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Writers’ retreat gets fresh energy

07/03/2013
Mesa Refuge, a writers’ retreat in Point Reyes Station, announced the appointment of a new executive director this week. Susan Page Tillet formerly led a Chicago retreat for writers, where she raised more than $10 million to diversify the program, restore historic structures and develop community outreach, according to the...

Bank bends to village complaints

07/03/2013
Wells Fargo has acceded to requests from the Point Reyes Station Village Association to modify the look of the only corporate-owned presence in town. To the bank’s plans to make a number of changes to the building, including the color of the awnings and outside walls, the association had two...

Snowy plovers, with helping hands, increase in seashore

07/03/2013
In spite of ravens, wind and sprawling invasive grasses, Western snowy plovers’ nests have nearly tripled at Point Reyes National Seashore since last year. Still, the seashore’s snowy plover biologist, Carolyn Campbell, worries. Half of the federally threatened birds’ 20 nests have failed this breeding season, which began in March. Just two of seven failed last year. Ms. Campbell surveys a roughly six-mile stretch from Kehoe Beach to North Beach five days a week, combing the sand for nests, called scrapes. Around the most vulnerable sites, she sets up a 5-foot-wide by 5-foot–high circular cage, known as an exclosure. Though the breeding season ends in September, it can take 60 days for a snowy plover’s offspring to reach maturity: about three to nest, three to mate and lay eggs, 28 to incubate the eggs, and...

Midwives hope for autonomy from state bill

07/03/2013
Legislation passed by the state assembly in May and by a senate committee on Monday would ease some restrictions faced by midwives in California but would not lift a requirement of physician oversight. That law, though currently unenforced, effectively bars Medi-Cal recipients—25 to 30 percent of Marin’s pregnant women—from midwifery services. Pushing to allow licensed midwives to operate independently and lawfully are both midwives themselves and a coalition representing families. They say home birth offers a holistic model of pregnancy that empowers women during the nine-month journey to motherhood as well as during birth. Assembly Bill 1308 would ensure that licensed midwives have access to medical supplies, lab tests and other necessities to serve women seeking to give birth in their homes; it would also allow...

County will sit on Chicken Ranch 
project

07/03/2013
Restoration plans for a popular section of beach on Tomales Bay don’t appear to be in the cards in the near future, but the proposal to recreate a floodplain and wetlands system at Chicken Ranch Beach has garnered two different price tags. Tomales Bay Watershed Council in May sent a proposal to restore a section of Third Valley Creek, which bisects the beach on the southern end, to the parks department and Board of Supervisors. The plan, developed with county involvement over eight years, addresses an intractable water quality problem that plagues Channel B. The strip of land often dries up during the summer but fills during storms and the rainy season; it also acts as an end point for much of the animal feces and waste in the nearby watershed. Neysa King, coordinator for the council, pegs the cost of the restoration...

Plastic bag ban upheld in court

07/03/2013
Retailers in unincorporated Marin are still banned from giving out single-use bags after the First District Court of Appeals ruled in favor last week of the county’s 2011 ordinance against dispensing bags for one-time use. About 40 retail stores in unincorporated areas of Marin are affected by the ban, according...

Longtime UCCE advisor retires

06/27/2013
UC Cooperative Extension advisor Ellie Rilla retires today after 25 years with the agency, leaving a legacy of fostering water conservation, agriculture and agritourism in Marin and Sonoma Counties, according to a press release. Ms. Rilla brought in 75 grants totaling $9 million for a gamut of projects conducted throughout...

Terrace bluff stabilization sought

06/27/2013
The Marin County Deputy Zoning Administrator will hear a Bolinas resident’s application for a coastal permit today to build an underground concrete pier wall and beams to strengthen the bluff under the cliffside Terrace Avenue property. The emergency repair results from ongoing slides that have exposed four feet of the...

Drug charges filed in batting case

06/27/2013
A photographer and former Inverness Park resident who allegedly attempted to murder her roommate has also been officially brought up on drug charges. Kelsey Winterkorn, 26, has been in custody since allegedly beating her roommate on the head with a baseball bat and then repeatedly ramming her vehicle, a distinctively...

Bolinas asked to curb water use

06/27/2013
The Bolinas Community Public Utility District is asking town residents to immediately curb landscaping in light of a sharp rise in water use. District manager Jennifer Blackman attributed the increase to both the dry winter and people “losing their vigilance” in terms of water conservation. “This last weekend, it went way up,” she said. Although temporary water rationing in 2009, which limited households to 150 gallons a day, had a significant lasting impact in subsequent years, conservation has declined in 2013. While Ms. Blackman noted the surprise rains early this week were welcome and will temporarily allay the need for water used for landscaping, “I don’t believe it will make the kind of difference that will mean we don’t need to remind people that they need to be conserving...

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