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SC HERITAGE TREE ORDINANCE - 7/16/13 09:00 av

A REVISION TO AN EXISTING SANTA CRUZ TREE ORDINANCE IS STILL IN THE WORKS.   AUTHORITIES SAY CHANGES TO THE CURRENT HERITAGE TREE ORDINANCE ARE BEING CONSIDERED AFTER AN ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW WAS REQUESTED LAST WEEK BY THE CITY’S CONSERVATION GROUP “SAVE OUR BIG TREES”.  THE CURRENT PLAN REPORTEDLY AIMS TO PROTECT TREES,  WHILE ALSO MEETING PROPERTY OWNER’S NEEDS (SUCH AS REMOVING TREES TO REDUCE FIRE HAZARDS, AND THE COST OF MAINTAINING THEM).   OPPONENTS OF THE PLAN SAY THE PROVISIONS FOR TREE REMOVAL ARE UNCLEAR, AND BELIEVE MORE FELLING WILL OCCUR (WITHOUT CONSIDERING LONG-TERM ENVIRONMENTAL AND SCENIC IMPACTS TO THE CITY).

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MARINA EQUESTRIAN CENTER PLAN - 7/16/13 0830 av

THE CITY OF MARINA WILL CONSIDER APPROVING A NEW PLAN FOR THE USE OF IT’S EQUESTRIAN CENTER.  COUNCIL MEMBERS ARE EXPECTED TO VOTE TODAY (TUES) ON THE PROPOSED PLAN FOR THE 35-ACRE SPACE LOCATED AT NINTH STREET AND IMJIN PARKWAY.  THE PROPOSAL INCLUDES KEEPING THE EQUESTRIAN FUNCTIONS WITH A PORTION OF THE EXISTING STABLES AVAILABLE FOR SELF-CARE AND FULL-CARE BOARDING.  THE CITY PLANS ON HIRING A CONCESSIONAIRE TO RESTRUCTURE AND MANGE THE EQUESTRIAN USES.  THE DRAFT PLAN ALSO INCLUDES INCREASING THE CENTER’S PUBLIC USES AND ACCESS WITH THE USE OF A RECREATION AREA.

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FORT ORD MONUMENT EXPANSION - 7/16/13 08:00 av

A 60-ACRE PLOT OF OPEN SPACE WILL SOON BE GOING TO THE FORT ORD NATIONAL MONUMENT.   THE ARMY IS EXPECTED TO MAKE A RABBIT-SHAPED PLOT OF LAND AVAILABLE TO THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT IN ABOUT THREE WEEKS.   THE LAND, WHICH WAS GIVEN THE NAME “RABBIT PARCEL” DUE TO IT’S SHAPE, IS LOCATED AT THE CORNER OF THREE SISTERS AND OIL WELL ROADS.   THE PLOT WAS ORIGINALLY ALLOCATED AS A PARKING LOT FOR MAZDA RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA, HOWEVER, THE MONTEREY COUNTY PARKS DEPARTMENT GAVE UP THE LAND IN A 2004 PROPERTY SWAP.

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SALINAS TRUCK/TRAIN COLLISION - 7/16/13 07:30 av

NO ONE WAS INJURED AFTER A TRUCK SLAMMED INTO A PASSING SALINAS-BOUND PASSENGER TRAIN YESTERDAY AFTERNOON (MON).  AUTHORITIES SAY THE DRIVER OF THE WHITE CHEVROLET SILVERADO SLIPPED HIS FOOT ON THE BRAKE CAUSING HIM TO DRIVE INTO THE SPEEDING TRAIN AT ESPINOSA ROAD AND HIGHWAY 183, BETWEEN SALINAS AND CASTROVILLE.  ACCORDING TO REPORTS, NO ONE ONBOARD THE TRAIN AT THE TIME SEEMED TO NOTICE THE INCIDENT.  CREW MEMBERS SAY ANOTHER PICKUP PASSED IN FRONT OF THE TRAIN SHORTLY BEFORE THE COLLISION.

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CARMEL RIVER – STEELHEAD TROUT - 7/16/13 07:00 av

A RESCUE PROGRAM FOR THE ENDANGERED STEELHEAD TROUT IS SLATED TO START EARLIER THAN EXPECTED BECAUSE OF THE RAPIDLY RECEDING CARMEL RIVER.  SO FAR, 40-THOUSAND OF THE TROUT HAVE BEEN SAVED.  BIOLOGISTS SAY IF A DIFFERENT SOURCE OF WATER SUPPLY ISN’T UTILIZED, THAT NUMBER IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TO RISE.  THE PROGRAM GOT STARTED IN APRIL, ALREADY MONTHS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE.  THE EARLY START IS ATTRIBUTED TO A BELOW-NORMAL WINTER AND A VERY DRY SPRING WHICH IN TURN CAUSED THE CARMEL RIVER TO RECEDE SOONER AND FARTHER CREATING A THREAT TO THE STEELHEAD POPULATION.

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