September 1, 2003

SINBAD CREEK HAS BEEN a vital element in the Sunol environment for as long as there has been a Sunol. In the center of town Sinbad flows into the Alameda Creek, which, if you happen to be a steelhead trout or a salmon, is on your map to life in the San Francisco Bay. I bring this up to emphasize the importance of the mission of the Alameda Creek Alliance to all Sunolians and, for that matter, all the folks in the Bay Area.

I know I've talked about ACA before, but in case you don't know about its valuable work, ACA is a community watershed group dedicated to protecting and restoring the natural ecosystems of the Alameda Creek watershed. Its primary mission is protecting and improving habitat for endangered, threatened, and sensitive native species.

ACA's immediate focus is restoring runs of steelhead trout and salmon attempting to ascend Alameda Creek to spawn and to ensure self-sustaining populations of these fish. This involves working to remove or modify barriers to fish migration and to supply adequate water flows for spawning, rearing and out-migration of juvenile smolts to the Bay.

Participation in the organization is on an individual basis, not as a representative of any agency, business, or political group. Next month at the ACA membership meeting on October 28 at 7 p.m. in the Sunol Glen Community Room, there will be an election to choose the organization's Board of Directors. Jeff Miller, ACA Director, has put together an interim board, which is currently working on incorporating the ACA as a non-profit organization and creating the bylaws of the organization.

The interim board consists of Jeff, Derrell Bridgman, Rich Cimino, Brendan Cummings, Larry Dennis, Peggy Olofson and Scott Taylor. The long-term purpose of the Board is to provide vision and strategic direction for ACA, hire and direct the activities of any staff, organize volunteer committees, and help fundraise and do outreach for the organization.

All ACA members will be able to vote for Board members at the October 28 meeting or by mail or e-mail prior to the meeting. If you're not sure if you are an ACA member or not, or wish to join, please contact Jeff at 510-845-2233, by mail at P. O. Box 192 Canyon, CA 94516, or through ACA's web site at http://www.alamedacreek.org. You can become a member up to the day before the meeting and still vote. Ballots with candidate statements will be sent to all current members about a month before the election.

According to Jeff, at least six of the seven interim board members will be running for election. You can run for the Board if you have been an ACA member for at least one year, agree with the mission statement, objectives and purposes of the ACA (listed on the web site), and do not have a possible conflict of interest such as employment by any of the water or land management agencies in the watershed.

If you are interested in running for the board, please contact Jeff for information on the qualifications and what you need to address in a brief candidacy statement. The deadline to get your name in the running is September 22. It would be great to have a Sunolian on the ACA board.

AN ANNIVERSARY SUGGESTION: Next week we all face the 2nd anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Though I would not normally do this, I'm going to share something a wise and trusted friend sent me by e-mail. On September 11 this year, people all over the world are invited to participate in what is being called the Poetic Attack. We are being asked to leave home that day carrying a book to be left at a cafe, park, or any other public place where someone is likely to find it. Inside the book, write a dedication stating clearly that the book is a gift to be kept by the finder.

This sort of connection from one stranger to another is the opposite of terrorism and sends a positive message about sharing knowledge, literature, and poetry. I'm going to do it and I hope someone leaves a book somewhere for me to find.

CALENDAR REMINDER: Don't forget the Cub Scout organizational meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Sunol Glen cafeteria. Leaders are needed to keep our troop going, so please think about helping out. Contact Judy Bettencourt at 925-862-0111 for information, or e-mail her at judybettencourt@comcast.net

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