March 2, 2021



The inside information about the off-limits Año Nuevo seals: Roadshow

Q: On Tuesday, a reader named Shirley Yeh mentioned she wanted to visit Año Nuevo. I’m a docent there, so here’s some information for you.

First, we currently expect Año to reopen in January. The final decision will be made by the state. The area that will be reopened is Coe Beach. A docent will be there to interpret the elephant seals.

The main viewing area will remain closed. This is the area for group walks. Because of the virus, groups would be mixed, and there is a real possibility of spreading the virus in such a situation.

Bob Droege, San Jose

AT: Thanks for the inside information about Año Nuevo access.

Q: Thank you for your answer to Shirley Yeh regarding closures of parks and recreation areas.

I always took my legally blind 96-year-old neighbor to her local Bank of America in Almaden Valley, which has now been closed for six months. I found out the reason they are closed is simple: Tellers who are on leave due to family members needing care. In addition, oftentimes their own personal health issues / co-morbidities necessitate taking leave. The manager said they simply do not have the workforce.

So, think about parks, etc., which may only have a couple of assigned rangers. Our governor is not closing down these establishments. They do not have staff, just like our usual bank.

Barbara Hawthorne, San Jose

AT: Thanks for this perspective.

Q: Your suggestion to Shirley Yeh about going to Piedras Blancas to view the elephant seals wasn’t very helpful. If she went there, she would likely violate the travel restrictions, and if not the letter of the law (150 miles), then certainly the spirit of it.

She pointed out the inconsistency of allowing ski resorts and golf courses to remain open, but not the state park and all you said is that the park is “temporarily” closed. So if she spends a lot of money, she can take her family skiing, but she can’t go to a nearby state park and pay the relatively low entrance fee.