More Dark Days for TAMC’s Sales Tax

February 29, 2008

Only a few days ago, we pointed out how the Transportation Agency of Monterey County (TAMC) is driving their campaign bandwagon off course and why their chances of actually passing a transportation sales tax measure in November are diminishing.

We noted that transportation sales tax measures too heavily focused on road projects are failing at the polls and deplored TAMC’s short-sightedness in deleting rail funding from their measure at the ill-considered request of the Farm Bureau.

Now, a new battle over linking a regional development impact fee to the passage of the measure threatens to send TAMC’s plans completely into the ditch. Read the rest of this entry »

Raise High the Sales Tax, Road Builders

February 26, 2008

The Transportation Agency of Monterey County (TAMC) is nothing if not persistent. Although efforts to raise the sales tax to pay for transportation projects were rejected by County voters in 1992, 1998 and, most recently, in 2006, they are once again preparing a sales tax measure for the ballot. Today we take a look at what it takes to win a transportation sales tax election and at how TAMC’s current effort has headed off the tracks. Read the rest of this entry »

The Apple Moth Menace

February 23, 2008

We were a bit surprised to wake up in the middle of the night last fall to find a plane relentlessly passing back and forth over our house spraying moth pheromones. Especially, since we don’t even live in the area that was supposed to be sprayed. But hey, nobody’s perfect and even in the age of GPS units and so on it’s still probably more than a little confusing to go flying around so close to the deck on a dark night. We’re just happy they didn’t fly into our house.

All this midnight spraying of people and property, was bound to attract attention and it sure enough did. Far more attention than the California Department of Food & Agriculture had been expecting, apparently. And people had questions. Questions like:

Where did the Light Brown Apple Moth come from and how great a danger does it pose to our crops?

How likely is it that the pheromone spray will actually eradicate the moth?

Is the pheromone spray toxic to people?

Is it toxic for plants or other animals?

Will it disrupt the lifecycle of other (native) species with possibly serious consequences?

And, of course, what, exactly, is in the spray anyway?

Had the Dept. of Ag been able to provide some hard facts in answer to these questions, they might have gained public trust and headed off at least some of the controversy now dogging their Apple Moth Eradication Program. But they were monumentally unprepared for the task. Read the rest of this entry »

The Circus Comes to Town

February 20, 2008

With dozens of motorcycle CHP out ahead, dozens of team cars behind and over 100 pro cyclists in between, the Tour of California bicycle race working its way from the Bay Area to Los Angeles this week has all the elements of a traveling circus. We checked it out today as the race made its way up Mt. Hamilton, the most difficult climb the race will encounter all week.  Seeing the race was great, but getting to ride up and down incredibly scenic Mt. Hamilton with the road closed to most motor vehicles was even better. Read the rest of this entry »

The Rising Tide

February 19, 2008


The Beach: Coming soon to a neighborhood near you? 

About 18,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, sea level was around 350 feet lower than it is today. The ice has been melting and the sea has been rising ever since. For the first 10,000 years or so the rise was pretty rapid, but for the past 8,000 years the pace has been much more gradual – an average of about a tenth of an inch per year. Read the rest of this entry »

Yesterday on the Coast Ridge

February 18, 2008

altaview.jpg Heavy fog shrouds the Big Sur Coast 2-17-08

The January 4th winds blew down a lot of trees and many more trees were crushed or lost branches under the heavy snows that followed. Although the recent warm weather has melted most of the snow, the trails at higher elevations are piled with branches and tangles of tree trunks.

Not to worry, though. While the going on the ridge may be slow, the wildflowers are starting to bloom and it’s out of reach of the fog.