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Green

Japan nuclear crisis calls future of atomic energy into question

News Partner, World Affairs Council — Aug 25 2011 - 6:17pm

World Affairs Council panelists say U.S. facing big demand for clean source of power

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in Japan, caused by the magnitude 8.9 earthquake and tsunami, has opened a dialogue about nuclear energy policy and safety of reactors in the U.S. 

Safe Harbor

News Partner, Bay Nature — Aug 23 2011 - 2:46pm

Welcoming porpoises back to San Francisco Bay

Cavallo Point at Fort Baker is not just a place to watch sailboats go by as the morning sun illuminates the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s also a great place to watch the water surge in and out with the tides. And with a little patience, you might see a black dorsal fin cut the swirling water, followed by another, smaller fin. 

San Francisco catches on to bulk solar purchasing by using Groupon model

Alex Zielinski, Way Out West — Jul 18 2011 - 4:48pm

In an effort to boost the city’s solar energy use, San Francisco officials have launched a pioneering program keying in on a simple model: group discounts.

Solar@Work, developed by the city’s Department of the Environment and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, encourages commercial business owners to join together to create one solar purchasing group. The larger the group, the cheaper each owner’s cost. 

San Francisco shifting tree care onto property owners

Alex Zielinski, Way Out West — Jul 14 2011 - 12:43pm

Mayor Ed Lee recently produced a budget package for the new fiscal year that cut $300,000 from the already tight street tree care allowance. The proposal would shift the city’s responsibility for 24,000 trees in front of private property onto the property owners over the next seven years.

They would have to hire arborists to keep their trees healthy and pruned, an expense that can run up to $400 per visit. Property owners who neglect their new duties face city fines reaching $500 per citation. The city would keep maintaining trees on public property.

Global warming urban landscapes too real for U.S. officials

Eric Klein and Justin Beck, ”Radio Chronicles” on KPFA — Jul 11 2011 - 6:56pm

RADIO DOCUMENTARY / SLIDESHOW: Artist Anthony Holdsworth, who painted a series of urban landscapes that depicted a future San Francisco flooded by rising seas, was invited to show his work last year inside the new “green” San Francisco Federal Building at Seventh and Mission streets. But before the opening reception, the show was ordered taken down. He said the image in one of his paintings, of oil burning on a flooded sidewalk in front of the building was too similar to the news footage of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico for federal authorities to bear. Undeterred, Holdsworth is mounting a new art show at the cafe at SFMOMA.

New San Francisco biodiversity push could come too late for golf course critters

Erica Reder, SF Public Press — Jun 14 2011 - 10:00am

Public debate about the plight of protected species on a San Francisco-owned golf course in Pacifica has refocused attention on the city’s commitment to safeguarding natural diversity. In late May, the San Francisco Department of the Environment adopted its first biodiversity plan, which would make it city policy to protect rare plants and animals. The idea that San Francisco could do more to protect biodiversity is gaining momentum among city officials, a movement that could change debates on land use. A proposal that Supervisor John Avalos floated last month would turn the Sharp Park golf course over to the National Park Service. His plan was a reaction to environmentalists’ sustained push to aid federally protected species that live there, the San Francisco garter snake and the California red-legged frog.

Pharmaceutical industry yields to pressure from San Francisco to fund a drug take-back program

Siri Markula, SF Public Press — May 24 2011 - 10:39am

Starting as soon as August, San Franciscans will be able to dispose of their unused medicines for free at 16 independent pharmacies and five police stations throughout the city. The pharmaceutical industry is funding the pilot program with $110,000, after facing city plans that threatened to extend producer responsibility to pharmaceuticals. For decades the industry and government waste experts told consumers to flush medications down the toilet. But with increasing recognition of the effects of human drugs on wildlife, regulators at all levels are seeking to get medicines out of the waste stream.

City steps in where state fails to regulate toxic manis and pedis

Kyung Jin Lee, SF Public Press — May 23 2011 - 3:56pm

WORKING CONDITIONS: San Francisco program pushes nail salons to use safer chemicals

Heidi Hoang was pregnant when she first started working at Nails by Linda in San Francisco’s Sunset District. “There’s a lot of people who say, ‘You have to be careful with this kind of job. Maybe, no more baby,’” Hoang, now the salon manager, said. “I was so nervous.” Nail salon workers, many of whom are Vietnamese immigrants and refugees with limited English skills, have long endured toxic chemicals that emanate from products they use to beautify their clientele. The chemicals not only produce noxious fumes, but workers often complain of itchy skin, rashes and headaches after prolonged exposure to the substances. In an effort to combat the problem, San Francisco is developing guidelines to encourage nail salons to go green. In the absence of federal or state regulations protecting salon workers from toxic exposure at work, the city is working to educate salon owners about healthier alternatives.

Apocalyptic beliefs hasten the end of the world

Jason Mark, Earth Island Journal — May 20 2011 - 4:26pm

Commentary: Americans’ Judgment Day visions make it harder to gain traction on climate action

Billboards and bus stop ads, plastered in cities from Florida to California, announce that this coming Saturday, May 21, will be Judgment Day. This “guarantee” actually comes from an 89-year-old Christian fundamentalist, radio host, and co-founder of the Oakland-based Family Radio network, whose outfit has paid for 5,500 billboards worldwide (including many in the Bay Area). That thousands of people around the world are convinced that tomorrow a massive global earthquake is a sign — but not of the biblical sort. Fringe religious rhetoric confuses the very real and urgent issues of environmental degradation and climate change.

 

Don’t build neighborhood on SF Bay salt flats, Redwood City voters say in new poll

Maureen Nandini Mitra, SF Public Press — May 18 2011 - 5:49pm

A new poll by a regional environmental group, Save the Bay, puts a new spin on the controversy in Redwood City over plans to build a massive development on unused salt ponds on the edge of San Francisco Bay. Fifty-seven percent of voters polled said they opposed Arizona developer DMB Associates’ proposal to build a mini-city by partially paving over 1,436 acres of low-lying salt ponds on the eastern edge of Redwood City. Only 28 percent of those polled supported the plan while the remaining 15 percent were neutral. Save the Bay says the poll should be a warning sign to politicians inclined to approve the plan. But developers called the poll itself flawed.

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