Reward increased to $7,500 for information on killing of endangered California wolf

“The Center for Biological Diversity increased to $7,500 the reward for information leading to a conviction for the illegal killing of a radio-collared wolf in California, OR-59, who had traveled there from Oregon in December 2018,” the organization announced today.

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a $2,500 reward this week, and the Center is boosting the amount by $5,000. The Service reward announcement publicly revealed for the first time this week that the wolf’s death in 2018 was an unlawful shooting.

“’We grieve the senseless and illegal killing of this precious wolf,’ said Amaroq Weiss, a West Coast wolf advocate at the Center. ‘This loss is a terrible blow to wolf conservation in California. It underscores why our endangered wolves need the strongest possible protection at both state and federal levels.’

“This most recent killing is one of several dozen in recent years jeopardizing the recovery of West Coast wolves in California, Oregon and Washington.

“OR-59, a 1.5-year-old radio-collared male wolf from Oregon, moved into California in early December 2018. On Dec. 5, a rancher observed the wolf feeding on a calf carcass in northern Lassen County, but an investigation showed the wolf had not killed the livestock. After OR-59’s radio collar emitted a mortality signal, state wildlife officers found OR-59 dead along County Road 91 in Modoc County. A formal investigation by the Service revealed the animal had been illegally shot and killed with a .22 caliber weapon.

“Anyone with information about the shooting should contact the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement, Sacramento Field Office, at (916) 569-8444.

‘”We can’t let poachers deny future generations their opportunity to see these incredible animals in the wild,’ Weiss said. ‘Whatever you think of wolves, poaching is wrong and cowardly. We hope someone steps forward with information leading to the killer’s prosecution.’”


“Fewer than a dozen known wolves now live in California, including a few lone wolves and the Lassen pack. The Lassen pack was confirmed in 2017 and ranges through Lassen and Plumas counties.

“The seven-member, all-black Shasta pack, the state’s first in nearly 100 years, disappeared from Siskiyou County within months after its discovery in 2015, following the pack’s implications in two livestock casualties and amid fears of poaching.

“California’s wolves were wiped out in the early 1900s by a nationwide, government-sponsored eradication program on behalf of the livestock industry. Wolves began to return to Oregon and Washington in the 2000s, and in 2011, a wolf from Oregon made his way into California, becoming the first confirmed wild wolf here in nearly 90 years. Since then several other wolves have ventured into California from Oregon.

“Gray wolves are protected as an endangered species under state and federal law. The maximum penalty for violating the federal Endangered Species Act is one year in jail and a $100,000 fine per individual.”

This wolf is a member of Oregon’s Wenaha pack. Photo from Feb. 2017, courtesy of ODFW

NYT: Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she no longer has pancreatic cancer

“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose health has become a preoccupation of the American public as the Supreme Court hews rightward under President Trump, announced this week that she was cancer-free,” The New York Times is reporting.

“Justice Ginsburg, 86, one of four liberal justices on the nine-member court, told CNN in a wide-ranging interview on Tuesday that treatment for a malignant tumor on her pancreas had been successful.

“Her doctors discovered the tumor in July after a routine blood test, and a biopsy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City confirmed a localized malignant tumor.

“’I’m cancer-free,’ Justice Ginsburg said in the interview, adding that she had resumed an active schedule. ‘That’s good.’”

The rest of the article is here.

Revisiting Grace Cathedral on Nob Hill

We enjoyed revisiting Grace Cathedral, San Francisco on Nob Hill this afternoon. The Cathedral includes a replica of the Ghiberti Doors at the Duomo in Florence. The completion of the original Doors, in 1452, marked the beginning of the Italian renaissance.

We often attended Easter services at Grace, followed by brunch at Big 4 Restaurant at the Huntington Hotel. Chronicle columnist Herb Caen’s memorial was held at Grace Cathedral in 1997. 

Revisiting my old stomping grounds in the New Year

SAN FRANCISCO – A room with a view! We are ringing in the New Year in my old neighborhood on Nob Hill. 

When I joined The San Francisco Chronicle in 1985, after working at the South Florida Sun Sentinel out of graduate school at Medill – Northwestern University, I rented a studio apartment at 1146 Taylor St.

Looking out the window of our room this weekend at the Huntington Hotel, my apartment was just beyond the park in the next block. I rode the cable car to work, riding down Powell St. past Union Square to The Chronicle at Fifth and Mission.

Grace Cathedral, San Francisco is across from Collis P. Huntington Park on the left side of Taylor St. And The Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, is just to the right of the park. Herb Caen lived in the Brocklebank Building, also to the right of the park. Good memories! Good times!

First-ever female piloted B-2 stealth bomber flyover kicks off Rose Parade, new decade

The first-ever female piloted B-2 stealth bomber flyover kicks off Rose Parade, new decade! This video is from our dear friend Anita Minard​, whose home is within walking distance of the parade route.

“United States Air Force Lt. Col. Nicola ‘Nicky’ Polidor makes history in Pasadena on New Year’s Day as the first female pilot ever to fly the B2 Stealth bomber over the opening of the Rose Parade.

“The B-2 flyover has become a 15-year annual highlight as the Rose Parade steps off.

“A California native, Polidor, who goes by the call sign ‘Rogue,’ became an aviator in 2004 a few months after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy. In 2011, she became the sixth woman to pilot the B-2 bomber, the world’s most advanced aircraft.”

More details here.

Coming "full circle": Growing up with the Rose Parade and now, Foothill Flowers in GV

We enjoy watching the Tournament of Roses Parade every year — sometimes with a mimosa in hand and a roaring fire in the fireplace, and other years, getting out of bed barely in time for the Parade’s start at 8 a.m.

The Parade has a special meaning because I was born in Pasadena (at the Huntington Memorial Hospital on 3/15/59), the city where it is held. I grew up in neighboring San Marino until I was a “tween.” Shannon also grew up in the L.A. area, so the Parade has longtime memories for both of us.

Members of Pasadena’s Valley Hunt Club first staged the Rose Parade in 1890. Since then, it has been held in Pasadena every New Year’s Day, except when January 1 falls on a Sunday. (In that case, it is held on the subsequent Monday, January 2).

Our family has enjoyed going to the Rose Parade a few times over the years, even though it involves getting up before the crack of dawn, in winter, to find a parking spot and find a decent spot for viewing. In some instances, we caved and sprung for seats in the grandstands, complete with paid parking. It was a more “civil” experience.

A favorite childhood memory was seeing the community volunteers helping to build the floats before the parade, in nondescript buildings scattered throughout the city, as well as viewing them in the Tournament of Roses park after the parade. Pasadena also is home to Cal Tech, which is within walking distance of the parade route and is a longtime parade supporter.

When we moved to Nevada City over a decade ago, it was like coming full circle. We soon learned that Todd Johnson, whose family owns Foothill Flowers in Grass Valley, regularly traveled to Pasadena to work on the floats. We are regulars at Foothill Flowers and love Todd and his family. (Foothill Flowers reminds us of our favorite florist in Pasadena, Jacob Maarse).

This year, Todd worked on two floats, according to his Facebook page The “Dig Alert” and AIDS Foundation “Hope for the Homeless” parade floats (see below).

Todd Johnson working on Rose Parade floats this year. (Credit: Todd’s Facebook page)

"49ers just won’t quit in nail-biting classic win at Seattle"

“The 49ers’ magic-carpet ride to the Super Bowl hit some very bumpy air Sunday night over this lovely but menacing city, but the carpet survived, a bit tattered, and the crazy ride continues,” columnist Scott Ostler writes in The San Francisco Chronicle.

“The 49ers didn’t win this one (26-21) as much as they survived it, with an epic defensive stand inside the last two minutes.

“But a W is a W. Slice it and dice the situation any way you care to, the 49ers beat the Seahawks, in Seattle, under the hottest spotlight of the NFL season, in a game that meant oh so much.

Some will say the 49ers were lucky. But it wasn’t luck that tackled Seattle tight end Jacob Hollister six inches short of the goalline on the Seahawks’ last play. It was linebacker Dre Greenlaw. Meet the newest 49ers’ hero.

“The Seahawks put up a classic Rockyesque fight. That’s to their credit, not a mark against the 49ers.

“Now, as they say at the crowded deli: ‘Next!’”

The rest of the article is here.