Saturday, September 19, 2020
The fireworks industry tried to persuade Seaside City Council against a fireworks ban before they passed an ordinance. They built the website seasidefireworks.org to auto-generate letters to council urging them not to ban fireworks.
Containment of the Dolan Fire increased to 46 percent overnight on Friday, as firefighters continue working to control the fire on all sides. The fire, which started in Big Sur and has burned across the Los Padres National Forest to the north and east into the Arroyo Seco area and onto Fort …
Thursday, September 17, 2020
It took three and a half hours, nine proposed amendments, multiple motions, straw votes and quibbles over process for the Pacific Grove City Council to arrive at almost the exact destination it had arrived at two weeks ago: a 4-3 vote in favor of allowing one cannabis dispensary in town. The…
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Less than a day before the California Coastal Commission was set to start a hearing about a desalination plant near Marina, the project’s sponsor, California American Water, withdrew its application request, saying it would resubmit the application in the future.
Two months after starting a new job as interim superintendent/president of Hartnell College, Raúl Rodriguez received a bump in time and salary to his contract by a majority vote of the Hartnell Community College District Board of Trustees last night, Tuesday, Sept. 15.
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
After being ordered closed because of wildfire danger, three state parks south of Carmel along the coast have been reopened for daytime recreation: Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Garrapata State Park and Andrew Molera State Park, officials announced Sept. 15.
Following pressure from residents of Big Sur, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is abandoning plans to situate a surveillance system with a tower at the Lucia Ranch property on the South Coast, according to an email received Sept. 14 by the office of Monterey County Supervisor Mary Adams.
In real life, if you're driving or walking, Arroyo Seco and coastal Big Sur can feel worlds apart. As the crow flies (or as a wildfire moves) they are actually quite close, and firefighters are working to strengthen fire lines and protect structures on both ends of the Dolan Fire, which as o…
Saturday, September 12, 2020
On the day he was evacuated from his home due to the River Fire, Monterey County Air Pollution Control Officer Richard Stedman was trimming trees for fire safety. Three weeks later, he's back home and has just ordered an air purifier due to ongoing smoky conditions—something Stedman anticipa…
Friday, September 11, 2020
The largest fire in Monterey County's recorded history was the Marble Cone fire, which took place in 1977 and burned 177,866 acres.
Wednesday, September 09, 2020
While the communities of Gorda on the south coast of Big Sur and Fort Hunter Liggett in South Monterey County might feel worlds away from each other, they are separated only by the Santa Lucia Mountain Range—a great barrier for people, but not for fire.
Tuesday, September 08, 2020
Now that the Dolan Fire in Big Sur has doubled in size overnight, the county has opened an evacuation center in King City for anyone evacuating east from the fire, Monterey County officials announced today, Tuesday, Sept. 8.
Three firefighters have been airlifted from the Dolan Fire in Big Sur after sustaining serious injuries; one is in critical condition. The three were among 14 firefighters involved in a shelter deployment near the Nacimiento Guard Station at the top of Nacimiento-Fergusson Road at 8:30am on …
Sunday, September 06, 2020
If you are a typical ratepayer in Monterey County or throughout the Central Coast, a major chunk of your electric bill has been going to the massive hydroelectric dams located in the Pacific Northwest and a smaller part of it goes toward geothermal, wind, or solar energy sources.
Saturday, September 05, 2020
Time to hunker down with the blinds drawn and fan running while holding a tall, cool drink, preferably water, and lots of it. An excessive heat warning is in effect from 11am Saturday through 9pm, Monday, Sept. 7. The National Weather Service is predicting record-breaking or near-record-brea…
When he was arrested in December of 2016 on felony charges of unlawful sex with a minor, Juan Govea was a new employee at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. While his case moved through the court system, he remained employed, though he did not physically work in the museum until af…
Friday, September 04, 2020
Over the last few days, fire crews have been successful in containing the Dolan Fire, which is 40 percent contained as of Friday, Sept. 4. But the high temperatures forecast for the weekend have fire officials preparing for an increase in fire activity.
In case anyone missed the multiple announcements making the rounds, the beaches of the Monterey Bay and the rest of Monterey County are essentially closed for Labor Day weekend beginning today, Friday, unless you're taking a dip in the ocean or enjoying water sports.
If at first you don't succeed, sue and sue again?
The local assistance center operating out of the Monterey Conference Center to help people and businesses impacted by wildfires will remain open another week past the original Sept. 5 end date, Monterey County officials announced Friday, Sept. 4.
Thursday, September 03, 2020
A collection of vocal and passionate anti-cannabis residents attempted to relitigate legalizing recreational cannabis at the Pacific Grove City Council meeting on Sept. 2, but it was a larger group of residents in the background who didn’t speak out that night that held sway.
Wednesday, September 02, 2020
Loyal patrons of popular Pacific Grove brunch spot Crema – owner Tamie Aceves affectionately calls them “Cremlins” – were quick to lament on social media after she announced via Instagram video on Aug. 17 that Crema was closing by the end of September. “We’re very sad,” Aceves said. “It’s a …
Tuesday, September 01, 2020
Now 29,550 acres, the Dolan Fire in Big Sur continues growing by roughly 1,000 acres each day, according to the U.S. Forest Service, the lead agency fighting the fire.
The “eviction cliff” predicted to happen beginning Sept. 2 for millions of California renters who wouldn't be able to pay their rent due to Covid-19 was averted for the time being and has morphed into an evictions step of sorts, in a compromise bill passed by the legislature in the final hou…
On the last day of California’s legislative session, lawmakers passed a series of bills referred to as the Covid-19 Farmworker Relief Package by their lead author, Assemblymember Robert Rivas, D-Hollister.
Monday, August 31, 2020
Exposure to pesticides used in agriculture was linked to illness and injury in 104 people in Monterey County in 2017, the second-highest number among all counties in California, according to a new report from the state Department of Pesticide Regulation.
After about three months of using a monitoring list for deciding which counties get to reopen during the Covid-19 pandemic and by how much, California is turning to a color-coded system for its new "Blueprint for a Safer Economy." Counties with the least amount of virus spread are yellow, fo…
Saturday, August 29, 2020
In what's being described as a one-stop-shop for people and businesses impacted by the River, Carmel and Dolan fires of Monterey County, a local assistance center featuring local, state and federal agencies is being created inside the Monterey Conference Center for operation between Sunday, …
The historic and iconic Deetjen's Big Sur Inn is officially closing for an indefinite period of time, the leaders of its preservation foundation formally announced on Friday, Aug. 28.
Friday, August 28, 2020
After a lot of talk by Pres. Donald Trump that testing for Covid-19 is "overrated" and suggesting that there is too much testing going on, the Centers for Disease Control reversed itself on testing for people with no symptoms to mild symptoms who have come in contact with someone with the di…
More jobs are being lost to Covid-19, this time at CSU Monterey Bay. The university notified 29 employees that their positions are being eliminated and will end permanently in November.
Thursday, August 27, 2020
“We’re all in this together,” is a phrase often quoted since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. The owners of the Portola Hotel and Spa are claiming in a new lawsuit they were told that very phrase by Monterey City Manager Hans Uslar back in March at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic w…
Ready for some good news?
A beloved outdoor recreation and picnic area for Salinas Valley and Monterey Peninsula residents, Toro Park has been badly damaged by the River Fire will not reopen any time soon, according to Monterey County public information officer Maia Carroll.
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Monterey County is not keeping up with the Joneses when it comes to getting off the state’s Covid-19 monitoring list. Santa Cruz County was the first county removed on Aug. 14. Amador County was removed just yesterday, Aug. 25. In all, nine counties have been removed from the list.
As efforts to contain the Dolan Fire in Big Sur continue, officials on Aug. 26 issued an order closing an area of Los Padres National Forest stretching from just north of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park to Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. Violating the closure carries a penalty of $5,000 and/or si…
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
The River, Dolan and Carmel fires infused the air with toxic contaminants making it risky for nearly all Monterey County residents and tourists alike to get out out of of their homes for fresh air. A slew of park closures followed that including all state parks in Big Sur and Fort Ord Natio…
A ruling that promises to rein in the surcharges appearing on the water bills of $3 million ratepayers in Monterey County and elsewhere in California is coming up for a vote at the California Public Utilities Commission meeting on Thursday, Aug. 27 at 10am.
Help from the federal government is now on its way to California homeowners and low-income renters who were forced from their homes by recent wildfires, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Aug. 25.
Monday, August 24, 2020
Plan for the worst, hope for the best, they say—and sometimes the best actually happens.
After a week of challenging news, Monterey County finally received some good news on Monday morning: Some of the evacuation orders and warnings in Carmel Valley were lifted as of 9:00am.
Sunday, August 23, 2020
At around 11am Sunday, the thunderstorms expected to bring dry lightning and wind gusts of up to 65 mph to Monterey County were reported just off the coast of Morro Bay, headed north. Within two hours, officials from the cities of the Monterey Peninsula and Monterey County sent out the word …
On Saturday afternoon, the smoke in Big Sur finally cleared enough to allow firefighters to send an infrared-equipped aircraft up for an overhead mapping mission to view the perimeter of the Dolan Fire.
First, some good news: Cal Fire made progress keeping the Carmel Fire and River Fire within existing containment lines overnight from Saturday, Aug. 22 to Sunday, Aug. 23, with a relatively small increase in acreage. Fire officials reported on Sunday morning that the fires for the most part …
The wildfires in the mountains to the west of the Salinas Valley are depositing ash on every outdoor surface, including on the fruits and vegetables that are growing in the region’s fertile fields.
Saturday, August 22, 2020
The River Fire began near the top of one Pine Canyon Road, off River Road just about five miles south of Salinas. The area under evacuation advisory now extends as far south as another Pine Canyon Road, this one outside of King City, the southernmost city in Monterey County.
There's been a lot of attention for the past 24 hours on new evacuation advisories and orders to the west of where the Carmel and River fires are currently burning, with predictions of changing weather coming around 5am Sunday morning.
Cal Fire and other fire agencies are already stretched. Since Aug. 15, California has seen 12,000 lightning strikes, and 585 new fires burning for nearly a total of one million acres.
Sometimes there’s time. Other times fire hits hard and fast and close and you have to get out with what you can, when you can. There’s an adrenaline rush when you live in the path of a wildfire; when panic kicks in, it gets easier for me to act and harder to think straight. Over time I’ve le…
The littlest evacuee from the wildfires raging through Monterey County, forcing upwards of 20,000 people out of their homes as of Saturday morning, weighs in at only a few ounces.