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More photos from controlled burn

Here are three photos that didn’t make it into today’s paper of a controlled burn Wednesday in the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve.

The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District conducted the burn in conjunction with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The district issued a statement today saying weather conditions were favorable and the burn was completed in about four hours:

“The burned area will serve as a fire break during the hotter, drier late summer and fall months, will help control invasive weeds like Harding grass, and increase the abundance and diversity of native California grasses and wildflowers next spring.

“Controlled burns are one of several tools MROSD uses to manage grasslands in the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve for the health of the environment and to reduce fire hazard. Four controlled burns have been successfully implemented at Russian Ridge since 1998, and have proven effective in controlling brush, reducing invasive plants, and improving the native grasslands, which are adapted to periodic fire. As a result, Russian Ridge has become a popular Bay Area destination to see spring wildflowers. Other techniques used in combination with controlled burns at Russian Ridge include grazing, seeding, mowing, bio-control insects and selective herbicide application.”

The burn also provided “a valuable opportunity for local fire agencies to practice wildland firefighting and interagency coordination,” according to the statement. “Firefighters from CAL FIRE, the La Honda Fire Brigade, the King’s Mountain Volunteer Fire Brigade, the Palo Alto Fire Department and the Ben Lomond Fire Camp as well as rangers from the City of Palo Alto and MROSD participated.”

Posted on Thursday, July 9th, 2009
Under: Environment, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, San Mateo County | No Comments »

Vaughn Walker, Half Moon Bay and a woodshed

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[This post was updated Friday at 9 a.m. See below.]

It all looks so peaceful from above, doesn’t it? That’s the view (courtesy of one Jeremy Zarodny) approaching Half Moon Bay Airport, which is lucky not to depend on the city for funding.

Half Moon Bay is in a world of financial hurt following the ruling of a federal judge last week in a dispute with Chop Keenan, the owner of a 25-acre property just east of Highway 1 and north of state Highway 92.

(To view the location, go to Google and enter “Terrace Avenue Half Moon Bay.” Results of this search are here. Then click “Satellite” and you’ll see that Beachwood is the empty green parcel between two housing clusters along Grandview Boulevard and Terrace Avenue.)

For those not inclined to slog through the 167-page decision, the Insider takes a closer look.

U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker gave the city of Half Moon Bay a thorough and embarassing spanking in his $37-million ruling in favor of the owners of Beachwood, a decision that threatens to hamstring the city finacially for years and perhaps decades to come, since its annual budget is only about $10 million.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, December 3rd, 2007
Under: Aaron Kinney, Environment, Half Moon Bay, Housing, Lawsuits, San Mateo County | 3 Comments »

Johnny Edwards and the California campaign

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The Insider paid a visit to the Green Building Exchange Tuesday, not only to buy some pervious concrete and cork flooring for the Chateau d’Insider, our secluded compound, but also to check out a new effort, spearheaded by PG&E and Sustainable San Mateo County, to help people go “green.”

And who should we run into but our old friend* Jeffrey Anderson, co-chair of the John Edwards for President campaign here in California.

Anderson said he stopped by to say hello to his buddy, Bill Coleman, president of the Green Building Exchange and former chief operating officer of Planktos Inc., a Foster City company that aims to reduce carbon dioxide levels by expanding the growth of the ocean’s phytoplankton.

“This is a chance to see old friends and meet new ones,” said Anderson, adding that the Edwards campaign is deeply invested in energy and environmental issues.

So what did the California co-chair think of Edwards’ performance at the San Mateo County Democratic Straw Poll (which the former vice presidential candidate won with 29 percent of the vote)?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, November 16th, 2007
Under: 2008 Presidental Race, Aaron Kinney, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Environment, Political Campaigns, Redwood City | 1 Comment »