An orca has been sighted off Montara Beach

By on Wed, June 30, 2004

One of our readers reports seeing an orca at Montara Beach a couple of weeks ago:

I saw the Orca, as did several other surfers that day. I also saw a flyer in the tackle shop window at Princeton Harbor asking for reports on siting of Orcas seen around our area, apparently they rarely wander out of Monterey Bay.  It was definitely an Orca, 18" tall dorsal fin and a blow hole.

Does anyone else have experience with orcas in this area?

Sonrisas opens its third operating room, thanks to a donation from Nurserymen’s Exchange

By on Wed, June 30, 2004

The San Mateo Times profiles the Sonrisas Community Dental Clinic. Sonrisas just opened a third operating room with a donation from the Nurserymen’s Exchange. Sonrisas has served nearly 2,000 low-income patients in its three years of operation.

Did a larger vessel sink the Relentless?

By on Mon, June 28, 2004

The Monterey Herald has an interesting interview with the brother of the missing Relentless skipper, fisherman John Pennisi. He says the fishing boat was inside shipping lanes where there is constant danger of collision with vastly larger cargo ships and liners. The Coast Guard is actively investigating what ships would have been in the area when the Relentless went missing. The story features good quotes from fishermen who work those waters about the dangers of collision.

Thinking about running for office in November?

By on Mon, June 28, 2004

San Mateo County is holding a meeting Wednesday, June 30, on The Mechanics of Running for Public Office [pdf] for people who are thinking about running in November. The meeting, subtitled "Getting a Head Start on November 2, 2004",  will take place at 40 Tower Road San Mateo 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.

According to the county’s official elections site, elections will be held in November for the Cabrillo Unified School DistrictSan Mateo County Harbor District, La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District and Pescadero Municipal Advisory Council.

The Cabrillo Unified School District election is likely to be contentious, as it has in recent years. The terms of Board members Ken Jones and Ruth Palmer expire this year.

Time is running out. The deadline for filing is Friday, August 6. If any incumbents fail to file, the deadline will be extended to Wednesday, August 11.

Coastside wetlands may soon be declared as crucial red-legged frog habitat—comments close July 14

By on Sun, June 27, 2004

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal that more than 4 million acres be designated as crucial habitat areas for the California red-legged frog will close for comments July 14. The areas to be designated include coastal watersheds in San Mateo County, including Pescadero Marsh, and Elkhorn Slough in Santa Cruz County.

The frog, which inspired Mark Twain’s "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", was classified as threatened under the Endangered Species Act since 1996 because of the loss of its habitat. According to the Santa Cruz Sentinal the numbers in Elkhorn Slough’s largest ponds has dropped from around 300 to 20.

Album: Fiesta in the Park, Moss Beach

By on Sat, June 26, 2004

image  I dropped by Fiesta in the Park, the big benefit party for Moss Beach Park, at around noon today.  The music was great, the food was tasty, and all ages seemed to be having a good time.

I was also gratified to see the size of the crowd that turned out for this community event.

The HMB Airport gets a grant for weather equipment

By on Fri, June 25, 2004

The Department of Transportation has given Half Moon Bay Airport a grant of $186,000 to help pay for an Automated Weather Observing System to replace existing weather equipment at the airport.

The Montara Beach Coalition launches a Web site for my favorite beach

By on Wed, June 23, 2004

image The Montara Beach Coalition has created a beautiful new website dedicated to Montara Beach and the surrounding recreational areas (including McNee Ranch, Gray Whale Cove, and Montara Lighthouse). It’s designed to be a place where people can go for information, pictures, as well as to discuss the area and organize to help the beach.
Illustration: The home page of the Montara Beach Coalition is clearly a labor of love and the work of someone who knows how to design a Web site.

The Coast Guard has called off the search for the missing boat

By on Wed, June 23, 2004

The Coast Guard called off the search for the missing boat Tuesday night and the two men aboard have been declared missing, according to the San Mateo Times. The men have been identified as Dave Pennisi, a commercial fisherman out of Monterey, and Mike Odom, who lived and worked on the boat.

Who has the best cell phone coverage on the coast?

By on Tue, June 22, 2004

 class=On the other side of the hill, you can pretty much get whatever cell phone service offers you the best deal or the coolest phone.

Here in paradise, it’s little more complicated. Cell phone coverage is really bad in unpredictable ways.  Please share your experiences with cell phone service on the coast and make your recommendations.

Illustration: Sprint’s tower map for the midpeninsula shows just a handful of towers west of Skyline.

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