WILPF – July 2016

WILPF – July 2016
Fresno WILPF marching in the 26th annual Rainbow Pride Parade and Festival. 


WILPF will meet Thursday July 14, 7 PM, at Fresno Center for Nonviolence, 1584 N Van Ness.  This meeting is open to all members.


Women in Black will be in recess July and August.


July 27,  3 PM (4th Wednesday of each month)  Jean Hays does outstanding interviews on subjects involving WILPF interests and activities.  Tune in!

JULY 13 6:30- 9 PM  PASTORS FOR PEACE CARAVAN TO CUBA EVENT with Isel Calzadilla Acosta – Lesbian activist from Cuba and Gail Walker – Director of Pastors for Peace.  Community United Church of Christ, 5550 N Fresno St.  Potluck.  lenivreeves@gmail.com for info


Meetings on selected Mondays at 7 PM.  Call Ellie at 229-9807 for details.




– JULY 19 –


In November our WILPF Fresno branch received a mini-grant to organize and film a fracking tour in Kern County.  Co-contributors to the venture included Fresnans Against Fracking and Tehipite Chapter of the Sierra Club.  This adventure took place on Nov. 14; it was lead by Tom Frantz and filmed by CMAC. We toured various fracking and injection well sites near Bakersfield, Wasco and Shafter.  Finally, the DVD is finished and will be shown to one and all on July 19.  Stars of the film, besides Tom Frantz and the CMAC team, will be the 40 tour participants from Fresno and Reedley. You are invited to come and help celebrate the DVD release.  Seeing what fracking really looks like is a real eye-opener.  Here are the details:

DVD Premiere of Crude Beyond Belief

Tuesday, July 19 at 7 P.M.

Community United Church of Christ

5550 N. Fresno St. (Across from San Joaquin Gardens)

Tom Frantz and the filmmaker will be on hand to answer questions after the film.  Meet and greet tour participants as well!

Questions: 559-313-7674

—  Jean Hays



            Fresno WILPF braved the heat on Saturday, June 4, to participate in the 26th annual Rainbow Pride Parade and Festival. WILPF has participated in the parade and festival for many years. We were especially motivated to show our support this year when we learned that the city of Fresno had thrown numerous roadblocks in the way of the parade’s organizers during many months of planning.

Andie Grajales, Jean Hays, Sandra Iyall, Edith Johnson, and Patty Bennett carried the WILPF banner in the parade. After the parade WILPFers including Teresa Castillo, Mary Murphy, and Sandra staffed a table of WILPF literature in a prime location just inside the gates of the festival. Jay Hubbell set up the table and popup shelter before the parade and packed up at the end of the event.

            Eight singing Raging Grannies and accompanist Jean Hays provided the opening act for the festival’s entertainment. Since the Grannies usually sing first at the festival, the audience is often rather small. Not this year! A large and enthusiastic audience cheered the Grannies on. The biggest hit was the following song, with verses by Fresno’s own Kay Pitts and chorus by Sunny Armer of Raging Grannies WOWW, sung to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

                    —  Patty Bennett

Raging Grannies open Pride Festival entertainment with "Transgender Bathroom"
Raging Grannies open Pride Festival entertainment with “Transgender Bathroom”



I walk into the bathroom and it should be all okay.

No one ever asked to have my privates on display.

Now some of you feel that you have a right to have a say.

On where I go to pee.

chorus:           No more insults, no more slander,

No more right-wing propaganda,

Our bodies are our own and we decide where we belong,

Gender rights are human rights.

I always walk into the stall and quickly lock the door.

I always wash my hands not only after but before.

So is it just my gender that you secretly deplore,

Or do you think you need to see?

chorus:           I didn’t want a body and a brain that did not match.

It wasn’t something fixable by band-aids or a patch.

It’s okay to be near me, it’s nothing you can catch.

Why can’t I just be me?



written by Ann Carruthers

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Fresno branch, agrees that protecting and securing a reliable water supply in the San Joaquin Valley is the most important issue facing us.

In connection with this goal, we urge you to take another look at the feasibility of building the proposed Temperance Flat Dam.  US Bureau of Reclamation statement draft feasibility report and environmental impact report indicates that the Temperance Flat Dam would have a capacity to store 1.33 million acre feet of water at an estimated building cost of 2.6 billion dollars.   Realistically, it is projected to yield only 70,000 acre feet annually and a mere 21,000 feet in a dry or critical year.  Adding to the 2.6 billion dollar cost is additional environmental mitigation costs, yet unknown.  This solution does not appear to be a favorable cost/benefit ratio to justify the use of taxpayer funds.

As an alternative, we recommend that you consider other possible solutions.  HR 2983, Drought Recovery and Resilience Act of 2015 by Rep. Jared Huffman, focuses investments on wastewater recycling, storm water treatment, groundwater recharge, desalination and improving dam operations with updated weather forecasting. These proposals actually create “new” water by recycling and reusing what we already have.

Huffman’s long term solutions respect environmental and water quality laws, with every region in California impacted by the drought being considered and benefiting from these solutions.  Senator Feinstein’s Energy bill (SB2533) also supports some of these measures.

San Luis Unit Drainage Resolution Act (HR5217 & HR4366)

We have questions & concerns about several of the provisions of this Act. (Was this settlement reached behind closed doors?)

The primary rights of the Hoopa Valley Tribe were ignored in the negotiations of this agreement. The Tribe has first right of use of Trinity River water (under the 1955 federal stature that authorized the Trinity River Division of the CVP.) However, the San Luis Unit Settlement Agreement ignores this priority right held by the Tribe.  Instead, the United States has focused its energy on escaping federal liability for the many years of existing drainage problems.

The provision that requires Westlands District to manage drainage water within its boundaries in accordance with federal and California law needs much more transparency.  What specifically will Westlands do to solve their drainage problem?  Has this solution worked in the past?  The threat that the Department of the Interior could cease water deliveries to Westlands if it fails to solve the drainage problem is a vague threat, which could result in many possible court delays.

How much of the 100,000 acres in Westlands have already been retired to date?  Should more acreage be retired in order to solve the drainage problems permanently?  In the recent Congressional  hearings (5/24/2016), it was suggested that acreage of at least 195,000 acres be retired.  And, also suggested was that Westlands receive zero water for the retired acreage.  (leaving no excess water to sell at a profit)

What is the value of the Federal facilities that Westlands is to receive? Will Westlands have access to higher water rights as a result of this repayment agreement?  Again, more transparency needed here.

This topic has many facets making it difficult at times to comprehend. However, as taxpayers, our goal is to see more transparency and especially no “Enron accounting” used in the final negotiation of this Settlement Agreement.

Please keep us informed as progress is made in securing a reliable water supply for all users in California, including the Central Valley.


Jean Hays and Betty Sempadian, co-chairs, Legislative Committee

WILPF Fresno Branch

Patty Bennett

Ann Carruthers

Bev Fitzpatrick

Leni V Reeves

Melissa Fry

Ellie Bluestein

Mary Perich

Joyce Kauder

The WILPF Page is edited and compiled by Leni Villagomez Reeves  lenivreeves@gmail.com  or by Patty Bennett patriciajb@aol.com


  • Community Alliance

    The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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