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June 14, 2009



Check this out http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/5525933/Crops-under-stress-as-temperatures-fall.html


If I can interpret the reason why you posted this link, I would say it's because there is a sizeable part of the scientific community that disagrees that human activity is causing global warming. Even the IPCC has a number of dissenters in its midsts. So the weakness in Burlingame's plan is that a) it doesn't recognize the possiblity that the conventional wisdom might be wrong and b) it doesn't make the case that even if the conventional wisdom is wrong, there are good reasons for the city and its residents to save energy.

We could have talked about the difficulty of building new power plants, the localized impact of all the air pollution from 101 traffic through town or just focussed on the cost of energy and how it won't get any cheaper. Take your pick, but the document shouldn't read so one-sided.

Maybe it's not too late?

Holy Roller

What about the high measurement of Methane coming from City Hall?
I could not resist..


It’s great that this council is following through on the Climate Action Agreement it adopted in 2006, but there seems to be some serious oversights in the implementations suggested by the Green Ribbon Task Force.

First, there is no incentives or even discussions on how to encourage adaptive reuse of older buildings. The plan only addresses new construction.

I personally echo the sentiments of the National Trust for Historic Preservation: “The greenest building is the one that's already built.”

Also, it is my hope that this council take advantage of resources that already exist. For example, The National Trust’s “Preservation Green Lab” works with state and local governments to make sure that municipal plans, building and zoning codes and "climate action plans" incorporate principles that support reuse, reinvestment, and green retrofits.

Here’s an idea that is truly green, as in greenbacks.

In Illinois, they have instituted a “teardown” tax. Evanston, Highland Park, Lake Forest and Winnetka, are among more than two dozen towns that instituted fees or taxes tied to the mega-building boom that has transformed the character of these exclusive communities. The demolition tax is typically $10,000.

Wouldn’t this be a way to discourage filling our landfills, reducing carbon emissions while increasing our city revenues?

I suspect that if Burlingame had a tax of this nature years ago, we would be in much better financial and environmental shape than we are today. I think this idea, in particular, is a good one and ought to be considered.

Terry Nagel

The goal of Burlingame's Climate Action Plan is to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2020 and by 80 percent by 2050. While drafting the plan, the Green Ribbon Task Force heard many excellent suggestions for green projects.

With limited staff resources and funding, we selected the proposals that would have the greatest impact on reducing emissions, were the most cost-effective and were the easiest to implement. Some very worthy ideas, such as banning Styrofoam and starting a community garden, were left on the "cutting room floor."

With the City Council's adoption of the plan, the Green Ribbon Task Force's job is complete. Our city will invite individuals interested in working on green issues to a meeting in September at which we plan to create a community group devoted to helping residents and businesses adopt more sustainable practices. We will be looking for leaders to champion these efforts. If you want to propose a teardown tax or other ideas, that would be the ideal time to bring forth your suggestions.


I think I just proposed one. Ball is in council's court.

Holy Roller

I hope the Green Ribbon task force takes into consideration the fact the last 10 years or so, The City of Burlingame has been planting hundreds, if not thousands of trees.
Has anyone noticed the dead Elm trees(recently planted) that were planted on ECR.
We spent alot of time with the replacement issue of the Eucaliptus on ECR. Now they are all dying from lack of water. How hard can it be to water a tree?
Now nobodys cares. As well as the re forestation of Easton Dr. after the passing of "Tom the Tree".
Politics is a huge factor in the endorcements our councilmembers put forth. "The Flavor of the Day". "Soup Dejour".
How about follow up?
What about sidewalk repair.
How about follow through, Elder Nagel,O'Mahoney, and Baylock?


For those of you who are interested, you can view this past Monday's discussion/approval of the Climate Action Plan here by scrolling directly to and "clicking on" agenda item 7a; you can also access a PDF of the corresponding staff report via the meeting agenda on the right side.


Why no Deal or Keighran, are they chopped liver or summin'? The more green the better, right.

Holy Roller

Elder Deal & Keighran, inherited the issues I mentioned above.

Holy Roller

By the way..
Has anyone read the local newspapers reporting the ongoing negotiations(Labor) in Burlingame?
According to the newspapers all of the Ciy of Burlingame employee groups agreed to a pay freeze.
The white collar group, and the Park Dept, volunteered to take a pay freeze.
The "PUBLIC WORKS" division,managed by a relatively new manager, REJECTED ANY REASONABLE understanding of the current fiscal situation.


Since I am still unable to create new posts for some reason, I am posting the following Wall Street Journal article under this string - Looks like an interesting idea/concept for the community:

A Town That Shreds

On a recent Saturday, Bob Maes scraped a melted chocolate bar off his son’s wagon, loaded it with eight years’ worth of financial records and set off to join his neighbors for Shredder Day in Brielle, N.J.

“It’s great to get rid of the clutter and to have all this information you wouldn’t want to get into someone else’s hands just be gone,” says the 55-year-old Mr. Maes, a financial adviser. “As long as this stuff exists, you feel vulnerable.”

The line wrapped around the borough hall parking lot as about 200 locals waited to drop off financial statements and other paperwork—measured in pounds—and watch it get diced to confetti. The monitor built into the exterior of the shredding truck provided a live view of the process.

Local governments, corporations and small businesses around the country are increasingly partnering with mobile-shredding companies to host free get-togethers, some of which resemble homespun carnivals. In addition to recycling the paper, there’s often another cause attached, such as raising money for cancer research or crime prevention. But the chief appeal is a more visceral one: preventing identity theft.

In Katy, Texas, Janine Godwin, a 47-year-old professional organizer, has donated her time to coordinate six free “festive” mobile shredding events over the past three years in her area. To lure participants, they feature extras like decorations, clowns, face painting, dogs and cats available for adoption, information booths, cookies and refreshments. “Just shredding can be boring,” Ms. Godwin says.

Mobile shredders—essentially retooled box trucks containing industrial-size paper shredders—may be to adults with sensitive documents what ice-cream trucks are to children on a hot summer day.

(Truncated here to make for easier reading of the thread---a great idea though. Perhaps the City Manager could task some department to investigate it for Burlingame).

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