Mendo Island Journal — Timely. Useful. Sometimes Cranky.

Posts Tagged ‘Environment’

Ukiah Tree General Public Meeting Tuesday 2/24/09, 5:15 pm (Updated)

In Dave Smith on February 22, 2009 at 8:50 pm

From Linda Sanders
Friends of Gibson Creek

2/19/09 Ukiah, California (updated) I just finished this amazing book by Thomas Pakenham, Remarkable Trees of the World. A self described “tree hunter” and renowned botanist traveled to the remotest parts of the world and to teeming metropolis’s to capture unique, rare or endangered trees with his 30 lb. Linhof camera. Pakenham winnowed down hundreds of pictures and chose sixty individual/groups of trees using three principles. Each tree must be on its feet, dead or alive, have a strong personality, and have a good face. Seven of those pictures were taken in California. Those trees you’ve gazed upon, talked to or maybe even hugged are in this book.

What about the lovely, stately and unique trees in our little town? Well there are less of them now. The Ukiah Community Forest Management Plan calls for protection and maintenance of our urban forest. Wednesday night, the Ukiah City Council voted 4 to 1 to change the language in the animal code from owner to caretaker. Essentially, the caretaker is responsible for their dog or cat. The impetus for this change was to increase compassion towards animals, by changing the language you change human behavior. The original request was to move from “owner” to “guardian” but the Council determined “caretaker” was the least controversial term. My dictionary defines caretaker as a person employed to look after or take charge of goods, property, or a person. I think guardian is a much better word choice. One who guards, protects or defends creature, person, tree.

Is the City of Ukiah a responsible caretaker of our urban forest? Please come to a public meeting between Friends of Gibson Creek, ReLeaf, and the City this Tuesday, February 24th at 5:15pm at the City Annex (on the North side of the Civic Center), it will be an opportunity to clarify existing City policies regarding trees and chart any new directions. Council member Mary Anne Landis is facilitating the meeting. If you wish to attend and want to review the City tree-related documents ahead of time then send me an e-mail and I will forward them to you. kaderli@juno.com

~~

The solution to pollution is dilution

In Around the web on February 2, 2009 at 10:09 am

From Ron Epstein
Ukiah

“There seem to be only two possible solutions to our toxic waste addiction: (1) secure above-ground waste-storage in concrete buildings, or (2) detoxifying the economy.

“Secure waste storage could occur in multi-story steel-reinforced concrete buildings, with wastes placed only in the upper stories. The first floor would be left empty so regular inspections could examine for leakage or other signs of structural deterioration. Prompt repairs could sequester wastes for as long as humans were able to pay attention and react. When buildings deteriorated (after perhaps 100 years), they could be replaced.

“Such buildings were designed and described by engineers at the Universities of Alabama and Florida in 1988 and again in 1989. They calculated that such buildings would cost less than equivalent storage capacity in double-lined landfills.

“So why are we still using landfills, guaranteed to leak, instead of the cheaper solution, concrete buildings guaranteed to prevent leakage? The answer must be that underground storage is out of sight and out of mind. We can cover it with a high school, a daycare center, or a housing development and wash our hands of the whole sordid mess. Clusters of huge concrete buildings, on the other hand, would stand as perpetual monuments to our foolish, toxic civilization, permanent headstones memorializing cupidity, stupidity, and failure of imagination.”

For the whole story, see Precaution.org


CFAR Pushes Masonite Site Environmental Review

In Guest Posts on January 24, 2009 at 7:54 pm

From Antonio Andrade
Citizens For Adequate Review

As DDR was not being responsive to our lawsuit and claiming refuge for their activities claiming they were simply implementing the site remediation plan signed off on by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Board’s (NCRWQB), it prompted Citizens For Adequate Review (CFAR) to review an early communication directed to the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and to reframe some of those issues and follow-up with other issues that had not been addressed in the remediation process.

We did not go public with the communication when it was sent in late summer. We did not want to negatively impact our negotiations with the County or DDR. Now that the suit is settled, it is important that the City, County, local agencies and Boards who have oversight responsibilities continue to press for comprehensive remediation of the site. My conversations with Environmental Health Director John Morley were not encouraging in this respect. It was John’s position that his Department has no oversight responsibilities for the site and that his Department was mistakenly listed in the NCRWQB-approved remediation plan as a secondly agency who should be coordinated with for remediation of the site. Isn’t the site located in Mendocino County? Don’t they oversee the buried fuel containers for gas stations in the county and didn’t they oversee the remediation process for leaky fuel tanks?

Right now the focus needs to be on getting a response to this communication and/or getting DTSC in on the oversight…

Continue reading CFAR


Energy Independence and Global Warming

In Dave Smith on January 15, 2009 at 7:21 pm


green-for-all

From Mary Anne Landis
Ukiah

This link is to Van Jones’s speech to the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, being given today. All about Green job myths, which he does a good job busting– and funding needs. Practical and inspirational.

Testamony before the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming

See also Transition Towns California

and Solar Living Center Workshops Calendar


From Dave Smith

Author/Radio Host Thom Hartmann offers some economic thoughts for Obama:

Alexander Hamilton’s Advice To The Obama Administration
Alexander Hamilton, in 1791, proposed to the United States our first true industrial policy. We adopted it over the next few years, Abraham Lincoln reaffirmed it fourscore years later, and it was again affirmed by every President of the United States until Reagan began his now-28-year “Reagan Revolution” which has disassembled America’s industrial base and impoverished our nation. For over 200 years, Hamilton’s policy made America the most powerful industrial nation in the world; now – after just 28 years of Reagonomics and Clinton/Rubinomics – we are the largest importer of other people’s industry, and the most indebted nation in the world.

The entirety of Hamilton’s paper is easily found on the web. The first third of it deals with Jefferson’s objections to it (which Jefferson withdrew later in his life), as Jefferson favored America being an agricultural rather than an industrial power in 1791. Once you cut past that, though, Hamilton gets right to the rationale for, and the details of, his 11-point plan to turn America into an industrial power and build a strong manufacturing-based middle class. Ironically, his policies are exactly – EXACTLY – what Japan, South Korea, and China are doing today. And what we have ceased to do.

Hamilton had it right. We must reject Reagon/Bush/Clinton/Bush-onomics and return to what the Founders knew worked. Here are selected excerpts from Hamilton’s 1791 Report on Manufactures to Congress:

First, Hamilton points out that real wealth doesn’t exist until somebody makes something. A “service economy” is an oxymoron – if I wash your car in exchange for your mowing my lawn, money is moving around, it’s a service economy, but no real and lasting wealth is created. Only through manufacturing, when $5 worth of iron ore is converted into a $2000 car door, or $1 worth of raw wool is converted into a $1000 Calvin Klein suit, is real wealth created. He also notes that people being paid for creating wealth (manufacturing) creates wages, which are the principal engine of demand, which drives an economy. And both come from a foreign trade policy.

Continue reading Alexander Hamilton’s Advice To Obama


The top 11 compounds in US drinking water

In Around the web on January 15, 2009 at 5:00 pm

From Ron Epstein
Ukiah

A comprehensive survey of the drinking water for more than 28 million Americans has detected the widespread but low-level presence of pharmaceuticals and hormonally active chemicals.

Little was known about people’s exposure to such compounds from drinking water, so Shane Snyder and colleagues at the Southern Nevada Water Authority in Las Vegas screened tap water from 19 US water utilities for 51 different compounds. The surveys were carried out between 2006 and 2007.

The 11 most frequently detected compounds – all found at extremely low concentrations – were:

Continue reading The top 11 compounds in US drinking water in New Scientist


Crops absorb livestock antibiotics, science shows

In Around the web on January 10, 2009 at 8:29 am

From Ron Epstein
Ukiah

Is this a serious problem anywhere in Mendocino County? In organic produce consumed here? How do we find out?
~

Consumers have long been exposed to antibiotics in meat and milk. Now, new research shows that they also may be ingesting them from vegetables, even ones grown on organic farms.

January 6, 2009
For half a century, meat producers have fed antibiotics to farm animals to increase their growth and stave off infections. Now scientists have discovered that those drugs are sprouting up in unexpected places. Vegetables such as corn, potatoes and lettuce absorb antibiotics when grown in soil fertilized with livestock manure, according to tests conducted at the University of Minnesota.

Today, close to 70 percent of the total antibiotics and related drugs produced in the United States are fed to cattle, pigs and poultry, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Although this practice sustains a growing demand for meat, it also generates public health fears associated with the expanding presence of antibiotics in the food chain.

Continue reading Crops absorb livestock antibiotics at Environmental Health Service


Ancestors

In Dave Smith on January 5, 2009 at 10:38 am


pachamama

From Earl Brown
Ukiah

We are the threshold between form and not-form, multi-dimensional in being, poised on the edge of the Infinite and the Void, the event horizon of a conscious Universe.

If you could go backward in time to be witness when our first human ancestors stood at the edge of their forest home, where the protection of the trees and plants blended into the wide expanse of grass savanna, as they saw the great herds and diversity of animals, the vast openness, and hearing the roar of the lions, what might it be like? What would you feel? Would you feel their fear, their curiosity, their apprehension about going “out there” armed only with spears and cunning? Were they in their hearts looking out at their fate, driven by unspoken purpose, or were they in their heads dreaming of conquest and empire? What skills did they have to take with them and what would be discovered out in the great unknown? What pain and suffering awaited them? What joy? Would you, walking forward with their generations, recognize the gifts that were discovered within themselves, or were given by others; by the Spirits, by animals, plants, the Earth and the Cosmos? Could you see how those skills and gifts; fire making, tool making, dance, music, weaving, storytelling, cosmology, agriculture, and more, helped to bring us to this time in place and consciousness?

If you had the opportunity to leave a message for, or speak to, one of your descendents, ten generations in the future, telling them your feelings about war, poverty, wealth, justice, health, sickness, and the dangers of radio activity, or nuclear waste, what would you say? Could you imagine the world in which they must live; tell if their lives were miserable, difficult, or maybe doing well? Would they sing songs to our ability to overcome great odds, or would they be cursing us for using it all and leaving them without? They would surely know about us, about our excesses of power and destructive weaponry, about the poison in the air, water and soil. They would be living with whatever we leave them. What would they say to you, their ancestor? Would they ask how you found the strength and courage to make the needed changes in our society, or would they ask how could you have possibly forgotten them and cursed them with continual suffering?

What if there was an opportunity to be chosen by a non-human entity such as an animal, plant, body of water, or element such as the wind, or sky and speak on its behalf? Could you identify with it deeply enough to allow it to speak through you, listen with its ears (or other senses) and share its wisdom in a counsel of other non-human Beings as well; a “Council of All Beings”? As a surviving old-growth Redwood, a Coho Salmon, Grey Fox, or Polar Bear, what could be said to our Human cousins that would help make a difference, what advice and gifts could be given to help remind them they are not alone, or separate? What inspiration could be left them that would help them to make good choices during this time of great change, this “Great Turning”?

We must hear and feel within ourselves the pain and the suffering of all of the other beings who share this planet with us and even of the planet Itself. This is to say that in order to solve the crises we are in we must find within ourselves our connection to all other things, our “deep ecology”. We must remember we are connected to the Earth, to the plants, animals, and minerals, connected to each other and the cycles of the stars. We are a vital part, or aspect, of the Earth’s body.
Group activities such as “Open Questions” and “Gathering the Gifts of the Ancestors” are designed to help one experience ourselves in deep-time, to feel the connection of our long time association with life on planet Earth. The Earth is now said to be somewhere around thirteen billion years old and having arisen from this planet our history goes back equally as far. All Its potential, including human potential, was created at Its, the Earth’s, moment of conception. Buried deep within our bodies, possibly stored within our DNA, proteins, cell walls, or energy fields, is information encoded from the Beginning. It is there and available to us. This same information is also encoded into everything else, like Pribams “Holographic Universe”, each part contains the knowledge of the whole; we are all connected.

Realizing this deep interconnection we share with all things is critical to the development of strong, healthy, vibrant communities. If we can rest in gratitude we can begin to see ourselves in others as well as in the natural environment and elements. From our stand of gratitude we can allow our hearts to feel and express the truth of how we see and sense the world and our place in it. From there we can see the situation, or event, or crises, from a new perspective having gained information from listening to our individual and collective pain. We can then develop new strategies, methods and means of bringing about the changes we desire from a stand on inclusiveness, cooperation and respect for all Beings.
~~

On Tuesday, January 13, from 3 pm till 9 pm, above Three Sisters at 112 S School Street, Ukiah, there will be an open discussion, Salon style, about Joanna Macy’s, “The Work That Reconnects”. I will be giving an overview of the work and describing basic concepts, purposes and activities. My purpose is to utilize this meeting space for study/activity groups interested in learning together about ourselves, each other and what it means to be in a meaningful, authentic, community.

Other salon discussions:

Thursday, January 22, from 3 pm to 9 pm- The Intention Experiment and the Global Coherence Inititive. Hear about Lynne McTaggart, science investigator and author (The Field and The Intention Experiment), her research in studies of intention and Zero Point Field Theory and her global initiative called, “the Intention Experiment”. Her work is closely related with the HeartMath Institute, in Boulder Creek, and their Global Coherence Initiative, Learn about coherence, how it helps our physical and mental bodies, how we can build personal and group coherence and how to use it with our intentions to help create positive change in the world.

Tuesday, January 27, from 3 pm to 9 pm- Power vs. Force. Open discussion about how the body with its subtle energies is a reliable information that is always correct and how kinesiology can be used to access this information. “Power vs. Force, the Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior” is a book by David Hawkins M.D., Ph.D., who has been researching and lecturing on human mental processes for years.


Tree News from Friends of Gibson Creek

In Dave Smith on December 30, 2008 at 3:29 pm

gibsonheadwaters

From Linda Sanders
Friends of Gibson Creek

Tree Friends-

On  December 17, 2008 the City Council chambers packed with students from the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas and members of Compassion for Animals, Respect for the Earth (CARE) voiced their request for changing the language in the existing animal related code from owner to guardian. The tree protection supporters voiced their support of a city tree
commission.

Council briefly discussed the benefits of a tree committee versus commission and decided to re-agendize Tree Ordinance, Tree
Commission or Tree Committee, Existing Policies and Recommendations and Plans for sometime in March. City staff created the 12/17 agenda item that listed nine competing interests for the 12/17 meeting, of course it placed us at a disadvantage in vying for the Council’s attention. Council voted 4-1 for changing the animal regulation language to guardian. Tree protection will take time.

Do come to the Planning Commission meeting on 1/14/08.


Monumental Times

In Dave Smith on December 27, 2008 at 6:51 pm

earl-photo

From Earl Brown

[Earl Brown, one of our community treasures, has been fighting the good environmental fight for many years at great personal sacrifice. Find him hanging out at Ukiah's Coffee Critic in the mornings, and at the Brewpub at all hours, when he's not off saving the planet. Talk to him. Listen to his wisdom. Feel the passion and commitment of an earth warrior. He is here for you and me and all of us. He cares more deeply about our environmental predicament, and involves himself in living the change without self-aggrandizement, more than anyone I know. The old commercial says "I wanna be like Mike." No thanks. I'd rather be more like Earl. -DS]

We are living in monumental times. There is nothing small about world events and circumstances as we enter 2009 and the challenges we face are going to get tougher and more eminent in our lives. Our political system, long abused by the rich elite and corporate pressure, has succumbed to the fear mongering and manipulation by these special interests, they have bought into perpetual war, the diminishment of civil liberties, environmentally destructive consumerism, religious fundamentalism and the economic enslavement of its citizenry.

It is a good thing that we are monumental Beings, not here to lead “normal” lives. It is a good thing to know, during these time of collapse and re-structuring, that our human-ness, our ability to be human, our Human Potential has yet to be tapped. It is good to know that we are up to the challenges that the knowledge, creativity, imagination and energy exists within us and within all of Life. The question is: Do we have the “will” to come together, to make the little sacrifices in our own lives that are needed to make the changes we know need to be made?

Continue reading Monumental Times


Ukiah tree ordinance news…

In Dave Smith on December 15, 2008 at 6:09 am

From Linda Sanders
Friends of Gibson Creek

Tree Friends,
We are going back to City Hall this Wednesday.  Fortunately the Tree Ordinance has moved up the agenda ladder to Unfinished Business Item 10a  (See City Council Agenda).  Since 12/3, Friends of Gibson Creek have been very busy meeting with the City Manager, communicating with council members and conversing and e-mailing members from ReLeaf, Main Street Program and City of Ukiah’s Paths Open Space & Creeks Commission.   Ideally, we would like the Council to appoint a tree commission to work on tree protection using the City of Davis’ Tree Program as a model for Ukiah.

Look for Bruni Kobbe’s article in the Ukiah Daily Journal that should run before Wednesdays City Council meeting.  Thanks so much to all of you who came to the last Council meeting on 12/3.  It was a test of patience.  I anticipate a better reception this time but one never really knows.    Your support is crucial, please add your voice on the 17th.


My Wilderness

In Dave Smith on December 9, 2008 at 10:55 am

From Dave Smith

Excerpt from Gene Logsdon post today over at OrganicToBe.org:

I walk from one part of my property to another as through a continuous wilderness. The vegetable rows, the woods, the pasture, the creek bottom, the little grain- and hayfields are all “garden.” They are all part of the Great Garden that once covered the Earth and might cover it again. As I walk, I pass only from one realm of the Great Garden to another. The more indeterminately the borders coalesce, the more assuredly I achieve the oneness of the natural continuum.

Continue reading My Wilderness


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