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

Event

 
1.   Important information on our coming LED street lights
2.   Photo contest on wrapped Endangered Species Muni buses - deadline April 10
3.   Visual tour of San Francisco wildflowers April 7
4.   Opportunity to kill the Central Subway - write Congressional Republicans
5.   Feedback--birds, birds, birds
6.   Bats and their serious problems
7.   A petition to California Atty General to investigate UC Regents' conflict of interest
8.   Bowl the Planet Saturday April 9 - a fundraiser for SaveNature.org
9.   East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden annual plant sale April 16
10. Meadowlarks need your help from.....corn (for biofuels)
11. Born 7 April 1915 - Billie Holiday.  The first protest song: Haunting strains of a bloody past
12. For the children:  stay together, learn the flowers, go light
13. "Natural yearning to have babies"?  A response
14. Why isn't population taken seriously?  Ten reasons
15. Experience the excitement of viewing 4-foot tall birds with 6-foot wingspans - April 9 through May 14
16. Opening of EcoCenter at Herons Head Park April 9
17. Repeat screenings of Lost Landscapes of San Francisco and Detroit April 10, April 19
18. Obituary:  Elizabeth Taylor.  A shy girl hides behind jewels


1.  Dave Goggin on LEDs for San Francisco streets:
I am looking forward to the April 12 community meeting.  (See previous newsletter.)  It's great to see the SFPUC doing this kind of public outreach for a project of such scale and importance to the people of San Francisco.

The announcement indicates that the presentation will include three color temperatures of fixtures:  4100K, 4300K and 6000K.

But conspicuously absent from this list are any fixtures in the 2700K-3500K range.  Such LEDs are minimally less efficient, but provide a "warmer" more pedestrian-friendly appearance which enhances the appearance of the lighted areas.

Also of importance is that 2700K-3500K LEDs emit less of their light output in the blue region of the spectrum.  According to a November 2009 research report from the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), minimizing blue light also minimizes environmental impacts on plants and animals, the scattering of stray light in the atmosphere and glare for both drivers and pedestrians.   The full report is available from the IDA if more information is needed.


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2.  The Endangered Species Muni buses are in their last few weeks (may be ‘unwrapped’ as soon as April 13th). The project, along with Muni Diaries and Bay Nature have announced an open photo competition to track and catch the buses before they’re gone.  Here are the competition details:

Find the Endangered Species buses (see the ‘Bus Tracker’ at www.endangerbus.org) and catch them in any way you want.
Enter up to four images by emailing them to endangerbuscontest@baynature.org (minimum 1500 pixels in length or width)
Winners will be selected by Cheryl Haines, director of Haines Gallery and executive director of the FOR-SITE Foundation, whose Presidio Habitats runs through next month.

Prizes - First place receives $150 and publication in Bay Nature Magazine.  Second place receives two tickets to the San Francisco Zoo and two $10 Clipper Cards.  Five other entrants will be picked at random to receive $10 clipper cards.

ENTRY DEADLINE: 11 p.m. April 10, 2011
This is the webpage with the competition information:
http://www.munidiaries.com/2011/03/16/win-150-in-the-endanger-bus-photo-contest/
 
This is the Endangered Species project webpage:
www.endangerbus.org

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3.
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
San Francisco County Fair Bldg
9th Av & Lincoln Way in Golden Gate Park

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.

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4.  WRITE OFFICIALS---CENTRAL SUBWAY & BUDGET BOONDOGGLE  - Visit SaveMuni.com

If the Central Subway’s own data is evaluated impartially, the project fails to meet federal, state and local criteria---decreasing net transit levels of service.
Now is the time to WRITE!  Congress is fighting over the 2011 Federal Budget.  With the Continuing Resolution expiring on Friday, April 8, few want government to shut down.  Congress will also start debating the 2012 Federal Budget (fiscal year begins October 1, 2011).  Sacramento’s budget is in turmoil too.  Also in play is the FTA’s review of the Central Subway’s Final Reports---deadline December 2011.

(JS:  Address List for Letters, Email List and Sample Message will be sent on request.  Have you ever written a Republican legislator?  Experience the thrill--they could be helpful on this particular issue, because they are looking for ways to cut money, and they have the power to do it.  Not to mention they'd like to stick it to San Francisco--although in this case they would be unwittingly helping us.)

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6.  Feedback

Lennie Roberts:
> Hi Jake, I am still feeling terrible about the recent killing of a female Mountain Lion in Redwood City, where Fish and Game had cornered her in a back yard and then said it would be too "dangerous" to tranquilize her.  I would sure like to see an article about a better way to deal with conflicts between what we humans have come to think of as "our" territory and the predators we have displaced. There has gotta be a better way...
>
> Hans U Weber:
> 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?
>
> Jake, please make it known that lint can be harmful in bird nests, not because of its "synthetic crap" but because lint attracts moisture and can become a breeding ground for undesirable pathogens. Smart bird parents may know this and will not choose lint in their nests.
> Thank you!
Wouldn't this be a good way to let natural selection take its course and do away with some of the dumber ones?

Adrian Cotter:
> Hey Jake,  Since last year, I'd starting to record where I see ravens and crows -- this was after I came across a raven's nest at 7th and Mission, and a crow's nest at South Van Ness and Mission, and started wondered about their distribution and nesting habits in general. 
>
> This year I've expanded my "hunt", and have found a pair of ravens in the Mission, another around Corona Heights, and another crow's nest on Fell.  The original pair I found *I think* is now nesting at Civic Center -- Two ravens had come back the the 7th and Mission spot, but were driven off by a small murder of crows (there are 3-5 and don't seem to be nesting). There was also a Dolores Park pair, but they don't seem to have come back, and a hawk of some sort is the dominant bird there.
>
> Anyway, I was wondering if I could put a call out to your readers to see if anyone is interested in mapping out where they are nesting. My minimal evidence so far suggests they like to nest in the same spot, but perhaps there is a shifting balance between crows, hawks and ravens.
>
> If so they can email me at acotter@nonsensical.com
Is a "murder" the collective name for a bunch of crows?  I wasn't able to find anything in the dictionary.
> Yes it is!
> As the Oxford English Dictionary suggests, “murder” may “perhaps [allude] to the crow’s traditional association with violent death, or… to its harsh and raucous cry.”  from: http://www.word-detective.com/2009/02/22/murder-of-crows-etc/
>
> also:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Murder_of_Crows
>
> Although this was a small collection of crows, so not sure it is entirely appropriate.

Allan Ridley:
> Any question about the predatory abilities of the smaller corvids, like this scrub jay, were dispelled as this bird dove into a shrub and emerged with a still fluttering Allen's hummingbird.  Our group of "First-Sunday-SFBotanicalGarden" bird watchers was struck dumb at the speed and deadly accuracy of this attack.  hniblick@yahoo.com had the presence of mind to get her camera in action.   She posted this photo on SFBirds.   I'm sending it along as an illustration of what these clever and appealingly smart birds are up to in our SF parks & gardens.  We should avoid directly feeding them or leaving pet food in available locations.  Their bigger cousins, Steller's jays, crows & ravens are equally opportunistic in their feeding habits.
>

Matt Baume:
>> Hi Jake, Thanks so much for putting a link to my High Country News article about frogs in one of your recent Nature News emails! It's an honor to be included.
>> Keep up the great work, Matt Baume
I'm always glad to promote frogs or any other creature suffering the slings and arrows of outraged fortune.

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7.  Bats
 
Ohio and New Brunswick, Canada, have joined the grim list of states and provinces facing White-nose Syndrome (WNS), the deadly disease that threatens to devastate bat populations across North America. Ohio is the 17th U.S. state hit by the disease or the fungus that’s associated with it. New Brunswick is the third Canadian province where WNS has been confirmed. 
Ohio’s first WNS case was found in a hibernating bat in an abandoned mine at Wayne National Forest in southeastern Ohio. In Canada, New Brunswick Museum researchers confirmed WNS after finding more than 1,000 dead bats in a major bat-hibernation site in southeastern New Brunswick.

We knew we would see expansion of WNS into new states and counties this year, so this news is not surprising. But it is still heartbreaking. We are particularly concerned for the federally endangered Indiana bats that roost in that region of Ohio. WNS is yet another threat to this species, which has already been declining due to habitat loss.   Biologists and researchers, including BCI staff and our state and federal natural resources agency partners, are working day and night to find methods to slow the spread of WNS. Funding is desperately needed.

Please donate to support WNS research and other critical bat conservation needs. All contributions will be greatly appreciated. 

Bat Conservation International, Inc.: Protecting bats and their habitats worldwide. Information about education, conservation efforts, articles, projects, places in Texas to see bats, ...  www.batcon.org/ 

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"There is some ill a-brewing towards my rest.
For I did dream of money-bags tonight."
     William Shakespeare

7.  A petition to CA Attorney General Kamala Harris to investigate the UC Regents' conflicts of interest.

http://tinyurl.com/4cguvmh

Here's a link to the story:  http://tinyurl.com/6zcm4rb

The Chronicle's Nanette Asimov reported last week (March 17) that although the regents were given a "grim financial forecast," at their recent meeting, Regent Blum had a solution:  Not every regent opposes higher tuition.

"Before you lynch me, hear me out," Regent Dick Blum said. "There is a way out of this problem: higher tuition, and higher amounts of scholarship money."

He said the nation's top 500 companies could be asked to donate the scholarship money, which could be awarded to students whose families earn less than $150,000 a year. Currently, students from families earning less than $80,000 have their tuition covered.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/03/16/BA7K1ICT2T.DTL#ixzz1HF8uve00

A link to a petition sent out earlier asking California's Attorney General to investigate the findings of a lengthy report made by investigative reporter Peter Byrne into self-dealing by the regents' investment committee that appears to have contributed to the university's financial crisis. Although the San Francisco Chronicle has not covered the story, the Society of Professional Journalists last week honored Byrne with its James Madison Freedom of Information Award

http://rohnertpark.patch.com/articles/petaluma-journalist-honored-for-investigative-work-2

and the current SF Bay Guardian also carries the story.

"Plate sin with gold,
And the strong lance of justice hurtless break..."
      Wm Shakespeare

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8.  Bowl the Planet: Wild Fun for the Family!
Register online for Bowl the Planet at http://www.firstgiving.com/savenature/Event/bowl-the-planet  
SaveNature.Org's 17th annual fundraiser and silent auction, or contact us to reserve a lane. Join us for  wild fun to help save endangered ecosystems and support scholarships for environmental education at  underserved Bay Area schools. Registration is just $25/adult and $15/child and includes glow bowling 
(bumper bowling for kids), pizza, rock and roll music and prizes, amazing silent auction items like wine  tours, fun family adventures and romantic get-aways. 

Go to http://www.firstgiving.com/savenature/Event/bowl-the-planet to help fundraise or donate.
Date: Saturday, April 09, 2011, 3-6pm
Location: Serra Bowl: 3301 Junipero Serra Blvd, Daly City, California
Contact: Mira Luna  415.648.3392 mira@savenature.org

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9.  On April 16, the Regional Parks Botanic Garden presents its annual sale of California native plants. All proceeds from the sale will directly benefit the Botanic Garden. The sale runs from 10:00am to 3:00pm and experts will be available to answer your questions, assisting both collector and novice.

http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=01091d83e4aa193c78a888704&id=51e7d39bc8&e=dc1584429c


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10.  Protect Western Meadowlarks
Don't Let Corn Crowd Out Their Habitat

America's Northern Great Plains once supported a vast sea of native grasslands. Today, that sea of grass has been reduced by    more than 90 percent, and along with it, birds like the Western Meadowlark have declined.

Unfortunately, enormous incentives to grow corn for energy use is taking an additional and heavy toll on the habitat of these iconic grassland birds.

Next week your members of Congress could vote on eliminating a wasteful subsidy that has led to dramatic increases in corn energy production -- please speak up today.

NWFAF_westernmeadowlark_280.jpg

Congress should not extend corn energy production subsidies, which are contributing to widespread habitat destruction and increasing climate change pollution. Instead, our members of Congress should be re-directing incentives for energy production that is cleaner and safer for our wildlife, wild places, and communities.

Pardon me

Thou bleeding piece of earth

That I am meek and gentle

With these butchers.

            Shakespeare

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Strange Fruit may well be the first protest song
11.  Born 7 April 1915 - Billie Holiday

Haunting strains of a bloody past
So horrific are the images it conjures up, Billie Holiday always closed her eyes to sing 'Strange Fruit'.

Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black body swinging in the Southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

 
... Those who heard "Strange Fruit" in the late 30s were shocked, for the true barbarity of southern violence was generally only discussed in 
black newspapers.  To be introduced to such realities by a song was unprecedented and was considered by many to be in poor taste.

In the late 30s, the 24-year-old Billie Holiday was headlining at a recently opened Greenwich Village nightclub called Cafe Society.  It was the only integrated nightclub in New York City, and a place that advertised itself as "the wrong place for the Right people".  The manager of the club, Barney Josephson, introduced Billie Holiday to Meeropol and his new song, which had an immediate impact on her.  She decided to sing it at Cafe Society, where it was received with perfect, haunting silence.  Soon she was closing her shows with the song.  It was understood that only when the waiters had stopped serving, and the lights dimmed to a single spotlight, would she begin singing, with her eyes closed.  Once she had finished, she would walk off stage and never return to take a bow.

The song was revolutionary - not only because of the explicit nature of the lyrics, but because it reversed the black singer's relationship with a white audience. Traditionally, singers such as Billie Holiday were expected to entertain and to "serve" their audiences.  With this song, however, Holiday found a means by which she could demand that the audience stop and listen, and she was able to force them to take on board something with which they were not comfortable.  She often used the song as a hammer with which to beat what she perceived to be ignorant audiences, and her insistence on singing the song with such gravitas meant that she was not always safe.  Some people did not fully appreciate the dark song when they had stepped out for the evening to hear "Fine and Mellow" and other cocktail-lounge ditties.

Holiday was keen to record "Strange Fruit" on her label, Columbia, but her producer, John Hammond, was concerned that it was too political and he refused to allow her to go into the studio with it.  But the singer would not back down.  In April 1939, she recorded it for Commodore Records.  It became a bestseller and was thereafter associated with her.

When Josephson introduced her to Meeropol and his song, Holiday knew that she could sing it like nobody else could, or would.  She glimpsed truth in it and that was enough.  She, perhaps more than most artists, understood that if you live the truth, you will pay a price, but without the truth there is no art.  Whenever she performed the song, she could see the two teenagers, Shipp and Smith, hanging from the tree - which is why she closed her eyes whenever she sang it....

Excerpts from Guardian Weekly article


Hear her sing it:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4ZyuULy9zs

 
Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

 
Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

 
Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.

 

 
I never had a chance to play with dolls like other kids. I started working when I was six years old.
Mom and Pop were just a couple of kids when they got married. He was eighteen, she was sixteen and I was three.

No two people on earth are alike, and it's got to be that way in music or it isn't music. 

People don't understand the kind of fight it takes to record what you want to record the way you want to record it. 
For updates and info, contact scott at planttrees dot org.