Ear to the Ground

Outdoor News and Notes for the California Region
Oct/Nov 2014 issue

depot(1)Ecology Action wins EPiC sustainability award
The EPiC program (Environmental Partnership Campaign) is ASJ’s way to highlight the exemplary work of some California non-profits.

We are proud to announce that our first featured EPiC recipient is Ecology Action. Headquartered in Santa Cruz, Ecology Action was launched on Earth Day in 1970 as an all-volunteer, unmanned recycling donation depot for bottles and cans. Forty years later, they’ve become one of California’s thought-leaders with regard to sustainability and driving behavior change in water conservation, energy management, and alternative transportation.

Over the past four decades, Ecology Action had the staying power that some well-intentioned non-profits lacked. The organization has persevered through the conservative backlash of the ‘80s—where the state froze over half a million dollars of their grant contracts—and the recession of 2007-2009.

Even in the face of these setbacks, Ecology Action’s sustainability programs have helped over 20,000 California residents and business owners save millions of gallons of water and reduce energy consumption by half a million kilowatt hours each year. Locally, they’ve inspired over ten thousand students and adults to commute on a bike and leave their cars parked in the driveway.

From their humble beginnings they have grown into a leading California sustainability organization.
Congratulations Ecology Action! Look for a feature article tracing the history and accomplishments of Ecology Action in the next issue of ASJ. For more information, check out ecoact.org.

Leonie-at-Mission-HillLongtime ASJ Journalist Leonie Sherman runs for Santa Cruz City Council
We are proud to endorse and support longtime ASJ contributor Leonie Sherman for Santa Cruz City Council. Leonie has been writing about back-country exploration, climbing and hiking for ASJ since 2010. She threw her hat into the ring to address a variety of local issues near and dear to her heart, most notably affordable housing, public safety, and sustainable water solutions.

“Santa Cruz is an innovative trend-setting town; we need to be brave and creative in finding solutions to our most difficult problems. If I’m elected, I will tackle our most challenging issues with the  same courage, determination and heart that gets me to the top of a mountain,” she told editor Matt Niswonger during a phone interview soon after she announced her candidacy.

For more information check out leoniesherman.com. Good luck Leonie!

California Canoe and Kayak announces new retail location in San Carlos
California Canoe & Kayak (CCK), founded by paddlers in 1972, with locations in Oakland, Rancho Cordova, Lotus and Half Moon Bay, has expanded to San Carlos in San Mateo County. Many peninsula locals will recognize this location as the former headquarters of Aquan Sports.
California Canoe & Kayak will continue the excellent service, instruction and product selection that Aquan Sports provided to their customers over the last ten years.

Presently closed on Mondays and Tuesdays for reorganization, CCK will be open for business Wednesday through Sunday.  Look for their grand opening around the end of October.
CCK will continue to sell and rent dive equipment and provide PADI Dive instruction. Customers will still find a good selection of swimming, snorkeling and triathlon gear at the new location. There will also be new products and brands.

Besides being the largest paddlesports retailer in Northern California, CCK is highly regarded by the local paddling community for its excellent service and unparalleled knowledge of ocean, bay, lakes and river paddling.

For more information visit calkayak.com.

The Cold Water Classic gives 16 unsponsored surfers a chance of a lifetime
One staple of late fall in Santa Cruz is the Coldwater Classic at Steamer Lane. Last year ushered in a new format unlike the various incarnations the event has seen over previous decades. That same format will return in 2014 with the second annual O’Neill Coldwater Classic Invitational, where 16 unsponsored surfers will be competing for the chance of a lifetime where they will not only earn the 2014 title, but a yearlong sponsorship from O’Neill valued at $50,000. The sponsorship includes a travel, event and expense budget to compete in at least seven of the ASP World Qualifying Series events in pursuit of qualifying for the World Championship Tour.

Photo courtesy of Neil Pearlberg

Photo courtesy of Neil Pearlberg

Griffin Guess to head Mavericks Surf Contest
Event producer Griffin Guess is taking the helm of the 2014/2015 Mavericks surf contest. For those unfamiliar with the name, his company Cartel Management has produced events for A list entertainers like Jay Z and Kanye West, and designed national ad campaigns for Harley Davidson, Victoria’s Secret, the NFL, and Cadillac.

Guess and his company are also associated with athletes like Aaron Rodgers and Barry Bonds. Perhaps most well known is his marriage since 2008 to actress and super model Marisa Miller.

Since the first Mavericks contest sounded the horn in 1999, a bevy of different sponsors and producers have been associated with the event, and thus far a clear and consistent formula has not emerged to build a financially successful contest around the world’s most notorious surf break.
For the most part Guess has not been forthcoming with many details, except to say the selection process for competitors will be determined by a committee of five surfers with long time ties to Mavericks. This group (“the Committee 5”) includes Darryl “Flea” Virostko, Jeff Clark, Ion Banner, Matt Ambrose, and Shawn Rhodes.

“In my opinion those are the top five guys connected with Mavericks,” said Kenny “Skindog” Collins during a recent interview with ASJ surf writer Neil Pearlberg. “I have so much respect for that group, that if I was not selected to compete, I would not even question their decision.”
For more information check out facebook.com/titansofmavericks.

Skyline Development to Purchase Bear Valley Mountain Resort
A Canadian real estate development company has entered into a binding agreement of purchase to acquire Bear Valley Mountain Resort. ASJ readers will remember that Bear Valley, which had fallen on hard times in recent years, was in the process of re-inventing itself as a community owned ski resort.

Skyline Inc., which owns a portfolio of hotel and resort properties worth upwards of $300 million, entered into the agreement after several weeks of discussion with the current ownership and local community leaders that had formed the Bear Valley Mountain Cooperative and who were also in the process of purchasing the resort.

“We are delighted to add Bear Valley to our growing portfolio of hotels and resorts,” says Skyline CEO Michael Sneyd. “Given Bear Valley’s spectacular beauty, excellent terrain and potential for improvement, we believe it is a great fit.” At this point Skyline has not committed to the additional purchase of the historic Bear Valley Lodge and village just down slope from the mountain itself, but retains the option to work out a deal to purchase these properties separately.

In the latest development, the Bear Valley Mountain Coop will stay intact with membership benefits and maintain an advisory role with Coop members sharing board seats with Skyline management. The purchase and structure is being hailed as a significant step forward towards an exciting future for Bear Valley Mountain Resort.

For more information check out bvmcoop.org.

SnowBomb Ski & Board Fests invade the Bay Area this November
SF 142After relocating for one year to AT&T Park, the popular SnowBomb Ski and Snowboard festival in San Francisco will return to Fort Mason. The tour will also stop at the San Jose Convention Center and Cal Expo Center this November.

Fans of SnowBomb will, as always, receive free lift tickets and deeply discounted season passes for Tahoe resorts like Heavenly, Kirkwood, Squaw Valley, Alpine, Northstar and many more.
SnowBomb.com’s seventh annual Ski & Board Festivals are celebrating the upcoming winter in style this year. The SF show at Fort Mason will take place November 1st and 2nd, the Silicon Valley festival will take place at the San Jose Convention Center the following weekend, with the Sacramento festival being held on November 15th and 16th at the Cal Expo. That’s three SnowBomb events being held on back-to-back weekends.

New this year, all three events feature a Friday night special opening for those that want to recieve the pick of the litter of the million dollar sale. Tickets for Friday night are FREE for those that sign up online on SnowBomb.com as well.

The attractive perks for SnowBomb attendees include multiple free lift tickets to Tahoe’s top resorts including Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Sierra At Tahoe. Free lift tickets are also offered by Bear Valley, Dodge Ridge, China Peak and Badger Pass.

For only $25, ski and snowboard enthusiasts will receive over $200 in lift tickets for the upcoming winter season, as well as access to deeply discounted clothing and equipment. Over 100 exhibitors and pro skiers including Daron Rahlves and Jonny Moseley will be in attendance.

VIP guests will get a buy one get one free Squaw/Alpine lift ticket and also enjoy free tastings from approximately 80 participating wineries and breweries making for a unique twist while scoring the best ski and snowboard deals all under one roof.

“SnowBomb Ski and Board Festivals connect skiers and snowboarders with a fun slice of mountain culture in their own back yard,” said SnowBomb.com founder Jim McAlpine. “Whichever of the three venues you choose, expect incredible value and a fun day of interaction with the best ski resorts and industry brands.”

KeepTahoeBombSticker For more information or to buy tickets check out snowbomb.com

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