The Loma Prietan - July/August 2010

Message From the Chair

by Charles Schafer

Chapter Chair

Hello again.

It seems as though it has been quite a while since we last talked, maybe because it has been quite a while. As I'm sure you know by now, we've had to cut back production of the paper version of the Loma Prietan due to funding issues, so it has been twice as long between issues. Our new electronic version, however, is on the same schedule we used to have for the paper one. It is the same as the paper version when we do have a paper one, but fills in the gaps between paper issues. You can sign up for the electronic version on our website (lomaprieta., and we are working to keep important Chapter information up to date on that website. I encourage you to go there to keep up with Chapter activities that used to be publicized in the Loma Prietan.

Other Ways to Get Involved

On a different topic: in my last column I wrote about you getting involved in some of the various Chapter activities. Here are some further Chapter activities you might consider that I didn't have space for in my last column. One such activity is Inner City Outings. This is not an activity section in the classical sense; instead, volunteers help lead trips that take inner city youth, those who think of a vacant city lot as 'the outdoors,' out into the real outdoors. The intent is to give them an understanding of and appreciation for the environment. You can find more information by going to our home page (again, and clicking on the 'Outings' tab, then scrolling down to Inner City Outings.

The Chapter has three Regional Groups, which are localized versions of the Chapter, each with its own Executive Committee, conservation groups, and outings programs serving its local region. The groups are the Black Mountain Group (northern Santa Clara County), the Guadalupe Group (mid and southern Santa Clara County and San Benito County), and the San Carlos/Belmont Group (guess where). If you like working on local issues, these groups are a great place to start getting involved. You can find more information by going to our home page and clicking on the 'Regional Groups' tab. See the shaded article on page 6 about an activity sponsored by the Black Mountain Group.

Finally, I'll talk about are our Cool Cities Teams. These teams in a number of the cities in our Chapter area do something about global warming. They get involved in local issues related to global warming, for example by lobbying their planning commissions to promote climate-friendly policies and speaking out at city council meetings to express support for ordinances designed to reduce greenhouse gases, among other things. Educating others within their communities is also a very important component of what they do. You can find more information by going to our home page and clicking on the 'Global Warming' or the 'Building Climate Friendly Communities' tab. (Both programs function through the Cool Cities Teams). Three articles on page 6 talk about this work.

As you can see by reading this and my March column about getting involved (also available on the website, of course!), a lot is going on within the Chapter, and we need a lot of people who will take on just a little of the load. If you can take just a small step, and help out in an area that is related to your passion for the environment, we can collectively take some very large steps to ensure that the world is a better place in which to live.