1. House of Representatives votes against Central Subway
2. Josiah Clark speaks on Resources for Wildlife in the Urban Landscape July 5
3. Latest on GGP soccer fields
4. Volunteer workday at LEJ Native Plant Nursery July 7
5. Lobos Creek Valley Nesting Birds field trip Sunday July 8
6. Rock climber needed to save coast live oak on Telegraph Hill
7. Picking up garbage on Pacifica beach, finds mammoth fossil
8. Seven trips to choose on this year's Muir March in the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne
9. Easy to become citizen scientist - still time to register for Phenology Project
10. Birding for Everyone - every month through summer in SF Botanical Garden
11. Coastside Land Trust Gallery Show on July 4
12. July in Claremont Canyon
13. Feedback: Amending Constitution/god as metaphor/et al
14. Linda Hogan's god metaphor: Light
15. Sunday Streets cannot happen without you
16. Free Farm on Eddy & Gough seeking experienced garden volunteers
17. Sutro Stewards: trail, habitat, and nursery work
18. Honoring Community Gardeners at HANC July 15
19. US cougars come back to Midwest
20. NPR's The City Dark, documentary on light pollution
21. A Rescue, by John Updike
22. Tax deductions on charitable giving - a defense
23. Tubes: A Journey to the Centre of the Internet
1. SAVEMUNI.COM UPDATE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PASSES AMENDMENT TO APPROPRIATIONS BILL, PROHIBITING FUNDING FOR CENTRAL SUBWAY
On June 29, 2012, the House passed their version of the Department of Transportation funding bill by a vote of 261-163----which includes Amendment No.13 prohibiting funding for the Central Subway Project:
MCCLINTOCK AMENDMENT NO. 13:
Transportation, Housing & Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act:
McClintock (R-CA) - Amendment no. 13 - Prohibits funds from being used for the Third Street Light Rail Phase 2 Central Subway project in San Francisco, CA (saves approximately $1 billion).
AYES: 235; NOES: 186.
Aye votes included five Democrats.
YOUTUBE---PRESENTATION OF AMENDMENT 13 ON HOUSE FLOOR:
Next Steps in Legislative Process
The legislative process continues in the U.S. Senate and ultimately the Senate/ House Conference Committee---where the fate of the Central Subway will be debated for several months.
SaveMuni.com and San Franciscans will better inform the process in Washington.
Growing Non-Partisan Opposition to the Central Subway
Increasingly, opposition to the Central Subway Project has become non-partisan---with growing awareness of its meager transit benefits, higher costs, poor design, and the financial drain on citywide Muni. The Central Subway is draining $500 million of state/ local funds from Muni---triggering service cuts, crumbling infrastructure, higher fares/ fees/ rates/ tickets and more parking meters.
Democrats, Republicans and Independents are opposing the Central Subway Boondoggle. In the Senate/ House Conference Committee, more Democrats will oppose the Central Subway, as details of data falsification, funding ineligibility and violations of funding legislation are revealed.
Quicker Jobs Now
Instead of a tiny 1.6 mile, $1.6 billion subway, $500 million of existing state/ local funds can be poured into the citywide Muni system and the broad bottom base of the economy---with massive local jobs. San Francisco’s economy can be jump-started with hundreds of miles of beautiful transit-priority streets---energizing cafés, restaurants, retail, services, business corridors, neighborhoods…
MTA has falsified data to justify the Central Subway:
VIGILANCE. MTA is conducting an expensive misinformation campaign:
Amazingly, the California Transportation Commission approved $61 million of High Speed Rail (HSR) Connectivity Funds for the Central Subway---despite its elimination of the T-Line’s loop to the Market Street Corridor and Transbay Terminal. The Central Subway has compromised HSR’s credibility.
California Native Plant Society members meeting - free and open to the public
Resources for Wildlife in the Urban Landscape
Speaker: Josiah Clark
Thursday July 5, 7.30 pm
San Francisco County Fair Bldg
9th Av & Lincoln Way in Golden Gate Park
Josiah returns to give another of his very popular talks on how to provide for wildlife in our urban areas. The first step is identifying the resources that local wildlife need and use. Josiah will discuss wildlife resources in general, exploring the importance of plant composition, origin, structure, habitat, and placement. Josiah will compare and contrast native and nonnative plants and their uses by wildlife, and also address the importance of water, dead wood, and dense cover in the urban landscape. He will talk about trees, homing in on when they contribute and when and how they detract from wildlife habitat. He aims to inform people not only about how to improve local urban surroundings for wildlife but also to help the habitat stewardship community communicate more effectively about local wildlife habitat--making us better advocates for better habitat comprised of native and wildlife-friendly plants.
Josiah Clark started his venture, Habitat Potential, in 2002 and has worked as a consulting ecologist for a wide range of clients, including the GGNRA, the San Francisco Natural Areas Program, Golden Gate Audubon Society, and dozens of private property owners. He also leads international birding tours and environmental stewardship with urban youth, and writes on environmental issues.
(NOTE: If you want to join Josiah at dinner at 5.30 before his talk, email me. JS)
TO ALL SUPPORTERS OF GOLDEN GATE PARK:
1. Our Appeal Hearing is July 10th! WRITE TODAY to the Mayor, your Supervisor, and the full Board and ask them to reject the EIR! If you have written before -- write again! This is your last chance to weigh in on this project.
2. Great press coverage -- read, enjoy, comment on-line.
3. Reserve July 10th, 4:00 p.m. for the Appeal Hearing. Let us know you will attend.
4. Pass this email on to others. Tweet! Follow us on Facebook!
1. Only 13 days left until the Appeal Hearing - Write letters TODAY!
This is the final San Francisco City review of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and related project approval by the Board of Supervisors. This is your last chance to weigh in and influence their attitudes towards the certification of the EIR and project approval. The Board can send the EIR back to the Planning Department to correct the many flaws and to reconsider viable alternatives to building this project in Golden Gate Park.
· Write to the Supervisors and the Mayor TODAY!. Go online for easy links and talking points.
· Write your own feelings and experiences -- your representatives want to know that it is you, not a robo-letter.
· See our talking points on-line for more suggestions, but use your own words.
· If you have time, write to the Mayor and each Supervisor separately - it will have more impact
· If you are short of time, use the group email - click here.
· Write in the Subject line: Beach Chalet, file no. 120691 - Oppose certification of the EIR.
· Forward this message to your friends and family.
2. Great press and video - read, view, weigh in.
SF Bay Guardian: "Artificial Turf project appealed as opponents decry use of kids as lobbyists,"
The Green Minute short video features the Beach Chalet project and problems with SBR rubber and marine life:
3. Reserve July 10th, 2012, 4:00 for the Appeal hearing!
Let us know that you will attend.
What: Volunteer work day at LEJ Native Plant Nursery
When: Saturday, July 7, 2012 - 10 am - 1 pm
Where: 1150 Carroll Ave., Candlestick Point SRA
Why: Help rebuild the LEJ Native Plant Nursery that was severely vandalized in April.
For more information visit: http://www.lejyouth.org/news/news.html
For information about additional volunteer opportunities email: francis.mendoza [AT] lejyouth [DOT] org
California Native Plant Society field trip - free and open to the public
JULY 8, SUNDAY, 8:00 to 10:30 am
Lobos Creek Valley Nesting Birds
Leaders: Dominik Mosur and Gail Wechsler
The Presidio’s Lobos Dunes are a spectacularly beautiful example of successful restoration where, 20 years ago, grass and weeds had all but completely replaced native plants including endangered endemic San Francisco lessingia (Lessingia germanorum) and many locally rare species. Lobos Creek’s riparian corridor has also been restored and oak woodland once again thrives there. The restored dune scrub and streamside plant communities – and the insect life they support – are very likely why western bluebirds returned after a roughly 70-year absence to nest in the adjacent, Monterey cypress forest (planted by the Army more than 100 years ago). Places where a variety of vegetation types are found in close proximity are generally good wildlife habitat, especially when there is a water source nearby. We hope to see fledgling birds as well as adults hunting for insects to feed them. Be sure to bring binoculars!
6. Rock climber needed: Save our native coast live oak!
A lovely mature coast live oak is being slowly engulfed in vines again on the Greenwich Steps. We paid an arborist to rappel down the quarry cliff a few years ago to remove the vines, but now they’re creeping back up again along the trunk and lower limbs. If you have your own climbing gear (especially rope), know how to back down a steep slope while tied in, and know how to cut away vines, you could be the hero(ine) of the Greenwich Steps. Please be in touch: email@example.com. Thank-you gifts include a DVD of “The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill” and a sneak preview of scenes from “Pelican Dreams,” my in-progress documentary, at my North Beach editing room.
Thanks, Judy Irving
7. Watch this excerpt of Ian Butler discussing the mammoth fossils that he discovered while picking up litter on the beach in Pacifica. The fossils are currently on display at the Quarry Cove Gallery at 225 Rockaway Beach Ave, in Pacifica, CA.
Muir's March is just five weeks away, and excitement is building for this annual event for Restore Hetch Hetchy. This is an opportunity for you and your family to experience the grandeur of Yosemite in the summer, secure coveted camp spots, and learn about the Hetch Hetchy Valley and the importance of its restoration.
SEVEN TRIPS TO CHOOSE FROM
• 7-Day Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne
• 7-Day Valley to Valley
• 7-Day Backcountry's Backcountry
• 4-Day Tilltill Out'n Back
• 4-Day The Kids Trip
• 1-Day Wapama Stroll
• Muir's Climb
9. Monitoring plant phenology is an easy and fun way to participate in a state and nationwide project to detect the effects of climate change on flora. The data you collect contributes to a national phenology database where it will be used for climate change research. By participating in the California Phenology Project, you will be making a difference as a citizen scientist. The project had a fantastic start in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, but we cannot continue without your help. Don't miss your chance to get involved and learn about the science of phenology! There is still time to register for the CPP workshop on July 19th and July 21st in the Presidio, San Francisco. You can find more information about the workshop at www.usanpn.org/cpp/news or contact Ruby Kwan at firstname.lastname@example.org (415) 810-0975. Hope to see you there!
The California Phenology Project Workshop
Thursday July 19th and Saturday July 21st
There is still time to register for the workshop. Don't miss your chance to volunteer for the California Phenology Project and learn about phenology.
For workshop information: visit www.usanpn.org/cpp/news
Contact Ruby Kwan at email@example.com (415) 810-0975.
10. San Francisco NatureEducation leads Birding for Everyone! in SF Botanical Garden all summer!
First Saturdays Every Month
July 7, August 4, September 1, 10am-noon
SF Botanical Garden, Golden Gate Park
Naturalist will lead a hike through the exciting microhabitats of the SF Botanical Garden and spot a variety ofbirds!
Meet in front of the bookstore inside the main gate of the SF Botanical Garden, Golden Gate Park (MLK Drive near 9th Ave. at Lincoln)
Please bring binoculars if you have them.
Adults $10, no one turned away for lack of funds!
Contact Anastasia Marin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-387-9160 for more information. www.sfnature.org
Alan Hopkins (center), field leader for SF Nature Education and group on June nature walk.
11. Coastside Land Trust Gallery
Join us for our the opening of our Summer Gallery Show from 11am-3pm and bring the kids for some creative discovery at the Coastside Land Trust Gallery on July 4th. Art stations will be set up in the front yard with easy access to the Parade and children are invited to demonstrate their creative impressions of our coastal habitats through mediums such as watercolor, charcoal and collage. All children are welcome and activities are free, light refreshments will be served.
Find us at 788 Main Street, Half Moon Bay. We are located across from La Petite Baleen Swim School, and directly on the Half Moon Bay 4th of July Parade route.
For questions or more info call Lindsey (650) 726-5056 or email: Lindsey@coastsidelandtrust.org
Ongoing & Upcoming
Please "like" us on our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @CoastLandTrust
Native plants for sale, 1 gal, $10 each
Book: Plants and Plant Communities of the San Mateo Coast by Avis Boutell, Toni Corelli and Nancy Frost, $20, avail for sale at the office
Envirotokens for bringing your own bag earns CLT 10 cents each at New Leaf Market
Restoration workdays every 1st Sat & 3rd Wed of the month
12. July in Claremont Canyon
Tuesday July 3, Garber Park Habitat Restoration Garber Park is looking good. Seed pods are dancing from the vetch. Thimpleberry is getting its first crop and the cream bush is in bloom. All of our plantings over the past two years are thriving. But the weeds are also thriving--especially Cape Ivy, poison hemlock and Himalayan Blackberry. Please join us as we eradicate these fire prone, invasive weeds.
Meet at 10 AM at the Evergreen Lane entrance. For directions, the nearest address is 144 Evergreen. From Alvarado take Slater Lane and turn right on to Evergreen and go to the end of the street. We will work until Noon. Snacks and drinks will be provided. For more information, contact us at email@example.com. To learn more about Garber Park and the Garber Park Stewards, visit our blog: www.garberparkstewards.blogspot.com.
Saturday, July 14, Stewardship in the Stonewall area Good news! East Bay Regional Park crews are removing the eucalyptus stumps above the EBMUD water tank. They are cutting them close to the ground and seem to be doing everything on our wish list. We will gather in this area and then scount out and remove invasive plants--perhaps even attack that Pampas Grass! Meet at 10 AM at the water tank. Directions: Drive up Stonewall off of Claremont. Park on the upper part of the street where there is no parking time limit. Look for the road that goes up between 221 and 233 Stonewall. Walk past the first house and you will see a path off to the right. Walk up the path a few paces and you will see the water tank. We'll work from 10 until Noon as usual.
Saturday, July 21, Garber Park Habitat Restoration 10 AM until Noon. We will continue the activities from July 3 as described above.
For hikes, stewardship and restoration work, please remember to wear long pants, long sleeves, gloves and sturdy boots or shoes.
On Jun 29, 2012, at 9:39 PM, jan blum wrote:
Hi Jake: I am sorry to say that I do not have a personal detection system that works to sort good organizations from the "others" at the national or international level. I do use the on line charitable ranking services for reference for those.
At the local level, I think that following and observing organizations within one's area of interest, over time, helps sort out staying power, management and effectiveness. Supportiong local organizations whose mission meshes with one's idea of "good" is probably the most personally meaningful and effective use of funds.
Maybe some of your readers are Development people and could provide some insight on the subject.
Jan: I don't have a personal detection system, either. However, I have been on several boards and, even though I'm a slow learner, I eventually did learn a few things. Unfortunately, those experiences were hard-earned and non-transferable. Life is exceedingly complex and difficult, and there are no simple recipes for determining worthy from less worthy groups.
Involvement with groups which try to achieve ends you value is a valuable experience for anyone. You gain insight into what it takes to achieve something in the world, and the problems you encounter. I was a founder of the California Invasive Plant Council (Cal-IPC) IN 1992 and, even though I was never a board member, everyone thought I was because I attended every board meeting and took part in the discussions. I keep close contact with its staff and operations and feel very comfortable that it puts my money to good use, so it gets a huge hunk of my annual donations. I was on the board of the state California Native Plant Society for 13 years and had a steep and painful learning curve, which helped me gain valuable insights.
Preserving natural systems--my highest value--means controlling our human numbers. Two that I think are effective, and which I trust, are the Population Institute and Californians for Population Stabilization. They operate in different ways, but both need doing. My experience has helped me discern which are well-run groups, and I feel comfortable with both.
After all those words, you can see that I don't have much advice for you. There isn't any easy way to tell the good from the bad except through one's own experience. One helpful criterion, however, is a surfeit of action alerts. Any organization that constantly bombards you with action alerts is probably not a good investment for you.
Hi Jake - and my old friend from the RAB, Jan Blum!
Your exchange about the Constitutional Amendment against Citizens United-type contributions sparked a flurry of web snooping - including looking up the company that has the software that sends out these alerts. About half my clients are nonprofit organizations, so I am easily piqued by this kind of thing.
1) Try Guidestar.org for basic info on specific nonprofits and CharityNavigator.org for more in depth info
2) It took a while, but I finally tracked down the person who is behind Electionsareforus.org - and about 10 other domain names. Or so it appears as you can never be sure of anything in the ether. It's Oske Buckley who works for the ACLU in Kansas/Western Mo in an Admin capacity.
3) S/he is probably totally sincere in this attempt to overthrow Citizens United, but this is grass roots at it's rootiest and not likely to get the momentum to make much difference (I am at the age of cynicism, myself). Of course, if you add one vote to one vote to one vote to one vote, it does start to add up.
4) I spent some time researching the fundraising service/software developer behind some of these alerts (that's why the website name for the alert is DemocracyInAction - be careful how you read that) which is the nonprofit arm of a software developer called Salsa Labs. I'm sure there's a good story behind that one as well.
Thanks for this, Karen. Would you care to elaborate just a bit on #4?
I think it is an interesting story in the business case sense. There's not a lot of public info, so the exact process isn't clear. But it could be a woman (actually it is) who saw a need that smaller non-profits and grass roots organizers with low $$ have managed to get together the right people to develop software that could do it, provide it to these folks thru a nonprofit that they might get funding for as social media development not fundraising but also had the good business sense to put the product itself in a for profit corporation so it could be developed in other ways as well. And that's working out as they got a first round of $5million in financing for the software corporation in 2011 and someone came on board from a very reputable software firm I know of to help them grow. Other people are already using their platform.
All those email bleats and alerts can drive me crazy, but how they came to be possible could have a really interesting story behind them. No crazy Mark Zuckerberg-ness as far as I can tell, so probably never make it as a movie!
Love your emails, by the way.
Jan Blum (to Karen Cleek):
(FYI, Jake, you can count on Karen as one of the "intelligent life in the universe" beings – always.)
I do admire your ability to drill into the sources of web activities – I am of an age where that type of detective work is a complete mystery especially when we get into domain registrations. That being said I think I can easily be a little more diligent before throwing out even a half-baked recommendation for a website to friends. We all get more than enough spam already.
I have no idea what you guys are talking about. Jan, from my pov you sound like a nerd. Anyway, don't bother explaining; I'm content to just be the dumb messenger.
Hahahahahaha,HA HA, Jake! Very funny.
The very last thing I would even think of calling you is a dumb messenger. I am sure there would be a vast hole in the enviro community dialog without your always interesting and frequently provocative newsletter, your commentary and willingness to engage intellectually with your readers. I still miss the old college days when we used to sit around coffee shops and solve ALL the problems of the world. Your newsletter fills a bit of that longing for me for wide ranging and stimulating conversations.
It almost sounds like I milked a compliment out of you. (I'm not above such things.) However, sometimes I am just the messenger and don't always understanding everything I relay--eg, "drill into the sources of web activities...domain registrations", &c. I'm content to remain dumb about such things.
So, regardless of my motive, I like receiving praise. I'm like a little puppy dog, shameless in feeding on it.
Do you know what it takes to amend the Constitution?
Actually, the most recently ratified constitutional amendment (#27) wasn't too hard to pass, it just required some time. :)
I'm responding to an item in your newsletter that mentioned the move to overturn Citizens vs United, the Supreme Court decision that's allowed all this mysterious and highly questionable covert money in to buy elections.
Montana is not the only state fighting this by trying to get a constitutional amendment going. Vermont is going for it (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/19/citizens-united-constitutional-amendment-vermont_n_1439002.html); California has a bill in the state senate, co-authored by Mark Leno (AJR 22); Senator Sherrod Brown (Ohio) has a petition going, Pelosi is trying to drum up support for it; People for the American Way and other progressive groups are all in. It's a rather big deal, actually.
Anyone who wants to further this can call Mark Leno's office (916 651-4003) to voice support, or sign Bernie Sanders's and Sherrod Brown's petitions. I don't know if Leno's bill was voted on today; it was supposed to be yesterday, but wasn't.
Thornton Wilder has always completely baffled me. Once again, his quote leaves me confused. :)
Happy Saturday, and thanks for turning my brain, Jake.
On Jun 30, 2012, at 2:40 PM, Hans Weber wrote:
I always appreciate your thought-provoking newsletters. When God is mentioned in some of the poems that you include I also understand that term as a metaphor. Like yourself I consider myself an atheist. Reading David Eagleman's recent book Incognito--the secret lives of the brain and finding his TEDx presentation on YouTube, I realize with surprise that his alternative is "possibilianism". Like any intelligent scientist Eagleman knows that the more we learn about ourselves and the universe the less we know about everything there is to know (as researchers like to state "our findings raise more questions than they answer").
Right on, Hans. That "possibilianism" (ugh, what an ugly word) suggests my view of the world, which is conditioned by what I know of man's exploration of the universe--ie, looking out there as well as in here--inside ourselves, our minds.
The people resisting the findings of evolution are missing out on being alive. Evolution doesn't apply just to the Earth and living beings; the whole universe (probably multiverses) is constantly unfolding and evolving, and man!! - what an exciting show it is. Show? No, we are not witnessing it, we are in it, at the very heart of it. Not merely the Earth and the solar system are different from what they were and what they will be--we'll be engulfed by the Sun one day as it expands into a red giant star at the beginning of its death throes. All stars are born, live for millions or billions (or in the case of red dwarfs, trillions) of years, then die. Galaxies are born and die. Other universes or multiverses are probably being born all the time.
One of the problems I have with religion is that its adherents want to freeze things. They miss the whole point, which is the constant opening, opening, opening--ceaseless opening into something else. Once you try to name it, or posit a god, everything stops; the wonderful process of endless opening freezes--for you. You cheat yourself.
Bottom line: The sense of wonder is kept keen, fresh, and exciting. Don't name it, just experience the wonder.
I'm not saying this very well, but I have a hunch you will understand what I'm trying to say.
Jake, you express exactly the way I feel about the universe and our insignificant part in it. Each religion has to be dogmatic and can't change over time. Among religious leaders, the Dalai Lama may be one of the few who has kept a sense of wonder and tolerance of other views. Most people are afraid of death and cling to some faith assuring each other of mutual support and eternal life for their souls. They can't face an end without redemption or some form of afterlife. Eagleman wrote a book, Sum, forty brief poetic fictional stories about possible afterlives. He has some funny ideas.
The Dalai Lama is Buddhist, and openness is at the very heart of Buddhism. Granted, Buddhism has become corrupted just like all the major religions that lost their connection to the founder's insights. But the Tibetans have kept that pipeline open, so at its highest levels Buddhism was a wide open, dynamic, living philosophy. Its destruction by China has been one of the several sources of deep pain for me. I studied the philosophy and language for several years.
In the first morning of the world created,
on the skin of water reflected,
is the spread of a sun,
and the sun, like god, is a power
you cannot see.
Only what it lights on,
only what it touches with warmth,
and yet it always has a shadow at its feet.
Then there is the sea, the sheer weight of it,
but the lightness of its creatures,
some silver as they leap above it,
and those at the bottom
making their own light
in what would of been
night infinite, as if the sea carries no
shadows at its feet.
Then there is the light of the wood decaying
out by the stagnant pond,
where the eyes of the prey nearby,
shine in the dark, betrayed
when the deer stares one last time
to see the hunter still follows
out in the shadow of living trees.
And bodies of men at war, they say,
give off light.
One I knew fished the sea
and told me of the silver fishes falling
from the mouth of the netted one.
As if in the last breath
perhaps we give back all the swallowed,
all the taken in, and it is light, after all,
first and last, we live for, die for.
We fly toward it
like those who return from it say.
But for now, for here, we fly without will
toward it, drink a glass of it,
see it through green leaves.
There, walk toward it.
Lift it, it has no weight.
Carry it, breathe it, cherish it.
You want to know why god is far away
and we are only shadows at his feet?
Tell me, how long does it take a moth
to reach the moon?
~ Linda Hogan ~
(Rounding the Human Corners)
Sunday Streets cannot happen without you! Please, take a moment to visit our website and make a donation to help us fund future Sunday Streets events.
If you love Sunday Streets and are looking for more car-free fun, our next event will be July 22 in the Bayview/Dogpatch. RSVP and invite your friends by clicking here. Also, don't forget we will return to the Mission, one last time on August 5th! For more information, visit www.SundayStreetsSF.com.
16. The Free Farm on Eddy & Gough is seeking experienced garden volunteers!
Come apply your skills and passions to this large lot bursting with produce. We currently have row crops, fruit trees, a greenhouse, a pollinator garden, a herb labyrinth, and bees. Wednesday & Saturday work parties (10am to 2pm) are in need of dedicated and experienced garden folks. General volunteers (unskilled) are harder to accommodate right now, as we have only one volunteer coordinator. All produce and flowers are given away to those in need.
Contact Tree at <firstname.lastname@example.org> or call 415-824-5193.
Time: July 7, 2012 from 8:45am to 12:30pm
Location: UCSF Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve
Street: 100 Medical Center Way, Woods Lot, FREE PARKING AVAILABLE FOR THIS EVENT
City/Town: San Francisco, CA
Website or Map: http://maps.google.com/maps?q…
Event Type: habitat, trail, &, nursery, stewardship
Please join us for a morning of Stewardship on Mount Sutro. We'll have crews focused on trail, habitat and nursery work during this event. Activities will take place along the Mystery Trail, Rotary Meadow and at the Sutro Nursery.
Prior trail or habitat experience is not required. Wear boots, long sleeve shirts, and long pants to protect against poison oak. Dress in layers so you can be warm in the morning, and can peel off outer layers as conditions change.
Bring water, sunscreen, and a morning snacks. The Sutro Stewards provides gloves, tools, training, and lunch after the workday.
Meet at 8:45 am for registration and crew assignments. We work until 12:30 pm followed by lunch.
18. Honoring Community Gardeners
Save the Date: July 15!
We will be honoring Community Gardeners [100 at Kezar Gardens], Hosting Informal Meetings with District 5 Supervisor Candidates, and having a Picnic in the Gardens!
Sunday, July 15, 12-2 pm
Kezar Gardens, Frederick & Arguello [Best access by MUNI N Judah or 71]
Provided: Sandwiches and Beverages; bring other things you like to enjoy and/or to share
Jumpy House and other family-oriented activities.
Sponsors: Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council and Garden for the Environment
Free and open to the public.
For more information, contact Tes Welborn, email@example.com
19. US cougars come back
Cougars are recolonising the midwestern US, according to scientists, reversing 100 years of decline. The population of big cats, also known as American mountain lions, has rocketed in these states, from fewer than 100 in 1990 to about 30,000 today. Michelle LaRue from the University of Minnesota said that the midwest population of cougars had been "effectively zero" two decades ago. "That''s why this is so exciting," she said. "We have hard evidence that the western population has spread." Three established breeding populations exist in the upper midwest, in North Dakota, the Black Hills in South Dakota and Nebraska, said LaRue, but cougars have been venturing far outside this range.
Guardian Weekly 29.06.12
Here's a link to a recent NPR audio story on The City Dark, a documentary film about light pollution:
Also, here's a film clip:
The film will be shown on "POV" on a number of PBS stations across the country this Thursday...Broadcast: Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 10:00 PM (60 minutes) Online: July 6, 2012 – Aug. 5, 2012
THE CITY DARK chronicles the disappearance of darkness. When filmmaker Ian Cheney moves to New York City and discovers skies almost completely devoid of stars, a simple question – what do we lose, when we lost the night? – spawns a journey to America’s brightest and darkest corners. Astronomers, cancer researchers, ecologists and philosophers provide glimpses of what is lost in the glare of city lights; blending a humorous, searching tone with poetic footage of the night sky, what unravels is an introduction to the science of the dark, and an exploration of the human relationship to the stars
Ecologists have long studied the critical role of natural light in regulating species interactions, but, with limited exceptions, have not investigated the consequences of artificial night lighting. In the past century, the extent and intensity of artificial night lighting has increased such that it has substantial effects on the biology and ecology of species in the wild. We distinguish "astronomical light pollution", which obscures the view of the night sky, from "ecological light pollution", which alters natural light regimes in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Some of the catastrophic consequences of light for certain taxonomic groups are well known, such as the deaths of migratory birds around tall lighted structures, and those of hatchling sea turtles disoriented by lights on their natal beaches. The more subtle influences of artificial night lighting on the behavior and community ecology of species are less well recognized, and constitute a new focus for research in ecology and a pressing conservation challenge. (JS: This paragraph was an orphan I found in my computer, without attribution.)
Today I wrote some words that will see print.
Maybe they will last "forever," in that
someone will read them, their ink making
a light scratch on his mind, or hers.
I think back with greater satisfaction
upon a yellow bird--a goldfinch?--
that had flown into the garden shed
and could not get out,
battering its wings on the deceptive light
of the dusty, warped-shut window.
Without much reflection, for once, I stepped
to where its panicked heart
was making commotion, the flared wings drumming,
and with clumsy soft hands
pinned it against a pane,
held loosely cupped
this agitated essence of the air,
and through the open door released it,
like a self-flung ball,
to all that lovely perishing outdoors.
~ John Updike ~
22. LTE, The Economist
SIR – I was surprised by your views about tax deductions on charitable giving (“Sweetened charity”, June 9th). The notion that governments are “subsidising” charities by exempting donations from tax is absurd. Taxes are levied by government to provide for social services. Charitable donations are voluntarily paid to provide for some areas of the social services, including in education, health care, poverty reduction, international aid and the arts, which often receive inadequate government support.
Your suggestion that charitable activities are less legitimate in so far as they do not “match very closely the spending choices of democratically elected governments” is bizarre. Of course they don’t match. Charity fills the gaps left by governments and creates a decentralised and pluralistic system of social investment, which is a very good thing.
Finally your notion that philanthropy is a kind of self-centred consumption is nonsense. By definition charitable giving cannot materially benefit the donor; it is instead a unilateral gift to the community. Sure, there are some vanity projects funded through charity, such as naming business schools and some esoteric cultural projects, but self-serving or self-aggrandising (or just plain wasteful) government-sponsored projects are not that uncommon either.
How the internet works
Mapping the tubes
Contrary to expectations, the internet has a heart of cable and steel
Jun 23rd 2012 | from The Economist (excerpt)
Tubes: A Journey to the Centre of the Internet. By Andrew Blum.
“GOVERNMENTS of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind.” So begins John Perry Barlow, once a lyricist for the Grateful Dead and now a cyber-libertarian, in a tract he penned in 1996, entitled, “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace”. It is a poetic summation of the common image of the internet as an ethereal, non-physical thing—an immanent Cloud that is at once everywhere and for ever on the far side of a screen.
For Andrew Blum, a writer for Wired, that illusion was shattered on the day a squirrel chewed through the wire connecting his house to the internet. That rude reminder of the net’s physicality sparked an interest in the infrastructure that makes the internet possible—the globe-spanning tangle of wires, cables, routers and data centres that most users take entirely for granted. His book is an engaging reminder that, cyber-Utopianism aside, the internet is as much a thing of flesh and steel as any industrial-age lumber mill or factory.
...Mr Blum’s book is an excellent guide for anyone interested in how the global modern electronic infrastructure works. And it is a timely antidote to oft-repeated abstractions about “cyberspace” or “cloud computing”. Such terms gloss over the fact that, just like the pipes that carry water, the tubes that carry bits are reliant on old-fashioned, low-tech spadework, human contact and the geographical reality in which all that exists.