san lorenzo river photo by Infrastructure Local News Water 

Potty Talk – A Story about San Lorenzo Valley’s Waste Management

By Jayme Ackemann Rural, small town life in the midst of the sprawling, busy Bay Area has always been part of San Lorenzo Valley’s charm. Every new acquaintance is a friend of a friend, once removed. If our kids don’t already know each other by the end of 5th grade, they are practically guaranteed to meet in Middle School. But… Read More
Fire Recovery Infrastructure Local News 

PG&E Helicopter Activity in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has responded to multiple queries regarding the low-flying helicopter activity that began on Monday in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The utility is surveying power lines using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology. The activity will continue through August 22 according to a spokesperson.   In a press statement, PG&E’s Communications Representative Mayra Tostado said,… Read More
Water district san lorenzo valley Infrastructure Local News Water 

How Do We Talk About Water in the San Lorenzo Valley?

By Jayme Ackemann This is a column I write each month without compensation. It is entirely my personal opinion. I am a San Lorenzo Valley Water District Board Member but the opinions contained herein are completely my own. The United States has been failing to maintain its roads, bridges, and utilities for decades. A report known as the “Infrastructure Report… Read More
Melani Clark Roaring Camp Railroads Business Infrastructure Local News Tourism 

Dispelling the Myths Around the Roaring Camp-RTC Debate

By Jayme Ackemann Earlier this year, Roaring Camp launched an aggressive campaign to defend its right to operate freight on the Felton Branch Line that connects to the line owned by the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC). The campaign came in response to RTC’s move to consider requesting the forced abandonment of freight operations, initially on the Felton… Read More
Community Infrastructure Local News 

SLV Fire Officials Respond to RTC: Oppose Forced Abandonment of the Felton Branch Line

January 26, 2022 Dear Supervisor McPherson and members of the SCCRTC: We write you today to urge you not to proceed with any efforts to abandon freight service on the Felton Branch Rail Line or the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line. These rail lines ensure there is a rail connection for Santa Cruz County and the rest of California, which… Read More
Attractions Infrastructure Local News 

Roaring Camp’s Future in Question: Transportation Commission Considers Forced Abandonment

By Jayme Ackemann In January, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that thanks to surplus budget revenues and a massive federal infrastructure investment package our state would make more than $2 billion in funding available for rail and transportation projects. This seems like a less-than-ideal time for Santa Cruz County’s Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) to consider abandoning some of the rail corridors… Read More
Coast Futura Santa Cruz rail Infrastructure Local News 

Accusations Abound as Electric Streetcar Demo Rolls Out

By Jayme Ackemann A private excursion train operator is hosting a demonstration project for one vision of rail service using a “ZEMU,” or zero-emission multiple unit, that could operate on tracks between Watsonville and Santa Cruz. The Coast Futura, operated by TIG/m, offered tickets for two weekends in October to show Santa Cruz County residents what an electric streetcar might… Read More
San Lorenzo Valley power ouatages Fire Recovery Infrastructure Local News 

Power Outages: PG&E Responds

Staff Report Thanks to citizen outrage and outreach to PG&E over frequent and increasing power outages in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the public utility held an online community meeting on September 24. Residents and recent outage maps reported dozens of service interruptions lasting from 45 minutes to 9 hours or more. The problem arose after PG&E installed their new tripwire… Read More
Letter to the editor Infrastructure Letters 

Letter: SLV Residents Struggle through 5 PGE Outages this Past Week

Dear Supervisor Bruce McPherson, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Assemblymember Mark Stone Stone, Senator John Laird, I’m sure you are well aware that we are on our fourth consecutive day of power loss.  There have been five outages in the past week. Residents are weary of struggling to find ways to get work done; parents are tired of sitting in their cars… Read More