Piedmont Neighborhood News

What's happening in Piedmont, CA

Posts Tagged ‘green’

Piedmont Schools Walk-to-School Day is October 22nd

Posted by Len Gilbert on October 13, 2008

Here is a press release for next week’s Walk-to-School Day. Beach, Havens, and Wildwood elementary schools are all participating. Remember, “It’s cool to walk to school!”


Families from all three Piedmont elementary schools are being encouraged to walk, bike, scooter, and carpool to school on Wednesday October 22. The event is being organized by the “Green Committees” of the elementary schools’ Parents’ Clubs. The hope is to have sidewalks approaching all the schools filled with walkers, and the drop-off zones nearly empty of cars that day. Piedmont Walk to School Day also aims to encourage families to rethink how they travel over the long term, including the daily trip to school. Organizers believe that, for a community where so many of the families live within a quarter to half a mile of their schools, Piedmont really should be able to lower its rates of car use for school commute purposes.

Organizers are encouraging neighbors and families of classmates to make plans together ahead of time for how they can arrive at school together that day by foot, bicycle, carpool – or any other safe option that cuts down on the number of single family cars arriving at school. October 22nd is a “minimum day” for the Piedmont elementary schools, with all students on the same 8:30 a.m. start schedule (except for Piedmont Language School students, who start at 8:00 a.m.).

Already, some elementary families who used to drive are experimenting with forming their own “walking school buses.” A walking school bus is a group of children walking to school with one or more adults. It can be as informal as two families taking turns walking their children to school, or more structured, as a route with meeting points, a timetable and a regularly rotated schedule of volunteers. Families need to meet together ahead of time, decide on the safest route from their neighborhood to school, review pedestrian safety skills with the children, and set some basic guidelines for their “bus” (for example, that the “bus” does not wait for latecomers, and families who are running late must get their children to school by other means.) The Centers for Disease Control recommends adult to child ratios of 1:3 for children ages 4-6, 1:6 for children ages 7-9, and says that fewer adults may be necessary for children ages 10 and older. For more information about walking school buses, go to http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/guide/walking_school_bus/ or http://www.walkingschoolbus.org/

The motivation behind walk-to-school efforts at the elementary schools is not only to improve traffic safety at drop-off and pick-up, but also to promote exercise, encourage community building, and help families be more “green” – by decreasing their fuel use (and reducing their carbon footprint) and giving kids and families more time to be outdoors.

Piedmont Walk to School Day is part of International Walk to School Month. Across the United States and the rest of the world, communities are coming together to promote alternatives to driving to school.

For more information, contact the schools’ Parents’ Clubs’ Green Committee Chairs: Havens – Katherine O’Connor oconnorcrew@sbcglobal.net; Wildwood – Suzanne Lane suzannelane63@gmail.com; Beach – Margaret Ovenden movenden@sbcglobal.net

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Bike to Work Day – Thursday May 15th

Posted by Len Gilbert on May 6, 2008

Bike to Work Day

It’s National Bike Month (since 1956) with the biggest day of the month being Bike to Work Day on May 15th. I’ll be riding from Piedmont to Richmond on Bike to Work Day. My route will head down toward the bay for a stop in Emeryville at the Powell St Energizer Station, where I’ll be meeting my coworkers for a ride along the bay trail to the office at the Richmond marina. My approximate route is on bikely.com. The Piedmont-to-Emeryville part is about 3.5 miles. If you’d like to ride with me, even part of the way, let me know (leave a comment on this post or I’m in the directory). I’m riding a 40-year old Raleigh 3-speed, so I’m not hard to keep up with. On your way home from work, Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe in Emeryville is hosting a Bike Away from Work Day party 5:30-8:30pm. Free valet bike parking, raffle prizes, and stories to share.

Downtown Oakland’s Bike to Work Energizer Station is huge, with extra giveaways and a pancake breakfast. If you work downtown, it’s an easy bike commute and you’ll see lots of fellow bikers and there is valet bike parking! Also checkout the Walk Oakland – Bike Oakland site for information about other BTWD events and proposed bike lane projects for on Broadway, Oakland/Harrison, Webster, and Franklin. Each of these would improve bicycling to and from Piedmont.

And if you bring your bike on AC Transit or BART to San Francisco, you’ll be in the mecca of BTWD goodies and freebies. The SF Bicycle Coalition has a huge amount of activity planned.

I am also participating in a Team Bike Challenge with some coworkers. The goal is to get points by using your bike instead of your car. Currently we are in second place in Contra Costa County. Typically I leave my bike at the office and use it for rides to lunch, for errands, or to go to Peets. On the 15th I’ll be riding the whole way.

Hope to see you on your bike this month!


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Spray Your Kids with Pesticides?

Posted by Len Gilbert on April 15, 2008

Now is a great time to take action on the state’s plan to spray for the light brown apple moth. The spraying over Piedmont would begin right as our children return to school in late August.

Please come to the Piedmont City Council meeting on Monday, April 21st, 7:30pm to let the council know how you feel and urge them to adopt a resolution against spraying over Piedmont.

On April 15th the SF Chronicle published an article “Moms mobilize to stop spraying” that has some great information about the issue. Also, don’t miss the opinion piece on simple reasons that the state should not spray urban areas. You can also learn more by visiting the California Alliance to Stop the Spray or Stop the Spray. Piedmont also has an apple moth page on its city website.

Please come to the meeting or contact your council members.

Abe Friedman, Mayor afriedman@ci.piedmont.ca.us (510) 654-0409
Dean Barbieri, Vice Mayor dbarbieri@ci.piedmont.ca.us (510) 655-6802
John Chiang jchiang@ci.piedmont.ca.us (510) 655-2959
Garrett Keating gkeating@ci.piedmont.ca.us (510) 566-1481
Margaret Fujioka mfujioka@ci.piedmont.ca.us (510) 682-3419


For a list of cities that have already passed resolutions against the spraying, see the California Coalition of Cities to Stop the Spray and come to the council meeting to urge Piedmont to join the list!

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Public Works Recommends Joining Other Bay Area Cities Opposing Aerial Spraying

Posted by Len Gilbert on March 14, 2008

An article by Linda Davis in today’s Piedmonter says Public Works Director Larry Rosenberg will recommend the city follow suit with other Bay Area cities and oppose aerial spraying for brown apple moth.

The city council is set to discuss spraying in April.

Be heard

  1. E-mail Larry Rosenberg, Piedmont ’s Director of Public Works (lrosenberg@ci.piedmont.ca.us), letting him know that you are very concerned about this untested pesticide being sprayed over our community. He is preparing the City’s response to CDFA’s draft Environmental Impact Report, and in the Post article he invites concerned residents to e-mail him. The City’s letter to CDFA needs to be submitted by March 20, so the time to write him is right NOW! It doesn’t need to be a fancy letter!
  2. Write directly to the CDFA, either to their Light Brown Apple Moth Program at lbam@cdfa.ca.gov (again, a simple message is fine), or make your own comments on their draft Environmental Impact Report by the close of the business day on March 20th by sending an e-mail to jrains@cdfa.ca.gov . (The draft EIR is posted at http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/PHPPS/PDEP/lbam/pdfs/docs/LBAM_NOP_020808.pdf).

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America Recycles Day

Posted by Len Gilbert on November 15, 2007

America Recycles Day is today, Thursday, November 15th.

America Recycles Flag

Good timing, considering Piedmont is about to select a vendor for garbage and recycling services. What are the services you want? Is backyard pickup more important than recycling all those “recyclable” yogurt and sour cream containers that we currently must throw away? Should green waste include food scraps?

Read more about the garbage RFP. Contact the city council with your ideas. Better yet, attend a council meeting.

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