Salmon in California have evolved to follow the seasonal rhythms of wet and dry periods as they migrate between their natal streams and the ocean, and then back again. The fall rains that swell Lagunitas Creek and herald the return of adult salmon to Marin County also encourage young coho salmon to begin their downstream journey to the ocean. In normal years, winter is the time when many of these young salmon migrate from headwater tributaries down to lower Lagunitas Creek, where they transform into silver smolts in preparation for the ocean phase of their life cycle. These smolts wait in the lower creek until April and May before entering the ocean, just in time to take advantage of the spring plankton bloom.
Dry period yields more coho fry.
Years 2013 and 2014 have not been normal, however. Fall rains were infrequent and light, and January was the driest on record. The drought caused a significant delay in salmon spawning and resulted in a much smaller coho run than expected. The extended dry period did, ironically, seem to benefit the young salmon preparing to emigrate to the ocean. Many coho fry were unable to migrate downstream until the rain finally arrived in February, which meant that they weren’t packed together in lower Lagunitas Creek. The habitat in the lower creek can’t support very many young salmon through the winter, which appears to be one of the principal factors limiting the size of the entire coho salmon population. This year, salmon fry spent the winter spread throughout the watershed, and likely spent little time crowded in the lower watershed.
More salmon possible in 2015
The result was the largest emigration of salmon smolts yet seen in Lagunitas Creek. Biologists with the Watershed Stewards Project, the Marin Municipal Water District, the National Park Service, and the Salmon Protection and Watershed Network counted coho smolts every day between late March and early June as they migrated past traps on Lagunitas, Olema, and San Geronimo Creeks. In typical years the lower watershed doesn’t appear to be able to support more than approximately 11,000 juvenile coho salmon through the winter. This year nearly 20,000 coho smolts emigrated to the ocean. What does this mean for the future of coho salmon in Marin County? In the short term, if food is abundant in the ocean we could see 2,000 adult coho return to Lagunitas Creek in 2015 (the most in more than half a century). On the other hand, this year’s smolts were fairly small and may not survive well. Over the longer term, while we can’t recreate this year and prevent coho from migrating to the lower watershed, we can provide more habitat there.
A grant currently being considered by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife would fund the construction of five projects in lower Lagunitas Creek to expand side channels and floodplains for coho salmon winter habitat. Hopefully this grant will be funded and the projects will achieve their goals. As with the seasonal migrations of salmon, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Eric Ettlinger is an aquatic ecologist with the Marin Municipal Water District
The West Marin School’s cat is missing! It was last seen Tuesday morning. It did not return to the school Tuesday night to be let in. And it has not been seen since.
Volunteers are combing nearby fields and searching the streets of Point Reyes Station.
The tabby cat is distinctive looking – it has no ears. It had ears at one time but somehow they were lost. It still has its mittens, though, hopefully.
If anyone sees the ginger tabby they should note the location and call 911 to report the sighting.
However, if the cat is found deceased, please do not report. Too many hearts will be broken.
Commission abused its discretion and violated environmental law
INVERNESS, CALIF. — Drakes Bay Oyster was vindicated today in its fight against unjust enforcement orders imposed last year by the California Coastal Commission. The Marin County Superior Court overturned those orders in every significant respect, finding that the Commission’s unfair process was an abuse of discretion and a violation of environmental law.
The enforcement orders were based on false allegations for which there was no evidence. Before a hearing last February, expert evidence disproving the allegations was provided by the Lunnys, but the Commission voted to exclude all the evidence the Lunnys presented in their own defense.
“This is a good day for California,” said Phyllis Faber, a Marin County environmental activist and biologist who was a founding member of the Commission. “The Coastal Commission had seriously abused its power. It was necessary to hold them accountable.”
Now that the Commission’s unfair enforcement orders have been overturned, the oyster farm and the Commission can get back to working on a permit for the farm.
Drakes Bay’s lawsuit against the Coastal Commission is separate from its suit against the National Park Service, which is currently pending at the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court could decide as soon as Monday whether to take Drakes Bay’s case.
However, Important Victory in California Buoys Hopes
INVERNESS, CALIF. — The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to grant Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s Petition for Certiorari, meaning that the high court will not hear the case.
“We are not yet out of options,” said Kevin Lunny, owner of Drakes Bay Oyster Farm. “While we had hoped the Supreme Court would grant our cert petition requesting a review of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, our Federal case against the government now returns to the District Court, where we will be making decisions over the next few weeks about how to proceed. We are extremely grateful to our customers and supporters for everything they have done for our family and our workers’ families over the years.”
On Friday, in a California legal challenge, Drakes Bay Oyster was vindicated in its fight against unjust enforcement orders imposed last year by the California Coastal Commission. The Marin County Superior Court overturned those orders in every significant respect, finding that the Commission’s unfair process was an abuse of discretion and a violation of environmental law.
The enforcement orders were based on false allegations for which there was no evidence. Before a hearing last February, expert evidence disproving the allegations was provided by the Lunnys, but the Commission voted to exclude all the evidence the Lunnys presented in their own defense.
Drakes Bay’s victory against the Coastal Commission is separate from its suit against the National Park Service, which the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear today.
The federally-threatened western snowy plover nesting season is underway. Nesting inconspicuously between the tidal zone and upper reaches of coastal beaches, snowy plovers on the West Coast are faced with habitat loss, disturbance and predation, all of which have taken a toll on this species. Point Reyes National Seashore, one of the few remaining nesting grounds for this rare bird, typically supports 15 – 20 adult breeding plovers. In partnership with the Point Reyes National Seashore Association and Point Blue Conservation Science (formerly PRBO Conservation Science), the snowy plover population has been monitored annually since 1995.
To assure success occurs this nesting season, the temporary closure From Friday July 4 through Sunday July 6, of a small stretch of the Point Reyes Beach will be enforced. The closure will be established between 0.5 miles north of the North Beach parking lot and 0.35 miles south of the mouth of Abbotts Lagoon. John Dell’Osso
The core founders of the Foodshed, despite their formidable energy, have reached their tipping point. Having tried six ways to Sunday to get more members to share the workload, Maggie, Molly, Luke, Aaron and Catherine cried “Uncle!” Tuesday night at the Dance Palace 25 rank and file members showed up to hear what changes were afoot for the Foodshed.
On July 28 the Foodshed will be packed up and sent off to storage. By the closing date the food inventory will have dwindled away, and the door will be locked. No one will get the new door code. The space will await a new tenant.
The Foodshed’s founders don’t plan think about or talk about or worry about the Foodshed until at least 4 or 5 months have passed. Farmers Molly Meyerson and Aaron Wilder explained that they work dawn to dusk trying to coax a living out of their plots of land. Summer is their make or break busy season. Luke Regalbuto and Maggie Levinger are the small business owners of Wild West Ferments, by itself an all-consuming venture. Everyone needs a respite from the additional responsibilities of running the co-op.
Next winter it will take a serious proposal from another group of committed cooperative-minded folks, to resurrect the food co-op. Some members expressed interest in keeping the group together over the hiatus to brainstorm ways to keep the co-op on life support. Miguel volunteered to form an email group to facilitate communication.
Thanks Molly, Maggie, Luke and Aaron – you gave it your all. Time for the co-op community to reflect and re-group.
Linda Petersen-Publisher and Co-editor:
This week we publish the first edition of Volume 8 of the Citizen. This means our 365th paper. It has indeed been an adventure, with all the elements of good TV drama, including characters, often larger than life, as main players.
As the years have passed since we first began publication, the involved participants (protagonists?) have settled into new roles and the community has become richer from the experience.
How lucky we are. How lucky I am to have arrived in this community in time to learn the stories of the past, and to be a participant in the discussion of where West Marin is going in the future. I thank the community for allowing us this opportunity to keep the doors of the Citizen open for your participation.
After all, as Steve Quirt, our gifted layout artist and contributor likes to say, it is your paper and your history that is being written week by week.
by Joel Hack, founding publisher West Marin Citizen
Memorial Day Weekend 2007: Some West Marin folks met at Bear Valley picnic tables and hatched a plan. They overcame great and small obstacles. They produced a Pilot edition for Western Weekend. Then they produced the first West Marin Citizen for that Fourth of July. They felt they responded to their friends, neighbors and their community.
What they heard that fateful weekend: The readers of West Marin were hungry for news about themselves; stories and information that reflected their spirit and wisdom. The readers of West Marin wanted a community newspaper that brought themselves a way of seeing, a way of reaching out, a way of touching one another. The readers of West Marin wanted a community newspaper that built their community.
Did the West Marin Citizen succeed? Yes. At a minimum there are twice as many newspapers in West Marin. Be proud, few if any communities the size of West Marin have TWO newspapers; many don’t have one. Seven full years later (365 editions) a lively, useful, respectful, nurturing record of the LIFE of West Marin arrives each Thursday.
That is success on a person-to-person and global scale. The Citizen folks also had a fun, exciting time producing your newspaper, and they are proud to earn your approval.
Ellen Shehadeh, Copy-editor and co-editor
When the West Marin Citizen was launched 7 years ago I was delighted to be part of the original group who envisioned and then actually began this maverick newspaper. I am proud to say I wrote the first news article for the paper- wouldn’t you know, it was about a cow! I continued as a reporter, doing many articles about health and health care in West Marin among other topics, and was always encouraged to take on bigger and better challenges by our editor Jim Kravets. Later I wrote a series Under the Radar, profiling interesting locals (are there any others?) who would consent to public scrutiny. The story was theirs to tell, from their own unique point of view.
At this point I find myself as co-editor and copy editor. Sadly, I assumed the job after my dearest partner, David Bunnett, died suddenly eight months ago. Only now do I realize how hard he worked. And although ostensibly we have the same job, he did so much more than his job description, from writing superb articles about complex subjects at the last minute when he had an idea that couldn’t wait until next week, to delivering the papers around the community. He worked tirelessly behind the scene in many other ways to make the Citizen a paper we could all be proud of.
And he was also my editor. As I have saved people from writing about “lumbar yards,” he rescued me from some potentially embarrassing and actually quite hilarious missteps that we used to laugh about.
The West Marin Citizen is a different kind of newspaper, a real community newspaper that gives everyone a voice. I am proud to be part of all of this, and thank all our readers and contributors for their participation and faith in the little newspaper that could- and does! Keep the stories coming!
Steve Quirt Graphics/Layout co-editor
Each week a chorus of community contributions arrive, and we at the West Marin Citizen have the privilege of getting your newspaper ready for delivery on Thursdays.
When I first began as a contributor in 2007, Jim Kravets wrote somewhere that he was continually charmed by the variety and quality of content that came across his desk each week. I was struck by his statement. Now, after a year or so helping out with the Citizen, I appreciate Jim’s comment. What a variety of full spectrum community news and culture! Bay biology, wine reviews, psychology, lots of art and literature, weekly columns from Inverness and Mexico, classified ads, sheriff’s reports and all the announcements calendars and everything else.
And it all comes from you.
No two issues are ever the same. The open format of a Community Newspaper allows for a lot of craziness, but also a surprisingly rich and involved contribution network from readers. And in a community like West Marin, that keeps us hopping, improvising and working hard to make all the moving parts of this dynamic process run smoothly. Thanks to Linda, our Editor-in-chief, for holding it all together and being patient with this process!
Each week, when we get the heads up from the printer that the presses are rolling, we breathe a sigh of collective relief. It always seems like a miracle that, with our tiny staff, we pull it off each week. But that is because of you, the reader, the community, and your content, culture and common goals that we try to hold up and put forth in each issue of the West Marin Citizen.
I believe in Community Journalism
By Mary Olsen
I believe in the power of community. In my younger days I thought the utopian communities of the 19th century might be the way to live. So I lived in a few in the 70’s. The best, most well organized was a Rudolph Steiner community in Copake, New York – Camphill Village. I had a wonderful life there, but there were too many restrictions, and too much mysticism for me. But I left with a genuine appreciation for what can be accomplished by people working together.
A bit later I discovered the Big City and rejoiced in the sense of community in my densely populated, culturally diverse North Beach neighborhood. It was nurtured by the friendly cafe life that brought people together in the morning and after a day’s work. The finest networking ever.
Later I tried another experiment – living in suburbia where everyone had a seven-foot fence around their 10,000 square foot lot. Automatic garage doors swallowed cars whose occupants were seen only on the weekends pushing noisy behemoth machines. Oh, there was community, built around children and their sports and school activities. Once the kids went off to college I plotted my escape.
So here I am getting toward the last chapters of life, at the end of the continent, luxuriating in a real community. But it is one that hangs by such a slender thread. Economic realities push away people who cannot afford the increasing price tag of housing. I myself will get pushed out eventually.
But in the meantime I intend to enjoy all this magic place has to offer. And I’m proud to be a contributor to a community journal that makes us look at the issues we humans face when we try to live together in a healthy society. I just counted the number of contributors to last week’s Citizen. Sixteen different people on sixteen pages of newsprint, all writing about the things that make up the fabric of our lives.
The West Marin Citizen is community journalism. I’m proud to be a contributor.
Happy Seventh Birthday! Live long and prosper, West Marin Citizen!
As of press time on June 25, it is unclear if, technically, the principal of Tomales Elementary School and Bodega Bay School has resigned or was fired. There may be clarification at the regularly scheduled Board of Trustees Meeting, tonight, June 26, at 6 PM at the West Marin School.
Jane Realon, who has had this job for fifteen years, declined to offer a statement until her return from an out-of-state trip on July 10. E-mails to Jane Healy, President of the Shoreline Board, were not returned. Superintendent Tom Stubbs responded to WMC’s queries stating that he would make an announcement “soon”.
Cole Porter changed my life. Yes he did, although I never met the man often thought of as the greatest Broadway musical composer of his generation. (And I’d like to prove that to you on June 28 at the Dance Palace when Noah Griffin will sing the best from the Porter songbook.)
I was way back in 1949, when at the semi-tender age of 15 I chiseled some money from my mom and hopped on a bus to New York City, walked to the New Century Theater, plunked down 75 cents for a Saturday matinee ticket and settled down in the last row of the second balcony to see Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate. Wowed was I.
That day, I fell in love–with the show, with the music and lyrics, with Patricia Morrison, the female lead, and with Alfred Drake’s voice. Especially, Miss Morrison.
When this beautiful, alluring woman sang those wonderful songs, I got warm and dizzy. True love does that. And this feeling was augmented by the hot spotlights warming the back of my head, and a detectable lack of oxygen in the last row. As an added bonus, the soon- to- be great Bob Fosse was a lead dancer.
Being in love makes one do impetuous things. Dating Ms. Morrison was not possible. So, during intermission I purchased another ticket for next Saturday’s matinee. I went one more time during the run and, as an encore, went back to see Ann Jeffreys when she took over the lead role.
I had never seen a Broadway musical before; this show changed my life. From that day onward, I went from being simply “Ed” to “Broadway Sam.” I went to every musical I could I didn’t know it then, but now I can well argue the point that Kiss Me, Kate is the greatest of all Broadway musicals, and I have seen bunches of them on Broadway.
I was not alone in my love for Kiss Me, Kate, and Cole Porter. The first production of KMK was the smashiest of smash hits. Ran for over 1000 performances and received five Tony Awards.
Hold on. The fabulous 1999 revival, one step above mere dynamite, received seven Tony Awards and nine additional nominations! That is staying power. I was so fortunate to see the original and this revival 50 years apart!
For me, Porter reigns supreme. Join me on June 28 and get your tickets now. www.dancepalace.org or call 6663-1075. I can’t wait!
Bad Packaging? What’s a girl to do? Oh, I mean what’s a buyer to do? You want a great wine and like life, first impressions are so important. You put your best foot forward and want to make sure you make a long lasting great impression. Yet, how are you to know what that great impression is or will be? Let alone, did you make a bad impression because you played it safe and wore neutral colors? Did you come off as too confident, because you accented your look with one bold color? Did you use big fonts and words people couldn’t understand? Or, did they just look at you and think ‘ehh, shrug their shoulders’ and pass you by?
Welcome to the world of wine labels? Oh, you thought I was talking about life? Well, I guess the popularity of labels, graphic designers, imagery and all that fun stuff does come down to life. We judge based on what we see. It’s unfortunate, because there are so many wonderful people, oh I mean wines, in bad, not so great or unpopular packages.
Take D Cubed Zinfandel 2009, Napa Valley – An excellent wine sourced from some of Napa’s best zinfandel vineyards, including Howell Mountain and Chiles Valley Vineyard (where the owner also makes the highly allocated Brown Estate Zinfandel, and where your cherished Green & Red Zinfandel comes from too). This fantastic wine scored high too, with 92 Points from Wine & Spirits Magazine and a Best Buy. Plus it scored 91 points from Wine Spectator. The label is a bit outdated. Branding is expensive! But the wine is awesome! Think big black and red cherries, mixed with ripe boysenberries, a touch of minerality with depth and dimension finishing with dark chocolate and toasty spice. ($27)
Ottimino, 2010 Zinfinity, Sonoma County – The parent company for this wine, Ottimino has an awesome label. It is clean, elegant, easy to read and classic. I doubt it will ever go out of style, but the Zinfinity label is another story? What were they thinking? It is a flashback to the 80’s and Max Headroom, with the infinity symbol in red. The infinity symbol looks more like a figure eight, because it is vertically aligned instead of being horizontal. At any rate, their packaging is neither here nor there. The wine however is a Happy Dance Dude Winner! Fantastic food wine! Flavors of briary blackberry and pepper greet you at the front, finishing with a kick of boysenberry and nice balanced acidity. This wine is fantastic with BBQ foods or mid week pizza or Indian cuisine. ($17)
Monday June 2
Bolinas 10:16 a.m Passport was stolen by an acquaintance. Reporting party confronted suspect asking if she took the passport. She first said she did not, but then texted that she did and was not giving it back. Report taken for possible lost/stolen passport.
Point Reyes Station 12:32 pm Reporting party wants to file report of employee stealing money. Would like to terminate employee today.
Forest Knolls 1:50 pm Caller reports that subject came onto property after being evicted.
Tomales 3:30 pm Trash from dumpsters is overflowing into callers yard. Garbage truck was seen working its way up to Tomales earlier in the day.
Point Reyes Station 3:53 pm Welfare check requested for female who attempted to lacerate her wrist the day before but was not seen medically. Woman said she is fine and does not want to hurt herself any more.
Tuesday June 3
Olema 9:13 am Non-injury vehicle accident. Two vehicles involved.
Woodacre 9:19 am Former tenant working on caller’s property. Was evicted two years ago and not supposed to be there.
Stinson Beach 9:26 am Caller reports damage to front of store occurred during the night. Large planters and benches damaged. Several items moved to roadway, second time in two weeks. Requests extra patrols during evening hours.
Woodacre 1:06 pm Reporting party was walking and two dogs started to follow her. Resident came out of house and started yelling and threatening to kill the dogs, even after caller explained they weren’t hers. No merit to any crime other than citations issued to dog owners.
Point Reyes Station 4:19 pm Reporting party had all four tires slashed. Suspect may person she has restraining order against.
Woodacre 4:49 pm Four year old stuck in tree is crying and has a sore leg.
Inverness 5:26 pm Reporting party believes she has lost $300 in cash somewhere in her house.
Tomales 6:04 pm Ongoing problem with dumpster from nearby store/restaurant parked in front of caller’s house and garbage is blowing all over her property.
Inverness 6:16 pm Reporting party would like to talk to deputy regarding her tenant. Caller is yelling and upset. Advice given and she calmed down.
Inverness Park 7:12 pm Party reports missing person who left the home in morning and planned to meet spouse in office at 3 pm He was not there. When she returned home his cell was there as well as the dog. Report taken.
Wednesday June 4
Lagunitas 8:43 am Vandalism. Someone spray-painted reporting party’s property and threw rocks in window. Information was second hand from a neighbor of the caller’s. This is the third time the house has been spray-painted and this time a window was smashed as well. Caller plans to install surveillance system.
Point Reyes Station 9:15 am Water truck filling up at hydrant and caller thinks it is illegal. Meter on hydrant provided by MMWD allowing them to use.
Forest Knolls 3:28 pm Reporting party claims that suspect taped the water spigot in the park with electrical tape making it so reporting party could not go to the store the day before, due to the suspects screaming. Reporting party is at the store now and would like deputy to talk to suspect. No merit to any violation. Deputy advised caller and suspect to stay apart.
San Geronimo Valley 8:23 pm One woman standing and a male and female sitting on ground in bushes. Subjects were trying to move a deer carcass out of the roadway.
Bolinas 9:05 pm Two campers parked for three days. No plate info. Reporting party believes there are people living inside, but no one was there. Vehicles tagged.
Thursday June 5
Point Reyes Station 5:27 am Reporting party states that they can see a large fire through their binoculars across the bay. Deputies found a couple with an illegal campfire and admonished them for their carelessness.
Inverness 4:38 pm Woman called to ask for assistance with getting rid of her husband’ friend.
Inverness 5:21 pm Woman called to state she was being harassed. No further information given.
Bolinas 6:46 pm Boyfriend and girlfriend were involved in a verbal dispute. Boyfriend stated that his girlfriend hit the window of his truck. Both parties agreed to separate for the evening.
Point Reyes Station 7:47 pm Woman called to report a $42.67 fraudulent charge on her credit card. Woman believes the responsible party may be the person who has been stalking her. Deputies spoke to the manager at the establishment where fraud occurred and they discerned that charge occurred after woman swiped her card twice and paid for the person behind her.
Friday June 6
Woodacre 9:40 am Listing agent reports that man who is currently living in house she is attempting to show is verbally abusive whenever she shows up. She has routinely left a 24 hour notice to let him know when she will be by but he continues to yell at her.
Nicasio 12:13 pm Woman on bike ride states that motorcycle rider keeps passing her and then stops and lets her pass and then follows her and stops ahead of her again. Man reports to deputy that he is an international driver and he has been stopping repeatedly to check his map for directions.
Bolinas 12:40 pm Woman was locked out her shared residence by her ex-boyfriend. Now she cannot get any of her stuff. Deputy came to provide a standby.
Stinson Beach 4:17 pm Man loaned his phone to a homeless subject and after he retrieved his phone he saw that mean texts and phone calls had been sent to an elderly woman who lives in the area.
Stinson Beach 5:59 pm A woman called to ask about a voice mail she had received from a man who indicated that she was the subject of various threats from a local homeless man.
Forest Knolls 11:45 pm Brothers were reportedly about to get into a fight.
Saturday June 7
Forest Knolls 8:27 am Subject arrested on an outstanding warrant. Bolinas 8:40 am Woman woke to find a man outside her house taking pictures of her property with a drone. Man stated he was working on a project but refused to elaborate.
Stinson Beach 12:49 pm A report came in of a 27 yr-old hiker .8 miles from the P-lot trail head had suffered a dislocated shoulder.
Woodacre 2:01 pm Man reported that he had received an empty box from an E-Bay purchase that was supposed to contain an I-Pad. Report taken for fraud.
Forest Knolls 7:38 pm Woman would like advice on how to handle potential issues with her sister and neighbor.
Sunday June 8
Dillon Beach 2:22 am A report of two males wearing sweatshirts while standing on the roof.
Forest Knolls 1:13 pm Son was texted twice this morning by his mother stating, “I love you, Please forgive me.” Mom has a history of suicidal ideation, threats and depression. Deputies contacted mom, who did not meet criteria for involuntary psychiatric hold. Mom’s sister was on her way to mom’s house to make sure everything was okay.
Dillon Beach 1:15 pm Rowdy customers were refusing to leave the premises and were now perched on the dunes. Group soon left without incident.
Point Reyes Station 3:48 pm Woman left her wallet at local establishment yesterday. She called and spoke with owner and was told her wallet had been turned in. Today when she called to see if could pick it up, the employee on-site told her that they didn’t have her wallet. Deputy will contact the owner tomorrow to determine what happened.
Point Reyes Station 8:17 pm Someone called to complain that there is loud music, people screaming and possibly excessive alcohol at a rowdy party. Deputies arrived at what turned out to be a baby shower that was not loud, and was ending shortly.
Forest Knolls 11:42 pm Reporting party states there is a man lying in the middle of the road. Deputies arrived on the scene to find that all parties had gone inside for the night.