Saturday, 23 January 2010

Slow Coast Logo

Thanks to Don Faia of MythMaker for working with us on the new Slow Coast design (above).  You'll see it soon in all fine Slow Coast shops on groovy organic cotton t-shirts, recycled cotton bags and recycled paper stickers.  If you want one, drop us a line at theslowcoast@gmail.com

In Slow We Trust

Friday, 22 January 2010

Slow Coast gets slower: Cemex announces it is shutting its Davenport plant

By Kurtis Alexander - Santa Cruz Sentinel

DAVENPORT - One of the county's oldest businesses and a momentous chapter in the region's economic history closed Friday.


Manufacturing giant Cemex announced that its Santa Cruz County cement plant, opened in 1906 to help build a state hungry for growth and responsible for such construction feats as the Golden Gate Bridge and California Aqueduct, would cease operation.

Cemex officials had closed the facility temporarily last year, citing the weak economy, but only on Friday did they completely surrender to it.

"It's a business decision, but it's a tough one," said Cemex spokeswoman Jennifer Borgen. "We've been in this community for over a century. It's a sad day."

The announcement comes just before release of the Mexico-based company's fourth-quarter earnings report, which analysts expect will show disappointing losses for the international heavyweight. Borgen didn't tie Friday's closure to the financial forecast, but acknowledged the company's recent money problems as the driver.

"I don't think it's any secret about the economy and what the industry is going through now," she said.

The Davenport plant, with its tower and stacks defining the North Coast skyline, employed roughly 120 people. Most of those employees had been out of work since the factory suspended operations in March, but many had not expected the closure to become permanent.

"The news was a bombshell," said Manuel Rodriguez, who worked for 10 years at the plant, where he drove a water truck. "I'm wondering what the hell I'm going to do now. I've got a mortgage to pay. I'm 50 years old, going on 51, and there's no jobs out there."

Read more HERE

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Very strong storms coming for the Slow Coast, be prepared!


HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK CAC001-013-041-053-055-069-075-081-085-087-097-162300- HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA CA 305 PM PST FRI JAN 15 2010 ...

EXCESSIVE RAINFALL MAY TRIGGER FLOODING NEXT WEEK... A POWERFUL STORM TRACK IS SETTING UP THE POTENTIAL FOR A SERIES OF HEAVY RAIN AND DAMAGING WIND EVENTS ACROSS CENTRAL CALIFORNIA NEXT WEEK. BY THE END OF THE UPCOMING WEEK SOME COASTAL RANGE LOCATIONS MAY TALLY UPWARDS OF 15 INCHES OF RAIN WITH 4 TO 8 INCHES COMMON ELSEWHERE. AS THE FIRST AND WEAKEST SYSTEM MOVES THROUGH...

ONLY LIGHTER RAIN IS EXPECTED FROM SATURDAY INTO THE MID MORNING HOURS ON SUNDAY WITH RAINFALL TOTALS LIKELY A HALF INCH OR LESS. THE RAIN IS FORECAST TO INTENSIFY DURING THE DAY SUNDAY...INITIALLY ACROSS THE NORTH BAY AND THEN EXTEND SOUTHWARD. BY DAYBREAK ON MONDAY RAINFALL TOTALS ARE EXPECTED IN THE 1 TO 2 INCH RANGE WITH 3 INCHES A POSSIBILITY OVER THE COASTAL RANGES. THROUGH THIS TIME PERIOD THERE ARE NO CRITICAL HYDROLOGICAL CONCERNS OTHER THAN NUISANCE AND LOCALIZED FLOODING ON ROADWAYS AND LOW LYING AREAS. MANY SMALLER STREAMS SHOULD START TO SHOW AN AMPLE RESPONSE TO THE RAINS BUT NO MAJOR FLOODING IS EXPECTED THROUGH MONDAY. 

THE NEXT SYSTEM BRINGS HEAVY RAIN POTENTIAL ON MONDAY AND MONDAY EVENING WITH AN ADDITIONAL 1 TO 3 INCHES OF RAIN FORECAST. OF NOTE BY MONDAY NIGHT...FOR THE MOST PART SOILS SHOULD BE NEAR SATURATION AND ADDITIONAL RAIN COULD RESULT IN RAPID AND SUBSTANTIAL RISES ON LOCAL STREAMS. 

AFTER A BRIEF BREAK MONDAY NIGHT THE RAIN PICKS UP AGAIN ON TUESDAY THROUGH TUESDAY EVENING...THIS TIME A SLIGHTLY STRONGER SYSTEM. AN ADDITIONAL 1 TO 3 INCHES BY TUESDAY EVENING IS EXPECTED WITH 4 INCHES NOT OUT OF THE QUESTION. MOST IMPORTANTLY...

TUESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY IS WHEN HYDROLOGICAL CONCERNS BECOME THE MOST SERIOUS AND FLASH FLOODING ON MANY SMALLER STREAMS COULD BECOME A REALITY. BY THIS POINT THOUGH...THE MAIN STEM RIVERS SHOULD ALL STILL BE WELL WITHIN THEIR BANKS. AFTER ANOTHER BRIEF BREAK TUESDAY NIGHT THE RAIN PICKS UP AGAIN ON WEDNESDAY WITH THE MOST SIGNIFICANT RAINFALL POTENTIAL STORM OF THE WEEK. THIS LARGER SCALE TROUGH IS FORECAST TO PERSIST OFF THE CALIFORNIA COAST UNTIL WELL INTO FRIDAY BEFORE HEADING INLAND. THIS COULD MEAN SEVERAL WAVES OF MODERATE TO HEAVY RAIN ACROSS CENTRAL CALIFORNIA DURING THAT TIME.

 RAINFALL TOTALS FOR WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY COULD EASILY REACH AN ADDITIONAL 3 TO 6 INCHES. THE WORST OF IT WOULD CONTINUE TO BE EXPECTED AROUND THE COASTAL RANGES. THIS HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK IS INTENDED TO UNDERSCORE A HAZARDOUS FLOOD SCENARIO THAT APPEARS TO BE DEVELOPING. ALTHOUGH NOT COMPLETELY CERTAIN AT THIS TIME WHAT LEVEL OF SEVERITY THIS WEEKS EVENTS WILL REACH...AT A MINIMUM CONFIDENCE IS HIGH THAT IT WILL BE SIGNIFICANT.

 EVERYONE NEEDS TO SERIOUSLY PLAN FOR THEIR WEEK AHEAD. THIS IS THE STRONGEST STORM OF THE WINTER SO FAR AND IF YOU COMBINE THE RAIN POTENTIAL WITH THE VERY STRONG WINDS THAT MAY DEVELOP...CONDITIONS WOULD LIKELY BECOME SEVERE. PEOPLE LIVING NEAR RIVERS AND STREAMS OR OTHER FLOOD PRONE AREAS SHOULD BE ALERT FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF FLOODING...PARTICULARLY OVER THE LAST HALF OF THE WEEK AHEAD. REMEMBER...IT TAKES AS LITTLE AS ONLY 1 FOOT OF MOVING WATER TO SWEEP AWAY A VEHICLE. 

STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR YOUR FAVORITE SOURCE OF WEATHER INFORMATION. CHECK THE NWS WEBSITE AT WEATHER.GOV/SANFRANCISCO. THIS HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK WILL BE UPDATED BY 3 PM SATURDAY AFTERNOON.  - weather.msn.com/local.aspx?wealocations=wc:USCA1020&q=Santa+Cruz%2c+CA

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

An Essay by Slow Coast resident Scott Stephens

Scott Stephens sent us this great essay, entitled "Living on the North Coast".  It reflects his love of this place and his interest in its history, as well as his new friendships and deepening set of skills acquired by "just doing it".  Thank you Scott.

Read the essay at the link below:


Discover Simple, Private Sharing at Drop.io

Monday, 4 January 2010

Slow Coast lodging: Pescadero Creekside Barn






Lodging for two in a turn of the century barn loft.  
Total privacy "up in the tree tops".

What some of their wayfarers have to say!

“As we climbed the stairs and opened the doors, we had no idea what to expect… we slept on a cloud all weekend”.

“ We are wondering if, and hoping you will be here 10, 20, 30 and 40 years down the line so we can celebrate each wedding anniversary in this place”.

“A place of rest and relaxation in a quiet coast side hamlet.  A launch pad for day trips… a nap in the sun, a hot bath (or two or three), a picnic lunch on the patio…”.

“Sixty miles on a bike up devil’s slide, fog, misty rain…where to stay?…Thanks for the great bed and wonderful bath…”.

“It is a cold summer season and I came here with my daughter on our annual trip.  We played and made dinner and had fun enjoying the barn”.

“Thy name is tranquility”.  This is our third visit during the last six months.  This says it all!!!

“…Cozy, romantic… my wine tastes better here… and it’s restful”.
“The barn door is open… the bird song a symphony, the sun shining through every glass orifice and I and so relaxed”.

“If Duarte’s hadn’t been two doors down, we never would have walked out the door our entire stay”.

Cotton and Rob Skinner
Barnkeepers


Slow pie at the Pie Ranch on the Slow Coast

Apple pie made from wheat and apples grown on the Slow Coast.  It really doesn't get any better!

We even milled the flour at the Pie Ranch barn right before we baked the pie!





Friday, 1 January 2010

Slow Coast Geology talk at RBDA mtg, Jan 12th @ Bonny Doon School

Climbing Through Time

The coastal terraces that march up from the Pacific to Empire Grade tell the story of eons of natural changes that have occurred in Bonny Doon. Geologists consider them a world class research site.

That story will be recounted by geologist Marjorie Schulz, who has been part of a U.S. Geological Survey research team that has been studying the soils on the marine terraces in Wilder Ranch State Park and on nearby private land, at the RBDA Annual meeting January 12. (NOTE: This is a *Tuesday*, not a Wednesday as is usual for our meetings, because of our speaker’s schedule.)

Ms. Schulz and her USGS scientific team use the different ages of the terraces to study mineral weathering on a geologic time scale. Along the way they have discovered remarkable things, says Ms. Schulz, who will talk about the geologic formation of the terraces and what the soils forming on them reveal.

Ms. Schulz, who goes by “Jorie,” has been working at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park for more than 20 years. She began in the Branch of Marine Geology, where she studied deep sea manganese oxide deposits, then transferred to her current position in Water Resources Discipline and now collaborates with geochemists and soil scientists studying water-rock interaction. This group has been studying the soils of the Santa Cruz area marine terraces for the last 10 years.

Her talk is called “Marine Terraces of the Santa Cruz Area: A Staircase Through Time,” and we feel we are on a very firm foundation when we say that if you have any interest in the natural history of the Slow Coast, you will find it fascinating.
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