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Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus
Chapter Chair's Column
Good news for the Central Coast
October 2009

The winds of political change are bringing good news to the Central Coast. After requests from dozens of public benefit and environmental organizations representing tens of thousands of Californians, Assembly Speaker Karen Bass appointed Mark Stone, Santa Cruz County Supervisor, to the California Coastal Commission.

Mark replaces Dave Potter whose conservation rating on the Coastal Commission was below 13%. Potter’s record included repeated prodevelopment votes including support of the Sunridge Views development in North Monterey County and the massively destructive Pebble Beach project slated for the Monterey Pine Forest. Potter also opposed protection of environmentally-sensitive habitat in Big Sur. In contrast, Mark has an excellent grasp of the intricate legal and scientific bases for the Coastal Act and will no doubt use these guiding principals to make informed decisions regarding our valuable natural resources.

In August, Assembly member Bill Monning graciously opened his office to Sierra Club members on our annual Lobby Day in Sacramento. Putting aside a heavy workload as the Legislature wound to a close, Monning described his marine mammal and seafood labeling legislation and his hopes for a phase-out of toxic chemicals in food production. (See related article on page 4.)

In the November 3 elections in Monterey County, the Chapter has made several endorsements. Judi Lehman is running for reelection to the Monterey Peninsula Water Management Board where she has been a stalwart defender of our dwindling water supply and an advocate for environmental priorities. In Carmel, we oppose Measure I in order to preserve native plant species in Mission Trail Park.

The Chapter also supports Measure G which would allow Carmel Valley to incorporate as a town and give local control to residents. Carmel Valley, currently an unincorporated area of the county, has been besieged by inappropriate growth and oversized projects approved by the pro development County Board of Supervisors. A YES vote on Measure G will help protect the area’s water supply and safeguard natural resources.

Let’s reelect Judi Lehman, defeat Measure I, and approve Measure G to provide additional good news for the next issue of The Ventana.

—Rita Dalessio

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