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BEAUTIFICATION PROJECT ALONG FANCHER CREEK PARKWAY IS MORE THAN A BENEFIT FOR THE COMMUNITY

We found this great story written by Vanessa Vasconcelos on the ABC 30 Website! You can read the story the ABC 30 website by clicking the link or by scrolling down below. http://abc30.com/1815667/

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A 1.3 mile stretch of Fancher Creek is getting a spring spruce up, but it is benefiting more than just those who frequent the trail.

Fifteen members of a Multi-Craft Construction and Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program are gearing up for graduation with a final project.

“What they’re getting is that there are not just jobs out there, there are careers that help them support their family in a manner in which they want to,” said Pat Barr, Work Development Board.

The job training is sponsored by the Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board. The program connects unemployed or dislocated workers with resources to help them rejoin the workforce.

“Most of our men have only done seasonal jobs or have been laid off,” said Barr.

The six week program has a 96-percent graduation rate in a region where skilled workers are in high demand thanks to waves of development projects.

“They’re just trying to get you to be the best you can be to get that job you’re looking for,” said Zachariah Ream, pre-apprentice.

Ream got involved with the pre-apprenticeship program because of unemployment. He moved his family from Florida to the Central Valley to look for work.

Ream said the hands on experience have made it so he is prepared to take on any job.

“We’ve been able to go with sheet metal iron workers, with cement masons, and a couple other disciplines as well, but we’ve been able to see what they have to offer what their benefits are like and what works like.”

The Fancher Creek Parkway project is their final job before graduation. They are helping clear the parkway for future planting with the guidance of Tree Fresno.

There may not be a timeline of when the project will be complete but were already seeing progress along the pathway.

“Hopefully you will see some clearing and the construction of a new trail along the edge of the service road, along with trees that were selected appropriately to this region,” said Lee Ayres, Tree Fresno CEO.

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New air standard for the Valley: Say goodbye to your gasoline-burning car

Fresno Bee – By Mark Grossi

• 99: The number of San Joaquin Valley ozone violations, the most in the country last year.

• 2035: The cleanup deadline for the proposed new eight-hour ozone standard.

• 2023, 2031: The deadlines for two previous eight-hour standards.

• 85% plus: The Valley reduction of oxides of nitrogen needed to make a new standard.

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The San Joaquin Valley has the most federal ozone violations in the country over the last 15 years. The region’s only ozone triumph is achieving an ozone standard that dates back to the 1970s. And that isn’t official yet.

But the future may hold an even bigger struggle as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency prepares a new ozone standard this year that will challenge even some of the cleaner air basins across the country.

For the Valley, it will mean eliminating most fossil-fuel burning vehicles — cars, big-rig trucks, buses — in two decades. The Valley will have to electrify or go to other alternative fuels for everything from tractors to trains, just to have a chance.

“Banning fossil-fuel combustion is not going to happen overnight,” said Seyed Sadredin, executive director of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. “But it will take a huge commitment.”

It is the most dramatic turn for ozone regulation in the Valley, which ranks alongside the South Coast Air Basin as the nation’s most polluted places. Both areas have made cleanup strides, but neither is even close to meeting the more lenient 1997 or 2008 ozone standards.

If the 2008 standard were applied over the last 15 years, the Valley would have had more than 1,800 violations and South Coast 1,705, according to the California Air Resources Board.

The EPA now is proposing to lower the 2008 eight-hour federal ozone threshold from 75 parts per billion to somewhere between 65 and 70 parts per billion. Last year, the Valley breached the 2008 standard 99 times, the most in the nation.

The ozone standard is reviewed every five years and often updated to protect the public, based on latest research. Typically, lawsuits and delays follow. Activists dwell on health issues, and industries worry that tighter standards will harm business.

When the EPA held a hearing in Sacramento last week about the proposed change, the American Forest & Paper Association opposed it. In a statement, Donna Harman, association president and chief executive officer, said voluntary actions by businesses are improving air quality.

“We are concerned that EPA is headed down the path of imposing another costly, more stringent limit that would have a negligible impact on overall air quality,” she said in a statement. “Our mills are in rural areas and offer among the highest-paying jobs in their communities.”

On the other side, activist Rosanna Esparza of Kern County supported the tighter standard, saying children are suffering the most.

“We know that dirty air is altering their genetics and immune systems into adulthood, leaving over 28% of the youth population with asthma today,” she said in a statement. “For us, smog is standing in the way of having a long, fulfilling life in the Central Valley.”

Tenacious problem

Beyond the arguments, ozone remains a tenacious problem in the Valley, which is a natural incubator for the corrosive gas. Ozone forms in heat and sunlight, combining oxides of nitrogen from fuel combustion and reactive organic gases from paint, gasoline and dairies.

With its bowl shape and stagnant weather, the Valley has low tolerance for pollution — it takes far fewer emissions to create a problem here compared to Los Angeles or the Bay Area, where the air basins benefit from ocean breezes.

Sadredin said he sees hope because the Valley has improved. He said the region has finally achieved the old one-hour ozone standard, dating back to the late 1970s, though the district is still discussing official approval with the EPA.

But he worries that federal officials are not giving the Valley enough time for a new standard. It will be 2023 before the Valley achieves the 1997 ozone standard, and 2031 for the 2008, he said.

The proposed new standard, which could be made final in October, would probably set a 2035 deadline, Sadredin said. To meet the standard, the Valley would have to eliminate more than 85% of a key ozone-making gas, called oxides of nitrogen. The gas is created by combustion, such as vehicle engines, fires and industrial boilers.

If fossil-fuel combustion is shut down, alternative energy, such as hydrogen, will have to be established quickly.

“We have no problem with EPA setting a tougher standard, based on science,” Sadredin said.”But we need to be more realistic about the time it will take in the San Joaquin Valley.”

Kern County farmer Tom Frantz, an air quality activist, disagrees. He said the district needs to get tougher on ozone.

“We can do this,” he said. “California has a goal for greenhouse gas levels 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. We’re going to electrify to reach that goal. We need to do this for our health.”

Ozone damages lungs, skin and eyes. It triggers lung problems, such as asthma and bronchitis, as well as heart disease.

A 2008 study by economics professor Jane Hall of California State University, Fullerton showed the Valley would save nearly $90 million annually by achieving the standards at the time.

Though there was no breakdown for the Valley, the EPA estimated nationwide compliance with the 70 ppb threshold nationwide by 2025 would be valued at up to $13 billion in reduced illness, work time lost and early death. For California, the benefits range up to $2 billion for achieving the 70 ppb standard.

The EPA had considered an even more stringent level of 60 ppb. Officials are taking comment on the level, but the agency decided to focus on a range of 65 to 70 ppb.

EPA spokeswoman Enesta Jones said the choice was made based on extensive recent scientific evidence.

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2015/02/07/4367385_new-air-standard-for-the-valley.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
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Oldest Trees Are Growing Faster, Storing More Carbon as They Age

Check out this great article from Science Daily to learn about yet another reason to conserve mature trees and primary growth forests.

Download the attached pdf version or check it out online at:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140115132740.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Latest+Science+News%29

 

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Trail Care Underway!

Sunnyside High School teacher Christi Woods and her team of volunteers enjoy the shade of a magnificent Cork Oak tree
Tree Fresno launched a new Trail Care program on Saturday December 14, 2013 with a volunteer appreciation event along Fancher Creek near Butler Avenue. About 25 people enjoyed walking tours and food.
 
The Sunnyside Property Owners Association, the High Sierra Volunteer Trail Crew, Fresno County and Tree Fresno have entered into a cooperative agreement, approved by the Board of Supervisors on December 10 , 2013, to provide trail care for the Sunnyside Bridle Path from Kings Canyon south to the Railroad, and east to Clovis Avenue – see attached map pdf.
 
Don Damschen and John Walke, SPOA Co-Presidents, presented Lee Ayres, CEO, Tree Fresno with a check for $5,000 for their share of the first year budget. On October 30, 2012, Fresno County hosted a meeting of over 75 residents at Ayer Elementary School to discuss the future of the Sunnyside Bridle Path, including the possibility abandoning the 30′ bridle path easement, a part of the Sunnyside community since 1930. Don observed, “Most of us wanted to keep the Bridle Path. We agreed that night to form a partnership to provide the maintenance and improvements needed. We have worked for over a year to get this venture underway.” Debbie McCann, SPOA Board Secretary and Sue Williams, SPOA Board member, helped lead the walking tours.
 
John Walke, Lee Ayres, Don Damschen & Rick Fleming celebrate the new Trail Care Partnership for the Sunnyside Bridle Path
 
Tree Fresno has enlisted Jim Christian, retired owner of Dave Christian Construction, to begin the tree pruning and removal and underbrush removal in January. Jim and his wife Debbie are contributing $5,000 in cash and services for the first phase. The monthly maintenance and trail improvements will follow.
 
The High Sierra Volunteer Trail Crew is working with Tree Fresno to engage our youth in the trail care program. This will provide opportunities for youth to participate in projects in the National Forests, too. Rick and Marlane Fleming, HSVTC, did the honors with grilling the burgers and serving the meal.
 
 Fresno County has included the Sunnyside Bridle Path in its master trail plan, the Measure C funding plan and the annual budget. Debbie Poochigian, District 5 Supervisor, Alan Weaver, Public Works Director, John Thompson, Resources Director, and David Chavez, Parks Manager, are providing leadership for this project.
 
 Max Younkin and Marian Orvis, Tree Fresno Board members, led the walking tours; Michelle Gallemore, TF Education Coordinator, made a presentation on the Cork Oak tree; Isaac Martinez, TF Resources and Events Coordinator, purchased and served the food; and Eric Mendoza, TF Volunteer Coordinator, welcomed the volunteers.
 
Tiffany Adams and Christi Wood, teachers at Sunnyside High School, led the volunteers who served at the Christmas Tree Lane Walk Nights. They will be participating in the Sunnyside Bridle Path Care program as well.
 
 “This cooperative agreement is expected to be the first of several partnerships to improve the care for trails in the Fresno-Clovis area, a part of the Valley Arboretum. One of the objectives is to develop a low cost maintenance model that will encourage government agencies to proceed with the construction of new trail projects,” Lee Ayres explained.
 
 
 Sunnyside High School teacher Christi Woods and her team of volunteers enjoy the shade of a magnificent Cork Oak tree.
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Christmas Tree Lane Shuttle Buses

When The Lane gets busy, you should get bus-y!

Buy your tickets now for the Christmas Tree Lane Shuttle buses that will pick you up from the end of the lane and drive you to the beginning so that you can walk all the way through, directly to where you parked your car.

See flyer for more details!

If you have any questions contact us via our website or call our office at (559) 221-5556