The drought is different this time. Everyone in the Sacramento region must conserve water.

By Ralph Propper And Tom Gray | July 31, 2021 | Special To The Sacramento Bee

ECOS Board President Ralph Propper co-authored this op-ed, published in the Sacramento Bee on July 31, 2021.

Vigilance is required to reduce water consumption and water waste. Water your lawn less and early in the day to minimize evaporation; don’t let sprinklers run off onto sidewalks; fix household leaks; take shorter showers and wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.

You should also, however, be sure to efficiently water your trees. Many trees were lost in the last drought, an unintended casualty from reduced lawn watering. Let’s give them special care this time.

Invest in long-term water efficiency measures, like removing or reducing your lawn by half in favor of water-sipping native plants, or adding high-efficiency appliances, WaterSense-labeled smart sprinkler timers, high-efficiency sprinklers and drip irrigation. Many local water agencies offer rebates and other incentives to help residents pay for these improvements — some have recently even doubled rebate amounts.

Water providers are doing their part to preserve water in our lakes and rivers by sustainably shifting to using more groundwater.

Saving water today could leave some carry-over storage in Folsom Reservoir for next year. We don’t want to drain that bank account in case next winter is dry, too.

https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/article253036003.html

Click here to read the article in full.


Featured Photo of tree shadows by Jill Burrow from Pexels

Developers funded Sacramento County climate action plan

Environmentalists see a conflict.

By Michael Finch II | June 10, 2021, Updated JUNE 11, 2021 | The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento County leaned on developers last year to help fund its long-delayed climate action plan, raising conflict of interest concerns among environmentalists who say the early drafts do not have enough detail to be an effective blueprint for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In the eyes of some environmentalists, the financial arrangement suggests a conflict of interest. Each of the five firms wants the Board of Supervisors to expand the boundaries of where new development is allowed to include their projects. And that decision is in conflict with the aims of the climate plan.

“I know some environmentalists were concerned that the county’s staff was compromised in this way,” said Ralph Propper, president of the Environmental Council of Sacramento. “There were a lot of concerns about that but the county was pleading poverty.”

https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/environment/article252009793.html

Click here to read the full article.


Photo by Pok Rie from Pexels

California Northstate presses pause on medical center project

By Felicia Alvarez | February 25, 2021 | Sacramento Business Journal 

…the Elk Grove Planning Commission unanimously rejected the project plans, citing concerns about the location of the proposed medical center.
…the proposed hospital is still eligible to go before the Elk Grove City Council, which would have a final say on the project.

To read the article in full, click here.

To learn more about this project, click here.

The Kassis Property: one of the city’s last pieces of open space

By Scott Thomas Anderson | January 27, 2021 | Sacramento News and Review

The Kassis property includes 40.7 acres that form an alluvial terrace on its upper plateau, and a lower basin that stretches along the river in the 100-year floodplain. There are 335 trees in the formations, split by a grassy, 30-foot-high bluff at the edge of a quiet neighborhood. For years, the property was owned by John P. Kassis. After his death, its title transferred to members of his family.

“Concerns about this project? Where to start?” said Ralph Propper, president of the Environmental Council of Sacramento. “We’re very concerned about protecting the last significant open space along the American River.”

Click here to read the article in full

Click here to learn more about the property.

Where is the Kassis Property?

Here is a map showing exactly where the property is.

As Trump Again Rejects Science, Biden Calls Him a ‘Climate Arsonist’

By Peter Baker, Lisa Friedman and Thomas Kaplan | September 14, 2020 | The New York Times

The Environmental Council of Sacramento was mentioned in the New York Times! Our Board President Ralph Propper was quoted regarding Trump’s denial of climate change as California burns.

Mr. Trump flew to California after weeks of public silence about the flames that have forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, wiped out communities and forests, burned millions of acres, shrouded the region in smoke and left at least 27 people dead. But even when confronted by California’s governor and other state officials, the president insisted on attributing the crisis solely to poor forest management, not climate change.

“Raking the leaves and forest floors is really inane. That doesn’t make sense at all,” said Ralph Propper, the president of the Environmental Council of Sacramento. “We’re seeing what was predicted, which is more extremes of weather.”

Click here to view the full article.


Photo from publicdomainfiles.com.

Innovation without gentrification?

By Graham Womack
April 1, 2020
Sacramento News and Review

The promise and pitfalls of Aggie Square in Oak Park

“The reality is Aggie Square could be the best thing for the neighborhood, and it could be the worst thing for the neighborhood,” said Sacramento City Council member Eric Guerra, whose district is directly east of UC Davis Med Center.

https://sacblog.newsreview.com/2020/04/01/innovation-without-gentrification/

Even a UC Davis official—Hendry Ton, the university’s associate vice chancellor for health equity, diversity and inclusion—has questions about Aggie Square causing gentrification and displacing residents.
“I think there’s a lot of questions about that and I certainly have questions about that as well,” Ton said. “I think that the potential is that if the people in Aggie Square and the university are thoughtful and careful and collaborative about this, this can be a very significant force for good in the neighborhood.”
So far, however, collaboration hasn’t exactly been smooth, with officials and residents clashing on plans to ensure the neighborhood benefits from the project.
A group connected to the California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities initiative, known as Sacramento Investment Without Displacement, has been working on a legally binding community benefits agreement for Aggie Square.
A January draft of the agreement called for local hiring from nearby zip codes, anti-demolition policies to protect homes and enrollment of at least 50 percent of Medi-Cal recipients living within five miles of Aggie Square.
“We believe that this project has a lot of potential to be successful. But it also has a lot of potential to displace working families.”
Gabby Trejo is executive director of Sacramento Area Congregations Together.
“We want to see Aggie Square be successful,” said Gabby Trejo, who has been working on the agreement and serves as executive director of Sacramento Area Congregations Together. “We believe that this project has a lot of potential to be successful. But it also has a lot of potential to displace working families. And we want to make sure that working families in our region are protected.”
City leaders have yet to commit to a community benefits agreement, however. Guerra and Councilman Jay Schenirer, who didn’t respond to a request for comment, are instead working on a letter of intent, which city leaders declined to provide.
“I’m less concerned about the type of document and more concerned about an honest agreement… that will last longer than whatever we call the agreement,” Guerra said.
But Trejo and Sasso said the letter is insufficient. “We’ve seen other folks be bad actors in that things are promised and then they’re never delivered,” Sasso said.

https://sacblog.newsreview.com/2020/04/01/innovation-without-gentrification/

Click here to read the full article.


ECOS’ Involvement

ECOS is a part of the Sacramento Investment Without Displacement coalition to work towards preventing the displacement of long-time residents and local businesses that could occur as a result of this significant, new project at the UC Davis Medical Center.

Click here to learn more about Aggie Square and ECOS’ involvement.


Image credit: Edna Winti, 2016/366/238 Proceed with Caution