Towse: views from the hill

September 28, 2010

October 6th! A celebration!

Can you see this?

Can you see what I'm seeing?

Now can you see what I'm seeing?

Found on the Port site — when I was checking to see what line sailed the Zuiderdam, currently docked at P27, down the hill — was this announcement:

San Francisco will celebrate the inaugural connection of a cruise ship to shoreside electrical power on Wednesday, October 6, 2010, at 11:00 AM, at Pier 27.

Please mark your calendars.

… which means that cruise ships docked at P27 will no longer have to keep their engines running, and spewing crap into our air, to have electricity while they’re in port. Hooray!

(The Zuiderdam, for those interested, is a Holland America Line ship.)

June 13, 2009

Smog check?

Filed under: environment,health,photographs,ships — Tags: , — Towse @ 12:33 am

Yesterday morning I took pictures of three ships leaving within a ten-minute-or-so period, all of them spewing crap into the air. We, of course, need to have our cars smog-checked every two years. Ships coming in and out of harbor. Not.


Posted by Picasa

Why not?

Update: Ah. … A federal appeals court agreed Wednesday [27 Feb 2008] that state air pollution regulators can’t order ships arriving at California ports to reduce their toxic contributions to local smog.” The Court ruled that the State Air Board’s rules couldn’t take precedence over the federal Clean Air Act and the state would have to get a waiver from the EPA to allow its rules to go into effect.

OK. So when is =that= going to happen, now that TPTB at the EPA have changed? Soon? Have we asked?

August 2, 2008

Garbage (and recycling and more!) redux

Filed under: causes,environment — Tags: , — Towse @ 7:42 pm

The trash police: Gavin Newsom is proposing the nation’s first-ever mandatory recycling and composting law. Be prepared to pay hefty fines if you toss coffee grounds in with the newspapers.

Read the article.

Read the comments.

People can be such whiners. Gestapo! It’s so hard to recycle. &c. and so on.

Yes, proposing outrageous fines if people don’t sort their garbage (and maybe cutting off their garbage service … that’ll teach them!) is nonsense, but the City pays a fortune to truck garbage to the dump over by Altamont and with gas prices rising not only is the dump filling (and where will we put trash then?) but costs are rising too.

Our field trip to the dump — AKA “Norcal Waste System, Inc’s Solid Waste Transfer and Recycling Center” — last October was enlightening.

Read the trip report with piccies to see why getting people to separate out their recyclable stuff AND ESPECIALLY THEIR GREEN CYCLE is a must if we’re going to control the garbage stream (and the fuel costs and the personnel costs and …)

That said, my comment on the Chron article:

Dear Mayor Newsom.

Come visit. I’ll invite some neighbors over. We’ll explain how difficult it is to recycle at all when you live off the Filbert Steps.

(1) NorCal won’t pick up blue bins here. Paying extra isn’t even an option. We FINALLY got a locked bin — locked so tourists won’t throw trash in — that the immediate neighbors share up at Montgomery and Filbert, but neighbors who live at Filbert and Montgomery bitch and complain about us parking our recycling bin anywhere near their buildings. Add a green bin? As if.

(2) I have a dish on the counter for green-bin scraps. From there, the scraps go to a covered compostable-bag-lined re-purposed menudo pot over by the ‘frig. Every 4 days or so — MAX … any more than that and the bag will disintegrate and maggots and crud grow — we tie up the bag, put it in ANOTHER bag, walk it three-plus blocks to our car and DRIVE to drop it off in a large green bin we have access to.

We try, Mr. Mayor. ’tain’t easy. Make it easier for us.

His nibs said, why didn’t you write about people putting non-greencycle stuff in bins left out for pickup and the greencycle people refusing to pick up the bins? Why didn’t you write about neighbors getting upset about people picking through blue bins for cash-refund recyclables and the bratty neighbors kicking the full bin and contents down the stairs, spreading recyclables down the steps to the next landing? Why didn’t you write about …

I told him that the SFChron allows you 1000char for comments and I was down to my last ten or so. …

October 24, 2007

Garbage, waste, trash, oh my!

Filed under: causes,environment,photographs — Tags: , , — Towse @ 12:39 am

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This morning we spent two [stenchy] hours getting a tour of The Dump


I mean …

“Norcal Waste System, Inc’s Solid Waste Transfer and Recycling Center” at the border of San Francisco and Brisbane, San Francisco County and San Mateo County (which causes problems, you betcha)

with our buds from

I hadn’t been on an educational field trip to the dump since the younger younger one was in Tiger Cubs.

Twenty years later … Different dump. Still as fascinating. More, maybe.

Field trip report to follow.

Update: As promised, a field trip report about my morning at the dump. Caution: long.

October 19, 2007

Continent-size toxic stew of plastic trash fouling swath of Pacific Ocean

Filed under: culture,environment,news — Tags: , — Towse @ 9:24 pm

Continent-size toxic stew of plastic trash fouling swath of Pacific Ocean by Justin Berton, SFChronicle.


At the start of the Academy Award-winning movie “American Beauty,” a character videotapes a plastic grocery bag as it drifts into the air, an event he casts as a symbol of life’s unpredictable currents, and declares the romantic moment as a “most beautiful thing.”

To the eyes of an oceanographer, the image is pure catastrophe.

In reality, the rogue bag would float into a sewer, follow the storm drain to the ocean, then make its way to the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch – a heap of debris floating in the Pacific that’s twice the size of Texas, according to marine biologists.

The enormous stew of trash – which consists of 80 percent plastics and weighs some 3.5 million tons, say oceanographers – floats where few people ever travel, in a no-man’s land between San Francisco and Hawaii.


At the end of the article is a link to Save The Bay’s Bay Trash Hot Spots. Click on a hot spot and get the details of dumped trash between Hunter’s Point and Candlestick Point, Colma Creek’s trash, trash in Coyote Creek in the south bay and more.

3.5 million tons of plastics and other debris floating out in the ocean between us and Hawaii! Yikes.

Do what you can to help, or at least don’t make it worse. Minimize bag use and don’t let the ones you have get loose and wind up in the wild.

His nibs and I are signed up for a SPUR tour of Norcal’s transfer station out on Tunnel Ave next Tuesday AM. Should be interesting.

September 19, 2007

Filed under: environment,environmentalism — Tags: — Towse @ 11:36 pm

Crafty, mostly crocheted, bags with directions.

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