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Chico City Council: Arts Commission, Sustainability Task Force will continue - Chico Enterprise Record - 0 views

  • CHICO — The Arts Commission and Sustainability Task Force will continue as they are, at least for now, the Chico City Council decided last week. As the city faces budget-induced staffing challenges, the council is looking closer at its committees and commissions to find efficiencies while still meeting the city's and public's needs. Several councilors said the Sustainability Task Force, which was put on hold for restructuring earlier this year, is necessary to complete the Climate Action Plan, as required by the General Plan.
  • Mark Stemen of the Butte Environmental Council said the Sustainability Task Force is the best way to complete a climate action plan that identifies necessary action and engages the community. He noted the council promised to address climate change in 2006, with 25 percent target reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020. "To be clear, our efforts so far have not reduced greenhouse production levels in Chico; they have simply slowed the rate of increase," he said. "As a community, we are still producing more and more greenhouse gases each and every year."

Chico News & Review - Haps on the CAP - Feature Story - Local Stories - April 17, 2014 - 0 views

  • The city hasn’t forgotten about its Climate Action Plan
  • This article was published on 04.17.14.
  • In November 2012, the Chico City Council put its official stamp on sustainability by adopting a municipal Climate Action Plan. The blueprint, honed by the city’s Sustainability Task Force, laid out a two-stage approach for addressing the impacts of climate change and meeting greenhouse-gas standards established by the state.
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  • STF and CAP have become nearly synonymous acronyms at the direction of City Council, which cut the size of the task force in half—to seven members, officially appointed—and focused the panel on implementing the plan, versus exploring sustainability in general.
  • Mark Stemen, chair of the reincarnated STF, says the city is “on the right track now, and we are making progress” but, in a broader sense, sees the process as “a good five years behind. We lost some momentum; we also lost the opportunity when there was more staff to get things done. But that’s water under the bridge—or carbon in the air, unfortunately.”
  • Flash forward six months and … Pause. Budget woes led to restructuring of city staff. At the same time, the council opted to reconfigure the Sustainability Task Force; the STF wouldn’t meet again until December 2013.
  • A tangible display of that impetus is a joint session of the Planning Commission and the STF next month. Uniting the committees means the STF “is getting more integrated into city processes,” Stemen said, and also “is getting the Climate Action Plan in front of the people who implement the [2030] General Plan.” That is particularly significant for Phase II, which has a series of goals related to construction.
  • solar panels on city structures, which produced 2.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in the preceding 12 months and 16 million kwh total. Three years ago, aided by grants, the city installed 1,200 LED streetlights that have translated into annual savings of approximately $67,800 in electrical costs plus $6,000 to $7,000 in maintenance costs, according to city staff.
  • Instead of commissioning another full inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, the city will extrapolate numbers based on readily available information: natural gas usage, electricity usage, waste diversion and vehicle fuel usage.
  • “If we’re not moving in the direction of reducing those emissions, then we’re directly working against our own interests.”

Chico Sustainability Task Force won't wait for city - Chico Enterprise Record - 0 views

  • CHICO — Frustrated by the city's lack of action to pull the Sustainability Task Force together, members plan to set a meeting of their own. It's been nearly nine months since the Sustainability Committee was disbanded by the City Council, and even though new members were selected Sept. 4, they still wait to be seated and have their first meeting. The delay is largely because the city has not yet identified staff to attend the meeting, after the assigned person was among positions eliminated in recent layoffs. Meanwhile, the Climate Action Plan's 2020 deadline looms closer and several new task force members are impatient to start their work.
  • Mark Stemen, one of seven citizens assigned to the task force, said Friday that he plans to call a meeting himself, hopefully next week. "Other people get mad, we get moving," he said. "We're tired of this. We are going to meet and the city can catch up with us." The meeting's focus will be to elect a chairperson, assign someone to take minutes, review the task laid out by the City Council and outline what needs to be done, Stemen said. "Hopefully by then, the city will be embarrassed enough they will find someone to come take notes for us," he said.

Final draft of Climate Action Plan gets Chico council's vote of approval - Chico Enterprise Record - 0 views

  • councilors voted 5-2 to approve a final draft of the Climate Action Plan
  • Sustainability Task Force and the Chico State University Institute of Sustainable Development
  • goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 25 percent below 2005 levels in the next eight years.
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  • One of those clapping was Mark Stemen, representing the Butte Environmental Council. In public comment, he told the board the plan is well-written and has all the components to be successful.
  • the plan has been updated by staff, it has gone before the Sustainability Task Force, and been reviewed by the Planning Commission.

Chico News & Review - Gathering momentum - Sustainability - Green - March 31, 2016 - 0 views

  • Environmental groups get together to gain support for local efforts following sustainability conference
  • “It’s not just what we need to do, but ‘this is what we’ve done,’” Stemen said. “The amount of activity that’s happening around these types of issues—sustainability, environmental justice, basic peace with the planet—is really vibrant in this community so having a night like this allows people to find out what’s going on and be re-energized. When you’re just one group, sometimes it’s a little lonely, then you realize, ‘No, I’m just one of many.’”

Students go green for Sustainability Day - 0 views

    BEC board chair, Mark Stemen, tabled at Chico State's Sustainability day to,"let people know, academically, in the literature, civil disobedience is the one thing that works. Non-violent civil disobedience works over all forms of resistance, and it's been proven through history."

Chico Groups Launch Climate Action Plan Update with Bernie Sanders' visit - 0 views

    The effort on the local front was organized by the Butte Environmental Council and members of the city's Sustainability Task Force, who warned of an impending climate disaster in the next decade in the absence of action. Mark Stemen, a professor of geography and planning at Chico State and member of the city's Sustainability Task Force, said he is hopeful that goals can be met to avert disaster. There are signs that change can come quickly in Chico, such as the city and county forming a joint powers authority to purchase and sell energy based on the needs of their residents

As the Sustainability Task Force Dissolves, What's Next for Chico Climate Action? - 0 views

    The task force is retiring after meeting its original goal for reducing emissions by 2020. It will be replaced by a standing committee for climate action. A new goal has been set to try to reach 40% reduction of all emissions by 2030, in order to hopefully reach neutrality by 2050. "I would add that so many people feel there's nothing we can do about this," Mark Stemen said. "To that I would say … the city is doing something. I believe through our work we could get to 100% renewable energy to this town by 2025."

City of Chico sees progress, setbacks in meeting 2020 targets for greenhouse gas emission - 0 views

  • Chico >> With 5 1/2 years left to meet greenhouse gas emission targets, the city of Chico continues to struggle in certain sectors.
  • The draft greenhouse gas emissions inventory, which is expected to be highlighted during the sustainability indicators report at the Chico City Council today, summarizes results of a high-level community-wide inventory that addresses emissions from the transportation, energy and waste sectors within city boundaries from 2005-12. Many external factors, including the economy and government regulations, are to be credited for reductions, and it remains to be seen how well the city is on track to meet its goals, said Principal Planner Brendan Vieg.
  • some of these reductions could be reversed, said Mark Stemen, a member of the Sustainability Task Force, which has been tasked with leading implementation of the Climate Action Plan.
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  • “How do we keep people from getting back into their cars?” he said. “We need to remind people, hey, drive less. It’s good for pollution. It’s good for the planet.”Other areas of success included emissions from commercial electricity, which fell 10.6 percent, and waste to landfill, which dropped by 15.2 percent.
  • “Watching the struggles with water has made me feel a little bit better about our inability to cut back on electricity,” he said. “People are now seeing the effects of the drought and they are acting. It’s important for people to understand they have to do the same thing when it comes to climate change.”

Sustainable groundwater challenge: Is there enough? - 0 views

  • The rainy season is here, however, California is long from being clear of the drought. It would need to rain for 150 days before the state has recovered from the past several years of drought, said Debbie Davis, rural affairs adviser and drought liaison with Gov. Jerry Brown’s Office of Planning and Research.Davis shared an update at a forum about groundwater last week in Chico, held by the Butte Environmental Council.
  • Groundwater has been the state’s water bank, which is appropriate in times of drought, she said. However, there are problems when there is not enough water put back into the ground.O
  • The groundwater plans for the future won’t do anything to help with the current drought, said Paul Gosselin, Butte County’s executive director of Water and Resource Conservation.
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  • Water attorney and environmental water advocate Marty Dunlap urged the public to keep involved as the plans unfold.
  • “The danger is that the state of California has been managing our surface water since 1914, and hasn’t done such a great job.”

Chico News & Review - Challenge met, work continues - Sustainability - Green - September 7, 2017 - 0 views

  • Goldstein reached out to the general public at Chico events such as Thursday Night Market; the homeowner workshops co-sponsored by North Valley Energy Watch and the Butte Environmental Council, nonprofits that put together tool-and-testing kits available through the Chico library; and meetings with business leaders.
  • Molly Marcussen, a recent graduate of Chico State, began her CivicSpark fellowship this week, transitioning into City Hall as Goldstein transitions out. The two met in one of Marcussen’s classes last fall—Community Service Practice in Geography, taught by Sustainability Task Force chair Mark Stemen—but otherwise have not worked together.

In Focus Film Festival coming to Chico - 0 views

    "California Water Stories" is the focus of the third annual In Focus Film Festival in Chico on Sunday, November 10, 2019. There will also be information tables set up by the Butte Environmental Council, AS Sustainability, Altacal Audubon, Certified Neighborhood Habitats and the City of Chico Sustainability Task Force.

Plastic bag ban redux: Restrictions on single-use bags gain committee approval - Chico Enterprise Record - 0 views

  • Committee members voted 2-1 Tuesday to recommend that the Chico City Council develop restrictions on "single-use" plastic bags.
  • Robyn DiFalco of the Butte Environmental Council and Sustainability Task Force said she thinks plastic bag bans represent a shift in society moving away from disposables. "We will look back and say I can't believe we used to do it that way because it doesn't make sense to give out that many single-use bags," DiFalco said.
  • Tammy Wichman of the task force said to get more community input on the ban, and she thinks the council should move forward with the proposal.

CN&R - Water blues - Sustainability - Green - April 11, 2013 - 0 views

  • Nani Teves says it’s not too late to do something about Gov. Jerry Brown’s new plan to send North State water south, and she and other local water activists have a plan of their own to inform residents on what’s at stake. Teves, water outreach coordinator for Butte Environmental Council, was referring in a recent interview to BEC’s Code Blue 2013 water outreach campaign, which kicked off on Feb. 5 with a free forum at Chico State called “Ethical Issues and Water: An Interfaith Dialogue.” The Code Blue series of no-cost, water-centric educational events—held “so that people are aware of what’s happening regarding local water, and are given the tools to do something about it”—will run throughout the year.
  • Included on the Code Blue schedule of free events: a talk titled Science and Politics of North State Water (May 1); an educational field trip (June 8) to the Bay Delta, under which two multibillion-dollar, 40-foot-diameter tunnels are planned to be built to send North State water south; and fall workshops on installing water-conserving gray-water and rainwater-catchment systems.

Letters for October 11, 2012 - Letters - Opinions - October 11, 2012 - Chico News & Review - 2 views

  • Regulate plastic bags As a student and Butte Environmental Council intern interested in a sustainable future, I am submitting this letter in support of the Chico City Council’s voting to restrict plastic-bag use. California uses an estimated 400 plastic bags per second, requiring an estimated 12 million barrels of oil annually. Only 3 percent of plastic bags are recycled, and the thermosetting process used to mold plastic bags is irreversible, creating a product that is not biodegradable. These bags end up in the streams, creeks, rivers and eventually the ocean. On the bags’ journey to the sea, the plastic breaks down into smaller pieces, absorbing toxic chemicals along the way. These contaminated bits of plastic contribute to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is twice the size of Texas. At least 267 marine species have been documented to be adversely affected by plastic debris. California spends $25 million annually to manage plastic-bag pollution and $303 million in litter reduction. If consumers were to utilize reusable bags instead, we could reduce waste and water pollution and contribute to the local economy by allowing wonderful companies such as ChicoBag to further their commitment to consumer safety. Lindsay McDonnell Chico

Chico News & Review - A green year - Sustainability - Green - December 29, 2016 - 0 views

  • In January, dogged tree activist Charles Withuhn continued his effort to replenish the urban forest by offering free trees to the public through his organization, Chico Tree Advocates. “What makes me grateful to live here is not the bushes. It’s these towering giants that have been here since Annie Bidwell, and they’re not being replaced,” he told CN&R.
  • On March 1, Natalie Carter stepped down from her post as general manager at the Chico Certified Farmers’ Market to take the reins as executive director of Butte Environmental Council.
  • In the June primary, Butte County voters showed their overwhelming support for banning hydraulic fracturing locally: Measure E, sponsored by local group Frack-Free Butte County, won by 71.5 percent of the vote.
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  • The November election also resulted in California voting to uphold the plastic bag ban, meaning grocers in other areas of Butte County (Chico had its own bag ban in place already) will have to follow suit.

Chico News & Review - Whom to watch in 2017 - Feature Story - Local Stories - January 5, 2017 - 0 views

  • In Chico, that means Goldstein is working with nonprofits like Butte Environmental Council and GRID Alternatives as well as city staff and the Sustainability Task Force to implement the city’s Climate Action Plan. That plan calls for a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gases over 2005 levels by the year 2020.
    We are excited to be working with Bryce Goldstein, one of 2017's people to watch! Together we are striving for local climate change awareness and real positive change!

Chico City Council to consider law that cracks down on underage drinking - Oroville Mercury Register - 0 views

  • Also Tuesday, the City Council will hold a public hearing on the Draft Housing Element Update and consider authorization to submit it to the state for review and comment. The housing element is one of seven required elements in a general plan, and must be updated every five to eight years.
  • The element has six basic components: a housing needs assessment, a site inventory, a constraints analysis, housing programs, quantified objectives and public participation. The proposed actions are designed to meet various housing needs, including affordability for low-income residents, production of affordable housing for all income groups, and improvement and investment in existing residential neighborhoods.
  • Also Tuesday, the council will consider a resolution approving a one-year license to the Butte Environmental Council to operate a temporary community garden at West Eighth Avenue and Highway 32. The vacant, one-acre city-owned site is eventually planned for development as a fire station, but an interim use of a garden with no permanent structures would not interfere with that plan, according to city staff.
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  • All costs associated with the garden will be sustained by the Butte Environmental Council. The lease would be eligible for renewal.

Chico News & Review - Hormonal disruption - Sustainability - Green - March 13, 2014 - 0 views

  • This article was published on 03.13.14.
  • Of all the toxins confronting people daily, endocrine disruptors rank among the most insidious. These chemicals can have stealth effects—not only impacting the hormones of those exposed, but also creating a genetic legacy that can continue for generations.
  • Lane refers to endocrine disruptors as “legacy constituents,” and Julia Murphy, a dioxin expert at the Butte Environmental Council, adds that they are “persistent through generations.” Murphy says these chemicals act as “a system disruptor rather than a body disruptor,” meaning they trigger wide-ranging changes that can be heritable—passed on genetically to children, grandchildren, and on down. In addition, the compounds are relatively stable, so they can remain potent for decades.
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  • “It’s one of those Pandora’s Box situations,” said Chico geologist John Lane, of Chico Environmental Science and Planning.
  • In that vein, Lane and Murphy reviewed the EWG list and highlighted some endocrine disruptors of particular concern in the North State.

Recycling Education Programs in Butte County Are No Longer RARE - 0 views

shared by rdifalco on 16 Nov 13 - No Cached
  • Published on November 3, 2013 by growingupchico
  • When it comes to waste, “there is no away.” This is an important life lesson that the Butte Environmental Council hopes to impart to local students, teachers and community members with their new recycling education program. RARE, The Recycling and Rubbish Education program, strives to educate through engaging interactive workshops and field trips, which focus on the four R’s – reduce, reuse, recycle and rot.  The program comes directly to the students at their Butte County school and is completely free of charge. “When we give children meaningful, hands-on experiences within their classrooms and show them up close by visiting the local landfill, they feel connected to the bigger picture of where trash ends up,” said Tanya Parish, RARE program coordinator.  “Our hope is that they then take positive steps to create a healthier and more sustainable future.”
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