In March, we were about to ‘unfriend’ Facebook. Now we’re pleased to report that we really, really "like" the amended Facebook office project proposal in Menlo Park. The Facebook development team has been very responsive to the concerns of the Chapter and allied environmental organizations.
As a result of opposition by the Chapter, Redwood City residents, and other environmental groups, Cargill and Arizona developer DMB Associates have withdrawn their initial plan for filling in the baylands around Redwood City. We have won the first skirmish. However, they’ve already announced that they will soon submit a revised plan. The battle is yet to come…
Florence LaRiviere, Palo Alto resident and long-time San Francisco Bay activist, has won the National Wetlands Award for her 40 years of work on behalf of baylands preservation. Her work inspires the Chapter to fight against “Saltworks” and other destruction of the wetlands.
We’re looking for a few new faces for the Chapter’s Executive Committee. The ExCom is the Chapter’s board of directors. Members attend the committee’s meeting the first Tuesday evening of each month and perform various other tasks, totaling 15 to 20 hours per month. Contact Suzanne Fellenz (auntsuzy*at*hotmail.com) for more info.
With an impressive resume and expertise in community organizing, Adrien Salazar has joined the Chapter staff as Conservation Program Coordinator, a position focused on finding volunteers for and otherwise supporting our Cool Cities Teams, our Sustainable Land Use (SLU) and Transportation Committees, and our internship program.
Whether it’s for lobbying city councils, writing letters to the editor, arranging food and music for Chapter events, or leading outings, the Chapter depends on its volunteers. The biannual Chapter awards event in May honored the people listed below for the work they’ve done to move the environmental agenda, to bring in new people, to make Chapter get-togethers enjoyable, and to do all the other things that make the Chapter an effective organization.
We need environmentalists to run for the Board of the Santa Clara Valley Water District. The current board does give lip service to the importance of the environment, and the district does have some innovative and award-winning environmental projects. But when budget time comes, lip service and innovation do not translate into enough money to make an ecological difference in our streams in our lifetimes.
Imagine it’s 2016. You’re on El Camino Real, waiting for a bus. An overhead display informs you that the next bus arrives in five minutes, so you cross the street, pick up a newspaper, and return to the platform before the bus arrives.
A modern-looking bus pulls up. About ten people get off. A young woman rolls her bicycle through one door, and a man in a wheelchair wheels out the next one. Thanks to a boarding platform the same height as the floor of the bus, everyone is on and off in less than 20 seconds.
Google has canceled plans for the more problematic of two elevated bridges it proposed over Stevens Creek in the Mountain View baylands. It will write an EIR for the remaining bridge. This change is a victory for the Chapter and other organizations that opposed the construction of the second bridge.
Rockwood Capital and Four Corners Properties have bought the building at 100 Mayfield Avenue in Mountain View, formerly the Mayfield Mall and Hewlett-Packard headquarters, for renovation and conversion to office space, which they declare is one of the ‘greenest’ forms of investment they can make.
Merlone Geier Partners proposes to build a hotel and three office towers on part of what is now the San Antonio Shopping Center. The Mountain View Environmental Planning Commission gave the plan a chilly reception.
The short-term economic benefits of the San Jose Almaden Ranch Project, a-20th-century-minded development, won out over concerns about the neighborhoods and the environment. However, we believe that the debate has taken the wind out of the sails of future projects similar to this.
A San Mateo County judge ordered a builder to pay the Committee for Green Foothills and individual citizens in Montara $52,580 in legal costs. Montara builder Thomas Mahon had sued them in a dispute over development. The judge awarded the damages under California’s Anti-SLAPP statute.
Water is a scarce and precious natural resource in California, yet two thirds of the water used in homes goes toward watering the yard. What can the home gardener do to use less water, enjoy the garden more, and help the environment? Here are 10 easy tips.
Encouraging backyard agriculture is an important first step in combating the deleterious effects of monoculture farming and food transported to markets far from where it is grown. Home gardens can easily be diverse, pesticide-free, friendly to endangered pollinators, and organic.
The Chapter’s twelve public Earth Day presentations discussed our Cool Cities campaigns and the Sierra Club’s “Chill the Drills” campaign. The former lessens global warming by local action; the latter keeps oil and gas drilling out of the artic. Both campaigns will help our friends the polar bears survive.
Scientists, rangers, and park supporters recently released adult Bay checkerspot butterflies at Edgewood County Park and Natural Preserve in San Mateo County. This is another step in the series of successful initiatives taken toward bringing the checkerspot butterfly back to its historic home.
In recent history, the burrowing owl population of Santa Clara County plummeted as habitat was converted to Silicon Valley urban landscapes. Threats to the few remaining owls persist, but one city – Mountain View – is working to save the burrowing owls with a comprehensive effort in Shoreline Park.
Charles Fishman states that his book The Big Thirst is an effort to rescue water not so much from ignorance as from being ignored. Fishman excels at his task as he covers geologic aspects of water, takes us on a fascinating journey through Las Vegas’s recent water history, and recounts Hurricane Ike’s mark on the water system of Galveston, Texas.
The Chapter accomplishes so much because many volunteers donate generous amounts of time to making it work. We can always use another pair of hands, and some of the opportunities to help are listed here. If you’re interested but don’t see your perfect job, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.lomaprieta.sierraclub.org, click on Volunteers, and fill in the online form.
Whatever the environment—land, sea, forest, planning meetings—Jodi Frediani’s versatile skills are at work. She has saved redwood groves in the Santa Cruz Mountains; now she’s working in humpback whale research.