Spring/Summer 2012 SAG, AFTRA Members Approve Merger to Form SAG-AFTRA On Friday March 30, 2012, members of the San Francisco AFTRA Board, SAG Council, volunteers and staff gathered in the Bill Hillman Conference Room in anticipation of witnessing, via live stream, the soon-to-be-historic announcement of the third attempt at merger. By the time the video and audio came together after fits and starts, the waiting had become almost unbearable. The entire room erupted in hoots, howls, cheers, tears and hugs as the announcement was made, once and for all, finally ... one union, SAG-AFTRA! Click here to see the full press release
HAVE YOU MOVED RECENTLY? Do we have your new address? Email address? You can update your contact information the following ways: Telephone the local office at (415) 391-7510 to request a change of address form Mail us a letter with your new contact information, including your SAG-AFTRA number, signature and date
Co-President’s Report Kathryn Howell Greetings fellow SAG-AFTRA members! I just love saying that — "SAG-AFTRA!” We all worked so hard to make the dream of merger come true and here we are – SAGAFTRA! On March 30, when the results of the vote were announced, your elected leaders and volunteers gathered in the AFTRA/SAG office to watch the live stream announcement. It was a very exciting moment when Presidents Reardon and Howard announced the overwhelming membership approval — 86% (AFTRA) and 82% (SAG) — of the merger of SAG and AFTRA. This is my first report as your copresident of the San Francisco SAGAFTRA Local. We had our first Board meeting with the new Interim Local Board, made up of the former members of the SAG Executive Council and the former members of the AFTRA Local Board. It was wonderful for all to meet together. Surprisingly perhaps, the SAG-AFTRA Local Board agenda was very similar to that of the AFTRA Board and SAG Council. For me, as former SAG president, it was very interesting to learn details of broadcast issues and other work categories not previously addressed by Continued on page 2
Co-President’s Report Maria Letica Gomez On March 30, 2012, the members of SAG and AFTRA wrote a new chapter in the history of labor in the United States. That day we were informed that the plan to form one new union was ratified by more than 80% of the members who voted on the referendum both in AFTRA and in SAG. The official announcement was made in Los Angeles, and it was streamed live nationwide. Here in the Bay Area, the leadership from both unions joined to watch the announcement in the San Francisco Local office. In attendance were several past and present leaders (both members and staff) who have been involved with our unions for decades, and who had seen previous attempts to merge fail twice before. We toasted to the joy of finding ourselves united under one new union: SAG-AFTRA. I am delighted to see that the vast majority of the members in both legacy organizations understand that when we come together because we believe in something very strongly, great things can happen. One of the most prominent union leaders in American history, César Chavez, once said; “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community Continued on page 2
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the SAG Council. It truly reaffirmed the commonality we all share and how correct it was to have made this merger happen.
Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”
We are forging ahead to make merger a reality in everything we do. But we must also continue to move forward with the work we were doing pre-merger – looking to create work opportunities, reaching out to our members in new and different ways, making community partners, strengthening our collective bargaining agreements with the goal of achieving better wages and working conditions, etc. I am excited to be part of this amazing time in the history of SAG-AFTRA and look forward to proactively participating in the process of moving forward as one union.
Realizing that we belong to a vast community of performers whose lives are inevitably intertwined gave way to the formation of a new, stronger union that will prevent our members from being pitched against each other at the negotiation table. It is now our responsibility to stay involved in order to capitalize to the maximum on what SAG-AFTRA has to offer its members – provided they remain engaged.
Several staff notes: We honor our retired SF Executive Director, Frank Du Charme, who has been a stalwart advocate for all San Francisco members, both SAG and AFTRA, for 15 years. His wisdom and service are to be admired and will be sincerely missed. Frankly, Frank is one of a kind! On the other hand, we are lucky to have hired a new executive director with much related experience in the industry, Len Egert. Len is an experienced and open leader, whom I have no doubt will serve us well. On another note, I would be remiss if I didn’t comment on the departure of SAG-AFTRA CoNational Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth. Everyone who worked toward merger has no doubt of her dedication to the members of AFTRA and SAG and to the idea of what it means to be part of a bigger whole – working toward achieving better wages and working conditions that only a union contract can achieve through the collective bargaining process. Kim served as the San Francisco executive director, so she has a special place in our heart. We all wish her well as she finds new goals and continues to fight the good fight.
Holiday Schedule for 2012 July 4 September 3 November 12 November 22-23 December 24-25 December 31
Independence Day Labor Day Veterans Day Thanksgiving Christmas Holiday New Year’s Holiday
The formation of our new union was welcomed from coast to coast. Unfortunately, it came accompanied by a piece of surprising news that many of us are still trying to digest: an exemplary leader, a woman who was pivotal in making this merger become a reality, decided to step aside. The co-national executive director of SAG-AFTRA, Kim Roberts Hedgpeth, announced that, on April 30, 2012, she would retire after working for AFTRA for 31 years. Kim grew up in a union household. Her parents were able to support the family because they were both AFTRA members and earned union wages and benefits. Kim has always understood what we do and what we believe in. During a meeting of the Initial Executive Committee in New York City, Kim was awarded the first-ever Certificate of Recognition presented by SAG-AFTRA. It read: “In grateful recognition for 31 years of excellence in service to performers, recording artists and broadcast professionals, and for dedication to the ideals of trade unionism. Your brilliance, humanity, and profound sense of ethics are appreciated and proudly acknowledged on the occasion of your retirement as co-national executive director.”
Under the leadership of David White, SAGAFTRA’s Executive Director, we are now all part of an exciting moment in history for the performing unions and we must get to know one another as colleagues so that we can work together to achieve better wages and working conditions.
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National Board Report
ONE UNION Denny Delk, Treasurer/National Board Member It is done. We had a family wedding and we are now SAG-AFTRA. The leadership of SAG and AFTRA spent much of the last year (and much of the first full week of January 2012) debating, designing, drafting, diagramming and otherwise drawing up a plan and structure for a new, successor union. The board representatives and union members overwhelmingly voted it up. It is clear that one union means we won’t be competing against each other, and that a single entity will have greater leverage in negotiating with the large corporations that are our employers in the news, music and entertainment areas. There will be some odd seams that need re-sewing and some loose threads that need to be snipped in the first few years, but the successor union will have the chance to build a new culture to accommodate our very diverse population.
As San Franciscans, we were well represented in the planning process, with both broadcasters and actors at the table to stand up for our members. And the merged Local Board continues to stand up for San Francisco’s voice. There will be growing pains, but I hope you will support this new direction we are taking. See you on the set.
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Tom Chantler, National Board Member Finally SAG and AFTRA have merged. It’s time to get on with the hard work of increasing SAGAFTRA’s footprint and density. It is the union that provides the things that make acting a career and not a hobby: pension, health care, great wages and working conditions and much more. All entertainment workers who are operating at the top of their craft deserve to be included and to share in those benefits. One of the main thrusts of SAG-AFTRA will be organizing. To that end, San Francisco is welcoming a new employee dedicated to that task right here, i.e., an organizer. This is a huge step forward and I am looking forward to meeting and working with her. I view SAG-AFTRA as the ultimate response of two vaunted organizations to the consolidation of media conglomerates on the other side of the negotiating table. That’s good news for union members and those who will become union members. There is no better way I know of to fight corporate greed than to band together for strength as proud American unions have always done.
OF NOTE… Congratulations to NLGJA Hall of Famer Hank Plante on Receiving the 2012 Stan Chambers Award for Extraordinary Achievement Hank Plante, former long-time KPIX political reporter, was honored by the Associated Press Television and Radio Association with the 2012 Stan Chambers Award for Extraordinary Achievement on June 2 in Pasadena, Calif. For more information…
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Belva Davis Honored with Founders Award At what turned out to be an historic event, i.e., AFTRA’s last National Board meeting prior to merger, AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon presented Belva Davis with the AFTRA Founders Award. Belva is retiring after 60 years as a newsperson. Among her many achievements: president of the San Francisco AFTRA Local Board, AFTRA National vice president, chair of the AFTRA National EEO Committee, and recipient of the George Heller Gold Card — AFTRA’s highest honor. The President’s Founders Award was established in 2002 by then-AFTRA National President John Connolly “to recognize the important contributions that people make which affect the lives of unionists and make a difference in the industry…to show the people who have served AFTRA long and well, everyone’s full appreciation, love and respect.”
Mark Your Calendar for the 8th Annual Faith Fancher Breast Cancer Challenge August 25, 2012
"When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, she is placed in unknown territory. Women without means suffer the most and often need additional support. There are many grassroots agencies out there to help these women, but they need the funds to provide services to low-income women. This is where Friends of Faith is available to help in awarding grants to agencies so they can continue to do this good work." Faith Fancher (1950-2003) Friends of Faith, Inc. - Mission Statement: Faith's mission and ours is to provide support and information to women who are diagnosed with breast cancer — especially uninsured and underserved women.
Visit the Friends of Faith http://faithfancher.org/index.html site for more information. Photo courtesy of Ron Fell Photography
Screening The Help at Skywalker Ranch By Phillip Ramirez, Chair Conservatory Committee
I had the opportunity to attend an awards screening of The Help in the Stag Theatre at Skywalker Ranch, sponsored by Variety. The theater is among the best facilities for sound and screen film enjoyment! Two of the film's stars, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, as well as producer Chris Columbus and director Tate Taylor, were so gracious and accommodating in the Q&A that followed the screening. It was a truly fantastic evening! [Photo] L to R: Viola Davis, Phillip Ramirez, Octavia Spencer and Chris Columbus
Carla Hatley Steps Down as Program Coordinator of the San Francisco BookPALS program After six years as the San Francisco Coordinator of BookPALS, effective May 31, 2012, Carla closed this chapter of her life, to be replaced by Lynne Maes. Many thanks to Carla for her dedication and service over the years. BookPALS is a children’s literacy program of the SAG Foundation.
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Black History Month – San Francisco Salutes Della Reese
In conjunction with her appearance at the Rrazz Room in San Francisco’s Nikko Hotel after an absence of many years from the Bay Area, and in the spirit of Black History Month, the AFTRA Local Board and SAG Council recognized Ms. Reese’s contributions as a true pioneer and a groundbreaking entertainer for over 68 years. The union’s recognition was in addition to those from such notables as U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, California State Senator Mark Leno and California Assemblyman Tom Amiano. Ms. Reese is pictured holding the resolution passed by the unions.
SAG-AFTRA CONGRATULATES THE WINNERS OF THE 30TH NOR-CAL RADIO-TELEVISION NEWS DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION AWARDS KTVU-TV News Broadcast-60 Minutes , "The 10 O’Clock News," Julie Haener, Frank Somerville, Anchors Public Affairs Program , "Remember Them Champions for Humanity," Mike Mibach, Claudine Wong, Anchor/ Reporters Sports Program/Special, "Giants Win," Mark Ibanez, Anchor Investigative Reporting, "Napa Hospital," John Sasaki, Reporter News Reporting 2, "Mehserle," Rita Williams, Reporter
KPIX-TV Multi-Part Series, "Tenant Nightmares," Reporter; Craig Franklin Specialty Reporting, "Consumer Watch Investigates," Julie Watts, Reporter Weather - Segment/Story, "Roberta Gonzales Weather," Roberta Gonzales, Weather Anchor Traffic-Segment, "Cars Torched-Traffic," Elizabeth Wenger, Traffic Anchor News Writing, "Vietnam -The Legacy," Thuy Vu, Writer Video Journalist/Multi-Media Journalist, "Julie Watts Composite," Julie Watts, Multi-Media Journalist KGO-TV Sports-Segment/Feature, "Posterize,” Mike Shumann KCBS Radio "KCBS 6AM News," Stan Bunger, Susan Leigh Taylor, Anchors; and the KCBS News Team Breaking News, "Firestorm, The San Bruno Pipeline Explosion," The KCBS News Team Public Affairs Program, "KCBS In Depth Revolution in Egypt," Jane McMillan, Ed Cavagnaro, Sheryl Raines Sports-Segment/Feature, "Dodgeball," Mike Sugerman, Reporter Traffic-Segment, "KCBS Traffic," The KCBS Traffic and News Teams KGO-AM Sports Program/Special, "Cut Man," Scott Lettieri, Reporter Weather-Segment/Story, "March Storms," The KGO News Team Use of Sound, "Cut Man," Scott Lettieri, Reporter KQED-FM, Public Radio Multi-Part Series, "33x20 California's Clean Power Countdown," Lauren Sommer, Amy Standen, Craig Miller News Reporting, "Proposition 8," Scott Shafer, Reporter Specialty Reporting, "Science & Health," Amy Standen, Reporter News Writing, "Counting the Homeless," Krissy Clark, Writer
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AFTRA H&R – 2011 in Review Wellness Benefits: Effective December 1, 2010, annual dollar maximums were eliminated for the Plan’s wellness benefit for preventative services. Dental Benefits: Effective December 1, 2010, the $1,000 annual maximum was eliminated with respect to pediatric (children under age 19) dental services only. Prescriptions: As of January 1, 2011, if you are already taking one or more long-term medications, or if you receive a new prescription for a long-term medication, you can fill each prescription twice at a network retail pharmacy. All subsequent prescriptions for each long-term medication however, must be filled through Medco Pharmacy. If you continue to purchase a long-term medication at a network retail pharmacy after the first two fills at the retail pharmacy, you will pay the entire cost of that prescription medication.
Limitation on Earnings Inquiries: Effective January 1, 2014, there is a new rule that limits the time period during which a performer may request a covered earnings inquiry. As of that date, performers will have a maximum period of five (5) years from the end of the calendar year in which earnings were, or should have been, credited to request a covered earnings inquiry and submit documentation to H&R for consideration. A new Performer Earnings Tracking Sheet is available on the H&R website. New Health Plan SPD: In the summer of 2011 a new Health Plan Summary Plan Description was issued. It is available online. Benefits Information via email: Help AFTRA H&R do its part to save resources and go green! You can choose not to receive a paper copy of the new 2011 Health Plan SPD and future Benefits Updates, as well as certain other AFTRA H&R information and notifications, and instead receive these documents via e-mail. This will help conserve resources and ensure that you receive information about your benefits as quickly as possible. Opt in to receive information about your benefits by e-mail. New Premium Invoicing System: Premium Payment Mailing Address: Effective August 1, 2011, participants were notified of a new address to send premium payments: AFTRA Health Fund, P.O. Box 5034, New York, NY 10087-5034. Premium Due Dates: Premiums are no longer due by the 15th of the month prior to the start of a new quarter. Premiums are due as indicated on the invoice. Premium Invoices: Only one quarterly invoice will be mailed. Premiums can be paid online until the due date. Reminder letters will no longer be mailed before the invoice due date. However, approximately three weeks before the start of each quarter, an e-mail announcement about the approaching quarterly regular premium due date will be sent to those who have previously paid their health plan premiums online and to those who have signed up to receive updates online. You will also notice that the invoices have a new, more user friendly format. Premium Conversion Plans: Those stations where premium conversion plans have been negotiated (allowing members to pay AFTRA Health Plan premiums with pre-tax dollars) are using a new electronic group billing process which provides employers the ability to pay premiums via electronic transfer of funds. Annual Health Plan Premium Increase: The Health Plan’s annual 5% increase went into effect January 1, 2012. Members are reminded each year of the annual increase in order to timely notify banks for purposes of online bill pay. Additionally both members and employers who participate in negotiated Premium Conversion Plans are notified to allow for timely changes in deductions. Don’t forget to keep the AFTRA H&R Funds advised of your current address. You can accomplish this electronically by going to the Members Only section of the AFTRA website and updating your address for both the Union and the Funds at the same time. Continued on page 7
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Reminder: If you have eligibility, claims or other benefits questions, call the San Francisco Local at (415) 391-7510. Please note that this is not a complete list of all changes. For the most up-to-date information, visit the AFTRA H&R website, including a review of the Benefits Updates.
SAVE THE DATE! H&R WORKSHOP Saturday September 29, 2012
Contract Corner When Should A Photo Shoot Be Covered by a Union Contract? Be aware that a photo shoot may fall under the jurisdiction of a SAG-AFTRA agreement. Digital cameras are capable of more than still photography â€” they are also capable of recording moving images. Even though still photography used for modeling or other print ads is, and traditionally has been, outside the jurisdiction of the SAG-AFTRA contracts, the recording of your moving image is not considered still photography. The use of the video or digital recording function may bring your photo shoot under the jurisdiction of SAG-AFTRA which means the portion of a photo shoot which is recorded as other than still photography should be covered under the applicable SAG-AFTRA agreement. If you are called to a photo shoot that is also recording digital or video footage, you are entitled to a payment under the Corporate/Educational and Non-broadcast Code. The applicable rates will depend upon the use the producer intends to make of the footage. As a member of SAG-AFTRA, the work you perform must be covered by a union contract. This means that you should receive a written contract and/or you should submit a member report. Your agent or the casting director should advise you in advance whether a photo shoot will include recording moving images. If you arrive on location or at the studio and you see that moving images are being recorded, call your agent or the union office in order to confirm that the work is correctly covered. You may also wish to inform the production staff that you are a SAG-AFTRA member and that work performed involving motion picture recording requires a union contract. Most reputable producers, once informed, will respect your union membership and you will not be recorded. Beware of releases. A release for motion picture recording (or other uses that are covered under SAGAFTRA agreements) should not be required of you at a photo shoot. Under the Corporate/Educational and Non-Broadcast Code, releases for all uses in perpetuity are not permitted and, while they may be voidable, you will avoid problems down the line if you do not sign them. If you are presented with any release, including one for motion picture recording or video, call your agent or the union office. The release will be reviewed upon request to confirm it is not in violation of the union agreement and is consistent with the terms of booking. Note: Barbara Massey is the San Francisco Local SAG-AFTRA business representative who administers and enforces the terms and conditions of the Corporate/Educational and Non-Broadcast agreement.
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Meets The Eye ... New Peninsula Production Facility
Set System, giving actors another great opportunity to work in an environment with the latest technology. MTE is a perfect spot for commercial and corporate work, as well as independent and feature films. Actors and producers will love this new addition to the Bay Area community. For more information visit Meets The Eye
By Kathy Goodin A new 12,000-square-foot production facility, two and a half years in the making, has opened its doors on the Peninsula. Meets The Eye, conveniently located just off Highway 101 in San Carlos, is a digital offering from the ground up, featuring two state-of-the-art production stages, including one with a green screen. Meets The Eye was designed by owner Marshall Spight along with his team of technical experts. Marshall, who got his start in Silicon Valley’s hightech arena, has always had a passion for filmmaking. It’s that passion that led to the realization of Meets The Eye. Brena Bailey, San Mateo County Film Commissioner, states, “The newly opened Meets the Eye production facility, with its two great sound stages, is a fabulous new resource for San Mateo County and the San Francisco Peninsula! Not only will it be a wonderful addition to the greater Bay Area filming community, it will be an added selling point as the San Mateo County Film Commission works to attract projects to our region.” MTE offers a green room, high-speed networking and prewired 3G-SDI connections, two stages with ample space for equipment and actors, a nice-sized makeup room and two kitchens for craft services. In addition, Meets The Eye offers a REDS Virtual
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Kathy Goodin holds a seat on the San Francisco SAG-AFTRA Local Board, and is also a member of the Local’s Communications Committee. Kathy is pictured with Associate Executive Director Karen Lipney at the opening of the Meets The Eye facility.
The Role of Film Commissioners By Michael O’Brien Editor’s Note: Sadly, for the Bay Area, Ami Zins, who is quoted in this article, is no longer the Oakland Film Coordinator.
In Oakland, former Oakland Film Coordinator Ami Zins was about to go forward with an incentive program when she found out that the mayor was recommending closing the Film Office due to a budget crisis. The local film community, including SAG-AFTRA members, rallied in support of keeping the Film Office open. On June 30, 2011, only hours before the new fiscal year, Oakland’s City Council approved a budget resolution compromise that hopefully will keep the Oakland Film Office open. At press time, Susannah Robbins has been meeting one-on-one with the San Francisco Supervisors. “So far, I’ve met with six, and each one I’ve met with is very pro-film and I’ve been encouraged by that,” said Robbins. “Especially Mayor Lee. He said anything I can do to help, let me know, because I realize you’re about job creation.” Continued on page 9
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In addition to the local incentives, there is the California State film program, but with a cap of $100 million, it doesn’t go far. “Filmmakers apply on June 1 and by June 2 it’s used up,” said Zins. By comparison, competing states like Georgia, Louisiana and, until recently, Michigan, have no monetary caps on their film programs. New York is capped, but at $420 million it’s more than four times greater than California’s program. As a producer at a recent hearing in Sacramento put it, “We’re going to go where we find the best incentives.” Zins notes it’s a shame to send productions away because of lack of incentive funds, especially since, in a sense, they pay for themselves by giving the money back. “Our production is up,” reports Robbins. “Since January, we’re up 12 percent. 2010 compared to 2009, we’re up 31 percent. So things really are getting better. And I think we’re going to have a good summer and fall.”
For more information about the San Francisco, Oakland and San Mateo Film Commissions:
http://www.filmsf.org http://www.filmoakland.com http://www.filmsanmateocounty.com Photo: L to R, Brena Bailey, Ami Zins, Susannah Robbins and moderator Michael O’Brien
BookPALS REPORT By Carla Hatley
“I have three feature films that are interested and a lot of them are just waiting to see if they will get the California incentive money,” said Zins. San Mateo production is slightly up from last year, but the exciting news is a newly remodeled 12,000square-foot facility featuring two full-sized sound stages, production offices and other amenities. Does more production translate to an increase in principal casting for Bay Area actors? “I have heard the misperception that the talent pool isn’t as strong as Los Angeles. I know that isn’t true,” said Robbins. “It would be helpful to get the word out about the talent and what you’ve worked on. “ It was suggested that a SAG-AFTRA rep be at some of the initial meetings with filmmakers to promote the high quality of actors available in the Bay Area. Brena Bailey, San Mateo County film commissioner, said, “Then we have more ammunition.” “Also, once they (filmmakers) make contact,” says Ami, “we have a really high percentage rate of being able to get them to stay here.” Top of page column 2
The San Francisco Local has more than 70 active SAG-AFTRA member BookPALS reading in schools, shelters and for special events. BookPALS read to children in 23 schools around the Bay Area and at three San Francisco shelters twice a month — Raphael House, Hamilton Family Emergency Center and Hamilton Family Center. On the first Saturday of each month, BookPALS read to children visiting a parent or relative serving time at Glen Dyer jail in Oakland. And, on the last Saturday of each month, we present books (reading theater-style) on the Emerald Stage at Fairyland in Oakland. BookPALS are also involved in numerous special events for KQED, Super Stars Literacy Continued on page 10
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- Oakland, San Francisco Project Read and Read Across America. Besides sharing a love of reading, BookPALS are dedicated to getting books to children who can’t afford them. This year BookPALS received a $2,000 grant from San Francisco First Book to purchase books for underserved schools. With this grant and other donations, BookPALS distributed 2,580 books to children in the Bay Area. BookPALS partnership with Green Apple Book’s Book Angel Program has provided hundreds of books for children in shelter programs. On December 3 at the fifth Annual Wrap Party, we wrapped 300 new books as holiday gifts for children living in shelters. To become a BookPAL email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (415) 391-7510 x501.
BookPALS is program of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation. Carla Hatley is the former program coordinator for San Francisco BookPALS.
JUST SAY “YES” TO BookPALS! Carla Hatley, BookPALS Program Coordinator 2006-2012
“There are people who prefer to say “No.” Those who say “Yes” are rewarded by the adventures they have, and those who say “No” are rewarded by the safety they attain.” — Keith Johnstone This quote from the author of Impro, Keith Johnstone, was in the back of my mind when I took over the position of program coordinator for SF BookPALS six years ago. I had no idea the places I would go, the amazing actors I would work with or the children who would touch my heart, all because I told Tracy Heffernan “yes.” Continued top of next column
In 2006, Tracy decided to pass the torch as the San Francisco program coordinator. She had started the program nine years earlier with little funding and a passion to share with kids her love of reading. At that time, I had been a BookPAL for eight years reading in classrooms, as well as helping coordinate workshops and special events. Because of my experience in the San Francisco School District I knew I could help the program grow. So the adventure began with starting a BookPALS Book Club for kids in San Francisco’s Juvenile Hall. I’d seen jail from TV’s perspective, but not up close. The sound of steel against steel as the entrance doors slammed behind me still echoes in my head four years after the program ended. I will never forget introducing myself to an 11-year old boy with tears in his eyes; he was clearly scared to be on the inside. BookPALS reached out to more family shelters; reading in the evenings to children whose families could barely hold together the strands of life. We partnered with Start With a Story, an Alameda County Library program. Once a month, BookPALS read to kids waiting to see a parent or relative serving time at Glenn Dyer jail. And we presented readers theater versions of popular stories on the Emerald Stage at Fairyland in Oakland. Our troupe named themselves The Fairylanders. Besides the places we went, there were the kids, who were a constant surprise. One day I was reading to a first-grade class at New Highland Elementary in East Oakland – which can be a tough neighborhood. Toward the end of the story, I asked the kids, “What do you think happens next?” A little girl sitting in the back called out, “He gets shot.” A few weeks ago I was reading an R.L. Stine mystery to my 4th graders at Bessie Carmichael. The book was about time travel so I asked the kids before I read the final installment, “If you could go back in time, what age would you like to be?” Most of the kids said ages 3 or 4, because everything would be so easy. But one Continued on page 11
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girl said she would like to be 6 because her mother read to her. “Does your mother read to you now? I asked. She shook her head and said, “no.” I told the class — that is why we have BookPALS, because you are never too old to be read to. As I transition out of the Program Coordinator role, I’m taking away hundreds of experiences I would never have had if it weren’t for BookPALS, and will forever guide my life: being in lockdown for over an hour with a room of third-graders at New Highland, ducking and covering with kindergartners at Yick Wo during an earthquake drill or having a little girl at Hamilton Emergency Shelter ask if she can read to me. BookPALS plays an important part in our community and I’m proud to have been part of this wonderful program. It’s been a brilliant adventure all because of “yes.” A huge “Thank You” to all the BookPALS who allowed me to take this journey with them. BookPALS are the best! Say “yes” to getting involved and making a difference in the lives of children in our own community by sharing your talents as an actor. To find out more about becoming a BookPAL, contact: Lynne Maes, the new San Francisco Program Coordinator at email@example.com. Or check out the new BookPALS site at http://bookpals.net/.
Yes, You Can Go Home Again By Lois Melkonian
This weekend, my new husband Art and I went to San Francisco…where I spent a huge chunk of my life. All three of my sons were born there, and it’s the place I cut my teeth in major market radio…in large part because of the man who mentored me and sat next to me for years on the 32nd floor of Embarcadero One at KCBS radio. Al Hart turned 84 this month, and we were invited for brunch at his home by his wife, Pat, her daughter and his caregiver. Al
was his affable self … but the voice we’re so used to hearing is diminished. For 42 years, Al commanded the San Francisco airwaves with his presence, and truly loved every minute of it. I have never known a person who so loved what he did, disseminating information and stories to listeners, with a voice so comforting and a persona that to this day remains humble, despite his recognition wherever he goes. I had the privilege to sit next to him again, this time at the dining table, eating wonderful food. I shared my stories of our time together in SF, Al ate. He heard every word, laughed, recalled moments, and seemed to completely enjoy our time together. Pat put on a CD of his music. Yes, he recorded music as well! And Al attempted to hum along to a few of his songs. But the man we all used to hang on every word for has fewer words to utter these days. Instead, his gift of listening is the one he now uses the most. When Al and I shared morning anchoring duties in the 1990s … Al was the most gracious cohost … and taught me skills I use to this day. Without his mentoring, suggestions, corrections, encouragement, and sometimes outright pushing, I would not have pursued my career as I have. He stuck with one station for 42 years. Who does that? I’ve been privileged to stay in the business for three decades, and I give so much credit to this legend of a man who accepted each of his milestones and piles of awards quietly. He is a man who always knew his place. Al was in the news business, and he had to keep us listening, so he entertained us as well … somehow without drawing attention to himself in an aggrandized way. Instead, you could hear that smile, or that concern, or that urgency. And his coaching has stuck with me. As my husband and I got up to leave I thanked Al for a beautiful brunch. Continued on page 12
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“Did you pick up the bill?” he quickly quipped. “No,” I replied, “But I’m leaving a good tip.” After nine years away from SF, I realize I can go home, in large part because of the man who helped shape my life. Many of us have mentors in our lives. I’m so glad I had the chance to thank mine, again, for being my hero. Editor’s Note: This is a blog written by Lois Melkonian after a visit to Al Hart earlier this year. She graciously gave permission to SAG-AFTRA to print it in the San Francisco Local newsletter. Thank you Lois.
Photo courtesy of Margaret Rotan Lois Melkonian is an award-winning broadcast journalist who's been reporting and anchoring on radio and television for the past 30 years. People are her passion, as evidenced in her special reports from Bosnia, Serbia and Uganda, to the streets of San Francisco, New York, Denver and now Houston. Lois has covered presidential elections, the high-tech boom and bust in the Silicon Valley, local and national disasters and focused on stories of people who have overcome great odds.
Staff News Len Egert officially started his job as executive director of the San Francisco SAG-AFTRA office on April 2. Len oversees the daily operations of the SAGAFTRA office, staff, and is responsible for the administration of national contracts for TV, radio programing, sound recordings, commercials, corporate/educational non-broadcast productions, new media and theatricals produced in the Bay Area, along with the staff who currently administers these contract areas. He also serves as chief negotiator for local
contracts, including broadcast station contracts. Prior to joining the San Francisco Local, Len worked as a founding partner (1998) at the New York City-based entertainment law firm of Egert and Trakinsk. His experience includes litigation, contract negotiation, contract drafting and general counseling for clients in the TV and film industries, from production companies to writers, directors and other talent. Frank Du Charme formally announced his retirement as executive director of the San Francisco SAGAFTRA office effective March 31, 2012. Frank has been the executive director since 1998, and worked as a business representative in the AFTRA/SAG office for a year before that. His years of experience with IBEW and familiarity with the business made him a good choice for executive director when the job became available in 1998. Frank will remain as a consultant/advisor, as well as interim broadcast director for a period of time to ensure continuity. Barry Schimmel was hired as a business representative in September 2011 to replace Michael Bracamonte. Barry is responsible for the enforcement of the AFTRA freelance contracts, including the Network Code, Sound Recordings, Cable and various local freelance agreements. His background includes 20-plus years of experience in labor advocacy, negotiations and organizing. Barry previously worked as an international representative for the Teamsters Airline Division and was also the business representative for more than 2,000 members of Local 135’s Airline Division bargaining units in Indiana. Marifel Fuentecilla was recently promoted to the position of SAG-AFTRA membership coordinator, filling the position vacated by Tia Baur. Marifel has been with the Local for three years, starting as the receptionist. She is fully expected to enhance the Membership department with her knowledge. Previous positions held by Marifel include receptionist, membership clerk, freelance administrator and records management. Vicki Aronson rejoins the SAG-AFTRA staff, filling the receptionist position recently vacated by Marifel’s promotion. Vicki worked at the AFTRA/SAG office in the ’90s – before the move to Sansome Street — under the direction of multiple executive directors and a stint with the theatrical department. She rejoined our staff in October and will be assisting Karen Lipney in the Communications Department. Continued on page 13
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Continued from page 12- Staff News
Concepcion Castillo joined the staff on April 2, 2012, filling the position of receptionist. She will be assisting the Membership department. Concepcion was the first new SAG-AFTRA San Francisco Local employee. Lauren Renaud joined the SAG-AFTRA staff effective April 14, 2012 as the first Local organizer. This is a new position created consistent with the goals of the new union to reach out to members and organize new work opportunities. Lauren spent time training with the National Organizing department and has already hit the ground running. Luke McLaughlin is the newest member of the staff, starting May 8 in records management.
Your Union Membership “Pays” at Work and at Home
The TTN Bargaining Committee, from left, Rodger Brand, St. Louis; Anton Peters, Chicago; Marc Ernay, New York; Ron Cervi, San Francisco; Nicole Davis, Boston; Sam Clover, Philadelphia; Jose Peñate, Los Angeles; and Alex Meyer, Seattle.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS SAFETY INSTITUTE SURVIVING THE STORY The International News Safety Institute (INSI) is an international, nonpolitical, nonprofit organization, dedicated to offering safety training and information to reporters and media staff in dangerous situations. INSI was launched officially on World Press Freedom Day 2003. Concerns about safety in journalism have never been greater. The dangers faced by journalists across the globe hit home hard in North America this year.
The AFL-CIO created Union Privilege in 1986 to provide union members and their families with valuable consumer benefits. With Union Plus benefits, your union membership "pays" at work and at home. By using the collective buying power of unions, Union Plus is able to offer valuable, discounted products and services exclusively to working families Visit www.unionplus.org and learn how you can take advantage of your union membership. Services are administered by entities independent of SAG-AFTRA. Questions must be handled by the providers. SAG-AFTRA does not endorse any of these services.
The freedom of the press is under threat when fears of murder, rape, maiming and unjust imprisonment loom large. For this reason, INSI expanded its operations to train and inform media communities in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Built on INSI's near decade of experience training and advising media professionals around the world, the INSI-North America office was set up in October 2011 to deepen work in this hemisphere. The decision was prompted by a particularly bad year in journalism safety, which saw nearly a dozen Mexican journalists killed and American correspondents endangered by foreign conflict and unrest at home. INSI-North America is committed to building a network of trainers, who will offer training on cyber security, rape prevention, natural disasters, emotional self-care, and protection of sources, risks, risk assessment, situational awareness and combat medical care. Since its foundation, INSI has: Continued on page 15
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Take a Walk on the Wild Side… …With Mark Jones atop the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge Everybody that works on California bridges - that’s Caltrans workers and contractors - is required to take fall safety classes. It’s a combination of classroom safety instruction and a final test, which takes place during the climb of one of the state-owned bridges, decked out in full harness gear. Since I am now documenting the construction of the new Bay Bridge, I had to take safety training for working inside confined spaces, as well as fall safety. These pictures highlight the final class, as we climbed the second tower of the West Span of the Bay Bridge. It looks terrifying, but it’s perfectly safe. The harness has two safety lines and one must be connected with at least one of the safety lines to the bridge at all times. Our instructor, Caltrans Veteran Safety inspector Fernando Leon, has taught 800 workers how to safely climb bridges - no one has ever been hurt. It’s not a stroll in the park however. Just remember to take a deep breath, and don’t think about what you’re doing. And once in a while, stop and enjoy the view. Mark Jones Video Journalist
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Continued from page 13 – INSI
• Set up a global safety information network in support of all news media. • Provided safety training free of charge to almost 2,000 news media staff and freelancers in 21 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Asia and other hot spots in a continuing program. • Conducted a global inquiry into the causes of journalist deaths around the world. • Secured the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1738 in 2006 on the safety of journalists in conflict. • Set up a global kidnap/hostage help facility to aid organizations and individuals confronted with this crisis for the first time. • Sustained behind-the-scenes talks with militaries. Coordinated a safety information exchange for major news organizations with teams on the ground in dangerous situation. Excerpted from the INSI website
An interview with Louise La Muth, SAG-AFTRA member – 97 years young We received a call from a member asking what year the movie The Jazz Singer was produced and out of habit, the reply was “you can Google it” and “look on IMDB.” This caller, however, insisted she did not have access to a computer. As staff, we sometimes get a bit skeptical about responses like that – we are so busy dealing with claims and contracts, etc. But this particular caller was insistent and compelling and after further conversation, we learned that Louise is 97 years old, sight impaired, a SAG-AFTRA member and a lifelong San Francisco resident. What a treasure. Naturally, the first thing we did was schedule an interview with Louise. That was the start of the adventure. Louise’s home is not easy to find and, of course, Murphy’s law sprang to life and we left the camera in the taxi on the way to see her. Luckily, we had a video camera, but as it turned out, the tripod was not working properly. It was just one of those days. When we finally found Louise, or rather, her caregiver found us wandering the block, she graciously welcomed us into her home and was fully prepared for the interview. She’d found what paperwork she could
relating to her history with the union and the work she’d done. Her lovely pink sweater gave her a healthy glow, which matched her upbeat personality and lively mode of communication. I think we enjoyed ourselves more than Louise did. Louise came to her acting career later in life, after she retired from the Bank of America. It was a Lana Turner-like discovery. According to Louise she was walking down the street and was approached by someone casting for a commercial. She was a principal for several commercials and had a few bit parts in movies. She retired from acting due to health reasons, but continued to have a full life thereafter and still does. Louise is pictured below with a doll purchased for her in Paris when she was a small child. For a 90-year-old doll, it’s in really great shape, just like Louise. Interviewing Louise was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Ironically, when Louise was a young child, she had occasion to have a play date with a very famous actor of the time, never knowing that she too would one day be a union member. Louise wrote an autobiographical piece about her encounter. Please read and enjoy it.
My New Playmate By Louise La Muth It was about eight o’clock in the morning on a summer day. I had rolled up my bedroom window shade and looking out, as usual, all was quiet on the avenue. Parked in front of the house across the street was a black shiny chauffeured limousine with what looked like rattan on the side of it. In a moment, the uniformed chauffeur drove off and I could see a woman and a little blond-headed boy walking up the concrete path to the door of the house. The next morning, with my usual first daily activity of rolling up the window shade, I saw the little blond-headed boy sitting on the curb across the street. I knew he didn’t live on the avenue so he must be visiting someone. He looked so lost and lonely and I felt sorry for him. Continued on page 16
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After having my breakfast, I decided to go out and play with him. I took my slate and red and white chalk. I walked across the street and sat on the curb beside him. I told him my name was Louise and I was 11 years old. I asked if he would like to play tic-tac-toe. He said, “Yes, please.” While sitting on the front stoop of the house playing tic-tac-toe, he told me he was visiting his grandmother who lived there. He was a goodlooking little boy. He was gentle, soft spoken, polite and smart. He seemed happy to have someone to play with and I was happy to have found such a nice new playmate. We were quietly playing our game of tic-tac-toe when we saw and heard a bunch of strange kids running up the avenue screaming wildly. One of them yelled, “There he is, that’s him.” At that moment my new playmate jumped up, took a couple of leaps to his grandmother’s front door, flung the door open, jumped over the threshold to the inside and slammed the door shut. I picked up my slate and chalk and walked across the street to home. Early the next morning I was awakened hearing the words, “Louise dear, please come out and play with me.” My new playmate was calling these words over and over. I opened my window and told him to please stop calling me. I would be out to play with him after I had my breakfast. During breakfast I decided I was tired of playing tic-tac-toe and I would take my jump rope and jacks for us to play with. Going down my front stairs, looking across the street, there was my new playmate sitting on the curb in front of his grandmother’s house. When he saw me coming he gave me his sweet smile and “Good morning, Louise dear.” We played jacks and jumped rope. I wasn’t very good at jumping rope. He reminded me of this and with his gentle humor he mentioned he had won most of tic-tac-toe games and the games of jacks. He was right. We weren’t playing very long, when again we saw another bunch of kids running up the avenue toward us, screaming. This time I grabbed my new playmate’s hand, jerked him up saying, “come on run.” We ran across the street to my garage through to the backyard. There we had a swing, a springboard and a tree to climb and we
still had the jump rope and jacks. We took turns on the swing. The higher I pushed him on the swing the more he liked it. Playing on the springboard wasn’t much fun. Climbing the tree and jumping off was the most fun. That was what we were doing when I saw a woman standing near the back door of the garage. She looked tall. She had very white skin and black hair. She wore bright red lipstick. She was wearing a black dress with a white collar. She held out her hand, saying, “Come, dear.” My new playmate answered, “Yes Mother.” He jumped down from the tree and walked toward her outstretched hand as he turned back looking at me. He smiled and said, “Thank you, Louise dear, for letting me play in your backyard.” I felt sad. I just knew it was the last time I would see my new playmate’s lovely face, soft brown eyes, sweet smile and beautiful blond silky hair that shimmered in the light. A little boy, age 10, named Jackie Coogan.
Pre-Merger Hard at Work!
Before merger, AFTRA and SAG leaders met numerous times. Pictured, from left, are AFTRA Local and National Board member Denny Delk, new Executive Director Len Egert, outgoing Executive Director Frank Du Charme, SAG Council President Kathryn Howell and AFTRA Board President Leticia Gomez.
San Francisco - Open San Francisco San Francisco -Mic Open 14 -Mic 17
IN MEMORIAM WALTER JOHNSON 1924-2012 - FRIEND, ACTIVIST AND LEADER Walter Johnson died in San Francisco of a heart attack on January 12, 2012 at the age of 87. Walter devoted most of his career to the department store and retail clerks unions in San Francisco. He also served as head of the San Francisco Labor Council for nearly 20 years. Walter was a genuine humanitarian, friend, activist and labor leader. He will be missed by all who were fortunate to know him.
JAY M. JACOBUS 1921-2012, contributed by Jay William Jacobus
Jay M. Jacobus died after a short illness in Modesto on January 4, 2012. He was a longstanding member of both AFTRA and SAG. He enjoyed radio, television, acting and directing. He was a staff announcer at several local radio stations and did freelance work as a football and basketball play-by-play announcer for the local colleges. He was the announcer for KRON’s Science in Action from 1952-65, a show that won several Emmys in the early years of television. He acted in more than 25 theatrical films and was a regular player on The Streets of San Francisco. He made several industrial films for the Armed Forces and served as the public address announcer for many of the West Coast Intercollegiate Rowing events.
CLARENCE “CLANCY” CASSELL 1920-2012, contributed by Christina Cassell Small Clarence “Clancy” Larkin Cassell, KCBS radio newsperson from the mid-1940s until 1983, when he retired. My dad didn’t say much when we were growing up. I think it was because of those hours at CBS. His afternoons were his time to sleep. Living in Palo Alto to take advantage of the good schools and neighborhoods, he made the sacrifice for his family to get up every morning at 3 a.m. and hit the Bayshore Freeway to the station in San Francisco. My dad always wore a great-looking suit and tie to work every day. He was 6’2” with long arms and long legs, and that signature space between his teeth. When he retired, the suits were gone and he lived in a red V-neck sweater and khaki pants. The space between the teeth still remains however — I inherited it from my dad, as did my brother and daughter. “Poppy,” as his granddaughter called him, believed in unions and was a member of both AFTRA and SAG. He joined both unions in 1952. I remember the year he went on strike at KCBS and walked the picket line. At that time, KCBS was on top of the Palace Hotel. My recollection is that he was nervous for his family and what was going to happen on the line. Then, the food trucks started to deliver to the restaurant at the Palace Hotel. No way. The strikers had all the entrances covered and those men would not cross the picket line with their trucks. The union also provided us with the best mail on the block. The letters from Charlton Heston were always a thrill. When I went into his room for the last time, I looked at his side table. There they were. He had lined up his wrist watch, a battery operated clock, and a large face clock. He never went without a schedule and a time for everything. I miss him. He was a very special man.
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Walter Johnson 1924-2012
MY TIME WITH WALTER Contributed by Karen Lipney Walter held a special place in my heart and I’d like to think it was mutual, but Walter held a special place in thousands of hearts and I’m sure that was mutual too. We all feel special for having had him in our lives. Walter did not wear his heart on his sleeve. Doesn’t mean he was not passionate about what he did and believed in. Just the opposite in fact. Walter devoted a majority of his life to fighting and advocating for working men and women, for equality and for justice. Unlike me, Walter was not a “hugger.” And I know this because I got really excited about the outcome of an election many years ago. It was at a gathering where we were listening to the election results. I was so happy about winning that I hugged Walter and, judging from his reaction, I immediately knew I had crossed an invisible boundary. I won’t say that Walter recoiled in horror, but he became stiff as a board and was unresponsive. I have to admit that I didn’t hug him again for a few years, despite my inclination to do so. Forward to years later after I got to know Walter much better. Needless to say, I hugged him intentionally every time I saw him knowing he would be polite about it. That’s my sense of humor. Walter knew it was coming from a good place and he did learn to sort of hug back after a time. I was privileged to visit Walter in the hospital shortly before he died. He was not conscious for the most part, but I took advantage of the situation and held his hand for a long time. And I told him in a joking, loving way (whether he could hear or not) that I was holding his hand, and there was nothing he could do about it. To make up for it, I promised him apple pie if he got better. Walter loved pie and coffee. Walter had a great sense of fairness, integrity, humanity and a particularly wonderful sense of humor — rather dry — and it could be wicked, but never unkind. If you read anything about Walter, you will find it is universally known that he had a keen sense of humor. Even without that attribute, I’m certain I would have liked Walter anyway, for he was an admirable man. But the wit was the icing on the cake and he would not really have been Walter without it. Being in labor relations year in and year out, working on behalf of men and women who work and live in the most dismal of conditions, dealing with employers who could care less whether you can pay your rent or feed your children can take its toll. It can make one cynical, skeptical, insensitive, one-dimensional, grim, ad nauseum. But not Walter. Maybe it was because he saw everyone as an equal. Maybe it was because he was tolerant. Maybe it was because he was respectful even to those who did not share his opinions. Maybe it was because he thought that given the opportunity, people want to do the right thing. Maybe it was because he was surrounded by people with courage, people who wanted to change things for the better. Or maybe it was because laughter is a universal tonic from which he drank — often. How did I meet Walter? It was a result of the Great Commercial Strike of 2000. AFTRA and SAG were staging rallies, putting up picket lines, reaching out to the community and most of all, reaching out to our sisters and brothers in the labor movement. I found myself in Walter’s office asking for cooperation from labor to help the performing unions in this struggle. He was then the executive director of the San Francisco Labor Council — a position he held for at least 20 years. I didn’t know Walter from Adam and, at first glance, he looked like any other senior citizen, so I was appropriately respectful. I found out there was no need to be respectful for that reason. Honestly, I had the bar set pretty low in terms of expectations. But after I left Walter’s office, I realized three things: This man gets things done, he trusted I would not treat his help lightly, and I learned that you don’t say “no” to Walter. Walter sat there and made phone calls, he made things happen, he got results, and I’m not kidding Continued on page 19
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when I tell you that if you got a call from Walter, you called back. And it was not because you were afraid of him, it was because Walter was a man of his word, he treated everyone with respect, you could count on him, he genuinely cared for people, he didn’t mess around, he was funny and you WANTED to help. That was the beginning of me and Walter. He grew on me and I grew fond of him. I was concerned when he retired from the San Francisco Labor Council, thinking I wouldn’t see him anymore. But we kept in touch. We went out to lunch to Caesar’s or Delancey Street. I asked questions and learned about his life and I’m only sorry I didn’t write it all down because memory, being what it is (or isn’t), I can’t remember as much as I’d like. Walter sometimes picked me up at the office or drove me back to the office after a lunch. He had a certain driving style and after a few rides through downtown traffic, I politely declined to get into the car with him thereafter. The funeral service for Walter was held in the beautiful Grace Cathedral. I had never been there before and the place was packed. Ironically, it was also the third anniversary of my father’s death. I figured this would be just another funeral with another person of the cloth speaking about the dearly departed with no real sense of who the person was. But I should have known better — after all, it was for Walter. To my delight (if one can use that word in this context), the Rev. Dr. Thomas Nibbe who delivered the homily (I had to look that up) knew Walter well enough to capture his humanity and sense of humor. The reverend spoke of Walter respectfully, but all the while conveying information in Walter’s style of humor. It wasn’t sad, it was funny and loving. Just what Walter would have wanted. It was what everyone there needed. The reverend spoke of a time in Walter’s young life when he earned money by picking fruit and vegetables for very low wages. Years later, Walter met Cesar Chavez and asked Mr. Chavez, “Where were you when I was getting paid only 10 cents an hour for picking apples?” to which Mr. Chavez replied “I was getting paid 7 cents an hour for picking strawberries.” Walter was celebrated and honored by so many organizations that I couldn’t begin to count. He was particularly proud of the fact that he was named an honorary woman and an honorary lesbian and never failed to remind me, which always brought a smile to my face. I never asked Walter how these honors came to be bestowed on him, but at the service, Rev. Nibbe included these two accomplishments in giving meaning and humor to Walter’s life and explained the “honorary woman” title. Apparently Walter had been in labor for so many years that he’d earned the title of honorary woman! You don’t usually hear people laugh at funeral services, but this one was different. When I read Dick Meister’s salute to Walter, I learned how Walter became an honorary lesbian. According to Meister, Walter was one of the first labor leaders to give unconditional support to the LGBT movement and he played a key role in founding the LGBT group that later became Pride at Work. The labor community is going to be a different place without Walter. He was one of the last of his kind. He got things done on a handshake, respected working people, was kind and generous and was always there to lend a helping hand if he could, didn’t look down on anyone, and had a great sense of fairness, justice and humanity. Not to mention (yet again) his sense of humor. I’m going to miss that Walter. But I’m REALLY going to miss the Walter who shared a meal with me and tried to be tolerant enough to let me hug him. And I owe a great many thanks to Alexis Gonzales who was a great friend to Walter and helped us stay in touch. SAG-AFTRA 350 Sansome Street, Suite 900, San Francisco, CA 94104 Phone (415) 391-7510 Fax (415) 391-1108 Fresno & Sacramento toll free (888) 238-7250 Editor: Karen H. Lipney