Plant Trees SF Events 2008 Archive: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018


1.   More on the Central Subway:  Come, if you can, to the hearing tomorrow morning.
2.   Neighborhood organization trying to shut down the HANC Recycle Center.  Please help save this important pioneering venture
3.   Open State Wildlife Refuges to hunting?  December 1 is the deadline for comment
4.   Feedback:  Council Madrone/Childhood Learning garden in San Jose/Green Schoolyard Alliance in SF
5.   A Thriving Ecosystem in Your Garden talk December 2 at San Carlos Library
6.   What's the speed of one cat lapping?/Overpopulation threatens living planet
7.   ORNILUX Bird Protection Glass - online meeting December 1, 10 am
8.   Thinkwalks Nov 28 and Dec 11
9.   Coyote behavior and peaceful coexistence - important information, especially if you have a dog
10. Bluebird - poetry by Jess Morton
11. Build the first community-based native oyster garden in SF Bay/restore oyster habitat/what's in your watershed?
12. Highly anticipated Delta proposal released soon/LA County does what State couldn't:  ban plastic bags
13. Celebrating birthday of Voltaire 21 November
14. The Spell of the Sensuous and Becoming Animal by David Abram/we need distance from our technology
15. Important antioxidant information/cranberries
16. Using the five-letter word - will it get by your spam filter?
17. Yogi Berra meets Victor Chernomyrdin
18. A Colorado politician speaks his mind/more free expression on toilet walls

1.  (JS:  This Central Subway is so patently obvious a boondoggle that it is amazing that officials are still taking it seriously, considering the sad state of the Muni, and prospects of it becoming worse.  Why, in this era of very tight money are they throwing hundreds of millions of dollars into an unworkable project?  Such is the power of politics and of past commitments.  GO BACK, YOU ARE GOING THE WRONG WAY.  Please visit and click on Central Subway for information.  You'll have trouble believing what you read.)

Below (truncated, JS) describes the outrageous flaws of new funding for the Central Subway.  Under its own weight, the Central Subway will collapse.  But we need you to speak out strongly on Tuesday.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 9:30AM at City Hall Room 263
Also, feel free to attend the pre-meeting at 8:15 AM at City Hall's lower level coffee shop.
*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
CENTRAL SUBWAY FUNDING HURTS CITYWIDE MUNI SYSTEM has warned of the diversion of new funding away from citywide Muni priorities, but the magnitude of the slight of hand is outrageous.  The MTA has discovered $137 million of new state and local funding for the Central Subway project---amassing $636 million total in such funding.  The draining of massive dollars, for a short 1.7 mile subway project, damages existing, near-term and long-term Muni services---a contradiction of Federal Transit Administration (FTA) requirements to enhance, not diminish, public transit systems.


2.  Inner Sunset Park Neighbors (ISPN) is trying to close historic HANC Recycle Center!!

Statement of Inner Sunset activists associated with the HANC Recycle Center:

"It has been brought to our attention that a local group - Inner Sunset Park Neighbors - is working with some at the SF Recreation and Park Dept behind closed doors in an effort to evict the very popular Recycling Center and Native Plant Nursery next to Kezar Stadium.  The Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council operates the center.

"This widely-supported neighborhood institution has a 35-year history, and in the past three years has expanded its purpose to include growing and distributing San Francisco native plants.  It is located outside the boundaries of the Inner Sunset Park Neighbors, which sponsors the Farmers' Market on Sundays.  If the ISPN has grievances against the Center, they should address those concerns openly and in a straightforward way.

Some facts about the Recycling Center:
*  Saved and sponsors the Garden for the Environment at 7th and Lawton Streets
*  Provides ten green jobs
*  Operates a native plant nursery that serves all of San Francisco
*  It is a California State-certified redemption center for bottles and cans
*  Conducts classes in gardening for native plants
*  Gives monetary grants to neighborhood organizations

For more information go to the HANC website:

RPD and the Mayor want to close a self-sufficient, community-based service that receives no taxpayer funding and provides 10 green jobs that pay a living wage including health care and serves thousands of San Franciscans. They want to close a resource that has been diversifying into habitat restoration and urban agriculture long before it became popular. 

(JS statement:  I have previously been hesitant about defending the presence of this facility in Golden Gate Park, as it is a non-conforming use of park land.  However, it was pointed out to me all the businesses that are on park land down Frederick St from HANC Center--not to mention a huge parking lot!!  At least the Recycle Center is doing valuable environmental work, funding community organizations, and has a thriving native plant nursery.  What reasons do the other businesses have--especially the parking lot?  It is urgently desirable that we save this Center.)


Next legislative meeting is February 7, 2011. 10:30 am, State Capitol Building, Room 115, Sacramento.

Agenda: Expected and Possible Legislation for 2011


California Fish & Game Department, 1416 – 9th St, Sacramento, CA 95814. Email:

   In 2008, the Legislature passed SB 1116 requiring the Fish & Game Department to prepare a report to them which is expected to recommend the closure of State Wildlife Refuges. This closure will open 19 areas for hunting. The Department is to seek public opinion. Your input is crucial. The deadline for your comments is December 1.

   Write: The California Fish & Game Department. Tell them you oppose these closures. The Department does not have enough wardens to open all this land to hunting. This proposal has little to do with saving any money and everything to do with hunters’ efforts to open more land to them.

"To know and not to act is not yet to know."  -- Philosophy from Japan


4.  Feedback

Richard Moe, responding to this item:
>>  Discovered in 1902 by botanist Willis Linn Jepson, the Council Madroña was estimated at 500 years old. In the mid-1980s the American Forestry Association listed it in the  National Register of Big Trees. At a height of 96 feet and spreading 113 feet across, it was the largest specimen of Coastal madrone found anywhere in the world.
> Did you ever see this?
> Dick Moe
(JS:  This URL takes you to two short pages of Jepson's field notes in his handwriting.  His field notes are being transcribed by volunteers.  The first page was transcribed, but the second was blank, so I tried my hand at it.  Fun, if you're into it.)

Nan McGuire:
> Jake,  The Childhood Learning garden in San Jose looks fascinating. Have you ever visited it? Thanks so much for including it.
> Maybe some of your readers who don’t know about the SF Green Schoolyard Alliance would like to visit our website to find out what’s happening right here in SF.

Thu, Dec 2, 7-8:30pm:
A Thriving Ecosystem in Your Garden, a talk by Jim Howard. Convert your yard into beautiful native wildlife habitat and watch how quickly the critters make it their favorite spot! It’s easy and inexpensive to provide food, water, and shelter for native insects and birds. This presentation shows great photos of a local backyard restoration project, and shares some important lessons for the beginning habitat gardener. Jim Howard is the District Conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in San Mateo County. He has degrees in Environmental Management and Forest Management. San Carlos Library, 610 Elm Street, San Carlos. 650-591-0341x237.


6.  From Center for Biological Diversity

What's the Speed of One Cat Lapping?

Cats drink water faster than the human eye can follow -- and more ingeniously than ever imagined, new research reveals. Inspired by the artful lapping of an MIT professor's pet cat, a team of engineers recently found that a cat's drinking method depends on its instinctive ability to calculate the exact point at which the tip of its tongue must curl to prevent water from falling off. Using a robot that mimicked the movements of a cat's tongue, the team proved that tongue-curling action happens an astonishing four times per second for a domestic cat. The engineer team also worked out a mathematical formula to determine the water-lapping speed of any feline, large or small: the weight of the cat species raised to the power of -1/6 and multiplied by 4.6. When this equation was tested on big cats at a zoo, the lapping velocity of lions, leopards, jaguars and ocelots measured up.

So how fast does, say, a large endangered jaguar drink water? We'll leave it up to you and your graphing calculator to figure that out.

Get more and watch a video of "The Biomechanics of Feline Water Uptake" in this New York Times article.

Report: Overpopulation Threatens Living Planet - from the Center for Biological Diversity

As the human population closes in on 7 billion, plants and animals around the globe continue to struggle for survival. A new analysis finds that humanity's demands for food, water and other resources are more than the planet can sustain -- and a steep price is already being paid. The World Wildlife Fund, in collaboration with the Global Footprint Network and the Zoological Society of London, says in its 2010 Living Planet Report that among 8,000 populations of 2,500 species surveyed, there's been a 30 percent decline in the last four decades. It's even worse in the tropics. The report makes it clear why this is happening: Human demands on natural resources have doubled since 1966. Our population has nearly doubled since then, too.

The report highlights the connection between high-consumption nations and loss of biodiversity in low-income tropical areas. As the sponsors put it, "The developed world is living in a false paradise, fueled by excessive consumption and high carbon emissions."

That connection between species loss and unsustainable human population growth is the reason why the Center for Biological Diversity started its campaign to raise awareness about overpopulation -- and why it needs to be part of the world's conservation conversation.

Read more in ScienceDaily and learn more about the Center’s overpopulation campaign.

7.  Please join for this online meeting to learn more about ORNILUX Bird Protection Glass by Arnold Glas.  This is an informational meeting, hosted by Lisa Welch, Marketing & Sales, Arnold Glas N.A., and will present the history, development and research of ORNILUX, as well as technical specifications, commercial parameters and project photos.  It will be open to questions and dialogue.

You will need to have access to the internet and a phone to call into the audio conference.  Logon information is noted below.  It is recommended if this is the first time accessing WebEx to logon at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time for WebEx to automatically set up your computer.

Topic: ORNILUX Bird Protection Glass
Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Time: 10:00 am, Pacific Standard Time
Meeting Number: 802 893 567
Meeting Password: birdsafeglass


8.  Joel Pomerantz:  As the Thinkwalks project shifts yet one step further from "testing mode" to ongoing expanded all-out nerd-out, I'm writing to invite you along! On November 28th and December 11th, both Sundays, I'm doing tours you'll certainly find interesting, if you can come along.

On Nov. 28, at 11:45 we'll be exploring the Wiggle on foot. This is an amazing chance to walk slowly where bikes ride fast, on the famous route that avoids hills. We'll have a chance, at that pace, to imagine and visit the specific springs, dune ridge and long-gone rocky ridge that once graced this place ironically famed for none of that up and down. Yes, it's been sculpted flat, by water and human hands.

On Dec. 11 at 10:30, we'll have a historical tour by bike (fixie optional) of the mural culture in the north Mission and the Castro. Join a revealing discussion of how the focus on social justice in public art came to be as it is in SF. Did you know that the SF mural scene is a direct descendant of Mayan murals of San Bartolo and Bonampak in Guatemala and Mexico? And meanwhile, we'll talk about the details of making political public art today.

These tours are about two hours each, and I ask that you RSVP, and make a donation at the tour of $10 to $40. For complete details, see


9.  From Pam Hemphill, member of the Animal Welfare and Control Commission:

By becoming aware of coyote behavior and needs, you can become part of the solution to make coexistence work

Coexistence means sharing the environment amicably. Peaceful coexistence entails a constant process. At our homes it means not leaving out food which will entice coyotes into our yards or our garbage, and not leaving pets unattended. In the parks it means not threatening coyotes by getting too close, or making them uncomfortable as a result of excessive dog activity.

Think of the situation with cars: if a dog is allowed to run unrestrained into the street he could be hurt.  The solution is restraining our dogs when coyotes are out and about, keeping dogs and coyotes from communicating visually or through body language by moving on, keeping our dogs calm.

We canʼt control the behavior of coyotes, but we can minimize their instinct to react to our dogs. Almost all coyote behavior towards dogs is a reaction to dog behavior: from being chased, to antagonistic communication, to territorial invasion. Coyotes donʼt tolerate interloper coyotes. Although they might benignly allow a mellow fellow to pass through their areas, all coyotes with more than a little bit of energy (and little if any respect) are seen as possible threats to resident coyotes. Dogs may be seen as interloper coyotes -- they should pass through uneventfully and calmly.

Coexistence entails keeping coyotes as naturally wild as possible.  Of course coyotes will get used to dogs and humans in an urban park setting, but the goal is to minimize any interaction between them. NEVER feed or attempt to tame a coyote, and, if possible, keep your dogs from interacting on all levels with coyotes by keeping your distance and a sense of removal: this can be done by restraining our dogs, and moving on.

Be aware of these observed coyote behaviors in San Francisco parks:

∙When chased, coyotes, especially the alpha coyotes, become upset and may chase back, bark, or even nip to move the dog away and warn it.

∙Coyotes remember every chase incident and are prepared the next time -- more ready to defend

∙Coyotes like it calm in their territories: best to move active dog play elsewhere

∙Coyotes enjoy “watching” dogs being walked: they have a need to know what is going on

∙Visual communication and body language can sometimes be antagonistic between dogs and coyotes: this is why we need to keep distance between the two by restraining dogs & moving on.

∙During pupping season, beginning in about March, coyotes become especially protective

Maybe you have come across a coyote which seems friendly: your dog and the coyote wag tails and sniff each other at both ends -- all seems pleasant and safe and happy. However, you need to know that every coyote reacts differently -- and you will not know until after the fact. Alpha coyotes will be protective, not only of themselves, but also of other members of their packs. They could run to the defense of this friendly pack member. This is why it is best to follow the guidelines, even if your personal experience suggests otherwise.

Injured animals may behave aggressively. Please report injured animals to ACC: 554-6364. 

10.  Poetry by Jess Morton



At first light
when I am alone
and dawn invokes its chord
of green and silver sycamore
beneath the lune of fog
sleeping on the valley's rim,
I look around this circle
of mystery
and see the fog unfold
along some magic diameter of light,
distilling azure down out of its gray,
the colors feathered out,
becoming grace of bluebird
seen beside the wood.

The bluebird drifts among her young,
her darker mate,
tangent to each
along arcs of timelessness.

Sounds impinge
indistinct across the soothe of mist
like echoes of flutes
hovering along my radii.

Beyond reach upon the meadow,
this blue bird moves,
is beauty
and there is a piercing truth
in such completed circles.

For beauty alters.
It is no nugget
to be once forged
upon the anvil of eternity.
It is more than word
which hammers meaning
into the silence between us.

It stuns the center, purifying,
and the beauty of this moment
rounds its steel
upon the tinder of my heart
to set it burning,
into the light.      

From Endangered Habitats League Newsletter  November 2010                   


11.  From The Watershed Project
Build the First Community-Based Native Oyster Garden in San Francisco Bay
We've received partial funding to install a native oyster garden at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline in Richmond. This will be the first native oyster garden in San Francisco Bay built by the community, for the community! To pay for materials, public outreach, and educational activities, we need your help to raise an additional $15,000.

Read More

Hundreds of Hands Help Oysters
Living Shoreline Program Makes an Impact

The San Francisco Bay's native Olympia Oyster is taking small steps toward a restored future in our estuary. The Watershed Project's Living Shoreline Initiative is helping promote that future by building relationships in the community, with volunteers, students, and teachers.

Read more

What's in Your Watershed? You Are!
Our Watersheds Connect Us to One Another and to Our Environment

We all live in a watershed. No matter if you are in the heart of San Francisco's financial district or on a dairy farm in Contra Costa County, water trickles and gushes around you on its journey to one of the world's greatest estuaries--the San Francisco Bay. Our lives are interconnected through our relationship with our watersheds. They are the containers for our homes, schools, and places of work. Everything we do, from mountaintop to marsh, affects the health of local water, soil, air, wildlife, our families and communities.

Read More

12.  PCL INSIDER: News from the Capitol


On Tuesday, at an Assembly Water Parks and Wildlife oversight hearing, Natural Resources Secretary Lester Snow announced the release of two Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) reports in the upcoming weeks. The BDCP Steering Committee has spent four years and $140 million to study and develop a proposal with the goal of protecting the fragile Sacramento- San Joaquin Delta ecosystem, while improving the reliability of the state’s water supplies that flow though the Delta.

The BDCP Steering Committee hopes to finalize its working draft at a meeting today in Sacramento. However this report will not be made public until next Monday, and already is in the midst much controversy.

The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported, “Forty-three cities, counties and water agencies - including those serving more than 4 million residents in San Francisco, the Peninsula and parts of the East Bay - say the plan is a blatant Southern California water grab that could further harm the delta, constrict water supplies and raise water rates in much of Northern California.”

Knowing that the BDCP controversial draft report can not be finalized by the end of this administration, a separate "status report and issues summary" on the process will be released the week of December 6, 2010.  


Not three months after the State Senate failed to pass AB 1998 (Brownley), one of this year’s top environmental bills which sought to ban single use plastic bags, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 to put in place their own plastic bag ban. The ordinance, passed on Tuesday, affects grocery stores and pharmacies in the unincorporated areas of the county, and includes a 10 cent surcharge on paper bags.

By July of next year, 67 large supermarkets and pharmacies must stop providing disposable plastic bags, and by January 2012 the ban will cover 1,000 stores and 1.1 million people county-wide. Each year, Los Angeles County residents use 6 billion plastic bags which equates to 1,600 bags per household every year.

Plastic bags are a leading cause of both urban and ocean pollution, threatening ocean wildlife and clogging the state’s landfills. Plastic bags are a key ingredient of the Great Northwest Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean, which is a swirling mass of garbage twice the size of Texas and growing, filled with plastic debris that is ingested by birds and other wildlife. 

Environmental and public health advocates, along with the California Grocers Association, supported AB 1998, believing a statewide solution was better for businesses and consumers than a county-by-county or city-by-city approach. However, under intense lobbying from the American Chemistry Council and the manufactures of plastic bags, the Senate failed to pass the measure. During the debate leading up to the senate vote, LA County made clear that they were ready to take on the issue if State Legislature failed to do so. Other jurisdictions across the state are now lining up to ban single use bags, hopefully sending a strong message to legislators to reject the plastic industry’s efforts to sell convenience at the price of pollution.


13.  Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet) 21 November 1694 – 7 April 1778
Voltaire: "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."
"All is a miracle.  The stupendous order of nature, the revolution of a hundred million of worlds around a million of suns, the activity of light, the life of animals; all are grand and perpetual miracles."            Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet)
From Teaching Co:  “There’s no arguing with an enthusiast.  Better not take it into one’s head to tell a lover the faults of his mistress or a litigant the weakness of his legal case or to talk sense to a fanatic.”   (ie, Disputes about religion are human arguments that reflect human nature.)
Also from Teaching Co:
Religions depend on fanaticism and chaos to sink their roots.
We are heirs of Voltaire, therefore not shocked by his opinions.
"I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one:  'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.'  And God granted it," is a quote attributed to Voltaire.

"These foul and loathsome animals are abhorrent because of their cold body, pale color, cartilaginous skeleton, filthy skin, fierce aspect, calculating eye, offensive smell, harsh voice, squalid habitation and terrible venom; and so their Creator has not exerted his powers to make many of them."      Carolus Linnaeus, 1758
"Ask a toad what is beauty... ; he will answer that it is a female with two great round eyes coming out of her little head, a large flat mouth, a yellow belly and a brown back."          Voltaire, 1764
14.  The Spell of the Senuous by David Abrams

"Speculative, learned, and always 'lucid and precise' as the eye of the vulture that confronted him once on a cliff ledge, Abram has one of those rare minds which, like the mind of a musician or a great mathematician, fuses dreaminess with smarts."  - The Village Voice

David Abram draws on sources as diverse as the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty, Balinese shamanism, Apache storytelling, and his own experience as an accomplished sleight-of-hand magician to reveal the subtle dependence of human cognition on the natural environment. He explores the character of perception and excavates the sensual foundations of language, which--even at its most abstract--echoes the calls and cries of the earth. On every page of this lyrical work, Abram weaves his arguments with passion and intellectual daring.

"David Abram is among the most important interpreters of the wild voice within us.   At no other time in Western history have we needed to listen to that voice, and David's, as much as we do today."
"Long awaited, revolutionary...This book ponders the violent disconnection of the body from the natural world and what this means about how we live and die in it."--Los Angeles Times

David Abrams (partial quote, heard on radio. JS):  We need that which is other than ourselves--the tumbling of the rapids, the grip of gravity.  We have no distance from our technology.


15.  Antioxidant relativity
The USDA Agricultural Research Service is taking a first step toward establishing recommendations for dietary antioxidants.  Researchers measured the plasma (blood) antioxidant capacity (AOC) immediately after volunteers consumed blueberries, cherries, dried plums (prunes), dried-plum juice, grapes, kiwis, or strawberries.  They found the various fruits' free-radical-busting compounds to be complex and not uniformly absorbable.  For example, though plums have a high antioxidant content, they didn't raise plasma AOC levels in volunteers.  That may be because a major phytochemical in plums, chlorogenic acid, isn't readily absorbed by humans.  And while consumption of grapes and kiwifruit led to noticeable spikes in plasma AOC, it's not yet clear which fruit compounds led to the increased levels.  Agricultural Research, January 2008

In an associated article in the same issue, the USDA ARS researchers have developed a cranberry with high levels of more bioavailable antioxidants. 

16.  LTE, The Economist
Using the five-letter word

Sir:  The Vikings were unilateral traders and didn't leave much in their wake except pregnant women and a few swear words.  Nevertheless, you didn't mention that current usage of the Swedish word focka would not designate it as a dirty word today.  Focka means "to sack someone" from their job.  The Swedish vulgarism for copulation is fucka, similar to the Norwegian fukka.

Jan Karlen, Finspang, Sweden

17.  Excerpt from The Economist obituary of Viktor Chernomyrdin, Russian prime minister under Boris Yeltsin
...Tenses and cases rarely agreed when he spoke in public:  not because he was illiterate , but because he was trying so hard not to swear.  Yet his remarks produced wonderfully crazed summations of Russian life in the struggling transition years of the 1990s, and later:
"It has never been like this and now it is exactly the same again."
"Whatever organisation we try to create, it always ends up looking like the Communist Party."

(JS:  Mr Chernomyrdin, I'd like you to meet Mr Yogi Berra.  Mr Berra, Mr Chernomyrdin.)

Under the headline "Say what?" Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reporter Michael Bender let a legislator's faux pas wave in the breeze.  State Senator Mark Hillman got so fired up during a debate about a renewable energy bill that would almost certainly put windmills on his turf - the state's eastern plains - that he joked:  "The reason eastern Colorado is so windy is because Kansas blows and Texas sucks."  Afterward, a chastened Hillman said, "I'm sorry.  I guess that refers to something else."        High Country News 26 April 2004

Did he HAVE to apologize?
Gaffe= a politician who is caught telling the truth


You're too good for him. 
Sign over mirror in Women's restroom in Ed Debevic's, Beverly Hills,CA.  

No matter how good she looks, some other guy is sick and tired of putting up with her shit.
Men's Room Linda's Bar and Grill, Chapel Hill, NC 
For updates and info, contact scott at planttrees dot org.