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Monitor Notes: Energy Rates, Eelgrass Damage, College Housing, VTA Solutions

Welcome to Monitor Notes, a weekly roundup of news items, event announcements, and updates on past Bay Area Monitor articles.

 

At This Rate

MCE, the renewable electricity provider serving Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, and Solano, is considering a rate hike beginning July 1 due to rising energy costs. The proposal would result in an average 6.6 percent increase across all customer classes and a 0.3 discount relative to PG&E costs, based on current forecasted rates. MCE’s board will vote on the proposal next month. Any affected residents can send public comments about the pricing plan to [email protected] or participate in several upcoming meetings.

 

Wake of Destruction

Ecological damage from private boats off Sausalito, many anchored and moored illegally, has destroyed as many as 84 acres of sensitive eelgrass habitat in San Francisco’s Richardson Bay, according to Audubon California scientists. Data generated using aerial photography and geospatial mapping show areas of eelgrass damaged by boat anchors and chains as they rotate with tide movements. Eelgrass is a “foundation species for ecosystem services,” including food for marine herbivores and nursery sites for commercially and ecologically important fish, based on the full study published in the journal Environmental Management. The new data is likely to feed into community discussion about the “anchor-out” population and further eelgrass protection, which Robin Meadows touched on in a Monitor article a couple years ago

 

Brainstorming Housing Alternatives

High housing costs are affecting another vulnerable population. Most students at California’s community colleges and in the California State University system pay more for housing than they do for tuition. In a new blog post, the Public Policy Institute of California discusses ways students are defraying the state’s high cost of living. One common solution is living with parents and other family members, an option that saves as much as $10,000 a year. Hit the blog for more on coping with high housing costs in college.

 

Take to the Hill

VTA officials want help determining efficient, affordable ways to travel around Morgan Hill. It’s holding a community workshop on the Morgan Hill Community-Based Transportation Plan on May 29 at 7 p.m. The purpose is to meet with residents and learn whether available programs, services, and infrastructure are meeting their mobility needs and determining what else should be done. Earlier this year VTA received a Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) grant to develop a transportation plan focused on disadvantaged communities and areas of concern within Morgan Hill. Get involved.

 

Monitor Notes is produced by Cecily O’Connor. To receive it by email, scroll to the bottom of this page, enter your email address in the box under “RECEIVE EMAIL UPDATES,” and click the red “SIGN UP” button.

 

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