It is important to remember that SFVAS sent a letter to the NASA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) months ago concerning the egregiously excessive clean-up standard NASA agreed to with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. The OIG concluded that the clean-up provisions in the agreement, entitled the “Administrative Order on Consent” (AOC) were unreasonable. However, NASA management blithely ignored the OIG’s conclusions in preparing the current DEIS. The AOC is the underlying justification for this environmentally damaging process, which will result in the trucking of approximately one half million cubic yards of soil, including irreplaceable topsoil, to landfills across the country. In following this process, NASA is ignoring less environmentally damaging alternatives, including actual risk-based alternatives.
The San Fernando Valley Audubon Society has established a Bird Observatory (The San Fernando Valley Bird Observatory). Organized by biologist and master bird-bander, Mark Osokow, its purpose is to conduct research on birds in and around the San Fernando Valley. Anyone interested in becoming involved in research on birds, including bird banding, contact Mark and the SFVBO at SFVBirdObservatory@sfvaudubon.x (replace x with org). Watch for more information on this effort in the near future. The photos here show two male House Finches. The House Finch is California’s most numerous bird species and is also the most variable in color. Males range from having bright strawberry colored breasts and throats to those with dull yellowish color so restricted that they are barely distinguishable from females — even when held in the hand! The function of this color variation in House Finches, and other species as well, remains an active area of ornithological research.