Journal archives for March 2011

March 19, 2011

pepperwood preserve

I finally got motivated--thanks to my energetic daughter--to visit Pepperwood. This magnificent property contains 3200 or so hill acres in the center of Sonoma County; all the more precious in this least-of-all popularly accessible pieces of California. Quite a shock to move up here in 1983 and realize that it's all private, except(thanks to the Coastal Initiative)for a good stretch of coast and bits here and there. You meet oldtimers, who have dozens of favorite spots from the old days when fences were perfunctory and nobody really minded; now you find you can't go there anymore! The citizens actually voted--and then remarkably reupped-- a small sales tax to enlarge the public domain; but not that it's had much effect you can see. i know this is sounds like carping-- as much of that money has wisely gone to purchase development rights from farmers-- but occasionally you'd just like to walk a bit on the old patrimony. Many are the acres outright owned by us which have access jealously guarded by the continuous owners is a manner that is really remarkable when you observe how few people visit our existing parks. Would I be any different? Try me!

Posted on March 19, 2011 16:07 by icosahedron icosahedron | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 30, 2011

Upper Newport Bay

A very rare exception to the sad decline of Southern California. When my grandmother had started her little brood her brother Art Parsons was developing residential properties in Newport Bay. Sadly for me, Art's initial success was swallowed up by a financial panic; or we'd be Princes of Real Estate in Golden County.

When I was a boy, one of her girls had clawed back a foothold with a nice house in Newport Bay. She did her level best to kill one of our catalina channel swordfish; but passed on without any stain on her immortal soul. Her kids sailed Sabots in the bay, ate frozen bananas and dreamed of carousing freely over spring break. At that time, the 'Back Bay' was a fetid garbage dump, diked off at one point to attempt a salt harvest. i think of this whenever one of my dear friends pays the huge bonus to by a rare artisanal sea salt: what kind of fool want to consume the concentrated residue of the modern oceans? If the stuff has any taste not derived from Sodium Chloride, what taste do you suppose that might be?

Today, the estuary is looking remarkably like old Bolinas Lagoon. We met an older friend who'd retired from this area to Santa Barbara. She said that the matter hung a long time in the balance, with a single couple standing athwart the course of history, yelling "STOP!". What's your opinion? Is it a lost cause down there? How much money do you think might have been made if the whole thing had been developed? Speaking as the scion of an old LA family: why spoil the party at 5' to midnight?

Posted on March 30, 2011 19:39 by icosahedron icosahedron | 0 comments | Leave a comment