1. Update on GGP EIRs and J.P. Murphy Clubhouse lease proposals
2. Big Green Hairstreak doings this Sunday, the 14th
3. SF Natural History Series: What Are We Managing For? Restoration Strategies, Nov 18
4. Presidio events this weekend: Tennessee Hollow, Frogs, Laguna Honda watershed, Twin Peaks preparing for winter
5. Information on bug hotels
6. California redwoods, endangered bird saved from logging
7. October, by Robert Frost
8. Song of praise for pumpkins
9. More on Pt Molate mega-casino
10. Big doings by Save the Bay: help plant 25,000 native seedlings
11. "Canned hunts" - fair chase and hunting ethics
12. Scientists probe weird beak trouble in Alaskan and Northwestern birds
13. Save the date: Beauty & Sustainability With Native Plants February 19
14. 2011 Jepson Herbarium Workshop schedule
15. Documentary tells tale of gay major leaguer
16. Quote of the week from George W Bush's memoirs
17. Outside Looking In - Garry Wills' interview with Richard Nixon et al
18. Venus now the Morning Star. And there's far more interest here than just seeing a bright 'star'
19. China buying up the world. Good, perhaps?
20. Zombie economics
21. Simple Things YOU Can Do to Pave the Earth
1. GOLDEN GATE PARK PRESERVATION ALLIANCE
UPDATE ON GOLDEN GATE PARK ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORTS AND JP MURPHY CLUBHOUSE LEASE PROPOSALS
1. Artificial Turf EIR for Golden Gate Park will start soon
The EIR for the Beach Chalet Athletic fields will start in November 2010, according to Recreation and Park Department documents. This project proposes to pave 6 acres of Golden Gate Park with artificial turf and adds multiple 60 foot sportsfield lighting to what is now wildlife habitat next to Ocean Beach.
Once the process starts, the time period for preliminary public input will be very short. If you are interested in being notified so that you can attend a scoping session or write a letter expressing your concerns about this project, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org . Or see the SF Ocean Edge website: www.sfoceanedge.org
2. Recycled water project, including factory planned in Golden Gate Park
The SF Public Utilities Commission is planning to locate a water treatment factory in Golden Gate Park. The proposed building will be over 40,000 square feet and up to 30 feet high; additional land will be required for the landscaping as well as paving, parking, and night lighting. Much more land will be impacted by tree removal; future expansion needs could also impact the Park. This project is not appropriate for prime parkland.
The SFPUC is beginning an Environmental Impact Report review process. There will be a meeting on to discuss alternative locations OUTSIDE OF GOLDEN GATE PARK. Please attend this meeting to demand that this project be moved. Thursday, November 18th, 1145 Market Street (between 7th and 8th Streets), first floor. 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. (and/or Thursday, December 9th, 2010).
To see the Scoping Letter that GGPPA has submitted for this project go to: www.goldengateparkpreservation.org/. The letter references the Beach Chalet Athletic Fields project and the cumulative impacts of the two projects, and therefore, the Scoping Request letter for that project is also available. Questions? Please contact email@example.com
3. JP Murphy clubhouse up for long-term lease.
RPD is going to lease out this clubhouse. The clubhouse and playground were renovated for $3.9M in 2008. If this particular lease follows the patterns of the other clubhouse leases, it will be leased out to a private or non-profit for two to five to nine years, for a very low rate, will little community input. The community can lose use of the clubhouse completely during that period for community events.
To find out the Department plans and to express your concerns, attend the meeting: Monday, November 15, 2010, at 6:00pm, at JP Murphy Clubhouse. 1960 9th Avenue , between Ortega and Pacheco.
2. GREEN HAIRSTREAK - BIG SUNDAY WORKDAY! November 14 ---- 10AM - 2PM
Meet at 14th Ave and Pacheco St. at 10am and break up into 5 teams (!) to prep & plant at the sites:
-Mount steps (Kristine N)
-Quintara steps at 15th Ave (Alane)
-14th & Pacheco (Sarah M)
-Aloha & Lomita (Mike B)
-14th & Noriega (GG)
~ Recology/Sunset Scavenger has donated 2 - 14 cu ft green-waste dumpsters for the workday - and we need your help to fill those dumpsters with iceplant and other weeds.
~ We have 10 more straw wattles to place, and with enough time and people power we can do some planting
Participants in our Backyard Native Nursery Network (BYNN) who are raising plants for the Green Hairstreak Corridor reported that many plants are ready: coast buckwheats (Eriogonum latifolium), seaside daisy (Erigeron glaucus), sea thrift (Armeria maritima) among other SF dune community plants are ready to go in the ground.
Help make our day successful and come out this Sunday! RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org • 415 564-4107
San Francisco Natural History Series
What Are We Managing For? Restoration Strategies
Guest Speaker: Josiah Clark
7:30pm, Thursday, November 18th, 2010
Case studies in wildlife and habitat restoration by Consulting Ecologist, Josiah Clark. How restoration strategies can restore ecosystem function and preserve native biodiversity. The last of the least and the best of the rest.
Josiah Clark is an expert on the urban-wildlife interface, and has investigated natural processes and the specific needs of wildlife in the urban setting for the last fifteen years. Josiah also leads international birding tours, environmental stewardship with urban youth and writes on environmental issues. Josiah Clark started a consulting practice, Habitat Potential in 2002, and has worked as a Consulting Ecologist for a wide range of clients, public and private.
FREE; donations encouraged.
Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way
Info: 415.554.9600 or http://www.randallmuseum.org
Learn more about Josiah Clark and his work at:
4. Presidio Emerald Corridor, the Tennessee Hollow Watershed, Crissy Field to Inspiration Point
with Lew Stringer
November 13 | 9 am - 12 pm
Ecological Restoration Specialist, Lew Stringer, will lead you on an inspiring hike tracing the Presidio's Ecology Trail, including stops at the rich serpentine grasslands, habitat for the federally listed Presidio Clarkia, and at El Polin Spring, legendary fertility-giving waters.
Click here for more info or to sign up.
Frogs in the Fog
with Chris Giorni
November 13 | 4 - 6:15 pm
Come meet, greet, hold and feed the Frogs at Frog Hall and add a few lizards, snakes and turtles too for good measure. After making acquaintance with poison dart frogs, golden bell frogs, native tree frogs and toads, dragons, geckos and king snakes we will snack on a slice of Panhandle pizza to fuel our feet for a wild walk in the park.
Click here to learn more or sign up!
The Watersheds of Laguna Honda
with Joel Pomerantz
November 14 | 10 am - 12:30 pm
Thinkwalks water guy, Joel Pomerantz, will take us on a one mile trek to explore the little-mentioned watershed of 7th Avenue. Until sewers took over the task, the dunes of Golden Gate Park absorbed the runoff from the valleys west of Twin Peaks, but not before it pooled in one of SF's original lakes, Laguna Honda
Click here to learn more or sign up!
Twin Peaks, Preparing for Winter
with Josiah Clark
November 14 | 1 - 3:30 pm
As the first breaths of winter pass over mountains and lands to the north, songbirds retreat south for winter. The wild and densely wooded slopes of Mt. Sutro are a winter refuge to thousands of birds including Varied Thrushes, Red-breasted Sapsuckers and Cedar Waxwings. In late fall birds are active and work hard to put on fat for leaner times ahead. During this TREK we will hope to become familiar with some of the common and not so common sights and sounds of Mt. Sutro's native avifauna. And with rarities surely hidden among the flocks, we will keep an eye out for those too, just in case...
Click here to learn more or sign up!
5. Check out Lisa Lee Benjamin's and Amber Hasselbring's article on bug hotels...
6. California Redwoods, Endangered Bird Saved From Logging
Due to legal action by the Center for Biological Diversity and allies, logging has been called off on more than 100 acres of ancient redwood forest in California. Earlier this year, the California Department of Forestry gave the green light to logging some of the state's last remaining old-growth redwoods in two different areas: the Santa Cruz Mountains just south of San Francisco and along the coastline in Mendocino County. These ancient trees, which are hundreds of years old, also represent some of the last nesting habitat for the small, highly elusive marbled murrelet, a highly endangered coastal bird in decline mainly due to loss of old-growth forest.
After the Center got involved, logging operations were called off in favor of selling the lands in question to two organizations that buy and permanently preserve redwood forest.
Read more in the San Francisco Chronicle.
O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Robert Frost, October
8. Let's hear it for pumpkin
Pumpkin probably has more of a healthful phytonutrient called beta-carotene than any other food...Our bodies can convert beta-carotene, a carotenoid and antioxidant, into vitamin A--a nutrient essential for good eyesight and proper growth. (Carotenoids are responsible for the orange hues of pumpkins and carrots and the deep reds of tomatoes. Some carotenoids are thought to help reduce incidence of cataracts, cardiovascular disease, and particular kinds of cancer.) Mangoes are another good source, but they are not always available.
From Agricultural Research October 2005
(An excuse for an extra piece of pie at Thanksgiving.)
9. On 11/5/2010 10:07 AM, Jake Sigg wrote:
Lech: Does defeat of Measure U really defeat this project?
Hi Jake, Not completely, no, but with the way the City Council now sits (5-2 majority against the casino) and the 57% opposition to U, it is an enormous uphill battle for the developer. We really socked it to 'em this time!!!
Jake: The Chronicle ran an article on the Pt. Molate situation in the 'Bay Area' section on Wednesday, Nov. 10 by Carolyn Jones. With the defeat of Measure U and the voters stacking the City Council with anti-casino candidates it appears that the locals have spoken--and quite loudly. The Fed has to sign off and there appears to be little appetite to do so given Feinstein's opposition.
BUT (there's always a "but" isn't there?) the tribe has put down a $16.6 million non-refundable deposit and has spent more than $30 million so far. Apparently the city does not have the legal authority to kill the project based on the EIR. Here's a quote to mull over however anyone wants to interpret it. It's from Michael Derry, chief executive of the tribe.
"I think it's easy for candidates to say whether they're for or against something when they're running, but then the legal realities set in. The city does have a contract with the tribe, and we are still moving ahead with this project."
Let's define those "legal realities" before we celebrate. Read the story on sfgate.com
10. Ten years of wetlands restoration
Save The Bay is celebrating ten years of successful Community-based Restoration with the recent kick-off of our winter planting season. With a decade of restoration under our belt, we will focus this winter on expanding to new sites, implementing innovative techniques and increasing the total acreage of restored wetlands around San Francisco Bay. And we need your help!
Help us plant 25,000 native seedlings – sign up to volunteer!
Planting during the wet winter season ensures that the young plants, such as California aster, California poppy and lupines have the water they need to grow and thrive. Save The Bay is seeking hundreds of volunteers to help meet our ambitious goal to plant 25,000 native wetland seedlings at our shoreline restoration sites in Oakland, Hayward, Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Mill Valley.
11. Audubon Magazine
From Eric Mills:
Yet another provocative article by Ted Williams, this one re so-called "canned hunts." Only wish it had appeared before last week's election--might have made a difference with Measure 2 in North Dakota. This perversion of "fair chase" and hunting ethics will do more to kill the sport than anything the bunnyhuggers might come up with, methinks. And this includes "roboducks."
And "animal people" need to get realistic about the damage to other wildlife that an unchecked deer herd can do.
OPINION | November 08, 2010
Dot Earth: Scientists Probe Beak Trouble in Alaskan and Northwestern Birds
By ANDREW C. REVKIN
High rates of bird deformities in Alaska and the Pacifica Northwest have biologists worries, and stumped
13. Save the date
California Gardens: Beauty & Sustainability With Native Plants. A one-day symposium on native plant gardening and design will be held on Saturday, February 19, 2011
14. 2011 Jepson Herbarium Workshop schedule (and registration information) is now available online at:
> and how bout them GIANTS
Uh, that's a baseball team, right?
Glenn Burke Documentary Tells Tale of Gay Major Leaguer
November 10, 2010, 4:33 pm • Posted by Jon Brooks
(Note the date: "tonight" was last night. JS)
At 5:30 p.m. listen up right here to Cy Musiker's interview with Ted Griggs, of Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area, about Out. The Glenn Burke Story.
That's a documentary that will be shown tonight at the Castro Theater in San Francisco and on the cable network. I listened to the full interview and it was pretty fascinating. Burke was a gay Major League Baseball player for the Dodgers and A's who moved to the Castro after his playing days, eventually dying of AIDS-related complications. Griggs talked about Burke not trying to hide his sexuality to his teammates, about his wicked sense of humor, and about the homophobia he experienced at the hands of Oakland A's manager Billy Martin
Here's a moving column by the Oakland Tribune's Monte Pool about Burke, who was a baseball and basketball star at Berkeley High in the 1970s.
16. Quote of the week: "Whatever the verdict on my presidency, I'm comfortable with the fact that I won't be around to hear it. That's a decision point only history will reach." George Bush in his memoirs, published this week.
"One fool is enough to choose war instead of peace. For in peace sons bury fathers, but war violates the order of nature, and fathers bury sons.” Herodotus 485-425 BCE
(Herodotus was the world's first historian. History wasn't even a concept until he invented it. The Bible is not history. JS)
"Satire equals tragedy plus time." Lenny Bruce
It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong. Thomas Sowell
17. Garry Wills
Outside Looking In
By Garry Wills
In 1968, Wills interviewed Richard Nixon during his presidential campaign, and Wills asked Nixon a question that has since then become a staple, but at the time was unexpected: He asked Nixon what book had influenced him.
"His answer was long and thoughtful," Wills recalls. Nixon listed several books, but settled on Claude Bowers' biography of Sen. Albert Beveridge. Beveridge was a Republican — but also an admirer of statesman John Marshall and the Federalists. It wasn't an answer designed to win votes, Wills says. "It was an unexpected answer, and a very wise answer. ... He really was an intellectually curious person."
(Wills also wrote that Nixon found it advantageous to play down his intellect. "That's a regular game now," says Wills. "But [Nixon] was early at it.")
Wills went on to ask many presidential hopefuls about the most influential books they'd read. When he asked then-Vice President George H.W. Bush, Bush candidly replied that he didn't have much time to read. Hillary Clinton didn't think twice before giving her answer — Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. "I read it in high school," she explained, "and it opened up a whole range of spirituality I'd never even conceived of."
'A Recognition Of Limits'
One chapter in Wills' memoir is devoted to his father, Jack, whom he describes as a dynamic but difficult man. "There is no such word as 'cannot' in the Wills' dictionary" his father used to say.
"What was in some ways charming and often exasperating about my father is that he really believes that there are no limits," Wills says. "You can do anything, and that he could get away with anything — and often he did. But it's a ruinous course of life."
Wills disagrees with his father when it comes to his philosophy about the word "cannot":
"One of the reasons I am a conservative is that I do not believe that 'cannot' should be removed from the dictionary," Wills writes. "A recognition of limits is important to human life, and especially to human politics."
18. Venus brightest before dawn
If you head outside any morning this month, a beacon in the southeastern sky will draw your eyes. This is Venus, and it appears brighter in early December than it has since February 2006. Venus, recently the Evening Star, passed between the Sun and Earth, a configuration called inferior conjunction, in late October, and is now the Morning Star. By December, it will be gleaming at magnitude -4.9 and appear 25 times brighter than Sirius (at -1.44*), the night sky's brightest star.
The planet reaches greatest brilliancy December 4, when it rises more than 3 hours before the Sun and lies 25 degrees high an hour before sunrise. Although Venus dims slowly thereafter, it remains the "star" of these cold mornings throughout December and well into 2011.
...Unlike the Moon, Venus shines brightest when it shows a crescent phase. The planet more than compensates for its smaller percent of illumination by sporting a larger disk. You can track Venus' changing appearance easily through a small telescope. On December 1, Venus spans 42 seconds of arc and appears 24 % illuminated. By the 31st, the planet's disk measures 27 seconds of arc across and shows a 45%-lit phase.
Excerpted from Astronomy Sky Guide 2011, (with interpolations by JS)
* (The scale is logarithmic, and minus magnitudes are brighter than those with positive numbers--eg, the Sun is -26. Venus can often be seen in daylight--if you know exactly where to look. Can't see stars in daytime. Venus' only rivals are the Sun and the Moon.)
“Unless we change direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed.” Chinese proverb
Buying up the world
China's state-owned companies are on a shopping spree, buying up firms around the world. This poses a dilemma for the West. Should capitalists allow a communist government to buy up their assets? We argue that they should, for the Chinese bring capital and energy; and the more their interests are aligned with the West's, the better.
20. Zombie economics
(I very much wish I had the time to read this book, as it--even its very title--expresses my thoughts perfectly. It fingers the hated system that is ruining the earth and its denizens, destroying civilization, destroying everything I hold of value. This book gives me the opportunity to engage in one of my favorite pastimes: beating up on economists*.
I have mused aloud whether President Obama really believes that "we've got to get the economy moving again", or whether he says it only because he has to. Recently, I heard his now-departed Chief Economic Advisor, Cristina Romer, say that her assessment of the course of the economy after the 2008 meltdown was too optimistic and she didn't expect the stagnation that resulted. Duh. Many laypeople knew that the system was suffering from a profound shock, and that the easy years were over. Why didn't she? We knew that such a staggering blow to the system and to people's confidence was far more serious than that. The ones who really understood were mostly laypeople, who had all along realized the deep contradictions and unsustainability of the system.
* [I have a good friend who is a retired economics professor who is understandably upset by some of my attacks. However, I think she now understands when I explain that it is not economists per se that I deride, but the whole system of which they are a part--the deciders, the managers, the institutions. Economists are merely the most visible target for my darts, and they give respectability to those who have a vested interest in the prevailing system, whether justified by the facts or not. JS]
Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk among Us, by John Quiggin
In the graveyard of economic ideology, dead ideas still stalk the land.
The recent financial crisis laid bare many of the assumptions behind market liberalism--the theory that market-based solutions are always best, regardless of the problem. For decades, their advocates dominated mainstream economics, and their influence created a system where an unthinking faith in markets led many to view speculative investments as fundamentally safe. The crisis seemed to have killed off these ideas, but they still live on in the minds of many--members of the public, commentators, politicians, economists, and even those charged with cleaning up the mess. In Zombie Economics, John Quiggin explains how these dead ideas still walk among us--and why we must find a way to kill them once and for all if we are to avoid an even bigger financial crisis in the future.
Zombie Economics takes the reader through the origins, consequences, and implosion of a system of ideas whose time has come and gone. These beliefs--that deregulation had conquered the financial cycle, that markets were always the best judge of value, that policies designed to benefit the rich made everyone better off--brought us to the brink of disaster once before, and their persistent hold on many threatens to do so again. Because these ideas will never die unless there is an alternative, Zombie Economics also looks ahead at what could replace market liberalism, arguing that a simple return to traditional Keynesian economics and the politics of the welfare state will not be enough--either to kill dead ideas, or prevent future crises.
"Killing vampires and werewolves is easy enough. But how does one slay economic zombies--ideas that should have died long ago but still shamble forward? Armed with nothing but the truth, John Quiggin sets about dispatching these dead ideas once and for all in this engaging book. Zombie Economics should be required reading for those who would dare reanimate the economic theories that brought us to the edge of ruin."--Brad DeLong, University of California, Berkeley
"Tempted to tangle with your libertarian uncle or your Wall Street Journal bromide-spouting coworkers? If so, this book will arm you to rebut the clever phrasemaking and slippery reasoning that has allowed dead constructs like 'trickle down economics' to soldier onward. Quiggin's clear, elegant dissection of wrongheaded notions will appeal to both lay readers and academic economists."--Yves Smith, author of ECONned: How Unenlightened Self-Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism
Wendell Berry: "The modern American version of exile is a rootless and wandering life in foreign lands--or in American universities."
Simple Things YOU Can Do to Pave the Earth
Excerpted from Darryl Henriques' 50 Simple Things You Can Do To Pave the Earth
There's a good reason why every human being on earth wears clothes. This planet is too damned cold.
Committee to Extend the Sunbelt to Montana
By covering depressions in the landscape, landfills make the surface of the earth smoother. This enables the earth to move more easily through space, saving huge amounts of orbital energy.
Smooth Earth Society
In my role as Third Vice-President of the Committee to Pave the Earth, not a day goes by without a million phone calls from concerned citizens yearning to decorate their communities in asphalt and cement. I assure them that no matter how small their town might be, giant paving machines will eventually transform their home into a miniature Times Square.
Without this continued paving of America, tomorrow will never look like what it's supposed to. The development of the earth has already given rise to skateboards and mini-malls and is about to result in nature's great creation, Ňpost-organic man.Ó
Only post-organic man can transcend his biological past and create a paved new world, free from the whim of indifferent nature. For far too long, man has been held hostage to bodily needs. Now that he is becoming post-organic, man can find more reliable and expensive substitutes for things he has previously been able to obtain only from nature.
Post-organic man is putting the art in artificial. Air conditioning is eliminating the need for air, Perrier is far superior to anything that ever came out of a tap and processed cheese spread represents a vital stage in the creation of 100 percent artificial food.
Most of the ideas that follow are designed to complete the paving of the earth. Of course, a few timid souls will complain about the vast sums necessary to fund this grand adventure. But remember, this money won't have to be repaid until all of us are long gone. There's no sense compromising the present for a future that may never even come.
BUY MORE APPLIANCES
The first electric appliance was Benjamin Franklin's kite. Unfortunately, it proved a total failure with the public because it could only be flown during severe thunderstorms.
o Anthropologists call man the appliance-using animal. When other vertebrates are offered the chance to use appliances, they either ignore them or attempt to eat them. For example, when one million monkeys were given one million word processors, not one of them wrote Hamlet. (However, several did get jobs writing for network TV and have been nominated for Emmys.)
Unless you own over 100 appliances, including those listed below, you are considered appliance-deficient by the Institute of Applied Appliances:
Electric Vegetable Scrubber
Electric Egg Scrambler
Shaving Cream Heater
Electric Nose Clipper
Electric Pepper Grinder
Electric Potato Peeler
Electric Toenail Clipper
LIVE FOREVER WITH STYROFOAM
If the Venus de Milo had been made of styrofoam, she would still have arms.
o Ever since man was cursed with mortality in the Garden of Eden, he has struggled to leave his mark on earth. When he realized that stone and even metals don't last forever, he experienced a profound existential crisis. But then in 1937, Dow Chemical invented styrofoam, and man has discove