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Monitor Notes: Carbon Pricing, MTC Panel, Groundwater, Tree Removal, Notes’ New Writer

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


Carbon Neutral Territory

With the patriotic spirit of Independence Day stirring, it’s a great time to consider ways to participate in your community and get up to speed on timely issues. Start by checking out what Bay Area Leagues are up to this summer. One, in particular, is the League of Women Voters of Palo Alto. It’s hosting a carbon pricing discussion on July 21 at noon with Citizens’ Climate Education (CCE), an advocacy group focused on climate solutions. CCE members are expected to explain why putting a price on carbon is a powerful tool to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Event organizers also allotted time for a facilitated breakout group to discuss equity implications and how carbon pricing policies fit other carbon reduction initiatives. The LWVUS supports pricing carbon emissions but does not advocate for one method or legislation over another. 


Ready to Serve?

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is seeking residents to serve on its Policy Advisory Council. It’s a 27-person panel that advises MTC on transportation, housing, land use plans, greenhouse gas emissions reduction, public transit improvements, and strategies to secure new transportation revenue streams. Applicants must be willing to serve a four-year term scheduled to begin in January. Learn more about the opportunity during a July 16 webinar at 3 p.m. when current council members share their experiences. Read about the application process and the deadline to apply here


Below the Surface

Check out a new ESTUARY News article on groundwater discoveries written by Monitor Reporter Robin Meadows. She explains how an underground imaging technique called airborne electromagnetics is helping researchers spot hard-to-find ancient river channels in the Central Valley. These channels, called paleo valleys, formed 16,000 years ago during the last ice age, and they could help speed groundwater recharge — the process of diverting excess floodwater so it can soak into the ground. Rosemary Knight, a Stanford University geophysicist interviewed in the article, said paleo valleys are like “fast paths” for delivering Sierra Nevada snowmelt to replenish Central Valley aquifers. Click here to read more about the research and why it’s important to combat declining groundwater levels.


The Changing Treescape

The East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) recently began removing 200 dead, standing trees in Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park located in the hills east of Oakland. The affected trees, primarily eucalyptus and pine, are part of approximately 1,000 acres of “sudden tree die-off” first noticed last October, according to EBRPD. Sudden tree mortality and dieback occur in other parts of the Bay Area, too, presenting wildfire concerns. The Park District said that it’s moving quickly to eliminate the hazardous trees as part of its Wildfire Hazard Reduction and Resource Management Plan. However, it needs more state and federal resources to address the issue adequately. 


Parting Note

Today’s edition marks my last as Notes’ writer and editor. I’m passing the torch to Michael Adamson, the new editor of the Bay Area Monitorwho will write Notes as part of his role. I’m moving on to pursue additional freelance writing opportunities. It’s indeed been a pleasure to write the Notes newsletter — about 140 editions since its inception in August 2018 — and help guide its growth. Thank you, subscribers, for supporting Notes and sharing news and ideas.

I do plan to contribute some transportation stories to the Monitor as the publication moves solely online. I may even have a new perspective to guide my reporting, seeing roadways through the eyes of my nearly 16-year-old son. My husband and I are teaching him to drive this summer!


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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