The landmark water legislation, passed by the Legislature in a special session in November, sought to give something to everyone, including a hefty dose of old-fashioned pork, but it failed to accomplish much of what it could have.
Situated west of Half Moon Bay Airport, "Big Wave" is a controversial proposed development for a gargantuan office park, a wellness center and residential units for developmentally disabled adults. The development is inappropriate for the location, and the Chapter doubts that the proposal can fulfill this mission.
Though the 1950 film noir Asphalt Jungle deals with a jewel heist, the title could well be applied to the urban and suburban sprawl where most of us spend our lives. The miles of asphalt needed for transportation have displaced woodlands, creeks, and farms.
Cities throughout the Bay Area are responding to a Chapter survey and campaign started in early 2009, which cited cities' current solar permit fees and requested that the fees be reviewed and modified to appropriate levels.
"My top priority is to support the Chapter to do the best job it can do to make the local environment the best on the planet," says Larry Reed, the Chapter's new director. Larry started work at the beginning of November, after the Chapter's extensive search to replace outgoing Executive Director Melissa Hippard, who left over the summer.
"The water bills don't adequately address agricultural conservation, which uses most of the water," Assemblyman Paul Fong told the Santa Clara County Creeks Coalition. "That's why I voted against them."
The water legislation approved by the Legislature includes $11.14 billion in borrowing for "drought relief," water conservation and storage, and protection of the Delta environment. The bond will be on the November 2010 state ballot and will likely be opposed by the Sierra Club.
The Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the Thomberg Family Foundation granted the Chapter a total of $90,000 for the Building Climate-Friendly Communities campaign — to increase citizen support of and involvement in proposals for livable, climatefriendly communities.
Of the prominent mountains ringing the Bay, perhaps none is more in peril of development than San Bruno Mountain in northernmost San Mateo County. In September the Chapter voted to support protecting the remaining open space on the mountain.
In September, the San Jose City Council passed a new law that would ban, starting in 2011, many retailers from providing free plastic bags and would only allow providing paper bags with 40% recycled content for a fee.
With many safety features, modern pressure cookers provide a convenient way to reduce cooking time and energy consumption. In addition, the small amount of water required for pressure cooking means that fewer vitamins and minerals are leached from the food.
Environmentally-aware gardeners can help spread the message of sustainable and earth-nurturing gardening to the wider community by joining, supporting, or initiating native plant demonstration gardens in their neighborhoods.
Members of the Chapter's Geographic Information Systems Committee volunteer their time and energy to collect data to create and edit conservation-related maps. Many Chapter committees have benefited from this service.
Every year the Chapter's San Jose Inner City Outings program takes local inner city youth hiking, camping, mountain biking, kayaking, rafting, backpacking and cross-country skiing. For many of the kids, these outings are their first exposure to the outdoors.
Love of fly fishing for the steelhead led to Mondy Lariz's passion to protect their environment. He has been volunteering for the Chapter and organizations as The Nature Conservancy, California Trout, and Trout Unlimited.