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.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

2011.11.17

1.   Remember the sky that you were born under, that all is in motion, is growing, is you. Remember the dance that language is.  Remember
2.   This is the most important week in the history of amphibian conservation
3.   Comment deadline looms for Drake's Bay Oyster operation in a National Wilderness
4.   Acorns a la carte - stories geared towards children Nov 20
5.   Big planting day on Cerrito Creek Saturday 19th
6.   Record number of bird species counted in San Francisco:  257
7.   Cluster of Monarch butterflies in Ft Mason
8.   Fundamental San Francisco: The Creation of the Port and the Development of the City.  TONIGHT, Presidio
9.   Feedback: Number of hours worked by Greeks vs Germans, English
10. Nominations open for 2012 California Outdoors Hall of Fame
11.  Creek walk to see endangered spawning Coho Salmon
12.  Guardian Weekly potpourri
    a.  our common treasury has been captured by industrial psychopaths
    b.  the deadening consensus on globalization
    c.  there is a history of Texans whose presidential ambitions exceeded their verbal skills
13.  David Brooks and David Frum; some ruminations
14.  Honeycombs seem Palaces, and mites imagine all the World a Cheese
15.  Freakonomics Radio: Your Thanksgiving turkey a product of artificial insemination
16.  Let the keening begin/other Irishisms/leafsnap
17.  Ted Kipping potluck: Cloud Forests of Eastern Ecuador Nov 22
18.  W.C. Handy, born 16 November 1873
19.  There is an incomparable day that comes once a year on the bay...
20.  The Subject Tonight is Love - Hafiz
21.  Notes & Queries


“Great nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts:  the book of their deeds, the book of their words, and the book of their art.  Not one of these books can be understood unless we read the two others, but of the three the only trustworthy one is the last.”  John Ruskin

1.


Remember

Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star's stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is. I met her
in a bar once in Iowa City.
Remember the sun's birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother's, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe. I heard her singing Kiowa war
dance songs at the corner of Fourth and Central once.
Remember that you are all people and that all people are you.
Remember that you are this universe and that this universe is you.
Remember that all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember that language comes from this.
Remember the dance that language is, that life is.
Remember.

~ Joy Harjo ~

(How We Become Human)
________________________


Once in his life a man ought to concentrate his mind upon the remembered earth.  He ought to give himself up to a particular landscape in his experience, to look at it from as many angles as he can, to wonder upon it, to dwell upon it.

He ought to imagine that he touches it with his hands at every season and listens to the sounds that are made upon it.

He ought to imagine the creatures there and all the faintest motions of the wind.

    N Scott Momaday

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2.  THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT WEEK IN THE HISTORY OF AMPHIBIAN CONSERVATION
www.savethefrogs.com/help
Dear Jake,
SAVE THE FROGS! has climbed to #21 in the Chase Community Giving Contest, in which the Grand Prize Winning charity receives $250,000; four charities receive $100,000; 95 charities receive $25,000. SAVE THE FROGS! is still 3,000 votes behind the leading organization (which is dedicated to pit bulls). This $250,000 would more than TRIPLE our annual budget and could mean the difference between extinction and survival for amphibian species around the planet. To ensure the future of frog species, our own species and a healthy planet on which to live, we need to win this...so I need YOUR help, today and for the next 7 days.
THIS IS HOW YOU CAN HELP:
(1) Please go cast your vote for SAVE THE FROGS! at:
www.savethefrogs.com/chase

(2) You need a Facebook account to vote, but not to spread the word!!! So please forward this email to 5 friends; call your friends to get them to vote; write an article on your website or blog...get creative!

(2) Please spend 4 hours over the next 7 days spreading the word following the instructions on:
www.savethefrogs.com/help


Volunteers Needed To Help Save The Frogs
We seek volunteers with 4 hours over the next week to do some specific tasks related to spreading the word about the $250,000 prize we seek. All you need is internet and you must be 10th grade or higher. Please fill out this form and we will contact you! Thanks!
savethefrogs.com/volunteers

SAVE THE FROGS! in the world's busiest airport
Last month we got offered a deal we couldn't refuse: two 14 foot long posters in Atlanta's International airport -- the busiest airport on the planet. Tens of thousands of people will see these two posters and many will become SAVE THE FROGS! supporters and spread our message around the planet.
The spaces usually sell for $238,000 for the 6+ months the posters will be up, but we were able to get the spaces for only $1,500, less than one percent of their value! However, SAVE THE FROGS! still needs to raise the $1,500 to pay the bill; I skipped my paychecks last month to ensure we would have the funds to get through October and we are still getting by on very little.
PLEASE CHIP IN WHATEVER YOU CAN, EVEN $10 HELPS! ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE.
savethefrogs.com/donate

Please take your photo in front of the poster and send it to us...it may end up on this webpage! The posters are in Concourse E International: Delta, Air Jamaica, British Airways, Korean Air, Lufthansa (Germany), South African Airways. Feel free to post this image on your website.

Thanks to Alyson Lee for the graphic design. Thanks to Southern Orange-eyed Treefrogs for looking so cool!

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3.  Environmental Action Committee of West Marin

Please visit the National Park Service website to comment on the Draft EIS for the Drakes Bay Oyster Company.
The comment deadline is in two weeks! November 29, 2011!

The Draft EIS makes clear that allowing the private, commercial oyster company to exploit Drakes Estero for ten more years would have numerous adverse impacts - most notably from the invasive species - on eelgrass habitat, native fish, harbor seals, resident and migratory birds, endangered species, wilderness values and the National Park experience.

A deal is a deal! In 1976, Congress committed that Drakes Estero within Point Reyes National Seashore would have full wilderness protection in 2012, when the existing commercial oyster company use permit expires. There are more appropriate places to grow oysters. It is time to return Drakes Estero to all Americans as marine wilderness, as Congress intended.

Please submit comments in support of the No Action alternative (Alternative A), which is also the Environmentally Preferred Alternative, which would allow the oyster permit to expire in 2012. This is the only alternative compatible with federal wilderness law and National Park Service policies on natural resource conservation, restoration and invasive species management.

The comment deadline is in two weeks on November 29, 2011, and the website for comment is:
http://home.nps.gov/pore/parkmgmt/planning_dboc_sup_deis.htm

Go to www.savepointreyeswilderness.org for more information, facts, talking points, and background.

-------------------------------------------

Critical Talking Points

-  The Draft EIS adequately addresses the numerous long-term adverse impacts of keeping Drakes Bay Oyster Company non-native shellfish production for 10 more years, citing the best available science, including hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific journal articles.

- Support the NO ACTION Alternative because it is the Environmentally Preferred Alternative which would allow wilderness in 2012 as Congress intended since the 1970s, and it is the only alternative supported by federal law, sound science and National Park Service policies.

- The Action Alternatives have significant long-term adverse impacts to the Drakes Estero environment, including to wetlands, birds, fish, harbor seals, native mollusks, endangered species, eelgrass beds and to wilderness and the national park experience.

- The Action Alternatives are a direct attack on the Wilderness Act of 1964, and run counter to the 1962 Point Reyes enabling legislation, the 1976 Point Reyes Wilderness Act, and set a dangerous precedent for future commercialization of National Parks and Wilderness around the county.

- The oyster operation involves 3700 motorboat trips per year through harbor seal and eelgrass habitat; promotes the spread of invasive species impacts to native oysters, eelgrass beds, bird, fish and endangered species habitat; and litters remote Point Reyes beaches with thousands of pieces of plastic trash.
_________________________

P.S. Drakes Estero shelters twenty percent of the mainland breeding population of harbor seals in California, and its wetlands, mudflats and eelgrass beds are home to numerous shorebirds, waterfowl, native fish and endangered species. Drakes Bay Oyster Company (DBOC) purchased the remaining 7 years on a 40-year non-renewable permit in 2005. Since then, DBOC has waged a public relations campaign and lobbied aggressively to overturn the wilderness designation, with big backing from interests that would like to commercialize our national parks, including an extreme right-wing congressman who has initiated a witch hunt against National Park Service staff.

(JS:  He is referring to Congressman Darrell Issa from San Diego Area.)
_____________________________
(from Jim Ansbro):

Hi J.
The reception was well attended, including Quentin Kopp.
Mr.& Mrs. Lunny were personally shucking baby oysters, while explaining their situation to the eager oyster eaters...
http://www.drakesbayoyster.com/

The exhibit is intentionally neutral, & focuses on the Mexican workers:
http://www.oysterfarmphotos.com/

Somehow the CHS curator overlooked Jack London :
http://www.waterfrontaction.org/history/16.htm


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4.
Sunday Special: Acorns รก la carte
Sunday, November 20th, 11 am
Mill Valley Public Library Creekside Room
375 Throckmorton Av, Mill Valley
415-389-4292  x203

In this season of Thanksgiving, join Ane Carla Rovetta for stories, drawings, and a celebration of the woodlands that surround us, geared towards children. She'll share acorn treats, toys, and folktales that are guaranteed to increase your appreciation of Marin's amazing oaks!

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5.  Friends of Five Creeks

Our big planting day on Cerrito Creek is Saturday, Nov. 19. From 10 AM – 12:30 PM.  Cerrito Creek is north of Albany Hill.

Please join us for this crowning moment of our stewardship year, as we give hundreds of new native plants a chance to get rooted during winter rains. Meet at El Cerrito’s Creekside Park, south end of Santa Clara Ave. (Internet maps 3488 Santa Clara, El Cerrito).

Wear closed-toed shoes with good traction and dress in layers, in clothes that can get dirty! Tools, gloves, water, and snacks provided. We will work in a drizzle, but heavy rain cancels.

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6.  Setting records is fun--to do and to read about--but the subject is intrinsically interesting.  257 different species of birds in San Francisco?  Yes.

http://baynature.org/articles/web-only-articles/on-the-hunt-with-domink-mosur-record-setting-birder


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7.  Monarch butterflies.  This video is only about a minute long:

Jake --
I was fortunate enough to have Rick Bacigalupi along with me - an amazing documentarian - when I spied my first ever "cluster"
of Monarchs in San Francisco.  Thought your audience might enjoy this brief film.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DoumB9km1I

 
The roost is located in the grove of eucalyptus between the Fort Mason Community Garden and the Youth Hostel. Walk right to the center, look up, and marvel at this elusive phenonmenon. And a big thanks out there to all the folks who helped me in my search.
Liam O'Brien


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8.  Voices & Views: Contemporary Historians at the Presidio

Lecture Series through November 17, 2011
Golden Gate Club, 135 Fisher Loop

The Presidio Trust proudly inaugurates a new lecture series featuring nationally known historians. Some presentations will be about the Presidio, while others will explore larger themes in American and world history, placing the Presidio’s extraordinary past into a larger context.

NEXT UP!

Thursday, November 17, 7 pm
The Redmond Kernan Lecture: Honoring Redmond Kernan, a Lover of History and the Presidio

Fundamental San Francisco: The Creation of the Port and the Development of the City
Featuring Michael Corbett, Architectural Historian, San Francisco Architectural Heritage

In this program historic images chart the physical development of the Port of San Francisco and its relationships to the city. This little-known story is fundamental to the history of San Francisco and to the city's growth and prosperity from the 19th century to World War II. Through monumental works of engineering, the Port created the familiar piers and some of what is today the most desirable urban land in the United States.

Michael Corbett is an independent architectural historian who has been writing about San Francisco since 1973. He is the author of Splendid Survivors: San Francisco’s Downtown Architectural Heritage (1979), the influential survey that formed the basis of the downtown plan and remains a standard reference on San Francisco architecture.

Presidio Historical Association
P.O. Box 29163
San Francisco, CA 94129
(415) 752-2270
www.presidioassociation.org

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9.  Feedback

Alex Lantsberg (RE; the economist LTE re: work hours and weather....):
too bad the author's assertions don't stand up to the scrutiny afforded by official statistics.  from the looks of it those greeks work A LOT more than either those anglo & germanic paragons of the work ethic

avg. hours worked/year (total employment)

Time                        2000    2001    2002    2003    2004    2005    2006    2007    2008    2009    2010
                                       
Germany                  1 473    1 458    1 445    1 439    1 442    1 434    1 430    1 430    1 426    1 390    1 419
Greece                  2 121    2 121    2 109    2 103    2 082    2 086    2 148    2 115    2 116    2 119    2 109
United Kingdom   
1 700    1 705    1 684    1 674    1 674    1 673    1 668    1 670    1 665    1 643    1 647

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10.  Nominations are now open for the 2012 class of the California Outdoors Hall of Fame. A new website was unveiled this past week to recognize the event.

The California Outdoors Hall of Fame recognizes individuals with a profound scope of outdoor accomplishments that have impacted others and improved the lives of Californians. Personal achievement by itself, on the other hand, merits less consideration. The award is sponsored by the International Sportsmen's Exposition.

All candidates must fill two requirements:

1. The nominees have inspired thousands of Californians to take part in the great outdoors and/or conservation.

2. The nominees must have taken part in a paramount scope of adventures.

Anybody can nominate an entrant. Entrants can nominate themselves. Entrees must include a 200 to 250-word biography or will be disqualified.

Voting is conducted in early winter by past winners, the Circle of Chiefs, and leaders in outdoors media, government and industry, who vote anonymously, free of faction. The winners will be announced in January at the Sacramento International Sportsmen’s Exposition.

Go to http://caloutdoorshalloffame.org.


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11.

Join SPAWN naturalists on a creek walk to see endangered spawning Coho Salmon!!!

Being outdoors and observing this endangered species is a great family opportunity and fun for everyone!

*RESERVATIONS REQUIRED*
November 25, 2001 - January 14, 2012
                Contact us Online at www.SpawnUSA.org, or email CreekWalk@SpawnUSA.org


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12.  Guardian Weekly digital edition


The 1% are the best destroyers

George Monbiot Our common treasury in the last 30 years has been captured by industrial psychopaths. That's why we're nearly bankrupt

("We're probably known around the universe as that really noisy blue planet where everybody pees in their water." Will Durst)

An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics - Plutarch


Small is beautiful

Madeleine Bunting It is chilling that so many have signed up to the deadening consensus of globalisation

(Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials. -Lin Yutang)


A gaffe is no bar to office

Simon Tisdall: There is a history of Texans whose presidential ambitions exceeded their verbal skills

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13.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
When small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set. -Lin Yutang, writer and translator (1895-1976)

(Does the name George Bush come to mind?)


“THE shapers of the American mortgage finance system hoped to achieve the security of government ownership, the integrity of local banking and the ingenuity of Wall Street. Instead they got the ingenuity of government, the security of local banking and the integrity of Wall Street,” David Frum, a former White House speechwriter (George W Bush), lamented in 2008.


JS:  David Frum for many years alternated weekly with Robert Reich on NPR's Marketplace, offering commentary on current economic situations.  He recently announced, in effect, that he could no longer represent the "conservative" view as Reich so effectively represented the liberal perspective.  Marketplace is currently without a right-of-center commentator. 

A parallel situation exists on the News Hour (formerly Jim Lehrer's), where David Brooks and Mark Shields offer right and left perspectives.  Brooks, originally a supporter of both Geo W Bush and the Iraq war, gradually over the years backed away from both, and in 2008 supported Obama.  As he evolved I warmed to him, and now consider him to be perhaps the most perceptive commentator on the national and world political scene.  He is still right of center, but thoughtful and nuanced.

Brooks didn't resign because of this, as Frum did.  I'm unsure why Frum decided to leave, as he was still right of center; my assumption is that certain people didn't think he was far enough right.  I know NPR is sensitive about being viewed as liberal.  The right has been accusing NPR of liberal bias for the last several decades.  The problem for NPR is that there isn't any thoughtful commentary coming from the extreme right--only ideology.  I miss Frum.


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14.
Thus Ants, who for a Grain employ their Cares,
Think all the business of the Earth is theirs.
Thus Honeycombs seem Palaces to Bees,
And mites imagine all the World a Cheese.
    -Alexander Pope

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15.  Freakonomics Radio
Your Thanksgiving turkey is probably a product of artificial insemination


Turkeys stand in a barn. Americans will probably eat 40 million turkeys this month -- most of them won't be naturally reproduced. 

(And if they can move a foot in either direction they're called free-range turkeys.  JS)


http://www.marketplace.org/topics/life/freakonomics-radio/your-thanksgiving-turkey-probably-product-artificial-insemination

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16.  Potpourri from Jim Ansboro:

let the keening begin :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nomd1_UfJtU&feature=related Carol Burnett tries her hand at it


Irish Garden War Poem  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFvRgnm7dc0 

ronan o snodaigh garden wars

& have you seen http://leafsnap.com/about/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCpR4JTEy4c


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17.  Ted Kipping pot luck/slide shows
4th Tuesday of the month at 7 pm (slide show at 8 pm) at the San Francisco County Fair Bldg, 9th Av & Lincoln Way in Golden Gate Park
Served by Muni bus lines #6, 43, 44, 66, 71, and the N-Judah Metro
NOV. 22          RONN PATERSON
                         CLOUD FORESTS OF EASTERN ECUADOR
*Please bring a dish and beverage to serve 8 people

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18.  "I hate to see that evening sun go down."  (W.C. Handy)

    "The most perfect line of iambic pentameter ever written."  T.S. Eliot

W.C. Handy, born 16 November 1873



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19.
“There is an incomparable day that comes once a year on the bay.  It arrives not according to any man-made calendar, but like the date of Easter is determined by what happens in the sky.  Like Easter, too, it is a day of awakening, but it comes always in the fall of the year.  It is the first clear day after the first rain.  One morning the rains are gone; the mists are washed away; and with a sudden crescendo the bay is brilliant with new life.  The wind is sharp and cold; the air sparkles like burnished glass; the bay radiates with an intensity of light not seen since winter.  The cliffs and rocks of the Golden Gate are fringed with white breakers, and the light glitters and dances across the cobalt surface, flecked with whitecaps like coconut on a cake.  All the bay seems to sing in the morning light, in the sharp invigorating radiance of this superlative moment of the year.  Around its shores three million people are going to work, feeling in their pulses the quickening splendor of this shining day.”
-Harold Gilliam, San Francisco Bay, 1957

Uh, 6 million now, Harold.


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20.
All The Hemispheres

Leave the familiar for a while.
Let your senses and bodies stretch out

Like a welcomed season
Onto the meadows and shores and hills.

Open up to the Roof.
Make a new water-mark on your excitement
And love.

Like a blooming night flower,
Bestow your vital fragrance of happiness
And giving
Upon our intimate assembly.

Change rooms in your mind for a day.

All the hemispheres in existence
Lie beside an equator
In your heart.

Greet Yourself
In your thousand other forms
As you mount the hidden tide and travel
Back home.

All the hemispheres in heaven
Are sitting around a fire
Chatting

While stitching themselves together
Into the Great Circle inside of
You.

~ Hafiz ~

(The Subject Tonight is Love - versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)

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21.  Notes & Queries, Guardian Weekly


Why is it that there are no four-legged birds?
For the same reason that there are no six-legged animals.

Philip Stigger, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

• They use the other two limbs to fly. But just wait long enough, and some mad scientist will develop a multi-legged bird so we can each have a drumstick.

Joan Dawson, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

• Same reason that there are no four-legged humans. Wings and arms.

Jake Jackson, Tauranga, New Zealand

• Because such a hybrid developed into mammals for reasons of terrain and climate. Read Montesquieu and Darwin.

Edward Black, Pauanui, New Zealand

• They must have existed, as the Bible has a reference to them. The Book of Leviticus (11:20-21) records: "All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you". This statement is in the context of what is good and what is forbidden to God's Chosen People to eat. It remains for an enterprising creationist to venture into an unexplored part of the world and bring back some live four-legged birds as proof the Bible is not wrong and that humans and dinosaurs did indeed coexist and still do.

Jennifer Hor, Sydney, Australia

• Of course there are. Twins!

James Carroll, Geneva, Switzerland



Outsider trading? No way

What would be the result of declaring all the world's stock markets illegal?


• No difference. The markets would go underground, but that's really where they have always been.
Tony Lee, Coolum Beach, Queensland, Australia

• Intensive insider trading.

H Metszies, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

• Chaos!

Martin Cooper, Sydney, Australia

• This would make them black markets and as a consequence stock prices would soar.

Roger Williams, Springwood, NSW, Australia

• We'd all be happier as the 24‑hour news media could regain some balance instead of putting "the markets" and "the economy" as the main focus with their roller-coaster rides and predictions of impending disaster. Perhaps we could hear some good news stories (but I won't be holding my breath!)

Margaret Wilkes, Perth, Western Australia

• Compulsory vegetarianism.

Barrie Sargeant, Otaki Beach, New Zealand



Nothing, nothing at all

What is the first thing I will see or feel when I exit this current existence?

• There will be no first thing. No second thing either. No thing, period.

Susan Douglas, Hazelton, British Columbia, Canada



Please pardon the typo

Why aren't the best brains running the country?

• There appears to have been a Grauniad-style misprint – the first "n" in "running" should be an "i". In which case, the answer to the question can only be: they are, sir – they are.

Andrew Hoadley, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia



Any answers?

If Shakespeare's grave were ever opened, what might be found there?


Norbert Hirschhorn, London, UK

Is it just a coincidence that creditor rhymes with predator?

Mac Bradden, Port Hope, Ontario, Canada

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