1. Helping our most famous butterfly: the Mission Blue on Twin Peaks
2. Tree and history tour of Russian Hill Sunday 12 Sept
3. Literacy for Environmental Justice events and news
4. E-mail Governor Schwarzenegger Today to Support Water Recycling in California!
5. Feedback on Westside Water Recycling Project
6. News from SFPUC: creatures in our watershed/get a rebate on high-efficiency toilets/put used grease to work
7. The future be dammed: We're still on a dam-building binge
8. Corporate report finds saving water saves them money
9. Texas oil companies funding California's Proposition 23 - you can take action
10. Film on San Bruno Mountain and its controversies
11. Interesting follow-up from Carl Nolte's on the WPA-made reliefs maps
12. SciAm: How can Los Angeles adapt to coming climate change?/Wee ants protect African savanna trees from elephants
13. Wild Native Grape Harvest Festival Sept 17
14. Night Vision: photography by Jo-Ann Ordano Sept 4-26
15. Open House and information meetings of the GGNRA in Pacifica and San Francisco
16. Feedback on dialogue on coyote bush/goldenrods/asters, as well as population
17. Note on peregrine falcons
18. Green Hairstreak Project this Sunday
19. Bode's law II. We humans readily perceive patterns
20. Park steward's Ultra World X-tet at SF Conservatory of Music Sunday Sept 12
Gertrude Stein: "A difference, to be a difference, must make a difference."
1. San Francisco Natural History Series
Helping Our Most Famous Butterfly: the Mission Blue on Twin Peaks
Guest Speaker: Liam O’Brien
7:30pm, Thursday, September 16th, 2010
In 2009 the Natural Areas Program of SF Rec & Park collaborated with US Fish and Wildlife to fulfill part of the 1976 recovery plan for the endangered Mission Blue butterfly. Leading SF lepidopterist Liam O’Brien, was invited to be part of the team to relocate and monitor 22 females from San Bruno Mountain. Since butterfly relocation is a recent science this evening promises glorious photography and stimulating conversation.
FREE; donations encouraged.
Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way
Info: 415.554.9600 or http://www.randallmuseum.org
Learn More at:
2. Tour of the Trees and History of Russian Hill
Sunday, September 12, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Certified arborist Ted Kipping and architect and local historian Joe Butler will lead a walking tour of the trees and history of Russian Hill. It's a steep hike with interesting plantings, fabulous views and engaging history. Gather at the bottom of the Vallejo Street Stairs (between Taylor and Mason), accessible from MUNI bus lines 30, 41 and 45. www.fuf.net Please RSVP email@example.com
3. Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ)
Community Work Days
Heron’s Head Park, Cargo Way & Jennings
SATURDAY, 9/11, 9 AM - 12 PM
Come see the new EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park and help restore the Port of San Francisco’s landmark wetlands. Maybe you’ll spot our newest resident -- a clapper rail! For more information: Myla Ablog at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please wear layered clothing, closed-toed shoes. Bring a water bottle, a snack and an open mind and heart.
CALIFORNIA COASTAL CLEANUP DAY!
SATURDAY, 9/25, 9 AM - 12 PM
Join LEJ on Saturday, September 25, 2010 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm for California Coastal Cleanup Day in San Francisco. Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ) is hosting Coastal Cleanup Day activities along the eastern shoreline of San Francisco. We need more people here on the sunny side of San Francisco! Last year 70% of debris was picked up along Candlestick Point Shoreline, India Basin Shoreline, Heron’s Head Park, Pier 94, Islais Creek, and Warm Water Cove that was composted or recycled --the highest rate of diversion from landfills in California.
To lend a hand this year register at www.signuptocleanup.org, download & complete waiver form (Please bring your waiver form with you to the cleanup) and arrive at the Cleanup Site on Saturday 9/25 at 9am with good energy, completed waiver form, proper clothing – i.e. close-toed shoes (no sandals), sunscreen, hat, long pants and layers. For more information: Rachel Russell at email@example.com.
Please participate in our BYO campaign. Limit waste by bringing your own reusable supplies (bags, bucket, gloves, water bottle, etc.). Only if you ALREADY have these items ready for cleanup (PLEASE DO NOT buy these items new as we will provide them if you forget or do not have them in your household).
To register for the West side of San Francisco: Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
For sites outside of San Francisco or for more general information: Coastal Cleanup Day
In Other News…
Marine Science Institute Bay Excursion
On Saturday August 7, LEJ Youth, LEJ family and Youth United for Community Action (YUCA) joined forces for an afternoon on the Bay. Hosted by the Marine Science Institute, we cast nets into the Bay catching fish, sea grapes, and shrimp; explored past inventions that marine scientists created to calculate the Bay’s temperature; viewed plankton under a microscope; and dug up Bay mud to search for marine life. MSI Staff connected the dots between native plant restoration, urban environmental planning and the marine environment. For many of the youth it was their first time in a boat on the Bay! We look forward to more trips that link our work at LEJ to the larger environmental community and provide an opportunity for youth to explore the world around them.
Funded through the generous support of the Stewardship Council.
"Even if our political leaders cannot read the pulse of a changing world, the people do." Terry Tempest Williams
E-mail Governor Schwarzenegger Today to Support Water Recycling in California!
The Planning and Conservation League has been hard at work this year building support for our water recycling bill, SB 918 (Pavley). The bill, co-sponsored by the Planning and Conservation League, would help California expand water recycling by developing public health standards for using recycled water to refill groundwater basins and augment reservoirs.
After successfully passing through the Senate and the Assembly last month, only one challenge remains: securing the Governor's signature.
Here are some key points to make:
* Every year, California discharges millions acre-feet of re-usable water to the ocean - nearly as much as it receives annually from the Colorado River Aqueduct, and more than it receives from the massive State Water Project in an average year.
* By developing water recycling, California can tap in to a drought-resilient water source that can reduce our unsustainable dependence on over-allocated estuaries and rivers.
* Water agencies cannot commit millions of dollars to water recycling without knowing what will be required to make sure that their recycled water fully protects public safety.
* The bill's supporters are impressively diverse, and include the Association of California Water Agencies, the City of San Jose, and the Planning and Conservation League - making it one of the few solutions for California's water problems to receive such unanimous support.
How to E-mail Governor Schwarzenegger:
2. Enter your first name, last name, and e-mail address. Select "Water Issues/Concerns" as the subject of the e-mail.
3. Click the Submit button.
4. Select the Pro radio button.
5. Enter your e-mail message to the Governor.
6. Click Send Email.
7. That's it!
5. Feedback on Westside Recycled Water Project
> From: Jake Sigg
> (So here we are again: Is the process too far advanced to change? I am extremely sympathetic to the concerns of the Tuolumne River Trust. But it seems that we are constantly being confronted with unacceptable alternatives, this one involving losing yet another hunk of our parkland. Poor Frederick Law Olmsted and Wm Hammond Hall and their vision for Golden Gate Park. San Francisco has repeatedly trashed this vision; here's the latest affront. What to do? See next item from GGPPA. JS)
> Jake, as one who has followed this project (now $156m for 2 mgd)and its program (WSIP, $4.5 billion) since 2002, yes, I'd say it is too late, SFPUC will not re-site the new recycled water plant. I could be wrong, but I very much doubt it. They considered other sites and one by one they did not work out. They have an MOU with Park & Rec for this site (could possibly not yet be final). This project is long, late, and they feel considerable pressure to do recycled water, which is very expensive in SF. Very. Original plans were to deliver 10 mgd (5x as much) for 120m. And that was expensive then. They are pressured to do Eastside recycling, which is far more expensive than this Westside "low hanging fruit". Yet I never know what I don't know...could they be looking for another way to further delay? For this program truth is stranger than I'd imagine. Site the new plant at the zoo? or Oceanside plant? or in NE corner of Ft Funston? You can ask.
Once again, Steve, we differ, and the reason is differing sense of values. You are looking at the business side of things--important, but not the whole thing--and I am vainly trying to protect our parklands, open spaces, and biological values. It is a losing battle, as money and mis-government prevail more often than not. The public is seldom truly brought into the process, and such education and outreach done is usually after key decisions have been made, and too late for the public to absorb, digest, and mobilize. By nature that must be a slow process, as people have myriad other issues to cope with. It needs to be a party from the beginning, and it almost never is. Your opinion that it is too late is probably correct.
> Jake, I'm not unsympathetic to your position. They believe that they can't do reverse osmosis at Oceanside, and they have believed for a while that the process is needed. I don't know any details; perhaps there is a way afterall, or perhaps there is a process other than reverse osmosis that could be fit into a recycled plant at Oceanside (which site makes more sense to me). That would be ideal. But they are pretty far down the Park road.
> By all means, stick with your ideals. Usually the dollars are worked out.
"Water is the driving force of all nature." ~Leonardo da Vinci
“In time, and with water, everything changes.” Leonardo da Vinci
6. From SFPUC e-newsletter:
* View pictures showing how SFPUC's commitment to the environment extends to its protected watersheds, where many species of wildlife flourish.
* Did you know you can get a rebate of up to $200 on high-efficiency toilets? Find out how.
* Put your used grease to good use! Click here to learn how.
If you enjoyed this issue of digital Currents, please share it with friends and colleagues so they can sign up too.
(Regarding those protected watersheds, PUC's commitment is mostly on paper so far. We have been in conversation with them for last few years, but progress is S-L-O-W.)
7. The Future be Dammed
For decades, for better or for worse, people have been on a dam-building binge that would be the envy of any beaver. "We've built one large dam every day for the past 100 years," one commentator noted. At least 273 large dams are either planned or now under construction on 46 large river systems, 20 of those on previously undammed rivers.
As future dams reach completion, their reservoirs will begin to fill, and the silt and sand will not reach the sea. Downstream, river deltas will become starved for fresh sediment, and regions that once received enough muck to stay above water will slowly begin to subside. Rising sea levels will aggravate the problem. Examples: Rising sea level combined with land subsidence at the Mississippi delta is causing Louisiana to sink as ground equal to two football fields is lost each hour, and the Nile delta is retreating 33 feet a year. Fish stocks have plummeted in both areas, as nutrients are no longer flowing in; in addition, toxics are no longer getting buried.
Excerpted from Science News 21 May 2005
8. NUMBERS DON'T LIE: CORPORATE REPORT FINDS SAVING WATER SAVES THEM MONEY
A recently released survey found water-use efficiency helps more than a company's corporate image, but in fact is great for the bottom line. The survey, "Unlocking the Profit in Water Savings," released by research analysts Ethical Corporation found that 99 percent of corporate sustainability managers saw water becoming a top priority for businesses in the next 5 to 10 years. The report also found 52 percent of sustainability managers ranked "water stewardship" within the top five most important issues they deal with now.
(I lost the attribution on this item.)
9. Ian Wilson:
Dear Jake, As I'm sure you've heard, two Texas oil companies -- Valero and Tesoro -- are waging a campaign here in Califormia to pass Proposition 23, which is an attempt to prevent California from implementing clean energy measures next year.
If you think that some of your readers in California might be interested in joining the groups that are mobilizing to resist Prop. 23, here are a couple of links:
10. From Gail Mallimson:
Please check out the article about my San Bruno Mountain-based film that came out today on SF360!
11. Follow-up from item of September 3 on the WPA-made relief map of California:
13. Hi Jake, Carl Nolte is running an article on the huge WPA-made relief map of SF that apparently was on display at Treasure Island in 1940 that I recently discovered in a UC warehouse. That got us all wondering whatever happened to the huge plaster relief map of CA that used to be in the Ferry Building. Do you have any idea of who might know? Apparently, around 1986 it was sold for a dollar and crated up, but no one seems to know where it went. David Brower told me he wanted to find and reassemble it so that people could see what the state was like in 1924 when it was apparently built (it was not WPA.) Gray Brechin
Howard Wong was instrumental in tracking it down; Port Director Monique Moyer provided this information:
It was up at the Cal Expo for many years. The Port retrieved it around 2002 and it is stored at Pier 96. It did not get returned to the Port in good condition.
> Dear Howard (and Monique)
> Many thanks for tracking this down. It's wonderful to know that the map is still in San Francisco! Although my chief concern right now is to find a home for the SF map and get it reassembled, is there any chance that I could see even a section of the California map? It is legendary, and I'd like to try to find funding for restoration and a home for it as well.
From Alice Carey:
> Gray,This is indeed a terrific find. Here are my suggestions for a home:
> City Hall South Light Court
> Palace of Fine Arts Exploratorium space when they leave for the waterfront
> Brooks Hall
> Planning Department Lobby @1650 Mission St. forth floor
> An unused Pier (provided moisture problems can be avoided)
> Perhaps you could present this to the Planning Commission in January (agendas are filled until then), and to the Historic Preservation Commission.
> They should be sympathetic, and could request the Mayor or Board of Supervisors find a suitable display space.
For those interested in the giant WPA-made map of San Francisco: There's another one (or was)!
I'm attaching an article (not attached here, JS) from the Aug 12, 1986 San Francisco Examiner that shows a considerably younger me standing like Gulliver on a 17 x 13 foot relief map of NE San Francisco with every building that was in that part of the city around 1940. Beverly Bubar Denenberg found it at the California Museum of Science and Industry in Los Angeles and had it brought to Laguna Honda Hospital where the residents reconstructed it at that time. It was on display at Louis Moran Hall there, but when I visited Laguna Honda a year ago to see , no one I talked to remembered it.
I've become very interested in these giant relief maps made by the WPA and CCC largely to put men and women to work but also for purposes of education and regional planning. Consider that within a few years of the Great Depression, the Bay Area had been transformed by two great bridges, airports, military bases, the Caldecott Tunnel, the East Bay Regional Parks, and Treasure Island, all of it except the Golden Gate Bridge built by the New Deal. WPA workers were also surveying Market Street in anticipation of a subway system. These models were used for planning future growth; they are now freeze frames of how The City and the region looked seventy years ago.
I'm grateful for all suggestions of a home and funding for the model about which Carl Nolte wrote on September 6 and for information about the one at Laguna Honda.
12. Scientific American
FEATURES: How Can Los Angeles Adapt to Coming Climate Change?
Climate change can’t alter the blue skies or access to the beach and mountains, but it will pose four tangible threats: The summers will grow hotter, the air will be smoggier, there will be more fires, and there will be much less water
OBSERVATIONS: Wee ants protect African savanna trees from elephants
It's a David versus Goliath kind of story, with an ecological twist: In African savannas (regions with both trees and grass), acacia-dwelling ants can repel voracious, tree-eating elephants
13. Wild Native Grape Harvest Festival - Friday, September 17, 2010, 5 to 8 p.m.
Enjoy the abundant grape harvest with foods prepared from California wild grapes by accomplished chefs. Tingle your taste buds with grape goodness from appetizers to salads to entrees to desserts, from savory to sweet.
Cost: $25 donation to support the ELSEE project (Environmental Learning for Sustainability and Ecological Education) made payable to CNGF.
> No sign up necessary, people can just show up and donate on site. We wont be too strict about donations. Just if people can afford it.
Night Vision, Sept 4 - 26
Photography by Jo-Ann Ordano
A Woman's Eye Gallery, 678 Portola Drive, San Francisco
Hours: Noon-5pm Wednesdays and weekends
Artist's reception Sept 11, noon - 5 pm
Always free parking behind the purple church
This exhibit features a mixture of documentary and unusual close-up night photography. A special technique created by the artist produces images that are very abstract and highly original.
15. OPEN HOUSE to discuss plans and projects in Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA).
Open House events are an opportunity to meet park staff, learn about ongoing projects, and provide your input at the various information stations.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Drop in anytime between 4 and 7 pm
Ingrid B. Lacy Middle School, 1427 Palmetto Ave. Pacifica, CA 94044
CLICK HERE FOR MAP
Open House Information Stations
· Trails Forever Projects:
Hawk Hill Coastal Trail
Presidio Coastal Trail
Redwood Creek Restoration
Mori Point Park Stewardship
· Rancho Corral de Tierra Transition
· General Management Plan
· Collaboration with San Mateo County and
San Francisco PUC
· Site Improvements at Fort Funston
· Lands End Projects - Visitor Facility and
USS San Francisco Memorial parking lot
Visit online for more information on plans and projects. Sign language interpreters, agendas in large print, Braille, or audio formats can be made available by request at least one week prior to the Open House.
Please join the National Park Service and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy to learn about the new Lands End Lookout visitor facility and to review the preliminary design.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at the Cliff House in San Francisco (1090 Point Lobos Ave.)
Space is limited; please RSVP by Tuesday, September 21 by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 415-561-3054.
Sign language interpreters are available - please make your request at least one week prior to the meeting. The Golden Gate TDD phone number is (415) 556-2766.
To learn more about the project and share your comments, go to http://parkplanning.nps.gov and scroll down to "Golden Gate projects with documents open for comment."
To receive updates on the USS San Francisco Memorial parking area project, public walks and events, and learn about more ways you can continue to stay involved, go to http://www.parksconservancy.org, go to Trails Forever, Signature Projects.
I received much favorable feedback about the conversation with Laura Baker about coyote bush and related. Here is the most extensive, from Bill McClung. I reprint here the original section which I think apropos to Bill's response:
> I like this dialogue, Laura. And it gives me grist for my newsletter--not that I need more in terms of quantity. Quality is what I'm after, and this will help direct people's attention to the vital subject of the fine fabric that constitutes ecosystems. We need a lot more awareness on this subject.
> I don't know what is happening in the East Bay in terms of fuels mgt. Your reference to plant succession is an important one that deserves more thought on the part of land managers and restorationists. In the case of grasslands that have become 100% weedy annual grasses I have advocated turning them into shrublands, because trying to restore annual grasslands with the exceedingly limited resources available today is not feasible, and shrubs--especially coyote bush--provide rich wildlife support. However, where native bunchgrasses and forbs still exist, I cannot think of allowing shrubs to invade. As you know, most of our grasslands today are a legacy from the frequent burning regimes practiced by the natives. In the absence of frequent burning and grazing they are going back to shrublands, and I don't think they would ever come back to grasslands by natural succession. (This is an immediate issue on San Bruno Mtn, where native and non-native shrubs are invading the grasslands, which are needed for the three federally-listed butterflies.) Your reference to coyote bush succession was not clear on this point.
> I’ve been fortunate to do fuels management on about 10 sites — some 20 acres each year — of wildland/urban interface in the East Bay in the last ten years. All of these sites have interesting (and variously rich) grassland and shrubland native vegetation, plus the usual weeds. An observable successional aspect of coyote bush (and poison oak) is the way mature stands provide protection for young trees like toyon and oaks until they are large enough to not be killed by deer browsing. There is also often a rich presence of grassland species at the edge of and in the shrubs even though the shrubs are probably also suppressing these species, or “invading” the grasslands as Joe McBride used to write.
> Because these sites have been mostly aggressively fuel-reduced for many years, they are predominantly grasslands, but it would be false to see them as now 100% annual grasses. Yes, the annual grasses and weeds are there, but in our experience there is always a significant component of our native grassland flora, which can be nurtured by selective (non)cutting of native species in the fuel-reduction zones.
> It has long seemed to me that these fuel breaks provide a golden opportunity to attempt both a preservation of shrubland values and grassland values. The 1995 guidelines for our fuel reduction buffer zones called for not more than 30% shrub cover, but that’s substantial, isn’t it?
> Hi Jake, Just wanted to let you know people are talking--about population issues--at Stanford U, Oct 23.
> This is Stanford's 5th Roundtable, part of a day of annual "Homecoming" events.
Denise: I'm very familiar with people talking about population issues. I'm bored with them. I'm waiting for action.
Fact of the week: Belgium, with a population of 11 million humans, has an estimated 1.7 million cats.
17. Note on peregrine falcons, from Jeanne Koelling:
People who have been following the pair of peregrines on the PGE building have noticed an increase in bonding and courtship behavior, even though winter is approaching. Glenn Stewart, head of the peregrine recovery group at UCSanta Cruz sent this message which I'm forwarding to you:
As we approach the autumn equinox, please remember that any increase in coziness between members of pairs on [the PG&E] camera, and at other nests, is the result of photoperiod stimulation that mimics spring equinox when egg-laying occurs.
18. Green Hairstreak Project: This Sunday, Sept 12th is our next monthly meeting & workday at 14th and Pacheco!
Volunteers are needed for our workday from 11am - 2pm. Be part of restoring the habitat for the locally endangered Green Hairstreak butterfly and tell a friend!
The Golden Gate Heights Neighborhood Association approved funding for three of the 12"x18" aluminum signs that we're planning for the Green Hairstreak sites...a total of $750! We learned that they (GGHNA) were founded to stop the development of Grandview Park (AKA Turtle Hill) and we are thrilled to continue to build a relationship with the organization.
MORE GOOD NEWS!
The Green Hairstreak workshop led by Liam O'Brien at the White Crane Springs Community Garden on last Saturday Sept. 4th was a great success. Not only did a dozen gardeners and neighbors attend the workshop, but several joined our BYNN (Backyard Native Nursery Network) group at the garden to transplant coast buckwheats and other plants that we're growing for the Green Hairstreak Corridor. We look forward to continue working with the White Crane Springs Community Garden!
Jake, Here is an interesting study that is worthy of posting on the battles about energy use of locavore eating and the attempts by big agriculture to try to tar the locavore movement as energy wasters.
19. Bode's law - (continued from last newsletter)
Strange Universe by Bob Berman
Odd patterns, dead oxen
Are all the planets numerically linked with Earth?
We humans readily perceive patterns. We see rabbits in summer clouds and even a face on the Moon. For astronomers, however, designs are most trusted when they're mathematical. Some, like Kepler's laws, changed our science. Others are simply startling. Pythagoras was so spellbound when he realized the square of any right triangle's sides add up to the square of its hypotenuse, he purportedly sacrificed 100 oxen to honor the gods. Such a stunning relationship between nature and numbers had to be divine, he reasoned. Fortunately, the animal rights office was closed that day.
Maybe you don't love math. But just this once let's look at some freakish links between numbers and planets. Most famous is the strange sequence first mentioned by Scottish astronomer David Gregory in 1702 and later published by Johann Titius and then Johann Bode. Take the pattern: 0, 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 192 — which keeps doubling. Add 4 to each. Insert a decimal point, and you get: 0.4, 0.7, 1.0, 1.6, 2.8, 5.2,10.0, and 19.6. Weirdly enough, this accurately expresses each planet's distance from the Sun. Here's the progression, which was soon called Bode's law, along with the actual planet distances in Earth-Sun units, or AUs: Mercury 0.4 (actual is 0.39), Venus 0.7 (actual 0.72), Earth 1.0 (1.0), -Mars 1.6 (1.52), empty 2.8, Jupiter 5.2 (5.2), and Saturn 10.0 (9.54).
When Bode popularized this in 1768, nothing matched the "2.8" and no planet lay beyond Saturn's "10." But William Herschel soon found Uranus, and, wham, it nicely fit the next Bode number, 19.6 (actual distance: 19.19). Then came Ceres in 1801. First considered a planet, it nailed that empty 2.8 gap to perfection. The whole thing worked.
Trouble was, no physics can explain this neat way the planets are ordered. It's math without science. When Neptune was found in 1846 and didn't match, the pattern was quietly dismissed as just a wild coincidence.
But is it? These days some astronomers think orbital resonances — the way planets interfere with others — may be responsible for Bode's law. So it may be valid after all.
The sky is riddled with math oddities. The Moon is 400 times smaller than the Sun but also 400 times closer, making them appear the same size.* And both spin at virtually the same rate. Just coincidences, right?
Recently, a British reader named Roger Elliott sent me his interesting observation that all planets have a bizarre
numerical connection with Earth, and with one-eighth of a circle, which is 45°— half a right angle. Check it out:
During precisely 1 Earth year, each planet performs a certain number of spins on its axis, and then rotates a further additional angle that is always very nearly a multiple of 45°.
For example, in exactly 1 Earth year, slow-turning Venus spins once and then a further angle of 181.08°, which is just
1.08° from 4 x 45°. During the same Earth year, Jupiter rotates 883 times and then an additional angle of 88.8°, just 1.2° from 90° — a multiple of 45°. In a year, Saturn makes 822 complete spins and then turns another 227.14°, just 2.14° from a multiple of 45° (45° x 5 = 225°).
Astoundingly, this 45° business continues with each planet's orbital period as well. During Mercury's "year" of 87.969 days. Earth revolves in its solar orbit 86.7°, which misses a half-right-angle multiple (