News of the Bay: May 9, 2014

Check out this edition of News of the Bay for breaking news affecting San Francisco Bay

San Jose Mercury News
Failure of Warriors Waterfront Arena Latest in Long Line of Bay Development Defeats
The Golden State Warriors’ decision this week to abandon plans to build a new arena on piers along the San Francisco waterfront is not just a local development issue, but rather the latest example of a 40-year trend around San Francisco Bay.
No matter how rich or how politically connected, people who have proposed projects that environmentalists say are “filling the bay” or “walling off the bay” have nearly always seen those plans end in defeat.
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News of the Bay

San Francisco Chronicle
Warriors Find they Can’t Beat the Bay
The San Francisco Bay wins.
That’s what Joe Lacob and the Warriors learned. Their plans for a waterfront arena foundered, despite endless bluster, almost from the start of planning and now apparently have been abandoned.
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San Francisco Chronicle
Global Warming Threat to West Spelled out in Report
Dwindling water for farms, longer fire seasons and coastal flooding of homes and businesses await California as climate change intensifies, according to a federal report released Tuesday that details how global warming is damaging every region of the country.
The third National Climate Assessment, compiled over four years by more than 300 scientists at the direction of Congress, said California’s farm industry, which provides more than half the nation’s fruits, nuts and vegetables, is particularly vulnerable. So are many cities along the coast, including San Francisco, that are already experiencing flooding at high tides as sea levels rise.
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KGO Radio
Santa Clara Bans Styrofoam Containers
On May 6, The Santa Clara City Council voted to ban Styrofoam food containers. As one of the last large cities in the South Bay to take this step, this is a big deal. As of this week, 62% of Bay Area residents live in a community that has banned Styrofoam food ware. The Bay Area has made great progress on bag bans too. Right now 76% of Bay Area residents live under a plastic bag ban.
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Weekly Roundup: January 3, 2014

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

San Francisco Chronicle 12/31/13
Group says arena should require S.F. voters’ OK
The political fight over the future of San Francisco’s waterfront has just been ramped up a notch.
A measure proposed for the June ballot just delivered to the city would require that voters approve any development on Port of San Francisco property that exceeds existing height limits. That would include at least three major projects: the Warriors’ proposed arena at Piers 30-32, the Giants’ mixed-use development at a site that is now their main parking lot, and the transformation of the former shipyard at Pier 70 into commercial space, homes and other uses.
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weekly roundup

San Jose Mercury News 12/31/13
San Jose won’t increase price of paper bags as ordinance originally required
San Jose’s plastic bag ban is working so well that the city’s environmental services department and council members won’t push paper bag prices to 25 cents each on Jan. 1 as determined when the council ordinance first took affect.
But another ban begins on that day, this one for Styrofoam packaging from multi-state restaurants and fast food outlets. The ban takes place for other restaurants and small food establishments Jan. 1, 2015, which the council hopes will allow prices on other types of packaging to fall, allowing cheaper alternatives for the smaller businesses.
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San Jose Mercury News 12/31/13
King Tides foretell Bay Area’s flood-plagued future
Winston Bumpus stood on the redwood deck of the Sequoia Yacht Club on Tuesday morning, training a careful eye on the murky green water just a couple feet below.
The club’s New Year’s Eve party wouldn’t start until 8 p.m., but he’d arrived about 12 hours early at the Redwood City marina to make sure the morning’s high tide didn’t sneak over the deck and into the club’s carpeted interior. He had sandbags and plastic sheeting ready, but in the end they weren’t needed: The water got within 1.5 feet of the deck before retreating around 10 a.m.
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San Francisco Chronicle 12/20/31
Stop feds’ land grab from state parks
In an audacious display of bureaucratic arrogance, the federal government is threatening to use its eminent domain powers to seize a state-owned street near Alameda’s Crown Beach to accommodate a proposed development of up to 90 homes.
It gets worse. The targeted property is not exactly state surplus. It is a short stretch of McKay Avenue that provides access to the interpretive center at Crab Cove, which sits at the eastern edge of the largest stretch of public beach on the San Francisco Bay. The General Services Administration wants to claim the road to assure utility services for the Roseville (Placer County) developer who outbid the East Bay Regional Park District for the 4-acre site on what is known as Neptune Pointe.
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Sacramento Bee 12/29/13
Drought brings water rationing orders
December is usually not the time of year to discuss water rationing. But this holiday month has been so dry that mandatory water conservation orders are beginning to sweep across the Sacramento region.
The city of Folsom led the pack on Monday, imposing a mandatory 20 percent water conservation order. On Thursday, Sacramento County asked customers in unincorporated areas to voluntarily reduce water consumption by 20 percent. The cities of Sacramento and Roseville are likely to consider their own measures during the first week of January.
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Weekly Roundup | June 28, 2013

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

Rolling Stone 6/20/13
Rising Seas: A City-by-City Forecast
Depending on geology, vulnerability, ocean currents and political leadership, some regions will be hit harder than others. Researchers recently discovered that the Atlantic coast between North Carolina and Massachusetts is a particular hot spot, with the sea rising three to four times faster than the global average.
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The Sacramento Bee 6/24/13
Dan Walters: San Francisco basketball arena’s now a political football 
What is it about sports arenas that makes politicians bend over backward to exempt them from regulatory hurdles?
Two years ago, lawmakers passed and Gov. Jerry Brown signed a hastily drafted bill to give a proposed professional football stadium in downtown Los Angeles a fast track through the California Environmental Quality Act’s notoriously dense, time-consuming reviews.
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The Ukiah Daily Journal 6/25/13
Local residents collect cigarette butts 
According to Keep America Beautiful, 65 percent of all cigarette butts are disposed of improperly and cigarette waste accounts for 38 percent of all U.S. roadway litter. But Gail Wedding from Laytonville and Russell Minor from Potter Valley are doing their part to keep their cigarette waste out of the local landfill by sending it to recycling pioneer TerraCycle.  Russell Minor collects his cigarette butts at home and stores them in an old “oil rag” can until it is time to send them to TerraCycle.  To spread the word, he shows his friends how easy it is to collect at home.
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Marin Independent Journal 6/24/13
SMART seeks federal permit to do track work through Marin wetlands 
The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District is seeking a permit from a key federal agency to begin track work in September through sensitive wetlands in Marin.  Because the project involves building near and over waterways, such as Gallinas Creek in San Rafael, SMART must receive a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The federal agency has opened a public comment period that continues through July 7.
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San Jose Mercury News 6/24/13
Bike sharing program to include 700 bikes between San Francisco and San Jose 
Regional air quality and transit officials are planning a rental bike program that will launch later this year with 70 docking stations holding 700 Canadian-made bicycles stretching from San Francisco to San Jose.
The bike share program mirrors similar ones in Paris, London, Boston, Washington D.C., and one launched in New York City earlier this month, said Karen Schkolnick, grants program manager for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
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Bay Nature 6/26/13
Snowy Plovers nest at Stinson Beach for the first time in 30 years
This year, a tiny shorebird that lives on sandy beaches returned to some of its former breeding locales for the first time in decades – in one instance spawning a science mystery story.
The snowy plover is a year-round resident along our coast. Its western population has been federally listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act since 1993. In Central California many scientists, resource managers, and trained volunteers monitor plovers and work to protect their nests from predation and disturbance.
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Press Democrat 6/25/13
Regional bag ordinance is the right approach
Local governments often tackle similar issues with different solutions. The result is usually a patchwork of laws in neighboring cities, increasing the difficulty and cost of compliance for businesses and confusing consumers. We applaud all 10 Sonoma County jurisdictions for addressing carryout bag regulation in unison.
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Weekly Roundup | May 10, 2013

SF Examiner 5/5/13
Warriors unveil new S.F. arena plans
The Warriors unveiled new detailed designs for their proposed San Francisco waterfront arena and nearby development ahead of a bevy of public hearings in the coming weeks. The Warriors presented their first plans in October for the piers. Since then, many state and local agencies, along with the public, have given feedback.newspaper
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Climate Connections 5/1/13
Assembly committee OKs moratorium on fracking in California
Three bills seeking to impose moratoriums on fracking in California won approval at the California Assembly Natural Resources Committee in Sacramento on April 29, an important milestone for environmentalists who ultimately plan to push for a permanent ban on the practice. Assembly Bill 1301, introduced by Assembly Member Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), is backed by a host of statewide environmental organizations including the Center for Biological Diversity, Food & Water Watch, and Clean Water Action.
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PR Web 5/8/13
Aquarium of the Bay announces new North American river otter exhibit
Aquarium of the Bay, San Francisco Bay’s only waterfront aquarium, plans to open a new North American river otter exhibit this summer. The exhibit will be an education and conservation resource and will provide an opportunity for guests to understand environmental changes. Scheduled to open in late June, the new permanent exhibit will feature river otters playing, swimming, eating and more.
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Marin Independent Journal 5/3/13
Bay Area can’t afford to lose Delta water fight
Forget, for the moment, the question of whether Gov. Jerry Brown’s water guru Jerry Meral made a colossal political blunder last week or was just telling it like it is. Either way, it’s clear that the governor’s $23 billion Delta water plan deserves to go down the drain. The state Natural Resources Agency deputy director allegedly told a water advocate that Brown’s plan “is not about, and has never been about, saving the Delta. The Delta cannot be saved.”
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Bay Nature 5/8/13
Enjoying a moment with photographer Rick Lewis
Rick Lewis evokes the phrase, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”  Where other people see industry and ugliness, he finds the bright and the beautiful. Where other people see steel yards, he spots great blue herons.  A self-taught photographer whose work has appeared in at least half of the 50 issues of Bay Nature  (including twice on the cover), Lewis’ passion for photographing birds and wildlife took root at the edges of the farmland where he grew up, listening to the songs of mockingbirds and chancing upon coyotes.
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