December 21, 2014

Join the Sierra Club at events this weekend to support the struggle for racial justice

inspirMany of us have been touched by the recent Grand Jury decisions in Ferguson and Staten Island not to indict police officers who killed unarmed black men on the streets of America. Sierra Club members, staff, and allies have been out in the streets throughout the country, protesting these injustices and countless more, and demanding civil rights and racial justice for all Americans.

This week the Club’s Executive Director, Michael Brune, wrote a blog post about why we can’t be silent on this issue. He wrote:

The Sierra Club believes that all people deserve a healthy planet with clean air and water and a stable climate. All people also deserve equal protection under the law and the right to live their lives free of discrimination and hatred. These issues are not separate. Indeed, we believe that working toward a just, equitable, and transparent society is not only morally necessary but also exactly what we need to confront the unprecedented environmental challenges we face.

Injustices in our political system and in our culture empower polluters and lead to the destruction of our most cherished places. Those same injustices often breed hatred, sow division among us, and threaten our health and safety. The Sierra Club’s mission is to “enlist humanity” to explore, enjoy, and protect the planet. That mission, which applies to everyone, cannot be achieved when people’s rights are being violated and their safety and dignity are being threatened on a routine basis. This must stop.

That is why we must speak out on these issues. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

We want to invite you to join us in participating in several actions this weekend to reflect on the injustice that people of color face every day in this country, reflect on all we have lost, and demand action from our elected leaders to change the system that has brought us to this point. At each of these events, we will have a Sierra Club contingent present to show solidarity with our allies and to show our commitment to fighting for racial justice as part of our mission to achieve equity and climate justice for all. Please wear black so we can identify each other.

Saturday, December 13th, 9:30 am
Join Outdoor Afro for a Healing Hike to Breathe
Meet at Inspiration Point in Tilden Park. **Check for updates due to weather and trail conditions.
Sierra Club folks will meet at the Inspiration Park sign on Wildcat Canyon Road.

Saturday, December 13th, 2 pm
Millions March for Justice, San Francisco
Meet Chapter Director Michelle Myers and the Sierra Club/ Environmental Justice contingent in green at the Vaillancourt Fountain in Justin Herman Plaza. Wear black and bring signs!

Saturday, December 13th, 2 pm
Millions March for Justice, Oakland
Meet Chapter Conservation Manager Jess Dervin-Ackerman and the Sierra Club/ Environmental Justice folks in green on the steps of Oakland’s City Hall. Wear black and bring signs!

Each of these events is well organized and family friendly, with specific routes determined in advance. The marches will have monitors and peacekeepers to ensure everyone’s safety. Please feel free to bring family and friends. If you can’t make it this weekend, there will surely be other events in the near future that we will be participating in.

Learn about forest-fire mitigation in the East Bay hills from EBMUD and Cal

1991 East Bay hills fire.

1991 East Bay hills fire.

Saturday, December 6, 10 am-5 pm. Ever wanted to know why there aren’t more fires in our hills, especially during a drought? Join outings leader Ben Alvers for an educational hike on forest-fire mitigation in the East Bay hills. EBMUD Ranger Mark Silva and UC Berkeley facilities planner Tom Klatt will instruct us on their respective institutions’ strategies to avoid another  firestorm like the one that ravaged 1,520 acres and destroyed nearly 4,000 homes in 1991.

Our route will take us along the border between the EBMUD and UC Berkeley watersheds then back along the Sibley ridge line, where we can enjoy (weather allowing) beautiful views of San Francisco, Mount Tamalpais, and Mount Diablo.

Meet at 10 am sharp in the Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve parking lot. Eat a large breakfast because lunch will be later on the route. Total distance will be about 10 miles, although there is an early opt-out for those who want a shorter hike (7 miles, and less elevation). This event has been organized by the Bay Chapter’s Conservation Committee, and is free and open to the public. Learn more at the Bay Chapter activities calendar.

Development discussion and walk in the MLK, Jr. Regional Shoreline Park

Willets at Arrowhead Marsh. Photo via Flickr Creative Commons, flickr.com/taylar.

Willets at Arrowhead Marsh. Photo via Flickr Creative Commons, flickr.com/taylar.

Sunday, December 7, 9:30 am. Join the Bay Chapter’s Conservation Committee for a leisurely, three-mile hike on paved, level paths along Oakland’s San Leandro Bay shoreline, starting at Arrowhead Marsh in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline Park.

San Leandro Bay is one of the Central Bay’s most glorious bodies of water. We’ll enjoy great views, see thousands of water birds and shorebirds, and hopefully spot a few endangered species. Along the way, we’ll see some of the region’s most successful wetland-restoration projects. We’ll also walk the site of the Bay Area’s first major development proposal for lands that will likely be under water by 2100.

As we explore land likely to disappear under sea-level rise, we will reflect on the impact of development and climate disruption to species that depend upon tidal marshes; explore new proposals to preserve the Bay’s remaining wetlands; and consider whether it is appropriate to build in areas threatened by sea-level rise.

The proposed Oakland Coliseum Area development would be an enormous (780-acre) project, described in the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) this way: “Overall, this proposed Project would create three new sports venues, 5,750 housing units, and almost 8 million square feet of net new commercial and business uses.  The Coliseum Area would have around 7,000 residents… by the time of project Buildout in… 2035”.

How does the DEIR address expected sea-level rise? It suggests that buildings have car garages on the first floor with businesses and housing on the second floor “to allow sea level rise to impact uninhabited parking structures rather than dwelling units.” Perhaps the idea is that as sea level rises and the garages flood everyone will take to boats. Another solution proposed by the DEIR is to have all essential infrastructure built above the anticipated sea level, 3 to 6 feet in the air. The image brought to mind is of elevated roads surrounding lower blocks of housing and businesses (with the garages now flooded) like a gigantic waffle.

The DEIR does acknowledge that something would need to be done to avoid catastrophe for the 7,000 residents whose homes would be underwater. Perhaps, it suggests, a massive levee will be required along the entire length of the bay shoreline? We won’t go into the costs or headaches of the DEIR’s strikingly inadequate proposals here. Suffice to say that such short-sighted plans only punt, abdicating responsibility for the consequences of their actions to future generations and shifting the burden of response to relevant regional agencies.

We will ponder these questions and more, while enjoying a spectacular—and endangered—natural area. Join us! For more details, visit the Bay Chapter activities calendar.

Meet us at the Chapter holiday open house!

IMG_1881Friday, December 5, 6-9 pm, Chapter office, 2530 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley.

Join your fellow Sierra Club members and Chapter staff and leadership at our annual holiday party. The Sierra Club will be joining several other organizations in our building to celebrate the season and all the work we do.  Those sharing in the fun include the Ecology Center, League of Women Voters, Golden Gate Audubon Society, and SEEDS Community Resolution Center.

There will be food, beverages, live music, a free raffle, and, of course, lively conversation.

To make this event a success, we need your help! To volunteer or donate food, please contact Joanne Drabek at joanne1892@gmail.com or (510)530-5216.

San Francisco Dinner—“Nellie’s World Cup fútbol tour”

Thursday, January 15, social hour 6 pm, dinner 7 pm, program 8 pm.

Nellie and Ben en route, photo by Ben Oude Kamphuis

Nellie and Ben en route, photo by Ben Oude Kamphuis

New temporary location: Covenant Presbyterian Church, 321 Taraval St., San Francisco, between Funston and 14th Ave.  Take Muni L or 28. Street parking, or limited parking at the church lot at the white parking  guards, one half block east on Taraval, for $1.50 per car, payable at the church check-in.

In January 2014, Ben Oude Kamphuis set out from San Francisco in his ’55 converted Chevy pick-up,“Nellie,” to drive to the World Cup in São Paulo, Brazil. Join Ben and Nellie on their 15,000 mile journey to the World Cup, stopping at cities, towns, and schools along the way to bring smiles and goodwill to their handicapped friends.

Ben grew up on farmland in the Netherlands, and first began working with disabled children in Holland. For the past 21 years, Ben has been working for the San Francisco Department of Parks and Recreation, where he established an organic therapeutic garden for the disabled.

To reserve your place, send a check for $20 (note new price) made out to “Sierra Club, S.F. Bay Chapter” to:

Gerry Souzis
1801 California St., #405
San Francisco, CA 94109

Checks must be received by Friday, January 9. Please indicate the program date, number of guests, your phone number, and if you are a vegetarian. Non-members are welcome. Bring your own wine or soft drinks. Glasses and ice are available.

Questions?  Contact Gerry between 4 and 9 pm at (415)474-4440 or gsouzis@hotmail.com. No morning calls please.

 

 

Mount Diablo Group—“Alaskan Adventure”

Tuesday, January 20, 7 pm, Ygnacio Valley Library, 2661 Oak Grove Road, Walnut Creek.

public house decorated with native artJoin us at our next meeting for an Alaska adventure as seen through the eyes and lens of botanist, photographer, and author Yulan Tong. Yulan’s presentation will feature photos of the Inland Passage, Denali, Katmai, Glacier Bay National Park, and more.

For Yulan, Alaska is a land of surprises and contradictions. She witnessed native peoples building traditional totems, yet traveling around by airplane. She saw fishermen sending their catches to both rustic smoke houses and modern canneries. Yulan was impressed by the contrast of small, slow-growing trees in a land of fast-growing giant cabbages. She’ll tell us of her canoe trip that required a quick detour because of fighting bears.

On retiring after 30 years as a chemist, Yulan Tong took up nature photography, with a special interest in wildflowers. She has published a book of California wildflowers, “Lilies of the Field.” She also contributed photos for the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association botanical guide “Mount Diablo Wildflowers.”

Everyone is welcome and no reservations are necessary. If you have questions, contact Ken Lavin at ken_lavin@hotmail.com or (925)852-8778.

Celebrate the holidays at the Bay Chapter’s open house!

Friday, December 5, 6-9 pm, Chapter office, 2530 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. Please join your fellow Sierra Club members and Chapter staff and leadership at our annual holiday party.

Celebrants at last year's holiday party

Celebrants at last year’s holiday party

The Sierra Club will be joining several other organizations in our building to celebrate the season and all the work we do.  Those sharing in the fun include the Ecology Center, League of Women Voters, Golden Gate Audubon Society, and SEEDS Community Resolution Center.

There will be food, beverages, live music, a free raffle, and of course, lively conversation.

To make this event a success, we need your help! To volunteer or donate food, please contact Joanne Drabek at joanne1892@gmail.com or (510)530-5216.

Green Friday—“Population and food security in the Sahel”

Friday, January 9, doors open at 7 pm, program 7:30-9:30 pm, Bay Chapter office, 2530 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley.

Zai-Judy_Saye_KopanicOur January speaker is Alisha Graves, MPH, of the OASIS Initiative, whose presentation is titled “Where the Rubber Hits the Road: Population and Food Security in the Sahel.” Over the next 30 to 40 years in the Sahel region of Africa, between 100 and 200 million people are likely to be without sustainable food supplies. Graves’ presentation will discuss the challenge of population growth, the region’s natural resources, and the implications for food security, with a focus on Niger. The second half of the talk will highlight what can be done to slow population growth in a human-rights framework.

Alisha Graves is the co-founder of the OASIS Initiative and leads strategy, development and advocacy efforts for the project. She completed her MPH in International Maternal and Child Health at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health in 2006. She worked for six years as Senior Program Manager for a non-profit organization to improve access to misoprostol, a generic, essential medicine. In this role, she worked on policy initiatives, drug registration, and operations research across seven countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.

Refreshments will be served. $3 donation requested. Green Friday programs feature informative speakers and discussions about the most important environmental issues of our time. All are welcome, Sierra Club members as well as non-members.

Note: there is no Green Friday meeting in December; instead people are encouraged to attend the Sierra Club holiday party on December 5 at the Chapter office, 2530 San Pablo, from 6-9 pm.

East Bay Dinner—”From the Mountains to the Valleys, and More: Glacier National Park, the Crown of the Continent”

Thursday, January 22, no-host cocktails/social hour at 6 pm, dinner at 7 pm, program at 8 pm, Berkeley Yacht Club, Berkeley Marina.

mtns SVL#2_2In 1995, Susanna Van Leuven went to Glacier National Park in Montana and quickly fell in love with it.  For the next five years she went back, each time going farther and farther into the interior to see, and photograph, these wide expanses of mountains and valleys that took her breath away.

Join us in sharing the wonders of this great park with Stuart and Susanna Van Leuven: from Upper Two Medicine to Goat Haunt, from Angel Pond to Polebridge to Bowman Lake, to the shores of a hidden pond where Susanna woke to see a moose grazing on water lilies. Stuart and Susanna also canoed the North Fork of the Flathead River where the stones under the water looked like jewels but the road to the put-in point destroyed cars with great regularity.

Stuart and Susanna Van Leuven have been backpacking in Switzerland, England, and Glacier Park, where Susanna, after five years of going there alone, took her sweetheart to see what she knew was the prettiest park in the States. Stuart joined her in a trip to Granite Park Chalet where, on July 4th, they had to hike through snow to get there, and they both almost got blown off the mountain walking up to the Switftcurrent Lookout.

Cost of dinner and program is $27, including tax and tip. For a reservation, please send your check, payable to “Sierra Club,” with your name, telephone number, and the names of your guests, to:

Jane Barrett
170 Vicente Road
Berkeley, CA 94705
510 845-8055

Attendance is limited to the first 115 reservations received. Reserve early, as these programs do fill up. Reservation deadline is January 12. There is no admittance for program only.

East Bay Dinner—“Touring the Great National Parks of the West”

Thursday, December 4, no-host cocktails/social hour at 6 pm, dinner at 7 pm, program at 8 pm, Berkeley Yacht Club, Berkeley Marina.

Photo by Gary Crabbe

Photo by Gary Crabbe

Join us for a breathtaking tour of some of the great national parks in the western United States. Our guide and speaker is professional landscape and travel photographer, Gary Crabbe. This will be a chance to see some of the grand landscapes and intimate scenes in these parks. And Gary will also show us some of the more intimate scenes. Gary’s photos will remind us that we live close to some of the most magnificent scenery in the world.

Gary began taking pictures while in college. After graduation, a twist of fate led Gary to the studio of renowned photographer Galen Rowell, where he managed the 400,000- image library and Stock Department of Mountain Light Photography for nine years. In 1999, he turned to his own photography when he opted to become a stay-at-home dad following the birth of his first child.

His client and publication credits include the National Geographic Society, New York Times, Forbes Magazine, TIME, Victoria’s Secret, The North Face, Sunset, L.L. Bean, Subaru, and The Nature Conservancy. He has seven books to his credit, including the award-winning The California Coast. Other titles include Our San Francisco, Yosemite & the Eastern Sierra, Backroads of the California Wine Country, Backroads of the California Coast, and Greetings from California. His latest book is Photographing California; Vol. 1 – North, which won the highly distinguished 2013 Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal Award as Best Regional Title by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA).

Gary’s photographic prints & murals are included in both private and corporate collections. He has also conducted highly praised shows and workshops for groups like R.E.I., the Sierra Club, the Photographic Society of America, local camera clubs, and at Point Reyes National Seashore. Gary also offers a variety of other services, including consulting, photo-editing and research, public presentations and lectures, along with custom private and group photo workshops.

To see Gary’s work, visit his website at http://enlightphoto.com.

Cost of dinner and program is $27, including tax and tip. For a reservation, please send your check, payable to “Sierra Club,” with your name, your telephone number, and the names of your guests, to:

Jane Barrett
170 Vicente Road
Berkeley, CA 94705
(510)845-8055

Attendance is limited to the first 115 reservations received. Reserve early, as these programs do fill up. Reservation deadline is November 24. There is no admittance for program only.