Tuesday, February 28, 2017

What Causes the Extreme Drought to Flooding in Our Region?

Speaker: Alex Tardy 
Warning Coordination Meteorologist 
NOAA/National Weather Service 
San Diego, California 

Time: 6:30 PM on March 9, 2017
6:00 PM to 6:30 PM Social Period

Location: Temecula Public Library
30600 Pauba Rd, Temecula, CA 92592

Alex Tardy is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist in charge of outreach and partner coordination for NOAA National Weather Service office in San Diego. He started his career at Vermont and Virginia offices and has worked as an operational lead weather forecaster and science, training and technology infusion officer at modern NWS offices in Salt Lake City, Corpus Christi, and Sacramento. He specializes in providing presentations, interpretive services and infusing the latest atmospheric climate conditions and research information in support of decision-makers and preparedness activities. He has worked for the agency for 22 years at the 6 locations. 

Alex is a professional Meteorologist.  He studied Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology at State University of New York, at Albany.

Cell: 858-442-6016  Office: 858-675-8700
Skywarn Program Manager
NOAA/National Weather Service
11440 W. Bernardo Court, San Diego, CA

Friday, February 24, 2017

Regional Transportation Workshop

Electric Commuter Train for Interstate 15/215 Corridor: East Ontario to San Diego via Temecula Valley

Purpose of Transportation Workshop

Discussion for development of a commuter electric train connecting Riverside and San Diego through the Temecula Valley corridor.

Date & Time: Wednesday, October 25, 2017
10:00 AM to 2:00  PM

Location: Ronald H. Roberts Temecula Public Library

30600 Pauba Road
Temecula, Ca. 92592
Temecula, California 

Reasons for Development of a Commuter Electric Train

  • Economic: Jobs, Housing, Schools
  • Environmental: Reduce traffic density, reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Social: Benefits to families and communities
  • Health: Improve air quality, reduce stress, safety

Target Audience
  • Mayors of Cities located on the corridor
  • Political Representatives
  • Riverside Transit Agency
  • San Diego Trolley, Inc. and the Metropolitan Transit System
  • State Agencies
  • County Agencies for Riverside and San Diego
  • Citizen Advisory Committee
  • Environmental Groups

10:00 Michael H. Momeni, Welcome and Introduction

 10:05  Matt Rahn, Mayor Pro-Tem, City of Temecula 

10:20  Eric Ustation, Government Affairs Manager

   Riverside Transit Agency

 10: 30 AM Formal presentations
Five specialists will present a technical, political, and economic basis for the development of a commuter train system.  The speakers will address the following issues:

1. Geotechnical consideration for the development
John Rogers, P.E., F.ASCE Los Angeles Section President

2. Regional geopolitical considerations for the development

 James J. Cunningham, Senior Partner of the Law Offices of J. Cunningham

3.  The Next Generation Rail Study and the Countywide Long Range Transportation Plan 
John Standiford, Deputy Executive Officer, Multi-Modal Service, Riverside County. 

12:00 PM (noon) lunch and intermission ( lunch and beverage would be provided,
                hostess: Jo Ann Momeni) 

12:30 PM: continuation of the formal presentations

4. Los Angeles-San Bernardino Inter-County Transit and Rail Planning Study
Stephen G. Fox, Project Manager, SCAG

5. High-Speed Rail Development from Ontario to San Diego
Michelle Boehm Southern California Regional Director California High-Speed Rail Authority

1:30 PM to 1:55 PM  panel discussion, questions, and answers

2:00 PM End of the Workshop

Workshop Organizer:  Michael H. Momeni, 

under the auspices of Sierra Club, Santa Margarita Group 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve: Hike Schedule

From: The Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve Docents

Hello fellow hikers,

We appreciate your RSVP via e-mail so we know who is coming and can notify you of any weather-related changes.  Please email us to to Beth Cobb at:


The followings are dates for upcoming hikes and bird walks on the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve:

·               Saturday, January 21      Temecula Gorge Hike
·               Saturday, February 18     Highlands Hike
·               Sunday, March 5              Temecula Gorge Hike
·               Sunday, March 12            New Chaparral  Hike
·               Saturday, March 25          PJ's Bird Walk
·               Saturday,  April 8              Highlands Hike
·               Sunday, April 9                 PJ's Bird Walk
·               Sunday, April 23               Temecula Gorge Hike
·               Sunday, May 7                  New Chaparral Hike
·               Saturday, May 20             Temecula Gorge Hike 

Note:  Due to heat we do not have scheduled hikes during the summer months 
We look forward to getting out on the trail and hope to see you out there!
The Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve Docents

Temecula Gorge Hike Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve

Saturday January 21, 2017 Sunday March 5, 2017 Sunday April 23, 2017 Saturday May 20, 2017

All hikes begin promptly at 8:00 am

This hike is 61⁄2 miles with a 1,400 feet elevation gain and loss, from the Reserve’s South Field Station to the Temecula Gorge and back.
This moderate hike is on a dirt road with several challenging hills that winds through an avocado orchard, shady oak woodlands, chaparral and finally down into the riparian area of the Santa Margarita river.

We do need to know who is coming so please RSVP via email to Beth Cobb at smerdocenthikes@gmail.com.

Docent-led hikes are a fun way to visit this special place which is not open to the public. In addition to protecting local flora and fauna, the Reserve provides environmental research opportunities for students and researchers worldwide.

Directions to the South Field Station Entrance

  1. Take the Mission Road exit on I-15 and follow Mission Road west toward Fallbrook. Drive 1.6 miles to Willow Glen Road and turn right.
  2. After 2.2 miles, Willow Glen Road intersects with Stage Coach Lane and turns into a dirt road, virtually at the River.
  3. Turn right (your only option) onto Stage Coach Lane and drive 1.7 miles to the locked gate of the Reserve. The gate will be opened for tour participants, who will park in a dirt parking lot at the entrance to the citrus grove, about a half mile past the gate.

• You MUST go down WILLOW GLEN ROAD to get to the reserve. Very often GPS will send you in a wrong direction.
• The dirt road that parallels the river is beautiful but winding and slow driving.
• We start promptly at 8:00. Please allow 25 minutes to drive from the 15 Freeway / Mission Road off-ramp to the Reserve trailhead.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Rock Tanks Loop Hike

Bob Audibert

I just want to remind anyone interested in my Rock Tanks Loop Hike it is coming up this Saturday.  Although we are getting rain this week in most of the area the Borrego Springs area will stay dry all week.  Gary and I scouted the hike last Friday and the trails were not damaged by the previous storms.  So come out and join us.  I am pasting my write up below for details.

Feb. 11 (Sat.) 9AM  Rock Tanks Loop Hike
  join me on a 6.4 mile hike in the Anza- Borrego Desert.  This hike is moderately strenuous with 1300' gain/loss.  We will use both a desert jeep trail and an American Indian path past a prehistoric Wonderstone mine on our way to the rock tanks.  We will hike back through Smoke Tree Canyon.  Because we get back to the road 1.6 miles east of where we start we will use a car to shuttle back to trail head.  Please bring at least 3 qts of water, a lunch, sturdy hiking shoes with good traction. Dress in layers and don't forget a hat and sunscreen.  I would strongly suggest wearing long pants and a long sleeve shirt.  The trail is narrow in places with cactus and ocotillo near enough to brush against.  Directions:  From Borrego springs, follow Highway S-22 (Palm Canyon Drive, Pegleg Road and Borrego Salton Seaway) generally east for about 14 miles to mile 32.9, where Palo Verde Wash crosses Borrego Salton Seaway.  Park off the pavement.  Please register for this hike by contacting Bob Audibert at bob.takeahike1@gmail.com or (951) 302-1059.  Rain Cancels. For a more detailed hike description  please visit our Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/SierraClubSantaMargaritaGroup/.   Go to the events page, click on the Rock Tanks Loop Hike.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Sierra Santa Margarita Group: Valentine Celebration February 12, 2017

See you all there at Macaroni Grill in Temecula!  

Please RSVP to Pam Nelson.  

Palm and Pine Report, February 1, 2017: summary of our activities

Sierra Santa Margarita Group
Michael H. Momeni, PhD
Environmental Nuclear Scientist

Déjà vu 1982
All Federal and State elections have environmental consequences.  Unless we are proactive, we will lose our protected national and state parks, and the public lands. The changes may open these cherished nation heritages to commercial exploitation.  These actions would be nicely couched in mantra of creating job, or energy-independence using the natural resources located on the public lands.

I remember it well!  As our previous experience during 1967 to 1975 in California, and then again during January 1982 to 1989 indicates, the institutions that have protected our air and water (EPA), labor safety (OSHA), and our national forests and public lands (Department of Interior) all will be made ineffective by cutting their budgets, eliminating the important regulations such as 40CFR Code of Federal Regulations, and by reducing their technical staff.  The assault on the institutions of higher education and the intellectual cadre of our society was the low mark of the 1982-1989 periods.

We may argue against the outcome of the 2016 election. Where did we go wrong?  But, for now, we can’t back down; we have to protect our air, water and our public lands.

The transportation corridor from Ontario to San Diego has exceeded the highway carrying capacity.  Increasing the number of lanes will briefly alter the present congestion and but will only increase air pollution problems. The population of the southern California has been increasing for decades. It will increase because of demand for new developments.
To remedy the problem, jointly we must expand both the existing mass-transit system and create rapid electric trains from Ontario to San Diego.  The train tracks could be placed between the north and south bound traffics on Highway15.  This option would be cost-effective, would reduce commuter travel time; but more importantly, it will reduce the impact of noxious exhaust on public health by improving the air quality in Temecula valley.

Members of the Transportation Task Group from the Santa Margarita Sierra Club have regularly attended the monthly Transportation-Now conference of the Riverside Transit Agency. We are looking forward to working with Joseph Morabito, representing the Southwest Transportation-Now group, to advance the expansion of Mass-transit system within the Southern California region.

Altair Development Complex in Temecula
Altair Specific Plan, Draft Environmental Impact Report SCH No. 2014111029 was reviewed. The results the Review of Altair Specific Plan, Draft Environmental Impact Report SCH No. 2014111029, is posted as:

The Land and People of the Santa Margarita Watershed
Eleanora Robbins
was our speaker on our January monthly meeting. Her fascinating lecture centered on the geology of the Santa Margarita watershed. She said, in some respects it resembles many characteristics of the East African Rift Valley.  The cities of Temecula and Murrieta lie in a tectonically active rift. 
The background of Dr. Robbins is fascinating.  She started her professional career in the Peace Corps as a geologist with the Geological Survey of Tanzania; on vacation, she mapped in the East African Rift Valley for Lewis Leakey.  Then she was a researcher for the US Geological Survey for 34 years, working on mineral deposits, coal, and petroleum.  In San Diego, she served as adjunct faculty for 14 years at San Diego State Univ.  Her current research on the sulfur cycle of the San Diego River is with the San Diego River Park Foundation.

Gary Marsalone and Robert Bob Audibert guided two tours:

  • Eureka Peak Hike, December 3, 2016; and Sierra Santa Margarita Hike: West Side Loop
  • Trail, Joshua Tree National Park, January 14, 2017.

Christmas Holiday Celebration

We had a very joyous holiday celebration at the scenic Vail Lake Resort just east of Temecula.  The music (Caren Hanson) and sing along Christmas carols lead by Elena Garcia “Joy to the world... and heaven and nature sing...the resounding joy...” We enjoyed hayride on open wagon; it was a reminiscent of experience some of us have enjoyed a long time ago. I still remember my first hayride; I was a junior high teacher.  We all brought a dish to share: salads, cookies and cakes. The pizza and barbecued pulled chicken were among the hot items.

I think we all had a good time.   

Planned Events
Earth Day: The Sierra Club is planning an Earth Day Celebration Fair.  Earth Day is Saturday, April 22nd. The details are at the planning stage.  Caren Hanson is the event coordinator.
Outreach to Children: Caren Hanson has been organizing outreach to children in elementary schools in Temecula. She has collaborated with ‘Kids4Birds to donate hummingbird feeders to schools, arrange visit to the classroom to discuss correct feeding of birds.  Caren loves birds and wants to instill the same love in children.

February 9, monthly meeting: Brenda de Luna will be the speaker; the topic is “Youth Speakers on the Environment”. She will bring her students that have been working on community environmental education through a speaker program.
Valentine's Party: We will celebrate 2017 Valentine Day on February, 12.  Our club members will meet for dinner at the Macaroni Grill in Temecula.