Is a Garrapata State Park Trail Being Ceded to a Mexican Drug Cartel?

September 2, 2015

FOG

Yesterday morning, Friends of Garrapata, the volunteers who work tirelessly to keep Garrapata State Park wild and graffiti free, and its trails in usable condition, posted the above graphic to their Facebook page with the following text:

WARNING

Please stay clear of the Peak Trail until October.

While environmentally destructive backcountry marijuana grows are indeed a serious problem – that could be solved overnight by legalization – and it’s certainly worth being cautious while traveling off trail in places that might be attractive to growers, this post stands out as strange for several reasons. Read the rest of this entry »


Residential Water Use on the Monterey Peninsula Reaches Embarrassing Levels

August 10, 2015

IMG_3288

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.


Monterey Peninsula Water Use Still Climbing

July 2, 2015

Grafitti

Monterey Peninsula graffiti may not be up to the standards of the LBC, but we can still match them in water consumption.

Residential water use in the Monterey Peninsula Cal Am service area jumped to 58.8 gallons per person per day in May. This is up from 55.8 gallons in April. The increase drops the Monterey Peninsula from 29th place on the list of the state’s most water-frugal cities and water districts, all the way down into an ignominious 48th place tie with Long Beach. How long ago now seems that glorious wet December of 2014, when Peninsula residents turned off their landscape irrigation systems and used only a little over 33 gallons per person per day; the second lowest total in the state. Read the rest of this entry »


Monterey Peninsula Water Use Inches Upward Again

June 9, 2015

IMG_2981_2

A dry start to June

According to the latest report from the State Water Resources Control Board, residential water use in the Monterey Peninsula Cal-Am service area reached 55.8 gallons per person per day in April. This is up from 54.2 gallons per person per day in March, and 45 gallons per person per day in February. Read the rest of this entry »


Water Agency Sets Meeting to Discuss State of the Basin Report

May 23, 2015

DSC00633

The Salinas Valley

The Monterey County Water Resources Agency is inviting the pubic to attend a workshop on Tuesday, May 26, at the Monterey County Office of Education Meeting Rooms, 901 Blanco Circle, in Salinas, where the findings of the State of the Salinas River Groundwater Basin Report will be “discussed and clarified.” Read the rest of this entry »


43 California Communities Now Using Less Water Per Person Per Day Than the Monterey Peninsula

May 20, 2015

IMG_2769

The silted up San Clemente Dam awaits demolition

Recently published residential water consumption figures show residents of the Monterey Peninsula increasing their water use to an average of 54.2 gallons per person per day during March. This is up a bit from the 52 gallons per person per day used in January and February and drops the Monterey Peninsula from 29th place in the statewide water conservation sweepstakes, down to 44th. At 50 gallons per person per day, King City residents remain the best water conservationists in Monterey County. Read the rest of this entry »


Monterey Peninsula Too Busy Congratulating Itself on Saving Water to Actually Focus on Saving Water

April 13, 2015

DSC09483

Plenty of warm days and beautiful sunsets, but not enough rain

Local officials have been arguing for years that there is little more the residents of the Monterey Peninsula can do to conserve water because they already use less water per capita than anyone else in the state. Back in November, we noted that this simply wasn’t true. We pointed out that our local Cal-Am service area actually ranked 68th in the state in per capita water use. Read the rest of this entry »


Human Sacrifice Only Way Forward Say Mayors

April 1, 2015

IMG_2581

Airport expansion project gone awry or Aztec-inspired sacrificial?

The mayors of the Monterey Peninsula admitted today that the mammoth cinder block monument rising menacingly skyward along the side of Highway 68 is not really related to airport expansion, but is instead a modern sacrificial meant to propitiate the gods of the State Water Resources Control Board. Read the rest of this entry »


Up Against the Wall: Steelhead and the Carmel Lagoon Ecosystem Protective Barrier

February 9, 2015

Reeds

The Carmel River Lagoon in 1947 (Laidlaw Williams photo)

There’s been some uproar lately over the plan to build a flood barrier in the Carmel River Lagoon and people have been asking on social media and elsewhere why anyone would propose to place such an assumed-to-be-ugly wall along the northern margin of such a beautiful wetland. A better question may be whether we can find a way to live our lives that doesn’t prevent steelhead from living at all. Either way, it’s a long story… Read the rest of this entry »


Carmel River Reaches the Sea for First Time in Almost Two Years

December 13, 2014

IMG_2036

The slowly rising lagoon reached the top of the bar shortly before sunrise this morning. Read the rest of this entry »