Notices

•November 13, 2013 • 29 Comments

The Big Sur blog that has been covering fires, the weather, road conditions, and other events since 2008. Send your news and photos, and we will do our best to post them. send to: kwnovoa@mac.com

HEADER PHOTO…is one of my own.

TO DONATE TO BIG SUR FIRE VICTIMS CLICK ON THIS LINK: bigsurfire2013.org
(Damn, the link is not working, and I’ve tried everything! How about just copying into your browser?) don’t be confused – it is THIS LINK (mine) not CPOAs that isn’t working.
(CPOA’s donation site)

Remember, for entries, it is 760×151 pixels.

More Rain?

•September 20, 2014 • Leave a Comment

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Foto Friday, 9/19

•September 19, 2014 • 3 Comments

Thank goodness it is Friday, as this week has been a week of words. Things that need to be written or reported. I am glad I created this respite from the words .. A visual world where words are not needed.

These first two of Big Sur were taken yesterday, during our first rain.

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Then, here’s Africa!

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Rain Report – 9/18/14

•September 18, 2014 • 2 Comments

10:00 pm – final total, .38″ an acceptable total. It’s a start.

6:30 am – wow, the rain is increasing. It is now up to .19″ total. One more report at 7:00, then I am off to town, away from my rain gauge. LOL, I laugh at the joy every 1/100th of an inch brings me this morning, and know that this winter, I will only be reporting gains of an inch at a time. All is perspective.

6:00 am – rain rate is up a bit to .09″ an hour, and the total for the day/month/year is now .15″ double what was predicted. I hope the whole Big Sur Coast is enjoying this phenomena.

5:00 am – I am up to almost a tenth of an inch, now. As a side note: all my windows facing north or west are covered with rain but those facing east or south are completely dry. Guess we can tell the direction of this storm, as predicted …

Woke at 4:00 am – to the first, soft, gentle, glorious rain of the season. My high zoot rain gauge is measuring again, finally. It says we are getting .05″ per hour, and that we have received .05″ thus far. It is enough to settle some of the dust that has been plaguing me for months … It is enough that the skins of earth, plants, and critters alike are soaking up the precious moisture in glee … It is enough to get and keep me excited so that I will probably not get back to sleep even though I must be up in two hours to make an early appointment in town. It’s fine with me. I’ll take lack of sleep for a bit of the wet stuff at this point! (Sorry, in my sleepy haze, I originally thought it was Friday. I’ve changed the date in the title to reflect that it is indeed Thursday.)

Fracking in Monterey County

•September 17, 2014 • 1 Comment

Everyone should know about this meeting.

Begin forwarded message:

From: “Tia Lebherz, Food & Water Watch”
Date: September 17, 2014 11:55:58 AM PDT
To: whittington@bigsur88.net
Subject: Don’t frack Monterey County!
Reply-To: “Tia Lebherz, Food & Water Watch”

This fall, the Board of Supervisors will be considering a moratorium on fracking in Monterey County. It’s going to be a real fight, and we’re kicking it off with an educational forum to help get the word out about this serious threat to the county. Can you join us in Salinas this Saturday, September 20 at 1:00 p.m.?

What: Educational forum – hear from local speakers about how fracking would impact Monterey County
When: Saturday, September 20 at 1:00 p.m.
Where: Hartnell College – Steinbeck Hall, 411 Central Ave., Salinas, CA
RSVP at act.foodandwaterwatch.org
Fracking is an extreme form of energy extraction the involves blasting millions of gallons of water, mixed with toxic chemicals and sand, at high pressure deep underground to retrieve oil and natural gas. Fracking is water intensive, opens the door for potential water contamination, has been linked to birth defects, can cause earthquakes and puts our farmland at risk.

As oil and gas companies search for more fossil fuels to extract, fracking operations continue to expand across the state. There is no place for fracking in Monterey, and we’re building a movement to stop fracking from harming our farm-rich, tourism-attracting, beautiful county.

RSVP to join us for this important event.

I hope to see you there,

Tia Lebherz
California Organizer
Food & Water Watch
tlebherz(at)fwwatch(dot)org

P.S. Free childcare will be provided at this event!

FOOD & WATER WATCH • 1616 P STREET NW, SUITE 300
WASHINGTON, DC 20036 • TEL: (202) 683-2500

Rain Tonight?

•September 17, 2014 • 5 Comments

From NOAA this afternoon:

“AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
200 PM PDT WED SEP 17 2014

.SYNOPSIS…AN UPPER LEVEL SYSTEM WILL BEGIN TO IMPACT THE REGION TONIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT RESULTING IN AN INCREASED CHANCE FOR RAIN SHOWERS AND A FEW THUNDERSTORMS. TEMPERATURES WILL ALSO COOL TO BELOW SEASONAL AVERAGES THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF THE WORKWEEK. DRY CONDITIONS RETURN AND TEMPERATURES REBOUND FOR THE UPCOMING WEEKEND AS A RESULT OF BUILDING HIGH PRESSURE.

.DISCUSSION…AS OF 01:58 PM PDT WEDNESDAY…GENERALLY CLEAR SKIES
PREVAIL ACROSS THE REGION THIS AFTERNOON WITH THE LEADING EDGE OF THE MID/UPPER LEVEL TROUGH MOVING INTO NORTHERN CALIFORNIA.

OVERNIGHT…THE MID/UPPER LEVEL JET AND ASSOCIATED LOW WILL MOVE INLAND AND SHIFT SOUTHEASTWARD SLIGHTLY. THIS WILL ALLOW FOR PRECIPITATION TO SPREAD DOWN INTO THE SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS AND
OVER COASTAL LOCATIONS OF MONTEREY COUNTY. RAINFALL AMOUNTS WILL BE GREATEST ACROSS THE WEST FACING COASTAL HILLS/MOUNTAINS WHERE ISOLATED LOCATIONS COULD PICK A FEW TENTHS OF AN INCH. MEANWHILE…INLAND VALLEY LOCATIONS MAY RECEIVE ONLY TRACE AMOUNTS OR NO PRECIPITATION AT ALL OVERNIGHT. CHANCES FOR SHOWERS WILL CONTINUE THROUGH EARLY TOMORROW AFTERNOON ACROSS THE NORTH BAY AS A RESULT OF INCREASED MOISTURE AND THE UPPER LEVEL SYSTEM MOVING ACROSS. WILL ALSO CARRY A SLIGHT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS OVER THE NORTH BAY AND EAST BAY HILLS/MOUNTAINS AGAIN TOMORROW AFTERNOON. COOLER TEMPERATURES ALOFT WILL ALSO RESULT IN A COOLING TREND THROUGH LATE WEEK.”

“The Sky was as clear as a window one morning. It was so the next morning, and the next, and on every morning that followed until it was hard to remember how rain felt, or how a field looked, green, and moist with life so that a naked foot sank into it. All the things that grew paused in their growing, leaves curled, and each creature turned his back on the sun.” (Beryl Markham, West with the Night.)

NOAA is now predicting 07/100ths of an inch of rain all the way down to Big Sur Wednesday night into Thursday. I covered my cement, just in case. It won’t ease our drought, but at least we might remember how rain felt.

(Barbara, I really will get this lovely book back to you soon.)

Bicyclists and Highway One – an editorial

•September 16, 2014 • 15 Comments

Today, a new law goes into effect that mandates a minimum distance of 3 feet between a vehicle and a bicycle when passing. How that will play out on Highway One will be a nightmare. Law makers have once again passed a law with no foresight, creating the usual unintended consequences of their failure to think things through. There must be an exception built into this law for narrow, winding mountain roads, like Highway One, which cannot support a highway wide enough to “share.”

This law states:

“21760.
(a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the Three Feet for Safety Act.

(b) The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking and passing a bicycle that is proceeding in the same direction on a highway shall pass in compliance with the requirements of this article applicable to overtaking and passing a vehicle, and shall do so at a safe distance that does not interfere with the safe operation of the overtaken bicycle, having due regard for the size and speed of the motor vehicle and the bicycle, traffic conditions, weather, visibility, and the surface and width of the highway.

(c) A driver of a motor vehicle shall not overtake or pass a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a highway at a distance of less than three feet between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator.

(d) If the driver of a motor vehicle is unable to comply with subdivision (c), due to traffic or roadway conditions, the driver shall slow to a speed that is reasonable and prudent, and may pass only when doing so would not endanger the safety of the operator of the bicycle, taking into account the size and speed of the motor vehicle and bicycle, traffic conditions, weather, visibility, and surface and width of the highway.

(e) (1) A violation of subdivision (b), (c), or (d) is an infraction punishable by a fine of thirty-five dollars ($35). (Note: the Herald reports that the fine is $220, but that is only the fine if the motorist causes an accident.)

As the road is currently configured, there are only a dozen or so legal passing lanes that will allow for that law to be obeyed along the entire 90 mile stretch of Highway One. Thus, motorists will be placed firmly on the horns of a dilemma, facing three possible choices, all of which are illegal. First, one can pass leaving less than three feet distance, now illegal. Two, one can go over or onto the double yellow line to create the mandated three foot distance, also illegal. Three, one can plod along behind the bicyclist at 5-30 mph, depending on the grade, building up a long line of cars behind, also illegal. This is a prescription for road rage and accidents.

The ball is now firmly in Cal Trans yard for it to figure out how we can “share this road” that is not nearly wide enough to do so. It can add 3′ out over the ocean and blast into the mountains to create another 3′ on the inland side. While this is clearly an expensive proposition, I suggest we all write to our State Senators and Assemblypersons (contact info to right under links) to demand financing so that Cal Trans can create a road sufficiently wide enough to be shared, particularly now that it is giving permits for more and more bicycling events. Or, the less expensive alternative is to provide an exception for roads like Highway One. While the “width of the roadway” is one of the considerations to be made when judging passing a vehicle, it is written with the muddy clarity legislators are famous for. Either solution will require action on our part. Write, email, call. Make their incompetence known and your objection heard.

Could it be?

•September 15, 2014 • 8 Comments

Got this weather forecast in my box, but not holding my breath, especially this far south.

“A cold front will produce rain showers in Northern California on
Wednesday into Thursday. A few rain showers are expected to reach
as far south has Monterey Bay on Thursday.”

 
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