Big Sur Community – AT&T, dumpster, and condors

A number of things have to be addressed by our community, and I’ve been asked to disseminate the information.

First, AT&T sent this:

To the Big Sur Community:

As you may already know, AT&T has been working diligently to upgrade its network in Big Sur. One of the critical elements in the network upgrade was the replacement of the microwave reflector on Manual Peak. We are happy to report this work is near completion and is ready to go online. This involves switching over from the old system to the new. During this phase of the switchover, there are some critical dates and times we would like to bring to your attention:

AT&T will be switching over to the new microwave reflector the week of May 8th. The reflector will be flown up and constructed May 8th and 9th, and switched over and aligned on May 10th or 11th between the hours of 10am and 2pm. As the week progresses, the exact day of alignment may change, so we will provide a second email notification prior to the switchover taking place. During this process, there is a minimal possibility of a short service interruption as we align the equipment. While this is not likely, we will be prepared with proper personnel and equipment, and we are taking necessary precautions to ensure emergency communications continue, including coordinating with first responders.

We will provide another update closer to the date of the actual switchover. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Bettye J. Saxon Ed.D.


Joe Burnett, Condor biologist sent this to CPOA:

We received a report two days ago that two nesting condors and other wildlife were observed at the Vista Point temporary dumpster site picking at a pile of trash at the dumpster. Multiple Condor pairs are currently incubating eggs and will begin feeding their chicks soon. A serious health threat to condor chicks is the ingestion of man-made trash. Chicks are unable to regurgitate these foreign items and can become impacted, resulting in death or injury. To have a large point source of trash at Vista Pt, in the heart of the Big Sur condor range, is very concerning to us.

We understand the community need for a trash dumpster but could you find a more discreet location. A suggestion….could the dumpster be moved to pull out near Essalen under the cover of trees (just north of hot springs bridge). See suggested location on attached map.

From WM:

Good afternoon,
The 40 yard dumpster at Vista Point will be emptied tomorrow, Friday, April 29. I appreciate your help letting us know the dumpster needed to be serviced. Please do not hesitate to give me a call if you have any questions.

Kristin Skromme
Public Sector Manager
Public Sector Solutions

Waste Management
11240 Commercial Parkway
Castroville, CA 95012
Tel 831.796.2220

From CPOA:
Hello everyone south of Pfeiffer Canyon-

The dumpster located at the Vista Point at MM 37.05 is placed there for our mindful use during this period of limited access from the south.

Please do not over fill or worse yet, leave trash outside of the bin. Endangered Condors are nesting and our mess seriously threatens their existence.

If you use the bin and it is approaching capacity, please call Kristin at Waste Management 831-796-2220 and let her know it needs to be “switched out”.

Thanks !


Don’t forget the Big Sur International Marathon on Sunday! (The first year I was here in Big Sur was the year of the first marathon. Nepenthe was “born” almost one month before me, and we are both Taurians.)

10 thoughts on “Big Sur Community – AT&T, dumpster, and condors

  1. I found it disgusting the way people had left their trash around the dumpster. The problem I saw was that even though the dumpster was put there for locals household garbage, many people were using is for construction debris and yard debris. Even though when the dumpsters were placed, it was said not to use them in such a manner. I saw on a few occasions the employees of local contractors and business owners there emptying their dump trailers, full of construction debris, into the dumpster.

  2. Just to address dumpster issue…Several years ago I observed condors at dumpster in Lucia…Think they all need to be covered somehow.

  3. Is AT&T talking about upgrade for cellular service only? If you’ve ever delved into landline phone service problems with them beyond static on the line, the system in BS is incredibly antiquated, with old programming stitched over even older programming. But happily the tech guys who come out and do the fixing really know their stuff!

  4. Dear Big Sur Residents-
    Please call Kristin Skromme at Waste Management at 831-796-2220 if you notice this dumpster getting close to capacity, ideally give them a few days lead time.

    This dumpster actually works great if the doors remain closed after folks drop off trash. It only becomes a hazard to the local wildlife when there’s excessive trash and the doors can’t close.

    Kristin commented-
    “Coastal Roll Off books all their dumpster hauls in advance. By notifying me early in the week I can confirm the dumpsters are on schedule to be switched out and do not exceed capacity.”

    Big thanks to Waste Management for their prompt response to the situation.

  5. Why not feed the Condors…Road Kill, whatever….from slaughter house….they are the natural cleaners……The old days, without people, animals were more prevalent…..and larger…..imagine…how much there was for condors, coyotes, and wolves, had to eat, when Monterey County was loaded with Grizzleys…..washed up whales…..probably 100 times the amount of whales, other wildlife when the Oholone, and Salinans were here…..Naturalists…they don’t get that animals the size of Condors…need to scavange big time. There were wolves here, horned toad, road runner, river otter….grizley, all culled by settlers…

  6. This is a bit off-topic for this posting but I just had a look at ‘Loving Big Sur to Death’ and am of the opinion that Hwy 1 through Big Sur should be made a toll-road for non-residents, partly to limit traffic (yeah, I know, those folks bring in the essential $$, BUT…) but also to offset the costs of rebuild and maintenance. Just a thought….

  7. Martin, we’ve been tossing around that idea since at least 1985 that I know of. It is gaining in popularity.


  8. Re: putting a toll on hwy 1 through Big Sur:

    So who would have to be convinced in order to bring it about? I suppose the state legislators would have to vote on the proposition so what about getting up a petition/proposition by the residents/propertyowners for consideration? I also suppose there would be a good deal of opposition from the business owners, but if they could be convinced that if it was put into effect it might promote more visits by a higher-spending and less destructive group of visitors it might just fly. It would take time and effort, but it might be worthwhile pursuing.

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