Loma Prieta Chapter's eNewsletter: November, Volume 1
November 11, 2023
YOU Can Make a Difference; Read How in This eNewsletter
►Elect your new Chapter and Group Executive Committees.
►Read about the Stanford University Community Plan, a win for the environment.
► Apply to join our team as Community Outreach Assistant or Bay Alive Campaign Assistant.
► Read our joint comment letters on plastic pollution, the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project, the OneShoreline NOP comment extension, and the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority Resolution of Necessity.
► Complete the survey on the Breeze of Innovation Light Tower.
► Register to take one of our Wilderness First Aid courses.
► Take a hike! See the comprehensive list of activities available with your chapter into early October.
Executive Committee Elections
Raise your voice to chose and thank local volunteer leaders!
It's time again for you to VOTE for the next members of the Loma Prieta Chapter and Group Executive Committees.
Sierra Club, the nation’s largest and oldest grassroots environmental organization, is proudly democratic and member-driven. The at-large delegates you elect, along with the local Group delegates that represent geographic regions, direct the work of our Chapter. Those elected will start their two-year term in January 2024.
Stanford University Community Plan: A Win for the Environment
Envision 2,300 acres of verdant hillsides and oak savannah—one of the last grassland ecosystems left in Santa Clara county. This beautiful land is home for a variety of wildlife, including the rare California Tiger salamander. This irreplaceable open space constitutes the Stanford foothills, located in an unincorporated area of Santa Clara county. Even though Stanford owns the land, the university needs the consent of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors in order to develop it. Read the full article.
Join our Team in One of our Two Open Positions!
The Bay Alive Campaign Assistant will be responsible for supporting local and regional advocacy campaigns, education programs, and communications to inspire appreciation for the San Francisco Bay, build awareness of threats to shoreline ecosystems and communities, and stimulate engagement in Bay advocacy.
The Community Outreach Assistant will be responsible for planning, coordinating and implementing Bay-centric educational materials, activities, and outings to build awareness and support for the Bay Alive Campaign.
We've Been Busy Submitting Written Comments, Read our Comment Letters
Santa Clara County Medical Association Warning: Artificial Turf is Toxic to People and the Environment
The Santa Clara County Medical Association was asked by a group of Saratoga High students to issue a ruling on the safety of artificial turf playing fields, and these are excerpts of what they said:
Artificial turf contains hazardous chemicals and heavy metals…Children are more vulnerable to all toxic exposures due to their immature biological systems. On an artificial sport field children and athletes are routinely in contact with the surface, especially with soccer and football; therefore, they more readily inhale, ingest, and come in dermal contact with dust and chemicals emitted from the fields. Read the full article.
Breeze of Innovation Light Tower Survey
I think that most of you know that our bird populations are in deep trouble. Recent reports indicate that over 30% of USA bird populations have been lost in since 1970. One cause is urban lighting. Urban light has a strongly negative effect on the migrations of birds and insects- a few weeks ago, in Chicago, over 1000 birds were killed in a single evening- Google the Atlantic, and New York Times articles on this topic.
This is your town. Here’s what you can do to stop this senseless destruction of our bird population: Please respond to the San Jose Light Tower Corp survey. Read more.
Basic/Wilderness First Aid Courses
Saturday, December 9 Sunday, December 10 8:00 am - 5:00 pm Peninsula Conservation Center
Certification provided by the National Association for Search and Rescue, is valid for two years, and is included in the course fee. Textbook NOT included. There are two training options. 1) Basic Wilderness First Aid: Saturday only; $50 for Sierra Club members; $60 for non-members. 2) Wilderness First Aid: both days; $80 for Sierra Club members; $100 for non-members. Register today!
Teen Member Explores How Governmental Systems Promote Toxic Agricultural Chemicals
Member spotlight: Arjun Krishna
The youngest member of Loma Prieta Chapter's Water Committee, 17-year-old Arjun Krishna has the rare ability to focus on an issue and follow it wherever it may lead. As a result, he has already learned more about the intersection of science and policy than many others twice his age. Arjun’s childhood fascination with the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park led him to discover University of California Berkeley Integrative Biology professor Tyrone Hayes’s work about how the herbicide atrazine can turn male frogs into females. Read the full interview.
Gay and Lesbian Sierrans' 2023 Rock Creek Lake Camping Trip
A fun time was had by all during the 2023 Eastern Sierra Rock Creek Lake camping trip, September 21st-25th. We had 10 Gay and Lesbian Sierrans (GLS) and Rainbow Sierrans set up their tents alongside this high elevation lake and very secluded group campground. This was the first joint-led trip between our groups in many years. Although below freezing nighttime temps hit, our two fire pits kept us warm until we turned in. The days were gorgeous as we hiked along the many lakes and next to the Aspen trees just barely beginning to show some autumn color. Read the full article.
Environmental Book Club
Bicycling with Butterflies: My 10,201-Mile Journey Following the Monarch Migration by Sara Dykman December 2nd
"Sara Dykman made history when she became the first person to bicycle alongside monarch butterflies on their storied annual migration—a round-trip adventure that included three countries and more than 10,000 miles. Equally remarkable, she did it solo, on a bike cobbled together from used parts."
Water Committee Needs a Chairperson (or Chairpeople)!
The Water Committee (which is actually a subcommittee of the Conservation Committee) needs a new chairperson as our long-time chair Katja Irvin moves on to serve as Conservation Chair for the Guadalupe Regional Group. Co-chair Carol Steinfeld will stay on to help the new chair. Duties involve facilitating the monthly meeting and compiling the agenda as well as speaking at water agency meetings as appropriate. But all of this is negotiable! Join our next meeting in January to learn more or contact Carol at email@example.com.
Sierra Club California has released its 2023 Legislative Report Card, calling it a solid year for legislators and a mixed bag for Newsom. 2023 produced some incredible wins for the environment in the legislature. Environmental advocates from Sierra Club California and other organizations worked up until the literal final hour of this year’s session to advance several critical bills that will protect California’s public health and ecosystems. Learn more about this process.
Demand the Environmental Protection Agency Regulate Dirty Trucks and Buses
We must speak up to make sure the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passes stronger clean truck standards to protect our air and climate now! Earlier this year, the EPA proposed revised greenhouse gas standards for heavy-duty trucks and buses, which are a significant source of dangerous air pollution nationwide that disproportionately impacts communities of color. Together with the other “Clean Truck” rules issued by the Biden Administration, the standards will remove hundreds of thousands of tons of pollution from the air and prevent nearly 3,000 annual deaths and hospitalizations resulting from respiratory illnesses. Take action.
On Friday, October 6th, our Loma Prieta Chapter community honored Florence LaRiviere, our 2023 Guardians of Nature Honoree, while raising vital funds for our Chapter's advocacy efforts. We're overjoyed to share that more than 200 guests joined us, helping to raise a remarkable total of more than $80,000! Read more about the event.
Joint Comments on Oct 24 Meeting Agenda Item 6 (Dark Skies Discussion)
Together, the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society and the Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter submitted a letter to Mayor Meadows and Los Altos City Councilmembers regarding dark skies. "In the past few years we have focused on one of the most harmful disruptors to the environment and to human health: light pollution. We are pleased to see Item 6 on your 10/24 agenda (Dark Skies Discussion) and hope the City of Los Altos proceeds to develop a dark sky ordinance and augment it with policies and standards for bird safe design of buildings and structures in Los Altos." The letter goes on to offer observations, suggestions, and questions. Read the full comment letter.
Great ROI on this Volunteer Investment!
This Bay Alive poster was created by two young adult volunteers with obvious design capabilities, Ellie Frymire and Ana Illanes. It was on display at Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter's 2023 Guardians of Nature Benefit held on October 6th in Palo Alto. Attendees passed it on the way into the Benefit and it was projected on screen behind one of the presenters. Read the full article.
Tribute to Florence LaRiviere, 2023 Guardians of Nature Honoree
On Friday, October 6th, 2023, the Loma Prieta Chapter had the distinct privilege of honoring Florence LaRiviere for her remarkable half-century of dedicated advocacy for the San Francisco Bay wetlands. Her tireless efforts paved the way for the creation of Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, which stands as the largest urban wildlife refuge in the nation. Watch the video.
Joint Comments on Stanford Community Plan Update (Item #9, 10/17/23 Agenda)
Together, the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, the Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter, the California Native Plant Society Santa Clara Valley Chapter, and Green Foothills submitted a letter to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors in support of the Stanford Community Plan Update. "We have previously supported the preparation of an update to the Stanford Community Plan (please see attached letter dated February 7, 2020). We believed then, as we do now, that an update was needed in order to encompass mitigations for environmental impacts, and to extend the supermajority vote requirement to modify the Academic Growth Boundary for 99 years in order to protect open space in the foothills beyond 2025, when current protections expire." Read the full comment letter.
One of the best ways to safeguard a thriving and just future is by ensuring that your Loma Prieta Chapter remains a champion for the environment of Santa Clara, San Mateo, and San Benito Counties. Naming us as a beneficiary in your bequest will provide meaningful and enduring resources that will allow continued local and powerful environmental activism.
Please contact our Chapter Development Coordinator Justyna Guterman for the specific language for your estate planning and/or read more here. For additional information about planning a bequest please contact Julia Curtis, (800) 932-4270.
Photographers, see the great images in our Chapter Annual Summaries and help protect local nature with your images! Share with us your high-resolution photos of local nature, with or without people, to inspire local residents to support Loma Prieta Chapter work. Please contact Chapter Development Coordinator Justyna Guterman.
History fans, your Loma Prieta Chapter has been on the front lines of many progressive movements so our rich inspirational history needs to be documented. If this interests you, please contact your Chapter Director, BA History.
Music fans, the Loma Prieta Chapter was the first in the Sierra Club to establish a Spotify Channel. Ours is for music SINCE 2000 that advocates for the environment. Please send suggestions to your Chapter Director.
“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief.
Do justly, now.
Love mercy, now.
Walk humbly, now.
You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”
- Tarfon, died 130 CE