West Marin Sheriff’s Logs

Monday April 20

Point Reyes Station 11:56 a.m. Parent called to request advice about their son’s truancy.

Inverness 3:27 p.m. Reporting party called to report a homeless encampment.

Stinson Beach 11:34 p.m. Reporting party stated that there were five individuals making loud noises and setting up camp on the beach. Deputies advised campers to move to a more secluded spot to avoid disturbing neighbors.

Tuesday April 21

Stinson Beach 12:09 a.m. Man called to report that two individuals in a van that he had reported earlier were now in front of his house. Man in van arrested and booked for public drunkenness.

Wednesday April 22

Tomales 8:35 a.m. A man called the 911 dispatcher to ask to speak with a deputy. Man states that he was admiring the view overlooking the ocean when someone drove by and told him he was in a no parking zone. Man is seeking clarity in local parking regulations.

Forest Knolls 3:59 p.m. Reporting party called to state that their caregiver had used their ATM without their permission.

Bolinas 4:49 p.m. An employee called to report that one of their customers had come into the store to report that the employee’s front window had been smashed in.

Point Reyes Station 5:28 p.m. A woman called to report that she got out of the shower yesterday and found an unmarked bottle of heart medication in her medicine cabinet. Woman does know where the medication came from and just wanted to let deputies know what was going on.

Thursday April 23

Inverness 11:24 a.m. Reporting party stated that there was a homeless encampment in the area.

Point Reyes Station 12:36 p.m. Reporting party stated that they had received a phone call requesting that they send money to caller. Concerned individual did not send money and was informed that there many calls like this one making their rounds through the community.

Olema 7:37 p.m. A grey Tesla hit a deer. Car was totaled and deer did not make it.

Inverness Park 11:32 p.m. Callers teenage son has a 10:00 p.m. curfew per juvenile probation and has not been seen since 6:00 a.m. this morning when he left for work.

Friday April 24

Stinson Beach 12:43 a.m. A complaint came in of a loud party in the area. Nothing found upon investigation.

Inverness 12:27 p.m. A vehicle was towed because it was blocking the roadway.

Saturday April 25

Point Reyes Station 11:28 a.m. A woman called to get advice regarding her neighbor.

Lagunitas 9:31 p.m. A woman called to report that a man in his 30’s with a black beard and baseball cap was hiding behind bushes and telephone poles and generally acting strange.

Stinson Beach 10:56 p.m. A teacher called to report that they and their 70 students were locked inside a parking lot. Class was able to escape around locked gate.

Sunday April 26

Dillon Beach 10:02 a.m. A female campground employee reported that she was by the exit of the campground when she was shoved to the ground by another woman to avoid having to pay campground fee. Woman fled the scene with another vehicle also avoiding fee’s right behind her.

Bolinas 2:10 p.m. A specialized ‘Myka’ bike was reported stolen. Bike valued at $600.

Stinson Beach 8:17 p.m. A landlord called to report that a tenant they are actively evicting was playing loud music for several hours and that they didn’t want to have to address the situation. Deputy at scene deemed music not to be in violation of noise ordinances.

 

 

 

Social media connects old acquaintances with assistance from the Citizen

PolishCyclistsJamesMargit

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This email was sent to the WM Citizen on April 1:

I am a volunteer helping with a San Francisco based Polish American web site www.PoloniaSF.org . I would like to share with you very exciting news. An adventurous Polish couple biking around the world , after more than 25,000 miles, 5 years and 25 days, 4 continents, made it to the San Francisco Bay Area. Adela and Kris are on the way to their next destination: Alaska. For more information check out http://www.biketheworld.pl/en

I am really excited about the couple from Poland who is traveling around the world on their bicycles. I was hoping that you will read this short note about such unusual event and like witnessing those two people being on your local roads in Marin County and continuing their quest around the world. They will be in front of the Point Reyes Station post office around 10 am on April 2.

If you can think of any ways to spread the information about them passing by and welcoming them, just making people aware that this friendly couple is traveling on bicycles already 5 years one month and 2 days, and counting, …. would be very much appreciated. People at least can make them feel welcome by waving to them, saying hello, flashing headlights, friendly honking, etc. Attached are some pictures from their trip and myself welcoming them to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Thank you for your assistance.

Pozdrawiam ciepło i serdecznie,
Edmund Lewandowski
www.PoloniaSF.org

The Citizen posted this information on Facebook April 1st and shared with the popular face book page, Christian Anthony’s “ The West Marin Feed”, and with KWMR, where it was mentioned on air around 8 am April 2.
The morning of April 2nd Margit Pirsch of Lagunitas saw the posting with a photo on the West Marin Feed. She could not believe that Adela and Kris were passing through the area unbeknownst to her. She and her partner James Polack, also cycling through South America in 2013, had met them in Argentina a year and a half ago and camped together. Margit and James returned home a year ago and had not had any contact with Adela and Chris since. Upon seeing the facebook posting, Margit hopped on her bike, the same one which she had used on her travels, and quickly pedaled to Point Reyes Station for a very happy and unexpected reunion. There was yet another coincidence: Adela and Kris are now heading to Alaska where they hope to reach in August. Margit and James are also going to Alaska, traveling by air and returning by cycle, at the same time.
Adela and Kris stayed that night with Margit and James in Lagunitas, spending a great evening swapping travel stories.
Linda Petersen

Keith Hansen of Bolinas publishes new book

KeithHansen_InStudio

Keith Hansen and his Bolinas Wildlife Gallery and Studio
By Charles Post

Sixteen years and 1,400 paintings later, Keith Hansen has once again garnished and expanded our visual exploration and reference of avian ecology, a feat of epic proportions, one that truly captures the beauty of 320 bird species, all of whom call our beloved Sierra Nevada home. This comprehensive text, titled “Birds of the Sierra Nevada: Their Natural History, Status and Distribution”, authored by Ted Beedy and Ed Pandolfino, will surely become a hallmark for decades to come – a true masterpiece and gift to naturalists and birders from across the globe.

Keith Hansen has long used his artistic prowess to capture the innate, aesthetic subtleties and showy qualities of avifauna from Marin to Mexico and beyond. His card-carrying zeal for birds stems way back to a fateful encounter with an ornate cedar waxwing in Maryland’s broad-leafed forests, a formative moment which propelled Keith on a trajectory that would prove to bisect and intermingle with habitats, landscapes and wildlife research stations from the Galapagos to the Farallon Islands – the latter of which is a series of islets whose jagged crests rise from the Pacific some 30 miles outside the Golden Gate; these islands, and the North American mainland that dominates it’s easterly views, would prove to be a focal point of Keith’s love-affair with the birds of California.

It may even be fair to say that the Farallon Islands are to blame for that initial tug which would inspire Keith to begin laying roots here in Bolinas. One day in particular stands out; when Keith was only in 10th grade he first stepped foot onto those craggy, windswept islands, becoming the youngest Point Reyes Bird Observatory intern ever to work on the Farallons up to that point, a day which marked the first of over 150 more, which Keith continued to spend studying and becoming familiar with the ebb and flow of avian migrants that perennially imbue our skies, creeks, coastlines, marshes, forests and grasslands with splashes of radiance and feverish chatter. This initial attraction to northern California, and specifically the Farallon Islands and West Marin, would, in 1986, land him in Bolinas, and five years later, in 1991, the Bolinas Wildlife Gallery & Studio opened it’s doors.

Today, the Bolinas Wildlife Gallery and Studio has become a destination and hub. With a near steady stream of serendipitous, seasoned and studious visitors, paired with Keith’s hospitality and gregarious, genial nature, it’s not uncommon for this cozy studio to burst at the seams with eager eyes gazing across the avian adorned walls, tables and shelves. Once you’ve entered the portal, and the well-used, white door closes behind you, soon-to-be and self-proclaimed bird lovers find themselves immersed in a world that celebrates and reveres birds, their peculiarities, unique plumage, curious bills, and their fellow Aves whom together represent beloved bird communities from across the globe.

And it’s no coincidence that Bolinas became Keith’s hometown; Bolinas and the greater Point Reyes peninsula is widely known as a hub for birds in and of itself. Remarkably, more bird species have been found in the Point Reyes eco-region than 44 of the 50 states in America; that is, only 6 state’s entire bird list is greater in terms of species richness than that of Point Reyes – which encompasses Bolinas – and data suggests that’s over 500 species! Furthermore, the number of species visually identified from the Bolinas Wildlife Gallery and Studio alone, which currently stands at 225 species, represents 22.5 percent of all the bird species in North America, and holds the title as the most birds identified from any single room on the continent. Just to put that incredible statistic into a global context, Keith recently returned from a lodge situated in a pristine, southern Costa Rican rainforest, with a “Lodge List” (i.e., number of bird species identified from the lodge itself), which topped out at 245 species – and that’s in Costa Rica!

So, it’s clear that we West Marin folk are a lucky bunch, living amongst one of the world’s most unique and rich ecosystems, and just a short drive from Keith Hansen’s Bolinas Wildlife Gallery and Studio. With Keith’s sixteen year, mammoth contribution to the “Birds of the Sierra Nevada: Their Natural History, Status and Distribution,” you may ask what could Keith be up to next? Well, a “Field Guide To The Birds Of The Sierra Nevada” of course! Keith’s back at it, embarking on a scholastic and artistic endeavor which will certainly prove to be epic in it’s contribution to our hikes and adventures in those luminous mountains, John Muir’s beloved “Range of Light”. And thankfully, Keith doesn’t plan to leave us, or Bolinas any time soon. With smiling eyes, Keith proclaimed: “the longer I live here, the more I realize how unique this place is. What makes Bolinas special is just that it’s so unique, the fact that it’s nestled in this crossroads – if you will – literally on the san Andréa’s fault, riding piggyback between the pacific plate and the continental plate, and just the confluence of so many different types of habitat: the oceanic, the coastal, coastal rock, coastal sand, the lagoon, the mudflats, all of the tidal marsh, the forest, the alder & willow river habitat, the freshwater marsh, the Bolinas sewage ponds, all of these different habitats… that all converge on one small area that really makes Bolinas quite an amazing allure for anybody who’s interested in nature and especially birds. But then socially, morally, ethically, the town is my style, and I just love it here, and love the people and the creativity that flows through the town. And I think it’s probably what everybody else likes about it, it’s surrounded and shrouded with beauty…[where you] can breathe freely.”

If you’re interested in visiting Keith or the Bolinas Wildlife Gallery and Studio, you’ll find him at 48 Wharf Road, adjacent to the Bolinas Museum.

 

 

Executive directors of non-profits in West Marin

“We gather West Marin's non-profit Executive Directors quarterly to share common concerns and new ideas. It's such a good idea, and a good time too. This morning PRNSA hosted - and here's the team! So much devoted service, so many events coming up to support these organizations.  Please see the new West Marin Commons calendar to find out about upcoming opportunities.” Catherine Porter, West Marin Fund Executive Director  Back row:  Skip Schwartz, WM Senior Services; Susan Tillett, Mesa Refuge; Mark Switzer, EAH and WM Commons; Marika Bergsund, Slide Ranch; Jamison Watts, MALT Middle row: Louise Franklin, Dance Palace; Samaria Jaffe, PRNSA; Steve Siegel, Coastal Health Alliance; Bonny White, Marin County Free Library Lower row:  Wendy Friefeld, WM Community Services; Oren Slozberg, Commonweal; Kim Thompson, CLAM; Amanda Eichstaedt’, KWMR; Jennifer Gately, Bolinas
“We gather West Marin’s non-profit Executive Directors quarterly to share common concerns and new ideas. It’s such a good idea, and a good time too. This morning PRNSA hosted – and here’s the team! So much devoted service, so many events coming up to support these organizations. Please see the new West Marin Commons calendar to find out about upcoming opportunities.” Catherine Porter, West Marin Fund Executive Director
Back row: Skip Schwartz, WM Senior Services; Susan Tillett, Mesa Refuge; Mark Switzer, EAH and WM Commons; Marika Bergsund, Slide Ranch; Jamison Watts, MALT
Middle row: Louise Franklin, Dance Palace; Samaria Jaffe, PRNSA; Steve Siegel, Coastal Health Alliance; Bonny White, Marin County Free Library
Lower row: Wendy Friefeld, WM Community Services; Oren Slozberg, Commonweal; Kim Thompson, CLAM; Amanda Eichstaedt’, KWMR; Jennifer Gately, Bolinas

Farming over the Edge:Strawberry Fields Forever

By Steve Quirt

 

In 2000, just fifteen years ago, you could drive around Marin agricultural lands and find only dairy, beef and sheep. According to the Crop Report from 1970, 91% of the agricultural product was from livestock, in 2000 livestock products tallied 80%. In 2013 it was 76%.

Today, you find pastured chickens on dairy ranches, potatoes in Tomales and Fallon, produce and cut flowers at farms throughout the county, farmstead hard cider, micro heritage hog pens, goat, sheep and buffalo dairies and creameries, and even a blueberry farm in Tomales. Unused relic barns and outbuildings are being converted for new products and enterprises.

 

Subhead: What happened?

 

Bold italic: As with most things, when change happens, it happens through certain people.” Warren Weber, Hidden Bounty of Marin

 

The traditional Ag community traditionally looks at innovations and “new” enterprises with deep suspicion, sometimes followed by friendly ridicule and jokes. In 1998 Russell Satori, a third generation Tomales dairy rancher, sold his herd due to regulatory hassles. He rented his pasture out but still had the agriculturists itch, so he plowed up some ground to plant strawberries. His rancher neighbors made jokes at the coffee shop about Russell’s cute little Berry stand, not taking him seriously.

 

“Pasture is meant for cows.” They would tell him.

 

Until the cash started rolling in. It turns out that coastal Marin has a climate that nearly matches that of the Salinas coastal belt where much of California’s strawberry production is harbored. Spectacular strawberry cultivars like Seascape, developed by UC Davis, grow splendidly here, if you have the water and landscape. Russell farmed strawberries for ten years and was very successful. We nicknamed his fruit RussellBerries. He proved that there is life after dairy, and over the years other traditional families have added more and more side crops to their milking and grazing operations. Today, a half dozen dairy producers are also adding pastured free range egg production to their ranches, again, harkening back 100 years or so to the time when pastured eggs were the norm and scattered about the original ranches.

 

Russell’s example is symbolic of a change of thinking that began taking place as the established, traditional livestock community started to look around for something to insure their continuity. Family succession was, and is, a huge issue that haunts family farms today as more and more “kids” choose more lucrative careers away from home. But suddenly something new was in the air. The “D” word, “diversification” and the “S” word, “sustainability”, were being whispered and bantered about over Pedro games and coffee cups.

 

Adding Vines to Bovines

 

In 1990 Sharon and Steve Doughty, dairy operators from Point Reyes, confounded everybody by planting wine grapes on the south facing slopes of their ranch (diversification), putting in a small tasting room and a B&B (authentic agri-tourism). But everything was wrong about the operation: way out of the grape growing zone, too windy, too remote from wine country etc. But Sharon’s strong business sense and Steve’s tenacity won out and they released their first Sparkling Wine vintage in 1995 and have been producing wine ever since.

 

 

Cattle that Eat Grass

 

In 2001 Eric Schlosser published Fast Food Nation and consumers nationwide got an eye- opener to what they were consuming. Factory produced beef based on corn was exposed as a really bad practice packed up in slick, expensive advertising and people began to notice that they didn’t have a lot of choices. Mike Gale from Chileno Valley Ranch, and David Evans, born and raised on H Ranch, both saw the writing on the wall—cattle raised humanely and naturally on pasture without antibiotics or hormones, harvested humanely, processed and distributed locally was a new model. But it didn’t exist!

 

At a Marin Organic Board meeting in early 2002, Mike Gale looked at me (the newly minted Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator for UCCE), long and hard and said,

 

“What are you going to do about Grass-fed beef?”

 

From that remark came a series of producer meetings at Cooperative Extension to outline the needs of the producers, for both production, marketing and oversight of what “grass-fed” meant.

Mike And Sally Gale were there and so was David Evans, fresh home with his degree from Cal Poly. Both David and Mike stressed the importance of creating a new kind of organic and grass-fed infrastructure for small alternative producers.

 

Thirteen years later David Evans would purchase Rancho Veal, the Northbays only slaughter facility, realizing the vision of a vertically integrated and complete local infrastructure to serve the small, specialty and alternative ranchers who market locally. He had already developed a strong business model with his butcher shop and meat cutting plant.

 

Traditional family ranches have added or switched to local grass fed production on organically certified pasture, and market to local grocery stores and Whole Foods.

 

Cheese returns: “What goes around comes around.” – Bob Giacomini

 

Marin used to be dotted with small creameries designed for butter, but they also made cheese. After all, milk was king, and cheese and butter making was a way to preserve and transport product. But with refrigeration and transportation expansions the creameries were gradually replaced with the big plant in Petaluma as things consolidated.

 

By 1970 one cheese making plant remained, Marin-French Cheese in Hicks Valley. Until Sue Conley and Peg Smith moved to Point Reyes Station and started making award-winning cheeses from Organic Strauss Milk. The Cowgirls lit the torch exposing the hidden possibilities of added value opportunities that grows peacefully disguised as green grass, ready to be transformed by Jerseys and Holsteins into delightful cheeses.

 

Other producers started to see the possibilities of reviving the original model of the small, locally centered family creameries of previous times. Today award winning cheeses are regularly produced throughout Marin. I asked Bob Giacomini about this subject a decade or so ago and he told me, “What goes around comes around.”

 

Albert Strauss midwifes the birth of Organic Dairying

 

When Albert Straus came back from Cal Poly to the Strauss Ranch in Marshall 1977 he was armed with the newest thinking and innovations in dairy science, and a singular passion to modernize the family farm with sustainable and holistic management practices. But above all, Albert was passionate, and still is today, about farming the land and producing his milk with care, respect for the land and efficiency. This led him straight to organic production.

 

Until the mid seventies, organic was applied mainly to row crops—veggies, fruits grains nuts etc. The science of organic dairy production was pre-natal. Robert Vallejo, former herd manager for Albert, remembers.

 

“When we first started out, we had to learn everything ourselves. Nobody knew how to take care of the cows organically. We had to learn everything.” Robert Vallejo- Hidden Bounty of Marin

 

It took a truck load of effort for Albert to pull it off, but he managed to build Strauss Family Creamery out of courage, commitment and class into the first organic dairy west of the Mississippi and the very first certified organic dairy in the USA.

 

The innovators mentioned above have helped to shape agriculture by taking risks, having vision and believing in not only themselves, but the community that supports them.

 

Green Bridge replacement proposal by Caltrans

 

Recommendations from a transportation consultant regarding the Caltrans plans for replacing the Green Bridge. Comment period ends April 20.

 

After Thursday night’s gathering with Caltrans, I spoke at length with my daughter about the event. She is an independent transportation consultant in the Bay Area, and has worked on numerous projects dealing with Caltrans and/or their operations. She understands how they think and operate, and their intentions—things all of us should know about the forthcoming bridge replacement.

 

This bridge IS going to be replaced. That is the primary thing to understand. As it stands now, it is seismically unsafe. If the bridge was damaged, as in an earthquake, our communities would be cut off from each other; perhaps even for an extended period of time.

 

We now have an opportunity to influence Caltrans’ choice of bridge design. The comment period ends on April 20th , giving us time work on getting a new bridge that we like.

 

This article is not meant to be an all-inclusive discussion of the bridge replacement, but simply to supply information. Use it effectively to write your comments to Caltrans—hopefully they will allow our community to end up with a bridge that we can all be proud of.

 

A year ago Caltrans got soundly criticized for their lack of progress in creating a viable, vibrant transportation system throughout California.  Since then, Caltrans has been working to re-organize so that staff can focus on building a sustainable, multi-modal transportation system. They recently developed a new mission: vision and goals for the agency.  It is important for us to understand the Caltrans project, then relay our concerns and comments, using the language that they are comfortable with. These are now mandates from HQ, which can be found at www.dot.ca.gov/hq/paffairs/about/mission.htm

 

To help our community get organized, I spoke with my daughter, and she brought-up some important points. Thursday night we received a handout called “the Lagunitas Creek Bridge Project Scoping Meeting.”  My daughter pointed out the “Project Purpose and Need” (PPN) section states an important fact—Caltrans is already in stage two of the bridge building process. This PPN drives the decision of which bridge design is settled on. In this case, the decision is the building of a “seismically safe crossing on SR-1 over Lagunitas Creek” and nothing more.  They do not have to make it pretty or efficient, etc. Just seismically safe.

 

The first goal with our comments is to persuade Caltrans to edit the PPN if possible. They should continue the words of the above quoted excerpt, adding on another sentence, such as, “to provide a safe way for tourists and local residents to access the communities on either side of the bridge while reducing pollution and enhancing the local economies.”  A second sentence could be added, addressing the concerns of tourists using the Point Reyes National Seashore, or a sentence about the locals ability to access our schools and medical facilities. Or one about protecting the environment. Keep your comments short and concise. As we comment on each design, or the design we prefer, we can then refer back to the wording in Mission Statement to emphasize these points. Hopefully this will sway them toward our preferred bridge design.

 

The Caltrans web page for the Lagunitas Creek Bridge project can be found at the link below.  On the right side of the page are 3 links to further documents including the 14 posters we saw at Thursday night’s Caltrans meeting. It is important to be familiarize yourself with the contents of the second and third links.   http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist4/lagunitascreekbridge/

 

 

The bridge design options offered to us seem to be taken from Engineering 101 where the teacher says the assignment is to design a bridge. You basically have 4 options, and they have given us one of each: steel truss, overhead lateral bracing, precast concrete, and suspension bridge.  Also, road widths, shoulder widths and sidewalk widths are determined by Caltrans having successfully used these widths, designs, etc. in the past to build a safe bridge.  And in the past their attitude has been, “Why change it if it worked before?”  My daughter said it might take a lot to change this part of the process—the dimensions of the bridge features.  If someone cares about the final size of the bridge, one approach would be research and report on other bridges throughout California built by Caltrans that deviated from the norm and did not increase risk to passengers and pedestrians.

 

It may help to point out to Caltrans some things they may not understand about our bridge and our communities and needs, simply because we are in a rural, agricultural area that is unfamiliar to them. Letting them know, for instance, that Option 2 with overhead lateral bracing and a height limitation will be unfeasible because of tall hay trucks and livestock trucks. It may impinge on the movement of large construction vehicles needed if we have another large mud slide or wild fire. This is something they may not have thought of, and will more strongly influence their decision against this choice of design.

 

Also each of the 4 designs has three options regarding the sidewalks:  cantilevered, adjacent to the street bed, and adjacent to the street bed with a guardrail.  Using wording from their mission statement and our edited PPN we can explain why we prefer one form of sidewalk to another, so that no matter which bridge design they choose, at least we had a say in which sidewalk design we end up with.

 

I found an interesting point about design #3, the pre-cast concrete girder: in parts of Caltrans District 7 likeMonterey County, maintenance workers now alter the color of the concrete and paint on their bridges to blend with the surroundings, making it appear like it had been there for quite a while. Here is a comment we can make to influence the final design, should they end up choosing it.

 

Another place we can influence the design process is with the list of agencies and stakeholders Caltrans plans to work with. There is no mention of the Inverness Association, Pt. Reyes Village Association or the West Marin Chamber of Commerce, or of local residents, tourists and others I have not mentioned.  Again, Caltrans is not familiar with our community, so these omissions need to be pointed out in our comments, encouraging them to confer with the list above for input in the environmental and design phases.

How about Caltrans traffic counts? Are they aware that Labor Day weekend sees perhaps the largest increase in summer traffic for the sand castle building contest? Or that Western Weekend in June increases traffic diversions because of the parade?  Not to mention that the area is now a major destination for motorcyclists and bicycle riders every weekend. These groups need to be considered in any design choice.

 

Another area to influence Caltrans is the temporary bridge. It is probably not possible to build a two lane temporary bridge—one could then not get in and out of the Vet Clinic. In regards to this, we could ask for an option: if we find the existing timing is impeding traffic and increasing pollution, then change the timing of the traffic lights on the bridge. (refer to the rewritten PPN idea and to the Caltrans Mission Statement). We could do it seasonally with a different timing in the winter than the summer.

 

Also, we can comment on how Caltrans will leave the site upon completion of the bridge replacement.  For instance, environmentalists may wish to have the creek banks replanted with specific plants that will support and promote the salmon or frogs. Those who live directly south of the bridge may want hedges built on their property lines to help block the noise from the new wider roadbed. These are things to add to your comments.

 

Our overall goal is to make comments that will make the bridge and our community better. In writing your comments, focus on what is most important to you. Then add additional comments if you wish. You want to be very convincing about your choice so that Caltrans will want to choose it for the design.

 

Language in all of these cases is very important.  Avoiding negative words and phrases such as ‘lack of traffic’ and ‘congestion’ and instead using ‘mobility’ and ‘access’ can influence Caltrans in your direction.  Our word choices should be around cultivating what we want, rather than focusing on what we want to avoid.

 

Caltrans is only obligated to notify residences and business within a very small area surrounding both sides of the bridge about the coming construction. Some locals, and of course all our tourists, will be completely unaware of this upcoming project. It behooves us to do what we can to let the uninformed population know about this project. We encourage the coming together as a community to brainstorm ways to alleviate some of the traffic congestion and disturbances this construction project will cause. We need to minimize these disruptions as much as possible. Fortunately, this do not have to be decided by April 20th.  Actual construction on the bridge is not anticipated until 2019.  However it will last 2-3 years, with the first stage being the construction of the temporary bridge, so at least that stage will not disrupt us too much.

 

We can only influence and not make the final choice for Caltrans. We will each have to find a way, personally, to be okay with every one of the four designs. Something may arise in the environmental impact report phase or permitting phase that would require that only one of the four is feasible to build. We will have to accept that. It is important to open our minds to the fact that any option could be chosen. For that process I find it helpful to focus my thoughts around this bridge replacement not as replacing a steel structure, but as maintaining a valuable community connection.

 

Comments can be sent by email by April 20th toLagunitas_bridge@dot.ca.gov

 

Letters can be sent by April 20th to:    California Department of Transportation

District 4 Office of Environmental Analysis

Attn:  Oliver Iberien

P O Box 23660

Oakland, CA 94623

 

—————

Cathleen Dorinson

Pt Reyes Station

663-8426

 

Arch Rock collapse at Point Reyes National Seashore

 

San Francisco preschool teacher, 58-year-old Nancy Blum, died Saturday. A section of seashore bluff at Arch Rock collapsed beneath her and her companion. Her companion survived the fall without life-threatening injuries. Bystanders told emergency personnel the ground gave way all at once with a terrifying and thunderous crash Saturday, hurling the San Francisco woman and her companion toward the beach 75 feet below amid tons of broken sandstone that had been part of the Point Reyes National Seashore’s Arch Rock.

Rescue personnel, including Sonoma County’s Henry 1 helicopter and crew, credited bystanders with helping to free the injured man’s trapped foot and lower leg from the rubble. In the meantime, the incoming tide was rising around him and the fog was closing in.

Earlier that day many hikers paused at Arch Rock to examine the reported fissures.

Rangers discovered the fissure on the cliff’s edge last Wednesday and posted signs warning hikers that “hazardous conditions exist on Arch Rock. Fissures along the top of Arch Rock may have weakened the cliff.”

The sign at the Bear Valley trailhead warned bluffs along the California coast are inherently unstable. They are prone to crumbling and sliding. It is very dangerous to climb or walk along the edge of cliffs. Be aware of falling rocks if walking near the base of a rock face. The warning did not specifically tell hikers to stay off of Arch Rock. The sign on the trail at Bear Valley parking lot included a photo of the fissure. Another photo, also by the Park service, posted on the PRNS website, showed a much wider fissure.

The day before the collapse, the Point Reyes National Seashore had posted a photo on Facebook of the fissure in the rock structure — with a warning to use caution.

“Visitors using Bear Valley Trail to Arch Rock — watch out! At the very end of the trail, the cliff is breaking away — seen here in a photo taken Wednesday,” the government organization said.

The Bear Valley trail is very popular on the weekends, with the parking lot nearly full by late morning. Scores of hikers headed up the Bear Valley trail, many with Arch Rock as their destination.

John Dell’Osso from the Point Reyes National Seashore told CNN and other news outlets that it had posted warnings after being notified last Thursday that a crack had formed in the arch.

“We posted all kinds of notices up and down that particular trail (Bear Valley), which is how probably 99% of the people who would hike that far would (go), and all around our visitors’ center in Trail Heads, just to warn people of the hazard that was out there,” Dell’Osso said.

“We didn’t know what could happen and what unfortunately did happen is on Saturday afternoon a large portion of that overlook actually collapsed down onto the beach and partly onto the ocean,” he said. “The tragedy is that there were two people that were standing out there who fell with all of that rubble.”

After emergency personnel reached Blum and her hiking companion, she was flown to Bear Valley Ranger Station, where she was pronounced dead.

Citizen Staff

 

 

 

Editor’s comments:

The Park Service was aware of the dangerous nature of the bluff, with the recent fissure widening. Such a condition needed stronger measures than passive signs at such a popular and well used trail.

There are many photographs being posted on social media showing groups of hikers standing on Arch Rock that Saturday, and even jumping over the crack.

I do not know if this type of cliff fissure is common at Pt Reyes, or if they occur often and do not presage a major collapse. But a few questions come to mind: why was the warning not more specific? Why were there no rangers at the site during the day, when it would have been apparent that hikers were not heeding the warning? There seem to be enough staff on duty most weekends to snag dog owners with dogs off-leash on Limantour Beach, or even on a rainy New Years Eve in the Giacomini Wetlands, which happened to me. The Bear Valley trail is very popular on the weekends, with the parking lot nearly full by late morning and scores of hikers heading up Bear Valley road, many with Arch Rock as their destination. The hikers I spoke with on Sunday morning were studying the sign, photographing it, and when told that the cliff had collapsed the previous day, discussed how they could hike close to observe the slide. It appears that the sign drew people to the site to see the fissure for themselves. It seems that it would have been prudent to close off the trail immediately and post some rangers in the area after it became apparent that it was widening rapidly. Trails have been closed for much more benign reasons in the past. Linda Petersen

West Marin Sheriff’s Logs

Monday March 16

Point Reyes Station 6:01 p.m. Woman reported that another woman had thrown a rock at her while she was volunteering at a local event. Incident happened on March 14th and reporting party had no other contact with the alleged rock thrower.

Point Reyes Station 6:37 p.m. A man reported that another man had slapped him in the face. Investigating deputies found man to be extremely drunk and unable to describe what happened to him. Man advised to call back when he was sober to better complete his report.

Tuesday March 17

Bolinas 12:17 p.m. Landlord reported an ongoing issue with on their tenants.

Stinson Beach 7:10 p.m. Reporting parties 16 yr-old son was reportedly trashing the house. Son has mental health issues but is taking his medications. Situation abated before deputies could respond.

Wednesday March 18

Stinson Beach 8:17 p.m. Son called to report that his mom had attacked him. Son stated that he was okay for now and waiting to hear from his therapist to learn some new strategies in interacting with his mom.

Thursday March 19

Tomales 9:28 a.m. A found cell phone was turned over to the fire department.

Bolinas 10:27 a.m. A man reported that he had received a bill for over $50 from a credit card account that he does not use.

Bolinas 11:00 a.m. Deputies went to serve papers to a woman at local address. Person at address stated that woman has not lived at this address for several years.

Bolinas 1:15 p.m. A naked elderly woman was reportedly throwing rocks at surfers near the ‘patch’. Woman was taken into custody as a danger to herself and/or others.

Bolinas 4:56 p.m. A woman reported that she lost her gold Prada wallet containing credit cards, driver’s license and cash at a local farm stand.

Tomales 6:37 p.m. A man tried to leave his rental property but was unable to because his neighbor was blocking him in. Neighbor’s actions were apparently purposeful and intended to address man’s habit of driving dangerously around neighbors off leash dog.

Friday March 20

Dillon Beach 9:00 a.m. Reporting party stated that they were approached by a man in a car that morning. Car didn’t have its lights on and man inside car began asking the person walking for their name and address. Man in car stated that they were part of neighborhood watch but reporting party stated that they felt they were suspicious.

Stinson Beach 11:55 a.m. A proprietor of a local establishment called to state that their neighbor was blasting loud music and had been harassing their customers.

Point Reyes Station 5:16 p.m. A man reportedly began yelling obscenities at the Wells Fargo in town. Man was contacted by deputies and advised to not return to bank.

Saturday March 21

Bolinas 2:49 a.m. Neighbor reported that the people next door were being loud in their hot tub.

Olema 5:42 p.m. Deputies reported to the scene of two people falling from Arch Rock. Coroner contacted after one of the hikers reportedly died in fall.

Sunday March 22

Stinson Beach 1:09 p.m. A woman reported that she was having an ongoing issue with the church of Scientology. Woman states that her car has been vandalized and crushed beer bottles left on her porch. Woman went on to state that she had already contacted the FBI regarding her concerns. Deputies advised her to get a security camera.

Bolinas 4:58 p.m. A report came in of 4-5 juveniles around 11 years old were riding around on dirt bikes.