Marin seeks love of locavores with new producer label

After a decade in which farmer’s markets and direct-to-consumer agricultural sales doubled across the country, a new coalition is seizing on the local-foods movement with the hopes of benefitting Marin producers. Grown Local Marin, a pilot program

Tomales Bay plan sails forward to feds

The California State Lands Commission has lifted a hurdle for a plan by the federal government that would develop formal rules for boating in Tomales Bay for the first time. At a regular meeting on Friday in Sacramento the commission approved the Tomales Bay Vessel Management Plan and adopted a negative declaration of significant environmental impact. Regulations for the management and leasing of mooring buoys on Tomales Bay are the product of an occasionally combative public process that has unfolded since 2007. More contentious proposals initially put forth—which boaters said improperly endorsed equipment like helix anchors and elastic, lacked a requirement to use 55-gallon drums,

Old and new solutions for the Bolinas water supply

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

“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

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

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

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

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

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

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...


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