Weather, Jade Festival, Photo Contest

Weather is a bit unsettled, or at least I am getting conflicting reports of possible thunderstorms tonight or tomorrow, and then a second storm next week (before Jade Fest, so far).

I have been busy with preparations for the Jade Festival, as well as work, but continue to work on the photo contest. I apparently lost my mind when I said everyone could submit up to 5 photos – I’ve recovered, but still getting them all downloaded and filed.

20th Annual Jade Festival …

… is fast approaching. Get ready for 3 full days of fun and frolic on the South Coast of Big Sur.

It will be held Friday, October 7th from noon to 6 pm; Saturday, the 8th from 10 am to 6 pm; Sunday, the 9th from 10 to 5 pm. It is to be held at the Pacific Valley School, across the street from Sand Dollar Beach. Live music all day, every day. Jade pieces for all pocketbook sizes, jewelry, art, and raffle.

Here’s this year’s postcard, available for sale only at the Jade Festival. Due to costs, number of people, and new technology, we are no longer sending out the postcards, but they will be for sale at the main booth and designed so that you can send them to friends, if you choose.

Jade Lady

Jade Lady carving by Gary Gowdy of Cambria; Photo by Avis Latone of Lucia; post-processing, design lay-out, and printing by former Pacific Valley student (one of mine!), Everitt Chase, currently of: AV8 Studios for all your graphic and printing needs

Health Center Fundraiser at Ventana

The day was perfect, the setting sublime, the people joyful. What a day!

Wine tasting was provided by wineries from throughout the region, and I think every Big Sur restaurant was represented in the incredible appetizers served, and they were unbelievable. At the risk of forgetting anyone, I won’t list them. But it was a delightful treat.

To Arvil, Nadine, and Patte who coordinated an unforgettable event. We (Rock Knocker and I) so enjoyed the event, we are planning on making it an annual tradition!

Met with old friends and new friends and soon-to-be friends in the spirit of the close community we are. It was so nice to meet some people I had come to know first through reputation, and then through this blog – but to come face-to-face and get one of those famous Big Sur hugs, made my day! Thank you, Soaring, you are indeed a gem and a legend to our Coast. I would love to read of your experiences as fire look-out for so many years up on Cone Peak. Maybe a guest column several times a year? Whaddya think? Would y’all love to read her stories?

Photos of the event might be posted tomorrow, if technology cooperation achieved and time allows!

I will not have the photo contest up for at least a week, I am guessing. I was flooded with entries on Friday, and am still downloading (large files are hard for my system) sorting, filing, etc. before I can even begin to pick the top 10 choices. It will be really difficult, as there are some great entries. One major priority will be looking at how the photo will fit into the mandated heading size.

Wicked Winds and Thunder?

11:00 pm – just received from my SLO Co weatherman
“An upper-level low pressure system spinning off the coast of Southern California is drifting northeastward and steering subtropical moisture in a counterclockwise fashion over San Luis Obispo County tonight.

Thunderstorms developed in eastern regions of San Luis Obispo County this evening and are now spreading throughout our area tonight with numerous lightning strikes reported.
Please see
This thunderstorm activity will continue through early Saturday morning.  

Because of the dry air in place and limited moisture accompanying
these storms, dry lighting is possible. Gusty winds near thunderstorms
can also add to the fire danger. However, brief periods of rain and hail are also possible.  

The upper-level low responsible for this activity will move to the east later on Saturday, leaving behind mostly dry and clear skies. For your safety, stay inside during electrical storms.

9:45 pm – Couldn’t tell for sure, but it was either the rumble of thunder, or the falling of a tree in the forest, although my thunder phobic dog has been hiding for an hour, and her hearing is better than mine. The wicked winds have my other three on edge. Going to be a long night. Have some interesting shots of the clouds, but reception not good enough to upload tonight. Will try tomorrow.


First, the Art from here and there, a fundraiser for the Big Sur Health Center is this Sunday at 2:00 pm at Ventana. A reliable source says a Barbara Spring piece has been added to the available art!

Second, the photo contest for the BigSurKate header photo ends at Midnight (or by the time I check my email in the morning.

Third, and last, Los Padres National Forest is increasing staffing on all districts, including Monterey, bringing in teams and equipment from other forests in anticipation of possible dry lightning. A source in Paso already reported the build up of thunderheads moving in a NW direction towed us earlier this afternoon. Pay attention, and report any smoke sightings immediately!

Have a great and safe weekend.

Bradley Fire

12:40 pm – nothing additional, so probably got a handle on this one early. No additional reporting contemplated.

11:40 am – BEU Scanner reports grass fire at 101 and Bradley. Calling for Cal-Fire units from Monterey, SLO, FHL, LPF, as well as AT.

I will be following scanner traffic as well as online sources to report on this one

Fracking Protests in PA

In Pennsylvania, fracking opponent protesters are spurred on by federal reports indicating that the oil companies are overstating the natural gas reserves in the Marcellus Shale. This shale is found in parts of Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virgina and West Virginia.

Quebec, Germany, France and South Africa, as well as several states have already implemented limited fracking bans. The EPA is still studying the claims and will release its findings late in 2012.

We will continue to monitor this issue in our own SoMoCo area.

Fracking Update in So. County

By Steve Craig re upcoming LUAC meeting for Wednesday, 9/21, this update:

“This is not a surprise, the Chevron pipeline into Bakersfield proposal. They have been truck shipping and perhaps train shipping for years; now, with steam injection and fracking, it may become economic to pipeline.

This step will facilitate the construction of the Exxon plant similar to the Chevron one, and will connect any fracking drilling from Venoco, as well as transport the Chevron field’s outputs. On the positive side, it will prevent heavy truck transport and reduce the present level of transport for the Chevron plant.

This is a further step of creating a new and expanded south County oil field without ever going through a decision process about whether this is something acceptable to the people here or managing fracking processes. The question of the legal applicability of the citizen vote ordinance will be primary, as will the scientific question about field connectivity to the OCS and state tidelands.

This will be an important meeting.

Venoco is testing the capacity of the well along the river presently which was fracked (or at least had four separate rig operations) four times. Still no impoundment and no CDFG or Corps action on this site. Apparently Venoco pumping oil from what I can see of the pipeline size and type; on the positive, it does not look as if their fracking produced enough gas as there is no flare off system during the testing. This is a hopeful sign, unconfirmed, for the long run.

Have not heard the outcome of the date for a rescheduled appeal, whether that is going forward or not.”

For additional information, contact Steve Craig at:
Steve Craig
Restoration Landscape
PO Box 369
Lockwood, California 93932

office: (805) 472-2266
mobile: (818) 419-8229

Cal-Trans Project Update


•Traffic continues down to one lane just south of Lucia at Dani Creek (PM 22.6-22.8) with a temporary signal in place for retaining wall installation. Work hours are from 7 am to 5 pm daily with work expected to be completed this September. Cyclists traveling southbound are required to press the signal button to activate a longer period to safely get through the narrow one-way uphill section. Work is expected to be completed by mid-October.

•The temporary signal about two miles south of Lucia at Pitkins Curve/Rain Rocks (PM 21.3-21.6) for the bridge/rockshed project remains in operation 24/7 with the project expected to be completed in spring of 2013.

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY: There are no projects currently under construction along Hwy. 1 in San Luis Obispo County near the Monterey County Line.

Here are a couple Cal-Trans photos of both projects. I have some I promised to post, but they will be out-of-date by the time I get them up!

Pitkins Curve is on the left – you can see the bridge coming together. Dani Creek (just south of Lucia) is on the right.