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

Event

 
1.   CA Dept of Food & Agriculture eliminating state weed programs/we need to keep them going, even if in name only
2.   A vivid illustration of why invasive plants need our attention
3.   America's Cup Environmental Council forms
4.   AB 376 to ban sale of shark fins - your support needed
5.   Chronicle story on installing gardens on building walls
6.   Help save Knowland Park - March 16
7.   Friends of 5 Creeks:  Plant natives on Codornices Creek/Sudden Oak Death blitz survey April 30-May 1
8.   CNPS spider field trip in Glen Canyon March 19
9.   Tuolumne River Trust pre-party for this year's Paddle to the Sea - TONIGHT Friday 11
10. Claremont Canyon Conservancy French broom removal March 12, Garber Park stewardship March 19
11. iNaturalist - field documentation tool
12. Green Hairstreak volunteer workday March 13/Green Hairstreak sleuthing adventure March 27
13. Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us? - Roxie Theater Mar 25, Cupertino March 27, Berkeley in April
14. An introduction to urban beekeeping March 26
15. Book review:  Honeybee Democracy by Thomas D Seeley
16. Another hit against light pollution
17. Now showing:  Jupiter and Mercury after sunset
18. Feedback:  pruning/who killed off the oysters of SF Bay?
19. Terrain: A Journal of the Built & Natural Environments - and excellent website
20.  Richmond mayor clarifies the City Council vote on certifying EIR for Pt Molate casino
21. East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden newsletter: Wildcat Creek Runs Through It/Pink Currant
22. Scientific American miscellany
23. You need a good laugh:  beavers get in trouble with Michigan Dept of Environmental Quality - unbelievable, yet true
24. Notes & Queries:  Surefire cure for hiccups?/What actually is the simplest thing in the world?

1.  California Weed Programs on the Chopping Block
Send letters!
Attend Day at the Capitol!

Given California’s budget situation, it is no surprise that CDFA’s weed programs, including Weed Management Areas, face cuts. However, the current proposal is to completely eliminate weed programs, including WMAs, A-rated weed eradication, regional ag biologists, and weed biocontrols. This would sacrifice valuable infrastructure that has taken years to develop, and which will be essential for rebuilding these important efforts when more resources become available in the future.

CDFA cuts typically prioritize the need to protect agricultural exports from insect pests and pathogens. Important as this need is, CDFA must also continue its critical work protecting California’s wildlands from ecological damage from invasive plants. Environmental stakeholders need to be heard from when making decisions about these funding cuts.

Please have your organization send a letter to CDFA and the legislature (see our sample with instructions). And please attend Day at the Capitol, March 16 in Sacramento to educate legislators about the importance of invasive plant management.

Doug Johnson, Executive Director
California Invasive Plant Council

(JS:  Please note that Doug is not necessarily asking for money; he is asking to keep the programs on the books, even if unfunded for now. See next item.)

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2.
(JS:  I am pasting here a current article about one invasive plant to illustrate the nature of the devastation caused by invasive plants.  (Invasive animals or pathogens are equally damaging.)  This is only one of hundreds of different kinds of plants that are spreading throughout the world, lessening the productivity of the land--for human food, for ecosystem services such as providing clean air and water, as well as for wildlife support and habitat.  Yet human society, for all its formidable efforts to counter the invasions, is not paying sufficient attention to it.  Funding counter-measures is only one aspect; an unpleasant fact is that we are not devoting much attention to addressing the problem at its source.  Providing for an expanding population, and in the name of economic development and international trade and travel, we are degrading and destroying the natural systems that provide support for humans and wildlife.  At federal, state, and local level budgets are being severely cut--and in California critical ones are being eliminated entirely, so that even if we should get adequate funding in the future the programs would have to be re-created and rebuilt from the ground up.)

	A monoculture of nonnative medusahead rye, foreground, spreads across rangeland in a low, dense mass that is not easy to dislodge once in place. 
Medusahead Threatens Sagebrush Habitat
A team of genetic engineers couldn’t have devised a more ecologically lethal and effective invasive weed than the aptly named medusahead rye. This annual grass has infested millions of acres of public land throughout the western states.  Originally native to the Mediterranean region, this tufted annual’s growth characteristics make it a vicious competitor with native sagebrush habitat species.

Medusahead does much of its growth during the winter when native plants are dormant. It has a high silica content, making it unpalatable to wildlife and livestock.  (JS:  'unpalatable' doesn't say it; silica content grinds animals' teeth down.)  The silica makes each year’s dead stalks slow to decompose, which builds up a layer of mulch that prevents other plants from taking root. This dry mulch layer burns hot and fast if ignited, creating ecological conditions well suited to medusahead domination.  read more

From Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics newsletter 

"Nature never blunders; when she makes a fool she means it."  Josh Billings

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3.  America's Cup

The City is fast-tracking environmental review for projects associated with hosting the America's Cup, compressing what normally occurs over 18 months (or more) into less than half that time.  The ACEC (America's Cup Environmental Council) is an ad hoc group that is scrambling to head off environmental damage in spite of this accelerated schedule.  ACEC includes Sierra Club, Baykeeper, the Bay Institute, Save the Bay, SF Tomorrow, California Native Plant Society Yerba Buena Chapter, and Arc Ecology, among others.

Here's a link to a Chronicle article that provides a decent introduction to the situation:
http://articles.sfgate.com/2011-02-10/news/27740312_1_real-race-catamarans-environmental-review

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4.  AB 376 - TO BAN SALE OF SHARK FINS - SUPPORT LETTERS NEEDED!

AB 376, the bill to ban the importation and sale of shark fins, has been assigned to the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee for a hearing on March 22, and support letters and calls are needed NOW.

The committee is chaired by Assemblymember Jared Huffman (coincidentally a co-author of the bill).  And Assemblymember Paul Fong, the bill's principal co-author, also sits on this committee.

AWPW Committee members are:

Jared Huffman, chair (D-San Rafael), tel. 916/319-2006; fax 319-2106
Paul Fong (D-Cupertino), principal co-author, tel. 916/319-2022; fax 319-2122
Bill Berryhill (R-Stockton), tel. 916/319-2026; fax 319-2126
Nora Campos (D-San Jose), tel. 916/319-2023; fax 319-2123
Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto), tel. 916/319-2023; fax 319-2123
Mariko Yamada (D-Davis), tel. 916/319-2008; fax 319-2108

ALL LEGISLATORS MAY BE WRITTEN C/O THE STATE CAPITOL, SACRAMENTO, CA  95814

EMAIL PATTERN FOR ALL ASSEMBLYMEMBERS:  assemblymember.huffman@assembly.ca.gov

You might also wish to send Assemblymember Fong (himself of Chinese descent) a special note of thanks for taking this on, and putting environmental protection and animal welfare ahead of a cruel and unsustainable cultural practice:  assemblymember.fong@assembly.ca.gov

NOTE:  Hawaii passed a similar ban last year, and earlier this week the Washington State Senate unanimously approved a ban on shark fins.  Oregon also has a bill in the works.

So write those letters and make those calls.  In the interim, encourage any restaurant selling shark fin soup to cease and desist.

Please disperse this alert as you see fit.

This year, the sharks.  Soon thereafter the frogs and turtles in the live animal food markets.  The problems are quite similar:  environmental and public health, and horrendous animal cruelty.

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5.  A nice article in the Sunday SF Chronicle about a guy who installs native gardens on the walls of buildings:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/03/06/HOVV1HRDIF.DTL


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6.  Help Save Knowland Park
Public Hearing March 16
6 P.M., Hearing Rm. 1
Oakland City Hall

The Oakland City Planning Department has released a draft mitigated negative declaration for the East Bay Zoological Society's proposal to expand the Oakland Zoo further into Knowland Park by fencing off one of the most beautiful areas in the East bay for hiking, bird-watching, and enjoying a panoramic view of the bay.  The Planning Commission is accepting public comments on the proposal until 4 p.m. on March 14th, and is holding a public hearing at 6 p.m. on the 16th, in Hearing Room 1 at City Hall.  

The Sierra Club has analyzed the plans for this development and concluded that it is likely to have significant impacts on the environment for the purposes of the California Environmental Quality Act, and that the City is required to prepare an Environmental Impact Report before approving the project.  The Club's arguments for thorough review, made both in writing and in person at City Hall, have been ignored.

The draft mitigated negative declaration, as well as other important information regarding this project, is available on-line at www.saveknowland.org, or on the city's website, www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/CEDA/o/PlanningZoning/s/Application/DOWD009157.

The open space advocacy group, Friends of Knowland Park, urge you to submit written comments to Darin Ranelleti, Planner III, by mail to City of Oakland, Community and Economic Development Agency, 250 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Suite 3315, Oakland, CA 94612, by fax to (510) 238-6538, or by e-mail to dranelleti@oaklandnet.com.  Sample letters can be found at www.saveknowland.org.  

In addition, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission will be holding a hearing on March 9th, at 4:30 p.m., at the Lakeside Park Garden Center (at Lake Merritt), 666 Bellevue Ave. Oakland.

Please come out!  

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7.  Friends of 5 Creeks

Help plant natives on Codornices Creek Saturday, Sunday
Please join us this Saturday, Mar. 12, at 10 AM to help Codornices Creek Watershed Council plant natives on the brand-new Codornices Creek restoration between 6th and 8th Streets, on the Berkeley-Albany border. Meet at the north end of 8th Street, two blocks north of Gilman, three block west of San Pablo (AC Transit 25 or 52).

 
Planting is a bit behind schedule -- work will continue until 2:30 PM and will repeat on Sunday. All are welcome! Bring water, gloves, and a digging tool if you can, but they will be supplied if you don’t. 

 
Save April 30 – May 1 for Sudden Oak Death "blitz" survey 
 The research findings on Sudden Oak Death that we heard at our Monday night talk are not encouraging. The water mold that causes Sudden Oak Death is spreading inexorably, though unevenly in space and time. The dangers include not just loss of beauty (and property values), but damage from wildfire and falling trees, loss of habitat, and undesired changes to watersheds and water cycling. The pathogen’s life cycle, the way it spreads, and the way it kills are complex. We can perhaps slow, but not stop it.

 
To help track the spread and inform the public, we have scheduled a "bioblitz" to survey for the pathogen April 30 – May 1. Volunteers will attend a 1-hour training with Dr. Matteo Garbelotto on the UC Berkeley campus at 1:30 PM Saturday, Apr. 30. They then look for leaves of host plants that seem to be infected with the pathogen, returning samples to a drop box on the UC campus by 5 PM Sunday, May 1.

 
After lab testing, results are made public on Google maps, and a community meeting offers information on the results and ideas on how we can slow the spread and perhaps save some trees.

 
Volunteers – groups, nature lovers, individual homeowners -- can survey where they want. We hope to survey vulnerable areas from El Cerrito to North Oakland. Watch this space for details. Interested groups please contact me!

 
For more on F5C projects and upcoming events, including our April 4 board meeting (all welcome), April 22 evening walk on Albany Hill, and April 23 El Cerrito Earth Day work party at the El Cerrito Hillside Natural Area, see our web site, www.fivecreeks.org.

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8.  California Native Plant Society field trip
Spiders of Glen Canyon
Saturday 19 March, 10 am to noon
Leader:  Darrell Ubick

California Academy of Sciences arachnologist Darrell Ubick will lead this very popular spring trip to Glen Canyon in search of spiders.  The park is full of spiders, from newly hatched spiderlings to adults, out and about searching for prey or mates.  While the untrained eye might not see them, Darrell knows where and how to look.  If it's sunny there should be at least a few colorful members of the jumping spider family.  The trip is on regardless of cloudy or rainy skies.  Only very heavy rain will cause postponement to March 26.  Meet behind the Glen Park Recreation Center where the lawn stops and the wild part of the canyon starts.  (Contact:  Darrell Ubick - DUbick@calademy.org)

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9.  The Tuolumne River Trust would like to invite you to an “Informational Pre-Party” for this year’s Paddle to the Sea.  Get a sneak preview of our 3rd annual trip down the Tuolumne – the river that supplies drinking water for 2.5 million people in the Bay Area. 
 
Friday, March 11, 5-7pm 
Patagonia San Francisco (in Fisherman’s Wharf/North Beach area)
770 North Point, San Francisco
 
Join us for snacks and soft drinks while you learn about different ways you can get involved with Paddle to the Sea.  Whether you want to come sea kayaking or canoeing for a day (or more), start a paddling team or volunteer at an event, this will be a fun opportunity to talk with the organizers and paddlers from years past.  There are some exciting new opportunities in the Bay Area this year, with a “learn to paddle” day and additional legs designed for high-performance water craft.   The “Informational Pre-Party” is a free event with $1 raffle tickets for Patagonia prizes!   
 
RSVPs are appreciated, but not required – please shoot an email to jessie@tuolumne.org if you can join us. 

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10.  Claremont Canyon Conservancy

March 12:  French Broom Removal 10 to Noon or 3PM. We will be joined in this stewardship activity by Cal students in this Berkeley Project event. Meet at 10 at the trailhead across from 100 Stonewall Road. Drive up Claremont and turn left on Stonewall which is near the service entrance to the Claremont Hotel. The students will stay until 3 PM and other volunteers are welcome to stay as well. Lunch will be provided for those who have indicated they are coming.

March 19:  Garber Park Stewardship 10 to Noon. We will be removing invasives Cape ivy, Himalayan blackberry and French broom now that restoration planting is completed. Meet at the Evergreen Lane entrance to Garber Park. From Alvarado Road, drive down Slater and turn right on Evergreen and go to the end. It's also an easy walk from Alvarado. 

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11.  Ken-ichi made a field documentation tool:  iNaturalist
 
http://blogs.kqed.org/climatewatch/2011/03/04/connecting-citizens-and-science-with-smart-phones/
http://www.californiareport.org/archive/R201103041630/b

"Life is like the surf, so give yourself away like the sea."

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12.  Green Hairstreak Volunteer Workday 
Every Second Sunday of the Month
-6.jpg
This Sunday March 13th @ 14th and Pacheco, 10 am - 1 pm

Join us promptly at ten in the morning for when we split up to the different sites for some amazing habitat transformation.  Invite friends, family, and neighbors to help in the effort to preserve the natural areas for our threatened Green Hairstreak!

"As early as 1956, Green Hairstreaks were reported disappearing from San Francisco area.  Today, virtually all populations on the Bay's islands, hills, and shorelines have been eliminated as the natural habitat has given way to development."    -Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies, 1981
_____________________________

The Rare Green Hairstreak Butterfly Sleuthing Adventure! with Damien Raffa
(URBIA Adventure League family-fun event!)
Sunday, March 27, 10 am -12 noon

Twin Peaks Bioregion & Eco-Corridor with Peter Brastow
Saturday, April 2, 10 am - 2 pm

natureinthecity.org

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13.  Collective Eye Films announces the national release of the new award-winning, grass-roots feature documentary Queen of The Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?  To learn more about the film, please watch the trailer.  

Queen of the Sun is the latest film from Taggart Siegel, director of the award-winning, grass-roots hit The Real Dirt on Farmer John.  At Collective Eye Films, we are fostering positive change for the bees by building a global network of organizations that are working together to preserve the integrity of our planet.

We face the alarming reality that bees have been dying out in massive numbers around the world. Queen of the Sun is a profound, alternative look at this global honeybee crisis and what people can do at a grass-roots level, to be part of the solution! (WWW.QUEENOFTHESUN.COM)

The film will be opening theatrically on March 25th at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco and The Larkspur Theater in Larkspur for at least a week-long run. It will also be opening at the Elmwood Theatre in Berkeley in early April and in Cupertino for a special showing March 27th.

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14.  AN INTRODUCTION TO URBAN BEEKEEPING

Saturday, March 26, 2011 1pm - 3pm
Garden for the Environment, 7th Ave at Lawton Street, San Francisco
Instructor: Paul Koski, SF Beekeepers Association
Cost: $15
beesSMALL.jpg
This class is the first in a series of four classes designed to provide participants with the information and skills needed to set up and manage a hive of honeybees in an urban setting. The first class will be concerned with honeybee biology and the importance of bees for pollination and honey production. Hive components will be discussed as well as where to purchase equipment, supplies, books & beekeeping tools & clothing. Keys to success for keeping honeybees in an urban area will also be covered. If weather permits, we will open a hive to give participants an up-close look into an active honeybee colony.
Register Online Here

For phone or email registration: Please call (415) 731-5627, or email info@gardenfortheenvironment.org. Or register in the garden the day of the workshop.
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15.  Science News book review: Honeybee Democracy, by Thomas D. Seeley

Some smart aleck is going to pick up Honeybee Democracy, an account of decision making among bees, and snicker that the book should be titled Honeybee Monarchy. After all, everybody knows that a beehive has a queen.

Yes there’s a queen, but Seeley, a Cornell entomologist, writes that one of the biggest misconceptions about how bee colonies work is that queens direct colony doings. Actually she’s not a Royal Decider, as he puts it, but a Royal Ovipositer, laying 1,500 eggs or so on a summer day while leaving the rest of colony affairs to the group. 

Seeley describes a colony as a smoothly functioning group that makes life-or-death decisions rather democratically. Bees’ methods work so well, he says, that evolution has favored some of the same features elsewhere, as in behavior among human brain cells.
To illustrate bee decision making, Seeley details how swarms choose a new home. Seeley presents his material with charm, and the bees’ system of house-hunting becomes surprising and awe-inspiring. The bees swarm out of their old home before looking for a new one. As thousands of now-homeless honeybees dangle in a beardlike mass from a branch, scouts scour the countryside. They report back, through elaborate dances, and debate possible locations.

Evolution has honed bees to balance the need for accuracy and individual points of view from scouts against the need for speed. The process so impressed Seeley, he says, that when he became chair of his department, he instituted measures to make faculty meetings a bit more beelike.

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16.  Another hit against light pollution

In the atmosphere, a form of nitrogen oxide breaks down chemicals from vehicle exhaust and other man-made sources.  Sunlight destroys this nitrate compound, so the process normally occurs only when it's dark.  Researchers from the NOAA and CIRES found that light pollution also destroys the nitrate oxide.  They presented their finding December 13 at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

Astronomy April 2011

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17.  Now showing:  Jupiter and Mercury after sunset
(Note:  Magnitudes that are minus are much brighter than those without the minus--for historical reasons.  And Mercury is usually difficult to spot, unless it's especially favorable viewing conditions and you have a high vantage point.  The presence of Jupiter as an indicator greatly increases your chances, and --1.3 is very bright for Mercury, an inner planet whose orb is only partially lit to show a crescent.  JS)

Jupiter dominates the western evening sky now.  The giant planet gleams at magnitude --2.1.  It appears noticeably brighter than Sirius, at magnitude --1.5 the night sky's brightest star, which stands in the south after darkness falls.  

But after March's first week, Jupiter gains a companion.  Mercury comes into view around March 8, when it lies low in the west and almost directly beneath Jupiter.  Look for a bright point of light some 3 degrees above the horizon 30 minutes after sunset.  Mercury shines at magnitude --1.3, bright enough to pierce the still-bright sky.  Jupiter stands some 10 degrees higher and pops out of the twilight glow sooner.  If you can't spot Mercury with your naked eyes, sweep along the horizon with binoculars.

If you view at the same time relative to sunset each evening, Mercury climbs nearly a degree per day.  By March 14, the inner planet lies 2 degrees to Jupiter's lower right and the pair stands some 9 degrees high.  The two appear equally close the following two evenings.

Astronomy March 2011

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18.  Feedback

Judy Hiramoto (about pruning trees):
> Hello Jake, Thank you so much for your advice.  I cut away several branches that were crowding each other to let in more light. I live in a windy part of town, and I noticed my tree withstands wind better than other maples that have less foliage. 
>
> Gaston Bachelard wrote a book called "The Poetics of Space" musing about houses, closets, and even snail shells.  At the very end he writes that trees are the most beautiful form.

Allison Levin:
> Dear Jake, Merritt  College's Horticulture Department  in Oakland  offers a series of classes on Aesthetic Pruning. Classes  are  held  on Saturday mornings.  Each class focuses on a topic, eg Pruning Japanese  Maples, Conifers, Flowering Trees  and Shrubs, and so  on. There's an  introductory class  in Bonsai, and more.
>
> You and your readers can learn more at http://www.aestheticpruning.org. In addition to information  about classes,  there's a list of professional aesthetic pruners for  hire.  Many of  us,  myself  included, also  give classes at nurseries or by arrangement to smaller groups,  throughout the bay area. People should  be  aware that there are optimum  times of year to prune  various plants.
> Allison Levin * 510.292.9484 * 415.332.1428 * gonative@sonic.net
>     Specializing in
> * Aesthetic pruning for healthy, naturally beautiful trees
> * California flora and native habitat gardens


Anna-Marie Bratton:
> RE: 5/19 Who Killed Off the Oysters of SF Bay? – Marine Biologist, Andrew Cohen, will talk about our once-abundant native oysters, with excursions into history, biology, geology, and archaeology.
>
> I think everyone should hear Mr. Cohen's talk about the Oysters of SF Bay:  I heard him give this talk last week and the most interesting point was that the native oysters thought to be once abundant in the Bay never really were!  The take home lesson was about the origin and consequences of an enviornmental myth.  Very interesting, I wonder how much funding goes to environmental projects that are based on misinformation.

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19.
	The soul is a region without definite boundaries:
   it is not certain a prairie
can exhaust it
           or a range enclose it:
                   — from "Terrain" by A.R. Ammons
  

Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built & Natural Environments is a twice yearly online journal searching for that interface—the integration—among the built and natural environments, that might be called the soul of place.

It is not definitely about urban form, nor solely about natural landscapes. It is not precisely about human culture, nor necessarily about ecology. It is, rather, a celebration of the symbiosis between the built and natural environments where it exists, and an examination and discourse where it does not.

The literary, journalistic, and artistic works contained with Terrain.org are of the highest quality, submitted by a variety of contributors for a diverse audience, including some of the finest material previously appearing in Terra Nova: Nature & Culture. The works may be idealistic, technical, historical, philosophical, and more. Above all, they focus on the environments around us—the built and natural environments—that both affect and are affected by the human species.

Terrain.org strives to be both a resource and a pleasure, a compass and a shelter

(You could spend a lifetime at this site.  For me, I'll have to wait for the next life.  JS) 

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20.  Statement about the FEIR Vote Tuesday night on Pt Molate mega-casino
 
Dear readers of Tom Butt’s E-Forum:
 
Many of you are aware that the City Council voted to certify the Pt. Molate Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) on Tuesday night.   I want to start out by saying clearly that this was NOT a vote on the casino.   It was vote to certify an EIR.   Certifying an EIR is distinct from approving a project.   I stated this at the Council meeting, and I am stating it again now.
 
Vice Mayor Tom Butt addressed many of the problems with the FEIR and offered modifications.   I felt strongly that his suggested modifications had merit.   Our staff had some concerns with some of Tom’s suggestions, and offered an alternative set of modifications.  Councilmembers Ritterman, Beckles, Booze and Rogers felt that staff’s point of view was more in line with their thinking, and thus cast a majority vote to certify the FEIR.  I chose to vote against this certification because it didn’t include insertions suggested by Tom Butt that I felt were important to strengthen this environmental document.
 
So, while disagreements on this document emerged, it’s important to remember that no one on Tuesday night cast a vote FOR or AGAINST a casino.   The matter at hand was the certification process of the environmental impact report, and there were differences on how to approach this. 
 
None of us should fear our differences.  As we move forward, we will find many such differences.  It will be incumbent on each of us to learn how to evaluate such disagreements.   In my view, the disagreement on the FEIR is not as significant as disagreements regarding the issue of whether to allow a casino to be built at Pt Molate.   It is the responsibility of the new City Council to take up the casino issue, and we shall indeed do so at our April 5 meeting.   I urge the public to come out on April 5th and sign up to speak on the item.
   
I ask my colleagues on the City Council to use insight and patience to endure our differences regarding the FEIR, as we prepare to come together on another day to bring resolution to this very important matter concerning a casino at Pt. Molate.

Gayle McLaughlin
Mayor, City of Richmond

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21.  From East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden March 2011 newsletter
http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=01091d83e4aa193c78a888704&id=4e6615886e&e=dc1584429c

Wildcat Creek Runs Through It, by Sue Rosenthal (JS:  Read the whole article)
Opening paragraph:  Among the Botanic Garden’s most beautiful natural features are Wildcat Creek and its riparian corridor. From its source high in Wildcat Canyon, the creek flows 13.5 miles from southeast to northwest between the Berkeley Hills and San Pablo Ridge, dropping 1900 feet over its course through three regional parks and three cities to the bay....
 
 	



Pink Flowering Currant
Pink flowering currant is one of the easiest of all our native plants to grow. It tolerates a broad range of conditions: sand or clay, wet or dry, sun or partial shade, acid or neutral soils. It is a modestly good-looking shrub that can be accommodated by small city gardens of the Bay Area. It has good form as well as pleasing bark, buds, and leaves, and its pendent panicles of warm pink flowers are visited by hummingbirds. The flowers are followed by quarter-inch-diameter glaucous blue-black fleshy berries eagerly consumed by birds. These birds excrete the seeds over wide areas, resulting in seedlings volunteering in your or other people's gardens.
With all its virtues and ease of cultivation, one expects this to be a popular plant in local gardens. There is a mystery here: Why don't gardeners here plant it more often? I have seen it in Tasmanian, New Zealand, and English gardens; why not here? Is there some sort of prejudice, or is there an apprehension that native plants are difficult to grow or that they require special conditions? In the case of pink currant, it is very adaptable and a splendid addition to almost any local garden.
--Jake Sigg
Subscribe to Jake's always fascinating, often infuriating e-newsletter Nature News by Jake Sigg,  by sending an email to jakesigg@earthlink.net 

 

 
Pink Flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum var. glutinosum)

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22.  Scientific American

CLIMATEWIRE: Polar Ice Sheets Melting Faster Than Predicted
The thick glaciers covering Greenland and Antarctica are melting faster than scientists expected
http://links.email.scientificamerican.com/ctt?kn=16&m=36370951&r=NTM5NzIzNTA1NgS2&b=2&j=OTYzNTYxMDIS1&mt=1&rt=0 

EARTHTALK: Land Locked: U.S. Wilderness Protection Act Benefits the Climate--Hunters Like It, Too
Whereas the 2009 law's language does not address global warming, environmentalists are overjoyed at the climate benefits protecting so much land will bring. As such, it is one of the most significant expansions of U.S. wilderness protection in the past quarter century
http://links.email.scientificamerican.com/ctt?kn=23&m=36370951&r=NTM5NzIzNTA1NgS2&b=2&j=OTYzNTYxMDIS1&mt=1&rt=0 

NATURE: China Unveils Green Targets
Premier vows to improve energy efficiency and curb pollution and carbon emissions
http://links.email.scientificamerican.com/ctt?kn=21&m=36370951&r=NTM5NzIzNTA1NgS2&b=2&j=OTYzNTYxMDIS1&mt=1&rt=0 
...

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