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Woodward Fire lays its smoke over West Marin

09/02/2020
Firefighters made significant progress on the Woodward Fire this week, but West Marin’s largest fire in 25 years continues to smolder in the dense wilderness, filling the air with toxic smoke more than two weeks after its ignition. Fog and lower temperatures are keeping the flames calm, allowing crews to...

Woodward Fire makes slow march through park

08/26/2020
Coastal residents are on edge as a large fire grows in the Point Reyes National Seashore, threatening homes, reshaping wilderness and saturating the sky with smoke. Firefighters are fully engaged on the front lines to contain the blaze, which has burned nearly 3,000 acres of parkland and jumped over at...

Shoreline starts school optimistically

08/26/2020
The first day of school is a time of new things: new classes, new teachers and new activities. In 2020, the first day of school is even more unfamiliar, as backpacks and classrooms have been replaced by Chromebooks and Zoom. The learning curve for distance learning is steep, but educators...

Vacation rentals open amid falling Covid cases

08/26/2020
Short-term rentals were finally allowed to resume on Monday as Covid-19 case numbers in Marin trend downward, though public health officials this week urged operators to prioritize providing shelter to wildfire evacuees. On the coast, some lodgings kept their doors shut under threat of the Woodward Fire. “Evacuees are the...

Saltwater intrusion at North Marin wells reaches historic high

08/26/2020
Salt levels are unprecedented in the drinking water pulled from North Marin Water District’s two wells in Point Reyes Station, following a year of little rainfall. The district has struggled for decades with periodic and seasonal salinity intrusion resulting from the wells’ proximity to Tomales Bay, but the problem is...

Nature Notebook, August 27, 2020

08/26/2020
As I write, the sounds of red-shouldered hawks and acorn woodpeckers are quiet; in the background, human birds—helicopters and planes—are at work. The deer have not been chowing on the cherry plums in the yard, perhaps sniffing the scent of fire in the air. I had hoped to share such...

Personal services face bumpy road during Covid

08/19/2020
Starting last Monday, a range of personal services were allowed to resume outdoors in Marin, including nail salons, massage therapy, esthetic services, cosmetology and skin care services. On the coast, providers are struggling to bounce back. It’s been a bumpy ride: Marin moved to reopen these industries in late June,...

Task force divided on Bo-Stin reopening

08/19/2020
The messy, uncertain planning process for reopening schools was on full display at the Bolinas-Stinson Union School District this week. As teachers prepare for a soft open to distance learning next Tuesday, the board continues to hash out a number of key questions for when students return to campus: How...

Lightning sparks major fire in seashore

08/19/2020
Sparked by lightning, a fire burned more than 1,100 acres of dense forest in the Point Reyes National Seashore this week, threatening the towns of Bolinas and Olema and sending clouds of grey smoke across the region. Firefighters struggled to access the blaze because of its remote location, and air...

Pandemic changes Election Day landscape; board races uncontested

08/19/2020
Marin’s elections will look dramatically different this year thanks to new laws meant to allow for safe voting amid a pandemic. Every registered voter in California will be mailed a ballot, and polling places will be open for the three days prior to Election Day, to make up for fewer...

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