S t a r h i l l . US

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The links below point to nearby historic and geographic points of interest. Neil Young's mythical Greendale is nearby.

Kamungus + webcam
Starhill Academy of Anything
Corte Madera open space
Corte Madera trails
Tunitas Beach

Tunitas Ohlone ~1769
Kings Mountain Forum
Kings Mountain School
Kings Mountain Art Fair
Kings Mountain Artists
San Gregorio Store
Coastside Habitat Coalition
Pescadero Conservation
County Mosquito ofc.
Midpeninsula Open Space
GeoMAC  fire maps
Half Moon Bay Review
Buck's Café,
Bridge School

Robert's Market
Kepler's Books
The Almanac
Starhill Solutions
Starhill Networks
Werner Glinka
Swan Mosaic
Poppy Art
Lobitos Creek Ranch
Kings Mtn.Llamas
South Skyline Association
craigslist: - peninsula


Star Hill is a real place; one of the most remote rural points in unincorporated San Mateo County, California. Most people who live here consider this part of greater Kings Mountain
community, a few miles northeast.  Our co-ordinates are 37.39647, -122.34753. We actually live on the Durham ridge on the SW point of Starhill, between the two forks of Tunitas creek facing the pacific at the cusp of three distinct ecological zones; coastal grasslands, redwood forests, and mixed oak and madrone woodlands.

Here's an aerial photo, and a link to Andrew Anker's weather cam a couple hundred yards uphill from where I am writing this connected via my two-way satellite link.

Bulletins and Infrequent News

PG&E Forestry Contacts
-Karen, Contract  forester 800-520-4796.
-Kathy Hoffman for Peter Beasley, forestry mgrs: 510-437-2829

Star Hill History Notes
May 13, 2004
Mike Liebhold

This part of the mountains was once an Ohlone indian camp probably used by the same people encountered, four miles down the hill,  by the Portola Expedition in 1769.  Later the Durham family operated a dairy farm serving local  residents, logging operations and sawmills and, no doubt the hotels at Kings Mountain  and Grabtown, 2 miles away on Tunitas Creek road.  Our neighbor, Jack Crow, a farmer, discovered newspapers dated in the 1860's in the framing of the barns he still uses today. I have found hand forged square iron nails, from that period in old fence posts in our pasture,  I've also founds bits of seashells and obsidian flakes in an Ohlone shell mound site nearby, that I mapped and registered with the state Archeological commission, a few years back.

In the 1960's Star Hill became best known for the
Starhill Academy of Anything  an  early counter cultural commune on the site of the old Wickett saw mill on the south ridge of Star Hill.

Maybe one day I'll have a chance to learn a few more Star Hill stories, and post them here, from Ken Fisher, our local  historian.  

Best Bobcat Photos
April 1, 2004

Our neighbor, Andrew Anker, has captured some great photos of our local bobcats and posted them here, on his Kamungus web site.

Fire Brigade Heroics
January 16, 2004

Many thanks to the Kings Mountain Volunteer Fire Brigade for a monumental and successful effort Wednesday night to rescue our horse.

When I went out to feed our horses on Wednesday around dusk, our elderly thoroughbred mare, Legs, was gone.  Eventually I found her lying head down in a very awkward position at the bottom of an arroyo unable to move. My wife Bonnie, and I and neighbors, Jim Russell and David Mack tried for the next hour (or more) to push and pull her into position to stand up, without success. For all we knew she had been lying for hours with a broken back or broken legs.  She was so exhausted she couldn't even lift her head, she could only just lie there groaning and panting, bleeding from a cut on her head. It was a very bad scene.

Bonnie called 911, and the KM volunteer emergency crew showed up right away. There was no reasonable place to hook up a winch or come-along, so we all pushed and pulled the poor horse, but were still unable to move her. Finally someone, (Jim Sullivan?) suggested using inflatable air bags, filled from air tanks. Little by little, we were able to wedge the bags under the horse and eventually tip her into postition to stand up, if she was able. She struggled halfway up, but was so weak; she fell over, right on top of me. Fortunately, I had a springy fence to my back otherwise I could have been crushed. I don't know how everyone pulled the horse off of me, but all of a sudden she was pulled to her feet! Thank you all for your quick moves.   Aside from a nasty gash on her forehead, and a scratch on one eye, the horse was wobbly but ok, and I was able to lead her up out of the gulch, up the hill to the corral.  The KM team had the foresight to call an emergency vet who looked her over, treated her scratches, and gave her a clean bill of health. Wow!

I was so focused on the horse, and it was pitch dark, I didn't catch the names of our neighbors who came to help. On behalf of Legs the Horse, thank you all for an epic effort.  Without your help, I doubt that our beloved horse would have survived.

Friends, I hope you never have to call for help, but if you do, you can be assured that there's a cool, calm and very smart crew of real pros standing ready to come to your aid. The Kings Mountain Volunteer Fire Brigade deserves all our support. Many thanks again,

/ Mike and Bonnie Liebhold

KPIG on Starhill
June 11, 2003

If you live on Starhill, or maybe Sierra Morena, or Bald Knob,  then you probably already enjoy listening to KPIG radio from Freedom California, (Arguably, the best radio station in the world.) KPIG comes in clear as a bell on my truck radio on Starhill Road  between the gnarly oaks below Jim Warren's and the Native Son's corner, all the way down to my driveway on Durham Ridge,  but not inside the house, even on a 100watt FM  receiver. I guess I just live at the ragged edge of the'PIG's coverage area. So I listen to it on the net.  

Larry Baptist wrote from the east bay, unhappy that he isn't able to listen to KPIG anymore since they switched to pay for play on the Real Audio  website.

Here's some good news:
Update 05/04.  A very high quality 128kbit/sec KPIG stream is available free on shoutcast.

Skyline Bears?
June 8, 2003

The Point Reyes Light reports more bear sightings on the Marin coast this week.

And then , Tom Stienstra  wrote in In the June 5, SF Chronic:
" The Marin bear: How'd it get there? Could it be a certain erratic field scout made good on his crazy scheme to drive to a Northern California landfill, bait a bear into the framed bed of his pick-up truck, cover the frame with a tarp, and then drive it to Mt. Tamalpais and let the bear go? Or did the bear migrate all the way down from Mendocino County?"

This bear story and return of our own mountain lions has me wondering when we'll see a bear or two, too. Like our local mountains West Marin and Mt. Tamalpais are completly surrounded by either freeways, suburbs or   dairy farms.It is remotely possible  that these bears migrated down a very narrow coridor through Dillon to Occidental and Cazadero.  More likely, I agree, that these are rogue park bears bundled upcountry in the Sierra and shipped down and released in the Marin wilderness by a (mis?)guided naturalist(s).

 It's happened before. During the debate over great puma hunting referendum a few years ago,  Fish and Game and Wildlife biologists admitted they are runing of of habitat for misbehaving mammals. Trinity county Used to be a favorite drop off , but there not many big wild watersheds left.

So, my guess is we could be next, since we live right next door to a Wildlife Refuge, described here on a Crystal Springs webpage:

" Ducks, hawks and numerous small birds can be seen overhead or in the surrounding oaks and madrones. Over 180 different species of birds have been identified there. Deer, squirrels, bobcats, coyotes and rattlesnakes are often spotted. Recent sightings of mountain lions have also occurred. This pristine Watershed area surrounding the trail is recognized by the California Department of Fish and Game as a Fish Wildlife Refuge and is considered a Biosphere Reserve."

Here's the very local question about our equally surrounded wildlife refuge. How did our lions get here? They crossed Highway 17?  Could be, but more likely,  they were released by equally kindly naturalists who want to restore the local ecosystem  as ideal new habitats for misbehaving large predators from our uphill Sierra neighbors,  / Mike Liebhold