Latest Denis Cuff Stories

2008-09-29 21:00:18

By Denis Cuff The California Coastal Conservancy has given a Martinez-based conservation group the final funding it needs for a $3 million environmental restoration and trail building project on 702 acres of open space in the hills between Hercules and Martinez. The $515,000 grant for work on the Fernandez Ranch was announced Monday by the Muir Heritage Land Trust. The announcement caps a three-year drive by the group to raise enough money from grants and private contributions to repair...

2008-09-03 12:00:28

By Denis Cuff The Orinda BART station is going solar. A solar energy company has landed a BART contract to install carports with photovoltaic panels on top to provide renewable power to run the lights, fare gates, ticket machines at the station -- or about everything there except for the trains, which have a separate power source. The carports will be placed in the Orinda station parking lot, where they will shade some 25 or more parked cars. "It allows BART to profit from soaking up...

2008-08-30 09:00:36

By Denis Cuff It was one small flight for a butterfly, but one giant leap for a species. Butterfly No. 15 emerged from her foam cup home and fluttered off into the wild in the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Preserve on Friday morning, during the first release of endangered Lange's metalmark butterflies reared in captivity. No. 15 was one of 30 pregnant butterflies released by a team of biologists in a last-ditch effort to save the fragile orange-brown- and-white species that lives in...

2008-08-29 12:00:50

By Denis Cuff The East Bay Regional Park District today plans to begin inspecting all private boats before launching at Del Valle Reservoir in Livermore and Contra Loma Reservoir near Antioch to prevent the spread of destructive quagga and zebra mussels. Boats found with the mussels attached or inside will be turned away from the popular recreational lakes. Beginning July 10, any boat containing standing water will be refused entry. The inspections will be free for one week. Effective...

2008-08-27 12:00:55

By Denis Cuff A conservation group is buying 423 acres of Franklin Canyon land in Hercules where local residents voted in 2004 to block a developer's plans for 500 proposed homes, a hotel and shops. Bringing to a close one of Contra Costa's longest struggles over development versus preservation, the Martinez-based Muir Heritage Land Trust will announce today that it has negotiated a sales agreement to buy the land for $1.8 million from a group of investors. Muir, a nonprofit group, has...

2008-08-01 06:00:22

By Denis Cuff Construction will proceed with a loop trail at lower elevations on the steep hill, he added. Brushy Peak, located near the border of Contra Costa and Alameda counties, plays a role in Native American creation stories as the site of the first land in a world covered with water.

2008-07-31 21:00:22

By Denis Cuff, Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, Calif. Jul. 31--The drought is forcing the Aug. 15 closure of the popular boat launch at Shadow Cliffs Regional Park lake in Pleasanton. Lake water levels are dropping 2 to 3 inches per week, making it impractical to keep the boat launch open beyond Aug. 14, East Bay Regional Park District officials announced Wednesday. Some 2,000 boats a year launch at the lake. Swimming, fishing and boat rentals at a dock will continue at the...

2008-06-25 18:03:07

By Denis Cuff, Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, Calif. Jun. 25--Bay Area residents can expect more polluted air, gray skies and spectacular sunsets this week from a series of wildfires that have made the air unhealthy to breath in some places and spurred a regionwide health advisory. The smoke could stick around for the rest of the week or longer, according to the National Weather Service. Many Northern California wildfires continue billowing tons of soot into the air, and weather...

2008-01-21 09:00:47

By Denis Cuff, Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, Calif. Jan. 21--California is struggling to diffuse the dangers of abandoned underground mines that snake under the state's landscape far and wide. Left behind by 19th century gold miners in the Sierra and coal miners in the East Bay hills, the tunnels and shafts can kill and injure those who come to explore them or fall in by accident. California averages two fatal accidents a year in underground mines, and safety regulators worry that...

Word of the Day
  • The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones.
  • An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
  • Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
This word ultimately comes from the Old French word 'barater,' to cheat.