Connect with us

Environment

Anti-Coal Activists Ask Big Bank to Cut Ties With Coal Terminal

Published

on

Martin MacKerel (left) and Matthew Gerring protest the Oakland Oversized & Bulk Terminal in front of developer Phil Tagami’s Crocker Highlands home during a youth-led “zombie march on coal” on October 30, 2017.

Oakland anti-coal activists continue to resist the Oakland Bulk & Oversized Terminal’s plan to ship millions of dollars of Utah coal through a West Oakland port.

Developer Phil Tagami successfully sued the City of Oakland, overturning the 2016 ban on coal shipments.

As the City Council and other officials prepare to appeal the federal ruling issued in May, anti-coal activists are looking for other ways to block the terminal.

Jeffrey Holt, an investment banker for Bank of Montreal (BMO), has played a central role in a deal between Bowie Resources and the State of Utah’s Community Impact Board.

No Coal in Oakland and the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project collaborated to send a letter to the Bank of Montreal’s chief executive Darryl White.

“The community of West Oakland has not been engaged with as per BMO’s commitments an an Equator Bank,” said Morgan La Manna, an organizer who helped write and send the letter.

The letter asked BMO to refrain from advising on or arranging financing for the terminal project. The bank is one of 93 financial institutions who have adopted “Equator Principles,” for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in investment projects.

Friends of the Earth United States and Canada, 350.org, and Rainforest Action Network supported the letter, which said that Bank of Montreal’s role in financing the terminal is at odds with Equator Principles.

“If the Bank of Montreal continues its role in financing the OBOT, it risks several serious breaches of best practice that could damage the reputation of the bank and its officers and may even expose the bank to a variety of unforeseen liabilities,” the letter reads.

The second Equator Principle is “Environmental and Social Assessment” which says that financial institutions should examine the environmental and social risks of proposed projects.

Margaret Rossoff, an anti-coal activist, said the bank has yet to respond to their letter, which was sent March 29.

The Post reached out to Bank of Montreal, and is awaiting comment.

Bay Area

Parks Pursues Land Acquisition Near China Camp

The County of Marin purchased 33 acres of the Buck’s Landing site in 2020 for $1.6 million – $1.1 million from Measure A and $500,000 from the California State Coastal Conservancy. The purchase was a culmination of almost a decade of advocacy by members of the Santa Venetia community, who sought more public access to Gallinas Creek. The site had been privately owned by the same family for about 70 years and used as a roadside bar, a brickyard, and a boat storage facility.

Published

on

Marin County Parks’ long-term goal for the Buck’s Landing property is to maintain public to access the bay, protect natural habitat, and provide recreational opportunities.
Marin County Parks’ long-term goal for the Buck’s Landing property is to maintain public to access the bay, protect natural habitat, and provide recreational opportunities.

Courtesy of Marin County

In a move to ensure more public access to San Francisco Bay wetlands and recreation, Marin County Parks is seeking approval to purchase 7.27 acres of the Buck’s Landing property on the edge of Gallinas Creek in unincorporated San Rafael. The County bought an adjacent property two years ago.

Parks personnel on July 12 will present a notice of intent to purchase before the Marin County Board of Supervisors for a parcel owned by three trusts of the Smith family. The purchase price is $1,850,000, with funds coming from Parks’ Measure A tax revenues that are earmarked for land acquisitions. Parks plans to present a draft purchase and sale agreement to the Board for consideration on August 9.

Buck’s Landing is at 665 North San Pedro Road, just over 2 miles northeast of the Marin County Civic Center. It is between the Santa Venetia neighborhood to the west and China Camp State Park to the east. Gallinas Creek flows into San Francisco Bay about a quarter mile from Buck’s Landing.

The County of Marin purchased 33 acres of the Buck’s Landing site in 2020 for $1.6 million – $1.1 million from Measure A and $500,000 from the California State Coastal Conservancy. The purchase was a culmination of almost a decade of advocacy by members of the Santa Venetia community, who sought more public access to Gallinas Creek. The site had been privately owned by the same family for about 70 years and used as a roadside bar, a brickyard, and a boat storage facility.

With the proposed purchase of an additional 7.27 acres, Parks’ long-term goal for the property is to maintain public access to the bay, protect natural habitat, and provide recreational opportunities, said Carl Somers, Parks’ Chief of Planning, Real Property, and Government Affairs. Community members have advocated for the acquisition of the site as a park for many years, leading staff to identify the area for protection in the 2008 Parks Strategic Plan.

“This is a long-term community priority that, if it comes to fruition, would secure public access to the bay,” Somers said. “It has existed there providing bay access for decades under private ownership. This acquisition would allow for much more flexibility in how the site can be managed as a park in the future.”

Measure A, a quarter-cent sales tax, was approved by countywide voters in 2012. An updated version of the measure was approved this June with nearly 75% support. By law, Measure A funds projects and programs that benefit parks, open space, and agricultural lands across Marin. In recent years, Parks has used Measure A acquisition funds to purchase Sky Ranch near Fairfax, the Corte Madera Baylands, and a portion of Bowman Canyon Ranch in western Novato.

On July 12, the Board will be asked to approve a resolution issuing a notice of intent to purchase the property and schedule a public hearing August 9 to collect feedback on and consider approving the proposal.

Continue Reading

Bay Area

New Design Phase Planned for Levee Project

The Flood Control and Water Conservation District has secured funding for the flood mitigation project from four sources, with the largest coming from a $3,235,180 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant. In May, the District submitted a project scope of work and budget change request to FEMA to reallocate $1,515,170 from the grant, transitioning the funding from construction to design work, environmental compliance, and public outreach activities. A response from FEMA is expected this month.

Published

on

The Flood Control and Water Conservation District has secured funding for the flood mitigation project from four sources, with the largest coming from a $3,235,180 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant.
The Flood Control and Water Conservation District has secured funding for the flood mitigation project from four sources, with the largest coming from a $3,235,180 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant.

Courtesy of Marin County

At its July 12 public session, the Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors will consider awarding a $617,549 contract for engineering design services to develop a design for the Santa Venetia Levee Upgrade Project along Gallinas Creek. The project was put on pause in March 2022 following a cost estimate that exceeded available funding.

“This flood protection project is crucial to addressing the near-term sea level rise needs of the Santa Venetia neighborhood residents,” said Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Rosemarie Gaglione. “We are committed to developing a strong, final design for the project that will be ready to move forward once construction funding is secured.”

The Flood Control and Water Conservation District has secured funding for the flood mitigation project from four sources, with the largest coming from a $3,235,180 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant. In May, the District submitted a project scope of work and budget change request to FEMA to reallocate $1,515,170 from the grant, transitioning the funding from construction to design work, environmental compliance, and public outreach activities. A response from FEMA is expected this month.

The engineering design firm will examine the project requirements and develop a final design that meets the flood protection needs of the community. To meet the deadline for the $1.5 million FEMA funding allocation, the engineering firm will need to finalize the design by the end of November 2022.

Once the final design is completed, District staff will work to secure additional funding and voluntary permanent easements before moving forward with construction. District staff plans to use the final design to apply for construction funding through FEMA, while also pursuing all other viable funding options that may be available for the project.

In terms of the FEMA grant process, the Santa Venetia levee project has a high benefit-to-cost ratio, meaning that the cost of creating the flood protection is low compared to the value of the properties that would be protected. The benefit-to-cost ratio is expected to make the project competitive in the next round of FEMA grant applications. District staff anticipates that the next opportunity to apply for competitive hazard mitigation funding will be in 2023.

Throughout this design and funding process, the District will continue to explore the acquisition of permanent easements from residents along Gallinas Creek on a voluntary basis. Those easements would support construction and all current and future maintenance of the levee.

In the meantime, the District will continue to prioritize the standard maintenance of the existing timber reinforced berm infrastructure along Gallinas Creek for the community. A public meeting is proposed for late July to provide a general update. For more information about the Santa Venetia Levee Upgrade Project and details on upcoming public meetings, visit SantaVenetiaLevee.org.

Continue Reading

Bay Area

Presidio Unveils New Facilities, New Park.

“We been doing this since 2018, taking groups to walks as a way to relieve stress and get out and see nature,” said Gilkerson, who is the Rafiki Coalition’s Community Outreach and Engagement manager. “The Presidio is a prime park and a good place to be. The additions to this place are nice for children to go and run around in.”

Published

on

Maxine Gilkerson is the outreach and engagement manager for Rahiki Coalition for Health and Wellness. Photo courtesy of Maxine Gilkerson.
Maxine Gilkerson is the outreach and engagement manager for Rahiki Coalition for Health and Wellness. Photo courtesy of Maxine Gilkerson.

By Lee Hubbard

Once or twice a week, Maxine Gilkerson leads a group of people from the Rafiki Coalition for Health and Wellness on walks in various parts of San Francisco.

The Rafiki Coalition is a health organization that tries to eliminate health inequities in San Francisco’s Black community through education, advocacy, and holistic health services.

On one of those walks, Gilkerson was leading a group through the Presidio, San Francisco’s only national park, next to the Golden Gate Bridge when she came across its newest outdoor path and park, the Outpost. The Outpost is on top of Presidio Tunnel Tops, a 2-acre outdoor destination full of creative play, benches, slides, BBQ pits and educational centers and science lab.

“We been doing this since 2018, taking groups to walks as a way to relieve stress and get out and see nature,” said Gilkerson, who is the Rafiki Coalition’s Community Outreach and Engagement manager. “The Presidio is a prime park and a good place to be. The additions to this place are nice for children to go and run around in.”

As the summer heats up people like Gilkerson and her group are looking for outside activities, recreation and fitness opportunities. The Presidio is a park that fits that bill. In fact, the Presidio is a must-see San Francisco destination that’s broken into four parts.

These four parts include the Golden Gate area, where the bridge is located; Crissy Field, which consists of a walking trail and a beach; Southern Wilds, which is the woody area in the southern part of the park; and the Main Post which has office buildings and outposts from the 1800s.

The Presidio Outpost is between the Main Post and Crissy Fields, The Presidio has rehabilitated the area and opened up a new facility for youth and adults, with the building of attractions and walking paths.

“This Outpost was designed by pediatricians and youth experts,” said Beatrice Kilgot, a public relations specialist with the Presidio.

In the park structure, there is a hydro-tunnel for crawling and hiding, which was constructed through a boulder land form, a fallen, 250-year old white oak, sculpted into three pieces that you can crawl into, and a bluff slide, made of the Presidio coastal bluffs.

“We work to facilitate activities that are environmentally based,” said Briana Canizales, an adventure guide leader with the Presidio. “We brought in natural materials in creating the outpost.”

A field station was also built on the outpost structure. It is an indoor facility, with a lab and an indoor exhibit, which deals with the environment and animals that exist in the park.

“The field station showcases some of the animals that have been found in the Presidio or the Golden Gate National recreational grounds,” continued Canizales. “It is a research center that study’s the Presidio and its habitat and it shows the historical growth of the park.”

The official Outpost grand opening will take place on July 17, 2022, and it will be open to the public.

Continue Reading

Subscribe to receive news and updates from the Oakland Post

* indicates required

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

As the first-ranked and highest respected Black sportsman, Bill Russell used his status to lead the nation’s leading Black athletes which included Jim Brown, Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar) and many others to support Muhammad Ali’s stance against the Vietnam War.
Activism6 hours ago

IN MEMORIAM: Oakland’s Own Bill Russell, 88, Greatest Athlete/Civil Rights Activist Ever (Part 1)

Photos courtesy of Ella Baker Center, photography by Brooke Anderson
Activism5 days ago

Over 500 Attend Police-Free Event to Reimagine Safety in Oakland

Digital Issues5 days ago

Oakland Post: Week of August 3 – August 9, 2022

#NNPA BlackPress6 days ago

Brittney Griner Sentenced to More than 9 years in Russian Prison

The City Council established a task force to discuss the racial issues involved in construction and the possibility of a Project Labor Agreement. The task force included some community members, including the publisher of the Oakland Post, and was mandated to address racial discrimination first.
Activism6 days ago

OPINION: Are We About to See the Permanent Exclusion of Most Black People from Construction Jobs in Oakland?

#NNPA BlackPress6 days ago

Report: Human Rights Violations in Prisons Throughout Southern United States Cause Disparate and Lasting Harm in Black Communities  

#NNPA BlackPress6 days ago

Celebrate your birthday with 10 free items

#NNPA BlackPress6 days ago

Vice President Harris Addresses NAACP Convention; Urges Black Voter Participation

#NNPA BlackPress7 days ago

Biden Administration Announces Steps to Lower Electricity Bills for Residents in HUD Programs

#NNPA BlackPress7 days ago

Police Force and Top Officials Resign in Kenly, North Carolina After City Council Hires Black Women as Town Manager

#NNPA BlackPress7 days ago

Biden-Harris Administration Announce New Actions to Address Mental Health in Schools

#NNPA BlackPress7 days ago

Will Smith Issues Apology to Chris Rock and Family for Oscars Slap

#NNPA BlackPress7 days ago

Emory University Announces the first African American Studies Ph.D. Program in the U.S. Southeast

#NNPA BlackPress7 days ago

PRESS ROOM: Autism influencer Jeremiah Josey releases a new book about his experience as a Black man with autism

#NNPA BlackPress1 week ago

IN MEMORIAM: Basketball Legend Bill Russell Dies at 88

Trending