Monday, November 12, 2007

Mayor Missing But Volunteers Finally Getting Organized

Where is our newly re-elected mayor, Gavin Newsom? At the volunteer meeting on Saturday, someone made a reference to Bevan Dufty as acting mayor while Newsom was unavailable. Huh? I wasn't sure if I heard correctly but it has been confirmed by other news source. Yet, nobody is actually reporting on where he is. Do they have some sort of arrangement? It's weird. And the lack of leadership around here definitely contributed to the abysmal organization (or lack thereof) of volunteers immediately after the spill. While citizens were watching their beaches fill up with oil tar-balls, the official word was to stay away from the beaches and some people cleaning up the mess were actually arrested.

Now at last the Dept of Fish & Game and the EPA are offering some training Monday morning for volunteers who wish to help in the clean-up (but only for a total of about 250 people). My suggestion is that they put this info online, and just have a quick in-person discussion or test to make sure people understand the procedures. Baykeeper, whose mission is to "protect and enhance the water quality of the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary and its tributaries for the benefit of its ecosystems and human communities," is sending out a newsletter with updates on organized volunteer activities. Also, the city of San Francisco has set up a page on its 311 site to give instructions on volunteer activities.

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