A warning has been posted at a Monterey County beach after tests found higher than normal bacteria levels this week. County health officials warn visitors to Lovers Point Beach to avoid going into the water until the advisory is lifted, and water sampling indicates acceptable bacteria levels for safe body contact standards. Health officials say humans and animals including seals, otters and birds, can contribute to higher bacteria levels in addition to rainfall runoff and storm drains.
In a 4 to 2 vote today, the Santa Cruz County Fair board voted on bringing the Rodeo back…after 26 years. Board members approved renting the fairgrounds to Stars of Justice Inc, a nonprofit offshoot of the Santa Cruz County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, for a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association-sanctioned event during October 2nd and 3rd. Animal Welfare activists urged the board to oppose the vote arguing that the rodeo represents animal cruelty for the sake of entertainment. The annual event ended in 1984 after the promoter disappeared with the proceeds.
In an effort to fund a tourism marketing plan, the Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a proposal today which would charge hotel guests a surcharge starting next month. The new surcharge, expected to start July 1st, was proposed last year by the Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council to increase the marketing of local tourist destinations while also boosting area businesses. The surcharge, officially called a ‘tourism marketing district’, is expected to generate 1.1 million annually and will charge hotel guests with 6 to 29 rooms, $1 per room per night, while hotels with 30 or more rooms will charge $1.50 per room per night. Hotels with less than 6 rooms are exempt.
In an effort to reduce the risk of wildfires, central coast residents are reminded to clear brush away from their homes. Cal-Fire officials say the rainy winter has created more brush which could fuel flames, and as a result, they are inspecting homes and unincorporated areas ensuring that homeowners maintain a defensible space of 100 feet by keeping high grasses and weeds removed around homes and structures. Fire crews say structures can be protected when they are separated from dense fuel and there is enough space for fire personnel to operate safely.
Army officials at the former Fort Ord announced today that they plan to burn 2 areas of land next month. The prescribed burns are expected to total about 280 acres and slated to start next month in preparation for clearing unexploded munitions. The Army is expected to announce the burns before they begin. Residents who would like advanced notification, can download a form from their website at www.fortordcleanup.com or call them by July 1st at 1-800-852-9699.
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