Everybody’s famous in a small town, this one is no different. Being such a small island community it hardly stands to reason that there is a facebook page. I have to say it is managed well by a local lady whom everyone knows. Some of the comments that zoom across that page are interesting to various numbers of people, some attracting comments from former residents now living in other states. The discussions are at times intense and as with all social media filled with assumptions, accusations, and denials, at times it gets nutty. There are 7 roads locally making it easy to find an address, it doesn’t take long after asking a few people where someone lives. We don’t have mailboxes so the post office is visited most days by the entire population after which we stop at the local grocery store. That’s normal practice, the small local market is a gold mine as it’s the only game in town. We run into each other all of the time which makes insulting someone on Facebook kind of weird. On a regular Facebook page when an argument takes place the combatants may be on opposite ends of the country, they will most likely never meet. Unlike here the reality is they will most likely meet up at some point and if they don’t bad feelings persist until the next encounter on that page. I don’t get it, I was attacked by some guy I had spoken to one time when he came to the door to drop something off. Two years later he makes a vicious comment about me, I had not been on that page ever, my wife saw it. Up until that, I was indifferent to the guy, now it’s just weird, I didn’t react to it, I have no desire to increase my fame. I find the humor in its nuttiness.
Beyond that, there is a little housekeeping that needs to be done by tying a few loose ends together.
First, the Oroville Dam is back in operation and true to form a crowd showed up for the first use of the new spillway. With the recent rain and temperature on the rise the reservoirs are filling up, we’ve had so much rain and snow the drought has been declared over. Water needs to be released to make room for the freshly melted snow, we’re all thankful the spillway is now in good order and working as designed.
Cleanup and rebuilding continue following the Campfire disaster up by Paradise, the unfortunate people are still in RV’s and other temporary shelters, a rule of thumb is it takes two years to rebuild a house after a fire. The victims of the fires the year prior near Redding and Santa Rosa are still up to their eyebrows recovering. In fact, last nights news showed the college town of Davis flooded, that is where the relief sites for the victims of the Paradise fire have found refuge.
Down South, by Big Sur, the Mud Flats slide was repaired not with a bridge but by raising Hiway 1 above the old grade. The repair is settling and shifting as was expected, however cracking of the road surface was the cause of it being shut down earlier in the year. Repairs were made enabling the road to be re-opened to traffic. More closures are expected as the road compacts, Caltrans claims it is to be expected and to me, that seems reasonable.
Our Fire district remains in disarray, it is a convoluted situation of which I question if anyone knows what is going on with it. A meeting was held in a nearby City to organize a group to introduce a proposition on the 2020 ballot. I read the flyer and it looked to me just to be another scammy type of ordeal. I am suspicious of any grassroots effort that request donations on the first line. The request was for $500.00 then listed numerous other amounts lowering to $100.00. I normally don’t doom any positive steps being taken which on the surface this one appears to be, but I have my doughts. I don’t think it has a snowballs chance of passing, it has to be voted on by the entire county and we’re the only ones without Fire Protection, all 2500 of us in a County of 2 million. I fear it’s a losing proposition, It smells fishy to me.
While I’m on the subject of fish, that huge fish factory that was being planned for the Island has not been mentioned in a couple of months, I suspect the housing development across the road may have something to do with it. Part of the plan was to build a 180-acre fish farm, which doesn’t sound too bad as this after all is an island. Well hold on a second, it’s a proposed saltwater fish farm, whoa where is the water coming from? More importantly, where will it end up? By my reckoning, the pond will have to be at least 5-6 feet deep, (1.52-1.82 meters), our water table is 3-4 feet (about 1 meter) below the surface. Easily it would contaminate our water source as we are all on wells, but there is one issue that is being overlooked and it’s critical. We are surrounded by fresh water affected by the tides as it all flows into the Pacific through the San Francisco Bay which is salt. Where will the salt water come from? Ponds along the rivers in the Delta rise and fall with the tide, I have worked around those that were 1/4 of a mile from the shoreline that was ordered shut down because the water was leaching into the river. The fish farm would be dumping salt water into our water table as well as into the surrounding rivers, I have a feeling that the project died if not for that one reason then for another.
Very near to the proposed office of the fish factory is a housing development that for the past 30 years has been in a state of flux. The developer bought the local Golf Course and are making much-needed improvements to it. During the kerfuffle on Facebook over the plant I am sure the housing company was all eyes and ears, 1-1/2 acres of fish remains piled up outside to decompose a stones throw from their $700,000.00 to $1.1 million homes, it’s hard to imagine what went on in the planning commissioners office, but we can guess. Now the plan is construction, to begin with, the first houses being finished by the end of June, my official stance is I will believe it when I see it. I can’t see building commencing without a usable fire district, oh, but there is one more thing, a new fire station is being built about a mile off the Island. A beautiful state of the art station with just one minor problem, there is no money to staff it, that’s correct a new station with no firefighters.
I seriously dought that the fish factory will be built, with a pile of fish remains that high we would experience a nuclear explosion of wildlife, can you imagine. The housing development may or may not be built, and if it is the homes may or may not sell, like I said I will believe it when I see it. The Pfieffer Bridge is completely replaced, Highway 1 at Big Sur will survive as will Oroville and it’s Dam. Homes in the wildfire areas both North and South California will be rebuilt so they can suffer another bout this coming year, and the reservoirs will be completely full by the end of May.
Almost a fairy tale ending, just kiss the sleeping beauty and everything will be fine.
Of it all the most critical is our fire protection, I tell people after 8 houses burning down in one year on the Island we should be declared a disaster area, we are in crisis because of politics and it’s not good. But then l for one am thankful this is the West Coast away from the Politics back East, but not far enough to go un-noticed. And that is as political as I get, thanks for taking the time to read my blog.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance.