COASTAL BEND GROUP SIERRA CLUB
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                            P.O. Box 3512, Corpus Christi, TX 78404
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                                     "When we try to pick out anything
                                                by itself, we find it
                                                hitched to everything else
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                               -John Muir


              COASTAL BEND GROUP

OCTOBER NEWS 2006

Important Events

OUR NEXT COASTAL BEND GROUP SIERRA CLUB MEETING
Nov. 21,  2006
Time: 11:30
Place: Comanche Library

November, 2006 Coastal Bend Group
Newsletter Highlights

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).

DON’T 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.

Don’t be misled by slick advertising and clever language. They are
closing your beach for the profit of a few special interests. Don’t 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 newletter’s 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)

Clean Air


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

Water Conservation


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 month’s minutes. Also, Pat noted that Cheryl’s daughter, Michelle,
has quickly gained a reputation at TCEQ of being an outstanding inspector.

Teresa Carrillo gave the treasurer’s report and reminded the group that we had committed $750 to buying a
table for next week’s 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 Carrillo’s 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 Kemp’s 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 Kemp’s 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
producing the show. 

                          COASTAL BEND GROUP

                       EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Pat Suter 852-7938 Chairman
phsuter@stx.rr.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
Williams
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
 
csmcgrath@earthlink.net
             

..........................................................................................................................  

      Addresses:

          ELECTED OFFICIALS ADDRESSES

        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                     president@white-house.gov
                                             
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Coastal Bend Sierra Club E-Mail

This page was last updated on 11/22/06.

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For our families, for our future.

       
A Philosophy of Stewardship               
The Sierra Club's statement of Purpose is:  To explore, enjoy and protect the wild places of the earth; to practice and promote the responsible use of the earth's ecosystems and resources; to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.

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