WILPF – August 2016

WILPF –  August 2016
At a recent WILPF meeting (left to right): Ann Carruthers, Ellie Bluestein, Patty Bennett, Jean Hays, and Georgia (Kit) Williams.


Saturday, August 27, at Teresa Castillo’s home in Madera. Details and carpooling plans will be shared through the listserv. Join your fellow WILPF mem- bers for the opportunity to meet our new interns, review the past year, make new plans, and share a potluck lunch. Teresa, 559-360-8054.


Next business meeting Septem- ber 8 (second Thursday of each month), 7-9 p.m. at the Fresno Center for Nonviolence, 1584 N. Van Ness Ave. Meetings are open to all members.

NO WiB in August. Next WiB September 7 ( rst Wednesday of each month) at noon at the Fresno County Courthouse; come at least once a year, per- haps during the month in which your birthday falls! Wear black, bring a sign if you wish and stand in silence for peace.


August 24 (4th Wednesday of each month) at 3 p.m. Jean Hays conducts outstanding interviews on subjects involving WILPF interests and activities. Let Jean know if you have ideas for a program. Tune in!


Meetings on selected Mondays at 7 p.m. Call Ellie at 449-1817 for details.


This year our annual Peace Crafts Fair will return to its traditional first Saturday in December (December 3, 2016) from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. but we will be at a new venue. It has been fifty years since the first Peace Crafts Faire began in 1966 as a modest effort at the home of WILPF President of Betty Dutton. Over the past half century, the venue has changed several times to reflect the need for more space.

Once again, our continuous growth in vendors and public attendance has necessitated our move to the more spacious facilities of Fresno City College. At Fresno City College we will be using the Main Hall and the Faculty Dining Lounge as well as the outside patios for our vendors. Food service will be in the Cafeteria’s Food Court. A stage will be set up in the Main Hall with ample dining tables in front for the traditional day-long presentation of a variety of genres from our local musicians.

Prices for vendor booths will remain similar to the 2014-2015 rates with one important change. Vendors may bring their own tables and chairs or pay a nominal fee to have them provided. We think both the attendees and the vendors will enjoy having plenty of free parking (it’s relaxed on Saturdays) and ease of access to the Cafeteria Complex. Vendors from 2015 will be getting an application in the mail in early August. If you are thinking about being a vendor for the first time, have not been a vendor for a while and want an application or just want more information contact Jay Hubbell at 559-292-4905 or jayhubbell@comcast.net.


At our July meeting one of the many important topics we discussed was pesticide use in the schools.   You can go to www.l000friendsofFresnoFresCAMP and see some history of the struggle to educate the school system about the hazards of pesticides.  Alas, even with all our hard work over the years we continue to have the same problems.   Please inform your friends about the misuse of pesticides in the schools and sign the California Health Schools petition at Pesticide Action Network, panna.org. PLEASE.    Peace, Joan Poss 

Dear Joan,

Pesticides known to harm children should not be used where kids learn and play. Period.

Still, across California, more than half a million students attend school within 1/4 mile of fields where health-harming pesticides are routinely used. Some of these chemicals have been linked to increased risk of cancer, respiratory or reproductive damage and neurological harm — and science shows that children’s growing brains and bodies are particularly vulnerable to these chemicals.

Join PAN and our partners in urging state officials to better protect schoolkids. Sign the petition today!

We’re calling on the state Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to establish a 1-mile protective, pesticide-free “buffer zone” around schools.

Because we know that agricultural pesticides often don’t stay where they’re put. And many — like fumigants and the neurotoxic insecticide chlorpyrifos — are particularly prone to drift onto nearby campuses and playgrounds.

Call on DPR to establish a pesticide-free buffer zone around schools. 

This is a problem for schoolkids across California, but the heaviest burden of pesticide exposure falls on Latino children. According to state data, they’re almost twice as likely as their white classmates to attend schools next door to ag fields covered in pesticides

California can do better. Speak up today for stronger pesticide protections for children across the state.


Mario and Luie with books and art materials.
Mario and Luie with books and art materials.


by Janet Capella and Judy Stege


What’s going on at Malaga Community Center with soccer and reading?

A lot is going on in the Fresno County Malaga Community Center with a new Director Ramona Compos. On Saturday, July 9, the center held a welcoming event for families: soccer on the field with community organizer Luie Garcia, and WILPF Library Committee members—Ann Carruthers, Patty Bennett, Maureen Walsh, Judy Stege, Janet Capella—bringing art materials,  reading for kids, and snacks in the picnic area.  Parents were glad to see Fresno County Librarian Terrance McArthur bring WoW (Fresno Without Walls Library) check-out books.  Everyone met someone new, local families as well as first time visitors.

Parents and staff spoke of the Center is a resource:

  • summer programs Monday-Friday recreation, lunch and swimming
  • public pool open, summer 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • family private parties in the gym, park grounds, bandstand and picnic area
  • baseball and soccer—currently only adults events, youth teams begin soon
  • Sheriff’s Department Activities League, paid summer high school work crew to clean up the Malaga neighborhood alleys

Our combination  of soccer, books and snacks led the children and their parents to talk with WILPF about their concerns for families and community. As they shared reading, drawing, and a book give away, they expressed the need for more activities to attend with their children at the local center.

Judy and Janet met a father, Jose, and his two sons,  and we introduced ourselves as retired teachers and members of a Fresno peace and freedom organization. He asked, “What do you mean, womens’ peace and freedom?” We told him briefly about the work of WILPF in Fresno and our 100-year history going back to Jane Addams. He voiced his concerns for social issues and the future world for his children. We discussed fracking in Bakersfield, oil and gasoline, large companies and the rich staying rich and in control. He shared his ideas for creating a safer and a more equal world for all our children. Listening to Jose and having conversations with all those who attended was a valuable step in a dialogue with our neighbors in Malaga.

WILPF stands for peace, justice, education and environmental issues. We traveled out of our own backyard, we listened anew, saw and discovered a  place to share in a Fresno southeast community center. We traveled only a short distance, out of our neighborhoods, we tuned us into another part of our community, and this gave us more than we expected. Our brief and meaningful discussion with this young father was a highlight and we hope to meet Jose and his sons again.

We all look for common ground and explore ways to network beyond our comfort zone.   Let’s find ways to listen to progressive radicals whom we have not known, like Jose, a parent who wants to communicate his concerns about our community and world. Let’s meet again at Malaga and other local community centers or parks. We will find more like-minded friends and the opportunity to explore peace, justice and survival issues together.

Malaga boys show off the books they selected to take home from the soccer and books event.
Malaga boys show off the books they selected to take home from the soccer and books event.


GEORGIA (KIT) WILLIAMS May 22, 1947 – June 22, 2016

Georgia Williams, better known to all as Kit, passed away at home on June 22 after a long illness. Kit was an active and engaged WILPF member and a Raging Granny. She was retired from teaching English literature at Fresno State.

Kit’s survivors include her son Hunter Alexander Scholz of Quilcene, Washington, grand- daughter Harmony Scholz, grandson Chandler Scholz, grandson Reynaldo Sanchez, and sister Margaret Baron. She was predeceased by her beloved daughter Emily Brooke San- chez.

Hunter posted a mes- sage on Kit’s Facebook page, in which he said, “You demonstrat-

ed that anything in (your) heart is achievable, and that it is never too late to achieve what is in your heart. You taught me kindness and compassion and to always ght for what (you) believe in, even when you feel you are the only one ghting.” He also said that he is planning a celebration of Kit’s life in Washington and that he would like to hear from Kit’s Fresno friends about ways to remember her here, including the possibility of a gathering in Fresno this fall.

To quote Mary Oliver, one of Kit’s favorite poets, “maybe death isn’t darkness, after all, but so much light wrapping itself around us.”


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    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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