of the East Bay


(This site last updated: July 21, 2017)

Due to age and lack of interest, the Gray Panthers of Berkeley and the East Bay has ceased functioning as of the end of 2106.

The office at Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library has been shut down.

Our last convenor, Edie Hallberg, died in November 2016.

No more newsletters are being published; no membership meetings are being held.

San Francisco Gray Panthers are still active. Here is a recent newsletter

and a calendar

Manager of this Web Page
is Steve Geller --
Steve will maintain this website as an information resource.

Monthly Peace Rally

Held monthly, every 3rd Friday, Gray Panthers and Strawberry Creek Lodge sponsor a Peace rally, at Acton and University in Berkeley.

Only two people showed up for the July 21 rally -- Steve and Maia. Even Marv and his guitar were absent.

But people started honking even before we got the signs deployed. They know why we're there.

We had Maia's sign "No-Trump No-War".

A man stopped by to remind us that Latvia and its Baltic neighbors didn't have enough armed force to repel the Russians. Steve said maybe the Baltics should develop nuclear weapons like North Korea? Maia, who is Latvian, was showing a sign with just a heart -- we need love, not war.

The May 19 rally had been special, honoring the 100th birthday of Fran Rachel. About 30 people showed up. One person pirched on a traffic light control box and waved a sign "Persist!"

Next rally will be on Friday August 18, 2017, 2-3 pm.

Come sing, wave signs, listen to approving honks. It's fun!
Signs are available, or bring your own.
For more info, Call Steve Geller at 510-913-4682
During the July 2016 rally, we got honks from several big trucks and a cement mixer.
We've also had honks from a Berkeley Police cruiser and a Brinks money truck.

Here's a picture from the June 19, 2015 rally.

Eclipse of the Sun

As seen from Berkeley, the sun will be partially eclipsed on August 21. It's not total here, but the sun will be about 2/3 covered by the moon. Here are some details.

Henry Clarence Passing

This came in an email forwarded by Margot Smith.

Social Security Guides for Disabled

Here is some onformation from The Simple Dollar, a website dedicated to conducting data driven and unbiased research about topics that can help make an impact in people's lives. This information may be valuable for those who are living with disabilities.

The Simple Dollar recently investigated the Social Security Disabilities Benefits and in the course of their research, found that most people who have become or already living with disabilities are not fully aware of the benefits and resources that are available to them.

So, their team spent weeks reviewing the US Social Security Administration's documentation to develop their 2016 Disability Benefit Guide.

This guide breaks down qualifications and the application process, as well as a provides a calculator that can help estimate monthly and annual benefits.

WARNING: scam!

People are being called by "tech support" to fix non-existent problems with your computer. ALWAYS hang up in their ear.
For details, click here.

Free Legal Advice

March 12 @ 6:30 p.m. Claremont Library - 2940 Benvenue Ave

The “Lawyers in the Library” program offers free consultation and referrals on a wide variety of issues including landlord/tenant disputes, probate matters, employment problems, and general consumer issues.

Sign-ups start at 5:00pm for a spot with our visiting lawyer.
Names are chosen at random at 6:00pm for appointment times.

Steve and Claire Get a Seat on BART

On BART trains, a sign above those aisle-facing seats near the doors says that priority on those seats is for senior, disabled and pregnant riders. Some young riders sitting in those seats don’t seem to understand that they need to get up and let senior, disabled or pregnant people sit down.

Claire and Steve frequently ride BART, travelling between music and theater venues in San Francisco and the East Bay. Claire is very good at securing a pair of seats near a door. Steve isn’t very aggressive about his senior seating rights, but Claire is pushy enough for both.

When they board a crowded train, Claire pulls Steve along as she scouts for young-looking people sitting in the door seats. She firmly draws their attention to the sign about priority, saying “these seats are for old people.” Steve is 75 and white-haired but does not appear especially disabled. He is shy about making someone give up a seat for him. Claire always rousts the youngsters out. Sometimes one of two people in the seat will yield to Claire, but the other will remain seated. Then Claire makes Steve stand in front of the non-yielding person, hanging on to the overhead bars while presumably looking abused. Often, then, the other person will yield too.

Claire can be a little too pushy, making remarks about someone’s ability to read the sign. Steve usually would rather put up with standing rather than make a scene.

It’s not always easy to gauge someone’s age. When Claire asks the age of a seated rider, some people turn out to be seniors too, sometimes older than either she or Steve, or they claim a disability.

On a trip a while back, Claire pressured a young woman to yield her seat, until the woman said that she was pregnant.

Students are very nice about yielding.

Some young adults show annoyance at having to give up their seat. It may be that when the approaching senior citizen is not obviously disabled and does not look in danger of falling down, young riders don’t see the need for giving the senior special treatment.

Sometimes it takes a little social pressure from other riders to get some action. On a recent BART trip returnng to the East Bay, Claire got one of the senior seats, but a young man sitting next to her showed reluctance to get up to give the other seat to Steve. A young woman rider gently lectured him about the rules posted in the sign. Finally, the young man got up and said “OK, I’ll just sit here on the floor” and did so, leaning against the car wall on the side of the car opposite to the contested seat. Steve, embarrassed, shut his eyes, folded his hands and tried to look tired and senile. The young man was still on the floor by the time Claire got off at Macarthur. At one point, the young woman who had given the lecture about the sign came over to him and may have apologized.

The moral to this story is that sometimes senior citizens riding BART need to assert their rights to one of those seats near a door. A balance needs to be struck between being obnoxious and being firm.

Koch Brothers Products

The notorious Koch brothers own major shares in a wide variety of companies.

One big one is Georgia Pacific. This company makes products familar to us all.

Paper Towels: Angel Soft, Quilted Northern, Soft'n'Gentle, Brawny

Zee Napkins, Vanity Fair, Dixie Cups

Sign the pledge not to buy their stuff.

Resources and Links

For links to all US Government departments and agencies, plus to special federal portals for disability and senior citizen resources and information useful to parents, teachers and youth.

Go to this page.

Tax Break for Wealthy Hedge Fund Managers

Congress has granted an especially generous tax break to some of our very richest citizens. Managers of Hedge Funds make huge amounts of money, yet pay income tax at a rate lower than most of the middle class.

Have a look at this.

Archive of East Bay Gray Panther Newsletters Online

To display the April 2016 Membership Meeting report click here

To display the February 2016 newsletter click here

To display the January 2016 newsletter click here

(there was no December 2015 newsletter)

To display the November 2015 newsletter click here

To display the October 2015 newsletter click here

To display the September 2015 newsletter click here

To display the July 2015 newsletter click here

To display the June 2015 Newsletter click here

To display the May 2015 Newsletter click here

To display the April 2015 Newsletter click here

To display the March 2015 Newsletter click here

To display the February 2015 Newsletter click here

To display the January 2015 NewsletterClick here

To display the November-December2014 Newsletter click here

To display the October 2014 Newsletter click here

To display the September 2014 Newsletter click here

(no August 2014 newsletter)

To display the July 2014 Newsletter click here

To display June 2014 Newsletter click here

To display May 2014 Newsletter click here

To display the pages of the March 2014 Newsletter, click here.

To display the pages of the Jan-Feb 2014 Newsletter, click here.

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