The beginning of bigsurkate, the blog

Used to be, all my readers knew how this site came to be. Now, only a few do. I started this blog 8 years ago because I got pissed off at the sheriff. It’s not wise to piss off a lawyer who has made her living going up against various forms of the government, especially law enforcement. If you want to read the early entries, go to the pull-down menu to the right for archives, and pull down and click on July 2008. I wrote over 50 entries that month. Eight years later, I have written 2,747 entries. Damn, how did that happen? I have had over a million, 100 thousand views. I thought this blog would have closed after the Basin Fire, but the Chalk Fire came on its heels, and by then the die was cast.

I got pissed off because of this:

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Note the date and the time of this. 6 pm on the eve of a 3 day weekend. I got a copy on July 4 – Independence Day. I was pissed and went into overdrive. I stayed awake for almost 24 hours in order to combat this order and to learn how to blog. (It wasn’t as easy back then as it is now.) On July 5, 2008, I published both my first and second blog posts. This was the first:

“I began this blog, after 2 weeks of inundating everyone’s mailbox with news, links, editorials, and photos of the massive Big Sur Fire of 2008. I decided a blog might be a better venue for us all to stay connected, share information, and remain informed. PLUS, I got totally frustrated when my email send function became so erratic. I can receive, but sending is completely hit and miss. I am hoping the email fairy visits me soon!😉

I will also be posting some of my photographs, also, as and when I can.

Welcome! Once the fire is past, I will convert this to random musings, I suppose, or it will evolve into something else.”

Boy did it ever evolve into something else – something I could not even imagine back then.

A year later, I recounted as best I could, what happened those first few days. I wrote:

“July 4, 2008 – I cannot find my notes, and I did not write in my journal for much of July, as I was far too busy, but I started my blog one year ago tomorrow, so some of the story about last Independence Day was reported then. I am recreating the day, based primarily on a memory with holes in it – swiss cheese holes – a moth-eaten sweater. I also have no photographs taken that day, at least that I can find. The road was closed, as previously posted.

When I first got a copy of the 409.5 memo on 7/4, I called OES (Office of Emergency Services), and they had a Commander Teter of the MCSO call me back. When I got no satisfactory explanation about the issuance of the memo, other than it was to “educate” the Big Sur community about the power the MCSO had, I was furious. The MCSO was flexing its muscles and declaring a police-state in Big Sur, and fully intended on arresting who ever got in their way.

It was a holiday. Everything was closed. What could I do? The only places open were newsrooms. Having lived and worked in Monterey County, much of that in the justice system, I knew I needed to go outside of the county. I called the LA Times newsroom and the SF Chronicle newsroom. I posted something on surfire2008.org. Before my post was removed from surfire2008, Deborah Schoch, a staff reporter from the LA Times called. After speaking with her for some time, I got her phone numbers, and said I’d pass it on to a member of the Curtis family who was not in Big Sur, and if they wanted, they could pass it on to Micah and Ross. This resulted in more phone calls, and more long conversations with Curtis family members and LA Times reporter, Eric Bailey. Only a few days later, he and Deborah Schoch published a 3-page article about the police state in Big Sur. It is no longer accessible unfortunately.

This was the start of the battle between Big Sur Locals and the Mike Kanalakis, Sheriff of Monterey County. Kanalakis also made the mistake of taking on Cachagua in Carmel Valley. Both were big mistakes.

Thanks to Jim Kimball for archiving posts from surfire2008 and other sources, we have an excellent record of all that happened on this day last year. It was a busy day, with reports from locals coming in up and down the coast all day long. Let’s not forget what it was like to live in this police state from July 3, 2008 to July 8, 2008, when the road opened to locals and their employees, and July 11, 2008 when the road opened completely.

Go to this link, and scroll down. It is arranged as all blogs tend to be, with the older posts first, or backwards chronology. Just scroll down to July 4th and start reading. It is fascinating:

http://www.surcoast.com/Info_Update_OLD.html

So, Big Sur, and lovers of Big Sur, we celebrate our independence, along with our country’s independence and may we never forget the battles we have fought against oppressive government entities in both 1776 and in 2008. Happy Independence Day. Keep strong, and battle on when needed.

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Plaskett Final Update … And a million

final count was 3.1 acres. FHL responded as well as LPF, and who knows who else. A WT came up around 10 pm to get 1500 gallons of water from my neighbors well. There was a transition to another IC at 7:45 am, but all indications are it was just a watchful eye needed for a bit. Was told we lucked out on this one. There was NO wind last night.

Sometime during the Plaskett Fire, bigsurkate reached the milestone of one million views. Appropriate on so many levels that it happened last night/this morning on this fire. Synchronicity. Thanks to all my loyal readers. I think it is going to be a long season for all of us. I’m calling this week to arrange for satellite internet. Can’t deal with the slowness and iffyness of this Verizon system of mine. I want photos, mine and others, to be involve ease of down and uploading. Still no plans for video as I am already paying enough for media storage on my blog.

Five years blogging

Wow, bigsurkate turns 5 today. What a ride it has been for all of us. This blog started because I was pissed off at the Sheriff at the time, and decided my anger could motivate me to create something positive. I think I met my goal. In the last five years, this blog has grown way beyond anything I expected when I spent the night (ALL night) of July Fourth teaching myself how to blog. Lots of learning twix then and now. Lots of technical changes, too. The blog’s readership has grown until now between blog subscribers, twitter followers and FB, over 1000 people follow this blog from all over the world, and it has been viewed over 672,000 times. Who knew?

Now, so many people contribute information, photos, and comments, that it is truly a community effort. Here’s to another five years of serving this community that is our family. Blessings to all.

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Tuesday … afternoon

It is hard to write a blog almost every day for a year, and find new and exciting things to say, unless there is a fire, or a mudslide, or heavy snow, or a murder. Just kidding about the latter. And if not new and exciting, maybe informative. Well, if not informative, then of interest. It is sort of an informal newspaper column … sort of … with a small readership (much larger than I ever expected). And, if all else fails, post some photos. People like visuals. And I like taking photographs. So, there you have it.
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So, this afternoon’s foray to Cambria for supplies yielded a few photos.

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And when words fail me (OMG, did I say that? And me, a lawyer?) Photos never do. Thanks for reading, and looking, and commenting, when you do. I enjoy the feedback, I really do.