Today a major setback struck the final solution, if you will, against the light brown apple moth. Superior Court Judge Paul Burdick ruled that "aerial pesticide sprays must halt over Santa Cruz County until agricultural officials do a full environmental review of their anti-pest program." Even California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, after chitchating with lawmakers and environmentalists, put his foot down, saying that "the state would suspend all aerial sprays across the state until Aug. 17."

Meanwhile, Santa Cruz County spokeswoman Dinah Phillips actually thinks today's ruling will stop aerial spraying for at least a year. Cool.

According to CBS 5, "hundreds of people complained of feeling sick when planes applied the first round of spray along the central coast last fall." (To be fair, people in Santa Cruz also fake aneurysms if you're wearing a drop of cologne, so...take that with a healthy grain of rock salt.) Anyway, the U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture says that they may go ahead with the areal assault, ruling be damned, since "the moth threatens to destroy millions of dollars' worth of valuable crops."

Photo by Jim Herd.