COASTAL BEND GROUP SIERRA CLUB
P.O. Box 3512, Corpus Christi, TX 78404
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COASTAL BEND GROUP
OCTOBER NEWS 2006
OUR NEXT COASTAL BEND GROUP SIERRA CLUB MEETINGNovember, 2006 Coastal Bend Group
Nov. 21, 2006
Place: Comanche Library
COMMENTS FROM THE CHAIR - Pat Suter
Summertime is supposed to be vacation time, but this year has been anything but.
Several of our group spent long hours helping with the petititon drive on keeping
the beach at north Padre Island open to vehicular traffic. Specifically, we agreed that
the citizens of this area should vote on the issue of lack of direct access to the south
jetty of Packery Channel. After all, we are paying for the channel and the renourishment
of the beach in front of the seawall. Special thanks go to Joyce Jarmon, Edie Cosgrove,
Mina Williams, Venice Scheurich, Hal Suter, Hank Henry, Sen. Carolos Truan, Pat Suter
for all their work. Now that the city council has again recinded the petitions and called for
a vote in November, MORE WORK IS NEEDED. (see the article below). DONT LET THEM STEAL YOUR BEACH!
Vote Nov. 7th
The Texas Open Beaches Act states that from the sand dunes to the Gulf
waters, the beaches belong to the people of Texas.
When Corpus Christi voters approved spending $10 million of city funds
to build Packery Channel, they were led to believe that the area south of
the channel would be a public park with a 140-space parking lot beside
the south jetty.
Now, a resort developer and landowner have demanded a vehicle ban on
the 7,200 foot long beach from Packery Channel to Padres Balli County
Park, with parking up to a quarter mile from the jetty. They want people
to think they are making the beach safe for pedestrians. Their true
intent is to make the beach difficult for locals to access, so that locals go
somewhere else making it an effectively private beach for most resort
guests. Unfortunately, most City Councilmembers have sided with the
developers over beachgoers on this issue.
The Beach Access Coalition has suggested a compromise of providing
separation between vehicles and pedestrians using bollards (wooden
posts) as has been done in Port Aransas, Mustang Island State Park
and Bob Hall Pier. We were told by the landowner and City Hall that it is
"non-negotiable," meaning they are not willing to compromise.
On November 7th, you will have the opportunity to help decide the future
of this stretch of beach as well as the rest of the Gulf beaches within city
limits. Vote NO to the misleading "pedestrian friendly beach"
and YES to requiring a public election before the City can
close the beach to vehicles.
Dont be misled by slick advertising and clever language. They are
closing your beach for the profit of a few special interests. Dont let
Corpus Christi become another Galveston or South Padre Island.
Our beaches should be open to everyone!
Send donations to:
Beach Access Coalition
c/o Camest West, Treasurer
13941 Man o War Court
Corpus Christi, Texas 78418
REPORT FROM THE LONE STAR POLITICAL COMMITTEE
by Hal Suter
As of this newletters publication the Political Committee of the Lone Star Sierra Club
had made no endorsements for statewide offices in the upcoming General Election this
November, therefore what follows are my personal observations only.
For better or for worse, the onetime party of Teddy Roosevelt, the GOP, is generally
hostile to the environment-certainly to the Sierra Club. This is especially true in Texas.
As a general rule of thumb, an environmentalist should be reluctant to vote for candidates
that often tout their anti-environmental agendas. The possible exception to this rule is
Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst who has worked with environmentalists on environmental
flows and has blocked many of the more blatant anti-environmental legislation that came out of
the Texas House.
The Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Bell has been endorsed by the Texas League of
Conservation Voters. He has released a "HEALTHY TEXAS" Environmental Plan some of the highligts
include appointing more environmentally friendly folk to agencies such as TCEQ, reduce by 90% mercury
emissions from coal buring power plants, ban the importation of nuclear waste, increase funding for
State Parks, and protect air and water quality. Go to http://www.chrisbell.com/issues/environment
and check it out. His views are really quite good.
Things being the way they are in Texas politics this year, some of you might be considering voting for
Kinky Friedman. If you do so you can do so without feeling as though you are shortchanging the environment.
The Kinkster vows to crack down on plluters and is committed to getting Texas to generate 20% of its
electricity form renewable sources by 2020. He is well known for his advocacy of bio-diesel as an alternative
fuel in place of gasoline.
The confusing and convoluted situation that exists in State Representative District 33 began after our
endorsement conference occurred so that there has been no official endorsement yet in that race, either.
However, the Republican candidate Joe McComb has been in his various public offices a consistent foe
of our local Sierra group.
For those who live in State Representatitive District 32 (Aransas, Calhoun, San Patricio cos., Port Aransas,
Padre Island, and parts of Southside Corpus Christi, the Lone Star Sierra Club has endorsed JUAN GARCIA
the Democratic candidate. We were impressed with his answers on how to regulate pollution, use of alternative
energy resources such as the abundant wind in this area, protection and enhancement of our bays and estuaries,
fighting any proposed curtailment of public involvement in environmental permitting, and his commitment to fight
for increased funding for our State Park system. We believe he can join and form a good partnership with District 34 Representative Abel Herrerro and give the Coastal Bend strong environmental representation.
STATE LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES 2007 SESSION TENTATIVE (Adopted 7/2006)
Reduction of toxic and other harmful emissions from industrial plants and electric power
generating plants and prevention of air quality teterioration by a proliferation of new
coal-fired power plants.
* through enactment of legislation to tighten the review and regulation of the health impacts
of air pollution sources and to respond more effectively to the continuing problem of
"upset" air emissions; and
* through a moratorium on permitting of new coal-fired power plants in Texas to allow
a thorough review of the proposed plant technologies and the cumulative air quality
impacts of those plants
Environmental Flow Protection Preservation and provision of instream flows and freshwater inflows to bays and
estuaries necessary to maintain healthy fish and wildlife populations.
* through enactment of legislation establishing a process to determine and to meet
environmental flow needs necessary to maintain a sound ecological environment
in Texas coastal bays & associated river basins
Smart Energy Solutions
More efficient use of energy and increased reliance on renewable energy sources
* through standards for greater energy efficiency for appliances sold in Texas and new buildings
and homes built in Texas; and
* an increase in the renewable standard portfolio of electric power utility providers
State & Local Parks Funding
A dependable source of funding for acquisition, maintenance, and management of
Texas state & local parks to meet growing habitat preservation and outdoor recreation needs
* through raising or eliminating the cap on the revenue from the sporting goods tax that is
allocated to state & local parks, supplementing sporting goods tax revenue with other
fee revenue, and/or pursuing voter approval of bonds adequate to meet park repair and
acquisition needs over the next decade
More efficient use of water by Texas consumers, agricultural producers, businesses,
and institutions through conservation
* through enactment of the legislative recommendations of the Texas Water Conservation
Implementation Task Force, including expansion of existing conservation planning
requirements to a larger number or retail water suppliers
COASTAL BEND SIERRA CLUB October 2006 Meeting Minutes
The Coastal Bend Sierra Club met from 11:30 am until 1:00 pm at the Central Library on Comanche St.
on Tuesday, October 17. Chairperson Pat Suter welcomed members and thanked Kathy Griffiths for her
help with membership records and the newsletter. Pat extended her thanks to Cheryl McGrath for maintaining
our website and for so promptly posting each months minutes. Also, Pat noted that Cheryls daughter, Michelle,
has quickly gained a reputation at TCEQ of being an outstanding inspector.
Teresa Carrillo gave the treasurers report and reminded the group that we had committed $750 to buying a
table for next weeks awards dinner sponsored by the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation. Even with this expenditure,
the club is in sound financial condition.
Lois Huff reported that the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation dinner/auction affair officially begins at 5:00 pm
on the 25th of October. She is confident that the evening will be very enjoyable. She also announced that
Candice Mottet , a Sierra Club member, is a new CBBF employee.
Hal Suter, member of the Lone Star Sierra Executive Committee, reported that the state chapter has endorsed
Chris Bell for governor based upon strong environmental positions regarding coal- burning power plants,
nuclear waste importation, state park funding, and protection of air and water quality. Because of his position
favoring environmental water flows to maintain healthy bays and estuaries and because he has shown a
willingness to work with environmental organizations, Lone Star has endorsed David Dewherst for lieutenant governor.
Juan Garcia has been endorsed over Gene Seaman for state representative in District 32; no candidate is endorsed for
state representative in District 33. Also, endorsements are not being made for county judge and for sheriff.
Hal Suter is serving on the Lone Star nominating committee and recommended that Teresa Carrillos name be
placed on the ballot as an at-large member on the Lone Star executive committee. Teresa agreed to allow
her name to go forward.
Edith Cosgrove, Joyce Jarmon, and Pat Suter serve on various industrial committees dealing with community
health and emergency planning. Joyce has recently been appointed to join Pat Suter and others on the air monitoring
committee. Last week Edie, Joyce, and Pat participated in a tour of one of the local refinery sites and reported that
industries are now beginning to work together in purchasing and using equipment. They were particularly impressed
with the ability of rotating cameras to focus immediately on emission events. They also reported that the Weather Bureau
is beginning to use radar and some cameras to document air quality and emissions on the Texas Coast.
Visit the TCEQ website for current data.
Mina Williams and Venice Scheurich called attention to an October 1st Forum by Carole Allen, Gulf Office Director
of the Sea Turtle Restoration Project, in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, which appeals to Texans to do more to
protect Kemps ridley sea turtles from stranding and death due to commercial fishing and shrimping bycatch.
Venice mentioned that the 2005 Padre Island National Seashore report on the Kemps Ridley Project is now available
and provides detailed nesting and stranding data. Joyce Jarmon inquired about the latest oil/gas explorations on the
National Seashore and Pat Suter said that existing roads would be used for the next drilling project so that beach
driving by equipment trucks should not impact turtles. Pat also stated that she thought staff at the National Park
was doing a commendable job of protecting resources there, but she regrets that the Park Service receives no
financial help from the exploration companies to help defray costs of that protection.
Prior to adjournment, Pat reported that beginning in January, the City of Corpus Christi plans to start offering
incentives for recycling.
Submitted by Venice Scheurich
January 2005 Kemp's Ridley Update by Mina Williams & Venice Scheurich
See The Observer on-line
WATCH THE COASTAL BEND SIERRA CLUB ON CABLE CHANNEL 10 on
WEDNESDAY NIGHTS AT 8:30PM. Galaxie Video does an excellent job of
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COASTAL BEND GROUP
Pat Suter 852-7938 Chairman email@example.com Mina Williams 882-1179 V.Chairman Teresa Carrillo 361-672-4703 Treasurer Venice Scheurich 241-4289 Secretary Hal Suter 852-7938 State Delegate COMMITTEE CHAIRS Venice Scheurich 241-4289 Conservation Bill Alling Air Quality Kathy Griffith 578-5291 Membership/Publicity Hal Suter and Mina
852-7938 Political Hal Suter 852-7938 Walks Hal Suter 852-7938 Rep. to Lone Star Ch. Kathy Griffith 578-5291 Field Trips Teresa Carillo 882-3439 Field Trips Cheryl McGrath Webmaster
Cheryl McGrath Webmaster
ELECTED OFFICIALS ADDRESSES
Hon. Solomon Ortiz
State Rep. ____
House Office Bldg. P.O. Box 2910
Washington, D.C. 20515-4315 Austin, TX 78768-2910
32 Gene Seaman
33 Vilma Luna
34 Abel Herrero
Hon. Kay Bailey Hutchison Sen. John Cornyn
Senate Office Building Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510 Washington, D.C. 20510
Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa Commissioner Jerry Patterson
P.O. Box 12068 GLO 1700 Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 78711 Austin, Texas 78701
Commissioner (Chairman) President George Bush
TCEQ The White House
P.O. Box 13087 Washington, DC
Austin, TX 78711 firstname.lastname@example.org
Coastal Bend Sierra Club E-Mail
This page was last updated on 11/22/06.
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