WILPF December 2015

WILPF December 2015

WILPF Peace Community Crafts Faire




2131 N. Van Ness Blvd.

10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Come join the fun and enjoy homemade tasty soups and desserts while shopping for unique gifts made near and far. You’ll find beautiful handmade items created right here in Fresno. You’ll also find treasures from Oaxaca and Palestine, and much more! Listen to live music, spend time with friends and family, eat, take part in our Silent Auction, shop for yourself and others.

Free Admission, Entertainment & Children’s Activities. Visit Old Friends & Meet New Ones. Signature Homemade Soups, Breads & Desserts.

Volunteers needed! Make and donate your best soup or dessert! Donate an auction item! It’s even more fun if you help out! If you can volunteer your time that day or have an item to donate, please contact Kyla at 559-346-8253. Whatever you choose to do, come join us!

Here’s the music schedule

10:00–10:50: Roscanna (Celtic)

11:00–11:50: Heartland Harvest (old-time eclectic)

12:00–12:30: Raging Grannies

12:40–1:20: Monroe Expedition (bluegrass, etc.)

1:30–2:15: Shape-Hill (jazz)

2:25–3:30: Celtic Alchemy


Don’t forget to renew your membership at the Faire and to pick up an updated WILPF Directory—thanks to Nora DeWitt, our Membership chair.


2016 WILPF Fresno Officers

WILPF Fresno has chosen its officers for next year:

Co-chairs will be Teresa Castillo, Patty Bennett and Donna Salwasser. Jay Hubbell will continue as treasurer and Mary Perich as secretary.


Mary Maughelli, Artist and WILPF Member

Mary Maughelli died on Oct. 25 at age 79. She taught art at Fresno State for 36 years and, of course, continued to work and show afterward. (Artists never retire.) She was a member of WILPF during most of that time and loved to welcome us at her many wonderful shows both at Fig Tree Gallery and Gallery 25, where she was one of the founders. She was an internationally recognized mixed media artist and a leader of the Feminist Art scene in Fresno during the 1970s. Her art very much dealt with women in various aspects of life, of history, of imagination and sensibilities. Cancer and other health issues depleted her energy at times, but she attended and supported WILPF events as she could. Donald Munro had a most wonderful appreciation of her in the Nov. 1 Fresno Bee (Section 1F).

—Ellie Bluestein


Earth Democracy Committee Organizes Nov. 14 Fracking Tour

The Fracking Tour was an intense experience, as the participants, led by Shafter farmer and environmental activist Tom Frantz, got a close look at environmental hazards and threats to groundwater created by fracking and waste disposal practices common to the oil industry.

They toured the Kern River Oilfield and a site where wastewater is illegally and dangerously sprinkled on a hillside draining ultimately into the Kern River. They also saw where oilfield wastewater is used to grow food crops like table grapes, citrus and pistachios in the Cawelo Water District. The tour included two new oilfields in Wasco and Shafter where especially hazardous fracking involves extreme pressures and large quantities of water and chemicals injected underneath prime farmland, with waste disposal practices endangering the groundwater supply.

This event was organized by WILPF Fresno’s Earth Democracy Committee chaired by Jean Hays and Joan Poss. Organizer Hays was particularly struck by the view from Panorama Boulevard, overlooking a valley of well-to-do homes, where oil rigs and a co-generation plant produced a haze obscuring all.

Fresno WILPF Earth Democracy received a mini-grant from National WILPF to carry out and film this fracking tour. Fresnans against Fracking (with a micro-grant from MoveOn.org) and Walt Shubin also donated to this project. Catherine Fowler, from Fresnans Against Fracking, researched and wrote An Oilfield Primer, and all participants received a copy in advance to enhance their knowledge and experience. The film of the tour will be produced by the Community Access Media Collaborative (CMAC) and will be available through WILPF Fresno and WILPF-US.


Legislative Committee Report

Bev Fitzpatrick, Melissa Fry, Joyce Kauder and Jean Hays delivered letters on the need for gun control to the offices of Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and to Rep. Jim Costa on Oct. 21. We mailed copies of the letter to President Obama and Reps. Kevin McCarthy, Tom McClintock and David Valadao. We are building a good relationship with the office staffs because of our monthly visits. Thanks to Betty Sempadian for composing this month’s letter! The TPP will be the Legislative Committee’s next issue.

To our legislators:

The mass murder that recently took place at Umpqua, Ore., took nine lives. This, since 2012 at Sandy Hook, was the latest of 142 school shootings in the United States, 45 of them taking place in 2015.

An FBI crime classification report from 2005 (www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/serial-murder/serial-murder-1#two) identifies an individual as a mass murderer if he kills four or more people in a single incident (not including himself), typically in a single location. Whether it is the loss of a single student or nine or many more, it is a tragedy that recurs repeatedly now in our country and it speaks to our failure as a society. Ask yourselves why should any person have need for an assault rifle or a Glock 17, which has a magazine with 17 rounds, or another with 33 rounds.

High-capacity magazines and some semiautomatic weapons were banned in the Clinton era. Does the gun lobby have such control over our legislators that the ban which ended in 2004 cannot be reinstated? Surely, that would be a step in the right direction.

We request that our legislators discuss and take action on such issues as the following:

  1. Universal background checks for all gun sales.
  2. Passing a stronger assault weapons ban.
  3. Limiting the size of ammunition magazines.
  4. Banning civilian possession of armor-piercing bullets.

Surely, some limits on all for the safety of our children and everyone else would be acceptable to those who possess guns. It is devastating hearing after each of these tragedies that “we know it will happen again.” That must be changed.

Lastly, there is much information from studies of those who commit these crimes that indicate mental issues such as anger, humiliation and desperation play a part in these incidents. Some experts call them “grievance collectors.” While our leaders concentrate on our failed regime changes overseas spending trillions, supposedly, to improve the lives of those who have not requested our help, we ask that you focus on those in our own country who do need help. There is much that can be done here to prevent these ongoing “senseless deaths.”

Let us work together to make the United States a more peaceful, safe and equitable country for all of its citizens.


Fresno WILPF Legislative Committee

Betty Sempadian & Jean Hays, Co-Chairs

Patty Bennett                         Ellie Bluestein

Leni V. Reeves                      Joyce Kauder

Ann Carruthers                    Kyla Mitchell

Beverly Fitzpatrick             Melissa Fry


Library Committee Report

The Library Committee might have a new name soon and certainly will have an expanded scope of action, as we plan for more events and more libraries. Representing WILPF Fresno, we would like to donate a set of Jane Addams Peace Association award books to each of four libraries: Central, West Fresno, Betty Rodriguez (Cedar-Clinton) and Gillis. Some of the dates proposed for library events are September 8, March 8, March 31, January 18. (I hope you can all figure out what these dates commemorate, but the answers are at the bottom of the page if you can’t.) We were particularly excited about a less-known holiday, April 30, which is Día de los Libros/Día de los Niños. Your participation is welcome; contact Donna Salwasser or Ann Carruthers for more information.


Cuba and the Bolivarian Alliance Solidarity Committee Report

The IRS is proposing to revoke the nonprofit 501(c)3 status of the IFCO Pastors for Peace. WILPF Fresno protests this action.

The IFCO (Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization) is a multi-issue national ecumenical agency that was founded in 1967 by progressive church leaders and activists. It is one of the few U.S. foundations organized and led by people of color, and its mission is to support the disenfranchised in developing and sustaining community organizations to fight human and civil rights injustices. In pursuit of this mission, the IFCO promotes, funds and coordinates domestic and international community development efforts—programs designed to improve people’s own communities.

An IRS investigation-audit of the IFCO began four years ago after the IFCO provided a fiscal umbrella for a U.S. affiliate of the U.K.-based registered charitable organization Viva Palestina, which raised funds for ambulances and medical supplies for people living in Gaza. This IRS activity was instigated by right-wing politicians and continues to be politically motivated. In addition to this fiscal sponsorship, the IRS attack has focused on the Caravans to Cuba and the Latin American School of Medicine admissions program that the IFCO administers.

If you wish to add your voice personally to this protest, here are the addresses and phone numbers:

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen

Large Business and International Division

Attn.: SE:LB

1111 Constitution Ave. NW

Washington, DC 20224

Phone: 202-515-4400


Secretary of Treasury Jacob J. Lew

Department of the Treasury

1500 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Washington, DC 20220

Phone: 202-622-2000



WILPF will meet Thursday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m., at the Fresno Center for Nonviolence, 1584 N. Van Ness Ave. This meeting is open to all members. There is no December meeting.


Dec. 2 (first Wednesday of each month) at noon at the Fresno County Courthouse. Wear black, bring a sign and stand in silence for peace; we ask that you respect the silent vigil, please.


Listener-supported free speech radio for Central California. Dec. 23, 3 p.m. (4th Wednesday of each month). Jean Hays does outstanding interviews on subjects involving WILPF interests and activities. Don’t miss it; it’s always interesting.


Meetings on selected Mondays at 7 p.m. Call Ellie at 559-229-9807 for details.


Sept. 8—Jane Addams; Jan. 18—Martin Luther King, Jr.; March 31—César Chávez; March 8—International Women’s Day

The WILPF page is compiled and edited by Leni Villagomez Reeves. Contact her at lenivreeves@gmail.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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