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.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

2011.11.26

1.   Remind CDFG about its responsibilities for invasive plants
2.   Cut your own Charlie Brown Christmas tree and benefit wildlife habitat Nov 27
3.   DEIR for Beach Chalet Athletic Fields/Artificial Turf and Stadium Lighting, Dec 1
4.   Go Paperless: Catalogues on the i-Pad
5.   Advertising is a poison that demeans even love - and we're hooked on it
6.   Some of George Bernard Shaw's observation on life
7.   Feedback:  Monarch butterflies/frog art
8.   Frog art of the week/children's book
9.   Man becomes turkey mama
10. Brinicle underwater icicle video
11.  Eighth Annual Berkeley River Restoration Symposium, Saturday 3 December
12.  Fundraiser for Wild Rescue December 3
13.  A Word A Day:  dragoman
14.  US cars can meet 54 mpg standards/motives behind climate doubt-mongers/growth has expiration date
15.  18th-century British astronomer blows off concerns over Doomsday
16.  Notes & Queries: Essex, Wessex, Middlesex, Sussex.  Nossex?


1.  From California Invasive Plant Council

Here is an important opportunity to provide input to the California Natural Resources Agency that its leadership is needed on invasive plants. Four meetings are scheduled around CA during the week of Dec. 5 (San Diego, Ontario, Fresno and Redding), and an online comment form opens on Monday.

The mission of the Dept. of Fish & Game is “to manage California's diverse fish, wildlife, and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by the public.” Addressing invasive plants is essential to this mission, and this is an important opportunity to encourage more involvement, especially considering the cuts to CDFA funding.

Please take time to provide input to this process!

There are several ways the public can get involved in the dialogue about the draft interim strategic vision, including providing public comment via an online form (http://vision.ca.gov/strategic_vision.html) beginning Nov. 29, or via email to StrategicVision@resources.ca.gov

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2.  Pacifica Land Trust and PPCA Sponsor Cut Your Own "Charlie Brown Perfect” Holiday Tree—Nov. 27 on the Pedro Point Headlands

 
How would you like to cut your own holiday tree, get boughs for garland and wreaths, contribute to the Pacifica Land Trust, help with native plant restoration, and hike in one of the most beautiful areas on the coast? We hope it’s an offer you can't refuse.

On Sunday, November 27th from 10 am to 2.00 pm the Pacifica Land Trust and Pedro Point Community Association will be hosting a "Get Your Charlie Brown Christmas Tree" stewardship event to remove spreading Monterey pines from the shrublands on the Pedro Point Headlands. By removing the spreading trees we strengthen the overall health of this wonderful ecosystem. All Monterey Pine groves will be left intact for wildlife and bird habitat.

So get in the holiday spirit and come get your special tree or boughs for garland and wreath building!  Please meet in the Castle Kitchen parking lot (next to Pedro Point Ace Hardware) between 10:00 and 2.00pm and travel to the Headlands. Trucks will transport the trees back to the signup location. Many of the trees are on the Middle Ridge or even near the ocean bluff so please bring help to carry it down to the loading area. We'll have help available but can't guarantee enough for everyone.

These trees will be of varying shapes and sizes, many of the large variety—all guaranteed natural and free range. The views are spectacular and the community spirit the best. What’s not to like?

Donations to the Pacifica Land Trust will be much appreciated and assist them to preserve, protect and enhance the natural, scenic, recreational, cultural, historic and open space environment of Pacificaand the surrounding community for present and future generations.

Happy Holidays, and hope to see you on November 27th.  For more info about the Pedro Point Headlands and our stewardship work, please go to www.pedropointheadlands.org.  For questions or to sign up for other restoration work on the Headlands, please email our Pedro Point Headlands Volunteer Coordinator.

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3.
* IMPORTANT PUBLIC HEARING *
GOLDEN GATE PARK
DRAFT  ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT  REPORT  (DEIR)
for the
Beach Chalet Athletic Fields
Artificial Turf and Stadium Lighting Project
Thursday, December  1, 2011
San Francisco Planning Commission
City Hall, Room 400, 5:00 p.m.
(Written Public Comment due by December 12, 2011.
This is your LAST CHANCE to submit official comments on this project to the Planning Department!)

TO ALL SUPPORTERS OF GOLDEN GATE PARK:

This is the most important hearing this year – please plan to attend.    This project will replace natural grass in Golden Gate Park with over 7 acres of plastic grass and tire waste and install 150,000 watts of 60 foot tall stadium lights, next to Ocean Beach.    The DEIR  states that the soccer complex "would cause a substantial adverse change in the significance of a historic resource . . .",  but the Recreation and Park Department is still continuing to pursue this project.

In fact, Rec and Park has already sent out an alert to their entire, city-wide contact list, asking them to attend this meeting and  support the artificial turf and 60 foot lights.  They have not mentioned your concerns about the impact on Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach or even the fact that there is opposition to this project!  The Beach Chalet Athletic Fields are not an approved project, and the Department should not be using the power and resources of the City government to push through a project that is running against the wishes of so many of our residents.

Your presence will show the City government that you are concerned about the loss of parkland in Golden Gate Park, and you are willing to act on that concern.  This is your EIR – you fought for it – come to the hearing and speak!

Click here to fill out a form and let us know that you will be attending this hearing.  If you cannot get to City Hall on public transit, we will try to arrange a ride for you.  If you can help with rides, let us know. 

Follow this link for the Hearing agenda.  We will also post updates on our website as they become available:  

WRITTEN PUBLIC COMMENT - due December 12, 2011

Written comments on the Draft EIR are due by 5:00 p.m. on December 12, 2011.  Even if you come to the hearing, it is important that you send in written comments.  These comments will become part of the written record and will be published in the Final EIR.    You will have three minutes at the Planning Commission, but your written comments can be as many pages as you feel like writing.

Click here for more information on the DEIR and how to comment.

Check our website for more information on this project and what you can do to protect Golden Gate Park.

Thank you, everyone!
SFOE

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4.  Go Paperless:  Catalogs on the i-Pad

Reducing clutter and going paperless are key elements of the Catalog Choicemission. With more people using tablets for day-to-day activities, it’s getting even easier and more enjoyable to make the paperless switch. Over the past year, we've seen lots of different retail apps for the iPad come through our office, and think that Coffee Table has a great solution.

Coffee Table delivers paperless catalogs directly to the iPad, so you can enjoy their products and presentation without the paper. The killer feature in Coffee Table is its shopping cart; instead of getting forwarded to external websites, make secure purchases with one consolidated shopping cart from your iPad.

If you already have an iPad, download their free app here and let us know what you think.

We wish we could give an iPad to all our members to help them eliminate paper clutter but unfortunately, we cannot. We can, however, offer the opportunity to enter a drawing for a free iPad and iPad accessories, sponsored by Coffee Table.


To enter the drawing for the iPad prizes, click green button below (omitted here, JS) and follow the directions for entering the contest on the Coffee Table site.

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5.  George Monbiot:  Advertising is a poison that demeans even love – and we're hooked on it

We are subjected to ever more pervasive messages to consume, encouraging dissatisfaction. Yet this column depends on it

Guardian Weekly 24 October 2011 




Illustration by Daniel Pudles

We think we know who the enemies are: banks, big business, lobbyists, the politicians who exist to appease them. But somehow the sector which stitches this system of hypercapitalism together gets overlooked. That seems strange when you consider how pervasive it is. In fact you can probably see it right now. It is everywhere, yet we see without seeing, without understanding the role that it plays in our lives.

I am talking about the industry whose output frames this column and pays for it: advertising. For obvious reasons, it is seldom confronted by either the newspapers or the broadcasters.

The problem was laid out by Rory Sutherland when president of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising. Marketing, he argued, is either ineffectual or it "raises enormous ethical questions every day". With admirable if disturbing candour he concluded that "I would rather be thought of as evil than useless." A new report by the Public Interest Research Centre and WWF opens up the discussion he appears to invite. Think of Me as Evil? asks the ethical questions that most of the media ignore.

Advertising claims to enhance our choice, but it offers us little choice about whether we see and hear it, and ever less choice about whether we respond to it. Since Edward Bernays began to apply the findings of his uncle Sigmund Freud, advertisers have been developing sophisticated means of overcoming our defences. In public they insist that if we become informed consumers and school our children in media literacy we have nothing to fear from their attempts at persuasion. In private they employ neurobiologists to find ingenious methods of bypassing the conscious mind.

…Invention is the mother of necessity. To keep their markets growing, companies must keep persuading us that we have unmet needs. In other words, they must encourage us to become dissatisfied with what we have. To be sexy, beautiful, happy, relaxed, we must buy their products. They shove us on to the hedonic treadmill, on which we must run ever faster to escape a growing sense of inadequacy.

The problem this causes was identified almost 300 years ago. In Robinson Crusoe, published in 1719, the hero remarks: "It put me to reflecting, how little repining there would be among mankind, at any condition of life, if people would rather compare their condition with those that are worse, in order to be thankful, than be always comparing them with those which are better, to assist their murmurings and complainings." Advertising encourages us to compare ourselves with those we perceive to be better off. It persuades us to trash our happiness and trash the biosphere to answer a craving it exists to perpetuate.

But perhaps the most important impact explored by Think of Me As Evil? is the one we discuss the least: the effect it has on our values. Our social identity is shaped by values which psychologists label as either extrinsic or intrinsic. People with a strong set of intrinsic values place most weight on their relationships with family, friends and community. They have a sense of self-acceptance and a concern for other people and the environment. People with largely extrinsic values are driven by a desire for status, wealth and power over others. They tend to be image-conscious, to have a strong desire to conform to social norms and to possess less concern for other people or the planet. They are also more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression and to report low levels of satisfaction with their lives.

We are not born with our values: they are embedded and normalised by the messages we receive from our social environment. Most advertising appeals to and reinforces extrinsic values. It doesn't matter what the product is: by celebrating image, beauty, wealth, power and status, it helps create an environment that shifts our value system. Some adverts appear to promote intrinsic values, associating their products with family life and strong communities. But they also create the impression that these values can be purchased, which demeans and undermines them. Even love is commingled with material aspiration, and those worthy of this love mostly conform to a narrow conception of beauty, lending greater weight to the importance of image.

I detest this poison, but I also recognise that I am becoming more dependent on it. As sales of print editions decline, newspapers lean even more heavily on advertising. Nor is the problem confined to the commercial media. Even those who write only for their own websites rely on search engines, platforms and programs ultimately funded by advertising. We're hooked on a drug that is destroying society. As with all addictions, the first step is to admit to it.


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6.  George Bernard Shaw

The unreasonable man, Shaw says, “persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.”

“The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.”

"The fashion in which we think changes like the fashion of our clothes," with the result that "..it is difficult, if not impossible, for most people to think otherwise than in the fashion of their own period."

"A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."

"All great truths begin as blasphemies."

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7.  Feedback

Adoly 1:
Really enjoying the info about the Monarch butterflies.  Makes me want to be back in Kansas - about a month ago my brother said it was almost impossible to cross over the alley (his sister-in-law lives across the alley) because there were so many butterflies.  I asked that he take a photo but haven't seen it yet.

Ed Brownson:
Hi, Jake, You mentioned in your latest newsletter you'd like to see a larger version of the "save the frogs" picture. Here's one, courtesy the magic of Photoshop, though the original artist can probably get you a better enlargement.

Thanks for all you do.

 
Happy Frog That Just Had A Wish Come True
Frog Art by Leah Klehn

(JS:  He supplied a much larger picture than this, but, ironically, I had to shrink it considerably.)

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar. -Bradley Miller, activist (b. 1956)


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8.  Frog Art of the Week
On December 1st, we will be announcing the winners of thee 2011 SAVE THE FROGS! Art Contest. Here is some art to tide you over until then. The 2012 contest will run from January 15 to October 15, 2012.
In The Land of Giant Mushrooms
by Jayasree Dutta, India, Age 7

 


Cheery: the True Adventures of a Chiricahua Leopard Frogs
This beautifully-illustrated little book by biologist Elizabeth Davidson about Cheery, a charming little Chiricahua Leopard Frog, is both a delightful children's story and a handy little lesson in Herpetology complete with a curriculum guide. Even better, Five Star Publication is donating a buck a book to SaveTheFrogs through New Year's for every copy sold through its website...
Order Cheery at http://www.fivestarpublications.net/cheery



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9.
sending you the utterly divine pbs documentary about a man who let a large hatch of wild turkeys imprint upon him, and then stayed with them in the woods to raise them.

The awesome sound of their voices captured along with their sweet faces.  He was able to learn many of their vocabulary words.  Five different words at least for the five different kinds of snake.

Truly amazing and far beyond what turkeys had been thought capable of.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/my-life-as-a-turkey/full-episode/7378/

After a local farmer left a bowl of eggs on Joe Hutto’s front porch, his life was forever changed. Hutto, possessing a broad background in the natural sciences and an interest in imprinting young animals, incubated the eggs and waited for them to hatch. As the chicks emerged from their shells, they locked eyes with an unusual but dedicated mother. One man’s  remarkable experience of raising a group of wild turkey hatchlings to adulthood.


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10.  I haven't had time to listen to this, but pass it on because it sounds interesting:

Did you know about these, Jake? The piece contains a vid excerpted from a BBC series (you'll instantly recognize David Attenborough's voice). Chilling and mysterious:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/23/brinicle-underwater-icicle_n_1110757.html

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11.  You are invited to attend the Eighth Annual Berkeley River Restoration Symposium, Saturday 03 December 2011, 9:00 am - 3:30 pm, in 112 Wurster Hall, University of California, Berkeley.  The program includes a keynote address by Hervé Piégay, well-known fluvial geomorphologist in Lyon, France on “River restoration in
human-modified landscapes” and independent graduate student research presentations, whose topics include:

- Urban creek stewardship, North Fork Strawberry Creek
- Parking lot runoff to El Cerrito Creek and restoration opportunities
- Post-project appraisal of Codornices Creek restoration
- Minimum water levels for fish stranding, Russian River basin
- Reconnecting Spring Branch Creek to tidal action
- Post-project appraisal of Dry-Putah Creek restoration
- Response to grazing exclosure, Long Creek, Sycan Marsh, Oregon
- Continued channel evolution post-dam removal, Clear Creek, Shasta County

A panel of professionals comment on themes raised by the student presentations.

The symposium is free but please register in advance to receive a program/abstracts and refreshments. See:
http://library.ucr.edu/wrca/restoration/la227_2011.html for further information and abstracts as they become available.

Questions: contact Raymond Wong, ucbriverrestoration@gmail.com

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12.  From Wild Rescue
This December 3rd event, being held in San Francisco at the Argonaut Hotel from 1:00 - 4:00 pm, is a fundraiser. We are hoping to supply the Bay Area with a dedicated Wildlife Paramedic and Ambulance starting March, 2012. Tickets are $50.

Here is a link to the invitation page:

http://www.wildrescue.org/event.html

Learn more about our proposal for a dedicated wildlife ambulance service:

http://www.wildrescue.org/medic.html

We hope you'll be able to attend. If not, please consider making a donation towards this cause. Here's the link:

http://wildrescue.bigcartel.com/product/bay-area-wildlife-medic-animal-ambulance

If you know anyone else who might be interested, would you pass this on? Thank you!

Rebecca Dmytryk
WildRescue
831-840-3896

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13.  A.Word.A.Day:  dragoman

PRONUNCIATION:
(DRAG-uh-man)
MEANING:
noun: An interpreter or guide.
ETYMOLOGY:
The word took a scenic route to its present form via French, Italian, Latin/Greek, Arabic, and Aramaic, from Akkadian targumanu (interpreter). Earliest documented use: 1300s. Akkadian is now an extinct Semitic language once spoken in ancient Mesopotamia and written in cuneiform.
USAGE:
"Soon, Art Buchwald set himself up as the laughing dragoman to American celebrities. The foster home boy became Our Man in Paris. He took Elvis Presley to the Lido."
Lance Morrow; Franglais Spoken Here; Time (New York); Sep 30, 1996.

"Born in Jerusalem, Wadie Said went from being a dragoman to a salesman in the United States and thence to a hugely successful businessman in Egypt."
Penelope Lively; Books: Out of Place: State of Confusion; The Guardian (London, UK); Oct 9, 1999.


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14.  Scientific American

OBSERVATIONS: Can U.S. Cars Meet the New 54 mpg CAFE Standards? Yes They Can
http://links.email.scientificamerican.com/ctt?kn=74&ms=Mzc0ODA4MTAS1&r=NTM5NzIzNTA1NgS2&b=2&j=MTIwMDYzMDAxS0&mt=1&rt=0

NEWS: Historian Hunts for Motives Behind Climate Change Doubt-Mongering: A Q&A with Naomi Oreskes
A historian's search for those behind climate change contrarianism has documented the evolution of those raising doubts
http://links.email.scientificamerican.com/ctt?kn=25&ms=Mzc0ODA4MTAS1&r=NTM5NzIzNTA1NgS2&b=2&j=MTIwMDYzMDAxS0&mt=1&rt=0

GUEST BLOG: Growth Has an Expiration Date
http://links.email.scientificamerican.com/ctt?kn=75&ms=Mzc0ODA4MTAS1&r=NTM5NzIzNTA1NgS2&b=2&j=MTIwMDYzMDAxS0&mt=1&rt=0

excerpt:

...The problem with the word “sustainable” is that we are unable to converge on what it really means: what practices are truly sustainable?
...A kid may really want a pony—more than anything in the world. A wise parent might suggest that the kid first try to take care of a gerbil, figuring this is five times easier than managing a pony. If the kid demonstrates that he or she can feed the gerbil, clean its cage, and keep it healthy, then the parent may graduate to a more demanding kitten. Next would be a puppy, requiring greater responsibility. If that’s successful, it may be time for a goat—now requiring the kid (not to be confused with the young goat) to manage a paddock. If this works out, it’s finally time for a pony.

In wanting the world to grow into an American standard of living, we effectively want a pony. The problem is, we have not demonstrated that we can take care of our gerbil! We have not deserved our pony, and I would say we don’t deserve to bandy the term “sustainable” when we have no idea what we can actually manage, and have not talked seriously about a steady-state economic existence first.

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15.
Contemplating Earth's demise might be viewed as a grim exercise, but 18th-century British astronomer Thomas Wright thought otherwise.  In a time when science mixed freely with religion, he reflected wistfully on the vastness of the universe and our rather small place within it:  "In this great celestial creation, the catastrophy (sic) of a world, such as ours, or even the total dissolution of a system of worlds, may possibly be no more to the great Author of Nature, than the most common accident in life with us, and in all probability such final and general Doomsdays may be as frequent there, as even Birthdays or mortality with us upon the earth.  This idea has something so cheerful in it, that I know I can never look upon the stars without wondering why the whole world does not become astronomers."  Sky & Telescope October 2006 

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16.  Notes & Queries, Guardian Weekly

 
 Enthusiasts dressed as Saxon warriors participate in a re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings.

Essex, Wessex, Middlesex and Sussex: is there any sex in the north?

• North of Watford there is Porkshire and, of course, Rutland.
Nigel Grinter, Chicago, Illinois, US

• These were the homelands of the East Saxons, West Saxons etc. Presumably the North Saxons lived in Nosex, which is probably why they aren't there any more.

John Grinter, Katoomba, NSW, Australia

• No sex, we're British.

David Isaacs, Sydney, Australia

• The abundance of fair-skinned redheads throughout northern Britain is clear evidence that Norssex was once widely practised in the region.

Terence Rowell, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

• Historically, only the Saxons were sexy invaders.

Philip Stigger, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

• Maybe not, but if you look carefully I am sure you will find some fun in Scunthorpe!

Phil Norman, Hong Kong

• In Massachusetts we have Essex and Middlesex counties, but the -sex was dropped in favour of -folk, as in Suffolk and Norfolk counties. A half-century ago the Bridgewater State College football team played the inmates at Norfolk County Jail. Some of the wags would chant "We don't drink, we don't smoke, Nor-folk, Nor-folk."

Jim Tartari, Wellesley, Massachusetts, US



Instalments? That's cruel!

What's the current agreed definition of austerity?

• Bonuses are paid in 12 monthly instalments instead of an annual lump sum.

David Tucker, Halle, Germany

• To the poor, it's the same old round; to the middle class, it's harassment; to the rich, it's treachery; and to the frugal, it's always been just plain common sense.

Richard Orlando, Montreal, Canada

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