Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way. -Martin Luther King Jr
1. Speak out for wildlife in the GGNRA this Thursday
2. Field trips, GG Audubon and SF Nature Education
3. Becoming a Biodiversity City Feb 5
4. Soil is foundation on which biodiversity is built; without robust soil ecosystems, the world's food web would be in trouble
5. David Shumate regrets he won’t be around a hundred years from now...do you still have horses?
6. Presidio PX Commissary site
7. UCSF Long Range Development Plan workshop #3 Feb 11
8. Governor Jerry Brown Captures Cold, Dead Fish Award for 2013
9. SFPUC wants your opinion on newest LED street lights
10. Birthdays today: Thomas Paine, Edward Abbey, Anton Chekhov
12. Edward Abbey, some of his thoughts
13. Feedback: John Dobson, drought, Parkmerced and Muni M line
14. Bill Gates on poverty. Fat lot he knows about it
1. Action Alert:
SPEAK OUT FOR WILDLIFE IN THE GGNRA THIS THURSDAY!
Rep. Jackie Speier is holding a forum on Thursday about new dog management policies in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Make your voice heard for the safety and protection of wildlife!
Please join Golden Gate Audubon Executive Director Mike Lynes this Thursday from 8:30 to 10:00 am for a public forum on the Golden Gate National Recreation Area's draft Dog Management Plan hosted by Congresswoman Jackie Speier.
This is your chance to speak directly to representatives of the GGNRA and Congresswoman Speier about your concerns over how we balance the needs of recreational uses and wildlife in the GGNRA.
It's important that we have a visible presence of people who care about protecting birds and wildlife! Every additional attendee makes a difference.
The GGNRA will be accepting formal comments on its plan after the panel presentation.
When: Thursday, January 30th from 8:30 am -10:00 am
Where: Stern Grove Trocadero Clubhouse, 2750 19th Avenue, San Francisco. (Shuttles from 19th Ave. will be available.)
RSVP: Contact Samantha Roxas at (650)342-0300 or signup online at speier.house.gov.
• Congresswoman Jackie Speier
• GGNRA Superintendent Frank Dean
• SF Supervisor Scott Wiener
• Howard Levitt, National Park Service
• Marlene Finley, Director of San Mateo County Parks
• Phil Ginsburg, General Manager of San Francisco Recreation and Parks
• Neal Desai, Field Director of National Parks Conservation Association
• Mike Lynes, Golden Gate Audubon Society
• Bob Planthold, Disability Access Advocate
• Martha Walters, Crissy Field Dog Group
Attendees will be able to formally submit comments to the National Park Service immediately after the forum.
Want more information on the proposed Dog Management Policies? See our blog at http://www.goldengateaudubon.org/blog-posts/speak-up-for-wildlife-in-the-ggnra/.
Dog chasing Great Blue Heron at Crissy Field in the GGNRA
"To know and not to act is not yet to know." -- Philosophy from Japan
SF Nature Education Field Trips: http://www.sfnature.org/programs/calendar.html
Golden Gate Audubon Society February field trips
Becoming a Biodiversity City
Wed. February 5, 7:30 pm
Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics
518 Valencia, near 16th Street
As Biophilic Cities are becoming a part of international consciousness, urban spaces are adding green roofs and elevated walking paths that traverse urban canopies, even daylighting creeks. How does San Francisco fit into all this? Could San Francisco officially become the "City of Biodiversity"? Do we use the great work done by other cities as inspiration to celebrate our relationship with the natural world or in friendly competition with them to become the “greenest”?
How can San Franciscans better celebrate the vast array of biodiversity, ecological activism, and collective natural history knowledge among us? Panel discussion moderated by Rebecca Johnson of California Academy of Sciences, with Ali Sant of Studio for Urban Projects, Elizabeth Creely, a writer whose work looks at restoration, how aesthetic values shape our landscapes, and biodiversity, and Ruth Gravanis, of the SF Environment Commission.
Co-sponsored by Shaping SF, Nature in the City, and San Francisco Department of the Environment
Soil one of the world's greatest reservoirs of biodiversity. Soil is the foundation on which the house of terrestrial biodiversity is built. Without robust soil ecosystems, the world's food web would be in trouble.
A Hundred Years from Now
by David Shumate
I'm sorry I won't be around a hundred years from now. I'd like to
see how it all turns out. What language most of you are speaking.
What country is swaggering across the globe. I'm curious to know
if your medicines cure what ails us now. And how intelligent your
children are as they parachute down through the womb. Have
you invented new vegetables? Have you trained spiders to do your
bidding? Have baseball and opera merged into one melodic sport?
A hundred years....My grandfather lived almost that long. The
doctor who came to the farmhouse to deliver him arrived in a
horse-drawn carriage. Do you still have horses?
From Kimonos in the Closet. © University of Pittsburg Press, 2013
6. Presidio Trust PX Commissary site
Hargreaves: The Presidio Trust is asking the wrong question. The essential question should not be which of the three building proposals should be added. The question should be: Should we add a building at all?
On Friday evening, the Chronicle posted an opinion piece by William K. Reilly on sfgate, which was reprinted in Sunday's Chronicle. The column was highly inaccurate.
I had to work very quickly to respond but I also had to be very accurate. I got a reply out early yesterday morning and it has been posted on sfgate. I expect it to be printed in Tuesday's paper.
Government has become so media-conscious that it is run, in many respects, rather like a daily newspaper newsroom. And we all know – do we not? – how much error and cutting of corners is found in newspapers.
7. Join us to help plan for UCSF’s future.
UCSF’s last Long Range Development Plan (LRDP), created in 1996, was designed to guide the university’s physical development through 2012. Now UCSF continues its work on the next LRDP, which has an expected planning horizon through 2035. Community involvement is a key facet of this planning process.
This Community Workshop follows the two previous workshops, also held on the Parnassus campus, on October 10, 2012 and January 28, 2013.
Information on the first two LRDP workshops can be found at:
Agenda for this meeting will include UCSF’s responses to the community feedback regarding the proposed physical plan and transportation analysis presented at the last workshop.
UCSF Parnassus Community Workshop #3
Tuesday, February 11
Millberry Union Conference Center
500 Parnassus Avenue
On Jan 27, 2014, at 11:13 PM, Eric Mills wrote:
Hey, Jake -
See enclosed, and interesting piece from Dan Bacher, with an unkind word for practically everyone.
Governor Jerry Brown Captures Cold, Dead Fish Award for 2013 : Indybay
I think so.
I have been scratching my head about Jerry Meral’s evolution. He was a great hero to us when exec director of Planning & Conservation League. We owe a lot to him for all those initiatives he persuaded voters to approve that saved big hunks of land, to mention only one of his accomplishments. Then, he got deeper into power politics and....and...and....well, left us all wondering.
He has been receiving this newsletter for years, although I doubt he reads it. Maybe I’ll find out if he responds to this item.
YOUR OPINIONS ON SF’s NEWEST LED STREET LIGHTS
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has installed new LED street lights with wireless controls in the Inner Sunset (on Irving Street between 7th and 14th avenues) and in Presidio Heights (on Washington Street between Walnut and Maple streets). The agency will be collecting public feedback through the third week of February via this survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SFPUC_LED_pilot
Survey responses will impact San Francisco’s upcoming citywide conversion to LED street lights. Learn more here: http://sfwater.org/index.aspx?page=746
10. Birthdays: January 29
It's the birthday of writer and revolutionary Thomas Paine, born in Thetford, England (1737). He's best known for writing Common Sense (1776), the pamphlet that convinced many Americans, including George Washington, to fight for independence from England. The original title Paine came up with for the pamphlet was Plain Truth.
Thomas Paine said, "He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."
It's the birthday of novelist and essayist Edward Abbey, born in Indiana, Pennsylvania (1927). When he was 17 years old, he saw the desert for the first time as he hitchhiked and rode the rails across the country. He returned to the East to work for a short time as a caseworker in a welfare office, but then he went back to the Southwest to work as a fire lookout and ranger in Arches National Park. He worked there for three years, and turned the experience into the book Desert Solitaire (1968). He's best known for his novel The Monkey Wrench Gang (1975), about a gang of four "environmental warriors" who liberate sections of the Utah and New Mexico wilderness through sabotage.
It's the birthday of the man who said, "Comedy is a serious business," actor W.C. Fields, born William Dukenfield in Darby, Pennsylvania (1880). He also wrote screenplays, including for the films The Bank Dick (1940), Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941), and You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1939).
He ran away from home as a child, stole to survive, got in a lot of fistfights, and was arrested often. He was a fabulously skilled juggler, and at 14 he honed his juggling act and joined the carnival. He went from juggling to doing a witty comedic routine, and then to acting in films. He toured a lot, and the more famous he became, the more he drank. When he was filming movies, he kept a flask of mixed martinis near at hand, referring to it as his "pineapple juice." He often quipped about his drinking, saying things like, "Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water." And, "Everyone must believe in something. I believe I'll have another drink." And, "If I had to live life over, I'd live over a saloon."
(More Edward Abbey below)
It's the birthday of playwright Anton Chekhov, born in Taganrog, Ukraine (1860). Before he became a playwright and a master of the modern short story, he planned to become a doctor; in fact, he started writing as a way to make extra money to support his family while he was in medical school. He sold some comic sketches to a variety of newspapers in St. Petersburg, and gained a reputation as a good "lowbrow" writer — a skill he inherited from his mother Yevgeniya, who was a gifted storyteller. In spite of the rigors of medical school and the demands of an active social life, Chekhov managed to be very prolific; he even wrote a novel (The Shooting Party ). He finished medical school and worked as a doctor for eight years, and though medicine was his chief occupation, he never fully gave up his literary pursuits during that period. In a letter, he wrote, "Besides medicine, my wife, I have also literature — my mistress."
In 1892, he bought an estate 40 miles outside of Moscow and moved to the country to write full time, although he still gave free medical care to the peasants on his estate. Over the next six years, he mainly wrote short stories, although it was during this time that he wrote the play The Seagull (1896). He drew criticism from the Russian literary establishment for his failure to incorporate political positions or social criticism into his work. He didn't pass judgment on his characters or teach any moral lessons. He said, "A writer should be as objective as a chemist."
Around the turn of the 20th century, Chekhov began to focus less on stories and more on plays. He wrote for the Moscow Art Theatre, which was founded by Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko and Konstantin Stanislavski. Stanislavski in particular had a reputation in the theatrical world as a real innovator with a naturalistic style. On the surface, many of Chekhov's plays seemed to be tragic, but he had written them as comedies, even farces; he hoped that Stanislavski would recognize this and steer clear of sentimentality and melodrama. Sadly, he was disappointed. Stanislavski tended to place heavy emphasis on scenes that Chekhov had intended to be subtle and indirect. This was particularly evident — and troublesome — in Chekhov's last play, The Cherry Orchard (1904). Chekhov had spent years thinking about the story before he ever began to write it. It's the story of an aristocratic family that is about to lose its land to pay off their debts, and although they are upset about the loss, they do nothing to stop it. Chekhov wrote it as a comedy, and although there were tragic elements, he intended the overall tone of the play to be lively. Nevertheless, Stanislavski insisted on presenting the play as a ponderous tragedy. Where Chekhov had written that characters should be "speaking through tears" and wanted the actors to indicate this through facial expressions only, Stanislavski directed the actors to sob openly and dramatically. Chekhov was livid, and although he was seriously ill with tuberculosis by this time, he took an active part in the production to try to salvage the play. He traveled to Moscow against his doctor's orders and worked furiously to revise and edit the play and supervise rehearsals. The Cherry Orchard premiered at the Moscow Art Theatre on January 17, 1904, and even though Chekhov was still convinced that Stanislavski and Nemirovich-Danchenko didn't understand the play, it was a great commercial and artistic success. He was second only to Tolstoy as a literary celebrity.
A few months later, Chekhov went to Germany to take a spa treatment on the advice of his doctor. While in Badenweiler, he suffered a series of heart attacks. The doctor offered him sips of champagne, which was supposed to be beneficial to people with heart conditions. Chekhov remarked that he hadn't had champagne for ages. He then turned on his side, closed his eyes as if to take a nap, and died.
11. Bruce Grosjean:
Jake - I don't know if you're still experiencing an absence of mockingbirds, but for some time I've been meaning to get you a photograph of one of my nearly daily visitors that's even more predictable now that water is increasingly in short supply.
Edward Abbey, born 29 January 1927
All men are brothers, we like to say, half-wishing sometimes in secret it were not true. But perhaps it is true. And is the evolutionary line from protozoan to Spinoza any less certain? That also may be true. We are obliged, therefore, to spread the news, painful and bitter though it may be for some to hear, that all living things on earth are kindred. -Edward Abbey
(Jim Stiles is a maverick (read curmudgeonly) producer of a newspaper in Moab, Utah, and a friend and disciple of the celebrated Edward Abbey. Stiles' slogan: "Clinging hopelessly to the past since 1989.")
Stiles returns to the subject of Abbey's trailer. "Ed and I talked once about cutting the sewage pipe into three-inch sections and mounting them on cheap wooden plaques with the message, 'Edward Abbey's Shit Passed Through This Pipe,' " Stiles says. "He would autograph and authenticate them. We'd sell them for $50. I'd handle marketing, and we'd both be rich! Somehow, we never got around to it."
High Country News 29/5/06
As the environmentalist Edward Abbey said about immigration, “The conservatives love their cheap labor; the liberals love their cheap cause.”
Abolition of a woman's right to abortion, when and if she wants it, amounts to compulsory maternity: form of rape by the State.
“The tragedy of modern war is that the young men die fighting each other - instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals. ”
“Water, water, water....There is no shortage of water in the desert but exactly the right amount , a perfect ratio of water to rock, water to sand, insuring that wide free open, generous spacing among plants and animals, homes and towns and cities, which makes the arid West so different from any other part of the nation. There is no lack of water here unless you try to establish a city where no city should be.”
― Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness
“There are some good things to be said about walking. Not many, but some. Walking takes longer, for example, than any other known form of locomotion except crawling. Thus it stretches time and prolongs life. Life is already too short to waste on speed. I have a friend who's always in a hurry; he never gets anywhere. Walking makes the world much bigger and thus more interesting. You have time to observe the details. The utopian technologists foresee a future for us in which distance is annihilated. … To be everywhere at once is to be nowhere forever, if you ask me.”
“A man on foot, on horseback or on a bicycle will see more, feel more, enjoy more in one mile than the motorized tourists can in a hundred miles.”
― Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire
On Jan 27, 2014, at 4:30 PM, Joanne Whitney wrote (re John Dobson obituary):
In 1972, my partner's son (aged 9) and I took John's telescope making class at the California Academy. I still have my beautiful and accurate 8 inch reflector. We ground it to a fine focus by testing on condensers on telephone poles for in and our of focus identity.
We also took his really great cosmology course. Naturally we were members of the SF Sidewalk Astronomers and even went to Death Valley with John to see comet Kohoutek. No luck but after new Years it appeared right outside my living room window. At the time I lived on Seal Rock Dr and we had the telescope out every night for weeks at Lands End.
John was a unique and wonderful man. I was so lucky to have known him.
On Jan 26, 2014, at 7:48 PM, Peter Vaernet wrote (re drought):
My coworker's mother, who lives in Fresno is very upset that the county now has installed a water meter on her house....she has never had one and has simply paid a fixed rate fee......she uses 5000 gallons a month...
I think you are right..but, yes, it can sound very harsh...mindfulness most of the time has to be imposed by nature......the farmers and the fish suffer the most from drought...I heard that something like 75% of the water used in CA is used by farming. If that is true, I know that there are ways to not spray water all over the place, but instead target it better....
I had always heard 85% for agriculture, but now they are saying 80%. You say 75. Do I hear 65?
65 once, 65 twice....
Sigh. It was a nice state, too.
Oh boy......and to boot, the drought makes me very depressed...I feel like moving to Vermont.
Vermont? And that will accomplish….what?
However, we should not forget that in the past, entire empires have collapsed because of climate changes, so why should it not happen for the entire western and southern USA...thus thoughts of Vermont.
So everyone perishes, except Peter Vaernet, who had the foresight to move to Vermont, where he lived in blissful splendor to the end of his long life.
On Jan 28, 2014, at 2:55 PM, Peter Vaernet wrote:
Jake: On the subject of Park Merced, I agree that the design is very fine urban garden architecture worth preserving with big open spaces.
The sidebar to the story regarding the M Oceanview MUNI streetcar being routed to Daly City BART has been brought up before by a resident of Park Merced.
Promoting the idea that the M Oceanview MUNI street car should run to Daly City BART will unfortunately mean that we would lose that important electric line that we need to revive the Broad & Randolph Street commercial corridor with some businesses, senior and student housing and child care centers etc.
When I asked the resident pushing that idea about what he feels about our corridor's loss of the M Street car, he simply suggested that we can have express busses running on Broad & Randolph street instead...I think not..!...More pollution, death of a corridor's revival...no thank you.
Sorry, it is fine to run a minor side line of the M to Daly City BART, but to take it away from the corridor we are trying to turn from Trashy to Splendid will not fly. We pay high property taxes, and we deserve to retain our clean electric transit.
On Jan 27, 2014, at 8:22 PM, Katherine Looper wrote:
“How to Overthrow the System: brew your own beer; kick in your Tee Vee; kill your own beef; build your own cabin and piss off the front porch whenever you bloody well feel like it.” Edward Abbey
Love this quote!!!!
Bill Gates on poverty
Microsoft's former boss on why aid works, the poor are getting richer and growing wealth inequality doesn't matter
(Yah, and how many Wars on Hunger/End Poverty have we been through? No matter how many times, it doesn't slow us down. Hope springs eternal, and there must be a magic bullet somewhere. This time electronic technology will create it.
The trouble with money is that it blinds one to the real world. Gates has too much. JS)
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