September 22, 2000 |
The rapidly spreading death of Northern California coastal oaks is causing mounting alarm among state and federal scientists who have no cure for a deadly new disease that could ravage the state's signature tree and perhaps move across the country. First detected five years ago among little-valued tan oaks, the disease known as sudden oak death is now attacking prized coast live oaks and black oaks, turning hillsides a desolate brown. "It's a nightmare," U.S.
September 17, 2000 |
A sunny, scenic beach usually means one thing: crowds. But this Central Coast gem just five miles north of Morro Bay is a classic California beach town--without the sea of people. My family visited Cayucos for a weekend in July, and we were charmed by the retro look of the place. Surf shops and restaurants are housed in 100-year-old wooden buildings, and there's nary a fast-food franchise in sight.
September 4, 2000 |
It is one of those observations that seldom alight in our awareness. A realization too grandiose and, at the same time, too ethereal to take hold. Unless we pause. Then we savor what an astonishing thing is at hand: The greatest of California's many natural wonders remains hidden at our doorstep. The largest animals that ever lived, bigger than dinosaurs, are swimming out there now on the other side of Highway 1.
August 4, 2000 |
California's fabled coastline is far more polluted than previously thought. From San Diego to San Francisco, hundreds of new areas were closed or posted last year because of dangerous ocean bacteria, according to a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council released Thursday. Beaches along the state's 1,100-mile coast were closed for the day or posted with warnings a record 3,547 times, more than half of the national total of 6,160, according to the study.
July 24, 2000 |
The federal government has announced plans to set aside more than 2,500 acres of the fast-developing Central Coast as critical habitat for an endangered snail. Most of the land being mapped out for the tiny Morro shoulderband snail is in Montana de Oro State Park near San Luis Obispo, but 615 adjacent acres are in private hands. The designation of critical habitat, which will take effect next year, does not prohibit development.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 21, 2000 |
Opponents and proponents of a $100-million entertainment complex planned for the Long Beach waterfront clashed Thursday during a daylong hearing before state officials charged with overseeing land use along the California shoreline. At issue is whether the controversial Queensway Bay project--an 18-acre mix of restaurants, theaters and retail stores--conforms with state law that regulates what can be built on coastal land owned by the state.
July 10, 2000 |
Hundreds of potential access ways to the California coast apparently will be preserved for future public use because of improved planning and coordination among a string of state agencies. Beach easements from Mendocino County to San Diego had long been promised for public use, but were in danger of reverting to private hands because of inaction by state and local governments.
July 9, 2000 |
"A little bit of God's country between San Simeon and Big Sur" is how Tim Burres, owner of the Piedras Blancas Motel, describes this remote length of northern San Luis Obispo County coast. Until recently, most California Highway 1 motorists sped through "God's country," past all things named Piedras Blancas--the guano-covered rocks named by the explorer Juan Cabrillo in 1542, the quaint lighthouse built in 1874, and some funky houses constructed in the 1950s.
July 1, 2000 |
The slender barracuda was no match for Earl Strech. The 82-year-old fisherman pumped and reeled like a pro, giving it no slack, wearing it down until it finally could be reeled to the boat. But just as the speedy game fish was about to clear the water, Strech's rod bent sharply toward the sea, then straightened with a twang. Gone was his prize, and with it his $6 lure. A large sea lion surfaced off the bow, looking toward Strech as if to say thanks, a breakfast of barracuda filling its jaws.
June 28, 2000 |
Erosion will destroy 5,000 homes along California's coastline in the next 60 years and, unless new legislation is passed, few property owners will be able to collect federal insurance money to cover the damage, according to a government study released Tuesday. The report by the Federal Emergency Management Agency predicts that losses to owners of oceanfront homes in California will reach $110 million a year by the middle of the century.