July 7, 2015

Come to the Chapter’s annual potluck picnic on August 14th

Friday, August 14, 2015, 5 to 8 pm
Fremont Central Park, Brook 1 Picnic Site
40000 Paseo Padre Pkwy, Fremont CA

picnic-2013-08-16-18.48.13-300x225Join fellow Sierra Club members for an evening of good cheer, good food, and good company at our annual potluck picnic.

The Park is 2 blocks south of Fremont BART Station. Our picnic site is another block south along the trail on the west side of Lake Elizabeth, just beyond the community center.

There are parking lots along Paseo Padre Pkwy. Come early to walk the two-mile trail around the lake and enjoy its beauty.

Please bring: a potluck dish or beverage to share, reusable dishes and flatware (let’s go zero waste!), jackets, blankets, games, friends, and family.

Organizers will provide, tablecloths, games, information about the chapter’s latest campaigns, and PRIZES!

Volunteers are needed to get things to the picnic, set up, welcome guests, clean up, and take things back to the chapter office. To volunteer, please contact Joanne Drabek at joanne1892@gmail.com or 510-530-5216.

Mount Diablo Group July event — “Exploring California’s coastal geoscapes“

Wednesday, July 8, 7 pm
Ygnacio Valley Library
2661 Oak Grove Road, Walnut Creek


Photo by John Karachewski.

Join us for a photographic excursion along the sandy beaches and rocky headlands of the beautiful California coast. Our guide is geologist, teacher, and nature photographer John Karachewski. John’s spectacular photographs of coastal areas highlight depositional and erosional landscapes from Orange County to Crescent City. John will explain the natural processes that shape these coastal landscapes, including waves, beaches, bays, estuaries, and sea-level rise. You’ll come away with a new appreciation for this dynamic setting and ideas for future trips in coastal parks.

John Karachewski provides geologic and GIS support for the California-EPA (DTSC) in Berkeley. John has conducted geology and environmental projects throughout the western US from Colorado to Alaska to Midway Island and throughout California. John enjoys teaching at Diablo Valley College, Emeritus College, and leading field trips for the Point Reyes National Seashore Association and Oakland Museum of California. Doris Sloan and John collaborated on a popular book about the “Geology of the San Francisco Bay Region.” John is an avid hiker, mountain biker, and backpacker. He enjoys photographing landscapes during the magic light of sunrise and sunset.

This program is open to all with no reservations necessary. If you have questions, contact Ken Lavin at ken_lavin@hotmail.com or (925)852-8778.

Rally for Caltrain extension to downtown S.F.

Wednesday, June 24, 11 am
Polk Street steps of San Francisco City Hall
RSVP today!

transbay_terminal_renderingThe Sierra Club is cosponsoring a rally in support of the earliest-possible extension of Caltrain to the future Transbay Transit Center in downtown San Francisco.

The extension of Caltrain from its current Fourth Street terminal has been San Francisco policy since 1999 when the people voted for Prop H. It has been Sierra Club policy for even longer. The new bus terminal at the Transbay Terminal already includes the skeleton for an underground station within its structural base, with platforms for both for Caltrain and High Speed Rail. Getting the extension back on schedule will require funding commitments from San Francisco, the State, the federal government, regional agencies, and private sources. Join us at the June 24th rally to help secure this funding!

The completed Transbay Transit Center with a Caltrain connection will entice commuters who currently drive to work and play, and will provide tens of thousands of daily transit riders with highly efficient bus and rail connections. This will greatly reduce climate-change-causing greenhouse-gas emissions and congestion in downtown San Francisco.

Unfortunately, more delay is possible if we don’t speak up now. To make sure the extension is built without further delay, join us at the June 24th rally and show your support!

RSVP today!

Want to help with planning or have your organization co-sponsor the event? Contact Bob Feinbaum at bobf@att.net or call (510)534-7008.

For more information, read “The downtown Caltrain extension: vital to the future of the Bay Area“.

Save the date for the 2015 David Brower Dinner

Guests at the 2013 David Brower Dinner.

Guests at the 2013 David Brower Dinner.

The Chapter will hold the 5th Annual David Brower Dinner in remembrance of the local man who, at the height of industrial development, excited the nation to preserve and protect our natural bounty. We invite you to join us on October 22nd in San Francisco to celebrate David Brower’s spirit with an evening of joyful music, good food, wine, and inspiring speakers.

This year’s dinner will honor the outstanding service of these modern-day local heroes whose passion and vision have helped to create a more beautiful, more sustainable, and abundant Bay Area.


  • Carl Anthony, father of the Environmental Justice movement
  • Amy Meyer, co-founder of the People for a Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which fought to form the National Park
  • Progressive champions of the Richmond City Council Gayle McLaughlin and Jovanka Beckles, who have been standing strong against Chevron’s attempt to buy the electorate

For sponsorship opportunities and more information please contact Ashley Malyszka at ashley@sfbaysc.org.

May Green Friday — “Rat poison kills more than rats”

123259164.IKefCcvr._MG_9029wc82Is rat poison our “new DDT”? Lisa Owens Viani of Raptors Are the Solution (R.A.T.S.) will describe the epidemic of wildlife mortality being caused by rat poison in the food web. She will explain its impacts on birds of prey as well as on coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, and Pacific fishers, among other animals.

Lisa will discuss recent regulatory changes affecting over-the-counter purchase of rodenticides, loopholes in the law, alternatives to rodenticides, and what individuals can do to help beneficial predators thrive and continue to provide us with their free and natural pest-control services.

Lisa Owens Viani, a longtime environmental activist and writer, co-founded and directs R.A.T.S., a project of Earth Island Institute. R.A.T.S. educates people about the ecological role of raptors and the enormous danger to raptors and all wildlife, as well as pets and children, from the wide use and availability of rat poisons. R.A.T.S. partners with other NGOs, agencies, scientists, municipalities, and others to work toward eliminating toxic rodenticides from the food web.

Green Friday programs feature informative speakers and discussions about the important environmental issues of our time. All are welcome—Sierra Club members as well as nonmembers.

Green Friday meets on the second Friday of the month in the Sierra Club Office, 2530 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. Doors open at 7 pm; program runs from 7:30 to 9:30 pm including questions and discussion. Refreshments are served. A $3 donation is requested.

April and May SF Dinners: Bike China’s Silk Road and traverse the Korakoram

Thu, April 16 — China’s Silk Road: a bicycle journey across China with Phil Mumford

Phil Mumford on the Silk Road.

Phil Mumford on the Silk Road.

Phil Mumford’s 2014 bicycle trip along the Silk Road began in Shanghai, continued through Xian, Dunjuang, and Turpan, and ended in Kashgar. Join Phil as he cycles from the agricultural and industrial east to the deserts of the west, camping next to the Great Wall and passing through sandstorms in the desert.

Phil, a retired teacher, is an avid bicycle tourist who has ridden across America, Africa, Europe, and China.

Checks must be received by Fri., April 10.


Thu, May 21 — Grand Korakoram Traverse with Seiji Kawamura

Seiji Kawamura

Photo by Seiji Kawamura

Join Seiji as he treks from Askole to K2 Basecamp on the Baltoro Glacier along breathtaking high mountain scenery. To begin the trek, he endured a 26-hour white-knuckle jeep ride from Islamabad to Skardu on “the road from hell,” the Korakoram Highway.

Seiji taught physics and chemistry for 25 years. He is now active with the Snowcamping and Backpacking Sections of the Bay Chapter, and treks in Asia, South America, and Africa.

Checks must be received by Fri., May 15.

Social hour 6 pm, dinner 7 pm, program 8 pm. Note new location: Covenant Presbyterian Church, 321 Taraval St. between Funston and 14th Ave. Take Muni L or 28. Limited parking available at the church lot one-half block east on Taraval at the white parking guards, for $1.50 per car, payable at the church check-in.

For each dinner, send a check for $20, made out to “Sierra Club, S.F. Bay Chapter,” to Gerry Souzis at:

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

Please send a separate check for each program, and indicate the program date, number of guests, and your phone number. Non-members are welcome. Bring your own wine or soft drinks. Glasses and ice are available. Let us know if you are a vegetarian. With questions, contact Gerry 4-9 pm (no morning calls please) at (415)474-4440 or gsouzis at hotmail.com.

On April 28, rally for SF’s clean-energy future!

tumblr_nlw2frt7Ai1urqrqbo4_1280One month from today we’re taking our call for clean and affordable energy to the streets. Join us on Tuesday, April 28th, as we rally outside City Hall to tell San Francisco’s leaders loud and clear: Launch CleanPowerSF this year!

Launching a local renewable-energy program is the single most powerful action San Francisco can take to reduce carbon pollution and help prevent the worst impacts of climate disruption. By transitioning away from dirty fossil fuels to clean alternatives like wind and solar, we’ll help clean up our air and water and leave a healthier planet for future generations. The program will also spur infrastructure development and create thousands of local green jobs: economic opportunities to benefit every San Francisco resident!

We need you now more than ever to push for the swift launch of CleanPowerSF. Earlier this year, Mayor Ed Lee came out in support of the program. But 2015 is an election year and we suspect the mayor’s support is not unconditional. This means we must act now to ensure that CleanPowerSF is well on its way to launch before Election Day on November 3rd, 2015.

Momentum is on our side, but we can’t let this window of opportunity slam shut. We need you standing with us next month to make sure city leaders get the message: San Francisco wants a clean energy alternative now!

WHAT: Rally outside City Hall and then take our message to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission meeting to make sure our support for CleanPowerSF is logged in the public record.

WHERE: San Francisco City Hall (Polk Street Steps), 1 Doctor Carlton B Goodlett Place, San Francisco

WHEN: Tuesday, April 28, 12:30 pm

WHO: A diverse coalition of neighborhood associations, environmental organizations, and community members who share our goals of clean air and water, climate action, and local green jobs

RSVP_Today!_ButtonWith your support, we could all be powered by clean and renewable local power this time next year! See you on the steps of City Hall next month!

Have questions or want to help out? Contact Jess Dervin-Ackerman at jess.dervin-ackerman@sierraclub.org or call 510-848-0800 ext. 304.

April and May East Bay Dinner programs — “Biking across America” and “Water policy in a drought era”

Thursday, April 23 — Bicycling Across America: 3,300 miles in 59 days

Photo courtesy John Lloyd on Flickr Creative Commons.

Photo courtesy John Lloyd on Flickr Creative Commons.

In the summer of 1979, Tim Loughman, then living in New York City, phoned his brother Bill, who lived in Berkeley, and said, “You doing anything over the next month or two?  I’m going to ride my bike to Atlanta.” Bill, with little experience and no equipment for such a trip, reflected for a moment, and then said, “Sure.”

Join us as we travel with the Loughman brothers from Vancouver, Washington, to the Statue of Liberty, via the Columbia River Gorge; over portions of the Lewis and Clark Trail and the Rocky Mountains; across vast open stretches of the Great Plains states; through the Great Lakes region; and over the Appalachians to the East Coast — a total of 3,300 miles. Along the way Bill and Tim encountered numerous flat tires, a few assaults, cycling crashes, locusts, ghost towns, hot springs, many memorable people, and countless beautiful scenes of nature and Americana.

Tim Loughman is a writer, copy editor, and book seller residing in Morro Bay, California. In addition to his bike journeys stateside, he has biked from Paris to Milan via the Rhine Valley, through Bavaria, Austria, and the Italian Alps. His brother, Bill, is an attorney and amateur photographer (and former program chairman of the Bay Chapter’s East Bay Dinners) residing in Orinda, California.  Apart from one trip in 1975, from Berkeley to Morro Bay via the coast highways, Bill’s only long-distance bicycling experience was the trip across America featured in this program.

Thu, May 28 — Water policy in a drought era

Jerry Gilbert will talk about how water management is changing in the West and how to deal with scarcity while complying with today’s legal framework. The presentation will consider whether we are integrating and wisely approaching our conservation efforts, and how we can better use technology to study and improve the way we use water.

Jerome B. (Jerry) Gilbert is a consulting engineer based in Orinda. He has been the General Manager of East Bay Municipal Utility District, the Executive Officer of California State Water Resources Control Board, Chairman of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, and has recently been consultant to public water utilities across the West. Gilbert has led the development of California water legislation including Urban Water Management Planning Act and the Porter Cologne Act.

East Bay Dinners take place at the Berkeley Yacht Club on the Berkeley Marina, one block north of the west end of University Avenue (ample free parking is available in the Marina parking lots). No-host cocktails/social hour begins at 6 pm, dinner at 7 pm, and program at 8 pm.

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:

Evelyn Randolph
938 Galvin Drive
El Cerrito, CA 94530

Attendance is limited to the first 115 reservations received. Reserve early, as these programs do fill up. Reservation deadline for the April program is April 16, and May 21 for that month’s program. There is no admittance for program only.

“Love Thy Nature” film screening and John Muir birthday celebration

Dani-+-Curtains-003 copyThe stunning film “Love Thy Nature” will be released on Earth Week — April 17th to 23rd — at the historical Vogue Theater in San Francisco. The film will also be screened at Oakland’s New Parkway and the Rafael Film Center.

Narrated by Liam Neeson, “Love Thy Nature” is a cinematic immersion into the beauty and intimacy of our relationship with the natural world. And while our environmental crisis threatens the survival of our species, a renewed connection with nature holds the key to a highly-advanced new era. The film has been the official selection of 24 film festivals around the globe, earning 17 industry awards from Excellence to Outstanding Achievement Humanitarian Award.

Watch the powerful two-minute trailer at www.lovethynature.com.

DON’T MISS the SPECIAL EVENTS co-sponsored by the Sierra Club!

Friday, April 17,  7pm — San Francisco Premiere

Director Sylvie Rokab, Sierra Club SF Bay Chapter conservation manager Jess Dervin-Ackerman, Biomimicry Institute’s Executive Director Beth Rattner, and New York Times Bestselling author Wallace J. Nichols will be in attendance. Gifts will be offered to each audience member. Co-hosted with Bioneers, Sierra Club, Biomimicry Institute, and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

muir birthday hatTuesday, April 21, 7pm — Screening and John Muir Birthday Celebration / Fundraiser for the Bay Chapter

John Muir is often credited with starting American environmentalism as the founder of the Sierra Club and the protector of the majestic Yosemite Valley. Michelle Myers, Director of the local Sierra Club, will be joined by local leaders to discuss modern-day environmentalism after the showing. There will be cake and photo opportunities.

Full San Francisco screening schedule:

Friday, April 17 & Saturday, April 18: 3pm, 5pm, 7pm, 9:15pm
Sunday, April 19 – Thursday, April 23: 3pm, 5pm, 7pm
For tickets, visit the Vogue Theater website.

Oakland screening:

The New Parkway, 474 24th St., Oakland

Tuesday, April 14, 7 pm
Event features a post-film Q&A with director Sylvie Rokab.
Purchase tickets here.

San Rafael screening:

Rafael Film Center, 1118 4th St., San Rafael
Sunday, April 19, 4:15 pm
Co-hosted with Bioneers. Speakers include biomimicry inventor Jay Harman and director Sylvie Rokab.
Purchase tickets here.

Film still from Love Thy Nature

Film still from Love Thy Nature


April Green Friday: “Why renewables can’t replace fossil fuel”

Photo courtesy David Clarke on Flickr Creative Commons.

Photo courtesy David Clarke on Flickr Creative Commons.

April 10, 2015 — Renewables provide too little energy to replace themselves — let alone deliver excess energy to run society — and depend too much on fossil fuels every step of the way (i.e. ore mining, fabrication, delivery over bitumen roads, etc.). Heavy-duty freight transportation can’t be electrified with batteries or overhead wires. That’s the argument Alice Friedemann will present at April’s Green Friday.

Alice Friedemann has been writing about energy and other resources since 2000. Her writing can be found at www.energyskeptic.com. Friedemann’s book, “When Trucks Stop Running: Oil and the Future of the Freight Transport System,” will be published in November 2015.

Green Friday programs feature informative speakers and discussions about the important environmental issues of our time. All are welcome—Sierra Club members as well as nonmembers.

Green Friday meets on the second Friday of the month in the Sierra Club Office, 2530 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. Doors open at 7 pm; program runs from 7:30 to 9:30 pm including questions and discussion. Refreshments are served. A $3 donation is requested.