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.

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

Los Padres National Forest-Monterey District Closure update

UPDATE: IN TODAY’S PINECONE POLICE LOG IN THE REAL ESTATE SECTION:

From the USFS, LPNF PIO: The new closure order will be posted on our public web site….It will take effect Saturday, May 16, and expire June 1. Here’s a rundown on what IS open:

All of the trails closed under the first order will remain closed except for Turner Creek and Sand Dollar/Jade Cove. Roads closed by the first order that will reopen are Sycamore Canyon, Nac-Ferg, Piney Creek, Tassajara, Milpitas, Central Coast/Cone Peak, Baldwin Ranch.

Developed campgrounds will remain closed until June 1.The group campground at Arroyo Seco will reopen June 19. We are permitting Parks Management Company to reopen the day use sites along Hwy. 1 provided they have adequate staffing and measures in place to safely deliver services to the public. The intent with the day use sites is to provide recreation opportunities for nearby residents along the coast. By opening roads on the east side of the district, we are encouraging backcountry access from the inland trails.

Food Distribution at MPC Friday, 5/15, 9:30-11:30 am

The Food Bank for Monterey County to Offer Drive-thru Community Food Distribution on Friday, May 15th at Monterey Peninsula College  At the request of Fifth District Supervisor Mary Adams, The Food Bank for Monterey County will conduct a drive-thru community food distribution this Friday, May 15, 2020 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Monterey Peninsula College. “I can’t thank the Food Bank enough for responding so quickly to my request for assistance,” said Supervisor Adams. “People throughout Monterey County, including Fifth District residents, are experiencing unprecedented levels of food insecurity as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. We are fortunate to have such a willing and able partner as the Food Bank for Monterey County.” “In normal times, The Food Bank serves over 1 in 4 children in Monterey County; these are not normal times. In April alone, we served 60,000 Monterey County families,” said Melissa Kendrick, Food Bank for Monterey County Executive Director. “We have created numerous drive-thru distributions throughout the county since this crisis began. We go where we are needed.”  “Monterey Peninsula College is pleased to be supporting this community food distribution,” said David Martin, MPC Interim Superintendent/President. “While we have transitioned to distance learning during this crisis, our campus remains a place where the needs of our community are met.”  Any person experiencing food insecurity is able to access this distribution. You are asked to access the campus via Fishnet Road off of Fremont Street. Food will be placed by Food Bank personnel and National Guard members into your empty trunk.  The Food Bank will evaluate if it can continue offering a distribution at this site based on utilization this week. Information on other drive-thru distributions organized by The Food Bank can be found on their website at https://foodbankformontereycounty.org/food-assistance/.

CABS Financial Assistance for Independent Contractors

Good morning everyone,
This notification will go out over the CABS email server list today: (Please note that CABS is still working with Employers & Employees.)

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; orb.     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 Monningʻs offce 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

Patte KronlundSecretary, CABS

Big Sur COVID-19 Response Meeting Notes

COVID-19 Community Response Group Meeting Notes

May 11th, 2020

Attendees (via Zoom):

State Senate District 17, Cal State Parks, US Forest Service, Parks Management Company, Ventana Wilderness Alliance, Big Sur Chamber of Commerce, Big Sur Health Center, 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.• It appears that transmission of the virus is enhanced by close conditions in enclosed spaces over a prolonged exposure time frame.• There is less risk of transmission in open air settings.• There is evidence that Llamas produce more effective anti-bodies of the COVID-19 virus than humans. Research is ongoing.• 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:• Big Sur Fire is prepared for fire season which will officially begin on May 18th.• Reported fires are now receiving a “wildland response”.• Big Sur Fire expects to respond to calls reporting illegal campfires, supporting the USFS and MOCO SO.• BSF is resuming fire, rescue and medical training.• Muster and other event dates are in flux pending Local and State SIP updated guidance.

Big Sur Chamber of Commerce,

Kirk Gafill reports:• There is a noticeable shift in momentum to begin reopening California with each County in various stages of preparedness to facilitate that reopening.• Supervisors Adams and Phillips are working with the Monterey County Hospitality Association to establish guidelines the hospitality industry will implement in order to safely reopen.• Rick Aldinger adds, establishing these guidelines is a collaborative process, bringing in public health experts and industry experts as well as lessons learned from businesses already open in countries ahead of California on the epidemiological curve.• As SIP guidance transitions in California, traffic in and out of Big Sur will continue to increase, putting pressure on closed trails and day use areas to reopen.

Community Emergency Response Team, Martha Karstens:• That the residents SIP survey is ongoing.• CERT successfully conducted two ZOOM training classes.

USFS, LPNF Monterey District Ranger Tim Short:• The Forest Order closing the Monterey District expires May 15th and that order will be reinstated with some modifications and exceptions. The new Order may reopen some Day Use areas, the Nacimiento Rd and some roads and trails on the east side of the Monterey District of the LPNF. Remaining closed will be the developed campgrounds, dispersed camping areas and roads and trails on the coast side of the Monterey District.• Fire restrictions will go into effect on May 13th. This will result in no campfires outside of developed campsites. Camp stoves with a permit will be allowed.• Butch Kronlund requested that gates at the intersection of Highway 1 and Nacimiento Rd and Nacimiento Rd and the South Coast Ridge Rd need maintenance as they are nearly inoperable. Tim pledged to get them on the list of resources needing attention.

Ca. State Parks, Superintendent Brent Marshall:• State Parks personnel extremely busy enforcing the ongoing SIP order.• The public is confused by the State softening of restrictions and the more restrictive County SIP order.• Relatively good news regarding California flattening the curve of the rate of infection.• Opening of Day Use areas will precede opening of campgrounds.• Brent appreciative of valuable input the stakeholder group provides on the weekly calls.  This input helping to drive reopening policy and procedure. Between Saturday and Sunday, Parksissued over 35 citations. Verbal warnings were also issued (10 verbal warnings for each citation).

Parks Management Company, Brian Cushman, CEO:• All Campgrounds and Day Use Areas remain closed.• Seeing an increase in vehicle traffic and is in agreement that trails need to be reopened to give an outlet for people to go to.• PMC is seeing more public disregard for the closures.• Employees are here and ready and anxious to open once the SIP order is lifted.

Ventana Wilderness Alliance, Mike Splain, ED:• VWA continues working on trails and campsites in the back country. • 17 campsites restored.• 41 lbs of trash packed out.• 0 hikers encountered on the Big Sur Trail.• 20 hikers advised to obey the Forest Order closing the Salmon Creek Trail.

17th State Senate District, Colleen Courtney for Senator Bill Monning:• For clarification on DMV license/registration extensions, see dmv.ca.gov for more information. 

              If anyone has specific questions, feel free to contact Senator Monning’s office (831) 657-6315.• Department of Motor Vehicles is extending Driver License renewal and vehicle registration renewal in consideration of the pandemic. Go to California Department of Motor Vehicles website to request an extension. Late fees may be waived.• Most DMV offices are closed but Salinas DMV is open.

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.

Monterey County Health Dept Supplemental Order, 5/8

Monterey County Health Department Stage 2 Opening Order
The Monterey County Department of Health released a Supplemental Order today, May 8, 2020. The new order continues sheltering in place, but now relaxes restrictions on certain lower risk businesses in Stage 2 of opening California.
Download a copy of this order HERE.  (PDF, 2 Pages, 447 KB)
You may also visit the California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response web site to read more detailed information from the state.