Wednesday, August 30, 2006

"CA to cap greenhouse gas emissions"

By SAMANTHA YOUNG, Associated Press Writer

SACRAMENTO - California would become the first state to impose a limit on all greenhouse gas emissions, including those from industrial plants, under a landmark deal reached Wednesday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative Democrats.

The agreement marks a clear break with the Bush administration and puts California on a path to reducing its emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by an estimated 25 percent by 2020.

The bill still needs lawmakers' approval, but that appears likely, given that Democrats control the Legislature.

It gives Schwarzenegger a key environmental victory as he seeks re-election this fall.

"We can now move forward with developing a market-based system that makes California a world leader in the effort to reduce carbon emissions," the governor said in a statement.

The bill would require the state's major industries — such as utility plants, oil and gas refineries, and cement kilns — to reduce their emissions of the pollutants widely believed to contribute to global warming.

The key mechanism driving the reductions would be a market program allowing businesses to buy, sell and trade emission credits with other companies.

The agreement came after weeks of difficult negotiations and was announced by the governor's office and Steve Maviglio, spokesman for Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, a Los Angeles Democrat.

The bill was praised by environmentalists as a step toward fighting global climate change but criticized by some business leaders, who say it would increase their costs and force them to scale back their California operations.

Republicans in the Legislature say climate change should be addressed at the national level, not on a state-by-state basis.

"Adopting costly and unattainable regulations will drive businesses and jobs out of California into other states and even into other countries with no commitment to improve air quality," said Assembly Republican leader George Plescia, a LaJolla Republican.

Schwarzenegger and the Legislature's Democratic leadership have embraced a cap on vehicle and industry emissions as a way to make California a trendsetter in fighting global warming.

The nation's most populous state is the world's 12th-largest emitter of greenhouse gases and could suffer dire consequences if global temperatures increase only a few degrees. Reports by state agencies indicate that a 2- to 3-degree rise in temperature could melt the Sierra Nevada snowpack earlier each year, leading to flooding in the Central Valley and threatening the state's long-term water supply for cities and farms.

Schwarzenegger has tried to position himself as a leader on the issue. Last year, he issued an executive order calling for the state to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 2000 levels by 2010, 1990 levels by 2020 and to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

He organized a team that recommended a statewide cap and last month signed an accord with British Prime Minister

Tony Blair in which California and Britain will work together to research cleaner-burning fuels and technologies.

During the negotiations over the California cap, Schwarzenegger sought to appease his supporters in the business community by arguing for safeguards for the industries that would be most affected.

Administration officials have spent weeks seeking assurances that any legislation would require a market program similar to those in the
European Union' name. The idea would allow businesses to buy, sell or trade emission credits with other companies instead of making their own reductions if those cuts were considered too costly or technology difficult.
Such a program could help industries that may not be able to meet their targets through energy efficiency practices or the use of alternative fuels.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060830/ap_on_re_us/global_warming

YAY to California! (and yay to San Francisco too, just because SF is cool)

Monday, August 28, 2006

Earthquake Insurance?!?

Today, as we were opening our mail, we got an offer for EARTHQUAKE INSURANCE. Chris and I had to laugh and wanted to share this with you. Only in San Francisco!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Our San Francisco Calendar of Events

We're busy people these next few months. Check out our calendar & come join the fun!

SEPTEMBER

Rockridge Street Fair -- Date TBA, Berkeley
Food from Market Hall, live music, dancing, free yoga classes, clowns, fashion shows and street performers. Bay Area food authors sign books and offer sample recipes and ingredients.
Information: www.rockridgedistrict.com

Sausalito Art Festival -- Sep 1-4
More than 20,000 original works of art, music, and food. At the
Bay Model Visitor Center and Marinship Park.
Information: www.sausalitoartfestival.org

Discover the World with Lonely Planet: A Celebration of National Passport Month

Saturday, September 2, 2006, 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM

PIER 39 invites Bay Area residents and visitors to Discover the World with Lonely Planet: A Celebration of National Passport Month on Saturday, September 2 from noon – 4:00 PM. Lonely Planet, an international travel media company, will offer attendees free passport photos from 1:00 – 3:00 PM and the first 100 visitors will receive a copy of The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World. Additionally, PIER 39 guests will have the chance to meet Lonely Planet travel authors and win a two-night Hawaiian vacation, courtesy of Shell Vacations. For East Bay commuters, expanded Alameda/Oakland ferry services on Blue & Gold Fleet during Labor Day weekend will provide hourly departures. Discover the World with Lonely Planet: A Celebration of National Passport Month is proudly sponsored by Lonely Planet, Chase Paymentech, Shell Vacations and The Examiner.

Information: http://www.pier39.com/Events/events.htm

Art & Soul Festival -- Sep 2-4, Oakland
This free multi-block party in the heart of
Oakland's revived downtown district celebrates the city's rich cultural and artistic diversity and features a line-up of noted national and local musicians, authors, filmmakers, artists and dancers.
Information: www.artandsouloakland.com

San Francisco Fringe Festival -- Sep 6-17
A revolving collection of non-juried, uncensored absurdist and experimental theater pieces at the Exit Theatre and other downtown stages.
Information: www.sffringe.org

Seventh Annual Power to the Peaceful Festival -- Sep 9, SF
Free festival and concert in
Golden Gate Park.
Information: www.powertothepeaceful.org

Opera in the Park -- Sep 10, SF
SF Opera's annual free outdoor concert features arias and operatic excerpts by current artists of San Francisco Opera accompanied by the acclaimed San Francisco Opera Orchestra. In Sharon Meadow,
Golden Gate Park.
Information: www.sfopera.com

Kronos Quartet - Sep 11; 8:00pm
One of the best-known chamber ensembles, the Kronos Quartet, will perform the West Coast premiere of
Michael Gordon's The Sad Park. The program also features work by Iraqi, Afghan, Sardinian, and Saudi Arabian
composers. The
Sad Park features recordings of children's reactions to the 9/11 tragedy, and it forms the
centerpiece for a program that explores the commonalities and differences between music of the
US and
the
Middle East.
Information:
www.performances.org

How Berkeley Can You Be? -- Sep 17, Berkeley
Parade, outdoor stages with live music and dance, food and drink booths, crafts, non-profits, and children's activities.
Information: www.howberkeleycanyoube.com

San Francisco Symphony in the Gardens -- Sep 22, SF
The world famous San Francisco Symphony, under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, returns to the Gardens for their annual performance of audience favorites. Free.
Information: www.ybgf.org

Download Festival -- Sep 30

The British invasion expands as the premier UK music and technology festival and the biggest event on the UK rock calendar, Download, celebrates its fourth year in 2006 with expansion in the US including Shoreline Amphitheatre, San Francisco on September 30th.

http://www.downloadfestival.com/2006/main.html

Bay Area Paddlefest -- Sep 30-Oct 1, San Mateo
The Paddlefest brings together many of Northern California's reigning experts in canoeing, sea kayaking, paddle racing and kayak touring, as well as teachers of special activities such as angling or birdwatching from these versatile watercraft. PaddleFest participants will be able to take workshops and classes, check out new models of demo boats of all types, and even engage in a sea kayak race with divisions for beginners or experts.
Information: www.bayareapaddlefest.com

OCTOBER

In the Street Festival -- Date TBA, SF
Featuring performers, artists and musicians including dance (belly, butoh, lindy, and hip hop), capoeira, visual arts, circus performance, women's skateboarding, burlesque, puppetry, fire arts, fire sculpture, spoken word, and aerial performance art. The festival is 100% non-commercial: the admission is free, and the festival is vendorless. On the 500 block of
Ellis Street, between Hyde and Leavenworth.

Information: luggagestoregallery.org

Castro Street Fair -- Oct 1, SF
San Francisco's famous gay neighborhood gets dressed up to celebrate its heritage with this street fair featuring arts and crafts, music, dancing, and food. Castro and Market Streets, San Francisco.
Information: www.castrostreetfair.org

Emmylou Harris - Wednesday, October 4, 7:30

Mountain Winery

14831 Pierce Road

Saratoga, CA 95070

408.741.2822

http://www.livenation.com/event/getEvent/eventId/218121/

SF Open Studios Private Preview Gala - Thursday, October 5, 2006 (6:00 PM - 9:30 PM)

SomArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan
Art patrons, collectors, and artists gather at a special Private Preview Gala benefit
Thursday, October 5th, 2006 to kick-off the 31st Annual San Francisco Open Studios. This artful evening offers collectors and enthusiasts an exclusive first look at original works of art by over 380 local artists, accompanied by live music, creative cocktails, eclectic treats, a live auction and artist demonstration.

Information: http://www.artspan.org/privatepreview06.php

Spice of Life Festival -- Oct 8, Berkeley
This festival in
Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto features food exhibits and demonstrations by merchants, chefs and restaurants, as well as live jazz, blues, gospel and bluegrass music, original arts and crafts booths, an organic farmers' market and pumpkin patch, a petting zoo, puppet shows, pony rides, a health and wellness pavilion and book readings and signings.
Information: www.northshattuckassociation.org or www.sresproductions.com/events.html

Oktoberfest By The Bay -- Oct 12-15, SF
A four-day celebration of German heritage and beer, with a Bavarian band and traditional food.
Information: www.oktoberfestbythebay.com

3-D Film Festival, Oct 13-19

Information: http://www.thecastrotheatre.com/

Hands on Bay Area Day -- Oct 14
Volunteer at one of over 75 service projects, everything from painting schools to preparing meals for the homeless, benefiting people in need of all ages and backgrounds. Registration for the event is free, but Hands On Bay Area Day is a serve-a-thon. Like a walk-a-thon, volunteers contact friends, family and co-workers to donate in support of their community service.
Information: www.handsonbayarea.org

San Francisco Jazz Festival -- Oct 20-Nov 12
Two weeks of jazz concerts in venues throughout
San Francisco and the Bay Area. Features dozens of events, including commissions of new works by contemporary artists, unique "Jazz on Film" presentations, family matinee concerts, dance performances, and photography exhibits.
Information: www.sfjazz.org

Bridge School Benefit -- Oct 21-22, Mountain View

The annual (except for 1987) Bridge School Benefit concert has been a highlight of the Bay Area's fall music schedule. And it provides a major source of funding for the Bridge School, to boot! A great combination of good entertainment and a good cause.

Information: http://www.bridgeschool.org/events.html

Exotic Erotic Ball -- Oct 27-28, Daly City
The world's largest indoor masquerade ball, featuring scantily-clad and outrageously attired revelers. 21 years and over only. At the
San Francisco Cow Palace.
Information: (415) 404-4111 or www.exoticeroticball.com

Halloween In The Castro -- Oct 31, SF
It's world-renowned, and it's an "only in
San Francisco" version of Halloween. An estimated 20,000 celebrants flock to the Castro for one of the world's largest costume parties. No drinking in the street, and no objects that could be considered weapons, such as pirate's swords, daggers, or any other costume props that could be used as weapons. Starts at 7pm. On Market Street between Castro and Church. A suggested $3 donation is collected at entry points.
Information: www.marchoflight.org

David Sedaris - Tuesday, October 31

Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

307 Church St.

Santa Cruz, CA 95060

http://www.livenation.com/event/getEvent/eventId/227985/

NOVEMBER

Film Arts Festival of Independent Cinema -- Dates TBA, SF
Screenings of features, documentaries and short films by local artists.
Information: www.filmarts.org or (415) 552-3456

Voxtrot – Nov 4, 9 pm

With one foot in the library and the other on the dancefloor, Voxtrot combine classic 60's pop (think Love and Left Banke) with the heady, subversive sounds of 80's Britain and still come out ahead of their time. Originally conceived as an outlet for vocalist Ramesh Srivastava to record a handful of songs he had written, it soon became apparent that Voxtrot was meant to be more than a home recording project.

With Sound Team at Great American Music Hall

Information: http://www.voxtrot.net/page1.htm

San Francisco Green Festival – Nov 10-12

At the Green Festivals, we're celebrating what's working in our communities, for people, for businesses and for the environment. Here, green means safe, healthy communities and strong, local economies. Green is the color of hope, of social and economic justice, of ecological balance.

Join us for these huge parties with a purpose. You'll enjoy more than 200 visionary speakers and 400 green businesses in each city, great how-to workshops, green films, yoga and movement classes, green careers sessions, organic beer and wine, delicious organic cuisine and live music.

Information: http://www.greenfestivals.org/content/view/7/29/

San Francisco International Automobile Show -- Nov 18-26, SF
Vintage, state-of-the-art and futuristic vehicles from around the world. Auto-related demonstrations, exhibits and activities for children.
Information: www.sfautoshow.com


My nephew was just baptised!





It's been a while since I last posted, mostly because I was in New York for three weeks visiting my family. My brother, Pablo, his wife, Karen, and 5-month baby, Neil, were in town for 24 days visiting from Lyon, France. The whole Chaozon clan had a wonderful time spoiling the baby rotten!

Here are some pictures of Neil Mansell. Yes, he looks ginormous but I kid you not, this "baby" is only 5-months old, though he is bigger than my cousin's one-year. Maybe he'll be a basketball player when he grows up, just like Yao Ming...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Whoa - was that the ground shaking?


Last night, as Christopher was relaxing after work, sitting in front of the computer, he felt his first ever earthquake! Even though it was a pretty big one with a magnitude of 4.72 (42 miles north of San Francisco), he wasn't at all scared. The ground felt like a waterbed for about 6 or 7 seconds, and then, there was a brief aftershock after a pause. Thereafter, everything was back to normal. Though 6 seconds don't sound like a lot of time, try stumbling about while counting to 6.


Check out his first quake on the usgs links below:
http://quake.usgs.gov/recenteqs/latest.htm
http://quake.wr.usgs.gov/recenteqs/Quakes/nc40187964.htm