1. September Meditation
2. Native Plant Fair in Tilden Park NOW, until 3 pm TODAY
3. Glitch in GGNRA/Pt Reyes air tour management plans - corrected
4. Wildlife Conservation Network 10th Annual Expo TODAY until 6 pm
5. CNPS talk on replacing lawn Oct 6 in San Carlos/Los Altos Hills plant walk Oct 8
6. SF League of Conservation Voters: "I love San Francisco" Art Contest & Fundraiser Oct 20
7. GGNRA/Muir Woods General Mgt Plan Open House in Mill Valley Oct 4
8. Save the date: Oct 9 Aldo Leopold at SFPL/tool workshop by Watershed Project/SFPUC Nov 5
9. Restoring Wetlands for Climate Change Oct 4/Teachers' Night Oct 6 in Presidio
10. Green@Home HouseCall Volunteer Training Oct 5 & 12/gardens needed in San Jose, Palo Alto for tours
11. Health Care Reform: MSNBC tries to clarify what's to come
12. This economic collapse is a crisis of bigness
13. What the protestors at Occupy Wall Street are angry about
14. Not to worry: gold bricks loaded onto horse-drawn wagon in London
15. Notes & Queries: Communism sucks, capitalism sucks, economics sucks--what's left?
I do not know if the seasons remember their history or if the days and
nights by which we count time remember their own passing.
I do not know if the oak tree remembers its planting or if the pine
remembers its slow climb toward sun and stars.
I do not know if the squirrel remembers last fall's gathering or if the
bluejay remembers the meaning of snow.
I do not know if the air remembers September or if the night remembers
I do not know if the earth remembers the flowers from last spring or if
the evergreen remembers that it shall stay so.
Perhaps that is the reason for our births -- to be the memory for
Perhaps salvation is something very different than anyone ever expected.
Perhaps this will be the only question we will have to answer:
"What can you tell me about September?"
~ Burton D. Carley ~
(1997 UUMA Worship Materials Collection; contributed by Bob Freund)
2. The Native Plant Fair takes place Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. & Oct. 2 from 12 p.m. 5o 3 p.m. at Native Here Nursery, 101 Golf Course Dr., Tilden Park, Berkeley.
The best way I know to get there is to go to Grizzly Pk. Blvd. and Shasta Rd. There are signs on the Tilden Park side of Grizzly Pk. Follow the signs.
3. Hello Jake,
Thank you for sending out information on the extension of the scoping period for the GGNRA and PRNS air tour management plans.
The glitch in online commenting at the NPS website is due to a typo in the address that you and EAC sent out to your readers. Instead of the last "." in the address, it should have been a "/".
The correct address is http://parkplanning.nps.gov/BayArea_ATMP
4. Project Coyote & the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) Invite You to the 10th Annual WCN Expo:
October 1 ~ San Francisco, CA 10am to 6pm
Mission Bay Conference Center, San Francisco, CA
Immerse yourself in the world of international wildlife conservation. Meet the fascinating conservationists who are working around the globe with local communities to save threatened species. Hear their stories from the field and learn how you can get involved. Visit our booth amongst other
WCN Associates. Shop for worldly treasures at the numerous exhibits or simply find your inspiration.
Project Coyote & Earth Island Institute
Invite You to the 12th Annual Brower Youth Awards:
October 18 ~ San Francisco
Herbst Theater 401 Van Ness Avenue San Francisco
The Brower Youth Awards, the premiere event honoring bold young environmental leaders from North America, is right around the corner and we want you to be there to celebrate with us!
Awards Ceremony: 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
The ceremony is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are necessary.
5. The California Native Plant Society invites you to the following free events next week: a talk in San Carlos on replacing your lawn with a native plant garden, then a walk in Hidden Villa on identifying and observing native plants in the wild.
Replacing Your Lawn With Native Plants
A talk by Deva Luna
Thursday, October 6, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
San Carlos Library, 610 Elm Street, San Carlos.
(650) 591-0341 x237.
Tired of watering, mowing and weeding your lawn but don’t know what to put in instead? Replacing your lawn with drought-tolerant native plants reduces water and
maintenance costs, encourages habitat for birds and butterflies and does not contribute to global warming. Our speaker Deva Luna combines her passion for plants with a desire to enhance the environment.
Deva is a Master Gardener and has been teaching and speaking about horticulture for 14 years. She has a degree in “Plants and Art,” and she works as a sustainable
landscape designer for EarthCare Landscaping in Cupertino. Her passions include California native plants, greywater, edible landscaping, herbs and quirky yard art.
Made possible by Friends of the San Carlos Library.
Hidden Villa plant walk
Saturday 8 October, 10 am - 12.30 pm
Hidden Villa, 26870 Moody Road, Los Altos Hills
Join Dee Wong and Carolyn Dorsch on this early fall walk along the shaded Adobe Creek. We’ll look for fruiting bodies on the various perennial shrubs we find along the way. Our Chapter Plant Sale is the following weekend, so this is an excellent opportunity to see many different native plants in their natural woodland habitat, with discussion of their suitability for urban gardens. We expect to see a good variety of plants as there are several different plant communities on this short hike.
The pace on this 2.5-3 mile hike will be moderate. There is about a 550’ elevation change, with one stretch that is a little steep, but we’ll go slowly. Bring water and a snack, good hiking shoes. We recommend bringing a walking stick. You may bring lunch for an optional picnic afterward.
The trip is limited to 20 people. To reserve a spot or for more information contact Dee Wong at firstname.lastname@example.org or (650) 670-7797, or contact Carolyn Dorsch at email@example.com, or (650) 804-6162 (eves).
6. I LOVE SAN FRANCISCO: Biodiversity Isn't Just For Rainforests
a Fundraiser/ART CONTEST for the San Francisco League of Conservation Voters
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2011 at 50 Mason Social House
San Francisco is a wonderful combination of of urban and natural beauty which we love. Help us celebrate life in our favorite city by joining the San Francisco League of Conservation Voters on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20th at the 50 Mason Social Club for our latest "I Love San Francisco" Art Contest & Fundraiser.
Did you know that we in San Francisco live in the middle of a Biodiversity Hotspot? To highlight the fact that San Francisco ITSELF is in one of a handful of regions critical to protecting global biodiversity, the theme will be "Biodiversity Isn't Just For Rainforests."
In addition to the art contest (which you'll help judge!), there will be light appetizers and drinks, and of course local environmental activists and politicians. Join us & support our work!
WHAT: I LOVE SF Art Contest/Fundraiser for the San Francisco League of Conservation Voters
WHEN: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20th, 2011 - 7 to 10PM
HOW MUCH: $10-$25 Sliding Scale OR BECOME A SPONSOR (free admission)
WHERE: 50 Mason Social House (50 Mason St at Market Street in SF)
WHO: You, the SFLCV Board, and many others!
BE A SPONSOR: Please consider sponsoring our fundraiser at the Street Steward ($100), Neighborhood Protector ($250), or City Champion levels ($500). Sponsors will be publicly thanked at the event & will be admitted free (+1).
Any art, or writing or poetry that celebrates San Francisco, especially its biodiversity.
All contestants must inform the SFLCV of their INTENT to enter by FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7th at noon, via email or phone (info AT sflcv DOT org).
All contest entries must be submitted to an SFLCV Board Member by SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16th.
There must be at least 5 contestants for the contest to occur. If there are less than 5 contestants by the Friday, October 7th deadline, there will be no contest & no prize will be awarded.
Any contest entry must be displayable or presentable at the fundraiser event on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20th.
The prize will be an 8GB Apple iPod Touch awarded at the fundraiser. Depending on the number of entries and the number of attendees, there may be additional prizes & the contest may be broken into multiple categories.
For more details fee free to email the SFLCV for more info (info AT sflcv DOT org)
7. Please Come to Our Open House on the General Management Plan
In Marin County:
Tuesday, October 4
Drop in anytime: 4:00-7:00 pm
Tamalpais High School Student Center
700 Miller Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941
About the Draft General Management Plan
The General Management Plan (GMP) is the master plan that will guide planning and management of Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Muir Woods National Monument for about 20 years.
The Draft GMP/EIS is open for public review and comment through November 7.
To review the GMP documents and comment online visit the project website.
We look forward to seeing you at one of the scheduled open house meetings and hearing your comments. Thank you for helping shape the future of the park.
Save the date: October 9, 2 pm at San Francisco Public Library
Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time
8. Save the date
SFPUC P2 is again sponsoring a workshop, the Watershed Tool Workshop, hosted by the Watershed Project on Saturday, November 5th at Alice Fong Yu Alternative School from 9am-4pm. The workshop is geared towards teaching teachers, educators, and parents hands-on activities, art projects and scientific investigations they can use with children to learn about our watershed and pollution prevention at home and at school.
Name: Watershed Tool Workshop
Hosted by: The Watershed Project
When: Saturday, November 5, 2011, 9am-4pm
Where: Alice Fong Yu Alternative School
1541 12th Ave, San Francisco 94122
Registration: Email Katy@thewatershedproject.org or call (510) 269-7TWP
There is much more going on in the Presidio than I can post. Go to firstname.lastname@example.org to request putting on Presidio News email list.
9. USF in the Presidio - Restoring Wetlands for Climate Change
Come check it out! The University of San Francisco has a new satellite campus in the Presidio. USF will present a lecture on Tuesday, October 4, at 7 pm as part of its new series available to the community. “Restoring Wetlands for Climate Change at Crissy Field and Beyond” will be presented by Professor John Callaway. The lecture is free and will be held at 920 Mason Street, Crissy Field. To learn more about upcoming USF events,visit the website.
Presidio Teachers Night - Thursday, October 6
Attention teachers! For a decade, Presidio Teachers’ Night has introduced educators to the enriching opportunities available for students at the Presidio and beyond. We invite you to join hundreds of other teachers, principals, and curriculum specialists to learn how beneficial it can be to engage students in the parks. Approximately 60 organizations will exhibit. This year’s theme is People and Places: Making History Matter. Author and publisher Malcolm Margolin will offer a special presentation. The event will be held on Thursday, October 6, at 5 pm. If you are a teacher and would like to be included in the event, call (415) 561-2000. For more information,visit the website.
10. From Acterra
Don't Miss Out! Green@Home HouseCall Volunteer Training
Wednesdays, October 5 and 12
5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Palo Alto (location TBA)
Want to help hundreds of local residents reduce their energy use by providing free home energy assessments and installing basic energy saving devices? Then become a Green@Home HouseCall Volunteer!
The next two-part volunteer training session will be held in Palo Alto. For more information and to register for the training, please visit the Green@Home EventBrite website or call Elizabeth Sarmiento at (650) 962-9876 ext. 350.
Bay Friendly Garden Tour Needs Gardens in San Jose and Palo Alto!
Acterra is working in partnership with the Bay Friendly Coalition to bring the Bay Friendly Garden Tour to Santa Clara County. We are currently looking for a new crop of gardens in San Jose and Palo Alto for the April 2012 tour. Host gardeners are native plant enthusiasts, urban food growers, permaculturists, do-it-yourselfers, landscape professionals and more.
Submit your garden today! Please register by Sunday, Oct. 9th.
For more information, please visit the Bay Friendly Coalition website or contact tour organizer Jennifer Ketring at email@example.com with questions.
Star Gazing and Trick or Treat at Arastradero Preserve
Saturday, October 29
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
1530 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto [map]
Come and enjoy an educational trick or treat hike at Arastradero and discover our beautiful night sky with Joe Jordan, a renowned local astronomer. We will be featuring a small potluck at the beginning followed by a night hike and star gazing.
For more information and to register, please visit the Stewardship EventBrite website.
11. From ML Carle:
It’s been one year since health care reform was passed, but few of us are any closer to understanding all the things that it actually does or will do. Confusion has probably been the number one result of the legislation to date. So what exactly does the bill do? Several measures have already taken effect. MSNBC put together an in-depth look at all the controversies brewing over whether to repeal it or leave it alone, but first, let’s see what exactly it’s doing for Americans right now:
▪ Insurance companies no longer allowed to discriminate against children with pre-existing conditions
▪ Insurance companies barred from placing lifetime caps on benefits
▪ Insurance companies barred from dropping patients’ coverage when they get sick
▪ Children allowed to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until their 26th birthday
▪ A 10% tax on indoor tanning services
▪ Insurance companies must prove they spend 80% to 85% of premium revenue on medical services
▪ Insurance companies required to disclose rate increases (and the reason) of 10% or more
▪ Government-run insurance plan set up for adults with preexisting conditions who are denied coverage
▪ Seniors receive a $250 rebate to help cover the so-called “donut hole” in Medicare drug coverage
▪ Free preventative care covered by Medicare and private plans.
▪ Nursing mothers to be allowed lactation breaks
▪ Government-run long-term care program set up. For those who participate, people pay premiums for five years and then will receive
benefits if they need them
▪ Small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees) begin receiving tax credits covering 35% of premiums to help them buy coverage. (This
credit jumps to 50% in 2014.)
▪ States receive billions in funding for community health centers
▪ Drug companies face $2.5 billion in fees (rises in later years)
▪ Creation of a government research institute created in to examine the effectiveness of medical treatments
▪ Establishment of a Medicare Independent Advisory Board, which will be tasked with trying to keep Medicare spending down and submitting
legislative proposals to do so. It will first submit recommendations in 2016.
Okay, what happens next. Republicans argue the bill was front-loaded with positive stuff, but then launches the rub. Here are some of the measures
that take effect in the coming years:
▪ In 2013, new taxes and fees go into effect for:
▪ individuals making more than $200,000 a year (and families making more than $250,000 a year)
▪ on dividends and interest
▪ on sales of medical devices
▪ By 2014, the individual mandate goes into effect — if you don’t have insurance, you have to buy it or face a fee.
▪ By 2016, that fee will be 2.5% of your income or $695 a year, whichever is more.
12. CRISIS OF BIGNESS
"The fish rots from the head down." Proverb, ascribed to many different countries.
(JS NOTE: I have sometimes been taken to task for posting items have little or no relation to natural history. In my own mind I am unable to separate subjects that neatly. The economic system that governs the world is destroying the very foundations of the functioning of the biological world upon which we depend. I have been wondering why no prominent person says it out loud: The System is broken; there is no way it can be fixed, and there will not be a recovery, we will never be able to put the unemployed millions to work again unless we find a new way to live together and make these arrangements.
No one in government can say it, no one in business can say it--but why haven't journalists and other writers said it? This article is the first I have read that says it, and I think it deserves the space in this newsletter. The one big item it leaves out, unaccountably, is the sheer number of us. How can you feed, house, and take care of seven billion people without big governments, big corporations, big everything? A rather important omission, I would say.)
"The most difficult values to jettison are those that have helped you in the past." Jared Diamond
"There is always someone who sees the situation clearly, and who steps forward and leads the way. Very often that individual is nuts." Dave Barry
This economic collapse is a 'crisis of bigness', by Paul Kingsnorth
Leopold Kohr warned 50 years ago that the gigantist global system would grow until it imploded. We should have listened
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 25 September 2011 16.00 EDT
Illustration by Andrzej Krauze
Living through a collapse is a curious experience. Perhaps the most curious part is that nobody wants to admit it's a collapse. The results of half a century of debt-fuelled "growth" are becoming impossible to convincingly deny, but even as economies and certainties crumble, our appointed leaders bravely hold the line. No one wants to be the first to say the dam is cracked beyond repair.
To listen to a political leader at this moment in history is like sitting through a sermon by a priest who has lost his faith but is desperately trying not to admit it, even to himself. Watch Nick Clegg, David Cameron or Ed Miliband mouthing tough-guy platitudes to the party faithful. Listen to Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy or George Papandreou pretending that all will be well in the eurozone. Study the expressions on the faces of Barack Obama or Ben Bernanke talking about "growth" as if it were a heathen god to be appeased by tipping another cauldron's worth of fictional money into the mouth of a volcano.
In times like these, people look elsewhere for answers. A time of crisis is also a time of opening-up, when thinking that was consigned to the fringes moves to centre stage. When things fall apart, the appetite for new ways of seeing is palpable, and there are always plenty of people willing to feed it by coming forward with their pet big ideas.
But here's a thought: what if big ideas are part of the problem? What if, in fact, the problem is bigness itself?
The crisis currently playing out on the world stage is a crisis of growth. Not, as we are regularly told, a crisis caused by too little growth, but by too much of it. Banks grew so big that their collapse would have brought down the entire global economy. To prevent this, they were bailed out with huge tranches of public money, which in turn is precipitating social crises on the streets of western nations. The European Union has grown so big, and so unaccountable, that it threatens to collapse in on itself. Corporations have grown so big that they are overwhelming democracies and building a global plutocracy to serve their own interests. The human economy as a whole has grown so big that it has been able to change the atmospheric composition of the planet and precipitate a mass extinction event.
One man who would not have been surprised by this crisis of bigness, had he lived to see it, was Leopold Kohr. Kohr has a good claim to be the most important political thinker that you have never heard of. Unlike Marx, he did not found a global movement or inspire revolutions. Unlike Hayek, he did not rewrite the economic rules of the modern world. Kohr was a modest, self-deprecating man, but this was not the reason his ideas have been ignored by movers and shakers in the half century since they were produced. They have been ignored because they do not flatter the egos of the power-hungry, be they revolutionaries or plutocrats. In fact, Kohr's message is a direct challenge to them. "Wherever something is wrong," he insisted, "something is too big."
Kohr was born in 1909 in the small Austrian town of Oberndorf. This smalltown childhood, together with his critical study of economics and political theory at the LSE, his experience of anarchist city states during the Spanish civil war, which he covered as a war reporter, and the fact that he was forced to flee Austria after the Nazi invasion (Kohr was Jewish), contributed to his growing suspicion of power and its abuses.
Settling in the US, Kohr began to write the book that would define his thinking. Published in 1957, The Breakdown of Nations laid out what at the time was a radical case: that small states, small nations and small economies are more peaceful, more prosperous and more creative than great powers or superstates. It was a claim that was as unfashionable as it was possible to make. This was the dawn of the space age – a time of high confidence in the progressive, gigantist, technology-fuelled destiny of humankind. Feted political thinkers were talking in all seriousness of creating a world government as the next step towards uniting humanity. Kohr was seriously at odds with the prevailing mood. He later commented, dryly, that his critics "dismissed my ideas by referring to me as a poet".
Kohr's claim was that society's problems were not caused by particular forms of social or economic organisation, but by their size. Socialism, anarchism, capitalism, democracy, monarchy – all could work well on what he called "the human scale": a scale at which people could play a part in the systems that governed their lives. But once scaled up to the level of modern states, all systems became oppressors. Changing the system, or the ideology that it claimed inspiration from, would not prevent that oppression – as any number of revolutions have shown – because "the problem is not the thing that is big, but bigness itself".
Drawing from history, Kohr demonstrated that when people have too much power, under any system or none, they abuse it. The task, therefore, was to limit the amount of power that any individual, organisation or government could get its hands on. The solution to the world's problems was not more unity but more division. The world should be broken up into small states, roughly equivalent in size and power, which would be able to limit the growth and thus domination of any one unit. Small states and small economies were more flexible, more able to weather economic storms, less capable of waging serious wars, and more accountable to their people. Not only that, but they were more creative. On a whistlestop tour of medieval and early modern Europe, The Breakdown of Nations does a brilliant job of persuading the reader that many of the glories of western culture, from cathedrals to great art to scientific innovations, were the product of small states.
To understand the sparky, prophetic power of Kohr's vision, you need to read The Breakdown of Nations. Some if it will create shivers of recognition. Bigness, predicted Kohr, could only lead to more bigness, for "whatever outgrows certain limits begins to suffer from the irrepressible problem of unmanageable proportions". Beyond those limits it was forced to accumulate more power in order to manage the power it already had. Growth would become cancerous and unstoppable, until there was only one possible endpoint: collapse.
We have now reached the point that Kohr warned about over half a century ago: the point where "instead of growth serving life, life must now serve growth, perverting the very purpose of existence". Kohr's "crisis of bigness" is upon us and, true to form, we are scrabbling to tackle it with more of the same: closer fiscal unions, tighter global governance, geoengineering schemes, more economic growth. Big, it seems, is as beautiful as ever to those who have the unenviable task of keeping the growth machine going.
This shouldn't surprise us. It didn't surprise Kohr, who, unlike some of his utopian critics, never confused a desire for radical change with the likelihood of it actually happening. Instead, his downbeat but refreshingly honest conclusion was that, like a dying star, the gigantist global system would in the end fall in on itself, and the whole cycle of growth would begin all over again. But before it did so, "between the intellectual ice ages of great-power domination", the world would become "little and free once more".
(Uh, he didn't tell us how we get little and free. That scares me. JS)
“In an ideal state, all citizens could be summoned by the cry of a herald.” Aristotle
13. From NPR's Marketplace
What the protestors at Occupy Wall Street are angry about
on September 30, 2011 3:19 PM
This final note on the way out today, a word or two about the protests in Lower Manhattan that’ve become known as Occupy Wall Street. Maybe a couple of hundred people have been camping out for two weeks or so not far from the New York Stock Exchange.
Until today, all we really knew was that they didn’t like the way things are going in this country. There’s now an official Declaration of the Occupation of New York City on their website.
It’s pretty long, but here’s the key part: “We come to you at a time,” it says, “when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments.”
There’s a list of 20 specific complaints, and an asterisk at the bottom that says — and I’m quoting — “These grievances are not all-inclusive.” Check out the list here.
Also check out our Marketplace Morning Report piece on the protests, with a slideshow, here.
14. LTE The Economist 3 March 07
The very good old days
Sir - I was interested to read that there were 700 raids on cash-transport vehicles in Britain in 2005. In the 1930s I worked opposite a bank in the City of London. From time to time a horse-drawn wagon with a canvas top would pull up outside the bank. The driver would remain in his seat while a lad got out to lower the tailgate so that the bank's employees could meander out with gold bricks and place them in the wagon. The lad then closed the tailgate, climbed back into the wagon and off it went. A policeman standing nearby while the loading was being done would then wander off. How times have changed.
15. Notes & Queries, Guardian Weekly
Fat cat ... one of the few beneficiaries of capitalism it seems. Photograph: Alamy
Is there any alternative to capitalism?
Communism sucks, capitalism sucks, economics sucks: what are we left with?
• A bad taste in the mouth.
Philip Stigger, British Colombia, Canada
Jennifer Horat Lengwil, Switzerland
• As John Fowles, one of the great English writers of the 20th century, observed in his Notebooks: "the world needs a system between communism and capitalism".
Edward Black Church Point, NSW, Australia
• A resource-based economy – see www.thevenusproject.com
Dick Hedges, Nairobi, Kenya
• Puckered lips
John Marbrook, Auckland, New Zealand
• No lolly.
Peter Hoare Quorn, Leicestershire, UK
• Quite obviously, a policy vacuum.
Ralph J Cruickshank Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
• Your thumb.
John Hopgood, Valencia, Spain
Why are there political parties?
One of the most primitive and powerful instincts in humans is to identify and belong to a tribe, which is almost always in real or imagined opposition to other tribes. This instinct governs nearly all we do: the decisions we make about where and how we live, which football teams we support, which books, newspapers and magazines we buy and read, what clothes we wear, how we speak...
It also governs the formation of religions and then the sects within those religions, and the way people identify with one or the other. Generally, the bigger the tribe, the stronger it is, so members will welcome recruits to ensure their own tribe will prevail.
Societies form political parties to satisfy this primitive instinct. Somehow, we need to feel that there's us and them. No matter how the political system is dressed up with its protocol and its ceremonies, nor how similar opposing parties may be in their beliefs, it's all merely the following of a primitive instinct to form tribes.
My tribe? The world-wide readers of the Guardian Weekly.
Robert Jones Caernarfon, Wales, UK
• How else should the ruling-class celebrate their domination?
Matthew Wood, Belfast, UK
Why do dishwashers not have windows?
Reality TV producers managed to get them nobbled, to head off clearly superior competition.
Barrie Sargeant, Otaki Beach, New Zealand
Why aren't the best brains running the country?
P. Pinchbeck Halkidiki, Greece
Why do so many people still wear watches?
Christopher Nutter Essen, Germany