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Old and new solutions for the Bolinas water supply

05/02/2013
When Bill Pierce visited the dam at Arroyo Hondo Creek one afternoon in April, the soft brush of water over the creek bed was not what he wanted to hear. The Bolinas Community Public Utility District (BCPUD), for which Mr. Pierce is chief water operator, relies primarily on creek flows to supply the coastal town of 1,600, where drought, geography and aging infrastructure keep the district in a fragile balancing act. This year, the February flows looked like those of an average month of June. Bolinas has long faced water issues on multiple fronts, even as its downtown sits level with the Pacific Ocean and borders verdant parkland. Its water-scarce status was enshrined in 1971, when a newly elected board implemented a controversial moratorium on water hookups. But the lack of water hasn’t stopped BCPUD from finding ways to deliver the precious resource safely and reliably...

Jury finds seniors want for mobility

05/02/2013
“I shouldn’t be driving; I know that,” Ruth Fleshman said. But Ms. Fleshman, 83, a jocular retiree who lives in Point Reyes Station, sometimes has no choice but to drive—despite the fact that she tires easily and finds it hard to see pedestrians wearing dark clothing. When the bus arrives at the wrong time or her volunteer driver is unavailable and Ms. Fleshman wants to see a dentist in Novato or buy groceries at Costco or teach her exercise class at a senior center in San Rafael, she reluctantly gets behind the wheel. “I didn’t hit anybody.” Even when she does not drive, very basic things that people take for granted sometimes require weeks or months of planning for seniors like Ms. Fleshman living in West Marin, according to more than a dozen residents and transportation officials interviewed this week by the Light. Asked to describe how her diminished mobility had changed her life, Ms. Fleshman’s eyes grew bleary: “My life becomes very, very small.” Transit officials and local activists...

Mussel quarantine starts early

04/25/2013
The annual quarantine on sport-harvested, non-commercial mussels is now in effect all along the California coast, including all inlets, harbors and bays. The California Department of Public Health instituted the quarantine earlier than its typical May 1 start date due to high levels of biotoxins detected. “The quarantine is in...

Support for ferments business

04/25/2013
A fermented-foods business run by an Inverness couple is receiving a loan from some members of the Mt. Vision Local Investment Opportunities Network (LION), the newly formed network announced this week. The $15,000 loan will help Maggie Levinger and Luke Regalbuto purchase new equipment and expand their business, which since...

Fishermen sue Interior and parks

04/25/2013
Herring fishermen filed suit last Thursday challenging a ruling by the managers of Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) that would prohibit the historic commercial fishery from operating in San Francisco Bay. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, alleges the...

Oyster fight advances with state and feds

04/25/2013
The battles facing oysterman Kevin Lunny and his family business advanced in state bureaucracies and in federal court last week, as lawyers submitted their final briefs to push an appellate court to prevent the cannery from being shut down. On Monday Mr. Lunny’s lawyers argued to federal judges that the federal government overstepped its authority by attempting to convert to wilderness an estuary in which the state of California has reserved fishing rights. Drakes Bay Oyster Company has been pushing the Department of Fish and Wildlife to take a more assertive stance in defense of the oyster farm, and commissioners who oversee the department discussed their legal options in closed session at a meeting in Santa Rosa last week

Seashore ranchers await longer leases

04/25/2013
Some ranchers saw it as a show of good faith when former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar asked the National Park Service on Nov. 29 to double the length of the 10-year use permits that the government previously supported. Yet despite that commitment, no ranchers currently operate on 20-year terms and...

Utility seeks rate hike for beleaguered Dillon Beach

04/18/2013
Marjon Row, a retired highway patrolwoman, had to make a choice: give up the Subaru she had bought a year ago or leave the home she was renting in Dillon Beach. But it wasn’t the rent that posed the problem—it was her hefty water bill that claimed the money she...

Supes delay vote on coastal program as EAC ramps up opposition

04/18/2013
The meandering process to update Marin’s coastal development regulatory regime took yet another turn Tuesday, when a local environmental group came out against the land-use plan and the county board of supervisors tabled its amendments for

Locals prevent Inverness speed-limit increase

04/18/2013
Friendly signs posted along the roadside in Inverness Park warn drivers to drive carefully. “Slow down and it relax,” the signs read. “Share the road,” says another. But the town’s limited-visibility driveways, many marked with convex mirrors, and its retail hub—a hive of pedestrian activity and a stopover for bicyclists...

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