I'm passionate about Earth preservation in every sense of the phrase. I've written about water issues, pesticide use, drought, California native plants and desalination. I'm well versed in issues regarding climate change (who it's effecting and how they're coping); and pollution and plastic, and how they effect the health of humans, animals and the planet. I follow California's state agencies, such as the California Coastal Commission, State Land Commission and Regional Water Boards, as well as the unfortunate deterioration of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  

Poseidon Saga Continues: OCWD Votes 6-2 To Approve New Project Term Sheet

Last Wednesday, the Orange County Water District (OCWD) Board of Directors voted 6-2 to adopt a new term sheet that amends Poseidon’s proposed desalination project in Huntington Beach. The new contract terms only go into effect, however, if Poseidon receives the permits necessary from the Regional Water Quality Control Board in the fourth quarter of this year, and the California Coastal Commission next year.

Off the Grid at Deep Creek Hot Springs [Summer Travel 2018]

There’s something inherently mystical about hot springs. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that when we soak, we connect to and experience the energy of the Earth’s geothermic, molten core. Or maybe it’s the therapeutic effects of mineral-laden hot-spring water, which replenishes our bodies with elements such as magnesium, natural lithium, calcium and sulfur. What’s surprisingly odd about Southern California, however, is there are few options for natural hot springs...

OCWD Votes To Postpone Decision On Poseidon's New Term Sheet

Things have been quiet on the Poseidon front since the State Lands Commission hearing last October—until last Wednesday, that is. On June 6, the Orange County Water District (OCWD) Board of Directors held a meeting to discuss and vote on whether to adopt new terms of agreement regarding the proposed $1 billion desalination plant. It was generally expected for the Board to agree and move forward with the term sheet. To the surprise of many, however, the board unanimously voted to postpone making

The Poseidon Desal Plant Scores Victory at State Land Commision

Hundreds of people gathered at the Huntington Beach City Hall yesterday to attend the State Land Commission (SLC) hearing, one of three major meetings to determine if the Poseidon desalination project will move forward. The SLC consists of three members—Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Controller Betty Yee, and Finance Director Michael Cohen. The job of the regulatory body is to provide the people of California with effective stewardship of the lands, waterways, and resources entrusted to its care through

Tree of Life Nursery Is Saving Our Ecosystem One Seed at a Time

"The summer is the most unfavorable time to plant," a young mom writes down in a small notebook as her pigtailed toddler stomps on the gravel between the white Canyon Snow Irises and the Asclepias speciosa. The latter is better known as "Showy Milkweed"—a common host plant for the endangered Monarch Butterfly, and a source of food, fiber and medicine regularly used by the Native Americans. "The soil gets too warm because of hot temperatures, and more often than not, the plants don't survive aft

Tustin Votes For Non-Toxic Pilot Program—So Why Aren't Non-Toxic Groups Celebrating?

Last week, the Tustin City Council met to discuss the possibility of a synthetic pesticide-free community. After nearly half a year of meeting with councilmembers, Non Toxic Tustin—one of the many "non toxic" groups formed as a result of Non Toxic Irvine's success in swaying the Irvine City Council to curtail the use of toxic pesticides— finally saw their item on the agenda. But unlike Irvine, the Tustin City Council voted to do a pilot program, or test run, on two parks in the city to gauge the

Municipal Water District of Orange County Says We're No Longer in Emergency State of Drought

Enough rain has fallen this winter to keep Orange County from being in an emergency state of drought, according to the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC). Yesterday the MWDOC Board of Directors unanimously declared an end to emergency drought conditions, and they're urging the state to halt the emergency regulations that are currently in place, as well. While the State Water Resources Control Board has mulled over extending special regulations under the drought state of emergency

Coastal Commission Denies Poseidon's Request To Waive Permit Application Fee

The California Coastal Commission met last Friday in San Louis Obispo to discuss a handful of topics, but the only one we cared about is the proposed Huntington Beach desalination plant. Poseidon Water, the company hoping to build the desal facility, requested that the Coastal Commission waive a coastal development permit application fee that would cost them an estimated $286,649. Although the agency's regulations allow the executive director to waive an application fee when requested by resolu

Ray Hiemstra of Orange County Coastkeeper Helps to Protect OC's Coast

In 1980, Ray Hiemstra had no idea he'd be one of the leading environmental activists in Orange County, let alone working as the associate director of programs at Orange County Coastkeeper. Working in a solid union job at a Jerseymaid milk plant with full benefits and a pension, Hiemstra had a stable career to support his family. But as a natural outdoorsman and a former Boy Scout, his childhood dream was to work in nature, a dream Hiemstra thought he left behind. Fullerton-born and North OC-rai

Latino Sellouts Support Poseidon Desal Plant Again—Including Nativo Lopez?!

You know what really grinds our gears at the Weekly? When people think they’re justified to speak on behalf of entire communities—especially when it comes to Latinos and the Poseidon desalination project. Especially when said spokespeople are onetime legit leaders who now come off as lame, out-of-tune dinosaurs. The latest such bout of vendidismo happened earlier this week, when Antonio Gonzalez, the president of the once-prestigious William C. Velasquez Institute, and longtime OC warrior Nativ

Poseidon Desal Plant On Trump's "To-Do" List—But He's Factually Wrong About Everything

Trump’s alternative facts continue. On Tuesday night McClatchy News published a story revealing the new Administration's priority list of 50 Emergency and National Security Projects. Included is Poseidon’s proposed, long-controversial Huntington Beach Desalination Plant. And as expected, Trump and his team of nimrods are spreading false information about the project. A PowerPoint document explaining each project describes the Poseidon desalination plant as a “cost-effective, environmentally sen

Plastic Bags Are Now Banned In California— So What Does That Mean For Huntington Beach?

Pepe Trump's victory and the legalization of cannabis in California have dominated the California media, but one of the biggest election wins that we're already seeing the effects of is Proposition 67: the ban of single-use plastic bags. As of November 9th, grocery stores, farmers markets, mini marts, gas stations, pharmacies, convenience stores and liquor stores are banned from packaging customers items in plastic bags. And unless you bring your own, you'll have to pay a dime for paper. So if t

Banning Ranch Battle Continues in Supreme Court

Just as we suggested after the Banning Ranch Coastal Commission hearing last September, the fight for the 401-acre chunk of land in Newport Beach still isn't over. Last Wednesday the California Supreme Court heard arguments from the Banning Ranch Conservancy, a non-profit dedicated to the preservation and maintenance of the property, and the City of Newport Beach. The lawsuit was filed in July of 2012 by the Banning Ranch Conservancy after the city council approved the development of the 401-acr

More Hurdles for Poseidon' Surf City Desalination Plant

[UPDATE 12:30 pm:] Robert Hunter, the General Manager of the Municipal Water District of Orange County, wrote us an email emphasizing the Board of Directors did not vote against selling Poseidon water. According to Hunter, the MWDOC Board of Directors decided on Feb. 5th that "a joint resolution and new committee were not necessary because they already have a bi-monthly, joint, public meeting to collaborate on water issues." In other words, they took no action on the proposed resolution to help