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, May 14, 2012


1.   Celebrate San Francisco heroes this Wednesday at SF Tomorrow dinner
2.   Learn about critical role native plants play in a health environment Tues 15th in Pacifica
3.   Now collecting books for Inner Sunset FREE book blast June 2
4.   Literary conference in Pt Reyes: "A Way In; Native Plants as the Lure."
5.   City ramrodding a proposal for Lombard/Columbus space.  Help
6.   Help Laguna Honda Hospital get a free orchard
7.   Want to record nature's sounds?  May 19
8.   Yosemite water being used to clean San Francisco streets
9.   Love Your Parks Day May 19 - see list below
10. Final EIR for GGP soccer fields released.  Your help needed
11.  Feedback:  Plenty of it on the math about the belt around the Earth/et al
12.  May 17: Natural History of the Russian American Company Era
13.  Making no cents.  Canada does away with penny; why can't we?
14.  Marin Municipal Water District events in May
15.  A Librarian's Collection - Pitschel estate exhibition and sale

The world's favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May.
    -Edwin Way Teale

1.  You and your friends are invited by San Francisco Tomorrow to help celebrate these outstanding environmental heroes:

Wed. May 16, 2012
Castagnola's at Fisherman's Wharf
5:30 PM No Host Bar; 7PM Dinner and Awards Ceremony
$60 per person for salad, entrée of choice, dessert and tea or coffee
Cash or check only at the door
RSVP:   Jane Morrison  415-564-1482

2.  Biodiversity and the Native Plant Gardener, a talk by Arvind Kumar

Tuesday, May 15 7:00p to 9:00p
at Sanchez Library, Pacifica, CA
What makes California a world hotspot of biodiversity?

Learn about the critical role native plants play in a healthy environment, how human pressures are driving them to the brink of extinction, and what you as a home gardener can do to save and celebrate them -- provide habitat for wildlife, conserve natural resources, save effort and money, and give your garden a sense of place — by using native plants.


Now Collecting Books for the Inner Sunset Second FREE Book Blast
to be held June 2, Saturday, Noon to 5p

All items at this Inner Sunset event will be free to all.
You are welcome to take away any books, DVDs, CDs, maps, or books-on-tape that you want!

This is *not* a charity event. This is *not* a swap. There are no funds raised by this. No money will be exchanged. . .
It is our neighborhood's effort to recycle books.  This is simply books from those who donate, to those who wish
to take them. It is a completely free event, supported by volunteers with our particular Inner Sunset community spirit!

We will be offering kids' books, travel books, paperbacks, cookbooks, books-on-tape, coffee-table books, puzzle books,
dictionaries, foreign-language books, CDs, DVDs, and maps.

Books may be left in a sheltered area at any time at 1297 6th Ave/Irving.
If you cannot deliver, please email with your phone number, and we will *pick up.*

Leftover books will be donated to the SF Public Library for its annual fundraiser.


Thanks, Jake.

Barbara Oleksiw  415/

It matters not if you know the steps;
Just get up and dance.


4.  The extraordinary literary conference created by Point Reyes Books called "Geography of Hope" is sponsoring a workshop at the Larner Seeds Demonstration Garden in Bolinas on Saturday, May 19, from 10am to 3pm.  As part of their ongoing "Practice of the Wild" event series, this workshop will include co-presenters Judith Larner Lowry of Larner Seeds and Arvind Kumar of CNPS. 
                                 The theme is "A Way In; Native Plants as the Lure." 

Native edibles are included, with a Native Plant Sale at the Larner Seeds Nursery for attendees only.
$40 for the day.  Pre-registration required.
To register, contact, or Point Reyes Books at 415-663-9480.


5.  Howard Wong:


Triangle site has been cleared of cars and parking.
Ironically, great public vistas are now much more evident.

DPW has approved removal of all trees at the Triangle, including the mature trees on Lombard and Columbus Avenue.  After the Tree Removal Hearing, DPW’s Director ruled in favor of DPW Project Managers, who wanted all trees removed.  An obvious conflict of interest!  We will Appeal to the Board of Appeals by May 24, 2012.

Meanwhile, the Library and DPW are continuing work, clearing the Triangle site and posting permits.  The ramrod public processes of the 1950s and 60s, which hammered individual and neighborhood rights, should not be tolerated.  We are in communications with the City Attorney.
Everyone, be vigilant and alert us of any further work. 

LITIGATION:  Responding to our Opening Brief, the City submitted its Opposition Brief---to which our Reply is due in three weeks.  The Court Date is June 7, 2012.   Litigation Information---see Case No. CPF11511469 at: 

Or Online Services (Case Number Inquiries):
NOTE:  All Briefs are online---but difficult to open due to file size (keep trying).

Regards, Howard Wong, AIA
Ph:  (415)-982-5055

The Triangle (701 Lombard) was seized by eminent domain in 2004 for open space.  We need to honor the public processes that overrode individual property rights---for open space and public vistas, instead of construction of Condos on the Triangle.  Construction of any kind on the Triangle would now dishonor those public processes.


6.  West of Twin Peaks Central Council

Laguna Honda Hospital has a wonderful opportunity to win a free orchard from  the Dreyer's Ice Cream Company.  Dreyer's is currently holding a national contest where 17 contestants will win a free orchard.  The contestants/organizations who receive the most votes will win.

Laguna Honda Hospital is a special place and an orchard would provide a great benefit to the hospital's residents.

The Hospital needs the community's help.  Please visit Dreyer's Fruit Bars: Communities Take Root and cast a vote for Laguna Honda Hospital.  We are all so busy, but voting only takes a few seconds, is free, and could help so many people.  Please forward this email to your friends,  neighbors and co-workers as the hospital needs everyone's help and support.  Contest rules allow you to vote once every day.

Please read Laguna Honda Hospital resident Elizabeth C's important letter regarding how much an orchard would benefit the hospital.

Communities Take Root |

Want to record nature’s sound?
Microphone Mysteries Revealed At the Nature Sounds Society's Tech Talk
Saturday, May 19, 2012
9:30 AM - 3:30 PM
290 Napoleon St., Studio E
San Francisco, CA 94124

Learn the basics of recording technology in preparation for our annual field recording workshop.* This class also provides an opportunity to try out different types of microphones and recorders for the sounds you want to capture. Dan Dugan will teach and the NSS will host the event at Dan's laboratory.

$25 Members, $30 non-members. Contact Dan Dugan (415) 821-9776 or for further information. Advance registration is requested but not required—you can just show up!

Directions to Dan’s lab:

*Yuba Pass, June 29 - July 1, 2012


8.  Yosemite Restoration Campaign

SF cleaning its alley's with Yosemite's water.  Sunday, May 13, 2012

Look at this picture I took an hour ago. It's a photo of a San Francisco Department of Public Works truck using water from Yosemite National Park to clean one of the back alleys of downtown San Francisco.
Help stop this nonsense by contributing today to the Yosemite Restoration Campaign.

San Francisco does not currently recycle any water and only plans to recycle 4 million gallons a day by 2035. In other words, 25 years from now San Francisco will continue to use water from Yosemite to clean its streets.
Help us put a stop to this madness.

We are currently working hard to gather signatures to qualify the "Water Sustainability & Environmental Restoration Planning Act of 2012"for this November's ballot in San Francisco. If passed, it will require San Francisco to develop a plan to increase its use of local water supplies and to reduce reduce damage to the environment-including returning the Hetch Hetchy Valley to the control of Yosemite rangers so that it can be restored.

In order to succeed we need your immediate help. We need to raise another $17,000 in order to gather enough signatures by July 9th. Please click here to make an immediate contribution.

With your support we can make sure voters, rather than bureaucrats, vote to reform this outdated and environmentally destructive water system.

Mike Marshall
Campaign Director

P.S. Some folks have been experiencing a problem donating due to the browser they use. We are working to resolve the problem. In the meantime, if you have a problem, please give us a call at 415-956-0401 and we will process your contribution over the phone.


9.  We hope you will join us on Saturday, May 19th for Love Your Parks Day - a city-wide celebration of parks. Together with our Park Partners and the Recreation & Parks Department, we are hosting events in every single district, from kayaking, a basketball tournament, and urban farming, to habitat restoration, a climbing wall, and bee keeping- there is something for everyone. Come play with us, and share how much you love your parks!

You can read the event descriptions below, then click on the Register button to register, get more info, and RSVP. For volunteer events, registered participants will receive a free t-shirt and lunch!  (JS:  SORRY, there are too many links to laboriously put in by hand.  Perhaps you should instead contact
If you have questions about this event or Love Your Parks Day, please contact, or 415.871.5881)

San Francisco Parks Alliance


Golden Gate Park Oak Woodlands Habitat and Trail Restoration
Join Friends of Oak Woodlands-GGP, and RPD's Natural Areas Program staff to help restore San Francisco's largest contiguous natural oak woodlands habitat, and maintain an existing trail.

Meet: Dahlia Dell Picnic Area (Enter GGP at Arguello and Fulton)
Time: 9:00am-1:00pm

Rochambeau Adult Basketball and Kids Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournaments & BBQ
Friends of Rochambeau Playground and SFPA host an adult 3 on 3 basketball tournament, and a kids rock, paper, scissors tournament. We'll also have other kids activities and food provided by Kittredge School Parents Association.

Meet: Rochambeau Playground, 238 25th Ave (between Lake St. & California St.)
Time: 9:00am to 3:00pm (see for tournament times and details)
Registration required to participate in tournaments, viewing and lunch open for everyone.

Clean Up, Planting, and Nature Walk at Mountain Lake Park
Help maintain and green one of San Francisco's freshwater habitat lakes with Friends of Mountain Lake Park Playground and SFPA, cleaning the beach and installing new plants. Afterwards, join us for a kid-friendly nature walk to learn about the lake's history, habitat and resident critters.

Meet: Mountain Lake Park Playground (12th and Lake Street)
Time: 10:00am to 1:00pm

Joe Dimaggio Playground Beautification and Painting
Join SFPA Park Partner Friends of Joe Dimaggio Playground to repaint the playground and create a kids mural area with chalkboard paint!

Where: Joe Dimaggio Playground (651 Lombard Street at Mason)
Time: 10:00am to 1:00pm

West Sunset Playground Party and Mobile Recreation Center
SFPA is joining forces with Friends of West Sunset Playground and the Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center for a day of family recreation fun and food. We'll feature RPD's Mobile Recreation Center, with skateboard equipment and tutorials, and a climbing wall! BBQ lunch provided.

Where: West Sunset Playground (3223 Ortega St. between 39th Ave. & 40th Ave.)
Time: 10:00am to 2:00pm (BBQ starting at 11:00, until supplies run out)

Hayes Valley Farm Food Demos and Kids Activities
Join Friends of Hayes Valley Farm and SFPA for a tour of this amazing working urban farm, then enjoy edible food demos, music, and kid-friendly education segments on composting,
bee-keeping, and other unique aspects of this permaculture oasis.

Where:  Hayes Valley Farm (Laguna at Fell)
Time: 10:00am to 2:00pm

Free Kayaking on the Blue Greenway
Join SFPA, UCSF's Outdoor Education Program and Kayaks Unlimited for FREE guided kayak rides along Mission Creek. Meet Blue Greenway partners and learn about the exciting ways we are creating a green corridor along San Francisco's eastern waterfront.

Where: Mission Creek (Berry St. and 6th)
Time: 9:15am to 5:00pm (see for specific kayaking times)
Registration required for free kayaking.

Mt. Sutro Habitat Restoration and Nursery Tour
Join SFPA and Park Partner Sutro Stewards for trail restoration and lunch in the new Aldea Center. Afterwards enjoy a tour of the park and nursery, and discover this hidden gem.

Meet: Woods Lot  (100 Medical Center Way, Mt. Sutro)
Time: 9:00am to 2:00pm

Duboce Playground Party and Grand Opening of the Youth Play Area
Join SFPA, Friends of Duboce Park, and the Recreation & Parks Department for a blowout celebration, complete with jumpy house, music, & kids activities.  We'll also debut the new Youth Play Area, renovated with community support along with funds from the 2008 Parks Bond and Community Opportunity Fund.

Where: Duboce Park (Duboce at Noe)
Time:  11:00am to 2:00pm

Alemany Farm Herb Gardening
Join SFPA and Friends of Alemany Farm for an herb walk and hands-on demonstration with herbalist Kathryn Delwiche. Enjoy refreshments made with herbs from the farm, kids
activities, then get a tour of Alemany Farm- the largest working farm in San Francisco.

Where: Alemany Farm (700 Alemany Boulevard)
Time: Noon to 4:00pm

Visitacion Valley Greenway Native Planting
Green your thumb at Vis Valley Greenway, one of the most successful community gardens in the City. We'll be putting in native plants and mulching, and then enjoy lunch in the beautiful Herb Garden.

Meet: VVG Native Plant Garden (between Tioga and Tucker)
Time: 10:00am to 1:00pm

Hilltop Park Beautification and Lunch
Join SFPA, Habitat for Humanity and Parks 94124 to beautify Hilltop Park. We'll be replanting flower beds, clearing debris, and pruning vegetation, then sitting down for lunch to admire our work!

Where: Hilltop Park (Hudson St. at Whitney Young Circle)
Time: 10:00am to 1:00pm

McLaren Park Nature Walk and Turtle Play Area Revitalization
Join SFPA and the McLaren Park Collaborative for morning nature walks, exploring McLaren Park- one of San Francisco's largest and least known habitats. We'll then revitalize the Turtle Play Area with some new sand, and enjoy lunch together.

Where: See for meeting times, locations and schedule
Time: 9:00am to 1:00pm


·       The Comments and Responses (C&R) for the Final EIR (Environmental Impact Report) will be published on May 9th.   The joint hearing for the FEIR is tentatively scheduled for May 24th.  Stay tuned for more updates!
·       Now is the time to do outreach -- sign up for Sunday Streets and other events!

Volunteer!  Now is the time to do outreach!  Only your actions can protect Golden Gate Park!
There are still so many people who do not know about the proposed destruction of the western end of Golden Gate Park.  Join with us to let people know, so that they can help to protect the Park!

Neighborhood Flyering
When:  At your convenience
Where:  Richmond District and/or your own neighborhood
Activity:  We have new flyers to leave with your neighbors.  You can do one block or ten!  Combine your daily walk with this vital outreach!  Sign up here!

More great press!  
Westside Observer:
Read the great article by George Wooding in the  April 2012 edition:
"Selling pieces of Golden Gate Park for money is business-as-usual at the RPD. Both the waste water plant and the planned soccer stadium go against the rules and intent of the 1998 Golden Gate Master Plan*. The plan specifically calls for the Western edge of the park to remain in a natural state. . . "
Read more at:

(The 1998 Golden Gate Master Plan?  What about the original master plan of Olmsted-protege William Hammond Hall?  Does no one care about that?  How sharper than a serpent's tooth!!  JS)

Sunset Beacon and Richmond Review: 
"Keep the grass, no retreat!
The soccer fields at Golden Gate Park should be the city's premiere location for playing important games, like middle and high school championships. They should be the best the City can produce - and they should be grass. . ."
Read more here.   This editorial appeared in the Richmond Review last month and is in the Sunset Beacon this month.   Write to the editor  and thank him for this article.

Outreach Diary
We attended the Anarchist Book Fair  -- here is our booth!  Our thanks to the Anarchist Fair for donating this space to Golden Gate Park.  To find out more about the Fair, go to :


11.  Feedback

(JS:  I hit the jackpot on my question in last newsletter:  JS:  In a physics class several years ago someone said that if you put a belt around the Earth's equator (approx 25,000 miles/8,000 miles diameter), then add six feet to the belt, that it would raise the belt one foot higher above Earth's surface.  The teacher, and all the students, including me, ridiculed the statement; then the teacher did the calculations and said, "yes, it seems to be true".  I came home and did some calculations and, yes it did seem to be so, although I'm unsure I did the math right.  Both those calculations were seat-of-the-pants, and I have not returned to try it again.

You math junkies:  Can this possibly be true?  I think there was a slip in there somewhere.  It just can't be that a mere six feet could raise the belt a whole foot.  Help me, somebody.)

JS:  Having gotten my wish ("Be careful what you wish for"), now my poor, deteriorating brain has to cope with the truth.  I read through all these responses at least once, and will revisit them over and over.  I can't deny the mathematics, but I have difficulty envisioning a belt around the Earth, adding six feet to it (that's just two yardsticks!!) and that raises the belt a full foot all around the world.  Sheesh.  So I will lie awake in bed many nights trying to comprehend this, and looking for a hidden flaw in the reasoning or the math.  I may be sorry I asked.

Brian W Keelan:
Hi, Jake,
Regarding adding 6 feet to a belt around the earth's circumference, and having it rise a foot off the surface, yes, it is approximately true. Non-intuitively, the result does not depend upon the size of the earth. This can be seen as follows. The circumference C of a circle is given by C = 2 x pi x R where pi = 3.1416... and R is the radius (half the diameter). If you increase R by one unit (it could be a foot, or a mile), the new value of C, call it C*,  is given by C* = 2 x pi x (R+1). Expanding that expression, this gives C* = (2 x pi x R) + (2 x pi x 1). But recall that C = 2 x pi x R, which is the first term on the right hand side of the previous equation, so we can write a simpler result C* = C + 2 x pi. Thus, adding one unit to R adds 2 x pi = 6.28 units to C, regardless of the original value of R or C. This is true even if R and C initially were zero -- that is, there was no circle to start with, just a point. So to reverse this logic, if you added 6.28 feet to a belt encircling the earth, the circle it forms would increase in radius by one foot, hence the belt would rise a foot above the surface.

Thanks for your newsletter!
Whew!!  I was hoping to get a response of this sort, and I hit the jackpot.  Thanks.

Tony Gantner:
19--see Srinivasa Ramaujan.This mathematical challenge was coincidentally presented on Showtime's House of Lies about a month ago.

Sent from my iPhone

Don French:
Regarding the counter-intuitive thought that a belt around the equator, when increased in length by six feet would result in the belt being raised about a foot off the ground,
it is definitely true.  But more generally, an increase in the circumference of any circle by six feet will result in an increase in its diameter by about 1.91 feet.  Here is the reasoning:

Let c1 be the original circumference and d1 the original diameter.  And let c2 be the increased circumference and d2 the increased diameter.  Also let the change in circumferences, (c2-c1) be any number, which we can call x.  So c2-c1=x.

So by the equation for the circumference of a circle, we know that:

c1 = d1*pi  

And thus, d1 = c1/pi

And the new circumference, c2 = c1+x

The new diameter, d2 = c2/pi

and by substituting the previous equality, we get
d2 = (c1+x) /pi

Since we want to know what the difference is between d2 and d1 we subtract one from the other and get:

d2-d1=(c1+x)/pi - c1/pi

This simplifies to:

d2-d1=(c1+x-c1) /pi

Which further simplifies to:
d2-d1 = x/pi 

And now the original circumference is seen to be irrelevant.  So if the difference between the circumferences of any two circles is 6 feet, the increase in their diameters is 6/pi or about 1.91 feet.  This is as true for a dime as for the Earth as for the Sun.
Don:  I posted this in the hope that some readers would come through with the real stuff.  And they did.  Now I'm going to print out these responses and cogitate on them until it makes sense to me. 

Thank you.  I'll let you know if I survive the experience.

And almost identical one from Keith McAllister:
Hi Jake,

Yup, it's true.

The circumference C of the earth (the length of the belt) and the radius r of the earth (distance from center of the earth to the belt) are related by

C = 2*pi*r   or   r = C/(2*pi)

Increase C by six to get larger radius R

R = (C + 6)/(2*pi) = C/(2*pi) + 6/(2*pi) = r + 6/(2*pi)

So the larger radius R is larger than the original radius r by 6/(2*pi) which is just less than 1.

Note that this calculation is independent of units of length used.  So if you increase the length of the belt by  6 feet it will be 1 foot above the surface of the earth; if you increase the length of the belt by 6 miles it will be 1 mile above the surface of the earth; etc.

Keith McAllister
Mathematics Department Chair, Emeritus
City College of San Francisco

Joe Cernac:
HI Jake,
I'm sure you first tried to plug in the usual circumferencial = Pi x 2R numbers to get your first proof.   And which is what I did initially.
A second proof is offered.
C = 2pi x R.  This is a linear equation.  There will be a 1:1 extrapolation if one increases C.

There are 5280 feet to every mile.  The earth at 25,000 miles C has  5280 x 25,000 =  132,000,000 feet
Increasing C by one foot is one part  in 132E6., or 7.58E-9.
Therefore R increases by the same.
With Radius = 4000 mi x 5280 feet = 21,120,000 feet.
21.12E6 x 7.58E-9 = 160E-3 = .16.
So that six feet addition circumference will then be .16 x 6 = .96 feet.
Paz, Joe

Dick Morten:
The Incredible Universe

This is by far one of the most interesting and fascinating of websites. With just a slide of the scale you can go from the infinitesimal Quantum Foam (that holds the universe together) to the farthest reaches of the known universe...and everything in between.
Visit: The Incredible Universe 

     Click the following to access the sent link:
      Top Ten Mysteries of the Universe | Science & Nature | Smithsonian Magazine*
     *This article can also be accessed if you copy and paste the entire address below into your web browser.

From Jim Ansbro (in response to my article on California buckeye):
Chris Buck has added the Palou-Phelps buckeye tree to his FUF tour :-)

"P.S. Jim, this is great info from JS. I'll let him know of the Bayview Tree Tour."

(JS:  This tree tour is led by Chris Buck, formerly of FUF, now the City's Urban Forestry Inspector.  I wrote Chris as follows:

Chris:  I'm going to ask a foolish question--foolish, because I probably already know the answer.  I notice dozens, if not hundreds, of street trees, both public and private, whose girth expansion is being choked by bricks, concrete, metal gratings (eg, Market St).  Timely action would save the investment of $____, not to mention years of time.  It's easy to get $ to plant them, never any $ to maintain them.  Is there no way around this political conundrum?

(In response to this question, originally appearing in Notes & Queries)
What ever happened to Tony Blair?  Is he still alive?

Jim:  Only now did I come to realize that I really didn't want to know where Tony Blair is.  I thought I did when I asked the question.  But the web address you gave only verified exactly what I knew without being told:  Like all miscreants whose crimes drug whole nations into (what's the adjective I'm looking for?--ill-advised, for lack of a word that matches my feelings) an ill-advised adventure, he is off doing good (ostensibly) somewhere to ease the pain of his conscience, if he has one--or his image if he doesn't have a conscience.  And don't tell me he was only supporting the leader, W.  That one is off the charts.


12.  May 17: Natural History of the Russian American Company Era
Dan Murley at the Golden Gate Club, Presidio, San Francisco, from 7pm to 8pm

Retired State Parks Ranger Dan Murley will be sharing his stories on the natural influences made during the Russian American Company era. Notable scientists and ethnographers studied the northern areas of California making many contributions of value today. Please join Dan as he highlights this era, giving special attention to the sea otter, with images and stories of this fascinating time in California.

May 19 - Dan Murley at Fort Ross, 1:30pm to 3:30pm. State Park day use fees apply.


13.  Buttonwood - Making no cents
The demise of a coin shows the long-term impact of inflation

 JS:  This is my foot :-)

 May 12th 2012 | from The Economist (condensed)

FAREWELL to the Canadian penny. The last one-cent coin, in circulation ever since Canada developed its own currency in 1858, was minted on May 4th. The coin had become a nuisance, weighing down consumers’ wallets and costing more to produce than it was worth.

The penny is just the latest in a series of coins to disappear after centuries of use. The British farthing was worth just a quarter of an old penny, or one-960th of a pound, but it still lasted almost 700 years before it disappeared from circulation in 1960. Remarkably enough, half-farthings were also issued in the 19th century, and even smaller coins (third- and quarter-farthings) were used abroad.

Inflation killed the farthing just as it has killed the Canadian cent. Small coins are living on borrowed time once they become useless for buying individual items. A single penny could buy the first British postage stamp, the Penny Black, in 1840 and was still sufficient to buy a small ice cream for a short-trousered Buttonwood in the late 1960s. Nowadays you would struggle to find a humble ice lolly selling for less than a pound.  

...The Canadian government is presenting the decision to abolish the penny as a matter of public economy: the move will save C$11m ($11m) a  year in production and distribution costs. There have been calls for the American penny, which costs 2.4 cents to produce, to follow suit. But that would mean greater use of the nickel (five cents), which is even less economic to produce, at 11.2 cents for each coin. Tradition, and a public suspicion of such government initiatives, have saved the penny so far.

These losses are offset by the profits each government makes by producing other notes and coins for less than their face value. This profit, known as seigniorage, is one of the great hidden sources of government revenue. Quantitative easing—the ability of central banks to create money with a click of a mouse, and to use the proceeds to buy bonds and reduce the government’s borrowing costs—is potentially an even more lucrative wheeze.

The demise of small coins also owes something, of course, to the move towards electronic money. Retailers have typically priced goods just below a whole number: $9.99, say. In part, that was a measure against fraud: employees were forced to open the till in order to provide the penny change. That is less pertinent these days, when most customers are paying by debit or credit card...

(JS:  The nickel costs 11.2 cents each?  Why not do away with it, too, at the same time as discarding the annoying penny?  I haven't stooped to pick up a penny in many decades, and about 20 years ago I stopped picking up nickels.  Now I look at dimes with a jaundiced eye, debating whether it's worthwhile stooping over.  Away with the nickel, I say.)


14.  Marin Municipal Water District MAY 2012

Habitat Restoration  
Goatgrass on Azalea Hill
Saturday, May 19, 9 AM to Noon  

Come save our serpentine rare plants from goats! Well, from goatgrass, an invasive annual grass and one of the few weeds that can grow in serpentine grasslands. Get introduced to our rare species in the morning and then restore their habitat! 

MMWD Centennial Naturalist Hike 
Introduction to Naturalist Observation
Monday, May 28, 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM  

Join Aviva Rossi-Marin county resident, naturalist, biologist and mother-for a morning of naturalist observation tips, techniques and tools. Through hands-on activities, we will practice easy ways to learn about common local species and the natural world. Kid-focused but educational and entertaining for adults too. Jog stroller and limited mobility friendly. Reservations required; limited to 20 participants.

MMWD Centennial Naturalist Hike 
Grasses of the Mountaintop
Wednesday, May 30, 10 AM to 4 PM  

Explore our grasslands with local expert Ashley Ratcliffe on a "botany-speed hike" from Rock Spring to Potrero Meadow. Learn basic grass identification and the importance of grasslands to the ecology of the mountain. Bring lunch and a loupe/small magnifying glass. Meet at 10 a.m. at Rock Spring parking lot. 
Save These Dates!

Trail Days: June 2 (National Trails Day), July 7      
Habitat Restoration: June 16, July 21
MMWD Centennial Program: June 23-24 (24-hr BioBlitz), June 30-July 4 (Marin County Fair)    

Newspapers, magazines and paper can all be recycled as long as the paper is clean and dry. Plastic wrap, stickers or rubber bands should be removed, but staples and plastic window envelopes are OK.

Registration & Event Information
To pre-register or for more information about the above volunteer events, call 415-945-1128 or e-mail or visit our Volunteer page on our website. 

For maps to volunteer events and hikes, go to > Watershed > Volunteer Opportunities > Events Map.

Botanical Art from the Estate of Barbara and Roland Pitschel


Barbara Pitschel was Head Librarian of the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture. During her tenure, 1981-2010, the Library grew to become the most comprehensive horticultural library in northern California. She was a long-standing member of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL), receiving the Charles Robert Long Award of Merit in 2006 for her outstanding dedication to CBHL and her many contributions to the field of horticultural literature and information service and research.

Barbara and her husband Roland were also passionate about preserving our native flora and were founding and lifetime members of the Yerba Buena Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. Barbara and Roland were leaders in the restoration work and planning that became the Bernal Hilltop Native Grassland Restoration Project, and were honored by the Trust for Public Land for their thirty years of volunteer park stewardship. The largest part of Barbara's time, however, was spent overseeing the operation and growth of the Library. One of the many areas of the library program that she nurtured and guided was the changing displays of botanical art.

From the earliest years the library’s walls have continually displayed exhibitions of art – ranging from original watercolors, oils, and drawings to a wide variety of printing techniques including lithographs, etchings, engravings, woodcuts, and linocuts, as well as film and digital photography. Time periods shown have ranged from 18th and 19th century prints to state-of-the-art digital plant scans. Honoring and recognizing the history of botanical art and the San Francisco Botanical Garden as inspiration for many artists, the library's art exhibits have included many well known artists as well as encouraging promising newcomers to the field.

Barbara and Roland's art collection of over 100 pieces reflects the focus and dedication that was evident in their lives. The works were purchased mostly from artists they knew or who exhibited at the library and though some may be quite rare and valuable now, they were collected solely for their enjoyment, as encouragement for the art, and nearly always for their depiction of our native flora. The collection includes works by well known botanical artists and represents many different styles. Kristin Jakob, Margo Bors, Henry Evans, Lee Boerger, Linda Vorobik, Sally Robertson, Sharon Beals and Claus Sievert are among those represented in the exhibit.

It was Barbara's wish that after she passed away her art collection would be donated to the Library for a special exhibition and sale with proceeds to benefit the library. Her daughter Justine as sole beneficiary has generously honored that wish. The botanical art from the estate of Barbara and Roland Pitschel will be on display and for sale May through August 2012.

A special reception hosted by the Helen Crocker Russell Library will be held Saturday, May 19, 3-6pm.


That sorrow which is the harbinger of joy is preferable to the joy which is followed by sorrow. -Saadi, poet (c.1213-1291) [Gulistan]

No comments:

Post a Comment