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    In the News: Nov. 27, 2015

    By Dennis McMillan

    Remembrance to Castro Sidewalks on World AIDS Day

    On Tuesday, December 1, from 10 am to noon, students from Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy will use colored chalk to write on the Castro sidewalks the names of those who have died from AIDS. To further observe World AIDS Day, they will also ask passers-by if they would like to write names in chalk along the Rainbow Honor Walk. The event is called “INSCRIBE.”

    Rainbow World Fund Offers World Tree of Hope Ceremony

    Rainbow World Fund invites the public to the 10th Annual RWF World Tree of Hope Official Tree Lighting Celebration on Wednesday, December 2, 5:30 to 8 pm in the City Hall Rotunda. This holiday tree, a gift from members of the LGBTQ community, is decorated with thousands of white origami cranes, each containing written notes of hope and peace from children and individuals from around the world. The free event features refreshments, a concert by the Grammy-winning San Francisco Boys Chorus, emcee Cheryl Jennings, and Mayor Ed Lee and Deputy Consul General of Japan Nobuhiro Watanabe exchanging peace cranes.

    National AIDS Memorial Grove to Commemorate World AIDS Day

    The public is invited to the National AIDS Memorial Grove for the 22nd Annual World AIDS Day Observance, “Voices Sur-viving: Enduring Stories of Hope,” on Tuesday, December 1, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm in the Grove in Golden Gate Park at the intersection of Bowling Green and Nancy Pelosi Drive. The free program includes musical performance, presentation of awards, reading of names, and is followed by a light lunch.

    November 20 Commemorated as Transgender Day of Remembrance

    In honor of transgender individuals who have lost their lives, Mayor Ed Lee proclaimed November 20 as Transgender Day of Remembrance in San Francisco and ordered City Hall to be lit in Blue, Pink and White in the colors of the Trans-gender Flag. Additionally, Transgender Law Center joined Forward Together and a number of trans-led organizations across the country for the Transgender Day of Resilience Art Project, with a goal of going beyond remembrance to celebrate the lives and resilience of transgender people. The LGBT Community Center also held a TDOR.

    Senator Feinstein, Equality California, and Sheriff-Elect Hennessy Endorse Wiener for State Senator

    Senator Dianne Feinstein, Equality California, and Sheriff-Elect Vicki Hennessy have announced their endorsements of Supervisor Scott Wiener for California State Senator. Since his announcement for State Senator on July 1 of this year, Supervisor Wiener has been steadily building a significant and broad support list of elected and community leaders, labor unions, and community organizations, including the incumbent, Senator Mark Leno.

    Pacific Center LGBTQ Youth Need Help Now

    Pacific Center for Human Growth has provided support programs for the LGBTQ community in Alameda County since 1978. Very recently, funding for this program, from one government source and another local community foundation, was either cut in half or eliminated for fiscal year 2015–16. Because of the funding cuts, the group currently is meeting just once a week; but with donors’ financial help, they will restore the full level of programming three days a week by January 2016.

    HUD Issues Rule to Ensure Equality for Transgender Shelter Seekers

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued a proposed rule that would ensure that transgender individuals seeking accommodations in emergency shelters are housed according to their gender identity. This rule amends the groundbreaking LGBT Equal Access Rule issued by HUD in 2012 that prohibits discrimination in public housing and HUD’s core housing programs based on sexual orientation, gender identity and marital status.

    Bimonthly Injections Said to Be as Effective as Pills at Treating HIV

    Researchers are cautiously viewing results of a recent HIV injection study as a positive development for the treatment of HIV. A recent medical study from GlaxoSmith-Kline and Johnson & Johnson found that a monthly or bimonthly injection was as effective in suppressing HIV as daily oral medication. If the goal is to get people to be compliant by taking a pill every day, it could be easier to get them compliant by seeing a doctor every other month.

    Pride at Work Reacts to Release of HRC Corporate Equality Index

    Pride at Work is disappointed that the HRC Corporate Equality Index (CEI) rewards big corporations for “questionable employment practices” without taking into consideration the lived experiences of the LGBTQ working people in those corporations. It is their position that any company that takes action to stall, stymie, or otherwise undermine the efforts of their workers to unionize is preventing LGBTQ working people from achieving the full nondiscrimination protections federal and most state laws currently do not provide.

    Supervisor Breed Offers Tenants’ Rights Forum

    The Tenants’ Rights Forum is being hosted by District 5 Supervisor and Board President London Breed at The Independent, 628 Divisadero Street on Thursday, December 3, 7 to 8:30 pm. Representatives have been invited from the San Francisco Rent Board, the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, and the Housing Rights Committee to offer advice and information to tenants, from legal rights to eviction resources. There will be a formal presentation from each representative, followed by Q&A and an opportunity to talk separately with each agency.

    Company that Raised AIDS Drug Price by 5,000% Reports $14.6 Million Loss

    CEO Martin Shkreli earned the world’s wrath when his company Turing Pharmaceuticals purchased the rights to AIDS drug Daraprim and raised the price by over 5,000 percent. Now, Turing Pharmaceuticals has reported a $14.6 million net loss in their third-quarter (July to September of this year). The company justified the losses by claiming they’re spending 60% of their revenue on drug research.

    EPA Awards $1 Million Grant to Research Impact of Drought on Water Quality

    The Environmental Protection Agency has announced a $1 million grant to the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) to conduct research on the effects of drought and extreme weather on the state’s water resources. The study will examine the conditions that contribute to the current drought, looking at the effect decreased water supply and unpredictable water quality have on agriculture, the environment and the hydropower sector in both urban and rural settings.

    Transgender Woman Attacked for 2nd Time in San Francisco

    A transgender woman said she was attacked for the second time this year while on a date with her fiancé in San Francisco’s Mission District. Samantha Husley was out with her fiancé Daira Hopwood when a couple threw hot coffee on her and repeatedly punched her in the face, according to police. The police arrested a man and a woman on suspicion of a string of hate crime related counts.

    U.S. Can’t Turn Its Back on Vulnerable Refugee Populations, Says ORAM

    Releasing a statement from a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) sponsored training in Ankara, Turkey, Neil Grungras, Executive Director of the San Francisco-based Organization for Refuge, Asylum, and Migration (ORAM), called on the U.S. government not to turn its back on the most vulnerable and most faithful of Syrian refugees. He noted that among these refugees are religious minorities, LGBTQ persons and Muslims determined to reclaim their faith from the clutches of tyranny.