Marin Voice: Point Reyes legal settlement a victory for national parks everywhere

Marin Independent Journal, 7/15/17
By Deborah Moskowitz

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Tom Hayden – Civil Rights Activist and Civic Leader 1939 – 2016

Tom Hayden, author, journalist, activist and politician died October 23, 2016 at age 76. He was the director of the Peace and Justice Resource Center. Tom was a man deeply committed to democracy and understood it intimately as both an activist and a legislator. His knowledge and insight from his activist struggles provided insight and experience to be an effective legislator. He served California in both the Assembly and the state Senate.

Hayden became a cultural icon in the 1960’s when he and his then wife, Jane Fonda, visibly and vocally demonstrated against the Vietnam War. He believed that the war was the “slaughter of distant people.” In 1965 he traveled with an antiwar group to Hanoi, the capital of North Vietnam. The 10-day trip offended many in the U.S. and the State Department temporarily withdrew Hayden’s passport.

Tom returned to Vietnam again in 1967 and this time was successful in helping with the release of three American prisoners of war. Hayden met them on the airport tarmac and they boarded a Czechoslovakian plane bound for Beirut. He accompanied the servicemen to the U.S. Embassy. In the 1980s one of these POWs supported him against Republican’s wanting to oust him from office for what they called “treason” during the war.

In the sixties, Tom Hayden was instrumental in forming an organization called Students for a Democratic Society (SDS, 1961). Hayden drafted what became known as the Port Huron Statement (1962), the SDS’s manifesto, while he was in jail in Georgia for Civil Rights activism. This 25,000-word document was a call to action for people to participate in our democracy.

In 1968 he was one of seven individuals that became known of the “Chicago 7”. These seven were indicted for conspiracy to incite a riot at the Democratic National Convention. Hayden was convicted of traveling across state lines to incite a riot and sentenced to five years in prison. The conviction was overturned on appeal, largely because the judge had sided openly with prosecutors. The government declined to retry Hayden.

Tom was often among slews of protesters perpetrating disorder ranging from disrupting the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange to the destruction of the Clocks at Grand Central Terminal, the main commuter station for workers in New York City. He is

Hayden was a champion for the environment. He backed scores of liberal candidates and ballot measures in the 1970s and ‘80s, most notably Proposition 65, the anti-toxics measure that requires signs in gas stations, bars and grocery stores that warn of cancer-causing chemicals. He also spent several years organizing poor black residents to take on slumlords, city inspectors and others. He was under FBI surveillance for a large portion of his life.

Inspired by sociologist C. Wright Mills and French author Albert Camus, among others, Hayden and his fellow students bemoaned poverty, racial bigotry, the Democratic Party’s tolerance of Southern segregationists, the threat of nuclear war and an apathetic citizenry. They called for mobilizing students and like-minded Americans through “participatory democracy.” “If we appear to seek the unattainable, as it has been said, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable,” the statement concluded.

Tom felt that he could really make a difference if he were to work in the state legislature. In 1982, Tom was elected to the state Assembly. Hayden served a total of 18 years in the Assembly and state Senate representing the people of California. He supported what he called “participatory democracy.”

A prolific author and editor (19 books), Hayden wrote books on Cuba, Ireland, Vietnam, street gangs, spirituality and environmental protection, the Iraq war and the Newark riots. His next book, “Hell No: The Forgotten Power of the Vietnam Peace Movement,” is scheduled to be published in March 2017 by Yale University Press.

Hayden is survived by his wife, Barbara Williams, an actress and singer; their adopted son, Liam; Troy Garity, his son with Fonda; and his sister, Mary Hayden Frey. He is also survived by stepdaughter Vanessa Vadim and her two children.

In honor of Tom and his dedication to participatory democracy, I hope that each of you will take the time to vote on Tuesday November 8 for this most important Presidential election.

If you would like to learn more about Tom Hayden, here are some resources:

Tom Hayden Forces of Nature Video – Navigating toward Unity

Tom on the meaning of citizenship (video):

 

 

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Field Notes: The Syrian Experience From 2006 Through 2016 Illustrates How Changing Climate Can Worsen the Extremes of Weather and Undermine Critical Infrastructure

The disruption of America’s critical infrastructures due to climate-amplified extreme weather damage or rising sea levels could be among the earliest climate change shocks we experience.

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In Remembrance of Michael Frome: 1920-2016

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Born in the Bronx in 1920, Michael Frome was an important author and teacher. He was an inspiration to a generation of conservationists and environmentalists. Throughout his life Michael was an outspoken advocate and defender of wilderness and public lands. After serving our country in the U.S. Air Force, he continued to serve as an untiring environmental voice for the remainder of his 96 years. His voice will be missed.

Professor Frome was an author of more than 20 books, a columnist for numerous magazines and newsletters, and a teacher of journalism. He taught at the University of Idaho and at University of Vermont. He also taught environmental journalism and writing at Northland College (Wisconsin) and Western Washington University. In 1995 he retired from the faculty of Western Washington University. Professor Frome received the prestigious honor from the University of Idaho that established the Michael Frome scholarship for excellence in conservation writing.

Michael also received many awards: among them, the Wilderness Writing Award from the Wild Foundation; the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Award (behalf of the National Parks); and the 1980 award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

Here are links to other obituaries and articles about Michael: http://rewilding.org/rewildit/michael-frome-may-25-1920-to-september-4-2016/

http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2010/05/90-years-dr-michael-frome-continues-lament-state-national-parks5902

Here is the link to our Forces of Nature video of Michael : http://theforcesofnature.com/movies/michael-frome/

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In Memory of Sylvia McLaughlin Co-founder of Save the Bay

 

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Sylvia McLaughlin passed away January 19, 2016, less than a month after her 99th birthday. She and her husband, the late Donald McLaughlin, moved to the Berkeley hills in the 1950s. Sylvia was appalled to see that San Francisco Bay was being filled with garbage to increase land for cities around the Bay. Unhappy about the future of the Bay, she became a passionate environmental activist for San Francisco Bay — a cause that consumed her for decades. Generations of citizens and environmentalists whose lives she has impacted over the past 60 years now must say farewell to one of the great environmentalists of the 20th century.

1024x1024Sylvia lived to see her much of her efforts come to fruition. With the help of two other women (Ester Gulik and Catherine (Kay) Kerr) they compelled Berkeley and other Bay Area cities around San Francisco Bay to stop the massive filling of San Francisco Bay occurring in the 1950s and 1960s. They did this through affecting legislation through their nonprofit organization, Save the Bay, which was wholly supported by small donations of $1, and later $2. They amassed the support of tens of thousands of Bay Area residents who shared their vision.

 

She, along with Gulik, Kerr, and Save the Bay, were influential in helping to create the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), a regional organization that finally regulated fill along the bay margins. This law is still in effect and has been a model for other regions with major bays and waterways. But this major victory was never enough for Sylvia. At age of 90 she protested the cutting of trees on the University of California Campus and climbed right up into one of the big trees to make her point! 628x471

imagesAlthough she was known as being tough and effective, she was always polite and courteous. Sylvia had a strong belief that the Bay Area needed shoreline parks so that people could truly experience and enjoy San Francisco Bay, and she continued to fight for shoreline parks from Vallejo to San Jose. In 2012, she was honored with the creation of the McLaughlin Eastshore State Park in Richmond, California. It was a wonderful tribute for one of the beautiful areas that she helped to save.

Sylvia always gave back. She served on the board of directors for the Resource Renewal Institute, as well as numerous other environmental organizations. Click here for Sylvia’s Forces of Nature interview.

Sylvia McLaughlin is survived by her two children and one stepson; four grandchildren and six step-grandchildren. Her husband passed away in 1985. Ester Gulik and Kay Kerr are both deceased. The Resource Renewal staff extends their deepest condolences to Sylvia’s family and friends.

A public memorial service will be held for Sylvia on Tuesday, February 2 at 4 p.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 2300 Bancroft Way, Berkeley.

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