This newsletter is posted at http://naturenewssf.blogspot.com/ the same day it is emailed to recipients.
To unsubscribe, put UNSUBSCRIBE in Subject field
1. Golden Gate Park - various items of interest
2. Help ensure Drake's Estero receives its full wilderness protection
3. Growing Natives Symposium - Saturday Sept 17 in Lafayette
4. I want it to be said I wasted hours feeling absolutely useless
5. LTEs: natural gas isn't cleaner/methyl iodide is a loser/et al
6. Top 10 reasons schools should not dissect frogs
7. Multi-media database contains a wealth of information about most endangered species
8. GGNRA draft dog mgt plan adds public comment demographics report
9. Proposed parking fee at Crissy Field
11. Warren Buffett the socialist
12. Orchids and carnivorous plants Sept 17-18 in GGP
13. Wordsmith.org: A word a day keeps boredom away
14. Note from a Sierra backpacker about the wildflowers
15. Advertisers will never help ensure that your children eat healthily
16. Notes & Queries: What and where is heaven?
1. TO ALL SUPPORTERS OF GOLDEN GATE PARK:
1. Sunday, August 28th - SF Ocean Edge volunteers meeting, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. (4:30 to be in a video)
2. Sunday, September 11th - Hand out flyers at Sunday Streets – these events are fun! Join us to outreach at various events!
3. Synthetic Turf Threatens San Francisco's Natural Fields, Potrero View newspaper, August 2011.
4. Sunshine Complaint hearing, September 13th – Wooding vs. the Department of Recreation and Park .
5. Find out why Rec and Park tried to cancel the Commonwealth Club panel discussion. Watch the new video!
6. We are on SF Ocean Edge Facebook - click on Like, and ask your friends to become fans, too!
7. Draft EIR schedule for late September; we are now raising funding $$$$ for legal fees. Contribute today!
1. SF Ocean Edge Volunteers meeting:
Sunday, August 28th, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. , 1243 42nd Avenue, Lincoln & Irving
Learn what’s going on and what you can do to help. Enjoy great snacks! (Bring great snacks!) The home-made chocolate chip cookies are especially popular . . . Come early (4:30) to talk about your concerns for Golden Gate Park in a video.
2. Join us at Sunday Streets! This is FUN!
Sunday, September 11th, 11:00 to 4:00. Western Addition. These events are the most fun – meet lots of people who love our parks, let them know what they can do to protect Golden Gate Park. Contact us for our table location. We had a great time at Civic Center Sunday Streets.
Give out fliers at other events! Can’t come to a scheduled event? Need exercise? Interested in getting to know the neighborhood? Join us in distributing leaflets!
3. “Synthetic Turf Threatens San Francisco’s Natural Fields,” Potrero View, August 2011
The residents of Potrero Hill fought and won against artificial turf in their park. Read more about this controversy at: http://www.potreroview.net/news10608.html
4. Sunshine Complaint Order of Determination:
The Sunshine Ordinance Task Force has supported George Wooding’s Sunshine Complaint against the Recreation and Park Department. Wooding was refused access to emails sent by RPD, in which RPD tried to first cancel and then control the content of the Commonwealth Club Panel, “Golden Gate Park Under Siege.” The Task Force has ordered Rec and Park to appear at its September 13th meeting and to produce the required communications.
5. Why did Rec and Park try to have this panel cancelled?
Watch the panel discussion video and learn why Rec and Park tried to control and cancel this panel:
6. SF Ocean Edge now has a fan page on Facebook!
Become a fan - Type in SF Ocean Edge Facebook, click on Like! Ask your friends to also become fans!
7. Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) and donations needed!
This all-important report has been postponed until late September. We will keep you posted. We are now raising funding for EIR legal fees and related expenses. See our website for various ways you can donate to protect Golden Gate Park! www.sfoceanedge.org
2. Ensure that Drakes Estero, the marine wildlife sanctuary of Point Reyes National Seashore, receives its intended full Wilderness designation in 2012. The key obstacle to the realization of the West Coast’s only marine wilderness is the Drakes Bay Oyster Company (DBOC), which along with the shellfish industry, continues to lobby and wage a public relations campaign to continue their industrial operation in the estuary after their non-renewable rights expire in November 2012.
Federal law is wholly on the side of Drakes Estero becoming a marine Wilderness upon DBOC’s terminable rights expiring. The Environmental Action Committee of West Marin (EAC) and the National Parks and Conservation Association (NPCA) have continued to work tirelessly with our conservation partners to counteract DBOC's campaign to overturn this wilderness designation.
In the next four to eight weeks, the National Park Service (NPS) will release its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) which is the study and environmental review of whether to permit the commercial oyster operation for 10 more years. This whole process is the result of a toxic “rider” (by Senator Dianne Feinstein) that was attached to the FY09 Appropriations bill that stripped NPS’ mandate to terminate oyster operations after the rights expire in 2012, and instead made the decision discretionary for Interior Secretary Salazar.
The NPS completed “scoping” earlier this year and the results were very favorable: 77% of commenters supported wilderness protection over commercialization of wilderness! Comments from across the state and country demonstrate national interest and support for marine wilderness protection. No doubt those opposing wilderness designation will be working to increase their support when the Draft EIS comes out, and that is where you can help. The EIS webpage is here: http://www.nps.gov/pore/parkmgmt/planning_dboc_sup.htm
For background information on the battle to preserve this precious Wilderness, visit: www.savedrakesbay.org.
(Message from Environmental Action Committee of West Marin, edited and augmented.)
3. Can native plants in the garden enhance its aesthetic value? Can a native plant garden look attractive in every season? How? Learn from the professionals -- come to the Growing Natives Symposium Sat, Sep 17 in Lafayette for a day-long series of talks from knowledgeable practitioners in the field. Then supplement your knowledge with workshops, tours, and plant sales on Sun, Sep 18 at Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Berkeley.
Registration is currently open at http://gns.cnps-scv.org . Members of sponsoring organizations receive discounts. Details below; please spread the word.
A two-day symposium titled “Growing Natives: Inspiring & Enduring Gardens” is being offered on Saturday & Sunday, September 17 & 18, 2011 in Lafayette and Berkeley. Designing, installing, and maintaining native plant gardens of lasting value is the theme of this symposium aimed at professionals, home gardeners, and native plant enthusiasts.
The Saturday program at the Lafayette Community Center, 500 St Mary's Road, Lafayette includes presentations on garden design by author Carol Bornstein, formerly of Santa Barbara Botanic Garden; site preparation by landscape professional Deva Luna; sourcing native plants by Michael Craib of Suncrest Nurseries; case study of a 40-year-old native plant garden by landscape professional Luke Hass; maintenance tips by nurseryman and author David Fross; and a panel discussion and Q&A. The Saturday program includes a continental breakfast and lunch. A selection of books will be available for purchase.
The Sunday program at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden, Wildcat Canyon Road, Berkeley offers five concurrent workshops over two time slots: container gardening by Pete Veilleux, wildlife gardening by Don Mahoney, plants for dry shade by Katherine Greenberg (SOLD OUT), rockeries in native plant gardens by Stephen Edwards, and aesthetic pruning by Jocelyn Cohen. Participants are invited to bring a picnic lunch, and stay for afternoon plant sales and docented tours at two locations: Regional Parks Botanic Garden as well as Native Here Nursery, 101 Golf Course Road, Berkeley.
The symposium is presented by California Native Plant Society (cnps.org), Friends of Regional Parks Botanic Garden (nativeplants.org), and Pacific Horticulture (pacifichorticulture.org). Members and subscribers of the presenting organizations receive a discount on registration fees. Major sponsors are EBMUD, Bay Area Water Supply & Conservation Agency, and Contra Costa Clean Water Program. Space is limited and early registration is recommended. For more information and to register, visit http://gns.cnps-scv.org.
Looking out the window at the trees
and counting the leaves,
listening to a voice within
that tells me nothing is perfect
so why bother to try, I am thief
of my own time. When I die
I want it to be said that I wasted
hours in feeling absolutely useless
and enjoyed it, sensing my life
more strongly than when I worked at it.
Now I know myself from a stone
or a sledgehammer.
~ David Ignatow ~
(New and Collected Poems, 1970-1985)
5. LTEs, High Country News
... it drove me nuts to read this in one of the sidebars: "However, if greenhouse gases are reduced, coal production will flatten, as cleaner natural gas becomes more important both domestically and abroad."
Especially considering the equally excellent article on fracking you just published, HCN should know that natural gas is not cleaner. It may burn cleaner, but the extraction process is becoming our worst nightmare. The words "cleaner natural gas" should be banished forever, along with the equally false "clean coal."
Quite frankly, I'm concerned about climate change, air pollution, mercury in our water, and the contamination of our wells and aquifers by hydraulic fracturing. However, unless one is unlucky enough to be killed in a natural disaster you can pin on global warming, climate change is generally something we can adapt to, as it is happening gradually. Meanwhile, air pollution and mercury pollution caused by coal burning will both clear up rapidly if you stop burning coal. But the contamination that is now spreading in our aquifers, as hundreds of secret chemicals are injected underground during the fracking process, will cause disease and death for decades. And nobody has a clue how to clean it up. So, please, don't ever use that term again. Natural gas isn't cleaner at all.
Los Angeles, California
Kudos to Jonathan Thompson for bringing attention to the growing plunder of Western resources by multinational corporations. Not only are rare minerals being extracted at a record rate, more importantly, irreplaceable wilderness areas are being devastated in the process. And what about those American corporations that shamelessly violate and destroy our precious public lands all in the name of profit? At the end of the day, it matters little whether the company that levels a forest, dams up a river, or eviscerates a whole mountainside has its headquarters in Shanghai, Toronto or Denver.
Chinese demand is also bad news for wildlife. In Africa, thousands of Chinese are building railroads, highways and other projects while illegally exporting ivory. Elephants are being butchered in the thousands to meet this demand. In Russia, the Chinese will pay $50,000 for one dead, rare Siberian tiger. Apparently, they value tiger parts like bones and skins. Will the next export to China be gall bladders from dead Wyoming grizzly bears?
Blue River, Oregon
Your article "Fumigant fight" points out that, "without an effective replacement (for methyl bromide), growers could face lower yields, costing an estimated $100 million per year".
However, the purchase and application of methyl iodide is not free. Farmers are interested in net profitability, not merely revenues. Perhaps, the real negative impact on pre-tax profits of farmers not using methyl iodide is even less.
Of course, let's not forget the well-being of farmworkers and nearby residents. What of their health and peace of mind? What about cost for treating them for potentially related illnesses? The risk-reward ratio is appalling.
Methyl iodide is a loser -- a dangerous loser.
6. Top 10 Reasons Schools Should Not Dissect Frogs
Please help us get frog dissections out of every public school in the USA by 2014: ask your teachers to switch to virtual software dissections!
1. Frogs are the most rapidly disappearing group of animals on the planet.
2. Most frogs being dissected are taken out of the wild.
3. Farm-raised frogs have high rates of infectious diseases.
4. Excellent digital dissection software exists.
5. Few students have any need to know what the inside of a frog looks like.
6. If a student plans to be a doctor they can dissect cadavers in med school
7. Unnecessarily killing an animal is unethical and teaches students that animals are disposable.
8. Students’ time would be better spent learning about the threats frogs face and ways students can help protect amphibian populations.
9. Students should not be forced to be unwitting accomplices in the extinction of frog species.
10. Abandoning your school’s dissection program sends a strong signal that you support worldwide amphibian conservation efforts.
FROG DISSECTIONS ARE UNETHICAL AND UNNECESSARY.
7. Created by some of the world's best filmmakers, photographers, conservationists, and scientists, ARKive is an ever-expanding multi-media database that contains a wealth of information about the world's most endangered species. Animal, plant, and fungus lovers can explore the site by zooming in on specific classes (mammals, reptiles, etc.), eco-regions (such as South America’s Atlantic forest), continents, and countries. A Google Earth interface helps users learn about threatened marine species, and the site’s educational resource pages are geared toward specific age groups (starting with preteens). But wherever you land, you’re sure to see a wealth of images and videos—each of which serves as a reminder of how much we stand to lose by letting any one of these species disappear.
8. Golden Gate National Recreation Area Draft Dog Management Plan
Hello all - in response to requests from the public, we've added a public comment demographics report to the park's web site. The report lists the Correspondence ID number for each public comment, along with the name, city, state and zip code of the commenter, except in those cases where the commenter opted to keep their name and/or address private. That report is at: http://www.nps.gov/goga/deis.htm
As before, the project status and schedule is at: http://www.nps.gov/goga/parkmgmt/dog-management.htm
9. Open for Public Comment (Comment period extended to September 23, 2011)
Proposed Parking Fee at West Bluff Area Crissy Field
Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) is requesting public comments on a proposed parking fee in the West Crissy Field area, in Presidio Area A - the portion of the Presidio managed by the National Park Service (NPS). The NPS proposes to implement fee parking at the West Bluff and Battery East parking lots at the same time as the Presidio Trust (Trust) fee parking is implemented in their adjacent lots at West Crissy Field, in Area B - the area of the Presidio managed by the Trust.
Public comments must be received by September 23 and may be submitted in any of the following ways:
online at the Planning, Environment and Public Comment website
In writing at the upcoming public meeting
August 30, 4:30-6:30 pm
Crissy Center at 1199 East Beach
(near Mason and Lyon Streets). Click highlighted text for map and directions
Send written comments to:
ATTN: Fee Parking Proposal
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Building 201 Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA 94123
Visit the project website for more information
Hi Jake, Enjoying the coverage of the Central Subway issue. But the last sentence puzzled me, and then alarmed me a little.
Can that survive a hydrosulfuric acid bath?
Sounds like a non-sequitur, and a little bit of a weird one – frankly, violent. I’m sure that’s not what you intended…
No, that's not what I intended. At mention of "Congressional etiquette" I meant to refer to the toxic atmosphere that characterizes politics today, especially in Congress--and sulfuric acid was the most toxic word that came to mind-- a good choice of words for the atmosphere in Congress, but not as it came across to some. Thanks.
Larry Brown (in email to San Francisco Bicycle Coalition):
Absent from the questions in the SFBC mayoral preference survey is the 800-pound gorilla -- namely the Central Subway project. Continuing the project would suck huge amounts of capital from the SFMTA's and the City's budgets forcing other groups to scramble for the leftovers. I can only imagine that bike improvements would suffer.
As I'm sure you know there's a lot of growing opposition to the Central Subway including the civil grand jury. The problems with it are so blatant and numerous that it's instructive on how narrow political interests can thwart the public good. Do you remember the expensive BART-to-the-International-Terminal controversy that its prime political backer, Quentin Kopp, later claimed to regret -- after over a billion dollars in extra costs?
This is one of those signature political endeavors that affect other programs for years. Also like the Big Dig boondoggle in Boston and the bridge to nowhere in Alaska.
I spoke to Supe Avalos in the panhandle on my bike ride home from work. He said he hated each time he voted for it. ooooooohhhhh ... poor boy. Personable hack. SFBC should have prospective mayors come clean.
Hi Jake, A number of the street light designs in that survey are very glary and/or shine a lot of uplight and trespassing light. Others looks like they do a reasonably good job at glare and uplight control.
I wrote up a detailed review of the various designs in the survey which I can send you if you're interested.
One wonders why SFPUC is considering adding ever more 'pedestrian scale' lighting when San Francisco already has such a superabundance of artificial light at night from existing street lights, and from floodlights installed by property owners, businesses, etc.
It seems like people are never satisfied with existing ambient outdoor lighting levels, and always want to keep ratcheting them up, and keep increasing light pollution and energy usage in the process.
People can email me if they would like a copy of my review of the various designs shown in the survey. Dave Goggin
The survey also fails to ask whether we care about energy conservation or the pollution of the night sky. It only asks about the looks of the fixtures. A tad insulting, perhaps? Folks might want to consider boycotting the survey and sending their thoughts directly to the PUC. Maybe it could narrow the choices to those that are environmentally sound and then ask us about appearances.
Jake - Cats are among those who are known to predate birds, but they aren't the only major one. THE BIRDER'S HANDBOOK, A Field Guide to The Natural History of North American Birds, by Paul R. Ehrlich and two others, include many causes. (See particularly page 497, but also thirty+ other relevant pages. Blue Jays, American Crows and Common Grackle, have benefited greatly from other human-induced changes in the landscape. "High losses of songbird eggs in suburban areas are doubtless due to the abundance there not just of nest-robbing birds, but of dogs, cats, rats, raccoons and gray squirrels, as well." Another bird biologist says in the same book "Classically rats, ground squirrels, foxes, coyotes and other mammals have been recognized as important predators of the eggs of birds that nest on the ground." Earlier reading implies that a major cause is of forest fragmentation caused by human population growth -- and the homes served in them.
Cats left outside at night become fodder themselves. Once I walked along a road in an area in Wildcat Canyon (on the other side of the hills behind East Richmond, Kensington, El Cerrito and Berkeley) and noticed heads of cats scattered in a ditch. On the way home I counted 15 heads! Coyotes are the culprits. They must have come in a pack on a recent night.
Jake - Again, wonderful.
Regarding bird – wrens, finches – I noticed very few birds this year, later than usual and very few if any finches. I live in Point Richmond. (Cats are not the issue here – my very old large cat guards the yard. She can’t catch the birds, and she won’t let any other cat near them !)
I’ve been listening to KDFC since High School (when it also shared the KIBE call letters) I played first violin in the Redwood City District Symphony. But there is a BIG PROBLEM getting KDFC in the East Bay on either of their frequencies. It’s a real drag. I wish they would fix the problem.
Still, I listen to it all the time when I can actually get a signal.
(from JS) I skimmed through the four articles and for the most part I largely agree with Krugman.... Krugman talks about the 1930s. It will probably be much worse than that. For one thing, in the 1930s most people raised their own food. (Our family of ten did; we bought only things like salt and sugar.) Few people can raise their own food today.
When we see a bazillion dollars going to war, homeland-security, etc. it seems reasonable to think all that surplus money could be better spent to directly make better lives for our citizens. Farmers know how to whine and receive subsidies. Why not liberals? All we want is reasonable lives for everyone. Compassion for all. but...
How, I wonder, could the economic system be structured so that people could lead reasonable lives? Certainly not by growing 6% a year ad infinitum. Certainly not given our hard-wired brains. Communism, the French Revolution. When financial "experts" say, "-when we get out of this mess", as if we still had the resources we did back in the 20th century, it doesn't give me hope. Now I worry how my grandchild will survive, selfishly - more than I do the millions of dying children in Africa. How should she be raised? Can compassion and survival coexist in her future? Should we make her as happy as possible for the time we can give it to her? And drat it! What about MY pension?
I don't think Krugman has a duplicitous mind, though perhaps everyone's mind is at the deepest levels. I'm glad we can't read each others' minds.
Have you read of the new economists who study human behavior? Maybe some reality creeping in. Some of it creepy.
Van Gogh vs Gauguin. The liberal loses an ear to Gauguin's ruthless sword! (New Yorker).
Uh-oh - here comes that grandchild!
Your use of the word duplicitous interested me. I hadn't thought of people like Krugman, Obama, or anyone in responsible positions withholding their true view of the situation because telling it like it is could have ruinous consequences--vs saying what they really think is the situation. I hadn't thought of that as being duplicitous, which means deceitful.
11. Warren Buffett the socialist:
To get you laughing:
Excellent Jon Stewart moment (tiny article and 5 minute long video)
12. I’d appreciate it if you could send out a notice of the upcoming orchid and carnivorous plant show in your e-bulletin that you send out to lots of people interested in plants and biology.
Orchids in the Park, September 17-18, SF County Fair Building 9th Avenue and Lincoln Way, San Franicisco. 10 am-5 pm. For more information:http://www.orchidsanfrancisco.org/orchidsinthepark.html
13. Wordsmith.org - What They Say
“The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace.” The New York Times
“A cyberphenomenon reaching about 500,000 people in some 210 countries.” Reader's Digest
“A Word A Day keeps boredom away.” The Wall Street Journal
“A truly globe-circling cyber-phenomenon.” Smithsonian
14. Note from a reader:
BTW--the Sierra is at its most beautiful this year with its huge snowpack, sparkling waters and fields of flowers--a reminder after years of drought of how vital and precious bounteous water is. With global warming, we will eventually have less and less snowpack, which means increasing drought conditions for California. We will look back upon years like this with regret and longing as time goes by. There is an interesting book in the Galen Rowell gallery in Bishop about The Changing Range of Light about the impact of global warming on the Eastern Sierra. I encourage everyone to get up there and see it and wonder and ask themselves again whether this is all worth losing for flush toilets and a quicker commute to work.
15. Resisting the supermarket tantrum – and the flirty cartoon cow
Advertisers will never help ensure that your children eat healthily
Food companies and commercial broadcasters are never going to help you in your quest to stop your child's demands for junk. Got a child? Then you've almost certainly got a traitor in your shopping trolley, a nutritional fifth columnist out to scupper all your dietary intentions through a chilling nagging campaign.
First three sentences from comment article in Guardian Weekly
16. Notes & Queries, Guardian Weekly
What and where is heaven
It is where we are healthy and happy and all whom we have loved and lost are with us. You can't see it, but when you are in the woods and look into the trees to the point where you can no longer see through those trees, it is just on the other side.
Doreen Forney, Pownal, Vermont, US
• Since it is traditionally considered to be a posthumous state, I don't think I want to know for a while.
Joan Dawson, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
• Heaven knows, but I will report back to you when I get there. In the meantime Cottesloe Beach down the road comes pretty close!
Margaret Wilkes, Perth, Western Australia
• For a jersey cow, it is in spring pasture on a Taranaki hill slope. The tapeworm inside the cow is in warm, black paradise and the blowfly just loves sucking up fresh cowpat.
Theo Wilms, New Plymouth, New Zealand
• It's entirely age dependent. As a child it might be that first bicycle. As a teenager, it might be that first sexual encounter. As an adult, it might be the birth of that first child. As a grandparent, it's definitely the immediate feeling of peace and relief when the grandchildren go home!
Terence Rowell, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
• Heaven is an afterlife version of Friends Reunited for the pious. It is in your dreams.
Alan Williams-Key, Madrid, Spain
• 1 across, and hell is 1 down.
Jack Palmer, Canberra, Australia
• I can tell you when hell freezes over.
Jaap Rinzema, Emmen, The Netherlands
• An imaginary place, belief in which makes us more accepting of wrongs in the real world.
Nigel Grinter, Chicago, Illinois, US
I seem to be caught short
What makes us cross our legs when we sit?
To protect our most valued bits.
Lynne Calder, Fort Bragg, California, US
• Bladder pressure.
Ian Carter, Auckland, New Zealand
• Personally, it all depends on whether I am wearing a skirt or trousers.
John Willmer, Cortland, New York, US
• Confidence – that falling over is unlikely!
Andrew Hardman, Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire, UK
Any age, if it's not over 29
According to Shakespeare, man has seven ages. How many ages do women have and what are they?
Baby, child, girl, young woman, young woman, young woman, young woman.
Muiris de Bhulbh, Kildare, Ireland
• Women have the same ages as men up until about 29 years of age, after which the data become less reliable.
Kevin Peterson, Antwerp, Belgium
• Spending ages in the bathroom must come very close to top of the list.
David Tucker, Halle, Germany
Who has the time anyway?
When and where did ironing originate?
In a land that had yet to discover iPodding and iPadding.
Chris Grannell, Melbourne, Australia
Are cats ever allergic to humans?
William Emigh, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada