The world can watch the Devil's Slide drama unfold via the Internet thanks to an industrious Montara computer consultant.
As of last week, close to 200 people from as far away as Canada and Washington state had taken a peek at a Devil's Slide web site set up on the Internet by Montaran Scott Boyd. Those people, Boyd hopes, will be a little better informed and, as a result, make an informed choice about what permanent repair they want to see to Highway 1.
"I really believe the key to democracy is the free flow of information," said Boyd, who pays the bills as a "software developer engaged in all things Macintosh."
"I was really frustrated there wasn't one place to go and get information," he said. "You kind of have to put it out there and hope people read it."
Boyd's World Wide Web site (freely accessible on the Internet at http://www.montara.com) includes an ever-expanding font of information about the raging Devil's Slide debate including: pictures of Montara Mountain and the way it might look if the bypass is built; excerpts of newspaper articles and opinion pieces; information on how to contact local politicians to express your opinion; a "Why a tunnel?" page; as well as some of Boyd's own thoughts on the issue.
It also contains a heavy dose of literature put out by the Citizens for the Tunnel and Committee for a Permanent Repair of Highway 1. That is due in part to Boyd's support for a tunnel, but also because pro-bypass information is more scarce to come by, he says.
All the material is input by Boyd, who squeezes the time in, often at odd hours, between his regular jobs. As the site's sponsor, Boyd is the equivalent of an editor, a task he is familiar with as editor of MacTech Magazine. He tries to make sure material is sourced well, edits out "really wild speculation," and organizes entries in a logical fashion.
For example, last week he thought a letter from state Sen. Quentin Kopp, whose district includes Devil's Slide, to Chris Thollaug with the Sierra Club, and Thollaug's response were particularly interesting, so he referenced them on the web site's "home page" for quick reference.
Response to the site so far has been mildly disappointing, but interest seems to be increasing. As he explained it one day last week, somebody from the Office of the President of the University of California logged into the site for a little browsing.
Boyd is anxious to get more pro-bypass information. "I'm building up a repository. I can't, I mean I can, but I won't keep people out. If they have something to say I'll put it out there."
Boyd is just one person on the World Wide Web that users hope can lead to worldwide education. In Moss Beach, a web site was opened with information about the town -- population, size, boundaries, types of business. It "links" up with Boyd's by leading users to Boyd's site for Devil's Slide information.
"I really believe a well-informed public can make good decisions," Boyd said.