Jamie Hansen

Science and environmental news from the California coast

Big Wave Project Update

The Midcoast Community Council will hold a special meeting tomorrow so that councilors can comment on the Big Wave Project in advance of the Mar. 15 Board of Supervisor’s meeting.

I reported on the Big Wave Project last quarter. A local development group would like to build a massive project between Pillar Point Marsh and the Half Moon Bay airport that would include both a business park and a wellness center for developmentally disabled adults.

The project has been the subject of much debate on the midcoast between those who oppose such a large development and those who argue building a home for the developmentally disabled is a good goal.

Several homeowner’s groups and environmental groups appealed the Planning Commission’s decision to approve the project, which is what the Board of Supervisors will consider on Mar. 15.

The meeting will take place Mar. 11, at 4 p.m. Here’s the addres:
Granada Sanitary District Office
I 504 Ave. Alhambra, 3rd Floor, El Granada

–Jamie Hansen

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Self-promotion: my adventure in science blogging.

Classmate Julia James and I, under the guidance of professor Tom Hayden, forayed into what feels like a new frontier of science journalism … reporting on science in real time.

We’re calling it Science, Upstream, and the fantastic folks at the Public Library of Science’s (PLoS) blogging network are hosting us.

Follow us as we “embed” ourselves with a Stanford research group called the Natural Capital Project and report on their ups and downs of their research, as well as their findings and victories.

–Jamie Hansen

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Half Moon Bay receives two bids in its quest to outsource police

San Mateo County and the city of Pacifica both submitted proposals two take over Half Moon Bay’s Policing services. Today was the deadline.

“It is clear that both organizations thoughtfully approached the process and both provided a variety of options for service levels,” said a press release that the city issued today.  “There is the potential for significant budget savings compared to the current cost of police services. “
The city has said the city will now carefully review the proposals and make them available within the next ten days.

I reported last quarter on how the cash-strapped city must outsource its police services to make up a massive budget deficit.

–Jamie Hansen

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Southern food revival: harvesting ramps to kitchen butchering

Local food and sustainable agriculture are not news on the West Coast. Here, it seems almost everyone has caught the foodie bug, reveling in activities like  their visits to local farmers’ markets and harvesting kale from their garden.

But in the deep south, the movement’s almost counter-intuitive. For years, the younger generations have sold off their grandparents’ scrappy old farms because the land was worth far more with a new housing development perched on top of it than growing turnips and watermelons.

On top of that, add the idea that people value economy over quality and for years have purchased everything from Wal-Mart that they possibly can.

So when I hear terms like the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, and I hear about workshops on faith-based local food initiatives and workshops for how to butcher the cow you raised in your own kitchen — I’m surprised.

I’m hoping to write about the burgeoning southern Appalachian local food movement for my thesis project. I’ll be going back to my home state of Georgia to begin the research process this March, and can’t decide what I’m more excited about: finding the remaining “homestead” farmers and hearing their stories or attending a do-it-yourself meat butchering workshop.

–Jamie Hansen

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In Half Moon Bay, potential police outsourcing underway

The Half Moon Bay Review reported today that the Pacifica and San Mateo County police departments, along with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s department, visited the city today. The goal: to discuss the possibility of one of those entities taking over management of cash-strapped Half Moon Bay’s police department.

I reported last fall on how Half Moon Bay’s budget woes — and failure to pass a measure that would have lessened them — has forced the city to make tough decisions on its spending. As the police department is one of the city’s costliest, it may be outsourced in an attempt to save money.

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About me

Hi, and welcome to my site!

I am

  • A freelance science, nature and adventure writer
  • A graduate student in journalism at Stanford
  • Acquiring skills to excel in digital-age  reporting

While here, you can

  • Read my best articles, on topics ranging from desert water shortages to motorcycle adventures
  • Peruse my ever-improving photos
  • Venture to browse my recent forays in multi-media and digital work

Thanks for  visiting, and I’d love to hear from you.

Jamie Hansen

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