By Willa Frej : huffingtonpost – excerpt (includes video)
A group of about 20,000 Syrian refugees living outdoors have access to electricity as of Wednesday thanks to a newly constructed solar plant in the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan. It’s the first and only solar-powered refugee camp in the world.
“Each family can now connect a fridge, a TV, a fan, have light inside the shelter and charge their phones, which is critical for refugees to keep in contact with their relatives abroad,” the U.N.’s refugee agency, UNHCR, said in a statement.
UNHCR built the 2-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant farm in collaboration with the IKEA Foundation’s Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign, which provided the funding, according to the statement… (more)
Are solar powered RV dwellers homeless, or are they just lacking an address to park their homes?
AN FRANCISCO (CN) – An impending decision by the California Supreme Court over whether the state or federal government has jurisdiction in railway decisions could have major implications for the Golden State’s high-speed rail project.
The justices heard oral argument by the North Coast Railway Authority, which argued the federal government’s decision to allow freight service to resume on a 316-mile line that runs through northern counties outweighs the state’s environmental rules under the California Environmental Protection Act.
“Federal courts have universally ruled that open-ended pre-clearance processes like CEQA are preempted by the authority of federal regulators,” said Andrew Sabey, attorney for Northwest Pacific. The railroad operates the freight trains that traverse through Sonoma, Humboldt and Mendocino counties…(more)
By Lauren Sommer : KQED –
California Gov. Jerry Brown is vowing to lead the nation on climate change, as the Trump administration pulls back. But the Trump administration could get in California’s way.
In his annual State of the State speech, California Gov. Jerry Brown had one key message about climate change: perseverance.
California has rules limiting carbon pollution from cars, but it can’t have those rules without permission from the federal EPA.
“We cannot fall back and give in to the climate deniers,” Brown said. “The science is clear. The danger is real.”
And just as President Trump took the oath of office on Friday, California acted, releasing its latest plan for tackling climate change. This includes renewable energy and putting millions of electric cars on the road.
It’s a challenge Brown first made in December, when climate scientists from around the world met up in San Francisco.
The mood at the conference had been dismal. Scientists were worried about losing federal funding for research and even the NASA satellites that collect basic climate data… (more)
by Paul Mann : MadRiverUnion – excerpt
EUREKA – Audubon California and EarthJustice, the San Francisco-based environmental law advocate, charge in a joint statement that the lawful certification of the Coast Seafoods Company’s expanded oyster farming project must be ruled out.
The reason: the Final Environmental Impact Report has not received “an adequate review” under the 1970 California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
In a nine-page letter submitted Jan. 18 to Jack Crider, executive director of the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District, the two organizations acknowledged the series of modifications made to the 471-page environmental impact report in response to voluminous public comment.
But the two groups argued that “both the project and its impacts remain enormous and have yet to be fully analyzed and disclosed as required by the CEQA.”… (more)
It is our policy to track the media on these subjects. Please post comments on the source. Not sure this is a positive way to approach food production when there is a need to feed human beings and the interior department closed down a farm recently in California. People do need to eat and oysters clean the water, so this argument does not win me over, especially when the administration is threatening to cut imports of other foods by increasing import tax. We should perhaps increase local food production.
By Lamar Anderson : modernluxury – excerpt – including This Golden State, a podcast from Randy Shandobil
California will drown bigotry the best way it knows how: with endless CEQA appeals.
by :sf.curbed – excerpt
San Francisco’s new state senator pitches housing bill mere hours into his term
Every California city is required to build a certain amount of housing to meet the state’s overall housing goals.
And a lot of places just plain seem to ignore the mandate. Earlier this year, former Palo Alto Planning Commissioner Kate Downing opined that the Regional Housing Needs Assessments lack so much as a built-in slap on the wrist.
A new law proposed in Sacramento would put some spurs to it by telling cities to start building before the state steps in to expedite the process.
If SB 35 eventually passes the governor’s desk, cities not pulling their weight would be hit with a Sacramento-designed, streamlined development process forcing them to fast track projects.
Local governments guard authority over hometown development quite jealously, and the new rules would play that to the state’s advantage by threatening loss of control.
San Francisco’s own Scott Wiener introduced the bill hours after being sworn in as state senator on Monday… (more)
It is our belief that those supporting Native Species over existing plants have bought into the FAKE NEWS being fed by Monsanto and other industries who benefit from widespread slaughter of plants.
Here are a couple of documents that support on my side of the argument. You can find plenty to support the other side elsewhere:
WEED WHACKERS: Monsanto, glyphosate, and the war on invasive species By Andrew Cockburn : harpers – excerpt (harpersmagazine-2015-weedwhackers)
Arguments against certification of snramp-eir By Tom Borden : of the SF Forest Alliance Leadership Group (70 page document)
We are bringing this up because of the planned slaughter Van Ness Trees.
Van Ness Trees on Death Row by Chris Parkes
Not all the threatened trees in San Francisco are in our parks. San Franciscans have been dismayed to find that many of the SFMTA road improvements seem to have been designed with no thought for the mature trees that are so important in reducing pollution, sequestering carbon, and providing habitat. We’ve written about these before HERE. Now the Van Ness Project is imminent, and the neighbors are fighting to save these trees. Here’s an article by Chris Parkes: