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April 2012
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June 2012

May 2012

Even Billionaires Need Proofreaders

Get the Etch-a-Sketch! Romney camp misspells “America” in new phone app. File this under "There But for the Grace of God Go I" Division: The Romney campaign just released its new iPhone “With Mitt” app featuring various campaign bromides as frames (“American Greatness” and “Believe in America” etc.). Unfortunately, in one screen, the campaign misspelled America. Really. Doesn’t anybody got an Etch-a-Sketch over there? Ain’t Amercia butiful?

Text4Baby: Free Texting for Pregnant Women, New Moms


First 5 San Mateo County is partnering with text4baby, the first free texting service to provide health information to pregnant women and new moms from pregnancy through a baby's first year. First 5 San Mateo County will promote text4baby on its website, and launch the program at the Dad & Me @ the Park event on June 16 at Coyote Point Park, hosted by the Fatherhood Collaborative of San Mateo County.
Women who sign up for the service by texting BABY to 511411 (or BEBE for Spanish) receive three free SMS text messages each week timed to their due date or baby's date of birth. These messages focus on a variety of topics critical to maternal and child health, including birth defects prevention, immunization, nutrition, seasonal flu, mental health, oral health, safe sleep, and more. Text4baby messages also connect women to prenatal and infant care services and other resources.  
According to the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, each year in the U.S., more than 500,000 babies are born prematurely and an estimated 28,000 children die before their first birthday. The infant mortality rate in the U.S. is one of the highest in the industrialized world, and for the first time since the 1950s, that rate is on the rise. Research shows over 85% of Americans own a cell phone and 72% of cell users send or receive text messages.

Hill Bill Shifts Gas Blast Costs from Taxpayers to PG&E

Pacific Gas & Electric has set aside $200 million as a down payment on fines the utility expects to be assessed as a result of three separate investigations by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) into the 2010 fatal gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno.

Currently, all fines in CPUC penalty proceedings are required by statute to be deposited into the state’s general fund. PG&E has proposed that ratepayers pay 95 percent of the cost, estimated at more than $5 billion for the first phase of upgrading its gas transmission pipeline. The second phase is estimated to cost as much as $9 billion.

Assemblyman Jerry Hill has introduced legislation to offset costs to ratepayers.  Under Assembly Bill 478, CPUC would apply the money that PG&E is fined to the first phase of the pipeline installation project, saving ratepayers at least $660 million. For further information, contact Aurelio Rojas, Assemblyman Hill's communications director, at 916-319-2019 or 916-747-3199 (cell).

Good News: Our Beaches Get Straight A's


Annual survey of 650 West Coast beaches by Heal the Bay. The report looked at bacteria and pollution seeping into coastal waters from sewage plants, industry, and urban runoff. Read more at:

Click for SF Chronicle News Story

Click for "Heal the Bay" Beach Report Card

Oyster Point
San Mateo County
A+ dry, A+ wet
Sharp Park Beach, projection of San Jose Av.
San Mateo County
A+ dry, A+ wet
Sharp Park Beach, projection of Birch Ln.
San Mateo County
A+ dry, A+ wet
Rockaway Beach at Calera Creek
San Mateo County
A+ dry, A+ wet
Linda Mar Beach at San Pedro Creek
San Mateo County
A+ dry, A+ wet

L.A. Bans the Bag

Los Angeles has become the biggest city in the country to ban disposable plastic bags. When the ban goes into effect, one in four Californians will be living bag-free. Bags are now banned in 48 California communities — thanks in no small part to your support.

For this crucial vote in L.A., our outreach staff helped mobilize more than 10,000 Angelenos to send messages to City Council, and volunteers generated more than 1,000 phone calls to council members. The L.A. Times ran an editorial supporting our cause. And before the vote, we held a rally at City Hall and then testified at the hearing, hand-delivering thousands of bag ban petitions.

With grassroots power and a lot of hard work, we were able to push past the chemical industry and its expensive lobbyists and misinformation campaigns. We can use this momentum to ban the bags statewide, but it’s not going to be easy. The American Chemistry Council spent millions in 2010 to defeat a statewide ban, and we can only expect more of the same. Already, industry groups are making noises about a potential lawsuit in L.A., challenging the bag ban.

These guys just won’t give up — but neither will we. And with you on our side, I know that we can win a statewide bag ban for California — keeping millions of pieces of plastic trash away from our beautiful coast, the Pacific Ocean, and its wildlife. If you want to keep the momentum going, you can send a message to Governor Jerry Brown today, asking him to support a statewide ban.

Dan Jacobson
Environment California Legislative Director

Lepidopterist Confirms: It's a Ceanothus Silk Moth



Clue: John Maybury shot Mothra with his Canon SureShot on Rosita Road. Mark Stechbart thought it was a cecropia, but according to Wikipedia, that moth appears no farther west than the Rocky Mountains. Ian Butler says, "That is a Ceanothus Silk Moth, or Hyalophora euryalus. They are sometimes seen in Linda Mar this time of year. I found a live one with broken wing two years ago, and kept it comfortable until it passed away. Now it is tucked away in my closet, and taken out from time to time for show and tell. We are fortunate to have them in our midst!" San Francisco State University biologist and moth expert John R. Blair says, "Ian Butler is correct."

Left Coast Annual Awards

Gariepy_Make My Day

Four artists received awards at Sanchez Art Center’s 2012 Left Coast Annual, juried by Michael Schwager of Sonoma State University. Jon Gariepy and Michael Acker were awarded the Juror’s Exhibition Award, each receiving $250 plus an exhibition in 2013; and Alan Grinberg and Sheila G. Ticen each received a Juror’s Award of Merit with $250. More than 500 pieces were submitted to the juror, who selected 55 for this exhibit. Gariepy and Acker will exhibit in Sanchez Art Center’s East Gallery in April 2013.
Jon Gariepy is fascinated by boats, ships, and water, and shows his love for them in his work. His clay piece titled Make My Day is a 12” x 56” x 8” ship in a beautiful ivory color that seems to have been broken and weathered by the elements. When one looks closely, one is surprised to see that the tiny windows open into a hidden interior life.
Michael Acker works with photographs, watercolor, and collage to build layered images of houses or buildings. Two of Acker’s pieces were accepted into the Left Coast Annual, and he received an exhibition award for the work titled Transition, which pictures a small strip mall-type building that seems to be sagging in the middle, collaged together with other architectural images, and covered by a beautifully complex and cloudy sky.
Sheila G. Ticen received a merit award for her oil painting titled Hereafter, which shows us a long, narrow, empty laundromat. The predominant colors are pink, pale blue, gray, and white, creating a reflective mood that is underscored by the many surfaces reflecting light in the painting.
Alan Grinberg’s digital photograph, The Fog of Route 1, is both real and surreal, as the taillights of receding vehicles melt into a stream of rosy light and the swoop  of an overpass seen from below takes on the shape of a tornado. Grinberg received a merit award for this tour de force.
Juror Michael Schwager is Professor of Art History and Museum Studies and Director of the University Art Gallery at Sonoma State University. He holds a BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts and an MA in Museum Studies from JFK University. Before coming to Sonoma State, Michael held positions at the San Francisco Art Institute, the Richmond Art Center, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. While he has worked with artists from across the United States and beyond, his primary focus has been on contemporary Bay Area art, about which he has organized numerous exhibitions. Certainly he chose a distinctive array of artworks by California artists for the “Left Coast Annual.”
Sanchez Art Center is at 1220 Linda Mar Blvd., 1.5 miles east of Highway 1. For more information: 650-355-1894 or