Comments by riveray

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Posted on January 24 at 6:06 p.m.

The two hunters are from Brea, CA and they both had valid hunting licenses. The report doesn't indicate whether or not they had pig tags with them but are required to. To obtain a hunting license in California one must take a Hunter Safety Course and present a certificate of completion when applying for the license. Current cost of a resident hunting license is $44.85 and a resident wild pig tag costs an additional $21.34. We are in the process of researching many of the issues that have been raised above and will be reporting on them soon.

On Remembering Billy the Dog

Posted on January 22 at 4:12 p.m.

Information for the story came from Forest Service personnel at the Santa Barbara District Ranger's office and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department. Because they would not release the names of those involved, it was not possible to contact them directly.

On Dog Shot and Killed on Santa Cruz Trail

Posted on April 19 at 8:58 p.m.

My mistake re the judge's name--thanks for correcting this. Photo comes from one posted several months ago on the site and includes out-of-date text info--will edit to fit the current situation.

On Jesusita Fire Defendants Win Major Victory in Court Ruling

Posted on December 11 at 10:20 a.m.

At the press conference this morning, DA Lulejian said that under the CA Fire Code, entering into a high fire danger area to use equipment capable of starting a fire requires a hot work permit. Upon further questioning by me, he stated that a weed whacker using nylon string to cut the weeds like many homeowners have would not require such a permit. However, one with a metal blade attached would require one. When further pressed that this means the two men charged had used a weed whacker with a metal blade he said, "Yes, that is the case."

On Trail Gnomes Charged in Jesusita Fire

Posted on November 6 at 7:15 a.m.

Got the subtitle wrong. No doubt not enough coffee the morning I proofed the article. I changed it to "Instant" and not decaf.

Geez drberticus, lighten up. No room for a light-hearted article now and then? BTW, yes you can buy VIA at Costco but as of my last visit only the milder version; not the darker roast. Regardless, it is still expensive and probably more important, you still have Starbucks telling you what your cup size is.

On Starbucks Leaves a Bad Taste in a Very Needy Guy

Posted on August 25 at 11:39 a.m.

Some of the questions asked in the comment above aren't ones I can answer but in walking the trail the day after it started the brush cutting was very obvious. here is a point where the trail begins to climb up out of the canyon, crosses a small jeep road and then switches back and forth 7-8 times before it goes around a corner past the Edison tower shown in the picture and continues level for a while. Along much of the switchback section there were indications that chaparral branches had been cut recently and along much of this section the grasses had been cut. There was no indication at all of the use of any hand tools to cut the grasses. Instead they were cut off "neatly" about 4-5 inches from the ground in a way that only could have been done using a high speed blade. The grasses were scattered along the trail in the exact type of pattern that would have come from use of a high speed blade on something like a weed whacker. A lot of the cut grass was still green, meaning that it had been cut within the last few days and no longer than a week ago for sure. Are we thinking conspiracy here or some simple explanation like the one investigators believe caused the the fire, use of power tools at the wrong time and place.

On Good Deed Gone Really, Really Bad?

Posted on August 25 at 7:27 a.m.

Oops. La Brea Fire is correct but not worded well. I originally talked with Captain Degado on August 6 and a few days later La Brea Fire started. Then we talked again early on August 25 as a followup. Thus the few weeks later that I checked in with him.

On Good Deed Gone Really, Really Bad?

Posted on November 23 at 5:14 p.m.

Just to clarify any misunderstandings, when I received a copy of Karen's story I wanted to get it out as soon as possible because I thought the ideas contained in it were important ones. In my haste, I got it out with my name on the story rather than Karen's. That was my mistake and I take full responsibility for not being more careful when I posted it. Most important are the ideas represented in the article which is that homes can be saved if the appropriate technologies and fire safe practices are used not just by one owner but the entire community that is within the high fire areas of the front country. I think it is also important to point out that most homeowners won't be able to do what the Berrys have done but that doesn't mean that they can't fire proof their homes and manage the vegetation around their homes properly.

On Green Building Techniques Save Home on Mountain Drive

Posted on November 20 at 1:21 p.m.

If you'd like to read what those who posted on the Independent said regarding the initial press conference you can see the comments at: I have heard similar elsewhere. And yes, I do believe the Sheriff has a responsibility as the lead spokesperson regarding the cause of the fire to make sure that he get's it right the first time. The school's themselves shouldn't find themselves in the position of having to release their own press info to counter the lack of it from the Sheriff.

On None

Posted on November 19 at 1:39 p.m.

I've not been able to respond earlier to any of the comments here but I did want to say that regarding any of the language used in the story the words were not mine but those of Sheriff Brown (young adults, ages, sexes, that they all were from one school, that those attending the party thought they had put it out. It was important to get the facts right and these were the facts provided by the Sheriff. I did make an effort to pin down which school but no one would speak on the record or off. Ray Ford

On Tea Fire Cause Is Determined

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