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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


1.   Stop Industrial Solar in Alameda County - hearing TONIGHT
2.   Fostering butterflies in your garden, Thurs March 1/Great Sunflower Project program rescheduled
2a. Heron's Head Park construction impacts on parking
3.   Thoughtful LTE on attempt to remove Fish & Game Commission president
4.   LTE on Central Subway
5.   More Hetch Hetchy:  The Curse of Chief Tenaya in E-format
6.   Water heaters,  stoves, etc - useful website
7.   Lying to obtain climate documents/$ short for forest fires/national forest no-fee
8.   Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time March 8
9.   Meeting notes from Bernal Heights Trail community meeting
10. New Sustainable Certification Program: Business Leadership course
11.  Letter of Retainer, by Diane Ackerman
12.  Today's Word:  Promethean
13.  Santa Clara Valley Water District tours of stream-improvement projects
14.  Concrete Planet: The Strange and Fascinating Story of the World's Most Common Man-made Material

As freely as the firmament embraces the world,
or the sun pours forth impartially his beams,
so mercy must encircle both friend and foe.
  -Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, poet and dramatist (1759-1805)

1.  Stop Industrial Solar in Eastern Alameda County - hearing Tuesday 28 February

We think widespread solar power is a great idea, as long as the infrastructure for renewable energy is sensibly and appropriately sited. However, Alameda County seems to be on a misguided path to allow massive scale industrial solar projects on wildlife habitat and productive farmland in rural Alameda County, without first looking at the potential for urban solar on rooftops or placing panels on existing paved and developed locations.

The Alameda County Planning Department will hold a community meeting tomorrow night in Dublin to discuss proposed amendments to the County General Plan to allow and encourage massive solar developments in the East County.

Unfortunately, the Planning Department seems to be ignoring concerns from conservation and agriculture groups about poorly-sited facilities that cause habitat destruction and loss of farmland, and appears to be headed toward recommending to the Board of Supervisors sacrificing open space for industrial energy facilities rather than encouraging development of rooftop solar.

Please attend the hearing tomorrow night and support our call for a five year moratorium on industrial solar in Alameda County until the proper level of environmental review is done for proposed large-scale solar facilities. The hearing is Tuesday, February 28, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Alameda County Public Works Building, 4825 Gleason Drive, in Dublin.

Read the Alameda Creek Alliance’s web page on industrial solar for more information:


2.  From the California Native Plant Society Yerba Buena Chapter:  CHANGE OF PROGRAM

We regret that due to scheduling error, Gretchen LeBuhn is unable to speak to our chapter on The Great Sunflower Project: Pollinator Conservation by the Public  this Thursday, March 1.  We are exceedingly fortunate to have been able to get Jeff Caldwell, who we were planning to have do a program later this year, fill in on short notice.  The subjects of the two talks are related but are sufficiently different to be complementary rather than duplicative.

California Native Plant Society Yerba Buena Chapter members meeting - free and open to the public
Fostering Butterflies and Other Pollinators in Your Native Garden
Speaker:  Jeff Caldwell
Thursday 1 March 2012, 7.30 pm
San Francisco County Fair Bldg
9th Avenue & Lincoln Way in Golden Gate Park

With a better understanding of the needs of desired organisms, gardens and landscapes can be managed to better support them. Jeff will share what he's learned about the potential for native plants and landscapes to support more robust populations of Lepidoptera.

Jeffrey Caldwell, B.A., Biology, Pomona College, 1971.  Jeff's career includes commercial and private landscape maintenance and design as well as environmental impact studies and revegetation plans, implementation and monitoring for major flood control and roadwork mitigation projects.  He gave his first butterfly gardening lecture in 1975. Hoping to find a way to help make butterflies flourish in the landscape, over the last three years he has intensively studied specific Lepidoptera - plant interactions of Californian plants.