Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in June


Child-Advocates-Silicon-ValleyIt’s warm in the Bay Area this weekend, a preview of the summer ahead. After school is out, and graduations are over, think about helping out  to make our communities just a little nicer and friendlier during this season. Here are five suggestions for the month of June.

1. Speak Up for Children: The nonprofit group  Child Advocates of Silicon Valley is looking for volunteers who are willing to stand up and aid children in the foster care system. More than 100 children are currently on the waiting list for advocate services. Orientations for interested or new volunteers are taking place throughout the month at locations in Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Saratoga, Milpitas, and San Jose. See the group’s orientation page for more information.

2. Enjoy Some Music, Dance, and Food in SF: Kick off your summer with some great music and maybe some dancing in The City. Saturday, June 8, and Sunday, June 9, tap your feet to the beat of the Golden Gate Band Festival, at the Spreckels Temple of Music in Golden [Read more…]

Got Weekend Chores? We All Do on Coastal Cleanup Day


The weekend chores around our homes can wait. The sea is calling. And the bays, creeks, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. The collective “we” left our trash behind in our waterways, and it needs to get cleaned up on Coastal Cleanup Day, Saturday, Sept. 15, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

The great thing about this chore? We get to do it amidst the natural beauty of our shorelines, side-by-side with thousands of neighbors.

Around the world on more than 20,000 miles of coastline, a half a million people are expected to pick up millions of pounds of trash on Coastal Cleanup Day, always held on the third Saturday in September. Last year volunteers recovered more than 9 million pounds, including 2 million pounds of cigarette butts, 1.1 million pounds of caps and lids, just over a million pounds of plastic beverage bottles, and just under a million pounds of plastic bags, according to the Ocean Conservancy.

In California we’re celebrating the 28th anniversary of Coastal Cleanup Day, billed as the largest single volunteer event in the state. According to state officials, more than 82,000 residents took part in 2010, picking up more than a million pounds of debris.

And here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we have a lot of cleanup to do: Save the Bay is expected to release its annual list of “trash hot spots” on Wednesday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, with five waterways listed as the dirtiest in the region. Number one on the list is San Jose’s Coyote Creek, followed by the Damon Slough near Oakland, Baxter Creek in Richmond, San Tomas Aquino Creek in Santa Clara, and the Hayward Shoreline. [Read more…]