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After more than 22 years of bureaucratic inaction, efforts to clean up a former Air Force radar station on a scenic mountaintop above Silicon Valley and open its summit to hikers, bicyclists and picnickers may be finally gathering momentum, locally and in Washington, D.C.
"It feels like all the pieces are coming together and that it's going to happen this time," said Rep. Mike Honda, D-Campbell. "Why should only rich people have a view? It should be available to everybody."
At issue is the former Almaden Air Force Station, which operated from 1957 to 1980 on the top of Mount Umunhum. Named for the Ohlone Indian word for hummingbird, the 3,486-foot peak towers above South San Jose and Los Gatos on the chaparral ridges between Lexington Reservoir and Almaden Quicksilver County Park. But it remains off limits because 88 buildings where Air Force crew members and their families lived and worked sit abandoned ‚ÄĒ a crumbling ghost town contaminated with asbestos and lead paint.
For more than two decades, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, the public agency that owns the land, has insisted that the Defense Department pay to demolish and haul away the buildings. But the Pentagon did little, disagreeing about the extent of the federal government's cleanup responsibilities.
This photo was taken on 04-05-2009 from Webb Canyon ( JoeyD)
This article has been viewed 10815 times in the last 5 years
JoeyD: 7th Apr 2009 - 05:21 GMT
Up in Webb canyon about a mile and a half before a trail head leading to big evironmentally noisy views like rotting contaminated air force bases, there was this little guy who seems to have found his one little blade of grass and a tiny piece of sunshine to keep his simple needs just so.... ah... a bug's life...
JoeyD: 7th Apr 2009 - 05:36 GMT
Perception is not always reality. I was humbly reminded of this as I was pondering my lilí buddy and his simple life. As I turned my camera away from the blade of grass my lens caught this sinister looking fellow not 2 feet away to the right.
Iím not sure the outcome, I would have rooted for the little guy. I donít know, I didnít have time , the lure of the rotten AFB was calling me back to my big important world. Iím sure nature took its course. It always does.
Peter: 7th Apr 2009 - 20:44 GMT
Either you have one hell of a telephoto, or those are some very chill bugs to not flee the second you trained your gaze on them... im digging hte dragonfly pic, especially.
JoeyD: 7th Apr 2009 - 21:37 GMT
LOL The answer is very chill bugs as my lens is just a 10-40 I was probably 5 inches away from the dragonfly lying on the ground underneath. his perch wich towered at least 3 inces over the lil guy sunning himself. I was very near the ridge top with 7am sun at my back. this photo is mid-tone contrasted just slightly above the original. this is 5M pixel.
my fresh set of lithiums ran out at about 245 snaps LOL on the way back down the hill.... there will be more from this adventure including the new air-ship zepplin taking off from moffit to downtown SJ as you can see baically the entire lower bay area from this ridge.
Peter: 7th Apr 2009 - 23:15 GMT
i would expect nothing less than the world's most chill bugs from san jose ;)
Anais NIN: 8th Apr 2009 - 04:14 GMT
I'd wager that at any moment, approximately half of Citynoise's regulars are comfortably tombstoned while browsing. So I think you are in good company. LOL.
Anais NIN: 9th Apr 2009 - 06:11 GMT
Actually, I'm tombstoned right now!
anon (99-7-138-163.lightspeed.snjsca.sbcglobal.net): 10th Apr 2009 - 15:28 GMT
I am getting closer!! one more ridge to go... Im gunna get some close ups of that building even if I get shot at! I hope by the end of june.
...but judging by the trail signs in the area.. getting shot at may be the least of my worries..
JoeyD: 10th Apr 2009 - 15:31 GMT
I sure hope it really is an abandoned AFB ....the closer I get the more its starting to look like a Borg Cube... if that is true, resistance would be futile
Al: 8th Jan 2011 - 03:07 GMT
I get a kick out of this abandoned building sneak up to em stuff. Can't wait to see even closer pics from you. Meanwhile I'm going to preserve my clean record by not going up there and getting busted.
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