Raul Quintero representing the 831 fighting in Salinas May 16th. Fight shirts will be available soon (we didn't take this pic)
Congrats to #TeamPiccolotti with an undefeated record of 5 amateur fights and 3 professional cage fights! Big win last night with a KO late in the 3rd round! Exciting finish!
Nine arrested after drugs seized on South Coast
Authorities say they found more than 5,000 pounds of marijuana associated with a panga boat that turned up at Año Nuevo State Park on Friday. Photo courtesy U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Posted: Monday, August 4, 2014 12:40 pm | Updated: 12:06 pm, Tue Aug 5, 2014.
By Julia Reis [ email@example.com ] |7 comments
Nine suspects were arrested after a 40-foot vessel carrying 5,100 pounds of marijuana was intercepted by authorities in Pescadero late Friday night.
The panga, a lightweight boat commonly used by drug smugglers, was seized at Año Nuevo State Park around midnight on Friday and six men were initially arrested. Three additional suspects were taken into custody around 10 a.m. on Saturday, according to Virginia Kice, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security notified San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force agents that such a boat might be landing off the coast. The agents witnessed two large vans enter Año Nuevo State Beach around 10 p.m. Friday and meet a panga that landed there. Agents stopped the vans as they drove onto Highway 1.
The panga floated off after the marijuana had been loaded off the boat, but a local fisherman spotted it adrift. It was recovered by the U.S. Coast Guard, according to a release from the San Mateo County district attorney’s office.
The boat was piloted from Mexico, and four of the suspects are residents of Sinaloa, Mexico, authorities say. The other suspects are from San Diego and San Jose, Calif. The defendants are 20-year-old Luis Farid Gonzalez, 36-year-old Mario Gonzalez, 39-year-old Juan Hernandez, 50-year-old Juan Valdez Lopez, 28-year-old Luis Espinoza Mendoza, 39-year-old Estaban Flores Salazar, 19-year-old Joan Sicairos, 38-year-old Mark Richard Teixeira, and 33-year-old Phin Yo Vorn.
All of the defendants, with the exception of Mario Gonzalez, who was unavailable for court, pleaded not guilty on Monday. The preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 14. Bail for all the defendants has been set for $1 million, and all are currently being held at San Mateo County jail.
Kice said it’s possible that the defendants could still face federal prosecution, as well.
Agencies that assisted with this incident include the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which is the lead investigative agency, the Border Enforcement Security Task Force, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, the California Highway Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Coast Guard and the Bureau of Land Management.
This incident is the second of its kind in recent months. In May, a little more than 1,200 pounds of marijuana were seized from an abandoned panga that washed ashore at Pescadero State Beach.
From Oct. 1, 2013, through July 9, 2014, there were two drug smuggling vessels seized in San Mateo County along with 1,026 pounds of marijuana. No arrests were made in conjunction with these incidents. According to statistics provided by Kice, the majority of smuggling apprehensions during that time took place in open ocean waters, including those off Mexico.
Can simply being near the ocean wash away stress?
A new book sets out to answer some big questions about the brain and bodies of water. "Blue Mind" explores why so many of us are drawn to the ocean, and how this scientifically connects to our health and happiness, CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy reports.
Most of us know that feeling of calm we get when we are on, in or just near the water.
"This is what you want if you're in the midst of a stressful week," said Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist and conservationist who lives near the central coast of California. "You just want to hit that big blue reset button and get out here."
Nichols spent much of his professional life trying to protect endangered sea turtles. Now he's exploring the scientific reasons for why humans have such a deep connection with the deep blue.
"There are all these cognitive and emotional benefits that we derive every time we spend time by water, in water or under water," Nichols said.
The marine biologist dubbed it our "blue mind," the mildly meditative state our brains enter when exposed to water.
Initially, Nichols was apprehensive that people would dismiss him as a California beach-lover, but he attests that his thesis is scientifically backed.
"Once you get into it, you realize that it's chemistry, it's biology, it's physiology. It's deeply personal but it's also strong science," Nichols said.
The science is still evolving, but Nichol's work is getting plenty of attention. He began hosting "blue mind" seminars that are attracting neurologists and psychologists from around the world.
Brain imagining indicates that proximity to water floods the brain with feel-good hormones such as dopamine and oxytocin. Levels of the stress hormone cortisol actually drop. Scientists have also discovered that the brain prefers the color blue above all others and water increases our ability to focus.
"Our response to water is deep," Nichols said. "It's human, it's about life and it's about survival."
In fact, our bodies consist of about 60 percent water and our brains, a whopping 75 percent.
"So when you see water, when you hear water, it triggers a response in your brain that you're in the right place," Nichols said.
From rafting to kayaking to surfing, water therapy is increasingly being used to treat a variety of ailments, including wounded veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress and depression.
"I think connecting public health to a healthy ocean is critical," Nichols said. "It helps you relax, just literally sucks the stress out of your body and out of your mind."
So the next time you gaze into that blue horizon, you'll know that feeling you get really is all in your head.
© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.July 22, 2014, 8:11 AM
Drakes Bay oyster farm denied Supreme Court hearing
Oyster farmer Kevin Lunny's reaction to what looked to others like the last legal gasp of his operation at Point Reyes National Seashore punched right to the point: "It's not over until the last oyster is shucked."
"This is a disappointing decision, but it's not really a setback," Lunny said of the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal Monday to hear an appeal of a federal order that would shut down his Drakes Bay Oyster Co. "This ruling only gives us the strength and incentive to fight harder. This is not just about oyster farmers - this issue affects farmers and ranchers on federal lands throughout the nation."
Without comment, the justices left in place court rulings upholding the Interior Department's refusal to renew the lease of Lunny's company, which operates California's only oyster cannery. Lunny and his wife, Nancy, bought the operation in 2004, eight years before the expiration of a 40-year lease in federal waters.
Next week, a federal judge in Oakland will review the Supreme Court's refusal to hear his case and consider its effects on the Lunnys' lawsuit challenging the eviction. The courts have allowed the 30-employee company to remain open while it appealed the rulings that have gone against the Lunnys.
"It ain't over by a long shot," Kevin Lunny insisted, citing a Marin County judge's ruling last week that blocked a California Coastal Commission shutdown order.
'No' means noEnvironmentalists, who call the oyster operation inappropriate for a wilderness area, said that ruling was superseded by the Supreme Court's refusal to hear his case.
"I think he's (Lunny) in denial of reality," said Amy Trainer, executive director of theEnvironmental Action Committee of West Marin. "For all intents and purposes, this round of appeals, where he has consistently been told 'no,' has been a hearing on the merits, and he has lost. At some point he needs to face reality and take 'no' for an answer."
A 1976 law set aside 2,500 acres of offshore land, including the oyster farm, as a wilderness area free of commercial activity once the oyster lease expired. The Lunnys' farm produces one-third of all the oysters harvested in California, however, and the grower has lined up supporters including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and chef Alice Waters.
Renewal deniedFeinstein steered a bill through Congress in 2009 that authorized the Interior Department to extend the lease for 10 years. But then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar denied a renewal of the lease in November 2012, saying the oyster harvesting didn't fit Congress' plan for a wilderness area.
Two federal courts have ruled since then that the renewal question was solely up to Salazar and that he made an "informed decision" immune from judicial review. Supporters of the farm challenged the "informed" part by pointing to a conclusion in 2009 by a panel of scientists that the National Park Service made errors and misrepresented facts in its statements that the shellfish operation harmed the area.
Sensitive environmentDrakes Estero, the estuary where the oyster farm is located, is home to thousands of endangered birds, a large seal colony, and at least 5 percent of California's coast eelgrass, an important food source for birds and fish.
"The decision by the Interior Department was made in the public's interest," said Neal Desai, a director for the National Parks Conservation Association. "Americans deserve to have a protected marine wilderness region, as was long planned and paid for."
The Lunnys and their supporters retorted that shutting down a valuable food source in the name of simply keeping a wilderness area open was shortsighted at best.
"This case wasn't just about the future of the Drakes Bay Oyster Company," Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Tony Francois said in a statement. "It was about accountability in government and everyone's right to have access to the courts if bureaucrats threaten your livelihood."
In seeking Supreme Court review, attorneys for Drakes Bay - who said they are working pro bono - argued that the 2009 law did not give the government unlimited authority over the lease and was actually intended to "extend the lease."
The case is Drakes Bay Oyster Co. vs. Jewell, 13-1244.
Chronicle staff writer Henry K. Lee contributed to this report.
Kevin Fagan is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org