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City hosting environmental talks and film screenings: Burlingame programming begins June 18 and will run into the fall
June 11, 2014, 05:00 AM By Angela Swartz Daily Journal

Newsha Ajami

With summer right around the corner, Burlingame is ramping up for new, and free, environmental programs.

Burlingame’s Citizens Environmental Council, or CEC, is inviting the public to six talks and film showings about current environmental issues in coming months, beginning with a talk on California’s water crisis on Wednesday, June 18.

“How We Can Solve California’s Water Crisis” will feature Newsha Ajami, director of urban water policy at Stanford University’s Water in the West program, who will describe California’s complex water system. She will explain how people need to rethink how water is managed to save money and energy and be less vulnerable to droughts. For example, new technology will soon make it possible to reuse water in place instead of using energy to pipe it long distances.

The programs are being funded with the proceeds from the downtown Burlingame Green Street Fair, said Vice Mayor Terry Nagel.

“There’s a lot of misinformation about environmental issues out there, and we feel it’s important to let people hear from experts, ask questions and have an informed conversation about some of these hot-button topics like food waste, fracking and our state’s water system,” she said in a prepared statement.

The CEC has three current initiatives. Aside from the new programming, it is encouraging Burlingame residents to participate in the CoolCalifornia City Challenge sponsored by Energy Upgrade California, a statewide project aimed at helping individuals lower their carbon emissions. Burlingame is one of 10 cities competing for $50,000 in prize money. The challenge runs through August. Burlingame has earned $1,200 so far. Funds earned from the Challenge will be used to support sustainability projects in Burlingame.

In addition, the CEC and the city are inviting residents to help ensure the health of newly planted trees in the city by participating in the new “Adopt-a-Tree” program. Volunteers sign up to water a tree once a week.

“We think these programs will give people good ideas on how they can make their lives — and our planet — more sustainable,” CEC Chair Lisa Happich said in a prepared statement.

Other talks and screenings include “Plastic Paradise” a film with Beth Terry on July 14, “Dive” a film with Dana Frasz of Food Shift on Aug. 6, a talk on the pros and cons of gray water and rainwater on Sept. 3 by Tom Bressan of The Urban Farmer Store, a talk on the grassroots crusade for food reform in California by Michael Dimock, former chairman of Slow Food USA and the strategic adviser to the California Food Policy Council, on Oct. 1 and a screening of the Oscar-nominated film “Gasland” on Nov. 5.

Screenings and talks will run 7 p.m.-8:45 p.m. in the Lane Community Room in the Burlingame Public Library at 480 Primrose Road in Burlingame. Sign up for the CoolCalifornia City Challenge at Go to o learn more about Burlingame’s Adopt-a-Tree program.

Contact CEC at

For more information on the upcoming June 18 event go to

(650) 344-5200 ext. 105



Tags: water, burlingame, challenge, environmental, about, talks,

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