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

Event

 
In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: they must be fit for it; they must not do too much of it; and they must have a sense of success in it. -John Ruskin

1.   Options for storing San Francisco water this year
2.   Commercial dog walk in GGNRA - NPS plans
3.   Gardening From The Ground Up: Vegetables, Native Plants
4.   Permeable should be the standard for sidewalks
5.   Starr King Open Space wildflower walks March - June
6.   Where do we draw the line on way we treat animals?/CA may take lead in banning wildlife-killing contests
7.   LTEs on society’s underlying assumptions/political and cultural politics trumping environmental and public health concerns
8.   Gail Mazur says the acid of your fear could eat the world
9.   Huge fish infested Presidio’s Mountain Lake
10. Albino redwood in the way of transit
11.  A meadow mouse writes LTE, asking for understanding, and educating us about meadow mice and house mice
12.  Say what you mean, mean what you say - three book reviews
13.  Feedback:  the value of pi.  What a difference a 1 makes
14.  Why Guinness is less Irish than you think


1.  San Francisco looks to other reservoirs for water
 
San Francisco's water system is not as vulnerable as many other systems to this year's drought. But if dry conditions continue into 2015, San Francisco may need to draw water supply from other reservoirs - Cherry and Eleanor - in the Tuolumne watershed. As today's San Francisco Chronicle reports, San Francisco last accessed these supplies in 1988. The aqueduct connecting Cherry Reservoir supplies to the rest of the system is in need of repair, especially after last year's "Yosemite Rim" fire.
 
Restore Hetch Hetchy's preferred alternative (for keeping San Francisco's system whole with respect to water supply when restoration is implemented) includes regular use of an intertie to Cherry Reservoir. So we are pleased to see San Francisco making plans to use it. Under a restoration scenario, San Francisco would divert the Tuolumne River downstream of Yosemite when it has sufficient flow and from Cherry and Eleanor Reservoir during the dry months of the year. In drought years, some additional supply would be needed - such as additional surface or groundwater storage, an aggressive recycling program, or a long-term water purchase agreement.
 



In today's Chronicle, San Francisco concedes that Cherry and Eleanor supplies are of similar quality to what is stored in Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park. We are also pleased to see that San Francisco will be blending groundwater pumped in the west side of the city with its Tuolumne supplies. Both of these practices underscore our point that water quality, while important, is not dependent on storing water in Yosemite.
  
San Francisco stores water in nine reservoirs. With relatively modest modifications to their system, it can give up one of those  reservoirs. Other cities in California have done far more to restore Mono Lake and the Bay Delta.
 
It is time to return Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley to the American people. 

P.S. Restore Hetch Hetchy gratefully accepts all contributions, large and small, year round. You can always contribute online.

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2.  Commercial dog walking in GGNRA:  http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commercialdogwalking

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3.  Gardening From The Ground Up: Vegetables, Native Plants

Want to grow vegetables, see more hummingbirds, and enjoy your garden more with less work?  Have fun learning how to attract butterflies, bumble bees, song birds, hummingbirds to your garden.  Learn environmentally-friendly garden management, how to grow edible gardens, and experience how California native plants will give you a water saving, easy care garden.

Have fun with beautiful slide shows and hands on Field Trip.
Beginners, black thumbs, seasoned gardeners all welcome http://thegardenisateacher.com/
Class April 5th 10am - 2pm, Class April 12th 8:45am - 11:45am
Bring bag lunch to 1st Saturday class.
http://register.asapconnected.com/Courses.aspx?CourseGroupID=9155
Piedmont Adult School   http://register.asapconnected.com/contact.aspx

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4.
Plant SF
permeable.... should be the standard for sidewalks.

http://www.plantsf.org/Resources.html

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5.
Starr King Open Space
Our first wildflower walk of 2014 is happening soon! 

Wildflower walks happen annually to showcase the great CA native plant diversity that we have on the Open Space. Over the course of the spring, more than 20 wildflowers can be found blooming in the Open Space if you know where to look! 

Meet at Coral loop across from Starr King Elementary in Potrero Hill, SF. Walks are free, relatively informal, good for families, and last about an hour. 

We have three walks planned for Spring 2014: 
Sunday March 30th, 11am 
Sunday April 27th, 11am 
Sunday June 1st, 11am

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Starr-King-Open-Space/443013195745505

http://starrkingopenspace.org/

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6.
Eric Mills, Action for Animals:

Subject:  Shamu: Where do we draw the line? | UTSanDiego.com
 
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/Mar/15/shamu-debate-ethics-history-intelligence/5/?#comments-module
______________________

Eric Mills:  This is a good and informative article.  Be sure to see the video, too.  Please disperse accordingly.  Note opportunity for comments.

Subject:  California may take lead in banning wildlife-killing contests - Greener Ideal
 
http://www.greenerideal.com/science/0314-california-may-take-lead-banning-wildlife-killing-contests/

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7.  LTEs, High Country News

Wild subversion
I enjoyed your coverage of wilderness therapy ("Wilderness therapy redefines itself," HCN, 2/3/14). Krista Langlois' sympathetic yet honest reporting presents the practice of wilderness therapy in an accurate and generous light.
I do wish, however, that Langlois was more critical of our culture's underlying assumptions – to which wilderness therapy is a necessary corrective. For instance, she identifies cost as the root of the industry's "struggle for mainstream legitimacy." Rather, cost is simply symptomatic of the assumption that value can be quantified, manipulated and sold. These assumptions are further evidenced by the insurance industry's unwillingness to fund treatments with limited empirical support. Naturally, in this environment, wilderness therapy advocates have sought to provide the necessary metrics and performance in order to be treated as legitimate in the health industry.
It may seem like these systems of thinking are merely a way to secure the best possible outcomes, or to hedge one's bets when making an investment by reducing risk. But the way we think, and what we do, change the way we perceive ourselves and our world. Specifically, in the case of technology and science, the process of quantification posits the world and even ourselves as material resources to be used. This perspective is pervasive. Notice that we no longer have "personnel" departments at work, we have "human resources" departments. In the political sphere, the government supports engineering and science education only to create the drivers of the future economy."
This has profound psychological and spiritual impacts. Research is showing that a great deal of the value of wilderness in our psychological and spiritual landscapes is that wilderness subverts this form of thinking. It offers humanity a more primordial relationship to the world. The more wilderness therapy advocates engage in the empirical and technological thinking of our culture, the more they undermine their own ability to subvert and correct that thinking.
J.W. Pritchett
Ketchum, Idaho

A solution to our biological crisis
I was pleased to see the sobering article by Emily Guerin, "Crisis biology," regarding the fungal diseases now wiping out the world's amphibians and bats (HCN, 2/17/14). Here in California, we import some 2 million American bullfrogs for human consumption, sold mostly in the state's many "Chinatown" live-animal food markets. The majority of the market frogs test positive for the deadly chytrid fungus described in the article. These frogs are often bought by "do-gooders" and religious sects and released into local waters, where they prey upon and displace our native species. The non-native bullfrogs do not generally succumb to the fungus, but they certainly do disperse it. The European Union and Australia now allow the importation of only frozen frog legs for human consumption. California and the U.S. should do the same.
Since 1994, we've been trying to convince the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to stop issuing permits for the market frogs (and turtles). All are diseased and/or parasitized, though the law forbids such sales. Sadly, political and cultural politics are currently trumping environmental and public health concerns.
Eric Mills
Action for Animals
Oakland, California

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8.
Why You Travel
by Gail Mazur

You don't want the children to know how afraid
you are. You want to be sure their hold on life

is steady, sturdy. Were mothers and fathers
always this anxious, holding the ringing

receiver close to the ear: Why don't they answer
where could they be? There's a conspiracy

to protect the young, so they'll be fearless,
it's why you travel—it's a way of trying

to let go, of lying. You don't sit
in a stiff chair and worry, you keep moving.

Postcards from the Alamo, the Alhambra.
Photos of you in Barcelona, Gaudi's park

swirling behind you. There you are in the Garden
of the Master of the Fishing Nets, one red

tree against a white wall, koi swarming
over each other in the thick demoralized pond.

You, fainting at the Buddhist caves.
Climbing with thousands on the Great Wall,

wearing a straw cap, a backpack, a year
before the students at Tiananmen Square.

Having the time of your life, blistered and smiling.
The acid of your fear could eat the world.

From Zeppo's First Wife: New and Selected Poems. © The University of Chicago Press, 2005

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9.  Part of SF Mountain Lake being returned to wetland

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Part-of-S-F-Mountain-Lake-being-returned-to-5292072.php

And here are just two of the reasons why (and there are many more fish and fish types):
       
sucker							   sturgeon

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10.  Albino redwood in the way of transit

http://www.ksbw.com/news/central-california/san-francisco-bay-area/rare-redwood-faces-chopping-block-in-california/24941438

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11.  LTE, from meadow mouse

Edgewood Explorer (newsletter of Friends of Edgewood Natural Preserve), June 2009

Dear Editor,
I am writing to let you know how much we meadow mice have been enjoying your column in the Explorer.  My family and I, and all our numerous friends and relatives, have been hoping you would write about us, but, alas, you have not.  "Perhaps," we thought, "we are so small and shy, she doesn't know we exist!"  "Perhaps," we thought some more, "we should write her and tell her."  And then, because at 3 years I am the oldest by far, they chose me to do the writing.

Before I go any further, I must ask you to forgive this narrow stationery, but, as I am sure you will appreciate, traversing a wide piece of paper is very difficult and most tiring, not to mention messy, for a very small creature writing with the tip of his ink-dipped tail.

Now, to begin.  After taking a survey of all the meadow mice in Edgewood, it has become clear there are some items of great concern they would like me to address in this letter.  The first is our name.  Although many of your kind insist on referring to us as the California vole, you should know that we much prefer our equally valid and definitely more poetic name of California meadow mouse, which, if nothing else, keeps us from being confused with the dreaded mole.  Let me be very clear:  vole though we may be, we are not now, nor have we ever been, a mole!  The mole is a carnivorous creature, who eats worms, grubs, and insects, just the thought of which makes me shudder.  Besides that, the mole, being a member of the Order Soricomorpha, isn't even a rodent!

And speaking of our Order, Rodentia, we take great exception to the rude manner in which that brush rabbit spoke about rodents in your December column.  We would like Ms Brush Rabbit to know that not all rodents are the same; that some rodents, like us, are not omnivorous garbage eaters, but are primarily herbivores, just like her.  We would also like her to know that we meadow mice build tunnels through the grass, just like her (although unlike her, we also build extensive underground tunnels and burrows).  As for our yellow front teeth, about which she had nothing good to say, they are not only vital to our survival, they are the very source of our Order's name, for the word Rodentia is derived from the Latin verb, rodere, which means "to gnaw."  And immodest though it may be for me to say so, I am willing to wager there is no one anywhere, even among the brush rabbits, who would deny that when it comes to gnawing, rodents rule!

And finally, although referring to ourselves as meadow mouse keeps us from being identified with the mole, it does tend to cause us to be identified with the house mouse, which is equally off the mark.  Well, not quite equally, as the house mouse is without question a rodent.  I guess you could say we are cousins.  Here's how it looks on paper:

MEADOW MOUSE					HOUSE MOUSE
Order:  Rodentia					Order:  Rodentia
Suborder:  Myomorpha				Suborder:  Myomorpha
Family:  Cricetidae					Family:  Muridae
Subfamily:  Arvicolinae				Subfamily:  Murinae
Genus:  Microtus					Genus:  Mus
Species:  Microtus californicus		Species:  Mus musculus

Aesop clearly understood this difference between Microtus and Mus (although he got the part about us eating bacon wrong), and since I, not to mention my tail, am exhausted from all this writing, I'll just include a copy of Aesop's fable for now, and then write you another letter soon, as there's so much more to tell you about us.

Sincerely yours,
m.m.

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12.
Say what you mean, mean what you say
Review by Evelyn Small, Washington Post (excerpt)
 
The Artful Nuance, by Rod L. Evans
The Whatchamacallit, by Danny Danziger and Mark McCrum
Origins of the Specious:  Myths and Misconceptions of the English Language, by Patricia T. O’Connor and Stewart Kellerman
 
…For those logophiles in a search of just the right word, here’s a trio (a triad, a threesome, a triplet) of books to turn to when you want to add to your lexicographical store of knowledge (not to mention your bons mots).
 
In The Artful Nuance:  A Refined Guide to Imperfectly Understood Words in the English Language, Rod L Evans sets out to help users better “understand words that are similar yet distinguishable in meaning”…Evans starts here with a wonderfully appropriate Mark Twain epigraph:  “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter – it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”  He proceeds to help unmuddle regularly confused words.  Who knew the distinction between “frankfurter” and “hot dog”?  Or “geek” and “nerd”?  Or “cement” and “concrete”?  If you’re among those who are impelled (not compelled) toward correct usage, or someone for whom the choice of “can” or “may” matters a great deal, or a person who waited on tenterhooks while the Centers for Disease Control decided if the swine flu outbreak was an epidemic or a pandemic, then this is a perfect book to dip into.
 
…Origins of the Specious (is) the most substantial of these three books…The voice they maintain throughout is accessible, conversational and commonsensical, yet full of witty and clever turns of phrase and historical insight.
 
Wordplay abounds on every page, beginning with the table of contents, where chapter titles such as Grammar Moses:  Forget These Commandments, and In High Dungeon:  And Other Moat Points propel readers on.  (O’Conner gives me permission to end that sentence with a proposition.)  Grammatical rule-breaking is a no-no in many people’s books, but the authors here happily take on the “linguaholics” who rigidly follow bogus restrictions.
 
O’Connor and Kellerman clearly are having fun as they deal with dirty words (in a chapter on Lex Education), word origins (who knew that a familiar vehicle may owe its name to a cartoon dog named Eugene the Jeep?) and gender issues in language – in short, all manner and matter of grammar, etymology and usage.  Whether to breezily split infinitives is treated in a great section on the “splitting headache”.  Origins of the Specious is also succinct in its good guidance on one phrase that raises hackles among grammarphiles:  “If my email is any indication, half the English-speaking world lies awake nights, grinding its teeth because the other half says ‘I could care less’ when it means ‘I couldn’t care less’.  If your enamel is starting to wear down, my advice is to care less.”
 
(Oof!  Take that, Jake Sigg!  And just as I got a new dental crown because the old one had worn down from grinding my teeth over these matters.)

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13.  Feedback

On Mar 17, 2014, at 5:30 PM, S. R. Gilbert wrote re:
Tis a favorite project of mine
A new value of pi to assign.
I would fix it at 3
For it’s simpler, you see,
Than 3 point 1459.

Dear Jake,
In the limerick you reproduced, the value of pi given in the final line was "3 point 1459." The value of pi is in fact "3 point 14159." 

And so it is.  I have been saying it was 3.1459, and when I read your first email I looked it up - sure enough I saw it was 3.1459, so I asked you what was wrong.  Since then I can see they changed its value to 3.14159!  :-)  Clever how they can do that, isn’t it?  The limerick reads so well without the extra 1, so I must have been persuaded by the rhythm into not seeing the 1.

On the positive side, next year, 2015, will be the Big Year, so maybe it was worth being embarrassed.  3 point 14159.  Can’t wait.

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14.  The Economist explains
Why Guinness is less Irish than you think

MARCH 17th is St Patrick's day, a celebration of all things Irish—and of one thing in particular. Around Ireland and all over the world people will celebrate with a pint or two (or three, or four) of Guinness, Ireland's unofficial national intoxicant. Publicans love St Patrick's day, so much so that it can sometimes feel like less a celebration of Irish culture than a marketing event for Guinness’s owner, Diageo. Now exported to more than 120 countries, the black stuff has become a powerful symbol of Ireland. But how Irish is it really?
Arthur Guinness, who founded the brewery in Dublin in 1759, might have been surprised that his drink would one day become such a potent national symbol. He was a committed unionist and opponent of Irish nationalism, who before the Irish Rebellion of 1798 was even accused of spying for the British authorities. His descendants continued passionately to support unionism—one giving the Ulster Volunteer Force £10,000 in 1913 (about £1m, or $1.7m, in today’s money) to fund a paramilitary campaign to resist Ireland being given legislative independence. The company was alleged to have lent men and equipment to the British army to help crush Irish rebels during the Easter Rising of 1916, afterwards firing members of staff whom it believed to have Irish-nationalist sympathies.
The beer the company has become most famous for—porter stout—was based on a London ale, a favourite of the street porters of Covent Garden and Billingsgate markets. Since 1886 the firm has floated on the London Stock Exchange, and the company moved its headquarters to London in 1932, where it has been based ever since (it merged with Grand Metropolitan and renamed itself Diageo in 1997). Even in terms of branding, the company was considering disassociating itself from its Irish reputation as recently as the 1980s. Worried about the impact on sales of the IRA’s terrorist campaign during the Troubles, Guinness came close in 1982 to re-launching the brand as an English beer brewed in west London. But as Northern Ireland’s situation improved in the 1990s, the company’s marketing strategy changed again towards marketing the beer as Irish, aiming its product at tourists in Ireland and the estimated 70m people of Irish descent living around the world. Now the Guinness Storehouse, part of the original Dublin factory which was reopened as a tourist attraction in 2000, promotes Guinness to tourists as an Irish beer once again.
Guinness is not the only company to play up or hide its national origins to try and boost sales. Jacob’s biscuits have been marketed by some shops as being British, in spite of the company’s origins as an Irish company from Waterford. And Lipton now markets its black teas on the strength of the company’s British origins, in over 100 countries—except Britain, where it is not commonly sold. In a world where multinational companies control a large chunk of the global food supply chain, national identity—at least in branding—matters as much as ever.
- See more at: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/03/economist-explains-13?fsrc=nlw|newe|3-17-2014|8065134|37185907|NA#sthash.AZYx4xMg.dpuf

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