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.

Monday, November 21, 2011

2011.11.21

1a. Weed warriors: Cal-IPC president Jason Giessow badly injured
1b. List of state parks slated for closure
1c.  A public R-O-W that hosts a beehive?  Yours maybe can too
2.   Feedback
3.   The benefits of office clutter
4.   Give the gift of Bay Nature
5.   Heron's Head Naturalist position open/other opportunities
6.   Elephants never forget their migration trail, even if a hotel was built on it
7.   Pass the hemlock: Just imagine that countries still traded land for money
8.   A word of the day: cacique
9.   Save The Frogs: Ask the governor to ban sale of live frogs/circulate petition/items you can donate
10. "Smokin Joe" Frazier, heavyweight boxer, dies
11.  Gifts that Restore Hetch Hetchy/Go Solar and benefit RHH
12.  The Chance by Arthur Sze/At the edge where there is no I or not-I
13.  Collective nouns of sea life: a bob or a crash of seals, a shiver of sharks, a squabble of seagulls

1a.  (Doug Johnson):  I just heard that Jason is heading home from the hospital right now. Great news. Last night he texted a photo of himself enjoying dim sum that Greg Omori brought to the hospital.  He’s in good spirits, considering.

For anyone who has not heard already, Jason Giessow was injured at an arundo worksite last Thursday and lost his left arm at the shoulder. Sorry, I know it’s a terrible shock to read that. Some details can be found at http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Medics-Fail-to-Save-Mans-Severed-Arm-134132363.html.

You can text Jason at 760/207-9066. His home address is 1003 Hygeia Ave., Encinitas CA 92024-1709. Keep him and his family in your thoughts.

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1b.  Here's a list of state parks slated for closure:
Benicia SRA
Bothe-Napa Valley SP
Brannan Island SRA
Candlestick Point SRA
Castle Rock SP
China Camp SP
Gray Whale Cove SB
Henry W. Coe SP
Jack London SHP
Olompali SHP
Petaluma Adobe SHP
Portola Redwoods SP
Tomales Bay SP

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1c.  The Greenwich Steps (i.e. Greenwich Street) is San Francisco’s first-ever public right-of-way to host a beehive. Kate McGee, local beekeeper, harvested her first Telegraph Hill honey this summer and fall. If you would like to install a beehive on a public right-of-way or other public land, please be in touch with Carla Short, Urban Forester with DPW, who facilitated this pilot project on the Greenwich Steps: Carla.Short@sfdpw.org. For more info about Kate’s Telegraph Hill honey: www.heslethoney.com <http://www.heslethoney.com/>

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2.  Feedback

On Nov 19, 2011, at 6:33 PM, Peter Rauch wrote:
At 17:57 11/11/19, you wrote:
4.   The dollar value of insects, understated
You're right, Jake.  It is so understated as to be totally worthless information.  Without insect ecoservices, the entire Earth life system, Humanity included, would collapse --what's that worth ?

Selling Mother Nature short is not just ignorance, it's fatal.
My identical reaction when I read this, Peter.  When you try to put a dollar value on something that is priceless or indispensable, that's what happens.

Worthless?  Perhaps, but don't be too sure.  Sometimes you may save something only when you put a monetary value on the parts that can be monetized, otherwise it doesn't enter the calculations.  It's understood (by most people) the most important part is left out.

But I shouldn't be hasty in blowing you off.  That last sentence--"not just ignorance, it's fatal"--may be exactly our fate.  We know so much about changing climate, yet are doing nothing.  Hard to believe, but we don't intend to do anything, either.

Alex Lantsberg (counterpoint to your moment of zen... 6.  Never test the depth of the water with both feet.):
"gonna find out just how tall i am by jumping in the middle of a river" - widespread panic

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3.  LTE, The Economist
Catching up on some reading

SIR – Thanks for the story nine years ago on the benefits of office clutter (“In praise of clutter”, December 21st 2002). I located the article this week in a pile of important material set aside for review. The system has worked perfectly, as you said it would.

Michael Rose
Sydney

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4.  This season, give a holiday gift that's beautiful, local and natural ... like Bay Nature magazine!
Buy one subscription to Bay Nature magazine for only $17.95... Buy two or more for only $15 each, and save over 30%!  Offer ends December 31st!

http://store.baynature.com/Search.bok?category=Gift+Subscriptions+and+Renewals






(Actually, you need a good reason NOT to subscribe to
Bay Nature.  Being unemployed or dead are the only two reasons I can think of.  JS)


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5.  Apply Your LEJendary Qualifications!

We're currently hiring for the Heron's Head Park Naturalist position. Here is your opportunity be amongst other LEJends of environmental justice and habitat stewardship! Visit our website's Get Involved page and download the job application today!

                                                *****************************
"Literacy for Environment Justice provides education and stewardship programs at Heron's Head Park funded by the Port of San Francisco, with additional funding provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the State Coastal Conservancy, the Kimball Foundation, and Yosef's Fund of the San Francisco Foundation .."

New Drop-In Volunteer Opportunity!  TLC for the EC!
Every 3rd Friday of Every Month, 9:30am-12:30pm
The Weekday Warriors Program, plans to integrate the functions of Eco Center and create a space for educating and inspiring public awareness of the beauty and value California native plants.
Volunteers will help the establishment of the EcoCenter native plant landscape by weeding, pruning, mulching, and planting the new native landscape. Tools, gloves, and snacks provided. Please wear closed- toe shoes and layers. *Project will be cancelled if there is heavy rain.

Got tickets? Nasty parking tickets?
LEJ is registered with  Project 20! Take your anger and frustrations out on the invasive plant species while paying off those nasty parking tickets by volunteering with LEJ! Contact the DPT for more info about this program to reduce your ticket fines while you give back to your community.

Calling all interns!
We continually encourage the engagement of either high school or college interns at LEJ. Visit our Get Involved page on our website to see HOW you can gain some professional development with our staff.

Donate, Donate, Donate!
Our programs are still in great need of your support. We continue to work towards environmental justice through engagement of our community and we thank you for your ongoing support of our organization! We couldn't do it without you! Click here to find out how you can give TODAY.

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6.  Elephants never forget
 
Elephants march through hotel lobby after it was built on their migration trail!

The Mfuwe Lodge in  Zambia  happens to have been built next to a mango grove that one family of elephants have always visited when the fruit ripens. When they returned one year and found the luxury accommodation in the way, they simply walked through the lobby to reach their beloved grove of trees.   









                                                                                    I'd like to speak to the manager, please.
  


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7.  The market for state territory

Pass the hemlock

Just imagine that countries still traded land for money

Nov 19th 2011 | from The Economist (excerpt)

HELLENIC opinion was outraged last year when Frank Schäffler, a German politician, advised “bankrupt Greeks” to “sell your islands…and sell the Acropolis too!” That is hardly practical politics: as long as Greece remains a democracy, the political, and perhaps biological, lifespan of a leader who proposed hauling down the flag over even the tiniest Aegean outcrop would be measured in hours.

...The thinness of the market gives little indication of what sovereignty is worth. One guide might be the net present value of future tax payments, minus the net costs of public services disbursed there. Greece’s unusual habits with tax and spending could distort that indicator; but it could tempt an outsider to try to run the territory better. Auctions are the best way of setting prices—but would risk jangling nerves. Iran might find an Aegean island a handy way of foiling NATO’s planned missile-defence shield. Perhaps Greece could scare Germany into softer terms just by threatening such a sale.
Many a private-equity firm has overestimated the profits to be wrung from buy-outs, and the sovereignty market may be no exception. When America bought Alaska from Russia for $7.2m (now $113m), in 1867, some called it folly—and how wrong they were, American schoolbooks declare. But the sceptics might be right. David Barker, a professor at the University of Iowa, says that despite its oil wealth, Alaska was so costly to develop that the Treasury has lost money on the deal.

(And we got Sarah Palin, too.  Pass me the hemlock.  JS)

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8.
cacique

PRONUNCIATION:
(kuh-SEEK)
MEANING:
noun: A local political boss.
ETYMOLOGY:
Via Spanish from Taino cacike (chief). Earliest documented use: 1555. Taino is an extinct member of the Arawakan language family spoken in the West Indies.
USAGE:
"About a month after Mayor Daley announced his retirement, many aldermen are still too stunned to know how to function without being bossed. 'Not being told what to do by the cacique is new to a lot of people,' Mr. Munoz said."
Dan Mihalopoulos; Daley's Tenure Nears End; The New York Times; Oct 8, 2010.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
We are social creatures to the inmost centre of our being. The notion that one can begin anything at all from scratch, free from the past, or unindebted to others, could not conceivably be more wrong. -Karl Popper, philosopher and a professor (1902-1994)

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9.  SAVE THE FROGS! featured in today's LA Times
Dear Jake,
SAVE THE FROGS' campaign to stop the importation of several million non-native American Bullfrogs into the state of California each year is getting worldwide attention today thanks to Louis Sahagun's article that appears in today's LA Times. As you may recall, on May 19, 2010 I testified at the California Fish & Game Commission's hearing on this issue, where they voted for the second time to stop issuing permits for the importation of non-native frogs and turtles into the state for use as food. Unfortunately, the California Department of Fish & Game has gone against the Commission's orders, and the Commission has done nothing to correct the problem. SAVE THE FROGS! is working hard to get California Governor Jerry Brown to ban the importation, sale, release and possession of American Bullfrogs in the state, and this article will go a long way toward bringing much-needed recognition to the issue -- and ensuring our success.
Read the LA Times article here, and please leave a comment.












Print this petition to ban American Bullfrogs in California
If you are from California, please print this petition, then collect signatures and mail it back to us. If you are not from California, please forward this email to your friends in California and ask them to collect signatures. We will have an electronic petition very soon as well!



SAVE THE FROGS! could use these gifts this holiday season
Please give SAVE THE FROGS! a holiday gift: get us some of the gear we need to do our jobs as efficiently and safely as possible.
-- Sony E-Book Reader
-- External Hard Drives
-- Laptop computers
-- Lynda.com Annual Subscription
-- GPS
-- Headlights
-- Books
-- Digital Audio Recorder
-- Rechargeable Batteries
-- Bookbags
-- Data Projector
Learn all the details on why we need these items and where to get them at:
savethefrogs.com/wishlist


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10.  “Smokin Joe” Frazier, heavyweight boxer, died on November 7th, aged 67

Nov 19th 2011 | from The Economist



TO SAY that Joe Frazier had a left hook was like saying the Tomcat jet fighter is an aeroplane. This one was devastating. You knew it was there, but he kept it hidden. For most of a fight he would press in, head down like a bull charging, fists close to the chest. He was short for a heavyweight, five feet eleven, and made himself look shorter, hunching his shoulders and punching close with his stumpy, jabbing arms. He didn’t dance around, but worked away at it, bobbing and weaving relentlessly, throwing away perhaps two punches for every one he landed. His style was to keep aggressively on, wear a man down, get him winded. Then—boom!—the dazzling left hook that sent his opponent sprawling.

His craft had been honed for years. First on the heavy bag he’d made himself that hung from the oak tree in the yard of the family shack in Beaufort, South Carolina: just an old burlap bag stuffed with rags and corn cobs, Spanish moss and rocks. Anything that could take a punch. His mamma whupped him with a braided vine and his daddy whupped him with a belt when he deserved it, and then he’d pummel that bag. His uncle had told him at eight years old, as he watched the “Wednesday Night Fight” on the blurry black-and-white TV with the other men, that he could be another Joe Louis. He aimed to do it. Later he practised on the hanging sides of beef at Cross Brothers’ slaughterhouse in Philadelphia, Rocky Balboa in real life. One, two in the refrigerated room, breath smoking, gloves smoking. That was what his first trainer told him to do when he signed on at the police gym in 1961: make his gloves smoke.

Out of 37 professional fights, he won 27 with knockouts. His left hook won him gold at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, toppling Hans Huber, even though his left thumb was so hurt it was probably broken. It earned him the world heavyweight crown, besting Jimmy Ellis in the fifth at Madison Square Garden in 1970. And most spectacularly it was how he beat Muhammad Ali in “The Fight of the Century” at the Garden in 1971, when after 14 rounds of increasing ferocity (just throw punches, he was thinking. Just throw punches) he landed a blow on that bragging jaw that won him the fight on points and sent Ali round to the hospital.
Nothing was sweeter to him than that one punch. He kept a photo of it, blown up huge, in the office of the gym where he had trained in Philadelphia and later trained young boxers himself. His rivalry with Ali was the most intense in boxing. It may have thawed at moments, but deep down he hated him. Hated the big mouth that called him ugly, flat-footed and a gorilla (punching a little rubber gorilla as he said it, contemptuously), while Frazier would sit with his plain, solid, patient face wondering whether he could get one word in. Especially he hated Ali calling him an Uncle Tom, a white man’s black boxer.

Ali had been stripped of his world heavyweight title in 1967 for refusing the Vietnam draft. That made some whites go to Frazier’s corner, and made many blacks go on calling Ali champion even when Frazier was. That hurt. Ali talked a streak about civil rights; Frazier didn’t mention them much. But it was he, the sharecropper’s son, who had felt the sharper edge of segregation, “the animosity, hatred, bigotry, you name it”. He punched his bag at home because the town playgrounds were closed to him. From childhood he picked okra for white farmers until one day he defied them, threw in his job and left the South on a Greyhound bus, already sure at 15 that he could never make a life there.

Buying the plantation

He enjoyed his celebrity time: the fur coats and the diamond rings, the maroon Cadillac limousine in which her Billy Boy swept back into Beaufort to buy a 368-acre plantation for his mamma. He would joke and sing at the drop of a hat (stylish hats, too), heading a musical revue for some years called Smokin Joe Frazier and the Knockouts. Generally he rolled with the punches, a gentleman when it counted. When George Foreman knocked him down six times in 1973 and took the world title from him he could only say, laughing, that Foreman punched good. Very good.

With Ali it was a different matter. They fought three times, and he lost twice. On the third occasion, the “Thriller in Manila” in 1975, when they pulverised each other in smothering heat until he could no longer see Ali’s right coming and was stumbling round blind, his trainer pulled him out in the 14th. He never forgave him. Ali was spent too, Frazier still wanted “to show him the error of his foolish pride”, and who knows what his left hook could have done to that pretty face. “How much did you want that title?” he was asked later. Beaming, he replied: “Like hogs love slop.”

In his last years the money seemed to vanish; none was left for his funeral. His gym became a bedding outlet, and at the Spring Garden Deli, where he went to eat his lunch of grits with spinach and tomatoes, the waitress didn’t know who he was. Gamely, he would let her beat him at arm-wrestling. And he could still be induced to sing sometimes, in a voice slurred and croaky after hundreds of punches to the head, his own version of his favourite song: “I fought them fair, I fought them square, I fought them my-y-y-y way.”


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11.

This year give the gifts that restore 
* 20% of each purchase goes directly to Restore Hetch Hetchy
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* Order by December 1st for Christmas Delivery

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Questions about these promotions?
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12.
The Chance
 
The blue-black mountains are etched
 with ice. I drive south in fading light.
 The lights of my car set out before
 me and disappear before my very eyes.
 And as I approach thirty, the distances
 are shorter than I guess? The mind
 travels at the speed of light. But for
 how many people are the passions
 ironwood, ironwood that hardens and hardens?
 Take the ex-musician, insurance salesman,
 who sells himself a policy on his own life;
 or the magician who has himself locked
 in a chest and thrown into the sea,
 only to discover he is caught in his own chains.
 I want a passion that grows and grows.
 To feel, think, act, and be defined
 by your actions, thoughts, feelings.
 As in the bones of a hand in an X-ray,
 I want the clear white light to work
 against the fuzzy blurred edges of the darkness:
 even if the darkness precedes and follows
 us, we have a chance, briefly, to shine.
 
~ Arthur Sze ~
 
(The Redshifting Web)


 

This Only

A valley and above it forests in autumn colors.
A voyager arrives, a map leads him there.
Or perhaps memory. Once long ago in the sun,
When snow first fell, riding this way
He felt joy, strong, without reason,
Joy of the eyes. Everything was the rhythm
Of shifting trees, of a bird in flight,
Of a train on the viaduct, a feast in motion.
He returns years later, has no demands.
He wants only one, most precious thing:
To see, purely and simply, without name,
Without expectations, fears, or hopes,
At the edge where there is no I or not-I.

~ Czeslaw Milosz ~

(The Collected Poems, 1931-1987, trans. by Robert Hass)

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13.  collective nouns of sea life

When you encounter a group of jellyfish, it is a stuck, fluther, smack or smuth.
I swam into a smack of jellyfish this morning and it was gushy.

When you encounter a group of seals, it is a bob, colony, crash, harem, herd, pod, rookery, spring, team.
Did you see the crash of seals out there by the flag?

A group of sharks is a shiver, school or shoal:
The shiver of great white circled its kill.

A group of pelican is a pod or a scoop.
The scoop of pelicans flew in search of fishier pastures.

Seagulls = a squabble, a colony
A squabble of seagulls chased the duck from it's food.

Dolphins = pod, flock, school, team
A team of dolphins stood considering the cold water before jumping in for a morning swim.
(This, presumably, is referring to the Dolphin Club, the source of this collection.  In fact, I could find only one of these items in my dictionary, leading me to wonder if the thing is mostly made up.  I'll find out from readers.)

Ducks = badelynge, brace, bunch, dopping, flock, paddling, plump, raft, safe, skein, sord, string, team.
A skein of ducks flew across the twilit sky.

sea fowl = a cloud
A cloud of sea fowl surrounded the swimmer.

Rats = horde, mischief, swarm
A mischief of rats partied in the garbage bin.

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