Author: Brian Schmidt

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Economic disaster: environmental aspects of surviving a housing bubble

(The following is a “thought-piece” originally intended to be part of an article in the forthcoming newsletter, but we decided it didn’t quite fit. We hope it’s an interesting read here. More good stuff to come in the Fall 2004 newsletter… -Brian) No one has difficulty identifying a speculative financial bubble – with hindsight. Dot-com...

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Breaking news: San Jose upholds ban on trapping coyotes

It’s fun to get a news item out before the news media does, and here it is: San Jose failed to pass an “urgency ordinance” that would allow trapping coyotes in part of Almaden Valley. As an “emergency” measure that skips the normal process, it needed 8 of the 11 City Council members to support...

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CGF’s first movie review: it’s “Monumental”

“Monumental” is the title of a new documentary about the life of David Brower, the most important and maybe the most interesting environmentalist of the 20th Century. This documentary features archival footage of Brower’s work and his experience as a leading mountaineer prior to World War II. Brower built Sierra Club to prominence, got fired,...

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Ethnic diversity increases support for open space

I recently attended a very interesting meeting of the Bay Area Open Space Council, a grouping of nonprofits and government agencies concerned with managing open space. One presentation (available on their website) concerned the effect of increasing ethnic diversity on public support for open space. The presentation was short, but had mostly positive news. Here...

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Rushing towards sprawl in Coyote Valley

One advantage of this blog is it gives us a chance to share documents that might not fit on other parts of the website. Here (in PDF format; requires Acrobat Reader) is a letter we delivered yesterday to the San Jose City Council. Of particular interest is our concern that the county-wide habitat plan may...

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More South County development rumors

The news buzzing around is that the Ohlone Native American tribe living in the south Santa Clara County area has cut a deal with the owners of the 5,000-acre Sargent Ranch. The landowner is supposedly paying for the process of lobbying for federal recognition, and in return the tribe supposedly will help Sargent Ranch develop...

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News roundup- Santa Clara County

A news roundup, with our comments. In the Mercury News: Plan to clean up mercury contamination in the Bay reaches the Water Board today. These plans rarely get to that level without having the political path paved in advance, so it will likely go ahead. CGF follows this issue, but we are careful to remain...

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Mercury News perspective on Coyote Valley shifting?

The Merc has two new editorials on Coyote Valley, in advance of today’s Coyote Valley Task Force meeting: Triggering Coyote, and Main Issues Must Be Solved Before Approval. The Merc is right to insist on “triggers” that require job creation prior to Coyote Valley residential development. From CGF’s perspective, this requirement shows the fallacy of...

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The nice developers in Morgan Hill

Probably the most interesting meeting to date about the proposed Urban Limit Line (ULL) in Morgan Hill happened on Tuesday. The ULL is supposed to indicate either the permanent limit to the city’s growth, or its limit in fifty years, depending on the person describing it. This contrasts with the city’s current Urban Growth Boundary,...

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Managing West Nile virus in Santa Clara County

Interesting article in today’s Mercury News, discussing mosquito control in Santa Clara County, done mostly to prevent the West Nile virus from spreading. My biggest fear, that pressure would be placed to drain wetlands, does not seem to be happening. The pesticides being used could be of some concern, although the bacterial control does seem...

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