Coronavirus Links

Here are a few reputable COVID-19 links for accurate, up-to-date information. I will leave this up at the top of the blog as a sticky note until the pandemic passes, or is under control. I may add to it if other reputable sources warrant.

Big Sur Information

Header Photo by bigsurkate

IMPORTANT, READ THIS POST FIRST FOR INFORMATION ABOUT VISITING BIG SUR!!

For the most thorough and complete guide to Big Sur on the internet see:

Big Sur Visitor’s Guide

PLEASE JOIN ME AND TAKE THE BIG SUR PLEDGE!

From http://Bigsurpledge.org

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Interactive Highway Map with Mile Markers and slide names is to the right, under “Pages” first one *Big Sur Interactive Maps... if the following link doesn’t work. *Big Sur Interactive Slide Maps will answer any questions you may have about where something is in relation to something else.

MY DIRECT EMAIL IS: kwnovoa@mac.com

(Size for any header photos you may wish to submit it is 760×151 pixels.)

Memorial Day, 2020

Last year, Bixby Bridge was backed up going south, all the way back to Palo Colorado. This year, much of Big Sur is still closed, but some people are violating the SIP orders anyway.

Just a reminder: People often confuse Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. On Memorial Day we honor those who gave their lives in the fight for our country. We honor our dead. Veteran’s Day, we honor the living.

This post is dedicated to all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation and for us…In memory of all of them, regardless of who they were.

Lost Dog

UPDATE: This truck and trailer was seen stopping by where Canela would have come out to Highway 1 about the time she went missing. It is from a neighbor’s surveillance camera. It is possible these people picked her up. Keep an eye out:

Our dog Canela is missing as of noon today. She may have followed Libby, my wife down our road at Kleissner’s property and then on to highway one.
She has never done this before. She always wants to be by our side and does not wander.
Her name is Canela and she is a sweetheart.
She does not have her collar because we have been home. And is not microchipped.
Can you PLEASE get the word out?
Please notify the Monterey County Animal Services at 831-769-8850

Thank you!
Dani

Canela is missing! Let’s get her home!

Heat Wave

From Daniel Swain, Weather West:

A pretty unusual large-scale atmospheric pattern over the northeastern Pacific Ocean and inland over the Southwest will contribute to a strikingly intense and persistent statewide heatwave this week across California. Indeed, extreme and in many cases record-breaking heat will actually extend across a pretty broad chunk of the American SW in the coming days–not just California. Heat will begin building today, but will become noticeably oppressive in some places by Monday. The heat will continue to intensify Tuesday, Wednesday, and possibly through Thursday before reaching a very impressive peak–especially across NorCal. Widespread daily record highs are expected, especially in NorCal, on multiple successive days (likely in some spots from Mon-Thurs). Right now, the high-resolution models are suggesting that this week’s extreme heat will be most anomalous across portions of the San Francisco Bay Area, where I would not be entirely surprised to see some monthly (not just daily) heat records fall. But ensemble forecasting tools are also suggesting that 850mb temperatures could approach/exceed record levels across an even broader region by Wed/Thurs–so there is some potential for this upcoming heat event to “outperform” even these pretty lofty predictions.

COVID-19 Community Response Report, May 18

COVID-19 Community Response Group Meeting Notes May 18, 2020
Attendees (via Zoom):20thCongressional District, State Senate District 17, Cal State Parks, US Forest Service, 5thDistrict Supervisor, Parks Management Company, Ventana Wilderness Alliance, Big Sur Chamber of Commerce, Big Sur Health Center, Esalen Institute, Big Sur Fire, Big Sur CERT, and the Community Association of Big Sur 


Big Sur Health Center:Executive Director Sharen Carey reports:·     There are still no known cases of COVID-19 in the Big Sur planning area.·     Urges that Big Sur residents be wary of fraudulent telephone and internet activity. Fraudsters posing as representatives of insurance companies, especially Medicare and MediCal, are posing as representatives offering free masks, treatments and COVID testing in exchange for some personal information.·     The Health Center is exploring options for providing testing of individuals who are asymptomatic for COVID-19. Has requested that business owners provide her with a rough count of number of employees that may participate in a future testing program.·      Bottom line defense against contracting the virus: Assume it is in Big Sur and take all precautions recommended : wearing facemasks in public, social distancing, frequent handwashing.


Big Sur Fire, Chief Matt Harris:Chief Matt Harris reports:·       California state fire season officially opens today.·       Big Sur Fire is poised to respond to an active fire season.·       CAPS meeting for Spring 2020 is canceled.


Fifth District Supervisor. Yuri Anderson for Supervisor Mary Adams.·       Led general discussion around the evolving metrics for moving from Stage 1 to Stage 2 of the Monterey County SIP Order. ·       Expressed appreciation for CABS and Chamber amplifying Supervisor Adams notifications.·       Based on last Friday’s turn out, the need to continue the Food Distribution at MPC is clear. This Friday, there will be another distribution with enough boxes to serve 500 families. ·       COVID-19 drive thru testing for asymptomatic residents of Monterey County is now available at MPC. No cost. No appointment necessary. ·      Supervisor Adams is currently on 2 ad hoc committees working on guidelines necessary to transition from stage 1 to stage 2 and 3 of Monterey County’s SIP order. In her portfolio are businesses centric to Hospitality and Personal Services. ·      With Memorial weekend approaching, Mary is focusing on additional resources to crack down on illegal roadside camping and providing law enforcement with stronger language and stiffer fines for those breaking the law.


Big Sur Chamber of Commerce,Kirk Gafill reports:·       The Big Sur Business community continues to try to understand what the necessary metrics are for moving from one stage to another in the Local and State SIP Orders.·       Testing is now available for those not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 at 3 locations in Monterey County. Most convenient location is at MPC. No cost, no appointment necessary.·       Encouraging the Big Sur Health Center to explore providing testing. (See Sharen’s comments above)·       Both locally and statewide, there is growing momentum to ease restrictions. There are complex and competing local and regional policies creating uncertainty on all levels.·       Local, State and Federal agencies need to anticipate increases in visitation beginning this weekend, ramping up further over Memorial Weekend.·       This increase in visitation necessitates more management by government agencies and further easing of restrictions on Day Use Areas and restroom facilities.·       It seems clear that regardless of the SIP Order or what stage Monterey County is in, visitors are coming and we need to be ready.·       Diana Ballantyne expressed concern regarding the status of opening guidance for campgrounds. Yuri Anderson on behalf of Supervisor Adams offered that the priority focus has been establishing guidelines for opening businesses in the stage 2 category. Campgrounds, along with motels and hotels are envisioned to open in stage 3 of the SIP order.


Community Emergency Response Team, Martha Karstens:·       That the residents SIP survey is ongoing.·       18 CERT members continue training via Zoom video conferencing platform.
USFS, LPNF Monterey District Ranger Tim Short:·      The Forest Order essentially closing the Monterey District of the LPNF expired last Friday and a new Order was issued in its place. The new revised Forest Order opens Eastside hiking and Day Use Areas. Additionally, Coastside Day Use Areas, Pfeiffer Beach, Sand Dollar, Mill Creek and Willow Creek were opened without widespread messaging. ·      These open areas are meant to provide outdoor recreational opportunities for Monterey County residents.·      All developed campgrounds and dispersed camping areas remain closed.·      Forest wide fire restrictions went into effect last week.


Ca. State Parks, Superintendent Brent Marshall:·      The hard closure of campgrounds and Day Use Areas is still in effect.·      Despite the rainy weather, Parks personnel issued over a dozen citations for violation of the SIP order by members of the public trying to access clearly marked closed areas.·      Parks is in the process of evaluating the timing of and exact locations of areas that will open first once a decision to ease restrictions is made.


Parks Management Company,Brian Cushman, CEO:·       Day Use Areas (Pfeiffer Beach, Willow Creek, Sand Dollar and Mill Creek) opened over the weekend. Attendance was approximately half normal capacity.·       Day Use Areas have ample signage outlining proper behavior of visitors.·       Expecting an increase in visitation in the weeks ahead.


Ventana Wilderness Alliance, Mike Splain, ED:·     12 uniformed Volunteer Wilderness Rangers contributed 117 hours on 5 patrols.·     Rangers posted closure & fire restriction signage at 17 trailheads, including Boronda, Kirk Creek, Mill Creek, & both ends of the Prewitt Loop.·     Rangers also posted Do Your Part signage at the Carmel River, (eastern) Pine Ridge, Horse Pasture, Church Creek, & Santa Lucia trailheads, conducted fire ring maintenance & hazard reduction at 5 campsites, & made 19 visitor contacts.·     Among the violations reported were 2 cars at Mill Creek TH, 7 cars at Boronda TH, 27 cars at Salmon Creek TH, 5 cars at Baldwin Ranch Rd·     In several locations closure tape & signage had been removed or vandalized.·     On the eastern side of the District, cabin-owners at the Santa Lucia Summer Home Tract reported a wave of lawless behavior- breaking & entering at the old ranger station & 4 cabins, as well as overflowing trash cans, vandalized gates & bonfires at Santa Lucia Memorial Park campground. 

Esalen Institue. Lacy Shannon:·     Targeting reopening of the campus in mid-June, subject to local and state SIP guidelines.·     Esalen has some procedures to address, modify and refine in terms of dining and lodging prior to opening.


17thState Senate District, Colleen Courtney for Senator Bill Monning:·       Reported that a number of Big Sur constituents are working with Senator Monning’s team to solve issues around applying for and receiving unemployment insurance benefits.
20thCongressional District, Katie Moon on behalf of Congressman Jimmy Panetta. ·       Introduced Jimmy Panetta’s new District Manager Phil Deppert, taking over for Kathleen Lee.·       District team continues to provide assistance where needed focusing on SBA programs, Federal stimulus programs and constituents stuck abroad by C-19.·       Jimmy working on legislation (SOS 2020) which will fund states creating strike teams to address C-19 threats to nursing homes and assisted living spaces.·       Traveled to D.C. to vote in favor of the House Heroes Act.·       An important provision of the Act is early voting and vote by mail, funding for Counties to fight C-19 as well as revisions to the CARES Act PPP rules and guidelines for repayment.


Community Association of Big Sur, Butch Kronlund. ED:·       CABS, working with the Big Sur business HR departments, will be making a second distribution of financial assistance to those most financially vulnerable due to employment disruptions brought on by COVID-19.·       CABS has also identified another area of financial need in the Big Sur community and has opened an application process for those independent contractors who have been unable to secure either PPP or SBA funding. ·       With remote learning the new reality for all school age children, Big Sur children continue to be at a disadvantage at home, trying to keep up with their peers due to a lack of Broad Band internet capacity in Big Sur. Katie and Butch to connect this week to continue working toward a solution.

Misc. aid for Big Sur due to COVID-19

The Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County is accepting applications for a one-time direct financial assistance up to $1,000 per household for undocumented immigrants impacted by COVID-19.  This assistance is available for Monterey County residents and is separate from the assistance offered by the Community Association of Big Sur (CABS). For more information, frequently asked questions and to apply for assistance, click the links below:

California Department of Social Services

Community Action Board of Santa Cruz

Or call 1-800-228-6820 for more information or to complete an application.

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Financial Assistance from CABS for Independent Contractors
(Gig Economy Workers)

Due to the generosity of the Community Foundation for Monterey County, Jack Dorsey, and a number of anonymous Big Sur resident donors, CABS has established a modest COVID Relief Fund. If you live and work in Big Sur, and you are an independent contractor and have applied for PPP, EIDL and/or unemployment benefits and have been declined, or were unable to apply for these benefits, please contact us for an application for financial assistance.

We will require the following with your application:
a.     Proof of rejection from SBA (PPP and EIDL) and EDD; or
b.     An explanation for why you were not able to apply for PPP, EIDL and/or EDD.

If you have had difficulty making an application for EDD Unemployment benefits, please contact Senator Monning’s office at 831-425-0401. They are providing assistance and can help you complete your application.

For a nice concise guide to the CARES Act Relief, please visit this site: https://www.uschamber.com/report/independent-contractors-guide-cares-act-relief

If you believe you qualify for financial assistance based on the above, please send a request for the application form to info@CABigsur.org
PLEASE RESPOND BY MAY 22, 2020

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LPNF Closure Order

Los Padres extends recreation site closure until June 1                                                                                                                                                                                GOLETA, Calif. – Los Padres National Forest officials today announced that campgrounds managed by concessionaire will remain closed through June 1 in an effort to remain consistent with state and local health guidelines that promote safe social distancing and discourage large gatherings.
Information on individual recreation sites is available on Los Padres National Forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf.
Outdoor recreation is beneficial to mental and physical health but must be practiced safely. The Forest Service is focused on ensuring the health and safety of our employees, our concessionaires and the public while maintaining our ability to provide mission critical services including emergency fire response, law enforcement, and support for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. If you do plan on visiting the National Forest please be aware that:
No trash removal is currently offered – please pack out all trash and wasteAll toilet facilities are currently closed – please plan accordinglyAvoid high-risk activities – law enforcement and search and rescue operations may be limitedIf an area is crowded, please search for a less occupied location
We are working with our state and local partners to determine the best path forward to safely reopen these closed sites. Please keep health, safety and the environment in mind when visiting National Forests. Your personal responsibility is critical to ensuring public safety and preventing further restrictions. Visitors are encouraged to recreate in areas close to home and avoid traveling long distances. We appreciate your cooperation in keeping our national forests safe and healthy for everyone’s use.
FOREST ORDER NO. 05-07-00-20-07 Forest Developed Recreation Site Closure LOS PADRES NATIONAL FOREST
Pursuant to 16 USC § 551 and 36 CFR § 261.50(a), and to provide for public and employee health and safety, the following act is prohibited in the Los Padres National Forest. This Order is effective from May 16, 2020through June 1, 2020.

Entering or using a Developed Recreation Site (campground) managed by Parks Management Company, or a portion thereof, as listed in Exhibit A.36 CFR 261.58(b).

Pursuant to 36 CFR § 261.50(e), the following persons are exempt from this Order:Any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or fire fighting force in the performance of an official duty.
This prohibition is in addition to the general prohibitions contained in 36 CFR Part 261, Subpart A.

A violation of this prohibition is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both. 16 USC § 551 and 18 USC §§ 3559, 3571, and 3581.

Done at Goleta, California this 15th day of May, 2020.Kevin B. ElliottForest SupervisorLos Padres National Forest

LOS PADRES NATIONAL FOREST MONTEREY RANGER DISTRICT Forest Order No. 05-07-51-20-08COVID19 Emergency Closure
Pursuant to 16 USC 551 and 36 CFR 261.50(a) and (b), and to provide for public safety, the following acts are prohibited within the Los Padres National Forest, Monterey Ranger District. This Order is effective from May16, 2020through May 31, 2020.

1. Entering or using the trailheads listed below and shown on the attached map.San Carpoforo TrailheadSalmon Creek TrailheadBuckeye TrailheadSoda Springs TrailheadCruickshank TrailheadPrewitt South TrailheadPrewitt North TrailheadMill Creek TrailheadKirk Creek TrailheadDe Angulo TrailheadBoronda Trailhead
36 CFR 261.58(b).

2. Being on the National Forest System roads listed below and shown on the attached map.Forest Road No. 22S05 (South Coast Ridge Road)Forest Road No. 23S01 (Los Burros (Willow Creek) Road)Forest Road No. 23S02 (Plaskett Ridge Road)Forest Road No. 20S05 (North Coast Ridge Road)
36 CFR 261.54(e).

3. Being on the National Forest System trails listed below and shown on the attached map.Forest Road No. 20S03 (Boronda Trail)Forest Trail No. 2E07 (De Angulo Trail)Forest Trail No. 4E17 (Kirk Creek Trail)Forest Trail No. 5E06 (Prewitt Loop Trail)Forest Trail No. 5E10 (Cruickshank Trail)Forest Trail No. 5E17 (Soda Springs Trail)Forest Trail No. 5E09 (Buckeye Trail)Forest Trail No. 6E11 (Salmon Creek Trail)
36 CFR 261.55(a).

Pursuant to 36 CFR 261.50(e), the following persons are exempt from this Order:Any Federal, State or local officer, public utilities employee, or member of an organized rescue or fire fighting force in the performance of an official duty.

Owners or lessees of private land are exempt from the prohibitions listed above to the extent necessary to gain access to their land.
Residents are exempt from the prohibitions listed above to the extent necessary to gain access to their residences.
Current recreational cabin permittees are exempt from the prohibitions listed above to the extent necessary to access their cabins.
Persons with a Forest Permit for Use of Roads, Trails, or Areas Restricted by Regulation or Order, Form FS-7700-48, specifically exempting them from this Order.
These prohibitions are in addition to the general prohibitions in 36 CFR Part 261, Subpart A.
A violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.
16 USC 551 and 18 USC 3559, 3571, and 3581.
Executed in Goleta, California, this 15th day of May, 2020.Kevin B. ElliottForest SupervisorLos Padres National Forest
FOREST ORDER PDF’SCOVID-19 Emergency Closure extension to May 31Forest Developed Recreation Site Closure Exhibit AForest Developed Recreation Site Closure Order
LPNF CLOSURE MAP

Federal Surveillance Tower comes to Big Sur

UPDATE: The Monterey County Planning Department today notified Big Sur residents that it will schedule another meeting of the South Coast Big Sur Land Use Advisory Committee on May 26 to discuss the tower proposal. 

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency is building a temporary surveillance tower meant to provide “security and coastal protection” at a remote site in Big Sur.

News of the proposed tower at Lucia Ranch, 50 miles south of Carmel, did not reach Big Sur until last Tuesday, when the South Coast Big Sur Land Use Advisory Committee heard an “informational” presentation about the project.

Neighbors adjacent to Lucia Ranch, including former Rep. Sam Farr, said they weren’t aware of the proposal until after Tuesday’s meeting.

The 80-foot tower would apparently test technology the agency has developed in an effort to capture real-time photographs and video of boats up to 24 miles out to sea. If working correctly, the surveillance would detect packages, people and weapons on the vessels.

Documents presented to the Big Sur committee indicate that the solar-powered tower relies on “maritime radar” and other technology that “automatically detects, tracks and identifies watercraft of various sizes crossing open water between international waters and the U.S. shoreline.”

In a letter to the state Coastal Commission, a CBP representative said the tower is meant to “provide continuing security and coastal protection” and that more of them could be installed in other regions of the coast.

Oddly, after identifying the site, the CBP’s letter notes that “the strategy and actual placement of the system is For Official Use Only and is Law Enforcement Sensitive information.”

For the rest of the article, see: https://voicesofmontereybay.org/2020/05/15/cbp-plans-surveillance-tower-in-big-sur/