Weekly Roundup | May 3, 2013

newspaperCheck out this week’s Weekly Roundup for breaking news affecting San Francisco Bay.

SocketSite 4/29/13
Pier 30-32 Revitalization Act Aims To Clear The Way For The Warriors
Pier 30-32 was granted to the City and County of San Francisco by the state in trust “for purposes of commerce, navigation, and fisheries, and subject to specified terms and conditions relating to the operation of the Port of San Francisco.” While the use of Pier 30-32 for a cruise ship terminal was authorized and written into law, the terminal was built upon Pier 27 instead. And as it stands, an arena upon Pier 30-32 is not a legally authorized use. Introduced by Assembly Member Phil Ting, Assembly Bill 1273 (a.k.a. the Pier 30-32 Revitalization Act) will be considered by the Assembly Local Government Committee in Sacramento on Wednesday.
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The Press Democrat 4/29/13
State’s Coastal Conservancy runs low on cash after local deals 
A little-known state agency that has poured $68 million into Sonoma County conservation projects is running low on cash and planning to scale back its mission of protecting and enhancing vast forests and coastal lands. Down to its last $150 million, the State Coastal Conservancy has spent most of a nearly $1 billion pot of bond funds approved by California voters and is preparing to get by with no new bond measures for the next 10 years. The conservancy, which has helped purchase about 40,000 acres in Sonoma County, is no longer likely to help swing big deals like the $24.5 million Preservation Ranch purchase it supported with a $10 million grant earlier this month.
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CBS SF Bay Area 5/1/13
Jefferson Award Winner Teaches Others The Values Of Native Plants
May 5, 2013 will be the ninth annual Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour in the East Bay. What started as one woman’s passion to protect local watersheds has grown to change the way thousands of people look at nature and the value the planting and preserving of native plants.
For 25 years, Kathy Kramer has worked to protect the watersheds of Northern California, developing award-winning education programs like Kids in Creeks, and community projects like the one that transformed Sausal Creek. Volunteers ripped out hillsides covered in ivy and replaced it with native plants that attract more insects and wildlife. The opened paths restored parts of the creekbed.
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Sierra 5/1/13
Are Grocery Delivery Services Green?
It isn’t easy being green. Sometimes, adopting eco-friendly habits — whether avoiding plastic bags or researching sustainable food options — only seems to add more stress to our already hectic lives. But one green habit might be as easy as skipping next Sunday’s grocery trip. A study published in the Journal of the Transportation Research Forum reveals that grocery delivery is easier not only on you, but on the planet, too. Using Seattle as a model, engineers at the University of Washington found that delivery service trucks generated 20 to 75 percent less carbon dioxide than personal vehicles driven to and from the grocery store.
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Weekly Roundup | April 19, 2013

newspaperCheck out this week’s Weekly Roundup for breaking news affecting San Francisco Bay.

Slate 4/19/13
Seven Spectacular Places Saved by the Environmental Movement
The first Earth Day, in 1970, was inspired by anger. The nation was a mess. Four million gallons of oil from a blown offshore well were smearing California beaches. Flames leapt from the surface of Ohio’s Cuyahoga River. Bald eagles, our national symbol, had been winnowed by hunting and chemical pollution to a few hundred breeding pairs in the lower 48 states. It’s no wonder that 20 million people took to the streets.

Tri-City Voice 4/16/13
Beyond Earth Day
Picking up a few empty bottles or planting some trees Earth Day morning has become regular duty for any Bay Area resident with a conscience. The trio below just kept going after “E Day” and shows how average people can make a big difference in our place by the Bay.  Steve Haas started volunteering with Save the Bay about four years ago. Save The Bay is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving San Francisco Bay and has been doing it for over 50 years. The management consulting and software development professional retired about two years ago and spends more and more of his free time with Save the Bay and other environmental organizations, getting out once or twice a month to assist projects at Eden Landing in Hayward and other locations on the Peninsula. The projects involve removing invasive plants, planting native species, mulching, and watering. Haas says he enjoys all of these, but especially removing the invasive plants.
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San Francisco Bay Guardian Online 4/16/13
Warriors Arena proposal rouses supporters and opponents
Rival teams have formed in the last week to support and oppose the proposed Warriors Arena at Piers 30-32 as the California Legislature considers a new bill to approve the project, a new design is about to be released, and a trio of San Francisco agencies prepares to hold informational hearings.  Fresh off the collapse of two of the city’s biggest development deals, Mayor Ed Lee and his allies are pushing hard to lock in what he hopes will be his “legacy project.” A new group of local business leaders calling itself Warriors on the Waterfront held a rally on the steps of City Hall today, emphasizing the project’s job creation, community partnerships, and revitalization of a dilapidated stretch of waterfront.
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San Jose Mercury News 4/13/13
Family of beavers found living in downtown San Jose
A family of beavers has moved into Silicon Valley, taking up residence along the Guadalupe River in the heart of downtown San Jose.  The discovery of the three semiaquatic rodents — famous for their flat tails, brown coats and huge teeth — a few hundred yards from freeways, tall office buildings and the HP Pavilion represents the most high-profile Bay Area sighting since a beaver family settled in Martinez in 2006. The discovery of those beavers sparked national headlines when city leaders at first tried to remove them and then backed down after public outcry.  The appearance of the furry mammals in downtown San Jose is believed to be the first in 150 years.
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San Mateo Daily Journal 4/17/13
San Mateo moves to ban plastic bags, polystyrene
The San Mateo City Council voted unanimously to support a reusable bag ordinance, completing the regional effort in San Mateo County and parts of Santa Clara County to reduce litter.  The amendment to city code promotes the use of reusable bags as an alternative to single-use plastic and paper bags and mirrors a countywide effort.  The City Council also voted Monday night to support the polystyrene ban which will ban the use of polystyrene in restaurants and delicatessens.  Adoption of both ordinances is expected May 6 with implementation beginning June 6 in San Mateo.  San Mateo County, along with many other cities will implement the reusable bag ordinance Earth Day, April 22.
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Oroville Mercury-Register 4/15/13
Legal action threatened if Chico adopts plastic bag ban
An attorney for the Save The Plastic Bag Coalition is threatening legal action if the city of Chico moves forward with its proposed ban on plastic bags.  The City Council is set to consider an ordinance Tuesday that would prohibit specified stores from providing single-use plastic carryout bags and require a charge for the provision of single-use recyclable paper bags. The ban is slated to take effect next Jan. 1, after an extensive educational campaign.  Attorney Stephen L. Joseph said the Los Angeles-based Save The Plastic Bag Coalition objects to the ordinance’s adoption without prior preparation and certification of an environmental impact report. In an email to the city, he said the coalition would file a petition in court for writ of mandate if the document is not prepared and request the court invalidate the ordinance.
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Marin Independent Journal 4/13/13
Environmental group proposes hybrid levees for Marin, other bayside counties as sea rises
Fortifying the bay’s shoreline with levees fronted by restored tidal marshes is a cheaper, more aesthetic and ecologically sensitive way to protect Marin and other bayside counties from sea level rise, according to a new report by a Bay Area environmental group.  The Bay Institute’s report — the subject of a panel discussion earlier this month in San Francisco — proposes restoring tidal marshes with sediment from local flood control channels and irrigating the marshes with treated wastewater. The plan also calls for “horizontal levees” that are a hybrid of traditional earthen levees and restored marshes. The conclusion was based partly on research done in the lower Corte Madera Creek watershed.
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Weekly Roundup February 15, 2013

weekly roundupSports columnist and Bay Area native Ann Killion made a strong argument against the proposed Warriors arena in the San Francisco Chronicle. Five weeks after the Overseas Reymar collision, shipping officials passed new restrictions on large ships sailing near the Bay Bridge. In San Jose, volunteers descended upon Coyote Creek as part of the city’s Clean Creeks, Healthy Communities program, collecting data as well as trash.  Styrofoam was the prize of the day because San Jose has been considering banning it for two years, and the City Council will finally put it to a vote on Feb. 26.  In coming years Cullinan Ranch in westernmost Solano County will  once again becomes tidal wetlands.  The Bay Area has uniquely positioned itself ahead of California overall, assuming a “burden of leadership” in planning beyond sustainability for global resilience.  Seeking to join many of their coastal California counterparts, members of the Sacramento City Council are advocating for a ban on plastic shopping bags.  The Watershed Project, a Richmond-based nonprofit, has plans to restore lost habitat for Olympia oysters along the Point Pinole shoreline in Richmond.  This week, the Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association (BASMAA) issued a statement urging city governments that have not already done so to approve bans on the use of plastic bags.

San Francisco Chronicle 2/14/13
Warriors arena would block beauty of bay
After a breathtakingly fast start, the Warriors were bound to cool off. To come back to earth. I’m not talking about this season’s performance on the court. I’m talking about the organization’s proposed waterfront arena.

Contra Costa Times 2/14/13
Coast Guard, shipping officials pass new rules to restrict large ships from sailing near Bay Bridge in heavy fog
Hoping to reduce the risk of major oil spills in San Francisco Bay, the Coast Guard and top shipping officials Thursday passed new rules to restrict cargo ships, oil tankers and other large vessels from sailing near the Bay Bridge in heavy fog. The action comes five weeks after an empty oil tanker, the Overseas Reymar, sideswiped a tower of the Bay Bridge near Yerba Buena Island.

San Jose Mercury News 2/9/13
Cleanup of San Jose Creek yields squishy surprises
For nearly three hours, Brad Hunt had been squishing around in the mud and muck along Coyote Creek, stooping every few seconds to retrieve another piece of trash, shifting each sodden coffee cup or soiled diaper into one of several bags set up along the creek bank — like a forensic technician collecting clues at the scene of a crime. “I think people don’t really realize where their trash is going most of the time,” Hunt said. As he spoke, a piece of clear plastic floated down from the tree canopy behind him, settling onto the surface of the muddy water. Guessing that it was discarded from a car on the Interstate-280 overpass nearby, he watched it float slowly toward San Francisco Bay.
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Fairfield – Suison Daily Republic 2/14/13
Cullinan Ranch will be place for wildlife – and people
Don Brubaker drove along a levee and pointed out the flat expanse of pickleweed and water in front of him and the hills of Napa and Sonoma counties miles away. “All the way to those foothills over there was an estuary,” said Brubaker, who manages the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
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Greenbiz.com 2/8/13
Why San Francisco can lead the way on resiliency planning
If climate predictions are correct, Silicon Valley — already below sea level and estimated by the Army Corps of Engineers to have nearly 260 companies contributing over a trillion dollars to regional GDP — is at tremendous risk. In light of this, the Bay Area has both a sincere need and obligation to plan more resilient infrastructure and physical space.
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The Sacramento Bee 2/9/13
Plastic bag ban could be in Sacramento’s future
It’s an age-old question that could be headed toward oblivion in Sacramento: paper or plastic? Seeking to join many of their coastal California counterparts, two members of the City Council are advocating for a ban on plastic shopping bags at large stores in the city that sell groceries. That might include not just grocery outlets but also big retailers such as Target, CVS and Wal-Mart.
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KQED 2/11/13
Bringing Oysters Back to the Bay
During the Gold Rush, the San Francisco Bay’s native oyster habitat was all but wiped out due to overharvesting and hydraulic mining washing sediment onto the bay floor. But a Richmond-based nonprofit has plans to restore the shellfish’s lost habitat along the Point Pinole shoreline.
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Belmont Patch 2/14/13
Stormwater Management Agency: Plastic Bags Clog Drains, Pollute Water
Though the counties of San Mateo and Santa Clara have both banned the use of plastic bags in unincorporated areas, there are still some cities in the South Bay and Peninsula that have not done so at the city level. This week, the Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association (BASMAA) issued a statement urging city governments that have not already done so to approve such bans.
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