In the beginning this blog was centered on San Francisco parks and open space issues with special emphasis on natural areas and natural history. Over time it began to range into other areas and topics. As you can see, it is eclectic, as I interlace it with topics of interest to me.

I welcome feedback: just click this link to reach me.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

2011.09.13

1.   Coastal Cleanup Days September 17 - many
2.   Sea Turtle Restoration Project's Leatherback and Whale Watching Tour 9/25 and 10/23
3.   Field trip to see spiders in Glen Canyon Sept 17
4.   Sierra Point, Brisbane tour Thurs Sept 15, 5.30 pm
5.   Introduce yourself to the City College SF native garden Sept 29
6.   Shop Whole Foods Wednesday the 14th and help SaveNature.org
7.   Sounds like a good book:  Gibson's The Bedside Book of Beasts
8.   God gives advice to Rick Perry
9.   The kingfisher, by Mary Oliver
10. Planning & Conservation League report on final Legislature action
11.  24 Hours of Reality - September 14 at 7 pm
12.  Feedback
13.  Feedback Special:  Cats
14.  Spectacular astronomy photographs
15.  World's shortest poem?


1.  COASTAL CLEAUP DAYS

Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ)
Here we are again! California Coastal Cleanup Day is back and LEJ is leading the efforts with an impressive list of community organizations and businesses helping us out. We’d love to see you, as a community member, as a volunteer, contribute to this special day where we gather to steward our shared shoreline. The event is just a few days away on Saturday, September 17th from 9am-noon.

Since 2006 LEJ has participated in Coastal Cleanup Day which focused on the western shoreline of San Francisco. Then in 2008 LEJ began the efforts to clean up the east side sites from AT&T Park down to Candlestick Point Recreation Area. This year we're working alongside local businesses and organizations to bring the same clean up efforts as previous years. Please join us during this state-wide event to clean up our shorelines.

And remember roughly 70% of the volunteers that sign up for this event sign up for the WEST side sites, such as Ocean Beach, but ~80% of the trash and debris end up on the EAST! So sign up where the need is greatest.

Also, we strongly recommend that everyone BYO (Bring Your Own _______ ) reuseable bags, buckets, gloves, and refillable water containers. Let’s make this a Zero Waste event! *There will be limited clean up supplies for those who do not bring their own materials. Remind everyone to wear layers, a hat, closed toe shoes, and sunscreen.

So, what are the details and how can you get involved? Register yourself or a group of volunteers by simply...

1. Going to www.signuptocleanup.org
2. Type “San Francisco” in the Enter Location field.
3. A map should show the various locations where cleanups are happening.
4. Click on the site that you would like to clean up and click “Please Register for Availability”
5. Complete the required fields for registration.
*6. Recommended; Download and fill out your Waiver Form for the event by going to the California Coastal Commission website or download the form atBlue Greenway Coastal Cleanup Up Day.

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GreenTrustSF hosts Coastal Cleanup Day at Warm Water Cove
Sat. Sept.17, 9:30-noon.
24th Street at the Bay (2 blocks east of Third St.)
Use T-Line 23rd St. Station and free parking available at site.

Join your neighbors, and bring a friend to help keep trash out of the Bay and the park. Approximately 80% of San Francisco's debris ends up in the eastern shoreline. For a low environmental impact— bring your own water in re-usable container, gloves and large bag or bucket to collect trash. We will have some for those who do not have!

Also watering of the flower beds to perk them up from the rainless summer. We should see some water birds and/or a harbor seal, hummingbirds, butterflies, dragon flies, late summer flowers,earth art and great views of the Bay.
Snacks and a few "door prizes" provided by local businesses!

See more and register here: http://www.signuptocleanup.org/
Fill in "Warm Water Cove, San Francisco" for site. We would like you to register but can also just sign in on day.
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http://www.sequoia-audubon.org/conservation.html
This coming Saturday, SEPTEMBER 17, is the annual Coastal Cleanup Day. Sequoia Audubon is co-sponsoring a coastal cleanup at Mussel Rock Park, on the Pacifica/Daly City boundary. This park hosts some of the best winter sea duck populations in our county, as well as providing nesting sites for Pigeon Guillemots, Black Oystercatchers, and cormorants. Come help us there from 9 am to noon. If possible, bring heavy work gloves and buckets. Mussel Rock's parking lot is located at the end of Westline Drive. For a map and more precise driving directions, check out the Mussel Rock entry on the San Mateo County Birding Guide:

http://birding.sequoia-audubon.org/description.php?loc=86&p=0

Since garbage on beaches often ends up in the stomachs of our avian friends, coastal cleanup events like this can help the birds we love. Thanks for helping out. Good birding!

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http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/12/arctic-ice-levels-hit-historic-low-researchers-say/?hpt=hp_t2

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2.  Sea Turtle Restoration Project’s Leatherback and Whale Watching Tour

The Farallon Islands off the coast of San Francisco lie within the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, a rich marine ecosystem that attracts leatherback sea turtles, whales, dolphins, seals and seabirds throughout the year.  Sea Turtle Restoration Project (STRP) has partnered with Oceanic Society (www.oceanicsociety.org) for two leatherback and whale watching trips to the Farallon Islands in September and October.  STRP’s Dr. Chris Pincetich will be on board each of these special expeditions to talk about the critically endangered leatherback sea turtles.

Pacific leatherbacks are among the most imperiled of any sea turtle population in any ocean basin on Earth, and are offshore of California right now!  These sea turtle and whale-watching expeditions will be a fundraiser for STRP’s Leatherback Watch Program, which monitors sightings of Pacific leatherbacks for education and conservation purposes.

WHEN: Sunday, September 25 OR Sunday, October 23, all day, leaving from the San Francisco Bay.

WHO: Age minimum 10; an adult must accompany all youths under the age of 15.  The special STRP discounted tickets are priced at $110.00 per person.

DURATION: Approximately 8 hours.  In order to visit the whale “hot spots,” including the Continental, and have enough time to observe the wildlife at the islands, an 8 hour trip is required.

To reserve a spot, please email office@oceanicsociety.org or call (415) 474-3386 and be sure to mention Sea Turtle Restoration Project to the staff at Oceanic Society.  You will receive a discounted price and we receive part of the proceeds!

For more information please email info@seaturtles.org or visit http://www.oceanicsociety.org/whalereservations.


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3.
California Native Plant Society field trip - free and open to the public
Glen Canyon Spiders
Leader:  Darrell Ubick
Saturday 17 September, 10 am to noon

Fall is a good time for spidering because we are almost sure to see large, beautifully marked, often colorful orb weavers (family Araneidae), among others.  Plus, we're unlikely to get rained out, as happened during the long, wet spring this year.

Darrell is an arachnololgist with the California Academy of Sciences and his knowledge is matched only by his infectious enthusiasm.  His trips are very popular with kids as well as adults.

Meet behind the Glen Park Recreation Center where the lawn stops and the wild part of the canyon starts.  Contact: dubick(at)calacdemy.org.

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4.  TOUR SIERRA POINT, BRISBANE MARINA
A Council Subcommittee and interested citizens will meet to tour Brisbane’s Sierra Point on Thursday, September 15th at 5:30pm at the Brisbane Marina Office, Sierra Point.   Discussion will be about Public Open Space uses, views, and best use of the waterfront.   The goal is to give direction to the city for future development guidelines.
There are habitat values, recreation opportunities and grand vistas at stake.  Find out what is under consideration and be a part in helping keep our waterfront open, sustainable, and accessible.

Info: Deputy City Clerk- Wendy Franklin-Ricks 415-508-2144
(not printed by the city)


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5.  CCSF Native Plant Garden

Hi Jake,
    My name is Amy Ellevold and I am running the native plant garden at city college with a fellow student this year. We are having an event to introduce the garden on September 29th at 3pm. I was hoping you could list it in your news letter. We would also love for you or any native plant enthusiast to be there. One of our main goals this year is to educate as many people as possible and I heard that your news letter is a great resource. I would love it if you could add me to the list so I could read it too. Thanks so much for your time (and all the work you do with native plants).

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6.  Please let everyone you know in SF who shops at Whole Foods to shop this Wednesday, Sept. 14th at the 24th Street, Noe Valley store!! SaveNature.Org was chosen as the 5% recipient.
Whole Foods: 5% Day Benefiting SaveNature.Org's Edible EdVentures

If your shopping plans for the week include a stop at Whole Foods, then this Wednesday, Sept. 14th is the time to shop at the Noe Valley store - 3950 24th Street and support our educational outreach programs.

5% of the total sales for the day will be donated to SaveNature.Org  The donation will be used to help bring our Edible EdVenture program to inner city school children to link  which inspires children, parents and teachers to consider earth-friendly food choices through hands-on demonstrations, interactive lessons, and scientific experiments. Edible EdVentures will come to classrooms and communities and cultivate an understanding of the linkage between food and nature.

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7.  On Sep 12, 2011, at 11:36 AM, Steve Lawrence wrote:
To all I commend Gibson's The Bedside Book of Beasts. Two example quotations:
[In response to predatory urges] “we developed our nimble minds, our weapon-making skills, our agile and fertile brains. Our imperatives were no different than those of any species: to eat, procreate, and avoid being eaten. Only our method of coping was unique: the enormous development of our cerebral functions, which in time led to language, arts, and to a vision of God.” -F. Leydet
“The heart has its reasons that reason cannot know. While Reason may help us develop strategies for mending the earth and ourselves, it will not open us to the process and possibilities that help us reconnect with the animal inside us... Until we do that the mind will continue to spin its wheels.” -Pascal.
Steve Lawrence
Available at SF Public Library, 347 pages, illustrated, Doubleday, 2009


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8. 


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(Seems a number of people have been speaking to God, although she has never spoken to me.  I remember Ellen DeGeneres picking up the telephone and dialing God):


DeGeneres:  ...Ellen DeGeneres here. (Pause)... No, DeGeneres.

God (saying something which the audience can't hear)

DeGeneres:  Yes, it does sound a little like that, doesn't it?

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9.



The Kingfisher
 
The kingfisher rises out of the black wave
like a blue flower, in his beak
he carries a silver leaf. I think this is
the prettiest world -- so long as you don't mind
a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life
that doesn't have its splash of happiness?
There are more fish than there are leaves
on a thousand trees, and anyway the kingfisher
wasn't born to think about it, or anything else.
When the wave snaps shut over his blue head, the water
remains water--hunger is the only story
he has ever heard in his life that he could believe.
I don't say he's right. Neither
do I say he's wrong. Religiously he swallows the silver leaf
with its broken red river, and with a rough and easy cry
I couldn't rouse out of my thoughtful body
if my life depended on it, he swings back
over the bright sea to do the same thing, to do it
(as I long to do something, anything) perfectly.
 
 
~ Mary Oliver ~

(House of Light)

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10.  The Planning & Conservation League, joining with a coalition including Sierra Club California, Coalition for Clean Air, Clean Water Action, and a host of environmental justice and community groups from the Los Angeles area and throughout California, tried valiantly to stave off three bills that will weaken protections of The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Unfortunately, SB 226 (Simitian), SB 292 (Padilla) and AB 900 (Buchanan), all either introduced or dramatically amended in the last 36 hours of the legislative session, passed the Legislature on its final day of session. SB 226 will, if signed into law by the Governor, exempt from CEQA certain urban projects deemed ‘green’, with inadequate definitions of for what defines ‘urban’ and ‘green’. It could, therefore, allow sprawl or other large-effect projects without adequate environmental review. AB 900, while not an exemption, “streamlines” CEQA’s judicial review requirements, potentially limiting the public’s voice in challenging projects. And SB 292 is, most simply, special treatment under the law for an influential developer (AEG) seeking to build a downtown Los Angeles football stadium. By depriving petitioners of the opportunity for superior court jurisdiction, SB 292 and AB 900 may even violate the California Constitution.

...but these 11th-hour efforts, while perhaps well-intentioned, were ill-conceived. They attack important protections of CEQA that have given communities a voice in the development process for more than four decades, with a great deal of uncertainty as to whether these measures were needed to, or will in fact, create more jobs in California.  Moreover, the measures themselves were hastily crafted and poorly thought-out. ...In addition to depriving legislators with final bill language before they voted, the rushed process also deprived the public from having meaningful input into the process.

...we continue to advocate for CEQA to remain a strong environmental bill of rights for all Californians.


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11.  24 Hours of Reality
Wednesday, September 14
Starts at 7:00 pm