June 2 Vallejo/Vacaville Arts and Entertainment Source: Good Vibrations — Mike Amaral’s California Beach Boys Experience cruises into Vacaville

June 2 Vallejo/Vacaville Arts and Entertainment Source: Good Vibrations — Mike Amaral’s California Beach Boys Experience cruises into Vacaville

Back in the early 1960s, the Beach Boys captured the spirit of surfing and hot rod culture with their lyrics, harnessing the sound of waves cascading over you with their reverb-drenched guitars and infectious harmonies.

It was a recipe that ruled the airwaves.

When Mike Amaral saw the band for the first time back in 1964, you could say he caught a tsunami of admiration and reverence, a break that he’s still riding to this day. He pays tribute to his musical heroes with his group The California Beach Boys Experience, set to play Vacaville on Friday night.

Amaral remembers when their first hit “Surfin’” came out in 1961. Years later, the Santa Clara Valley native finally got to see the Beach Boys, and he was hooked.

“I saw them live at the San Jose Civic Auditorium five or six times, but back in those days the girls were so loud you couldn’t hear it,” laughed Amaral.

He sure could see it, however.

“Seeing Dennis Wilson on the drums, swishing his head all around, with his long blonde hair, just the excitement of it all,” marvels Amaral.

After being bitten by the performing bug, Amaral ended up playing drums professionally for several years before going into a local law enforcement career. But that didn’t stop him from enjoying playing music on his own time. Indeed, he was part of several successful oldies cover bands in the Bay Area before he started his California Beach Boys Experience group about 16 years ago.

Now retired, Amaral focuses on bringing not only the music of the original Beach Boys to life, but also recreating what their concerts were like back in their 1960s heyday, down to their signature looks.

“In our first set, we wear Pendletons — they were originally called the Pendeltones — and then the second set is their striped shirts,” said Amaral.

The group usually starts off with their versions of some of the Beach Boys’ early classics, such as “California Girls,” and incorporates videos projected behind them to give the stage a bit more of a sense of being at the beach before transitioning into later material, along with some other favorite tunes of the surf rock era — all while encouraging the audience to participate by clapping and singing along.

That crowd is made up of quite a diverse group of people, says to Amaral.

“It’s all over the board — young people, older people, it’s pretty impressive,” says Amaral. “It’s pretty neat.”

Amaral has even been paid just about the highest compliment possible when it comes to being in a tribute band — some people come up to them after shows and think that they are actually the real Beach Boys.

“We try to sound like them and look like them, it’s an illusion basically, it works out pretty good,” said Amaral.
“I just I appreciate being able to play this music and seeing the smiles on the faces.”

If You Go:
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Vacaville Performing Arts Center, 1010 Ulatis Dr., Vacaville
Cost: $39-$49
For More Info: vpat.net

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Marine pilot awarded for harrowing landing after mid-air collision takes out two engines

Marine pilot awarded for harrowing landing after mid-air collision takes out two engines

Two years after a mid-air collision between a Marine Corps tanker aircraft and the service’s most advanced fighter jet, both the pilot and co-pilot involved in the incident have now been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. 

On May 25, Capt. Michael Wolff was presented the award — the highest decoration for flying and the fourth-highest for bravery — during a ceremony at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. The other pilot involved in the collision, Maj. Cory Jones, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on Feb. 28. 

In September 2020, Wolff was co-piloting a KC-130J Super Hercules with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing when it collided with a F-35 while participating in training at The Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course in Yuma, Arizona.

“There wasn’t any time to comprehend what was going on or react, but I do remember just the immediate thought was: I can’t believe this is happening to me,” Jones, the tanker’s pilot, said during his own award ceremony earlier this year. 

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After the plane had lost two engines and was on fire, the crew worked to address numerous crises in the air. Jones and Wolff were able to maintain control of the tanker, which was important as the KC-130J has no ejection seats and there were only five parachutes for the eight people aboard. 

Both of the plane’s right-side engines had been damaged and were missing propeller blades. The fuselage and landing gear had also been damaged and one of the plane’s external fuel tanks was on fire.

The plan was to attempt a landing in Thermal, California, a tiny speck of a town in the Coachella Valley about 25 miles from Palm Springs. 

However, the plane’s condition continued to deteriorate, and its altitude and airspeed were dropping fast. With a landing at the airfield no longer tenable, the KC-130J had to settle for a stretch of farmland. 

And with that, the tanker came to rest in a dirt field, relatively unscathed, given the circumstances. All eight members of the tanker’s crew emerged unscathed, while the F-35 pilot was able to safely eject. The million-dollar jet made its landing in the middle of California’s Imperial Valley desert, which was captured on film. 

“I’m thankful how everything turned out. I’m happy to be alive,” said Wolff, “I still love flying, and I was happy to get up in the air as soon as I could afterwards.” 

Wolff added that “everyone did their part and came together.” 

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Season’s 1st hurricane aims at Mexico tourist zone

Season’s 1st hurricane aims at Mexico tourist zone

MEXICO CITY — Bands of rain and gusty winds lashed Mexico’s southern Pacific coast Monday as the first hurricane of the eastern Pacific season, advanced slowly toward a stretch of tourist beaches and fishing towns.

Ominous grey skies and blowing sand cleared beaches in the popular destinations of Puerto Escondido and Huatulco.

National emergency officials said they had assembled a task force of more than 9,300 people for the area and more than 200 shelters were opened as forecasters warned of dangerous storm surge and flooding from heavy rains.

After forming on Sunday, Agatha quickly gained power, and it was predicted to make landfall as a strong Category 2 hurricane Monday afternoon or evening, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Late Monday morning, Agatha accelerated slightly, as it moved toward the area near Puerto Escondido and Puerto Angel in the southern state of Oaxaca. The region includes the laid-back tourist resorts of Huatulco, Mazunte and Zipolite.

The hurricane center said Agatha could “bring an extremely dangerous storm surge and life-threatening winds.”

Related: Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide

Agatha had maximum sustained winds of 110 mph — just 1 mph under the threshold for a Category 3, the hurricane center said. The storm’s center was about 50 miles southwest of Puerto Angel and heading to the northeast at 8 mph .

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm was expected to drop 10 to 16 inches of rain on parts of Oaxaca, with isolated maximums of 20 inches, posing the threat of flash floods and mudslides.

Little change in strength was expected before the storm makes landfall, according to the hurricane center. A hurricane warning was in effect between the port of Salina Cruz and the Lagunas de Chacahua.

In Huatulco, municipal authorities canceled schools and ordered “the absolute closure” of all beaches and its seven bays, many of which are reachable only by boat.

Related: Hurricane 2022: Tampa Bay will flood. Here’s how to get ready.

To the west in Zipolite, long known for its clothing-optional beach and bohemian vibe, hotel workers were gathering out outdoor furniture and installing storm shutters.

The government’s Mexican Turtle Center — a former slaughterhouse turned conservation center in Mazunte — announced it was closed to visitors until further notice because of the hurricane.

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Covid’s ecological cost

Covid’s ecological cost

By John Pickrell May 31, 2022

Pandemic-related pollution is clogging the environment, with potentially deadly consequences.

In late 2020 Australian Geographic contributor and Lord Howe Island Marine Park manager Justin Gilligan photographed huge numbers of disposable masks washed up on the beaches of the relatively remote and typically pristine isle, 780km north-east of Sydney.

The discovery highlighted the surprising toll in terms of environmental pollution that the COVID pandemic is having across the planet.

Experts say masks can take hundreds of years to break down in the environment, and there have emerged many reports of animals becoming ensnared in these and other personal protective equipment (PPE).

Examples seen widely on the internet include: a fish trapped inside a plastic glove in the Netherlands; an ibis in Brisbane, a white-tailed eagle in Germany and a seagull in the UK, all of which had disposable masks entangling their feet; and a Magellanic penguin in Brazil that died after ingesting an FFP2 mask.

As of late 2021, scientists at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Netherlands had documented at least 62 examples of wildlife either trapped in or killed by PPE. 

Related: What’s this mystery object?

The amount of waste being generated due to COVID is staggering. In November, researchers at China’s Nanjing University published findings in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that the pandemic had by then resulted in 8.4 million tonnes of plastic waste, 26,000t of which had ended up in the world’s oceans.

The study was the first to quantify the scale of environmental pollution resulting from the pandemic. About 87 per cent of this waste came from hospitals – including plastic gloves, gowns and masks – with only about 8 per cent of the waste generated by individuals.

This COVID-related pollution “poses a long-lasting problem for the ocean environment and is mainly accumulated on beaches and coastal sediments”, write the authors, who say public awareness of the impact of PPE needs to be increased. They argue that new technologies could improve waste collection, treatment and recycling, while the development of environmentally friendly materials to make PPE is also key. 

Another study, in the journal Nature Sustainability in December, found that between March and October 2020 there had been a 9000 per cent increase in the amount of mask-related litter in 11 surveyed countries. Further studies have shown masks can contribute dangerous chemical pollutants, as well as tiny plastic fibres, into the environment and that these may enter food chains – potentially resulting in long-term impacts. 

Pip Kiernan, chair of litter advocacy group Clean Up Australia, says the pandemic has seen “immense disruption to our lives and the environment”, with a significant increase on Australian beaches of not only masks but other single-use plastics such as coffee cups and food delivery packaging. “The damage of single-use plastics left in the environment will outlive us all and action is urgently needed,” she said last year. 

Sadly, there is relatively little we can do as consumers to prevent this waste ending up in the world’s oceans. Clearly, PPE is a currently vital piece of our armour in the battle against SARS-CoV-2. 

One thing you can do to help the situation is make sure you are disposing of masks properly. Another suggestion from the RSPCA is that you snip off the straps of masks before throwing them away. This should at least help prevent them becoming death traps if they do eventually come into contact with wildlife. 

Related: COVID has reached Antarctica and scientists are concerned for its wildlife

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WHO raises alarm on tobacco industry environmental impact

WHO raises alarm on tobacco industry environmental impact

WHO has today revealed new information on the extent to which tobacco damages both the environment and human health, calling for steps to make the industry more accountable for the destruction it is causing.

Every year the tobacco industry costs the world more than 8 million human lives, 600 million trees, 200 000 hectares of land, 22 billion tonnes of water and 84 million tonnes of CO2. 

The majority of tobacco is grown in low-and-middle-income countries, where water and farmland are often desperately needed to produce food for the region. Instead, they are being used to grow deadly tobacco plants, while more and more land is being cleared of forests.

The WHO report “Tobacco: Poisoning our planet” highlights that the industry’s carbon footprint from production, processing and transporting tobacco is equivalent to one-fifth of the CO2 produced by the commercial airline industry each year, further contributing to global warming. 

“Tobacco products are the most littered item on the planet, containing over 7000 toxic chemicals, which leech into our environment when discarded. Roughly 4.5 trillion cigarette filters pollute our oceans, rivers, city sidewalks, parks, soil and beaches every year,” said Dr Ruediger Krech, Director of Health Promotion at WHO.

Products like cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes also add to the build-up of plastic pollution. Cigarette filters contain microplastics and make up the second-highest form of plastic pollution worldwide.

Despite tobacco industry marketing, there is no evidence that filters have any proven health benefits. WHO calls on policy-makers to treat cigarette filters, as what they are, single use plastics, and consider banning cigarette filters to protect public health and the environment.

The costs of cleaning up littered tobacco products fall on taxpayers, rather than the industry creating the problem. Each year, this costs China roughly US$ 2.6 billion and India roughly US$ 766 million. The cost for Brazil and Germany comes in at over US$ 200 million (see table below for further estimates).

Countries like France and Spain and cities like San Francisco, California in the USA have taken a stand. Following the Polluter Pays Principle, they have successfully implemented “extended producer responsibility legislation” which makes the tobacco industry responsible for clearing up the pollution it creates.

WHO urges countries and cities to follow this example, as well as give support to tobacco farmers to switch to sustainablecrops, implement strong tobacco taxes (that could also include an environmental tax) and offer support services to help people quit tobacco.

Note to the editor: In the table below, we present estimates of tobacco product waste (TPW) attributable costs in one country from each of the WHO regions. These estimates are based on the “proportional estimation” approach, which starts with an estimate of the costs of total litter (“all product waste,” or APW) for each country, and then applies an estimate of the proportion of all litter that is TPW (i.e., a TPW “weight”).

Table of estimates for Tobacco Product Waste in five countries for 2021.

For estimated APW costs (column [1]), we relied on publicly available literature and reports for as many of the six countries as possible.  For Brazil, China, and India, we were not able to identify any sources. Thus, for those countries, we imputed APW costs by applying the average APW cost per capita of similar middle-income countries for which data were available. Once we had an APW cost for all countries, we applied the TPW proportion. The TPW proportion was based on the global average from the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, weighted by the WHO smoking prevalence in each country (i.e., we assumed that countries with higher rates of smoking would have higher proportions of TPW). The final TPW cost estimate is the APW cost multiplied by the weighted TPW proportion.

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‘Roses for Veterans’ campaign delivers thousands of roses to military gravesites in SD County

‘Roses for Veterans’ campaign delivers thousands of roses to military gravesites in SD County

VALLEY CENTER, Calif. (KGTV) – On Memorial Day, a North County woman resumed her mission: To deliver roses to local military gravesites.

At Valley Center Cemetery on Monday morning, there was a rose by every other name. On this Memorial Day, Jenelle Brinneman and 20 volunteers put down roses at some 300 military grave markers in the cemetery.

“It’s pretty amazing to see. It’s emotional for all of us,” said a tearful Brinneman.

It all began two Memorial Days ago, when a nonprofit stopped laying roses at national cemeteries because of the pandemic. Someone called Brinneman, a florist, and asked for donations for a person whose family member is buried at Miramar National Cemetery.

“These are our heroes that did so much for us. Remembering them is so important to everyone,” said Brinneman.

Brinneman says after an ABC 10News story about her efforts, donations poured in. Volunteers stepped up.

“So something very little became something very large within a couple of days,” said Brinneman.

Two years later, her ‘Roses for Veterans’ campaign remains in full bloom.

Over the weekend, some 150 volunteers prepped and distributed 3,000 roses and 40 bouquets at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery and Miramar National Cemetery.

In Valley Center, among the hundreds of grave markers with a rose, is the plot of WWII veteran, Army pilot George Armstrong.

“Makes my heart full to know someone else is taking time to recognize these amazing men and women and what they’ve done,” said Amy Oney, Armstrong’s granddaughter.

“They deserve to be respected. Something as simple a gesture as a rose goes so far,” said Brinneman.

A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help with the current and future campaigns.

Brinneman hopes to expand her ‘Roses for Veterans’ campaign by starting a nonprofit that can help chapters across the country do the same thing in their area.

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Harmful bacteria survive on wet wipes washed up on beaches, study finds | About | University of Stirling

Harmful bacteria survive on wet wipes washed up on beaches, study finds | About | University of Stirling

Harmful bacteria on sewage-associated plastic waste washed up on beaches can survive long enough to pose a risk to human health, new research has found.

The team at the University of Stirling found “concentrated reservoirs” of faecal bacteria still present on waste such as wet wipes and cotton bud sticks on beaches in Scotland.

Professor Richard Quilliam

Professor Richard Quilliam of the department of Biological and Environmental Sciences

Led by Professor Richard Quilliam, the team found that bacteria such as E. coli and intestinal enterococci (IE) were binding to these plastics more often than to naturally occurring materials such as seaweed and sand, thereby prolonging their persistence in the water and at the beach.

“We all know that sewage waste on our beaches is unsightly, but it could also be a risk to public health,” said Professor Quilliam.

There has been much coverage recently of sewage waste being directly discharged into rivers and the sea, especially after heavy rain when some sewage treatment plants exceed their capacity for effective treatment.

Bags of plastic waste collected 

“Some of the plastic waste we have recovered could be from legacy sewage spills that have persisted in the environment, but the volume of waste we are seeing is shocking,” said Professor Quilliam.

His team collected plastic waste from ten beaches along the Firth of Forth estuary in Scotland, including bathing water beaches such as Aberdour Silver Sands and Portobello. “We expected to collect a few wet wipes everywhere, but the team came back with bags of them,” he said.

PhD researcher Rebecca Metcalf, also from the University of Stirling, is lead author of a new paper reporting the study. She said: “Finding faecal bacteria could also indicate the possibility of other human pathogens such as norovirus, rotavirus, or salmonella.

“The extent to which people could be exposed to these pathogens is beyond the scope of our study, but obviously there’s always a risk of children picking up and playing with wet wipes or other plastic waste on the beach.”

Antimicrobial resistance

The team also found evidence that species of vibrio – a naturally occurring bacteria, some strains of which can cause a severe upset stomach – were able to colonise wet wipes. And they found high rates of antimicrobial resistance – resistance to antibiotics – present in the bacteria on the wipes and cotton bud sticks.

The research is part of the £1.85 million ‘Plastic Vectors’ project – funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) – which is investigating how plastics in the environment can help transport bacteria and viruses, and the impact that may have on human health.

The paper Sewage-associated plastic waste washed up on beaches can act as a reservoir for faecal bacteria, potential human pathogens, and genes for antimicrobial resistance is published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin.

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USMC KC-130J Pilot who Landed his Plane Safely in a Farmer’s Field in California after a Mid-Air Collision with an F-35B received the Distinguished Flying Cross – The Aviation Geek Club

USMC KC-130J Pilot who Landed his Plane Safely in a Farmer’s Field in California after a Mid-Air Collision with an F-35B received the Distinguished Flying Cross – The Aviation Geek Club

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Marine Capt. Michael Wolff, a KC-130J pilot, was awarded the Distinguished Flying for landing “successfully after losing two engines in flight.”

The US Marine Corps (USMC) pilot who safely landed a KC-130J Super Hercules tanker in a California field after a mid-air collision with an F-35B in 2020 received the highest military aviation award on May 25, 2020 in San Diego, the service said in a news release.

During a ceremony at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, the USMC said that Marine Capt. Michael Wolff, a KC-130J pilot, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for landing “successfully after losing two engines in flight.”

Wolff landed the four-engine plane in a farmer’s field with the help of six crewmembers and a co-pilot, The San Diego Union Tribune reports.

On Sep. 29, 2020 Wolff lost those two engines due to a mid-air collision with a Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II jet while conducting refueling operations. The pilot of the F-35 safely ejected before the jet crashed in the Imperial County desert. The four-engine KC-130, its two right-side engines heavily damaged in the collision, made an emergency landing in a field near the Salton Sea.

USMC KC-130J Pilot who Landed his Plane Safely in a Farmer’s Field in California after a Mid-Air Collision with an F-35B received the Distinguished Flying Cross
The USMC KC-130 that crash landed in California on Sep. 29, 2020.

The F-35B was assigned to the ‘Green Knights’ of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121 while the KC-130J was assigned to the “Raiders” of Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 352.

The KC-130J and F-35B were taking part in Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course 1-21.

Audio recordings also reveal the conversation between the KC-130J pilot and air traffic control as the pilot made the emergency landing after the collision. As the pictures in this post shows, the mid-air collision caused extensive damage to the KC-130J’s engines on the right-wing and the remnants of a refueling pod.

According to USNI News, the audio, which emerged online, included Wolff informing air traffic control that the tanker lost two engines after colliding with another aircraft, which was the F-35B.

“LA Center, LA Center — Raider 50 — declare an emergency. Mid-air collision with VOLT-93. We have two engines out. We’re leaking fuel and might be on fire and an emergency descent at this time. Raider 50,” Wolff says in the recording.

F-35B Print
This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-35B Lighning II VMFA-121 Green Knights, VK00, 169164 / 2015

A separate conversation between air traffic control and an American Airlines pilot who saw flames from the incident was included in another recording.

“We’re going to report that there was some sort of flares — some sort of pyrotechnic device — at our two o’clock position, less than ten nautical miles, maybe five miles away, at an altitude of probably 25,000 feet,” the pilot says.

The American Airlines pilot said he could also see a “plume” of smoke on the ground, presumably from where the F-35B crashed.

“I’m thankful how everything turned out. I’m happy to be alive,” Wolff said in a statement. “I still love flying, and I was happy to get up in the air as soon as I could afterwards. Everyone did their part and came together.”

Photo credit: US Navy via USNI News

Lockheed F-35 Lightning II model
This model is available from AirModels! CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

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San Diego council committee supports code changes to provide ‘clarity’ on beach fires

San Diego council committee supports code changes to provide ‘clarity’ on beach fires

The San Diego City Council’s Environment Committee voted unanimously May 26 to start the process to change the San Diego municipal code to clarify the dos and don’ts of having a fire on the beach.

Existing phrases such as “stoves, ovens or similar facilities” make it difficult to discern what is allowed, city staff member Brian Elliott said. “For the purposes of clarity and safety, the proposed amendment would preserve the ability to … cook on the beach” in propane-fueled devices outside of city-provided fire rings, he said.

Larger beach bonfires can only be in city-provided rings.

Currently, the municipal code says it is permissible “to build a fire on a public beach in a portable barbecue device” or “similar device.”

It also says fires may be built in city-provided containers or portable barbecue devices using “charcoal, clean wood or paper products.”

Under the proposal, a portable device must be propane-fueled, though the current permitted use of fire rings would not change.

Other proposed changes would define “propane-fueled device” and replace phrases such as “public beach” with “beach area.”

City Councilman Joe LaCava, who chairs the Environment Committee and whose District 1 includes La Jolla, said the community and city staff and public safety officers “have all called for the need for greater clarity in our municipal code.” He said the proposal provides “clear, balanced understanding” of what will be allowed.

The public safety issue involves beach-goers building fires outside of city-provided rings and burying the remnants in the sand, where they can remain hot for hours and injure those who unknowingly walk the beach. Elliott noted that in August 2018, a toddler stepped on hot coals buried in the sand and needed emergency care.

Elliott said the current “confusing and often contradictory” language in the municipal code makes it difficult for public safety personnel to enforce the rules.

Portable propane-fueled devices “are easy to transport and limit the potential of embers to be buried in the sand and are easily identified by public safety officers,” Elliott said.

He added that the use of grills in adjacent parks would not change.

A slide shows the fire devices proposed to be allowed on San Diego beaches.

A slide presented to the San Diego City Council’s Environment Committee shows the fire devices proposed to be allowed on city beaches.

(Courtesy of Brian Elliott)

During public comment, operators of companies that facilitate beach outings that include bonfires spoke against the proposal. Some companies have their own portable fire pit.

Speakers in favor of the plan said wood fires create hazardous particulates that float into the air and that the smoke from wood fires poses a health threat.

Responding to a question from Councilman and Environment Committee member Raul Campillo, Michael Tully, deputy director of the Developed Regional Parks Division, said city-provided fire rings are cleared out and cleaned by a Parks & Recreation Department crew, and onsite staff and grounds maintenance workers report other embers and remnants to the cleanup team to remove.

Councilwoman and Environment Committee Vice Chairwoman Marni von Wilpert supported the proposal because she said it gives residents and visitors clarity on what is allowed. But she asked whether more fire rings could be added to provide all who want to have a beach bonfire the opportunity to do so legally.

Elliott said he would “work with the community” to determine whether there needs to be an adjustment to the number of fire rings.

The request before the Environment Committee was to support the city attorney’s office working with the appropriate city departments, coastal council Districts 1 and 2 and other city staff to conduct legal analysis and prepare an ordinance amending the municipal code regarding beach fires in city-provided rings and portable propane-fueled devices. The ordinance would go before the full City Council for consideration and approval.

In La Jolla, various community groups have sought solutions to the beach fire issue for the past two years. The La Jolla Shores Association, La Jolla Town Council, La Jolla Community Planning Association, La Jolla Parks & Beaches and Barber Tract Neighborhood Association have expressed support for a ban on wood and charcoal fires at local beaches.

In September, the Parks & Beaches board voted to write a letter to the city asking that only propane-fueled fires be permitted at Barber Tract beaches, including Marine Street Beach, which does not have city-provided rings.

After the Environment Committee vote, San Diego Marine Safety Capt. Maureen Hodges said in a statement that “lifeguards routinely put out fires and remove hazardous debris from illegal beach fires that could injure beach patrons. Changing the municipal code could help prevent illegal beach fires and make the beaches safer for everyone who visits.” ◆

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Army Corps using harbor dredge materials to replenish eroded Lake Michigan beaches

Army Corps using harbor dredge materials to replenish eroded Lake Michigan beaches

DETROIT — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is using harbor dredge material to shore up Lake Michigan beaches this summer. 

Four harbors along Lake Michigan — Holland, Grand Haven, St. Joseph and South Haven — were approved for dredging this spring and summer. Materials gathered through the process will be used to “nourish and replenish” beaches that suffered erosion from recent high water levels. 

Dredging is the removal of sediments and debris from the bottom of bodies of water.

“Nourishing beaches using shoaled sand into these harbors rather than trucking in new material is very functional and cost effective,” stated Grand Haven Resident Engineer Elizabeth Newell Wilkinson. “It allows for both dredging and beach nourishment.”

The Corps of Engineers sampled dredged material to determine if it would be “suitable for beneficial reuse” as nourishment material. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy issued certifications for the projects following the sampling. 

More: Holland Harbor dredging included in Corps work plan

More: Upton calls for support to dredge Holland, other harbors, from key leaders in Congress

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The King Co., Inc. of Holland was awarded contracts to dredge each site. In total, more than 85,000 cubic yards of material will be dredged from the four harbors.

“That’s roughly 7,100 one-ton dump trucks full,” said Wilkinson, “That’s a lot of great beneficial sand for Michigan’s beaches.”

Dredging at Holland Harbor took place May 13-17, removing around 31,000 cubic yards of material from the outer harbor.

Work at Grand Haven Harbor began this week, with more than 18,000 cubic yards to be removed from the outer harbor. It will be pumped 8,000-11,000 feet north of the north pier.

Work at St. Joseph Harbor is scheduled to begin June 6, while dredging at South Haven Harbor is set for June 15-24. Around 18,000 cubic yards are set for dredging at both sites.

Material from Holland, St. Joseph and South Haven will be used “south of the south breakwater,” the Corps of Engineers said. 

The public is asked to remain clear of placement areas. Fencing and signs are posted in placement areas for all projects. 

— Contact reporter Mitchell Boatman at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @SentinelMitch

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