TCEC members receive the Eco-Logic Newsletter, which is published monthly except for July/August and November/December issues. Each issue is full of local environmental news, events and activities, and ways you can get involved in environmental issues. Review a sample (past) issue.
Online, we feature the Closer Look column, written for our newsletter by TCEC Publications Chairperson, Donna Olsen.
Closer Look — March 2019
TCEC Officers Given a Vote Of Confidence…..Send in Your Volunteer Cards
Many thanks to all of you who voted in the 2019-2020 election of officers. You probably noticed that there have been some changes among the four officers…Gus remains as Chair, Caroline Harris is now Vice-Chair, Janis Stob is Secretary and Abhi Indap will remain as Treasurer. Caroline will continue as Volunteer Coordinator. Ann Morrison has moved to Member-at-Large. All are exemplary people who work hard at their jobs. Thanks also for the kind words; they’re appreciated.
Volunteer cards can be mailed in at any time. Remember, volunteers (YOU) are our backbone. Upcoming events include two Earth Day events, Lemonade Booth and the “usuals” such as gardening, office help, library displays and more. Please send in your card today!!
Bee Study is the Objective of Eco-Grant
Vishnu Anilkumar, a freshman at Irvington High School, has taken on an interesting and long-ranging project. To get him on his way, the ecology center has awarded him a $250 eco-grant to purchase beekeeping suits for himself and other students involved with the assignment.
Briefly, the project is to discover why feral bees can withstand the Varroa mite, which causes bee-colony collapse in urban areas. In order to start this study, he has chosen to go to the Lake Chabot region and systematically study feral bees there. Rich Godfrey has volunteered to mentor Vishnu (and fellow students) in this long term study which will last several months. Congratulations, Vishnu and good luck.
TCEC Supporting Bill 246, the Oil Industry Levy (OIL) Act
State Senator Bob Wieckowski has introduced the OIL Act to establish an oil and gas severance tax in California. Every other major oil-producing state has levied such a tax (of various types). Since 1990, 7 bills have been introduced in the senate and assembly. In 2006, a ballot measure was put to the voters. It was defeated after the opponents spent almost $100 million to defeat it. The bill imposes an oil and gas severance tax of 10% of the average price per barrel California oil (or gas). Collected funds will be deposited in the General fund. The bill requires a 2/3 vote.
The time has come for California to step up to the plate and Bob has introduced this much needed bill, TCEC is proud to endorse it.
TCEC Supports CAF’s (Californians against Fracking) Letter to Governor Newsom
CAF and Food & Water Watch are circulating a letter to Governor Newsom urging him to take bold action on climate change. The ecology center has signed on. If you want to see the letter with formatting and footnotes, visit: https://fwwat.ch/NewsomClimateLetter.
Coyote Hills Draft EIR is Available for Comment
Coyote Hills Restoration and Public Access Project (former Patterson Ranch land) is ready for comment. Please go to https://www.ebparks.org/about/planning/default.htm#patterson. The EIR is daunting, but look for the Executive Summary in the main document. The due date is April 22, 2019 (45 days). Email your response to Karla Cuero at email@example.com.
2019 Compost Giveaway Event…. Fremont & Newark Compost Giveaway
Date: Sunday, April 14…..Time: 8 a.m. – noon (while supplies last)
Location: Fremont Recycling and Transfer Station, 41149 Boyce Rd., Fremont
To participate in the Annual Compost Giveaway, you must be a Fremont or Newark resident participating in the green waste program and bring your most recent Republic Services invoice as proof of eligibility. Avoid the line! For shorter wait times, arrive at the Compost Giveaway after 9:30am. Source: Emily Phillips, Republic Services
Congress Passes Lands Bill, including Every Kid Outdoors Program
Believe it or not, we have some great news from DC! There’s a big victory to celebrate. Congress (both houses) just passed the most comprehensive lands protection bill in a decade. The President has signed the legislation.
This landmark bill goes beyond protecting lands, waters and historic sites — it also authorizes the Every Kid Outdoors program, which provides fourth graders and their families with free national parks passes. The program also leverages private funding to cover the transportation costs for kids and their families, which removes some of the barriers that keep people from experiencing the outdoors.
Here’s what else is included in the bill:
- Permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) – a fund that helps acquire new public lands and expand nearby nature access.
- Millions of acres across the West will be permanently protected from mining, drilling and logging.
- We’ll have a new national monument in Mississippi dedicated to civil rights leader Medgar Evers among others.
- Congress will designate wild and scenic rivers in RI, CT, NH and MA.
- The bill authorizes a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps program to strengthen conservation career pathways for youth and young veterans.
Warm Springs Vernal Pool Tours Notification List at Don Edwards S F Bay National Wildlife Refuge
A Rare Opportunity! Are you interested in seeing the flower blooms around some of the last intact vernal pools in the East Bay? You will learn about the unique features of a vernal pool grassland, and hopefully observe the pools in What will likely be a good rain year! Participants will see endangered Contra Costa goldfields as well as Downingia pulchella, several Plagiobothrys, and other native vernal pool and upland species.
Tours will occur at the Warm Springs Unit of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay NWR, in south Fremont. The walking tour will last about 1.5 – 2 hours. Total walking distance will not exceed one mile, but terrain is uneven. Please wear sturdy shoes and dress according to the weather. Heavy rain will cancel.
Rather than trying to predict peak bloom times in the winter, we will be creating a notification list of interested people at this time. Please email us to get on the list! We will contact the notification list in March to provide the final tour dates. Typically these tours are in April and will be conducted on both weekend and weekday dates. Once dates and times are released, you will need to sign up to reserve a spot (sign up information will be sent with the final dates). Tours are limited to approximately 20 people each due to the sensitivity of the vernal pool ecosystem. Place: Directions will be sent once confirmed. RSVP: Please email Ivette Loredo at firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on the Warm Springs Vernal Pool Tours Notification List
Caltrans Agrees To Plant More Sycamore Trees in Niles Canyon
The Alameda Creek Alliance has secured a settlement agreement with Caltrans regarding mitigation planting of native sycamore trees along Alameda Creek, as part of the agency’s Alameda Creek Bridge Replacement Project in Niles Canyon. Under an agreement signed by an Alameda County Superior Court judge in late February, Caltrans will replant sycamore trees that are cut during the bridge project at a 4:1 replacement ratio, and will also remove invasive trees and plants within and around the project area in Niles Canyon.
Caltrans Required to Control Trash along State Highways
A three-year campaign by Save the Bay has led to an order that Caltrans must find ways to keep trash out of waterways for almost 9,000 of its 25,000 acres of its Bay Area rights-of-way by 2026. The order will require actions ranging from trash pick-ups to screens to costly vortex separators on freeway edges, on-and off-ramps, rest areas, and state highways running through industrial or commercial areas. At a Feb. 13 hearing, lasting more than seven hours, members of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board voted to more than double its staff’s recommendation for the area where trash must be controlled. In addition to pressure from Save the Bay and other environmental organizations, Bay Area local governments argued that since they must make waterways effectively trash-free by 2022, they were being forced to bear the cost of Caltrans’ inaction. The order threatens fines of up to $25,000 per day and includes requirements to complete work on about 2,000 acres every two years. Caltrans objected that the high cost of devices such as trash separators is compounded by the difficulty of installing them in limited rights-of-way.
Winter ‘Spare the Air Day’ Season Ends
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s 2018-19 Winter Spare the Air season ended February 28, with 16 Winter Spare the Air Alerts called from November through February. The 2018-19 Winter Spare the Air season included nearly two weeks of alerts due to smoke from the Camp Fire that caused some of the unhealthiest air quality ever recorded in the Bay Area. The other two alerts were due to normal winter weather conditions that trap wood smoke near the ground. BAAQMD
Save these Dates for
Fremont/Washington Hospital Earth Day
Saturday, April 20, 11am to 3pm
Washington Hospital, Conrad Anderson Auditorium and outside
Join the City Of Fremont and Washington hospital to celebrate planet earth. This is a free event that will feature fun and educational activities for the whole family. Also there will be collection stations for old eye glasses, sharps, unused medications and hazardous mercury thermometers. Food trucks on site! Volunteers needed. Contact Donna at email@example.com
LEAF Earth Day
Sunday, April 28, 11am to 4pm
This is an outdoor event with lots of activities. Spring seedlings, local honey and LEAF crafts for sale. 23 Information booths, games, and giveaways will also be featured. Food trucks. Handcrafted ice cream. Live music all day. Volunteers needed. Contact Elaine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, June 23, noon until 4pm
Lake Elizabeth, Fremont (Specific picnic site to be announced soon)
TCEC will host hot dogs & burgers, vegan and not, compostable plates, cups and flatware Members and guests all welcome. We are planning a fun Sunday afternoon gathering.
Niles Canyon Stroll & Roll
The 3rd Niles Canyon Stroll & Roll will be on Sunday, September 22. This is an opportunity to walk, bike or run through Niles Canyon along the road, on a day the roadway will be closed to car traffic. It is an opportunity to visit some of the route locations for the planned Niles Canyon Trail. More details soon.