Welcome to Monitor Notes, a weekly roundup of news items, event announcements, and updates on past Bay Area Monitor articles.
The Water Front
Marin Water, the municipal water district serving most of Marin, is hosting a graywater workshop today at 5 p.m. It’s invited Laura Allen (pictured), lead author of “San Francisco Graywater Design Guidelines for Outdoor Irrigation,” to discuss using graywater to irrigate landscapes. Graywater is wastewater generated by baths, showers, and washing machines and doesn’t contain serious contaminants. Household graywater recycling systems could offer residents in Marin and elsewhere a way to conserve as the drought situation worsens. Check other Bay Area agencies like Valley Water, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and Contra Costa Water District for more greywater resources and potential rebates. Then flashback to a 2015 Monitor article in which Reporter Robin Meadows reflected on this underused water source.
Reforming Our Criminal Justice System
The League of Women Voters of Piedmont is hosting a June 22 discussion at 4 p.m. with attorney and advocate Shanti Brien (pictured), who will talk about “What can individuals and organizations do for criminal justice reform and racial justice?” Her recently published book, Almost Innocent: From Searching to Saved in America’s Criminal Justice System, talks about her experiences growing up in the Central Valley, becoming an attorney, and representing people convicted of crimes. Brian, a Piedmont resident, co-founded Fogbreak Justice, which collaborates with criminal justice professionals to reduce bias, build community trust, and create equitable outcomes.
Home of the Port Chicago 50
The new park at the former Concord Naval Weapons Station will now be known as “Thurgood Marshall Regional Park – Home of the Port Chicago 50.” The name was approved unanimously by the East Bay Regional Park District board of directors in May. According to a news release, it honors the African American sailors that served in the U.S. military during World War II and stood up to its “racially discriminatory policies” of the day. “Their courage, and the advocacy of NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall on their behalf, ultimately led to the desegregation of the military and changed the course of history.” Marshall (pictured) also was the first African American U.S. Supreme Court justice. The plans for the 2,500-acre park include a joint visitor center with the National Park Service. The Park District said it would open a portion of the park within two to three years.
Electrifying Transportation’s Future
Hear what key transportation officials, planners, and other professionals say about transitioning to electric vehicles (EVs) and re-establishing a stable revenue source for infrastructure and services during a June 11 discussion. The 10 a.m. event features familiar Bay Area faces, including Metropolitan Transportation Commission Executive Director Therese McMillan (pictured). She’ll serve as moderator as panelists — and special guest U.S. Transporation Secretary Pete Buttigieg — discuss funding options that could replace eroding gasoline taxes amid a push to electrify the U.S. fleet. Those include mileage fees, carbon taxes, higher vehicle registration fees, or a shift entirely away from user-generated revenue. The event is part of the 12th-Annual Mineta National Transportation Finance Summit in partnership with the Commonwealth Club of California. For more EV news, read the April/May Monitor to learn about technology research that contributes to goals necessary for mass EV adoption.
In other aspects of the state’s EV rollout, a new regulation calls for rideshare companies to begin electrifying their California fleets starting in 2023. The Clean Miles Standard is the result of 2018’s Senate Bill 1014 (Skinner). It directs the California Air Resources Board and the California Public Utilities Commission to implement new requirements for rideshare companies to help curb pollution. The goal is that by 2030, 90 percent of vehicle miles traveled are fully electric, according to a news release. This regulation aligns with commitments that companies like Uber and Lyft made to shift to zero-emission vehicles by 2030 and state and federal programs to support zero-emission vehicles.
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