Car Week

August 19, 2015

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Concours d’Arrogance: America’s premier celebration of the lifestyle that’s destroying the planet.

My great-grandfather, Alec Eells, was a San Francisco attorney in the 1890’s. That is, his office was in San Francisco. His actual business was all over the state. He needed to be in Sacramento one day, Santa Barbara the next, then back to San Francisco for an early court session, etc. I know this because he kept a careful diary. Read the rest of this entry »


Residential Water Use on the Monterey Peninsula Reaches Embarrassing Levels

August 10, 2015

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Summer on the Carmel River

The June residential use figures for cities and water districts around the state are out and the Monterey Peninsula has little to be proud of. A whopping 56 California communities did better than the Monterey Peninsula at residential water conservation in June, making a mockery of local officials’ oft repeated claims that the Peninsula is the state’s water conservation leader.

Monterey Peninsula residents used 66.1 gallons per person per day in June, dropping the Peninsula into a 57th place tie with Morro Bay. In May, Peninsula residents used 58.8 gallons per person per day and came in 48th. In April it was 55.8 gallons and 29th place.

It’s understandable that residents of the Monterey Peninsula, burdened by so many lavishly watered estates, would have a hard time using less water than places like San Francisco, San Diego, Inglewood and Compton, but how do we explain using almost four gallons more per person per day than a place like Burlingame; a wealthy Silicon Valley bedroom community where the median family income is $113,440, the climate is hotter and drier, and extensively landscaped properties abound?

The best performance in June was turned in by the Southern California city of Lynwood, where residents used only 35.3 gallons per person per day. Second place went to our own neighbor to the south, Cambria, where figure was 37.1. Santa Cruz was, once again, the best of the Monterey Bay area, at 42.7, and King City was, once again, the Monterey County leader, at 48.8.

Given our increasingly urgent need to impress the State Water Resources Control Board with the Peninsula’s seriousness about reducing its illegal pumping of the Carmel River, it’s too bad local officials aren’t doing more to make conservation a priority. Empty words about our water conservation leadership aren’t likely to impress a Water Board that now tracks and publishes the cold, hard facts on a month by month basis.


Lightning Moving Ashore

August 6, 2015

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(Image from Lightningmaps.org)

Lightning began a little before 8:00 this evening and is now striking across the Northern Santa Lucia Mountains from Big Sur to the edge of the Salinas Valley. Let’s hope there’s some rain falling with it.

11:00 pm Update: Reports of fire at the radio towers on Mt. Toro and at Willow Creek on the South Coast. Mt. Toro fire is probably out by now. Good chance that the Willow Creek fire will be quickly extinguished, as well. No telling what may still be smoldering out there. There’ve been plenty of backcountry lightning strikes this evening.