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 — January 2017
Panera Fundraiser Nets $116
According to Panera Bakery, 42 ecology center members enjoyed dinner at their restaurant on November 2 and thus earned a $116 donation. Thank you all for coming. It was a lot fun! We’ll probably have another get-together in the spring.
A Big Thank You for Dan
Board Member Dan O’Donnell has been TCEC’s representative to Alameda County Reduction and Recycling Board for the past four years. Unfortunately, he has “termed out”. Dan served as Second Vice-Chair, First Vice-Chair and finally Chair. He represented us at several conferences, including ones in Portland, San Diego and Pasadena. Many accomplishments came about during those years, including salvaging and refurbishing old computers and medical equipment and sending it on to another life. Dan describes his four year term as a, “very rewarding experience. I got to be part of some positive environmental legislation and directly involved with funding for some local nonprofits that are really making a difference. It was also like getting a Master’s degree in government, bureaucracy, and waste management. Most memorably, I met some really inspirational people that give hope for the environment, even though it might be an uphill battle”. Thank you, Dan.
Dan Moves to Another Position
And we are happy to report that Dan has accepted the position of Publicity Chair. He has already described some of his creative ideas with the board. At the same time we are still looking for a Media Chair, a new position for us.
Holiday Donations… Biggest Ever
Each year at our December meeting, the ecology center selects a number of organizations or causes that it feels merit an extra donation. This long-term tradition allocates from $1000 to $2000. With great pleasure, it announces the following sixteen recipients: Alameda County Beekeepers Society ($100), Alameda Creek Alliance ($250), Audubon Canyon Ranch ($65 member-ship), Bay Area Ridge Trail Council ($100), Baykeepers of Northern California ($100), California Oak Foundation ($100), Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge ($100), Marine Mammal Center ($200), Museum of Local History ($200), Ohlone Audubon Shinn House Butterfly/Hummingbird Park ($200), Ohlone Humane Society Rehab Center ($300), Restore Hetch Hetchy ($100), River Otter Ecology Project ($100), San Francisco Wildlife Society ($100), Save the Redwoods League ($150), SF Bay Bird Observatory ($100).
Vargas Plateau Roadwork
On January 10, the City of Fremont and EBRPD agreed to improvements on the portion of Vargas Road that leads to the recently opened (and closed) Vargas Plateau Regional Park. The park district will provide funding up to $100,000 with an additional $20,000 coming from Fremont’s Vargas Road contingency funds. The park district is scheduled to start the road work in February.
We hope this will solve the problems brought up by neighbors Jack Balch and Christopher George who challenged some technical aspects of the road construction. We need to open this park.
Giraffes Listed on Extinction Watch List
1985, there were between 151,OOO and 163,OOO giraffes. But in 2O15, the number was down to 97,562. Giraffes are already gone in seven countries. And now habitat loss, poaching and disease are causing giraffe numbers to plunge across Africa. Dr. Julian Fennessy, co-chair of the IUCN’s giraffe specialist group says it all: “While there have been great concern about elephantand rhinos, giraffes have gone under the radar but, unfortunately, their numbers have been plummeting.” Fennessy and other conservationists say it’s worrisome that giraffe populations have “declined by so much in so little time.”
We can’t stand idly by and let the world’s tallest mammal go extinct. Please, sign your name to help save giraffes from extinction: http://go.saveanimalsfacingextinction.org/Save-Giraffes
Plan Bay Area 2040 Final Preferred Scenario Approved
Plan Bay Area 2040, an update to the region’s long-range transportation and land-use plan, marked a major milestone with the adoption of the Final Preferred Scenario by the MTC Commission and Association of Bay Area Governments Executive Board. The Preferred Scenario, which provides a roadmap for accommodating projected household and employment growth in the nine-county Bay Area by 2040 and also includes a regional transportation investment strategy, will now undergo an environmental assessment under the California Environmental Protection Act.
November 2016 marked the 10th anniversary of the Bay Area’s Clipper electronic transit fare payment card. Named in honor of the clipper ships that revolutionized travel from the East Coast to San Francisco Bay during the Gold Rush era, the Clipper card today is accepted as fare payment by 20 public transit agencies across the Bay Area. Riders used Clipper cards to pay fares for nearly half of all transit trips taken in the region last year – with more than 800,000 Clipper fare payments processed each weekday. Source: MTC
California Nursery Park Master Plan…Comment by Feb. 10!
From the City of Fremont’s Notice of Availability of Draft EIR and Public Comment Period…..
The City of Fremont has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact report (EIR) for the proposed California Nursery Historical Park Master plan, the long term planning, preservation and enhancement of the 20.1 acre site at 36501 Niles Blvd. The master plans provides for relatively light development, such that the park would remain a passive park that is not substantially different from what it is today. The main changes include the addition of a history museum, small café and retail nursery, and expanded use of the site for events which would go toward funding the rehabilitation of the site and historic buildings and ongoing maintenance.
The proposed project will have a significant environmental effect through the removal of the historic garden store. The decision to remove the garden store building was based on an assessment of it current condition (poor) and the financial implications of rehabilitation. All other historic buildings are proposed to be retained and rehabilitated. The remainder of the potential impacts is ether below significant levels or can be reduced to that level through implementation of identified mitigation measures.
The DEIR and documents referenced in the DEIR are available at http://www.fremont.gov/430/Environmental-Review. They are also available at (1) City of Fremont, Planning Division, 39550 Liberty St., Fremont (494-4440) (2) Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont (745-1400)
The public review period began on December 22 and will end on February 10, 2017. Written comments must be received at the Planning Division by 5pm on February 10. Comments should be referred to Ingrid Rademaker, 494-4543, via e-mail IRademaker@fremont.gov , by fax at 494-4457 or by regular mail at the City of Fremont address noted above. Please reference the project name on your written letter.
Following the close of the public review period, the City will prepare a Final EIR that will include responses to comments received during the public review period. Ten days prior to the public hearing on the proposed project and final EIR, the city’s responses to comments will available for review.
Should the Livermore Aquifer Be Used As An Oil Waste Dump?
Tell local and state officials not to give an exemption to the Safe Drinking Water Act for oil operators to inject waste into a Livermore Aquifer.
A hearing was held on January 11 on allowing oil waste injection into an aquifer near Alameda County’s only operating oil field, on Patterson Pass Road east of Livermore. Alameda County’s fracking ban, approved in 2016, includes exceptions designed for this small Livermore Oil Field. This oil field pumps up oil mixed with water, removes the oil, and re-injects the water into an aquifer below those currently used to supply drinking water.
The Center for Biological Diversity is questioning approval, arguing that water could migrate beyond the proposed boundaries. They also point out that E&B Natural Resources, which operates the field, was cited by Alameda County in 2015 for improper disposal of hazardous waste. State records show the company had at least 31 spills in California in the past 10 years.
Comments may be submitted before January 25 to the Department of Conservation at: email@example.com (Subject: Aquifer Exemption, Livermore Oil Field) or by mail to Department of Conservation, 801 K Street, MS 18-05, Sacramento, CA 95814 ATTN: Aquifer Exemption. Source: Alameda Creek Alliance