” Walton said.

Mike Davis, director of charter schools for SFUSD, said that KIPP’s elementary school, kindergarten through third grade, has increasing student enrollment. In its first year, 2018, the school had 60 students and next year it projects an enrollment of 118 students.

In addition to classrooms, Davis said that both schools also “have a need for ancillary support spaces for private counseling, for mental and physical health support and things that we provide to schools in impacted neighborhoods.”

“The proposal would allow KIPP to go to Treasure island, have 10 classroom spaces right off the bat, when they only need about six or seven,” Davis said. “They would have plenty of space for their ancillary services and the squeeze would not be put on Malcolm X Academy to have to either stunt their growth or retrench and they would still be able to grow their program.”

But one of the concerns raised by the board was how would Bayview families get to the school.

“It seems like logic would follow that you are expecting a lot of the families to travel from the Bayview to Treasure Island,” said TIDA board member Sharon Lai. “I am just trying to understand the transit pattern because there is a not a whole lot of direct ways to get to the island from the Bayview from my understanding.”

SFUSD spokesperson Laura Dudnick said in an email Wednesday the school district already made an offer on Feb. 1 to KIPP to use the TIDA space and KIPP has until March 1 to respond.

“TIDA campus provides all the space that KIPP needs, and moving to that campus would allow Malcolm X to grow its own program,” Dudnick said.

She said the TIDA vote postponement “gives us an opportunity to provide further clarification.”
“Our hope is that this is the beginning of a long-term partnership with TIDA to exercise our options to utilize the TIDA campus,” she said.

The school board had actually rejected KIPP’s elementary school application in 2017, but KIPP appealed to the state and prevailed. The school board has approved the school’s other applications for a high school and two middle schools.

KIPP’s spokesperson Maria Krauter told the Examiner that “the vast majority” of their students at the elementary site are from families who live near their current campus.

Krauter said that KIPP officials told the district that they preferred to remain at the current site. But that “to our surprise” the district is offering them Treasure Island.

“KIPP parents are very disappointed by this potential placement. Treasure Island is not near our students’ homes, nor is it accessible to them via public transit, so it is simply not an acceptable location for the school,” Krauter said. “We look forward to working with the District to identify an appropriate placement in Bayview–Hunters Point for the coming school year.”

Those from the public who spoke at last week’s hearing raised another issue.

Steve Zeltzer, of United Public Workers for Action, among others, opposed any school on the site. He argued that the U.S. Navy’s cleanup of the site was insufficient and poses a health risk to children.

A lawsuit was filed last month making similar claims.
TIDA board member Mark Dunlop, a Treasure Island resident, said that there has been “tons of work” to cleanup the site and that “I don’t think anybody on this commission would dare put a child, San Francisco’s children, into a poisoned island.”

“I find it to be a pretty marvelous place,” Dunlop said. “I don’t glow at night. I just got back from my doctor who has found me in great shape.”

CCSF TIDA 2/12/20 Hearing On Placing KIPP Charter School On Contaminated Radioactive Dump Site At Treasure Island

SF KIPP Breaking Up Malcom X Academy: Racist Union Busting Fisher Charter In SF Approved By SFUSD
Students, teachers and family members in San Francisco on May 8, 2018 protested the San Francisco Unified School District to bust up their public school Malcom X Academy which is located in Potrero Hill by placing a KIPP school co-location on their school. This is also part of gentrification and privatization of the city and public services.including the shutdown and privatization the Potrero Hill Health Clinic.
Teachers and parents talked about how the Malcom X Academy has increased testing scores as a community supported school and how this will now be threatened with this billionaires privately run charter school on Potrero Hill.

KIPP is run out of the GAP corporation owned by SF billionaire John Fisher and his family including Doris Fisher who is on the board of KIPP SF.

Governor Brown's wife Anne Gust was previously the chief counsel of GAP and Brown has appointed charter owners, operators and privatizers to the California Board of Education which they control. Co-location was also written into Prop 39 which was pushed by the California Charter School Association billionaire Netflix owner Reed Hastings.

Proposition 39 passed by a small percentage and was successful because the CTA and CFT both endorsed it since it also lowed the percentage needed to pass school bonds. Now billions of dollars is being spent on privatization and charters in California.

The UESF and CTA/CFT leadership continue to support "non-profit" charters which receive public funding and are run by private hand picked boards.These privately run charter schools also have non-union sometimes volunteer staff and do not pay into the CalSTRS pension system undermining all public teachers pension benefits as more than $6 billion is being spent on charter schools in California.

Students, teachers and parents also spoke out at the SFUSD school board meeting.

For more media:

Production of Labor Video Project

SF Malcom X Academy Walkathon To Stop Billionaire Fisher Family KIPP Charter Co-Location Bust-up

Students had a walkathon in their Hunters Point Bay View neighborhood to stop the KIPP charter school run by the GAP fisher family from co-locating at their public school at the Malcom X Academy. Students and supporters of public education spoke out at the walkathon which took place on May 24, 2018.

The co-location of charter schools has been used to disrupt and bust up public schools in poor and working class communities. The KIPP union busting charter school chain is run by the Fisher family which owns the GAP corporation in San Francisco.

Doris Fisher who is on the board of San Francisco KIPP and her sone John Fisher who also owns the A's are leading players in the national charter privatization campaign to destroy public education.

Additional information:
Production of Labor Video Project

Special Report: The toxic legacy of a California Naval base
In January 2014, the Navy unearthed a round piece of metal with low-level radioactivity next to their home. Towne recalls her daughters suffering rashes, asthma, thyroid issues. At 10, one daughter was diagnosed with ovarian cysts. There is no telling whether these conditions were related to the nearby pollutants.
JANUARY 31, 2019 / 4:26 AM / A YEAR AGO
Robin Respaut, Reade Levinson

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - It seemed like the ideal redevelopment play. The Treasure Island Naval Station, erected on a picturesque strip of land in the middle of San Francisco Bay in 1942, was closed by the U.S. Navy in 1997. The city of San Francisco eyed the property as the centerpiece of a plan for easing the technology hub’s housing crisis.
It looked like a win for all, except for one neglected detail: the toxic legacy the Navy left behind.
Twenty-two years later, hundreds of families have rented old military homes here – and contaminants are still turning up. To date, the Navy’s $285.1 million Treasure Island cleanup has unearthed concentrations of lead, dioxins, petroleum and more than 1,000 radioactive items. Among other activities, the Navy had used the island to repair ships with deck markers painted with radium.
The upshot, public health specialists say, is that the Navy unnecessarily exposed families to radioactive and toxic materials for decades. Since the military pulled out, the island has become home to some 1,800 people, many living in subsidized housing.
“They never should have allowed anyone to live there,” said health physicist Gaetano Taibi, a radiation safety officer on Treasure Island before joining California’s Department of Public Health.
Across the country, the U.S. military has shuttered hundreds of bases under a plan to consolidate operations and save money. Often, a legacy of environmental harm festers long after the armed forces depart: Nationwide, more than 1 of every 10 of the country’s top-priority toxic-cleanup sites belong to the Department of Defense. The Treasure Island cleanup, conducted under yet another federal toxic remediation program, shows the problems that can resurface.
What went wrong in San Francisco Bay? A Reuters examination – built from nonpublic meeting recordings, interviews with former regulators, and thousands of pages of public documents including engineering reports and state correspondence – shows that, year after year, the Navy understated the extent of contamination. The Navy kept limiting its scope of remediation, only to expand it again and again as regulators and residents raised alarms.
“I don’t think you have a clue what is buried under the ground,” a state health physicist told the Navy in 2010.
The Navy insists there was never unacceptable risk to residents’ health, citing the depth and concentration of buried contaminants. It has been removing pollutants “out of an abundance of caution,” said Reginald Paulding, Navy Base Realignment and Closure environmental coordinator.
The effects of this exposure aren’t known. Scores of people who lived on the island have banded together on Facebook complaining of mysterious maladies. Public records obtained by Reuters show residents for years have complained to state authorities of asthma, rashes, lumps, children’s hair loss and cancers. But there have been no epidemiological studies that demonstrate a link between these complaints and the pollutants on Treasure Island.
The contamination has had clear social and economic consequences, though: It has delayed a city blueprint to provide quality housing. On Treasure Island, San Francisco plans up to 8,000 new residences, hotels, shops and offices. Transfer of the property to San Francisco, nearly 20 years behind schedule, won’t finish until the end of 2021.
The city’s Treasure Island Development Authority also cites litigation for delaying construction, and notes San Francisco didn’t adopt a development plan until 2011. Housing construction won’t break ground for another year.
“It’s hard to trust the Navy at this point,” said San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who was part of an unsuccessful 2011 lawsuit that tried to halt development, citing concerns over the Navy’s environmental evaluation.
At birth, Treasure Island was a marvel of ingenuity. The 400-acre island, constructed by the U.S. government in the 1930s from millions of tons of sand, opened just in time for a World’s Fair. Its name: “Magic Isle.”
After the expo closed, the Navy took control of the island just as the country entered World War II. Naval Station Treasure Island supported air operations, managed a major communication center and processed over 12,000 men daily for Pacific assignments.
After the war, the Navy established a training center for radiological decontamination on site, where the mock ship USS Pandemonium helped Navy students prepare for radiological warfare. The land-based vessel contained sealed pouches of cesium-137, a radioactive isotope. Students practiced decontamination by scrubbing the ship clean.
Over the next 30 years, the Navy dumped radioactive material and other contaminants in large rubbish pits. Starting in the 1960s, Navy families lived in housing on base.
On the corner of Avenue E and 11th Street, the Navy discarded used equipment and vessels in the “South Storage Yard.” That dumping ground later became an elementary schoolyard. On the corner of Avenue D and 11th Street, where the island’s daycare center is now located, the Navy buried trash and “burned debris,” a Navy survey found. Elsewhere, the Navy repaired ships containing glow-in-the-dark gauges covered with radioluminescent paint. The gauges were tossed in pits.
Reuters spoke with over a dozen former military families, none of whom were aware at the time they were living atop hazardous disposal pits.
“It was really kind of a neat place for a kid,” said Bo Ross, now 46, whose father was stationed on the island in the mid-1980s. Ross recalls digging in his backyard at 1249 Exposition Drive, finding pieces of rusted, flaky metal. “We could dig so far down.”
When the military shuttered the base in the 1990s, San Francisco was eager to develop. Until redevelopment started, city residents could rent the old military homes. Under a redevelopment law, one-third of homes would be offered to San Francisco’s homeless.
A condemned area on Treasure Island is seen in the foreground while the San Francisco skyline is seen in the background from Treasure Island, near San Francisco, California, U.S., October 18, 2018. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
In a field sampling report, Navy officials described the decades-old waste as innocuous “rubbish, bottles, wire, rope, paper, steel drums, etc.” and promised to remediate. A city advisory panel concluded, “there are no serious toxic remediation issues.”
Others were more concerned. In 1993, the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board wrote the Navy about possible 1950s-era “disposal of radium dials,” public records show. The board wanted assurances the radiation had been investigated. The Navy told Reuters it was unable to locate a specific response to the water board.
In the late 1990s, just as city residents began moving in, the Navy started testing the soil. Right away, results showed elevated levels of lead, dioxins, DDT – an insecticide that disrupts the human endocrine system – and other contaminants beneath the schoolyard, daycare center and yards of some homes.
The Navy said its landlord disclosed the contamination and maintained there was no health threat. Still, residents were advised not to garden or otherwise disturb the soil.
In 2000, the Navy sent California regulators a soil analysis that showed “chemicals of concern” in some backyards. The state warned residents to avoid tracking dirt inside. “If you have children or pets we strongly advise you not to allow them to enter the backyard,” the state wrote.
Beneath the elementary schoolyard, which operated until 2005, the Navy found high levels of lead, dioxins, motor oil pollutants and benzo(a)anthracene, a carcinogenic chemical.
In one sample, the lead concentration was measured at levels 22 times above field screening guidelines. Another sample showed concentrations of DDT 31 times above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s limit.
A series of investigations of the soil beneath the daycare center – used by military families from 1985-1997 – measured levels of lead, DDT, arsenic, vanadium and dioxins above EPA limits. The Navy capped the ground with asphalt and re-opened the center in March 2003, writing, “Dioxins in the soil do not present an unacceptable health risk.”
A Navy survey in August 2003 found chemical and heavy metal contamination throughout the neighborhood. Workers detected elevated radioactivity near Bo Ross’s old home on Expedition Drive and a cluster near apartments at 1413 Flounder Court.
Shelby Hall, who lived at 1413 Flounder, remembered construction crews in hazmat suits. The Navy never mentioned radiation, she said, but “they didn’t want you to be in the grass.”
In 2006, the Navy published a lengthy report that would shape the cleanup of Treasure Island. The Navy identified a handful of places to check for radiation, including the yards of homes thought to be above old rubbish pits. Checking elsewhere “would be purely speculative,” the Navy told state regulators.
The 2006 report – based on information collected prior to June 30, 2003 – did not disclose the radiation found in August 2003 near homes on Expedition and Flounder. Nor was there mention of a historical engineering report warning of “radioactive and poisonous wastes” near housing.
“At that time, there was no information that the debris in the [pits] presented a radiological risk,” the Navy’s Pauling said.
Children played in the dirt while testing continued, and residents kept moving in.
Kathryn Towne moved to Treasure Island in 2005 with her husband and three kids. The island offered an uninterrupted view of San Francisco’s skyline and endless adventure. Sometimes her kids came home with small items they’d found in the dirt: beads, metal buttons, rusted disks. The girls, 5 and 7, stored their findings in a small jewelry box.
“They called them their treasures,” said Towne. “You know, treasures from Treasure Island.”
In January 2014, the Navy unearthed a round piece of metal with low-level radioactivity next to their home. Towne recalls her daughters suffering rashes, asthma, thyroid issues. At 10, one daughter was diagnosed with ovarian cysts. There is no telling whether these conditions were related to the nearby pollutants.
Towne, herself a Navy daughter, said she trusted the military. “My kids played all over every inch of that island,” she said. “Had I been informed, I could have made a decision to not move there.”
Violet Andry, then a 22-year-old art student, moved into an apartment at 1325 Westside Drive in 2006. A few months later, she found a notice on the front door saying workers would be digging nearby and would place tarps over windows and doors. Andry could exit her lease or stay and pay reduced rent. She stayed.
Robert McLean, a radiation technician who worked for Naval contractor New World Environmental, said he uncovered radiological debris during his first day onsite in 2007. “I found the first piece at the playground,” he said.
Workers piled the radioactive debris in bins next to the administrative building. Later, when the pieces were inventoried, one scrap of foil measured so radioactive that standing a foot away would be the equivalent of receiving one chest x-ray every 10 minutes.
Some radiation health experts say such levels are unlikely to cause lasting health impacts so long as residents aren’t in direct contact with the materials. “Being just a little bit away from these objects, the exposure rate is quite low,” said John Gough, Swedish Health Services’ radiation safety director.
Slideshow (20 Images)
Yet some working on the site said the Navy was slow to inform the community of its discoveries. “They would tell them everything was going fine and everything was getting cleaned up,” said McLean, who attended the island’s community meetings. “They weren’t telling the truth.”
In April 2008, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission flagged serious radiological concerns, telling California’s health department a Navy contractor “recovered 40 to 50 buried radioactive sources.” One of those sources emitted radiation levels that “would represent a public health issue if not handled appropriately.”
The report marked the beginning of a years-long struggle by the state to get the Navy to share its cleanup details. By 2010, the state’s frustration boiled over, according to communications and recorded calls reviewed by Reuters.
That December, state health physicist Victor Anderson berated the Navy, which had given the state a 13-page list of radioactive items found – gauges, buttons, and bits of metal – but did not provide the levels.
“We see a lack of technical expertise that frankly is appalling,” Anderson said, according to a meeting recording. “How do you know the extent of this problem?”
Laurie Lowman, an engineering program manager for the Navy’s radiological agency, replied: “Have we determined the extent of this? No.” She said her agency was seeking more information. Lowman did not reply to interview requests.
Problems were popping up across Treasure Island. In February 2011, the Navy found radioactive items beneath the schoolyard, an area it had vowed had no contaminants.
The state soon conducted its own scan and discovered more radiological contamination, including some near the old apartment of former art student Violet Andry on Westside Drive. “It’s terrible that people are living there and walking their dogs while this is happening,” she said.
For California’s public health department, this was the last straw. Days later, the department warned against the Navy’s first transfer of land to San Francisco, citing “high levels of radioactive contamination.”
Later in 2011, the state health department slapped the Navy’s lead contractor, Shaw Environmental, with 16 violations, including failing to survey excavated soil for radiation. “I’m just waiting for some little kid to find it in his backyard and walk around in his pocket and then show mom this cool thing he found,” state health physicist Gene Forrer told the Navy.
The contractor told the public not to worry. In August 2012, a Shaw radiation safety officer told residents, “I could drape myself in that amount of material ... dribble it all over myself, and I’d be okay.”
Aptim Holdings, which owns Shaw, did not respond to interview requests. Previously, Shaw said it was following Navy guidance.
In 2013, after the state uncovered a radioactive object near a bus stop with potential to cause burns, hair loss and ulceration, the Navy overhauled its assessment. Now, it classified the entire housing neighborhood as “radiologically impacted.”
The next year, San Francisco approved transferring parts of the island from Navy control to the city. The housing area is slated to transfer to San Francisco last in 2021, a year after new residential construction groundbreaking, allowing the Navy more time for cleanup.
To date, Navy contractors have uncovered 1,289 low-level radioactive items under the streets and sidewalks, playgrounds and yards. More than 50 objects, if held one foot away for less than a day, would expose residents to more radiation than the annual public limit.
Editing by Ronnie Greene
Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
The San Francisco Unified School District wants to put billionaire owner Doris Fisher's KIPP charter on contaminated Treasure Island.
SF billionaire owners of the GAP Doris Fisher and her son John Fisher control the KIPP charter school chain and forced a co-location at the Malcom X Academy in Hunters Point to take bust up the public school.
Billionaire GAP owner Doris Fisher has used her corporate run charter to help privatize public education and destroy the Malcom X Academy in San Francisco Bay View Hunters Point.
Billionaire GAP owner Doris Fisher is working to destroy the public school Malcom X Academy by taking over more of it's space for her KIPP controlled charter. These union busters and privatizers are also involved in privatizing the Port of Oakland so Doris Fisher's son John Fisher can build a new A's stadium. Besides running the KIPP chain they also run Rocketship charter school chain and the A's manager Dave Kaval is on the board of directors.
§Contaminated Treasure Island Elementary School
by Repost
The contaminated Treasure Island Elementary school poisoned students who attended the school. Now SFUSD want to put charter school students on the dangerous site.

SF Teacher & Residents Speak Out On Superfund SF Treasure Island, TIDA, Charter Schools & Corruption

A San Francisco teacher and other residents talked about serious health and safety conditions on Treasure Island that are leading to illness and other diseases.

They also discuss the plan by the Treasure Island Development Authority TIDA set up by former Mayor Willie Brown to bring a new charter school, condos, and development projects on the contaminated Island despite the massive falsification of the $1 billion dollars clean-up by Tetra Tech and Test America.

The latest plan of TIDA is to reopen the closed Treasure Island Elementary School and bring in a charter school that would be a threat to the children and the staff of the school.

Under California Proposition 39, supported by Netflix owner and charter privatizer Reed Hastings, charters are exempted from the Field Act which requires proper health and safety at public schools. Charter schools can be built and operated on toxic areas and at shopping malls.

Speakers included SFUSD UESF retired teacher Mishwa Lee, Eric Brooks of Our City and Sarah Granville who read a statement from former SF Mayoral candidate Michelle Bravo.

This interview was conducted on 2/4/20 at San Francisco City Hall.
Additional media:
SF Treasure Island Former Residents File Suit For Contamination /Injuries & To Shutdown The Multi-Billion DollarDevelopment

SF Treasure Island Conservation Corps Nightmare, The Cover-up & Environmental Racism
Production of Labor Video Project
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!


$60.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.


Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network