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

Event

 
1.   Internship opportunity:  administrative intern for executive director
2.   Conservation legends decry overpopulation
3.   California's population is growing far faster than the state's ability to support it
4.   Feedback:  Lunaception/bird-nesting material/chorus frog 
5.   Richmond voters:  April 5 is decision day on mega-casino
6.   Garden plants from Valley grasslands, talk in Milpitas April 7
7.   Demonstration on LED streetlights April 12
8.   Visual tour of San Francisco's native wildflower areas April 7
9.   Protest arboretum entrance fee TODAY 1 pm
10. Field techniques for recording and reporting invasive plants - April 6 & 8
11.  Letter to Corporate Compliance on selling invasive plants
12.  More facts against the Central Subway
13.  SFSU Sierra Nevada field campus courses
14.  April programs at Presidio Habitats
15.  Garber Park Stewards events
16.  Wisconsin Republican Party on a witch-hunt.  New McCarthy era?
17.  When New York City bloomed--when the city's wealth was measured in flora and fauna
18.  Register for the free Bringing Back the Natives Garden tour
19.  Notes & Queries:  Why are women more intelligent than men?
20. KPFA site stewards' kestrel vignette (vignette:  something that can be written on a vine leaf)


1.  Internship Opportunity: Administrative Intern for Executive Director 
Location: Bay Area, Brisbane, CA
Position Overview
San Bruno Mountain Watch, website, is looking for a quick learner who likes to master a number of topics and skills. Gain experience and develop skills while helping to build the capacity of a feisty, small grass-roots environmental non-profit.

Job Description
The environmental non-profit administrative intern will assist in the key administrative functions of the organization: communication, fundraising, volunteer recruitment and coordination, outreach, and office support.

Duration:  12 months, 30 hours/week
Stipend:  $100 per week 

 http://sfbay.craigslist.org/pen/npo/2297789129.html

 ##########################

2.  (JS:  Is there a reason why overpopulation isn't taken seriously?  Why Why Why? Are people unaware of the problem, of how it affects their lives?  What does it take?)

Conservation Legends Decry Overpopulation, By Leon Kolankiewicz
March 21, 2011

 
In recent weeks, two conservation giants – American Dave Foreman and Englishman Sir David Attenborough – have denounced the threat human overpopulation poses to untrammeled nature and biodiversity.  They have also questioned why so many continue to downplay and dismiss the menace it represents.

 
Dave Foreman is a denizen and defender of the American Southwest; he co-founded Earth First!, the Wildlands Project, and now runs the Rewilding Institute.  The Institute promotes scientifically-credible, continental-scale conservation throughout North America, and in particular securing a permanent place for the large carnivores such as wolves, bears, jaguars, and mountain lions at the apex of food pyramids in North American ecosystems.  

 
The younger brother of director, producer and actor Richard Attenborough, Sir David is a celebrated broadcaster and naturalist whose career as a writer and presenter of natural history programs spans more than half a century.  He is most widely known for the "Life" series, which he prepared for the BBC’s Natural History Unit.  The Life series is a wide-ranging and riveting review of Planet Earth’s extraordinary pageant of life. 

 
Even while making conservation and environmental history as an activist, Dave Foreman has become one of the foremost historians and thinkers of the contemporary American environmental and conservation movements.  In the current issue of his column “Around the Campfire with Uncle Dave Foreman,” he weighs in on the “never-ending squabble” over whether it is population or affluence (high per capita consumption, or “wastefulness and highlife,” as Foreman dubs it) that more heavily impacts wild things. 

 
Declares Foreman:  “Those environmentalists, who think we can double or triple U.S. population without wiping out wildlife and scalping our last wildernesses, are living in a fool’s paradise – not in the real world where we either will or will not keep the other Earthlings hale and hearty in our shared neighborhoods.”

 
Foreman’s sentiments echo those of the late Senator Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day.  In a 2000 speech, Nelson warned of the perils of unabated U.S. population growth.  “With twice the population, will there be any wilderness left? Any quiet place? Any habitat for song birds?  Waterfalls?  Other wild creatures?  Not much,” he lamented.

 
Foreman cites recent research showing that for those couples concerned about not only their own “carbon footprint” but their cumulative, multi-generational “carbon legacy,” foregoing additional offspring achieves far more than any amount of conservation frugality, such as commuting on a bicycle instead of in a car, living in a smaller house, or lowering the thermostat.

 
He concludes that “without lowering population, cutting back on the highlife can’t do the job.”

 
Speaking to the Royal Society of Arts in London on March 11, Attenborough said, “I meet no one who privately disagrees that population growth is a problem.  No one – except flat-earthers – can deny that the planet is finite.  We can all see it in that beautiful picture of our earth taken from the Apollo mission.  So why does hardly anyone say so publicly?  There seems to be some bizarre taboo around the subject.  ‘It’s not quite nice, not PC, possibly even racist to mention it.’”

 
Even as Sir Richard applauded the notable efforts and successes of the World Wildlife Fund (now known as the Worldwide Fund for Nature or WWF) on its 50th birthday, he cautioned that serious problems remain, in no small part because Earth’s population has more than doubled from three to seven billion over the same 50 years.

 
He said:  “Over twice as many [humans] – and every one of them needing space.  Space for their homes, space to grow their food (or to get others to grow it for them), space to build schools and roads and airfields…most of it could only come from the land which, for millions of years, animals and plants had to themselves.”

Attenborough quoted the visionary American economist Kenneth Boulding, who once remarked, “Anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet is either mad – or an economist.”  And he asked everyone, especially members of environmental groups and churches, the Catholic Church especially, to “break the taboo…whenever we speak of the environment – add a few words to ensure that the population element is not ignored.”

 
In speaking out about overpopulation, Foreman and Attenborough join a distinguished list of conservation and science legends and leaders who were not only deeply concerned about the damage inflicted by excessive human numbers on our fellow “Earthlings,” but felt strongly enough to speak out publicly about it.   This list includes oceanographer and filmmaker Jacques Cousteau, primatologist Jane Goodall, the aforementioned Nelson, legendary environmentalist David Brower, Greenpeace co-founder and “Whale Wars” celebrity Paul Watson, among others. 

 
For these icons, the slogan “Pro-life” really means pro-life – respecting all living things – and not just pro-human life, and the rest of creation be damned.   Let us strive for the day when the ethics of all Americans and citizens of the world have caught up to the expansive ethics of these heroes.


########################

3.  California's Population Is Growing Far Faster Than The State's Ability To Support It.

• Population has more than doubled since 1965
• We grew by nearly 5 million people just in the last decade
• At the current rate of growth we will be over 60 million by 2040

Virtually All Of California's Problems Can Be Traced Back To Too Many People.

• Overburdened health care system
• Overcrowded schools
• Traffic gridlock in all major cities
• Urban sprawl
• Deforestation, loss of biodiversity
• Water scarcity
• Poor air quality
• Higher tax rates to fund more public programs
• Unemployment of minimum wage workers
• High crime rates

Virtually All Of California's Population Growth In The Last 10 Years Was Due To Immigration.

• Most Californians are barely replacing themselves
• Most Californians are having less than two children per household
• But many immigrant families are averaging as many as four children per household

If We Don't Do Something About Immigration, Our Problems Will Get Much Worse.

• Write or call your elected officials
• Get involved in government

California Growing By Leaps & Bounds

Year Population
1960 15,717,000
1965 18,464,000
1970 19,953,000
1975 21.538,000
1980 23,668,000
1985 26,403,000
1990 29,760,000
1995 31,712,000
2000 33,872,000
2005 36,896,000
2010 38,648,000

Since 1965, California's population has more than doubled. In the last decade alone our population grew by almost 5 million people; nearly all due to immigration and births to foreign-born women.

Share of California's Population Increase Due to Native-born and Foreign-born 2000-2009:
Native-born   3%
Foreign-born 97%

##############################

4.  Feedback

Louise Lacey:
> LTE,  Science News
> Population issues
> Many kudos to David Attenborough for speaking out about the overpopulation crisis, which is far more dangerous, threatening and immediate than global warming or which nation has nuclear weapons. No world leader has it as an urgent priority, as far as I know. We are like people with a wild elephant in the living room that we choose not to notice.
> Ken McMillan, St. Augustine, Fla.
>
> Having a baby is a body yearning that is hard for women to avoid. Yet the consequences are enormous -- not to mention the cost of college!
>
> My book, LUNACEPTION, teaches women how to  know, ahead of time each month, when they will be fertile -- and decide what to do about it. Without hormones, IUDs, or other OB/Gyn accouterments, you can fall into nature's patterns, and have the baby you want or decide not to have it. You can be in charge of your own fertility naturally. 
>
> More than 1100 women wrote me and said that Lunaception worked for them, and told me how many kids they wanted. In the US, the total was 1.5 per partners. If each generation followed this method our population would be reduced by 25%. Not only that, women themselves would be making that decision instead of church, media or partner. Check it out at www.lunaception.net

On Apr 1, 2011, at 10:25 AM, Gray Brechin wrote:
> Are birds making their nests now, and what is the best way to put out cotton and dryer lint for them, and is the latter safe since it probably has a lot of synthetic crap in it?

Alan Hopkins:
> Jake, Thanks for the link to the frog article, however, it brings up a question are the frogs reported really Chorus Frogs? My Peterson Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians lists Chorus Frog Pseudacris triseriata as a different species from Pacific Treefrog Hyla regilla, which is the species I’ve been seeing. Recently I have been treated to calling frogs outside my studio on the Hunters Point Shipyard (a superfund site). Go Frogs!
Kerry Kriger responds:  Hi Jake and Alan. Hyla regilla the pacific treefrog got its name changed to pseudacris regilla the pacific chorus frog a few years ago. 

##################################

5.  Richmond voters:  
April 5  Decision Day - NO on Casino
At its meeting  on Tuesday, April 5th,  6:30,  the City Council will  vote on the Casino Project and hopefully deal a fatal blow to this project which threatens Richmond. Even when, as we expect, the Council votes down the Casino, it is possible that the developers will try to go to court to insist on a project rejected by the community last November. That is why we need to be out in great numbers to show the developers, the courts, the media, and anyone else that this community really means NO!
You can make a difference

  
1.  Come to the City Council Meeting
The Council meeting will be moved to the Richmond Auditorium to accommodate the large crowds
. The meeting is scheduled to start at 6:30 but we will be gathering at 6:00 to prepare ourselves, exchange information and sign up to speak.
• Sign up to speak on the issue. This is the only item on the agenda. You must fill out a simple slip available at the meeting and turn it in to the city clerk BEFORE this item on the agenda begins.  
• Hold up a sign at the meeting.  Bring your own or use one of the signs that will be available there

  
2.  Send Emails to the City Council 
There are a couple of council people who still don't get it that the community has said no. "The November vote was only advisory," they say. 
But it helps to send your emails to  all members of the council. Those members who are opposed to the Casino can use your email  to demonstrate the backing for a "NO" vote.

 
The best email is one that you write yourself and provides arguments about why the casino should be rejected. You can give arguments about the impact of a Casino, alternative uses of Pt. Molate, or the fact that the Richmond community has clearly said no by their decisive  vote on Measure U and election of candidates who stood firmly against the Casino. But even just a short email that says 'I expect you to vote against the Casino' with your name and Richmond address is effective.

 
You can send your email to citycouncil@intres.com  and it will be forwarded to each city council person separately.

 
Or you can write to city council members individually: 
tom.butt@intres.com
natbates@comcast.com
jeffritterman@yahoo.com
jovankabeckles@yahoo.com
elirapty@aim.com (Jim Rogers)
corkybooze@aol.com
mayor@officeofthemayor.net

  
3.  Help US Phone To Get Other Richmond Residents to the Meeting.

The RPA is organizing phone banks  for Thurday 3/31, and Monday 4/4 from 6 pm to 8:30.  We need your help.  Please  bring your cell phone and charger.  We will provide phone lists, notes, snacks and a lot of good spirit.

Phoning will take place at the Laotian Organizing Project  (L.O.P) office  3727 Barrett (NW Corner of Barrett and 38th)
Please call Margaret Jordan  510-412-3673 and let us know when you can help.

###############################

6.  
Garden Plants From Valley Grasslands
Speaker:  David Amme
Thursday, April 7, 7:00-8:30 pm 
Milpitas Library, 160 N Main Street, Milpitas 

Grasses and meadows are popular additions to today’s landscapes. Learn which types of California native grasses work best in residential gardens and how you can grow them, individually or in meadows. David Amme is the Wildland Vegetation Program Manager for the East Bay Regional Park District in Oakland and past-president of the California Native Grass Association.  Information:  (408) 262-1171 x3616.

##########################

7.  LED streetlights for San Francisco - April 12 - possibly your only chance to express yourself on this subject

Mary Tienken, SFPUC:
> Hi Jake, Would you kindly add this to your next edition?
>  
> “Later this year, the SFPUC will begin converting all city-owned, high pressure sodium street lights to LED street lights. To provide a visual demonstration of the proposed color temperature of the LED street light conversion program (4,100K), the SFPUC has installed three LED fixtures of assorted color temperatures, 4,100K, 4,300K and 6000K, on Fulton Ave between Larkin and Hyde Streets. The SFPUC would like to invite interested members of the public to a discussion about LED color temperature on April 12th – 8 PM at the northwest corner of Fulton Ave at Hyde.”
I will post this, Mary.

Will a single lamp of each color give a sufficient demonstration?  I would think you'd want a whole block of one color to get an idea of the atmosphere it creates. I get nervous when I think of the whole city being covered by a color that was demonstrated by a single bulb, and extrapolating that to whole blocks.   

I hope this doesn't sound like an unreasonable request. 
> Hi Jake, Your request is not unreasonable, but I won’t be able to supply a street’s worth of fixtures by 4/12. Let’s proceed with the meeting, and if the visual display seems inconclusive, we can think about a larger installation
 
####################

8.
California Native Plant Society program - free and open to the public
A Visual Tour of San Francisco's Native Wildflower Areas
Thursday 7 April - 7:30 pm
Speaker: Margo Bors
7 to 7:30 pm, social half hour

Although the area had more diversity before it was urbanized, still an amazing number of wildflowers, from mass blooms of goldfields (Lasthenia californica) to  delicate rein orchids (Piperia elegans), have managed to survived in San Francisco.  Our speaker is one of the many CNPS volunteers working with the City's Natural Areas Program to preserve this priceless heritage for our children and grandchildren. She will take us on a visual tour of a number of her favorite wildflower places. 

Margo Bors has been doing habitat restoration and documenting San Francisco's native plants and habitats for herself and for the Yerba Buena Chapter of CNPS for more than 15 years.  She is an artist who has had numerous solo exhibitions in both art and photography, including several at the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture in Golden Gate Park. Margo contributes regularly to CalPhotos, the UC Berkeley Digital Library. Her images are also frequently used in publications of conservation organizations such as the Audubon Society and Sierra Club.  A sample of her art and photography can be seen at www.margobors.com.
Mimulus cardinalis, scarlet monkeyflower

##################

9.  From SHARP:  

Can you let people know that, if they oppose the legislation to make the Arboretum fees permanent, they should contact the Supervisors.  There will be a protest rally at the Arboretum this Saturday 2 April at 1 PM.

#############################

10.  The Bay Area Early Detection Network and California Invasive Plant Council Present:

 
Field Techniques for Recording and Reporting Invasive Plants
Register Now! – There’s still room!
          This one-day course, hosted in partnership with the Bay Area Early Detection Network (BAEDN), is designed to train both volunteers and professionals in field techniques for mapping and reporting invasive plant occurrences.
Newark - Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge    Wednesday, April 6
Fairfax - Sky Oaks Watershed Headquarters    Friday, April 8

#############################

11.  Selling invasive plants

Hello Corporate Compliance,
It has come to my attention that your stores are selling Vinca major, or periwinkle.  This is a moderately invasive weed in California, as identified by the California Invasive Plant Council (Cal-IPC).  It is further identified by the San Francisco Weed Management Area (SFWMA) as a significant threat to sensitive habitats, requiring regular monitoring and annual weeding.  Volunteers like myself pull weeds from the 76,000 acres of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in and around San Francisco, plus 1,017 acres of Golden Gate Park, 1,500 acres of The Presidio, 70 acres of Glen Canyon Park, 32 acres of Twin Peaks, 20 acres of Mt. Davidson, and many other open spaces in San Francisco.

The most important thing I've learned since our email correspondence last year is that planting is a local issue.  It's not enough to say that if the USDA does not identify a particular plant as a weed, then that plant should be a nice plant anywhere in the US.  Nor is it enough to say that if the California government does not identify a particular plant as a weed, then that plant should be a nice plant anywhere in California.  In my opinion, any plant that is of documented concern anywhere in California should be avoided in all of California.

California is a biodiversity hotspot, so named by Conservation International for the rich diversity of flora and fauna that have evolved specifically in our diverse ecological systems and for the risks due to human impacts.  We must do what we can to give our wildlife a fighting chance, particularly in the face of global climate disruption.  Eliminating weeds that outcompete native plants is one major part of a larger plan.

Your email says your merchants work closely with vendors to avoid plants of concern; I'm glad of this.  Please consider that concerned citizens are asking you to update your garden center policies and practices to include plants of local concern.  I have a petition of1,000 local supporters who are concerned about your stores selling weeds, which I can forward to you.  You can start by ensuring that none of your California stores will ever sell plants of documented concern here, including Vinca major.  To facilitate this, I have compiled and attached a list of plants identified as weeds by the US Department of Agriculture, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the University of California at Davis, Cal-IPC, and the SFWMA.  The SFWMA is comprised of local notables including the SF Agricultural Commissioner,  California State Parks, our SF Recreation and Parks Department, and the SF Environment Department, as well as the National Park Service.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this conflict between Home Depot's Business Code of Conduct and current policies and practices.  Even Lowe's does not sell Vinca major; and as you may know, they recently opened a store in San Francisco proper.

Sincerely, Denise Louie

############################

12.  San Francisco Central Subway

> In a message dated 3/31/2011 9:37:38 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, jakesigg@earthlink.net writes:
> Howard:  It won't be news to you, but I wonder how many people think about the maintenance implications of the Central Subway.  Here, for what it's worth, is an excerpt from a longer message.  Jake
From: Stewart Brand 
Date: February 25, 2010 11:48:35 AM PST
Subject: [SALT] Humanity's impact, nature's resilience (Alan Weisman talk)

Weisman's book, The World Without Us, grew out of two questions, he said.  One was, "How can I write a best-seller about the environment?"  The answer to that was the second question: "How would the rest of nature behave without the constant pressure we put on it?"
...Buildings and cities without us around don't last long, his research showed.  Water gets into every building, followed by rot, birds, and trees, and pretty soon all that's left is the bathroom tiles.  The same with cities.  New York is built on top of 40 streams.  To keep the subways functioning, 13 million gallons of water have to be pumped out every day.  If the water returns, it won't be long before the tall buildings lose their footing and topple.
Maintenance people emerged as the heroes of the book, Weisman said.  Without their vigilance and toil, everything collapses.  They are the bedrock of civilization.

Hi Jake, MTA's own report to the FTA projects that the annual operating cost of the Central Subway will be $15 million/ year by 2030.  The Central Subway's data justifications are changing, getting worse and worse---and we're communicating this to Congress and the FTA.  Also, the History Channel had an interesting series called "Life after People", which shows how the man-made world deteriorates without maintenance:  http://www.history.com/shows/life-after-people/videos#grand-central-station   Ciao, Howard  

 
##############################

13.  San Francisco State University Sierra Nevada Field Campus Courses

Taking a summer course at this campus is one of the most pleasant and productive ways you can spend a few days this summer.  The campus is located at the base of the Sierra Buttes, below Yuba Pass. You stay in provided tents and delicious meals are prepared by staff.  

Courses in Biology, Astronomy, Geology, Natural History & Artistic Workshops are taught by excellent teachers.

I have fond memories of seeing the famous Ring Nebula, Albireo (the head of Cygnus the Swan, and which is actually two stars, one of which is sapphire blue, the other daffodil yellow--a stunning sight), the Sombrero Galaxy (65 million light years away), and much, much more.  And the skies are dark.  Treat yourself.

www.sfsu.edu/~sierra

#######################

14.  April Programs at Presidio Habitats

With spring weather, April is the perfect time to visit the Presidio Habitats Exhibition. Special programs include:
*Log Cabin Series: The Story of Presidio Habitats - Thursday, April 14, 7 pm, at the Log Cabin, 1299 Storey Avenue – Get a behind the scenes look at the making of the Presidio Habitats exhibition from the FOR-SITE Foundation.
*Presidio Habitats Guided Walks on Saturdays, April 2, 16, and 30 at 11 am; and Wednesdays, April 6 and 20 at 5 pm. RSVP required to (415) 561-5418 orpresidio@presidiotrust.gov.
*Family “Quest” Adventure on Saturdays, April 2, 16, and 30, 10 am to Noon. Staff will orient your family to the colorful Presidio Habitats Quest adventure booklet. Then, enjoy a self-guided exploration. RSVP to (415) 561-4449.
*Family Program: Create with Nature
Saturday, April 23, 10 am to 2 pm
Get creative with wood, leaves, pine cones, branches, water, and imagination in an outdoor setting. Bring a snack. Meet at the Exhibition Pavilion.

##############################

15.  Garber Park Stewards
Please join us for our twice a month work parties: the 1st Tuesday of the month and the 3rd Saturday of the month. We conduct trail maintenance, remove invasive, non-native plants, and conduct restoration planting. Our next workday: Tuesday, April 5, 10AM-Noon. We will continue eradicating invasive weeds, especially Cape ivy, French broom, and Himalayan blackberry. Save the date: Saturday, April 16 (City of Oakland Earth Day) Time: 9AM-12Noon. Meet at the Evergreen Ln. Entrance. Questions or for more information contact GarberParkStewards@gmail.com or call 510-540-5261

http://www.garberparkstewards.blogspot.com/

#############################

16.  Gray Brechin:
> Jake, you said over lunch that you didn't think we were in a new McCarthy era — yet. If the "Repbulcans" can go after such an esteemed academic for his heresy, and the Maine governor can remove art and history from the state Labor Building while systematically attacking labor on all fronts, I would say we are there. 

> GOP Files FOIA Request for UW Madison Professor William Cronon's Emails Source: David A. Walsh at HNN (3-25-11) [David A. Walsh is the associate editor of HNN.] The Wisconsin Republican Party is filing legal documents to gain access to the personal emails of William Cronon, Frederick Jackson Turner and Vilas Research Professor of History, Geography, and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin—Madison and president-elect of the American Historical Association

Gray:  I won't try to blow off your concern over this serious matter.  It is McCarthyism alright.

At risk of sounding complacent--that I'm not--it still doesn't rank with the early 1950s, which was one of the periodic eruptions of hysteria that convulse the country.  This is still more like a garden-variety attempt at intimidation which we've seen often before.  McCarthy in the Senate and the House Un-American Activities Committee were successful in silencing the media and the general public for a few years.  There was a pervasive fear in the air that everyone felt.  Anyone wanting to offer a sensible opinion about almost anything had to begin with the obligatory "I'm not a Communist, but...."  It was palpable and infected everybody, not just university professors.  And there were no irreverent and sassy blogs to police.

Reading about the era is much different than living through it; fear was palpable.  Self-censorship was common and most people were afraid to offer a controversial opinion about anything, whether it had to do with business, politics, or whatever.

I paste here an item from my archives:
Chuck Colson, after he’d been caught in the Watergate mess, found God and became a Jesus freak.

Politicians finding God stirred up a memory from the grim times we went through in the early 1950s--the McCarthy era.  McCarthy was not the only politician making hay from the Red hysteria--he was only the most visible.  The House Un-American Activities Committee was just as mean and dastardly, and it wrecked many a career, even lives (think of the Hollywood blacklist, among many examples).  The Bay Area, having a history as a hotbed of leftist activities, was targeted, and HUAC held its infamous hearing in City Hall in 1954--the one where the San Francisco police and firemen hosed protesters down the grand staircase. 

Magazines carried countless stories of former leftists who saw the light, turned on their former friends, and went to work for the government, uncovering purported subversives.  This was always accompanied by an epiphany in which they found God, who also helped them defeat their alcoholism.  Anxiety and black humor was rife, such as this graffito I saw on the wall of the toilet room of a North Beach bar: 

I fucked a Russian polar bear for the FBI and found God. 

A related cartoon was one the New Yorker carried in which a very downcast patient, stripped to the waist in the doctor's office and revealing the hammer and sickle tattooed on his chest, said "It seemed like a good idea at the time." 
As far as I know, these were the only two laughs out of this whole ugly  time.

Serious, yes, Gray, but this matter doesn't rise to the level of McCarthyism.

Jake

Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.  Thomas Jefferson

Never argue with people who buy ink by the gallon.  Tommy Lasorda

Every government is run by liars and nothing they say should be believed.  I.F. Stone

Patriotism is the veneration of real estate above principles.  George Jean Nathan (1882-1958)

Patriotism is a pernicious, psychopathic form of idiocy.  George Bernard Shaw

Liberals feel unworthy of their possessions.  Conservatives feel they deserve everything they've stolen.  Mort Sahl

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.  
Ambrose Bierce, Devil's Dictionary

################################

17.  NY Times opinion piece
When New York City Bloomed
When you stand in the middle of Times Square, it is easy to forget that the colonists settled in New York City because of its bounty of natural resources. Before there were skyscrapers and restaurants, the city’s wealth was measured in flora and fauna. Early Dutch sailors were disoriented by the scent of wildflowers wafting out to sea from Manhattan.

Even today, forests, marshes and meadows cover nearly one-eighth of the city. But it is not a safe haven for flowers. Of 1,357 native plant species documented in New York City’s history, only 778 remain here. There are various reasons for their disappearance, but always the causal factor is human — a pest we accidentally introduced, a habitat we made unwelcoming or destroyed altogether. Our urban lives are impoverished in their absence. Here is a selection of plants that have vanished from the city. (Omitted, JS) Some thrive elsewhere; others are barely hanging on. And one has recently reappeared in New York City, a signal of hope in a concrete landscape.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/25/opinion/20110326-opart.html?src=tptw#1

##############################

18.  If you have not yet registered for the free Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour (which takes place on Sunday, May 1) – please do so now!  The first mailing of the garden guide will go out soon soon; registering now at http://www.bringingbackthenatives.net/ will ensure that you receive your guide early.  In addition, this event is expected to fill; registering now will reserve your place on the tour.

If you have already registered please do not do so again.  It is expensive to mail out extra guides, and time-consuming to remove duplicate registrations.  Not sure if you registered or not?  Please check your In-box and Spam box for an e-mail from Kathy@KathyKramerconsulting.net.
 
A variety of bird- and butterfly-friendly, pesticide-free, water conserving, low maintenance gardens that contain 50% or more native plants will be open on Sunday, May 1, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at various locations throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties. More than 50 garden talks will be scheduled throughout the day.
 
Visit  http://www.bringingbackthenatives.net/ and browse the "Preview the Gardens" section to read garden descriptions, view garden photos, and more. While admission is free, registration is required.

####################

19.  Notes & Queries, Guardian Weekly

Why are women more intelligent than men?
Because they were made in God's image and She made them that way.
Dick Hedges, Nairobi, Kenya

• Every honest man will admit that his wife is smarter than he is with one exception: she married him.
James Carroll, Geneva, Switzerland

• The great majority of my fellow men have been happy to rely on our greater physical power to get what we want. Lazy, boastful, violent and inordinately pleased with ourselves, we have been throwing our weight around for thousands of years.
For updates and info, contact scott at planttrees dot org.