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

Event

 
Nature News from Jake Sigg

1.   Job opportunity - native plant nursery internship
2.   CNPS field trip Aug 7/Reimagining the California Lawn Aug 8
3.   Sacto Bee:  Imagine a Yosemite with Hetch Hetchy open to all once more
4.   GGNRA draft Dog Mgt Plan/EIS on website
5.   California Invasive Plant Council photo contest
6.   Fiona Ma tries to take away local control of landfills
7.   Our fetish for rampant consumerism urges us to buy goods we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like
8.   Science unleavened by the human heart and human spirit
9.   The Economist opinion on Congress and the president
10. Strip mining prevents forest fires
11.  Blue Greenway comment period extended
12.  The Sunnyside Conservatory hosts string quartet Aug 14/help maintain garden
13.  Peter Berg dies
14.  Hackers conference rubs our nose in loss of privacy
15.  Astro picture - stars and fireflies
16.  Never heard of Chongquing?  It's the biggest city in the world, with garbage to prove it
17.  Elk saves life of drowning marmot
18.  Notes & Queries: Do any animals use artificial means to make themselves look more attractive?


								In summer, the song sings itself.  William Carlos Williams

1.  Native Plant Nursery Internship - San Francisco/Brisbane, CA.  San Bruno Mountain Watch.
San Bruno Mountain Watch’s Mission Blue Native Plant Nursery is seeking a motivated individual to work in a community-based, habitat restoration program restoring the biodiversity of San Bruno Mountain.  San Bruno Mountain is a unique island of biodiversity in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area. This ecological treasure is home to several endangered species, dozens of rare plants, year-round springs, ancient native oak groves, and 5,000 year-old Native American village sites. San Bruno Mountain is the last significant, viable remnant of the Franciscan ecosystem that once covered San Francisco. The regional importance of the mountain’s high biodiversity, lead renowned Harvard Biologist E. O. Wilson to list San Bruno Mountain as one of 18 biodiversity hotspots in need of preservation.
The nursery intern will assist with native plant seed collection and propagation as well as overall nursery management and maintenance. He/she will also assist in Wednesday morning community volunteer workdays at the nursery as well as Saturday habitat restoration community workdays  on San Bruno Mountain. The intern will gain valuable experience in developing and running volunteer programs, native plant propagation and nursery operations. Previous knowledge of California natives and/or propagation techniques ideal but not necessary. Nursery intern will learn California native plant identification and propagation.  Compensation: $100/week stipend, and personalized training and marketable work experience. Final Application Filing Date (August 24th, 2011). The Native Plant Nursery internship is a part time (20 hours/week), six month long position (September-March). For questions and/or to apply for this position, please send a resume and cover letter to Joe Cannon at restore_ecology@earthlink.net . Thank You.
 
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2.  Two events from CNPS Santa Clara Valley Chapter

Plant Walk: Sun Aug 7th Calero Creek (South San Jose) 10am-noon
We will follow up the August 4 Riparian Talk with a short hike along Calero Creek County Park.  We will hike near the park’s boundary, crossing the creek in a few places, seeing meadows, sycamores and upland oak woodlands.  With the abundant rainfall this year it will be interesting to see its effect on this diverse area. 

The hike will be about 2 miles, with elevation gain of around 200’.  For more information contact Carolyn Dorsch at cdorsch1(at)aol.com, or (650) 804-6162 (eves).

Directions:  From Hwy 101 in south San Jose take Bernal Rd exit and head west for 1 mile.  Turn left at Santa Teresa Blvd and go 3 miles to Bailey Ave. Turn right, and then at McKean Road turn left. We will meet at the parking lot ¼ mile past the entrance gates of Calero County Park.  Note: there is a $6 parking fee.

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Monday, August 8, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Reimagining the California Lawn, a talk by David Fross
Cupertino Library, 10800 Torre Avenue, Cupertino. (408) 446-1677.

Nurseryman, photographer, and author of the new book Reimagining the California Lawn, David Fross offers design ideas and practical solutions to help you create a
vibrant garden that complements our unique Mediterranean climate. Fross is the founder of Native Sons nursery in Arroyo Grande, California, which is devoted to producing the finest California native plants for landscapers and retail nurseries and has now expanded to include plants from all the Mediterranean climate regions of the world. He lectures at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He is the coauthor of the classic book California Native Plants for the Garden, and the author of the definitive work on Ceanothus. 

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3.  Sacramento Bee Editorial Notebook: Imagine a Yosemite with Hetch Hetchy open to all again
 
Revived after a few years of dormancy, advocates are girding for a new campaign to restore the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park. 
 
Flooded by a dam and reservoir in 1923 to provide storage for San Francisco's Tuolumne River water supply, the Hetch Hetchy Valley sits 300 feet under water.
 
Over the years, proposals have surfaced to reverse this quirk of history that has given one city the right to store water in a national park. Seven major studies since the 1980s have said Hetch Hetchy Valley could be restored without adversely impacting San Francisco's water supply.
The issue has resurfaced now because an advocacy organization, Restore Hetch Hetchy, is preparing to collect signatures and place an initiative on the San Francisco city ballot in November 2012. The organization believes either Congress can vote to restore Hetch Hetchy Valley, or San Francisco can vote to return the valley to the National Park Service.
 
So when Restore Hetch Hetchy offered a fact-finding trip to journalists, I jumped on it.
 
Since the 1913 Raker Act, San Francisco has had a special deal granted to no other city in the United States - a dam and reservoir in the middle of a national park that belongs to all of the American people.
 
With that special deal come significant restrictions on public use - limited hours and absolutely no touching creeks, rivers and waterfalls within one mile of the reservoir, which itself is eight miles long. No other national park has such a rule.
 
San Francisco also has a private chalet overlooking the reservoir, a legendary after-hours wining and dining site when the park entrance gate is locked.
 
On this trip, we camped 6.5 miles from the dam at Rancheria Falls, which tumble down a creek to the reservoir. We were not allowed the touch the creek, except to filter drinking water. No wading or swimming, of course.
 
We hiked to Tiltill Valley, with its shoulder-high grasses and profusion of wildflowers, butterflies and birds, allowing us to imagine on a small scale what a restored Hetch Hetchy Valley might look like. The reservoir, in contrast, is a "biological desert," notes Mark Cederborg, a restoration expert.
 
The crux of the matter is that a reservoir at Hetch Hetchy is not necessary. People have noted since 1891 that other storage possibilities exist with capacity equaling the Hetch Hetchy reservoir.
 
Critics of the dam proposal predicted in the early 1900s the result of flooding the valley to store San Francisco water: Not only would people be excluded from the flooded valley but from the Tuolumne River watershed in order to avoid contamination.
 
Century Magazine editor Robert Underwood Johnson testified in 1909, "so you sequestrate not only the land of the lake itself, but you sequestrate immense areas around it."
 
Harriet Monroe, a poet and member of the Chicago Geographical Society, described walking for miles "single file, through a faint trail between flowery grasses shoulder high" and camping "under the straight granite column of Kolana - a camp shadowed by great pines and firs and cedars, beside the beautiful Tuolumne."
 
That winding river she described as "turning back upon its course, tangling itself into S's and M's, as if it were loath to leave so beautiful a valley."
 
Her description matches the photo you see. Today two-thirds of it is under water. It doesn't have to be that way. Draining the reservoir and restoring the valley is feasible.
 
Monroe asked the right question in 1909 and we should ask it again: "What right has a single city to absorb the property of the nation?"

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=xlzhtucab&v=001BVj8qibBdX3CQqZZ-UG9FHp1DmHbyboPPR6cVQ-60251zDb1XJoZSPKAs85ENe08a_rYcm65VjqWX6Ym4g5v_da3gQoqNTrKlancaUUkceNsaO3a2aFvSFy0HARDQmDvGlT5ycjcHto82kWK4aTCnH3KxHIJzMBHK2uI3ycxd4YzvYjX1dTQBHNRV8g52May4mDbmtBHRGtX1cI7tqe6tdaCyUS6B8ga6qrMrrO_PmLNmRgAuHB7BzlgkaFbyfQiUkqLB9PNR0jwDBmvoTEsUw%3D%3D

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4.  From GGNRA:

The complete file of public comments on the GGNRA draft Dog Management Plan/EIS has been posted on the park website.  It's accessible from the main page:
http://www.nps.gov/goga/index.htm  and from the Dog Management page:  http://www.nps.gov/goga/parkmgmt/dog-management.htm    

It's a pdf file, and although large, should be relatively fast to download.

There's also an updated project schedule on the Dog Management page, for info on the steps still ahead.

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5.
Cal-IPC 2011 Photo Contest!   


Yellow starthistle, Mt. Diable St. Park, Cyndy Shafer
 
Questions?  Email Bree at breemerr@yahoo.com or call 650.291.5053

Entries due Monday, September 5
 
Cal-IPC's outreach and education efforts rely heavily on photography to show people the devastating impacts weeds have on our natural communities. The great pictures our members share help us convey our message.
 
By participating in the annual photo contest, you help us spread the word about the impact of  invasive plants.
 
Plus, you could WIN Symposium Favorite! 

Entries will be displayed at the 
2011 Cal-IPC Symposium in Tahoe City, October 5-7.  
Symposium attendees will vote for "Best in Show." 
 

Click here for complete 2011 Photo Contest details.  
Register for the Symposium here. 
 
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6.  Planning and Conservation League

HOT BILLS TO TRACK IN LAST MONTH OF SESSION

On August 15th the Legislature reconvenes and the following PCL-priority bills are heading to the Appropriations Committee, likely the last stop before being heard on the floor. 

AB 1178 (Ma) is a bill designed to prevent local governments from restricting the importation of solid waste into their jurisdiction. Cities and counties would be unable to control the size, location and operation of landfills. AB 1178 provides incentives for landfills at a time when California should be developing strategies to reduce, recycle and divert solid waste in California. PCL opposes this bill, which prioritizes special interests at the expense of California’s environment and communities. 


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7.  LTE, Guardian Weekly
The dulling of husbandry

"Neither a borrower nor a lender be
For loan oft loses both itself and friend
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry". 
Polonius's advice to Laertes in Hamlet epitomises the dilemma of burgeoning personal and national debts in modern capitalist societies. Timothy Garton Ash refers to the US and EU as twin competitors in decadence, divided by ideology and nationalism and teetering on the edge of dollargeddon and eurogeddon, with politicians "dancing like drunkards along the cliff edge of default" 

At the individual level, egged on by a powerful advertising industry and credit cards from usurious banks, our fetish for rampant consumerism urges us to buy goods we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like. At the national level it is symbolic that debts sometimes exceed GDP.

The US Republican and Tea Parties, champions of the very rich becoming ultra-rich, undermine the country's responsibilities towards reducing social inequities at home and any leadership role in addressing global inequality.

Neither side of US politics has the bottle to reduce substantially the profligate spending on wasteful "defence capability" and arms exports, which accelerate political instability, particularly in the Middle East.

Winston Churchill said that democracy was a poor form of government, but that the alternatives are even worse. Liberal democracy has its virtues, but sustainability at the personal and planetary levels will need to address Polonius's call for husbandry by living within our means. Historically, Britain and the US have been champions of freedom, but survival will require elevating responsibilities to the same level as rights.

Bryan Furnass, Canberra, Australia


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8.  "Science unleavened by the human heart and the human spirit is sterile, cold and self-absorbed."
Brandeis University biochemist Gregory A. Petsko on the University of Albany's decision to cut humanities programs due to budget cuts.  His letter was the most viewed paper on the biomedcentral.com in the last year.  Scientific American April 2011

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9.  The Economist

This week our cover leader looks at the chances of a double-dip recession in America, which have risen sharply following some grim economic figures and the lousy debt deal. There was a simple bargain to be struck: keep up spending in the short term in exchange for a big medium-term reduction in the deficit. Congress did precisely the opposite, failing to support a weak economy now and failing to find enough cuts over the next decade to improve the fiscal position. America has the world's most innovative businesspeople, but its useless politicians could yet turn an inevitable period of hardship into longer-term stagnation. 

The debt deal - Republicans are the clear winner from this deal and the economy is the loser
The Keynesian debate is far from settled
Budget brinkmanship in a conservative America
The absence of leadership in the West is frightening—and also rather familiar


"If something cannot go on forever, it will stop."	Economist Herb Stein


"You are not here to tell me what to do.  You are here to tell me why I have done what I have already decided to do."
   Montagu Norman, Bank of England governor (1920-44), to his economic adviser.

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11.  Interested Blue Greenway Stakeholders,

The Port is extending the public comment period on the Draft Blue Greenway Planning and Design Guidelines until August 31st. If you have not submitted
comments and would like to, please get them to David Beaupre as soon as possible but no later than August 31st. The next presentation on the draft Blue Greenway Planning and Design Guidelines will be at the Port’s Southern Waterfront Advisory Committee (SWAC) on August 17, 2011 between 6:00 - 8:00 PM at the Eco Center at Heron’s Head Park, located at the terminus of Cargo Way.

The following are links for:
Draft Planning and Design Guidelines
http://www.sf-port.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=1907

Recent Blue Greenway Presentations and other background information:
http://www.sfport.com/bluegreenway

Recent Port Commission Staff Report on Blue Greenway Planning and Design
Guidelines:
http://www.sfport.com/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=1917

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12.  Mark your calendar to join us Sunday, August 14th, at 2 pm in the Sunnyside Conservatory for a live performance by Temescal String Quartet.  Details and tickets at www.sunnysideconservatory.org/welcome-join-us-at-our-upcoming-event   
 
Remember to show the Conservatory plantings some love.  Mark your calendar to join us for a Conservatory Garden Workday on Saturday, August 20th, from 9 am - 12 noon, and make the grounds look like new. We will have a gardener to guide us.

www.sunnysideconservatory.org

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13.  Peter Berg, Founder of Planet Drum, died July 28

Peter Stephen Berg 
October 1, 2011 -- July 28, 20111

Or will die in 18,100 years.  And, come to think of it, he evidently hasn't been born yet.

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14.  Alice Polesky:
Hackers hone the skills at the Defcon conference in Las Vegas. Interesting info, but I thought the implications were even more intriguing, especially about the contest about hacking into a voting machine in less than five minutes:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/06/defcon-hacker-conference-_n_920045.html

(I have a nephew in Montana who refuses to have a computer, cell phone, credit card, or anything that has potential to invade his privacy.  JS)

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15.  Astro picture:  http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

...the graceful concentric star trails were expected, along with light from a late rising Moon glinting on windows. Still, as he slept on the warm night a blizzard of yellow streaks flooded the scene, not left by fairies but fireflies.   

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16.  Invisible giant
Chongquing is the fastest-growing urban centre on the planet--a megalopolis few of us have heard of.  And yet outside China, its name barely registers.

[JS comment:  I remember shortly after the war reading about the two largest cities in the world:  Tokyo and New York City, each approximately 7 million people.  This was subsequently passed by several cities:  Mexico City, Los Angeles, Osaka, Kolkata, and many others.  About five years ago I was startled to hear that Chongquing was 16 million.  I wondered how it could do this without anyone noticing, outside China.  It is now (as of 2006) the world's biggest municipality, with 31 million residents--more people than Iraq, Peru, or Malaysia.]

Chongquing is trying to clean up, but this is a low priority compared with economic growth.  The mega-city's rubbish mega-pits is an awesome sight; a giant reservoir of garbage more than 30 metres deep and stretching over 350,000 square metres.

The waste engineer says the city produces 3500 tons of junk every day.  None of it is recycled.  Some is burned.  Here it is layered like lasagne:  six metres of rubbish, half a metre of earth, a chemical treatment and then a huge black sheet of high-density polyethylene lining.  "Once it is finished we will build a golf course on top," he says.  [JS:  And much of the sewage is dumped untreated into the Yangtze, at the head of the Three Gorges Dam reservoir.]

Excerpted, adapted, and augmented from Guardian Weekly 24-30 March 2006


Don't speak to me of shortage.  My world is vast and has more than enough--for no more than enough.  There is a shortage of nothing, save will and wisdom; but there is a longage of people. Garrett Hardin

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17.  Wild & Weird: Elk Saves Life of Drowning Marmot

He may not be a Baywatch babe, but one Idaho elk makes a heck of a lifeguard.

When a marmot at the Pocatello Zoo fell into a water trough last week, a towering elk named Shooter came to the rescue. Before then, Shooter had a bit of a prickly reputation -- he's punctured car tires with his antlers -- and was known to be on the aggressive side. But when the marmot ran into trouble in the trough, zookeepers watched in astonishment as the giant elk took the tiny marmot in his mouth and set it down on the ground. He even prodded the furry critter with his hoof as if to make sure it was OK. "We all know he's a real character," said one zoo staffer, "but I think he must have a soft side we didn't know about."

Read more in the Daily Mail and watch an ABC newscast showing photos of the incident.


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18.  Notes & Queries, Guardian Weekly

It's animal magnetism

Do any animals use artificial means to make themselves look more attractive? 

Botox, hair tint, nail polish, tuck-ins, silicone implants, nose jobs, penis enlargers (at least in theory).

Need I continue and identify this animal?

Paul Broady, Christchurch, New Zealand

• Party animals.

Ted Webber, Buderim, Queensland, Australia

• In Australia we have a species of termite that builds magnetic anthills.

Ralph Orwell, Sydney, Australia

• Well, I've got 40 bottles of nail varnish, and I only seem to attract gorillas.

Susan Irwin, Oldenburg, Germany

For updates and info, contact scott at planttrees dot org.