Numerous Code Compliance Cases opened in Big Sur today, 5/16/18

•May 16, 2018 • 5 Comments

A large number of compliance cases were opened today, all up and down the Big Sur coast. Don’t know how they were opened or what type of code compliance cases they are. I know at least one of those listed down in my neck of the woods is being rented out as a STR. If you are seeing this on FB or on twitter, you will have to click through to see the second page, as only the first will show up.



Tourist Tuesday, 5/15/18

•May 15, 2018 • 8 Comments

“Sustainable Moments” is the current mantra of the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau. ( and it has become the newest “buzz” word world-wide for tourism that is threatening some of our most beautiful and pristine places on the planet. What does it really mean?


  • Able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.

  • Able to be upheld or defended.

     •. A very brief period of time
     •  (formal) importance.

So, by this catchy phrase, do they mean, maintain at at certain rate or level for a short period of time, which would be giving the terms their common or ordinary definition? Or do the mean to uphold or defend an important or significant interest? Do the MCCVB and the Big Sur community mean different things under this marketing lingo?

What about “sustainable tourism?” How is that defined?

Sustainable tourism is an industry committed to making a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate future employment for local people.The positive of sustainable tourism is to ensure that development is a positive experience for local people; tourism companies; and tourists themselves.


Management of Sustainable Tourism (Wikipedia)

“There has been the promotion of sustainable tourism practices surrounding the management of tourist locations by locals or the community. This form of tourism is based on the premise that the people living next to a resource are the ones best suited to protecting it. This means that the tourism activities (including marketing) and businesses are developed and operated by local community members, and certainly with their consent and support. Sustainable tourism typically involves the conservation of resources that are capitalized upon for tourism purposes. Locals run the businesses and are responsible for promoting the conservation messages to protect their environment….

The use of local knowledge also means an easier entry level into a tourism industry for locals whose jobs or livelihoods are affected by the use of their environment as tourism locations. Environmentally sustainable development crucially depends on the presence of local support for a project. It has also been noted that in order for success projects must provide direct benefits for the local community….

[P]artnerships between governments and tourism agencies with smaller communities is not particularly effective because of the disparity in aims between the two groups, i.e. true sustainability versus mass tourism for maximum profit. In Honduras such a divergence can be demonstrated where consultants from the World Bank and officials from the Institute of tourism wanted to set up a selection of 5-star hotels near various ecotourism destinations. But another operating approach in the region by USAID and APROECOH (an ecotourism association) promotes community-based efforts which has trained many local Hondurans. Mader[42] concluded that the grassroot organisations were more successful in Honduras.”

Our challenge is that the “sustainable tourism” experience is no longer. It is NOT a positive experience for the Big Sur environment nor for the Big Sur community and is therefore an oxymoron and a mere marketing tool with no real value. The entire Monterey Peninsula capitalizes on the lure and attraction of the Big Sur coast, BUT it does not include the Big Sur Community at large in the decisions and management practices that it employs. I am not implying that the MCCVB does not have a role in promoting the entire Monterey County, including Big Sur, as a tourist destination, and I do feel we can work together, but I am saying this MUST be Big Sur community based endeavor, NOT just a token consult with the community, or this is not sustainable tourism for Big Sur. The community is in the best position to be able to determine what is sustainable, and regardless of catchy phrases, we have long passed beyond the limits of sustainability. As I pointed out at the last Forum of the MCCVB on their “Sustainable Moments” campaign, they have it backwards. Infrastructure must be developed to serve the tourist industry BEFORE we strive to increase the level of tourism. We, the Big Sur community, and We, the Big Sur environment, cannot create a positive tourist experience if we don’t have the means to make it positive. In sum, it is time to organize the Big Sur Community – all its diverse parts into a whole that can best address all the various issues pertaining to visitors. That is the next step, and that is what we currently need to work on.  What sustainable ideas might you have for creating a balance between quality of environment, community quality of life, and tourists’s quality of experience?
Here is a great 3 minute video worth watching. (I tried to download and embed and ran into technical difficulties.) Make sure you watch both parts. It appears finished after part 1 due to blank screen and a seemingly long pause in this instant society, but it is not. There is a part 2.

Highway One Closure Update, 5/14/18

•May 14, 2018 • Leave a Comment

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SPECIAL NOTE: The full, daytime closure at Paul’s today, May 14, 2018 from 7 AM to 5 PM and is required due to equipment blocking the lane to make repairs to the Hermitage Tieback Wall. Paul’s should reopen by 5 PM on the same day, today, Monday, May 14.

HIGHWAY 1 UPDATE – Monday, May 14

State Route 1 in Monterey County remains closed from north of Salmon Creek, just south of the Ranger Station (PM 3) to just south of Gorda (PM 10) due to the Mud Creek slide. State Route 1 south of Salmon Creek is accessible via State Route 1 in San Luis Obispo County near Ragged Point.

REMINDER: Travelers still CANNOT access the entire length of Highway 1 from Carmel to Cambria but local businesses are open on both sides of Mud Creek.

 Mud Creek (PM 8.9)

Mud Creek had a major slide on Saturday, May 20, 2017, losing over 5 million cubic yards of material. Caltrans continues with its plan to realign the existing terrain. The Department has announced a new target of mid-September to get lanes re-opened to traffic. Caltrans will continuously evaluate the opening date as work progresses so we anticipate providing an update in July. It’s expected that even after the highway is re-open, intermittent lane closures and roadwork may continue. The updated current cost is at $54 million.

There is currently no public/local access through the Mud Creek area since this remains an active, emergency construction zone.

This week: Work continues with constructing the north fill and continue the north cut.

Paul’s Slide (PM 21.6)*

Paul’s Slide is still active but the 24/7 traffic signal remains in place and temporary guardrail (k-rail) in the centerline. A full, daytime closure at Paul’s is taking place today, Monday, May 14, 2018 from 7 AM to 5 PM and is required due to equipment blocking the lane to make repairs to the Hermitage Tieback Wall. Paul’s should reopen by 5pm on the same day, today, Monday, May 14.

Pfeiffer Beach Shuttle Service Public Meeting

•May 14, 2018 • 2 Comments

From and written by Weston Call:

Please join your community At 6:00 PM on Monday May 21st For a round table discussion regarding this summers Pfeiffer Beach Shuttle Survice

A presentation will be given by Weston Call of Sur Transportation.

Ask Questions, Seek Clarification and Learn how the local community is crucial in reducing traffic down Sycamore Canyon by telling inquiring visitors about the Pfeiffer Beach Shuttle.

When is the project taking place? What will the shuttle cost? Where will people park? Won’t a shuttle just add more people to the beach? What about locals? What’s this long term plan I keep hearing about?

These questions, your own, and more will all be discussed Monday night at 6:00pm at your local Grange Hall.

If you cant make the meeting, or have questions that you would like on the agenda, please send them to

Photo Sunday – Mother’s Day, 5/13/18

•May 13, 2018 • 3 Comments

Happy Mother’s Day! This is a tribute to my mother, Joy Dan Pryor Jackson Riker Graves Mises (2 were fathers and 3 were husbands) 1929-2011. These are from her album, which she put together in high school. She graduated at 16, or in 1945.

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I still miss her everyday. Honor thy mother – both in human form, and as the Earth Mother of us all – Mother Nature. Blessed be.


What were they thinking??? 5/12/18

•May 12, 2018 • 9 Comments

From Rose Welch, who just happened upon this little scenario. Educate our tourists? Perhaps we should start with the tour bus drivers.


From CHP:

6:40 PM 8 [16] B27-P 1185 1097
5:39 PM 7 [13] [Rotation Request Comment] 1039 CALIFORNIA TOW 424-8615
5:36 PM 6 [12] 1185 HEAVY DUTY
5:12 PM 1 [2] 1125 NB LN


Mud Creek article

•May 12, 2018 • 1 Comment

In the San Jose Mercury News is a very detailed and comprehensive report on the state of the slide and the current work on it, with a series of photos taken by Vern Fischer of the Herald.

You can view it here:

Here are a couple of the photos showing current cracks:



(Photo by Vern Fischer)

I have highlighted some new cracks. It is impossible to tell if this is of any significance from a photo, but it would appear the project manager is checking them out, and doesn’t seem to be worried about any imminent threat.

Here is the entrance from the north:


(Photo by Vern Fischer) (Note, this appears to be an earlier shot as the containers are in this photo and they have since been removed)

And here is the arial view. The red line marks where the road will probably go (my guess), if it doesn’t already, but it could be dropped down to the lower bench, if needed, it looks like.



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