BSMAAC Meeting Notes, 7/31/2009

Well, I promised my summary of the meeting, and then got sidetracked with fires – Ponderosa, Sam Jones, La Brea, and Lockheed. They are all wrapped up, and so I can get back to my planned communications. Now, I’m not sure I can make sense of my notes, after almost 3 weeks, but I’ll do my best.

I think the most exciting thing to come out of the meeting was the prospect for Broadband internet down the coast. The plan is to lay fiber optic all the way to the county line, hooking in various areas, including Captain Cooper School, the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade and Pacific Valley School. It is very exciting, but many, many rural communities in America are competing for funds. Leading the efforts for us is Arlene Krebs of CSUMB. At the time of the meeting, CSUMB only had 2 weeks to put together the grant. Many people are working hard on this to make it a reality. Once the fiber optics are laid along Highway One, assuming we get the grant, Phase II will look at how it can connect those off the Highway. That is a few years down the road, but should be an exciting step forward for many of us.

I, for one, started with a “black box” that connected my Motorola 3 W. bag phone to the modem on my computer. It “fooled” the modem into thinking there was a dial tone. It was $250 just for this magic black box. This was 15 years ago. I had to remember to only dial up after 9 pm and on weekends, or I ended up with an astronomical bill. I remember being excited when I got a baud rate of 7200 bps. 4800 bps was the usual. Then, I went to DirecWay, which became HughesNet. It was great, for a while, and then more, and more problems. Currently, I use a Verizon USB broadband connection with a Wilson Cellular Booster, which boosts my cell power from 1/3 W to 3 W. By far, the best system I have had up here, but of course, it has its limits. I rarely do video. If I want to upload a series of photos, I must sit by the internal antenna, and even then, it can take an inordinate amount of time. I first got on the internet in 1989, before IE, Netscape (I beta tested that, and still have the floppy it came on!), Firefox, or any search engines, but that’s another story.

So, that was the most exciting thing presented. We also heard about the Big Sur Coastal Plan, the new Code Enforcement Ordinance, and reports from member agencies, including meeting out new ranger for the Monterey District, Sherry Tune.

I will report on those later this week, but for now, I also want to remind people to reserve the date of September 27, 2009, when a benefit is being held for Don Case, who lost his home in the Basin Fire last year. The benefit will be held at the Henry Miller Library. I’ll post more details as they become available. We all love you, Don!!

Monday, Monday …

Both the La Brea and the Lockheed Fires turned the corner Saturday night, and they are well on their way to mop-up and de-mobilization, thankfully. Lockheed is 6,843 acres – 65% containment; La Brea is 86,811 acres – 64% containment. We’ve got some terrific firefighting teams. No houses lost in either fire. 2 outbuildings damaged in the Lockheed, and one old, unused Ranger Station in the La Brea. THANK YOU FIREFIGHTERS AND ALL THEIR SUPPORT TEAMS, AT HOME AND ON THE LINE!!

Now, on to other pursuits this week!

And a final note for this Monday — don’t forget the 18th Annual Big Sur Jade Festival is coming up October 9, 10, 11th. No post cards are being sent out this year, as we have grown as much as we can handle!