A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Life is an adventure in forgiveness. -Norman Cousins
1. Last chance to keep SF waterfront from being sealed off
2. Birds and their "Bugs" - GG Audubon program July 19
3. Early Detection Networks: Protecting California from harmful invasive plants July 20, Los Altos
4. Pacific Rod & Gun Club loses lease at Lake Merced
5. Sunday Streets July 22 in Bayview-Dogpatch-Mission Bay
6. Pier 70 Crane cover Park planning and design community workshop July 21
7. Caring for California oaks, July 21 in Tilden Park
8. Muir Woods & environs loop hike July 21
9. Scraps of moon - Denise Levertov
10. Mistletoe - experiment proves important ecological concept
11. Experienced rock climber? New annual climbing event
12. Examiner series on restoring Hetch Hetchy
13. How to Become a SuperStar Student - teaching tips
14. Family planning returns to the international development agenda
15. Out to lunch. Jogger stuck in mud four days
“An optimist proclaims
that we live in the best of all
and the pessimist fears
this is true.”
1. 8 Washington Street - Wall Off The Waterfront: http://www.nowallonthewaterfront.com/events
We are about to embark on the most important days of our efforts. After
years, it comes down to 3 days. Our work in these final days and hours
will determine if we succeed or fail to place a referendum on the
ballot to stop the construction of 8 Washington. It hasn’t been done
for over a generation but I know we can do the “impossible” with your
Our opponents are frightened - this past weekend, they deployed dozens
of signature blockers across the city to slow our efforts. We expect
them to be out in full-force in these final days. Do not be discouraged.
We cannot let their lame, undemocratic behavior thwart our efforts.
All signatures are due Wednesday, July 18th by 8:00 pm. If you cannot
drop off your signatures to 15 Columbus by then, call our office at
415-894-7008 to make arrangements. Every signature matters, so please -
return every last petition with ink on it. If you can’t drop it off, we
will make arrangements to pick them up!
If you encounter signature blockers, call the office immediately to consult us. 415-894-7008
We need volunteers who will process signatures between now and Thursday.
Come by the office for more information or call 415-894-7008.
If you haven’t gotten a petition come down and get one. A few more
signatures may make the difference. Come down to 15 Columbus Avenue on
Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday between 10:00 am and 8:00 pm and get a
Make these last days count and have fun making history!
Louisiana White Eye
Birds and Their “Bugs,” Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea
Featuring Jack Dumbacher
San Francisco: Thursday, July 19 – 7 p.m. refreshments, 7:30 program
The oceanic islands off the southeastern tip of Papua New Guinea are
biologically interesting and yet poorly known. Most of the significant
ornithological expeditions took place in the late 1800s and early 1900s,
and these visited only the largest islands. In 2009 and 2011, a team
from California Academy of Sciences chartered a small sailboat and spent
14 weeks visiting large and small islands, surveying birds, and
collecting samples for studies of bird evolution and avian diseases.
Jack Dumbacher, the expedition leader, will take you on a virtual tour
of the islands, introduce you to the birds, and discuss the scientific
goals of the expeditions.
Jack Dumbacher has worked in Papua New Guinea since 1989, when he
studied Raggiana Birds of Paradise and their mating behavior. After
being bitten by a poisonous bird (the Hooded Pitohui), Dumbacher focused
his PhD studies on chemical defense in birds. He worked at the
Smithsonian Institution for six years studying bird genetics and
evolution. Now, as the curator of birds and mammals at the California
Academy of Sciences, he continues his work on these topics and is
beginning new work to discover novel avian diseases.
Free for Golden Gate Audubon Society members, $5 nonmembers.
Location: First Unitarian Universalist Church and Center
1187 Franklin Street (at Geary), San Francisco
Early Detection Networks: Protecting California From Harmful Invasive Plants
A Talk by Dan Gluesenkamp. executive director of CalFlora
Friday July 20
Los Altos Library, 135 S. San Antonio Road, Los Altos
4. Pacific Rod and Gun Club loses its lease at Lake Merced.
Sunday Streets 2012 is in full swing - July 22 in Bayview-Dogpatch-Mission Bay, August 5 in The Mission.
Enjoy Summer in San Francisco with two Sunday Streets in both July and August!
Sunday Streets transforms city streets into safe, car-free recreational
space for walking, cycling, jogging, dancing, yoga, and other
activities.Sunday Streets is a partnership between Livable City and the
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, other City agencies, and
other program and neighborhood partners.
2012 Sunday Streets season kicked off on March 11 along the Embarcadero. The full lineup of events for 2012 are:
March 11: The Embarcadero
April 15: Great Highway and Golden Gate Park
May 6: Mission
June 3: Mission
July 1: Mission
July 22: Bayview – Dogpatch
August 5: Mission
August 26: Chinatown - North Beach
September 9: Western Addition – North of the Panhandle – Alamo Square
October 21: Outer Mission – Excelsior
Livable City has organized and fiscal sponsor of Sunday Streets since it
began in fall 2008. We work with the Municipal Transportation Agency,
the Mayor's Office, and various City departments, including the Shape Up
Coalition and Health Department, as well as other nonprofit and
community partners, like the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, the YMCA,
and neighborhood and local business associations The program is made
possible by generous program sponsors and in-kind support from city
agencies – and by our amazing volunteers (to for information on
volunteering, check out theSunday Streets volunteer page).
For information and updates, and to let us know what you liked about the
events, or to give us your ideas about the events, use the Sunday
Streetswebsite. Your generous gifts will help us continue to grow the
program! To donate to Sunday Streets, use Livable City's secure web
site, and check the 'Sunday Streets' box to let us know your
contribution is for Sunday Streets.
Creating a more resilient and sustainable San Francisco.
Transition SF Panel Discussion
Monday July 16, 7-9 pm
Gazebo Room of CPMC Davies Campus
Castro Street between 14th and Duboce.
TransitionSF is hosting a panel discussion led by Paul A. Lord, Jr. and
including Debra Walker, Scott Edmonson, and Livable City's Tom
Paul, Debra, Scott, and Tom have deep experience in the San Francisco
legislative process and are currently involved in projects that further
local resilience and sustainability. The panel discussion will revisit
the SF Sustainability City plan (http://www.sustainable-city.org/) and
discuss ways that some of the numerous recommendations in this plan
could be assisted with legislative initiatives.
Help design a great Market Street!
Public workshops for the Better Market Street project
Tuesday, July 17, 2012, 6:00 - 8:30 pm
Saturday, July 21, 2012, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Both meetings will be held at SFMTA headquarters, 1 South Van Ness, 2nd Floor Atrium.
above the Van Ness Muni Metro Station, and served by the Market Mission and Van Ness bus and rail lines.
valet bike parking provided.
for special accommodations and language assistance at the meetings, call (510) 285-6746 at least 72 hours in advance.
The City is holding two public workshops to explore design ideas for
Market Street. The Better Market Street effort is a collaboration among
five city agencies which seeks to improve Market Street as a walking,
transit, and cycling street, and as a public place. Market Street is in
need of major repairs, which offers the opportunity to rebuild it better
than before. For more information about the Better Market Street
effort, see the project's web site:http://bettermarketstreetsf.org
Speak up for legislation on small corner retail and secure bicycle parking.
Board of Supervisors' Land Use and Economic Development Committee
Monday July 23, 1 pm
City Hall, Room 263
The Board of Supervisors' Land Use Committee will hear two pieces of
legislation, Sponsored by Supervisor David Chiu with Livable City.
One ordinance exempts secure bicycle parking in buildings from
Floor-Area Ratio (FAR) limits. Currently automobile parking is exempt,
and this change will create parity for bicycle parking, creating an
incentive for both voluntarily providing secure bicycle parking, and for
providing more than the minimum required. The ordinance will also
require secure bicycle parking for more types of large development
projects. More secure bicycle parking at both workplaces and homes
expands sustainable transportation options, and helps the city achieve
its goal of 20% of trips by bicycle by 2020.
The other ordinance permits small, neighborhood-serving historic retail
spaces in residential districts to be reactivated. Current law
recognizes that neighborhood-serving retail spaces provide convenient
walking access for nearby residents, eyes on the street, and affordable
space for small businesses. These retail uses to continue indefinitely
in residential districts, but once a retail space becomes inactive for
three years, it cannot be reopened. Many of these spaces are ill-suited
to housing, and can become dead spaces that detract from neighborhood
vitality and walkabilty. This ordinance permits these spaces to be
reactivated with a conditional use authorization, so they can once more
serve neighborhood needs. These changes were endorsed by the Planning
Commission, Small Business Commission, Historic Preservation Commission,
and San Francisco Architectural Heritage.
Join or renew your Livable City membership!
Membership in Livable City is a small investment for more joy in your
life and that of your fellow city-dwellers! Members help sustain our
work, receive invitations to special receptions and regular
opportunities to make a difference! Click here to join online.
Pier 70 Crane Cove Park Planning and Design Community Workshop & Site Tour.
Saturday July 21st 9:45 – 12:30: 699 Illinois Street (@18th Street).
Agenda:1. Introduction and Overview (9:45 -10:00)2. Review of Park
Concepts Alternatives (10:00 - 10:30) - same as presented at June 20th
meeting. Walking Site Tour (10:30 -11:30) * See note below. Open House
Q&A (11:30 -12:30)
* As a condition to participating in the Crane Cove Park site tour, all
participants in the site tour will be required to sign a waiver of
claims against the Port, City and its staff, officers, Boards and
Commissioners resulting from the site tour; and acknowledging that
dangerous conditions exist at the site. The waiver is available for
review on the Port’s Pier 70 Crane Cove Park web site listed below.
699 Illinois Street is accessible to persons using wheelchairs and
others with disabilities. Informational materials will be available in
large print upon request. The Project site tour is not accessible to
persons using a wheel chair, accommodations for those requiring: a)
mobility assistance for the site tour; b) assistive listening devices;
c) materials in other alternative formats, d) American Sign Language
interpreters and other accommodations will be made available upon
request. Please contact David Beaupre, 415-274-0539 or
firstname.lastname@example.org , providing at least 72 hours notice will help
to help ensure availability.
The Meeting is near the MUNI Metro T line (Mariposa Street Station),
MUNI bus lines serving the area are the 48 (20th and Third Street stop)
22 (18th and Tennessee) Bicycle parking will be provided. In order to
assist the City's efforts to accommodate persons with severe allergies,
environmental illness, multiple chemical sensitivity or related
disabilities, attendees at public meetings are reminded that other
attendees may be sensitive to various chemical based scented products.
Please help the City to accommodate these individuals.
sfport.com/cranecovepark or email@example.com
Blue oak (Quercus douglasii) acorns
Jocelyn Cohen, a strong proponent of caring for our California oaks,
offers insights and understanding about how to keep them healthy in our
urban gardens and landscapes. Drawing from and expanding on her two
articles in the Manzanita newsletter (Fall 2010 issue), she will teach
you what to watch for, easy cultural conditions to impose or refrain
from imposing on oaks, and what maintenance they need to be healthy and
safe. We will look at oaks via slides and in the field to help see and
understand how oaks differ at their various stages and how their care
changes as well. The daylong class begins with a walk in the garden
looking at some oaks and getting a taste of topics we will cover. We
will return to the auditorium for a slide and talk show that explores
the oak’s life stage from acorn through juvenile, youth through early
maturity, and maturity through senescence. A round table lunch follows
for questions and answers before we spend the rest of the day in the
field. You will leave with tried-and-true tips and techniques for
general care, pruning, planting/companion planting, proper irrigation,
and more (plus a handout). As a bonus you'll also learn how to care for
your oaks when making changes to their environment, whether it be
landscaping, construction, or painting your house (also includes a
handout). Oaks are some of the most important trees in California and in
the landscape. The older they get, the more benefits they offer.
Understanding them helps us be better custodians and guardians so they
remain healthy and vibrant for several centuries to come.
Presenter: Jocelyn Cohen
Saturday, July 21, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., please bring a lunch
Regional Parks Botanic Garden visitor center, Tilden Regional Park
Fee: $50 member- $60 non member
Jocelyn Cohen is a Certified Arborist and Aesthetic Pruner who brings
the eye of an arborist, ecologist, artist, and passionate advocate for
trees to her Bay Area pruning practice, Poetree Landscapes and
Arboriculture. First and foremost a hands-on pruner, Jocelyn also
consults, writes preservation reports, and teaches.
8. Farallones: From Canopy to Open Sea
WHAT: Muir Woods & Environs Loop Hike
WHEN: Saturday, Jul 21, 2012 10:00am to 3:00pm
WHERE: Muir Woods & environs, Mill Valley, CA
Enjoy a naturalist-led walk among coastal hills and valleys and Muir
Woods, adjacent to the Farallones Marine Sanctuary. Explore connections
between land and sea as you hike among some of the last old-growth
coastal redwood forests on the planet. Wind up steep trails through
several habitats – oak, chaparral, transition zones. Learn how coastal
fog from the ocean sustains this ecosystem. Watch a flower dissection by
a sanctuary educator. Pack a lunch and munch among the redwoods!
Moderate/strenuous 4.5 mi loop hike.
Option to end the day at the Tourist Club to admire views of the Farallones marine sanctuary.
Price: $15 per person
Age Suitability: Teens and up
Phone: Erica at 415-561-6622 x 232, firstname.lastname@example.org
Scraps of moon
bobbing discarded on broken water
Here she seems to be talking to herself about
the shape of a life:
All which, because it was
flame and song and granted us
joy, we thought we'd do, be, revisit,
turns out to have been what it was
that once, only; every invitation
did not begin
a series, a build-up: the marvelous
did not happen in our lives, our stories
are not drab with its absence: but don't
expect to return for more. Whatever more
there will be will be
unique as those were unique. Try
to acknowledge the next
song in its body-halo of flames as utterly
present, as now or never.
~ Denise Levertov ~
(The Great Unknowing)
Under the mistletoe
An experiment on a parasitic plant proves an important ecological concept
Jul 14th 2012 | from The Economist
THE magical properties of mistletoe will be familiar to any fan of
Asterix. The hero of the series of comic books by René Goscinny and
Albert Uderzo gains his superhuman strength from a mistletoe-containing
potion brewed by the local druid. In the real world, mistletoe is less
well regarded (except by those seeking someone to kiss at Christmas). It
is a parasite that can damage trees. But an experiment conducted
recently in Australia suggests this is only part of the story. For, in
the woodlands the study investigated, mistletoe did indeed have wondrous
properties. If it was removed, many other species vanished, too.
The study in question, just published in the Proceedings of the Royal
Society, was conducted by David Watson and Matthew Herring of Charles
Sturt University, in Albury, Australia. Dr Watson and Dr Herring looked
at patches of woodland in Billabong Creek, New South Wales, and sorted
them into two groups: those where mistletoe was present, and those where
it was absent. They then divided the former in two. Half the patches
they cleared of mistletoe, and half they left untouched. Then they
waited, to see what would happen.
Actually, that is not quite true. Before the experiment got under way,
they surveyed the bird population in every patch of woodland each season
for two years—in other words, eight times in all. Then, when three
years had passed after the removal of the mistletoe from some of them
(during which time they continued to cull any resurgent bunches of
mistletoe from the trees in the experimental patches), they carried out
another extended bird survey.
The results were intriguing. As would be expected, the one species that
feeds almost exclusively on mistletoe berries, the aptly named
mistletoebird, vanished from the culled woodlands. Species that make
their nests in bunches of mistletoe also tended to disappear. But lots
of other birds disappeared, too: around a fifth of them, compared with
what had been in the culled patches before the culling.
Indeed, things were worse than that. In the patches of woodland where
mistletoe was left in place, the number of bird species actually
increased, probably because of the end of a prolonged drought in the
area. Compared with the species diversity in these patches when the
final count was made, the number of species in the culled patches of
woodland was down by about a quarter. Mistletoe is thus acting as what
ecologists refer to as a keystone species: it supports an entire
ecosystem, and removing it has drastic effects for the whole.
Clearly, those effects are much greater than just a loss of berries and
nesting sites. Most likely, mistletoe is enhancing the food supply of
other birds by increasing the number of creepy crawlies available for
them to eat. That could happen in two ways. First, mistletoe weakens
(and sometimes kills) its host trees, opening them to infestations by
wood-boring insects and similar critters. Second, mistletoe sheds a lot
of leaves, which add to the depth of the leaf litter in a wood. Deep
litter favours insects, and thus insectivorous birds.
Whatever the mechanism, though, this study provides what no previous
study ever has: evidence from a controlled experiment that keystone
species really exist. Remember that next time you catch somebody under
the mistletoe at Christmas.
11. Are you an experienced rock climber? Know anyone who is? Check out the newest annual climbing event: Muir's Climb!
Restore Hetch Hetchy adds Muir's Climb to our annual backpacking and
hiking event in Yosemite called Muir's March. Join us on August 4th for a
day of climbing, route-finding (and route-making!), and building on the
beta, topos and photos that exist.*
Each climber is asked to raise or donate $100 and in return will receive:
· TWO nights of camping (Aug. 3-4) in Yosemite
· Dinner on Friday & lunch on Saturday
· Bling from Camelbak & Patagonia
· Hours of climbing on Saturday
· The satisfaction of helping to restore Hetch Hetchy!
Space is limited so register today! For more information, visit us online at www.muirsmarch.org or call Cal at 415-956-0401.
Last week the San Francisco Examiner printed a 5-part series on our
campaign to bring the Hetch Hetchy Valley back to life. While flawed in
some ways it is mostly a fair evaluation of our effort.
Click here to read
"San Francisco's Original Sin."
The tide is turning on this movement. Fund this historic campaign today.
P. S. It's not too late to join us at Hetch Hetchy for Muir's March on
August 4th. Click here for more info on a weekend of hiking and camping
7. "An understanding heart is
everything in a teacher, and cannot be esteemed highly enough. One looks
back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to
those who touched our human feeling. The curriculum is so much
necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing
plant and for the soul of the child."
Excerpt from blurb from The Teaching Company catalogue (COURSE #102):
How to Become a SuperStar Student
Professor Tim McGee, Worland High School
When a high school student has trouble learning a subject like math or
history, the problem may lie not in the teacher's ability or the
student's I.Q. Instead, it is often simply because the student has
never been taught how to learn.
From the high school in the little town* of Worland, Wyoming, comes a
steady stream of honor students. They win scholarships. Get into top
universities. Even have their writings published while still in high
How come? Because they are smarter than other kids? No. It's because
they have been shown how to become SuperStar Students by a widely
acclaimed SuperStar Teacher, Tim McGee.
Dr. McGee has found that many bright kids have trouble retaining what
they read and get tangled up when trying to do writing assignments. He
teaches two simple yet powerful techniques that teach basic learning
skills and will give students an edge not only in high school but in
college and adulthood.
(I have not sampled this course, but I have taken many courses [mostly
on audio CDs] from The Teaching Company--Greek Tragedy, Shakespeare's
Tragedies, several Abraham Lincoln courses, the American Revolution,
various history and philosophy courses, &c. Without exception, the
teachers have been top-rate, so I accept this blurb at face value. JS)
Contact The Teaching Company at 800-TEACH-12 (800-832-2412) , www.TEACH12.COM
* JS: I was born and raised (through high school) just across the
Montana border from Worland, and we did not consider it a little town.
Our town had 476 people, and we thought that Worland was either a big
town or a little city.
Contraception and development
Choice not chance
Family planning returns to the international development agenda
Jul 14th 2012 | LONDON AND OUAGADOUGOU | from The Economist (excerpt)
AT THE Marie Stopes clinic on the outskirts of Ouagadougou, in Burkina
Faso, Juliette, who is about 30 years old, smiles up from the table
where she is having an intrauterine contraceptive coil fitted. She says
she has three children and does not want any more. Her husband, she
admits, does not know she is having the procedure but she thinks he will
not mind. To judge by the crowds, nobody minds. The two-storey building
is swarming with mothers and children—it gets about 14,000 visits a
month, says Sally Hughes, its director. A jeep has just pulled into the
courtyard bringing back the doctor, midwife and nurse from their daily
tour of the surrounding villages, where they take contraception to many
Contraception is cheap by rich-country standards—but not for locals.
Implants cost Marie Stopes International $25 each, but the charity can
charge just $1.50. So donations and government help are needed to keep
up with surging demand. Burkina Faso has one of the highest fertility
rates in the world, with women likely to bear six children on average in
their lifetime. But the number is falling. In 1990 it was seven and in
Ouagadougou itself it is below five. Ms Hughes says: “Women use
contraception because they want to work and they worry about feeding and
educating the children. Men don’t worry about that… but they respond to
arguments about their wives’ health and income.”
For more than a decade, family planning in developing countries has been
carried on in clinics like this without much outside attention. Though
national provision has been patchy—contraceptives are encouraged in some
places, banned in others—international donors have steered clear of the
issue. The last big United Nations conference on family planning took
place as long ago as 1994. American politics plays a role. In 1984
Ronald Reagan withdrew American federal aid to groups that performed or
advocated abortion. Democratic administrations have rescinded this
policy and Republican ones reinstated it.
The term “family planning” dropped out of fashion—it was associated with
coercive population controls—and was replaced by “sexual and
reproductive health”. Many economists have argued that contraception
anyway is largely irrelevant: demographic patterns, they claim, do not
have much influence on economic growth and the important thing is
broader socio-economic development. Others disagree. John Cleland of the
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine calls the past 15 years
ones of “horrendous neglect”.
So a summit on family planning, held in London on July 11th, represents a
big change. The meeting, called by the British government and the Gates
Foundation, a charity, won promises of $4.6 billion from donors and
developing countries, to provide modern contraception (coils, pills,
injectables, implants and condoms) to an extra 120m women by 2020. This
would be a hefty increase on the $4 billion spent each year on family
planning in those countries.
....This makes family planning cost-effective. The Guttmacher study
reckons that for every $1 spent on modern contraception, developing
countries would save $1.40 in maternal and newborn health care—to say
nothing of the misery avoided. Family planning, says Mr Cleland, “ought
to be one of the priority interventions for maternal health, neonatal
survival and child health”. The London summit is a welcome, if
shamefully late, start to that.
15. Out to lunch
Jogger stuck in mud for four days
A missing jogger was rescued from a Florida swamp after spending four
days stuck in the muck with only the waist-deep water to drink. Eddie
Meadows, 62, left for a run in his lunch hour but did not return to his
(I lost the attribution for this item from my archives. JS)