Lynda Marin and Lisa Bunin
CCALM, Citizens Concerned about Lockheed-Martin
Steve Schneider, County Environmental Health
Representative from Lockheed-Martin (TBA)
RBDA Board Elections
Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2004
Multi-Purpose Room, Bonny Doon School
|Need We Heed the Lock on Lockheed Files?
In the last issue of the Highlander we advised you of a plan to try to get access to the official environmental reports of the local Lockheed-Martin Corporation, which are tucked away in files in the County Environmental Health Department. This information might help us determine whether or not they are being good neighbors with respect to our air, soil, water and roads. While the RBDA has written to encourage Lockheed to allow this inspection, the main thrust of the effort is being carried on by Lynda Marin and Lisa Bunin of the group CCALM, Citizens Concerned about Lockheed-Martin.
The good news is that Lockheed did not exercise their option to prevent access to the files and that CCALM has been busy going through thousands of pages of documentation. The bad news is that these pages may have been redacted-modified if release of some data was thought not to be in the interest of corporate/national security. In some sense, this might amount to a secondary lock on the information CCALM was looking for, and in which the RBDA constituency is definitely interested.
At our January General meeting of the RBDA, we're going to hear from Lynda and Lisa directly about their notable success in this venture, and about any caveats they might still have about the process. Have they really unlocked the environmental information we, as Lockheed neighbors, feel we need for our own peace of mind?
Lockheed has also promised to send a representative to this meeting, and Steve Schneider, the County's Program Manager in Environmental Health, will come and answer questions. (We'd really like to know just how much pertinent data has been redacted from the files.)
Come cast your votes in the annual election, meet the new board members and then hear from as many of these corporate, county and CCALM spokespersons as respond to our invitation! Fire team members especially welcome, since some of the issues may bear on your activities.
Third Landowner Proposed for Coast Dairies
Last July, local farmers and the Coast Dairies & Land Citizen’s Advisory Group members were stunned after the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) revealed that it could not own and operate Coast Dairies land leased to row crop agriculture.
It was feared that farming would end on all of the property inland of Hwy 1. BLM is prepared to take only the upland portions of the property including land leased to RMC. Although State Parks leases out ag land in Wilder Ranch State Park, Parks only wanted Coast Dairies land on the ocean side of the highway, so the need arose for a third landholder to own and manage the inland ag property.
The Trust for Public Land then decided to request proposals from other entities, and in late December selected a group called Agri-Culture. Agri-Culture is a non-profit organization based in Watsonville that is associated with the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau. Agri-Culture’s slogan is "Communicating Agriculture," although it is not well known in North County. Agri-Culture’s president is Aptos realtor Bill Ringe and its board includes farmers, educators and prominent members of the South County agricultural industry.
TPL had also received a proposal from Save Our Agricultural Land (SOAL) which was accompanied by a letter of support from the RBDA, the Davenport/North Coast Association, the Davenport Resource Center and other local organizations.
RBDA Executive Board Election
At the January 14 annual meeting elections will take place for the four RBDA board positions expiring. Board members Miriam Beames and Marty Demare are stepping down from the board, while Ben Harmon and Don Coyne have been nominated, along with Jane Cavanaugh and Yana Jacobs. As per the bylaws, nominations were made at the November 2003 meeting, and no additional nominations are allowed at the January meeting. Here are the candidates' statements:
I have had the fortune to serve on the RBDA Board for the previous four years. It has been quite a fruitful period. Starting as it did with a very dramatic and divisive election that many of you will doubtless remember, it has been refreshingly positive ever since. I have been very encouraged by the active, caring involvement on the part of my peers on the Board as well as the members of the RBDA.Don Coyne
Most of us support the RBDA because we want Bonny Doon to stay the same way it has been-rural and natural. If we carried this to extremes, none of us would be here, so leading a group like the RBDA is always a choice among grays, rarely black and white.Jane Cavanaugh
I fell in love with Bonny Doon the first time I drove up here and in 1996 bought my first home here. For me this is a place with a great "people to nature ratio"-more trees, raw land, and wildlife than people, houses, and development. I deeply appreciate how Bonny Dooners take care of each other, how they balance friendliness with respect for privacy, and maintain the delicate balance of individual rights with impact on community and natural resources. This is a place I feel a sense of stewardship towards. I joined RBDA the moment I heard about it. I was a fairly passive member until the day I saw hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of red dots painted onto the trees in my neighborhood. For several months I worked very actively with a small group of RBDA members on behalf of concerned neighbors to challenge PG&E's "vegetation management" policy. I so appreciate the community services that the RBDA, Bonny Doon Fire and Rescue, Battle Mountain News, and other community groups provide. I have been looking for a more active way to give back to this community. I would be honored to serve you on the RBDA board.Yana Jacobs
In 1983 I purchased my family home in Bonny Doon. I raised my two sons here, started them at the Bonny Doon pre-school and then on to the elementary school. For the past 25 years I have worked for the County Mental Health Department, first as a Crisis Intervention Team Specialist and currently as the Acting Chief of Adult Services. My husband is a high school teacher with the Santa Cruz City Schools alternative education program. My family owns an organic farm in Pescadero and leases farmland at Wilder and Swanton.
A number of Bonny Doon residents, the kind who love their unspoiled, natural environment, recently complained to the RBDA Board about a proliferation of real estate signs. The County Code is quite specific about various kinds of advertising notices, and, indeed, a fair number of these "For Sale" signs were not in compliance with the law.
So the RBDA Board sent a letter (you can view it on the website, www.bonnydoon.got.net) to 25 realtors, to remind them of the code and request that they follow it. Four very nice realtors courteously responded to us, and most-but not all-of the illegal signs did disappear.
The Board does see remaining glitches:
* Some realtors may not have circulated our letter to all the agents in their officesIn short, the letter wasn't entirely effective at the outset, and we're not sure that what effect it did have will last very long.
Then we thought about it and realized that there is a more fundamental
problem. Realtors are, after all, only agents. They follow the wishes of
the people who are selling their homes. And so we suggest that, if you
are now putting your house on the market, you may think back to how you
used to be frustrated by all those ugly signs. Also, if you care about
'rural and natural' and have a relationship with a neighbor who's got a
home for sale, you might remind that person, gently, about how you feel
about signs and about the Santa Cruz County Code. For your reference,
we print it below:
"13.10.580 Signs in R-1, RB, RR, RA, RM, A, AP, and CA Districts.The Board is grateful to the realtors who did respond to our letter, and to the home sellers who have agreed to see their signs disappear. We wish them success in finding buyers, new neighbors who will be happy in this beautiful area.
Thanks to Our Road Warriors
The Highlander isn't in the habit of listing annual heroes. But if it were, for 2003 it would be the RBDA's Roads Committee, who spent hours analyzing and photographing culverts, prepared a very precise report listing all the problem areas with attached photos, and sent it to the County's Public Works Department. For whatever gets done about the roads on this mountain, and we all know how bad the problems are, we have to thank these dedicated neighbors: Dennis Mason and Tom Scully.
Dennis, incidentally, started 2004 with an act of road heroism. He was found on New Year's Day morning, in the midst of the winter's biggest storm to date, punishing rain and blustering winds, prowling around the Bonny Doon School to figure out why its runoff consistently floods Pine Flat Road. When asked why he was out in the gale, Dennis commented matter-of-factly that he needed to see the disaster in action. He explained that this runoff isn't such an insoluble situation-in fact, he'd already put in at least temporary fixes for the worst spots, so the water wasn't pouring across the road anymore-and pointed out what needed to be done on a permanent basis. And he added, again matter-of-factly, that it had taken him "only about four hours" to effect this miracle.
Financial problems are reducing local government's ability to provide services and maintenance. This means we all need to become more self-sufficient and take responsibility for our infrastructure needs.
Now it's up to the neighbors on Pine Flat and to the School to implement Dennis's solutions. He's promised to advise whoever is willing to get out there.
County DA Planning Enforcement Action Against RMC for Eco Reserve Violation
As reported previously by the Highlander, Dennis Baldwin, Warden for the California Dept. of Fish and Game (DFG), conducted an investigation regarding the unfortunate road grading through the Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve by RMC Pacific Material's consultant, Registered Professional Forester Gary Paul. Baldwin's report is now in the hands of Morgan Taylor, the Environmental District Attorney. Taylor has sent enforcement letters to the responsible parties indicating his intention to proceed with the case. Talks will commence shortly with RMC regarding appropriate action relative to the violations and possible fines that may be assessed.
RMC submitted an erosion control plan that was reviewed by the County, DFG and members of the RBDA. RMC then installed erosion control devices required by the County. RBDA members visiting the site earlier this month noted that many of the waterbars had failed. Erosion of the road surface had occurred in a number of areas, with runoff making its way around the end of the erosion control poles or working its way underneath some of them. RMC's contractor is attempting to rectify the problems.
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