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 2018
Thank you Adrienne; Welcome Dee
As you know, the ecology center has searching for a replacement for Adrienne Stephens as Bio-Compostable Chair. Adrienne has wanted to retire for several months. Now we are happy to announce that Dee Miner has volunteered to fill the spot. Dee has been a TCEC member since 1989, volunteering to for Earth Day events as well as the Lemonade Booth. Welcome Dee.
Adrienne conceived of the idea of promoting compostable ware in 2007. She has researched the concept, educated us and kept our storage shelves filled with plates, bowls, cups, servingware and bio-bags from World Centric. All of our members thank her for her dedication and hard work. About 25 TCEC members regularly buy compostables at our office! Thank you so much, Adrienne.
Dumbarton Quarry Park Update
It’s been a long time coming, but Phase 1 is almost ready to open. At our March board meeting, the ecology center met with consultant Bob McCarrick of Dumbarton Quarry Associates, the EBRPD staff and EBRPD Board Member Ayn Weiskamp.
The Dumbarton Quarry plan is being developed in two phases. Phase 1 will feature RV camping, walk-in camping, picnic areas, a possible outdoor concert venue and corporation yard. Trails will interconnect with Phase 2 and Coyote Hills Regional Park. It is scheduled to open late spring or early summer of 2019.
Phase 2 is a little more problematic. The quarry pit, which was once the lowest point in the US, has been filled and tamped down. Its future life will be as a meadow. The wind problem will be solved by rebuilding an historic ridge as a buffer to campgrounds. Phase 2 will include two group campgrounds, accommodating 225 campers, and a large convenience camping area (cabins). The opening date for Phase 2 is unknown at this time.
Every year around springtime, honeybees all around “swarm” to find a new home. Thousands fly around and clump together on a branch or building until they find a new hive. They are NOT dangerous unless disturbed. Bees are brown/black striped, not bright yellow like wasps and yellowjackets.
Honeybees are important and should be saved – don’t try to get rid of them! There are local beekeepers who will be happy to collect them for you, free of charge. Call the Alameda County Beekeepers Association “Swarm Hotline” to arrange for help: 510-898-6696 or www.alamedabees.org
What is the Plant Exchange? And When?
One of the recipients of our Holiday donations was the Plant Exchange. Some folks have asked what it was all about. Here’s a brief explanation. “The premier program of The Plant Exchange is its semi-annual, free, one-day event where gardeners, landscapers, urban farmers, educators and enthusiasts all come together to exchange plants, equipment, tools and information about ways to make our urban environment more sustainable, aesthetic and healthy. The event is 100% volunteer run and attracts 2000 people annually from across the bay area. The “Exchange”‘ is a non-profit and is located in Oakland at the block-long front yard of the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Oakland.
Election of Officers Report 2018-2019
At our March 1 board meeting, the ballots were tallied and reported on. About half of our members returned their ballots and our existing officers were reelected. I will remain chair, Janis Stob vice chair, Ann Morrison secretary and John Landers treasurer, all without a dissenting vote. Thank you all for participating and for your confidence in us.
A few follow-up items:
- John has decided this will be his last term as treasurer. We are seeking a replacement early so they might shadow him for a while to understand the job. Let us know if you are interested. Call: 793-6222.
- Remember to return you volunteer card. We need your help.
- From the notes to us on the ballot – Ann and I are not related, but there is no prohibition against related people serving on the board.
I apologize for the fact that the office titles were blacked out. The process I have used for several years requires multiple passes through the printer. My new Laser printer melted the shading, creating the problem. The first pass looked good and I never caught it. I’ll do better next year. Gus Morrison, Chair.
Third Lawsuit Challenges Caltrans Road Projects Jeopardizing Niles Canyon
The Alameda Creek Alliance (ACA) has filed a third lawsuit challenging Caltrans approval and environmental review for road widening projects in Niles Canyon. Today’s lawsuit challenges the Niles Canyon Medium-Term Improvements Project, based in part on inadequate mitigations for extensive tree cutting in the canyon.
The Alliance also filed suit in November 2017 against the Alameda Creek Bridge Replacement Project over the same issues. “The local community wants a road safety project that doesn’t unnecessarily cut trees and damage important creek habitat in Niles Canyon,” said Jeff Miller, director of the Alameda Creek Alliance. “Caltrans can’t seem to figure out how to improve road safety without cutting more than 500 trees along Alameda Creek and marring the beauty of this state Scenic Highway. Converting segments of this narrow, windy road into freeway is a terrible proposal; for real road safety we need to be slowing down, not speeding up, traffic in the canyon.” Source: ACA .
Union City…Is This the Best Choice?
Union City voted on February 24 to divert $125 million in biking, walking, and public transit funding to build the East West Connector, a $100 million per mile road feeding the I-880 freeway. This highway robbery of voter-approved public funds would spend all 27 years of the city’s Measure BB funds designated for biking and walking improvements and potentially halt plans for a multi-modal transit hub at Union City BART.
We need your help to prevent misuse of voter-approved funds. Write your city council member or Alameda County Supervisor and hold them accountable for building sustainable transit options in Union City.
Source: Bike East Bay, Sherman Lewis
Congrats to Dr. Joyce Blueford!
Joyce has been awarded the California Service Award of Excellence : Champion of the Community, Regional Outstanding Non-Profit Organization Partner in Parks & Recreation. Joyce has made it her life’s work to educate children. She has raised awareness of the benefits of parks and recreation throughout California through her many partnerships.
Her projects include: (1) Children’s Natural History Museum, (2) Fremont Earthquake Exhibit with USGS, (3) California Nursery Historical Park (CNHP), (4) Clean Water Education, Stivers Lagoon, (5) Tule Ponds at Tyson Lagoon Wetland Center, (6) Sabercat Creek Historical Park, (7) Dana Raimondi Math Program (FUSD) and (8) Science Programming (FUSD) through the Helping Hands Science Program. Thank you Joyce for your many and mighty contributions to our community.
Source: Mia Mora, Recreation Commissioner, LEAF
Our Display at the Fremont Main Library
Drop by the Fremont Main Library and take a look at our latest display, “Your Garden Next Year”. It was created by Ann Morrison and friends. A tour de force.
TCEC Opposes California’s Grand Water Scheme
In February, the ecology center voted to oppose the Delta twin tunnel “WaterFix.” Gov. Brown’s proposal now includes only one tunnel, but the discussion remains the same. Water conservation, wastewater reclamation and stormwater capture can create a more reliable water supply than tunnels. More next month.