News

Drone flights begin over the bay

12/12/2013
Morning gusts hitting Sacramento Landing on Wednesday herded three employees from the United States Geological Survey into the back of a truck and delayed drone flights over Tomales Bay for a scheduled waterbird survey. With little else to do (besides chomping on oyster pizza from last night’s dinner at Osteria...

Changes in air traffic renew plea to move flights off Point Reyes

12/12/2013
Fears that growing airline traffic and new satellite-based flight control will amplify the noise of planes crossing Marin airspace, particularly over what many believe should be peaceful parkland, has prompted the county’s Board of Supervisors to renew an effort to reroute planes offshore. The Federal Aviation Administration is conducting environmental assessments of proposed changes to 21 metropolitan areas with heavy traffic as part of its NextGen program. Those changes will result in a nationwide switch from ground-based navigation aids like the one on Mount Vision to satellite and radar. The review of the Northern California Metroplex, which includes the San Francisco, San José, Oakland and Sacramento airports, is due for completion in 2014. It provides the perfect window for Marin to entreat the F.A.A. to evaluate rerouting...

Newspaper publisher shines light on West Marin’s past

12/12/2013
Dave Mitchell watched as the “evening bird show” began late Saturday afternoon. His partner Lynn Axelrod, a reporter for The Citizen, had scattered birdseed across the deck’s railings and table, drawing flocks of fowl ready for feeding time. At a rough count, Mr. Mitchell has watched some 13,400 West Marin sunsets (and a fair share of sunrises) since he built his cozy version of Xanadu on a Point Reyes hillside. The scene through the cabin’s large windows appears today almost the same as the afternoon he and his ex-wife Cathy moved in. Different birds come and go with the seasons, and the sun may fall a bit further north or south, earlier or later in the day. But it’s always beautiful—the backlit jays and blackbirds, the light over Inverness Ridge and the small community below that Mr. Mitchell came to love during his quarter-century as editor and publisher of The Light....

Muir Beach pushes back on GGNRA

12/12/2013
How best to preserve the famed redwoods of Muir Woods National Monument is a question that’s been visited and revisited ever since William Kent donated the land to the government close to a century ago. Now the park’s federal guardian, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, is facing criticism from neighbors that the demands of recreators may be trumping the protection of natural resources. Recent proposals to construct a 180-space parking lot on Panoramic Highway and a reservation system for those visiting the monument by car and public transport triggered complaints in southern Marin, including in the adjacent community of Muir Beach, where some also cite a lack of transparency and general indifference to the community’s needs. Gerry Pearlman, a longtime Muir Beach resident who was reelected...

Seashore will write new dairy and ranch plan

12/06/2013
The undertaking of a first-ever dairy and ranching management plan that the National Park Service says will address extended ranching permits, diversification of land use and tule elk in the Point Reyes National Seashore will either strengthen the future of local agriculture or lead to the demise of some ranches,...

Seats on oversight committee

12/05/2013
There are five openings on the community oversight committee for the implementation of Measure A funds, which come from a temporary sales tax and go toward parks, open space and farmland preservation in Marin. One volunteer position should represent the agricultural community and possesses experience in farmland preservation or knowledge...

No Thanksgiving for oyster debate

12/05/2013
The California Democratic Party debated—but did not ultimately weigh in on—the fate of Drakes Bay Oyster Company this month, which is fighting the federal government to continue operating in the estero where the bivalve has been cultivated for close to a century. Two resolutions, one in support of the farm...

Stinson fire spares fine art gallery

12/05/2013
Claudia Chapline, an art gallery owner in Stinson Beach, poured the refreshments at her book club meeting on Monday. Before biting into a chocolate torte with raspberries, she went to turn off a noisy heater and noticed bright flames engulfing a tool shed in the garden. Ms. Chapline handed a...

Federal brief argues court cannot rule on Salazar decision

12/05/2013
In a court brief filed on Monday, government lawyers rebutted arguments made by Drakes Bay Oyster Company and said the federal case involving the company’s special use permit does not set any precedent necessitating full panel review of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2-1 September ruling in favor of...

Drones to test bird surveys at Tomales Bay

12/05/2013
This year, waterfowl migrating to their winter feeding grounds in Tomales Bay will be tracked by Ravens and T-Hawks, two types of drones operated by the federal government. From next Monday, Dec. 9, through Friday, Dec. 13, scientists from the United States Geological Survey and the Fish and Wildlife Service...

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