TODAY MARKS THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF LOCAL AUTHOR JOHN STEINBECK’S NOVEL “THE GRAPES OF WRATH”. THE PULITZER-PRIZE WINNING CLASSIC WAS RELEASE D ON THIS DATE IN 1939. THE NATIONAL STEINBECK CENTER IN SALINAS IS SCHEDULED TO HOLD THE ANNUAL STEINBECK FESTIVAL FROM MAY 2ND THROUGH THE 4TH.

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DUE TO HIGH LEVELS OF DOMOIC ACID BEING FOUND IN CERTAIN MARINE CREATURES, PEOPLE ARE BEING WARNED NOT TO EAT COMMERCIALLY (OR RECREATIONALLY) CAUGHT ANCHOVIES AND SARDINES THAT ARE CAUGHT IN THE OCEAN OFF OF SANTA CRUZ AND MONTEREY COUNTIES. IN ANCHOVIES AND SARDINES THE TOXIN IS GENERALLY FOUND IN THEIR DIGESTIVE TRACK, AND THAT’S A CONCERN BECAUSE THOSE FISH ARE LITTLE ENOUGH THAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T GUT THEM BEFORE EATING THEM. PEOPLE ARE ALSO BEING WARNED NOT TO EAT THE INTERNAL ORGANS OF LOCALLY HARVESTED CRABS FOR THE SAME REASON. THIS ADVISORY IS IN ADDITION TO THE ONE POSTED LAST WEEK WARNING PEOPLE NOT TO EAT RECREATIONALLY CAUGHT BI-VALVES (SUCH AS MUSSELS, CLAMS, SCALLOPS, AND OYSTERS). COMMERCIALLY CAUGHT BI-VALVES ARE STILL SAFE TO EAT.   THE SYMPTOMS OF DOMOIC ACID POISONING CAN KICK IN WITHIN HALF AN HOUR, OR COULD TAKE 24 HOURS TO BE RECOGNIZED…AND THEY INCLUDE ANYTHING FROM VOMITING AND DIARRHEA TO PERMANENT LOSS OF SHORT TERM MEMORY AND BREATHING TROUBLES….TO DEATH.

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IN A MOVE THAT WOULD CLOSE 2 LARGE AREAS OFF TO OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION, AND RESTRICT THE MOVEMENT OF CARGO SHIPS, AIRCRAFT, AND JET SKIS, FEDERAL OFFICIALS ARE PROPOSING TO MORE THAN DOUBLE THE SIZE OF 2 MARINE SANCTUARIES (ALONG THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA COASTLINE). THE NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION WANTS TO EXPAND THE BOUNDARIES OF THE SANCTUARY IN THE GULF OF THE FARALLONES, AS WELL AS THE CORDELL BANK NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY. OFFICIALS WITH N-O-A-A SAY THE EXPANSIONS ARE NEEDED TO PROPERLY PROTECT WHALES, SHARKS, SALMON AND SEABIRDS THAT FEED IN THOSE REGIONS ALONG THE SONOMA AND MENDOCINO COUNTY COASTLINE.

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