Another dry winter has left the state of California under a heightened fire danger. It’s a reality that hit close to home last month when a wildfire blackened more than 200 acres of land near the Tassajara Mountain Zen Center. There’s a local organization that’s trying to take some of the uncertainty out of wildfires by bringing together firefighters, property owners and environmentalists to work out concerns before fire strikes.
The FAA recently approved permits for the first commercial use of drones. So later this summer, two drones will be used to survey ice floes and migrating whales in the Artic; as well as, support emergency response crews monitoring oil spills. The potential use of drones beyond the battlefield was made clear this week at an event hosted by the Naval Post Graduate School.
Mike Shields stands on his front porch and points to the steep slopes that condors often use to get aloft. The birds with a wingspan of as much as 9 feet and can fly from these peaks straight to Pinnacles National Park.
Over the past 25 years, the California Condor population has gone from a low of nine to just over 400 today. Part of the broad-based effort to save the endangered bird has been a ban on lead ammunition in the Condor reintroduction areas. Now state legislators are considering extending that ban statewide, but some argue the existing ban just needs more time.
Nearly a month after the U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill, the debate in the House drags on. Meanwhile, local farmers are eager for a solution. They’re facing an ongoing labor shortage that many feel could be solved by immigration reform.
This November, Monterey County voters will face dueling initiatives with different visions for a piece of land on Fort Ord. One measure seeks to maintain the original plan to develop some 500 acres on the former Army base, the other to prohibit development of the land.