‘Pure magic’: A street in the Haight closed to traffic becomes the stage for professional cello concerts

May 20, 2020
By Heather Knight
The San Francisco Chronicle

[Shuttering traffic] creates a giant front yard to mingle from 6 feet apart with neighbors who too often go unmet in our busy city. It gives kids, many of whom live in little apartments with no outdoor space, an area near their homes to play. And it creates a stage for whimsical, wonderful things to happen — like live concerts and in-the-street picnics.

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Why the 1st Earth Day was a Success

April 10, 2020
Op-Ed by Denis Hayes
The Seattle Times

Author Denis Hayes was one of the organizers of the first Earth Day in 1970. The first thing to know about the beginning of Earth Day is that the big win wasn’t establishing Earth Day itself, but bringing the same organizing skills to the 1970 November elections.

“That November political triumph made clear to Congress that Earth Day had not been just a frolic in the park. One month after the 1970 election, the Clean Air Act of 1970 passed the Senate unanimously and the House with just one dissenting vote.

In short order, Congress also passed the:

• Clean Water Act

• Occupational Health and Safety Act

• Marine Mammal Protection Act

• Endangered Species Act

• Safe Drinking Water Act

• Set Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards for cars

• Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act

• Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

• Toxic Substances Control Act

• National Forest Management Act

In the 10 years following Earth Day, bold new laws changed the direction of the United States economy more profoundly than any other period in history, except perhaps the New Deal. And the New Deal was pushed by a wildly popular president whose party controlled both houses of Congress. The environmental revolution came from the grassroots up.”

Click here to read the full article.

Photo from University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability, via flickr.com.

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SacRT Adds Additional Bus Service to Peak Commute Routes

April 8, 2020
Press Release from Sacramento Regional Transit District

Ridership Data Shows Essential Employees Still Commuting

Sacramento, CA – The Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) is adding additional bus service to busier routes in an effort to provide transportation for essential workers while promoting social distancing. On March 23, SacRT temporarily reduced service due to COVID-19 related school and business closures and Administration orders to “shelter-in-place.”

Since that time, SacRT has been closely monitoring ridership and is happy to announce that they will be adding more frequency and earlier start times to five highly utilized bus routes (15, 30, 51, 72 and 87) starting Monday, April 13.

Most routes will have earlier start times and increased frequency of 15 to 30 minutes during peak commute hours. SacRT heard from riders that they needed more peak hour commute options on bus, and the added frequency should help essential employees get to work and allow customers to get to other vital destinations, like grocery stores and medical appointments.

Summary of the added service:

Route 15 (Del Paso): Adding 21 new trips, including six earlier morning trips with 30 minute frequency

Route 30 (J Street): Adding 29 new trips to provide 30 minute service

Route 51 (Stockton/Broadway): Adding 20 new trips, increasing frequency to every 15 minutes during peak commute hours

Route 72 (Rosemont): Adding 30 new trips, including additional morning trips and increasing frequency to every 30 minutes

Route 87 (Howe): Adding 11 new trips, including a new morning trip and increasing frequency to every 30 minutes

SacRT has also added extra buses to routes 51, 67, 68, 84 and 93 during peak commute hours to allow for social distancing. SacRT will continue to monitor ridership and has additional buses standing by to assist on other routes if needed.

Light rail service will continue to operate as follows:

Blue Line (Operates on Sunday schedule seven days a week)

Gold Line – Weekday (Modified Sunday schedule) – Train service departs Historic Folsom starting at 6 a.m.

Gold Line – Saturday (Modified Sunday schedule) – Train service departs Historic Folsom starting at 7:30 a.m.

Gold Line – Sunday (Operates on regular Sunday schedule)

Green Line (Operates on regular Monday – Friday only schedule)

In addition, SacRT will continue to operate most of its peak commuter/express service Monday through Friday (routes 102, 103, 106, 107, 109, 113, 129, 161 and 193); SmaRT Ride microtransit service (in all zones) and Folsom Stage Line bus service (routes 10 and 30). To view the adjusted schedules, visit sacrt.com/schedules.

At this time, most of SacRT’s contracted services, including Elk Grove’s e-tran bus, Rancho CordoVan shuttle, and ADA paratransit services will not be affected. North Natomas Jibe service has been temporarily suspended for 60 days effective April 3 and the launch of the new Causeway Connection (route 138) zero emission electric powered bus service will be postponed until further notice.

SacRT continues to take proactive measures to slow the spread of the virus including fogging and sanitizing our buses, light rail vehicles and facilities every day. To further protect customers and employees, SacRT is installing protective plexi-glass and detachable chain barriers near the driver’s area, and requiring all riders board from the rear of the bus and. In addition, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, disposable gloves, masks and safety glasses have been distributed to employees. SacRT is urging riders to download the free ZipPass fare app or pick up a Connect Card at participating Raley’s/Bel Air markets or by calling Customer Service at 916-321-BUSS (2877) to reduce touchpoints while paying fare.

SacRT wants to remind everyone that public transit should only be used for essential travel to access food, medicine and essential employment. All other trips should be avoided and everyone should follow the guidance of Governor Newsom’s order to shelter-in-place to help flatten the curve. SacRT understands that the service it provides is critical to the Sacramento community and will continue to communicate timely updates as soon as possible. For more information on SacRT preparations to reduce the spread of COVID-19, visit sacrt.com/covid19.

Click here to view the original press release.

Photo by VH S from Pexels

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