Oyster supporters plagued by vandalism

Early this month, half a dozen people stood outside a defunct factory, painting their biggest project yet: a 13-foot by 6.5-foot mural of the now-ubiquitous sign supporting Drakes Bay Oyster Farm. Sweating in the heat, the group of painters dipped their brushes in blue and white as they transformed a wall at the old Rich’s Readimix Quarry building on Point Reyes-Petaluma Road into a watery scene of gentle waves and sunshine. Drivers waved and honked their horns as they passed. The painters had no idea how the finished product was going to look, so as soon as they finished, they ran up the road to admire their accomplishment. Last Saturday morning, the project was gone, destroyed by a vandal during the night. The wall had been splashed with gray paint, leaving only a hint of an orange sun visible. “A cloudy, sad day in Point Reyes,” the painters said...

First young coho in Walker Creek since 2008

At least one effort to restore the salmon population in West Marin is proceeding swimmingly, according to researchers with Marin Municipal Water District, who announced the sighting of 71 juvenile coho salmon in Walker Creek, a tributary to Tomales Bay, this month. It was the first sighting in the creek...

Ranchers in crisis over 
tule elk

Ranchers and officials in Point Reyes National Seashore are at loggerheads over the growing presence of free-ranging tule elk, which ranchers say are costing them tens of thousands of dollars in damages annually and threatening their very survival. The National Park Service says it doesn’t have a valid management plan to address the encroachment of elk into the pastoral zone, and that it is gathering data and applying for funding to write a new plan. But a letter sent last month by the Point Reyes Seashore Ranchers Association to Superintendent Cicely Muldoon was urgent: “Despite the Seashore’s promises of commitment continually made to the [seashore] ranching community that their sustainability is ensured, the current problems created by the elk guarantee an end to agriculture in the park.” The ranchers call for the immediate relocation of elk to the...

PRNSA loses in shutdown

The Point Reyes National Seashore Association is facing losses of at least $25,000 due to the federal government shutdown, according to Samaria Jaffe, the group’s executive director. The losses are the result of both cancelled classes and a dip in people signing up for future ones due to uncertainty about...

Petition for Chicken waterway

A group of West Marin residents calling themselves the Chicken Ranch Advocacy Bunch have created an online petition, which has been signed by dozens of people, asking the county parks department and supervisors to use funds from a voter-approved sales tax to implement a restoration plan for a highly accessible...

State grange backs Drakes oysters

The California State Grange passed a resolution last week calling on elected representatives to assert the state’s rights to lease the water bottoms in Drakes Estero for oyster and clam cultivation. The resolution notes, among other things, that former members of Congress John Burton and Pete McCloskey, as well as...

Why the music stopped at the Blackbird

The cessation of live music at the coffee shop in downtown Inverness has generated both disappointment and a variety of rumors. The truth is those evening events, which came to the attention of the county Community Development Agency after another agency became concerned about stress to the septic system, were not authorized under the Blackbird’s use permit. In 2010, a year before they opened the café, then co-owners Jude Robinson and Carol Whitnah decided not to obtain a new use permit, which is a lengthy and expensive process. Instead, they sought an exemption to the original use permit for the space, which used to house a gift shop. The exemption was granted, and...

Six jockey for utility board in Bolinas

Six candidates vying for seats on the board of directors of the Bolinas Community Public Utility District, the municipal agency responsible for water and waste, each made their pitch to a standing room-only crowd at the Bolinas Firehouse last week. The slate of candidates for the three open seats on the five-member board is the largest since 1977, when the board was fighting a legal battle to protect its moratorium on new connections to the public water supply against the Bolinas Property Owners Association. The uptick in interest for this November’s election follows...

Hit and run could jail Stinson taxi driver

After a 17-mile hike on Mt. Tamalpais in August, Jeff Ng returned to his car in Stinson Beach to find a large black streak on his bumper and a California Highway Patrol officer with questions. The person he believes hit his car had left no contact information, had allegedly hung...

The heroic boys of Chapultepec

West Marin celebrated Mexico’s independence on Friday, September 13 at the Dance Palace Community Center, in an event organized by Gallery Route One and its Latino Photography Project. In Mexico, independence is celebrated on September 16. There is a big military parade in Mexico City, but the main celebration takes...


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