september 7-13, 2023 montereycountyweekly.com LOCAL & INDEPENDENT A veteran’s long journey 6 | singing for ukraine 31 | Indycar speeds up 32 | Aloha spirit 34 Violinist Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu is rethinking what Monterey County’s classical music scene can be. p. 20 By Agata Pope˛da Wu’s World
2 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY september 7-13, 2023 www.montereycountyweekly.com september 7, 2023 • ISSUE #1832 • Established in 1988 Jerry Loomis (Sony 7r4 with Sony 200 to 600mm lens) Black-necked stilts are always elegant in their tuxedos, and these dressy birds are shown wading around salt ponds in Moss Landing. Monterey County photo of the week Send Etc. submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org; please include caption and camera info. On the cover: Violinist Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu playing in her house in Corral De Tierra, which is also the site of her home concert series, titled Sunkiss’d Mozart. Cover photo by Daniel Dreifuss etc. Copyright © 2023 by Milestone Communications Inc. 668 Williams Ave., Seaside, California 93955 (telephone 831-394-5656). All rights reserved. Monterey County Weekly, the Best of Monterey County and the Best of Monterey Bay are registered trademarks. No person, without prior permission from the publisher, may take more than one copy of each issue. Additional copies and back issues may be purchased for $1, plus postage. Mailed subscriptions: $120 yearly, pre-paid. The Weekly is an adjudicated newspaper of Monterey County, court decree M21137. The Weekly assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials. Visit our website at http://www.montereycountyweekly.com. Audited by CVC. Founder & CEO Bradley Zeve email@example.com (x103) Publisher Erik Cushman firstname.lastname@example.org (x125) Editorial editor Sara Rubin email@example.com (x120) features editor Dave Faries firstname.lastname@example.org (x110) associate editor Tajha Chappellet-Lanier email@example.com (x135) Staff Writer Celia Jiménez firstname.lastname@example.org (x145) Staff Writer Pam Marino email@example.com (x106) Staff Writer Rey Mashayekhi firstname.lastname@example.org (x102) Staff Writer Agata Pope¸da (x138) email@example.com Staff Writer David Schmalz firstname.lastname@example.org (x104) Staff photographer Daniel Dreifuss email@example.com (x140) contributors Nik Blaskovich, Rob Brezsny, Sloan Campi, Jesse Herwitz, Jeff Mendelsohn, Steve Souza, Jacqueline Weixel Cartoons Rob Rogers, Tom Tomorrow Production Art Director/Production Manager Karen Loutzenheiser firstname.lastname@example.org (x108) Graphic Designer Kevin Jewell email@example.com (x114) Graphic Designer Alexis Estrada firstname.lastname@example.org (x114) Graphic Designer Lani Headley email@example.com (x114) SALES senior Sales Executive Diane Glim firstname.lastname@example.org (x124) Senior Sales Executive George Kassal email@example.com (x122) Senior Sales Executive Keith Bruecker firstname.lastname@example.org (x118) Classifieds business development director Keely Richter email@example.com (x123) Digital Director of Digital Media Kevin Smith firstname.lastname@example.org (x119) Distribution Distribution AT Arts Co. email@example.com Distribution Control Harry Neal Business/Front Office Office Manager Linda Maceira firstname.lastname@example.org (x101) Bookkeeping Rochelle Trawick email@example.com 668 Williams Ave., Seaside, CA 93955 831-394-5656, (FAX) 831-394-2909 www.montereycountyweekly.com We’d love to hear from you. Send us your tips at tipline.montereycountyweekly.com. We can tell you like the print edition of the Weekly. We bet you’ll love the daily newsletter, Monterey County NOW. Get fresh commentary, local news and sundry helpful distractions delivered to your inbox every day. There’s no charge, and if you don’t love it, you can unsubscribe any time. SIGN UP NOW Sign up today at montereycountyweekly.com/mcnow
www.montereycountyweekly.com september 7-13, 2023 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 3 Healthy, how you want it. Where there’s a will, there’s a wave. Regardless of where you are in your journey towards a healthier you — Montage Health can help you reach it. For exceptional care within your community, visit montagehealth.org.
4 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY september 7-13, 2023 www.montereycountyweekly.com THE BUZZ FREE SPEECH On Aug. 15, the Columbia Journalism Review published a story highlighting a notable media development in Wyoming: Foster Friess, who in 2018 ran (and lost) in the GOP primary to become the party’s nominee for state governor, wasn’t happy about the coverage he was getting from local newsrooms which, like nearly everywhere else in America, have been gutted by the changing economics of the media environment. So Friess (who died in 2021) started his own media outlet in 2019, Cowboy State Daily, which now claims to be the largest newspaper in the state. CJR’s story brought to light the type of coverage the outlet has since been putting out, and one troubling trend it highlighted is that the top five think tanks/institutions cited in energy stories were linked to denial of the reality of climate change and climate disinformation. And it’s not just climate: CJR’s story about the media outlet highlights a trend of transphobic reporting, and general right-wing bias. Good: Happy 50th birthday to MontereySalinas Transit. MST launched in September 1973 serving Monterey, Pacific Grove, Seaside and Carmel. Service then expanded to Salinas and Carmel Valley, and in 1981 the agency became the Monterey-Salinas Transit Joint Powers Agency. In 2010, the South County cities of Gonzales, Soledad, Greenfield and King City, as well as Sand City, joined the Monterey-Salinas Transit District. “Rather than looking out for their own interests, local cities worked together to develop regional transit solutions that serve everyone, regardless of where they live or work,” MST General Manager Carl Sedoryk said in the agency’s annual report. What began in 1973 with six worn buses is now a transit agency with 163 vehicles serving up to 5 million passengers a year on 36 routes; MST today has 230 employees and about 100 contractors. GREAT: Container ships are out there in the deep blue sea, and so are whales. When the two collide, it can be catastrophic for whales. What to do about it? One idea is awards (including financial incentives) for shipping companies that commit to slower speeds—10 knots or less through vessel speed reduction zones, and 12 knots or less on average off the coast of California. Twenty companies participated during the 2022 season, up from 18 in 2021, and eight reached the highest recognition level (sapphire). Those are Orient Overseas Container Line, Mediterranean Shipping Company, Swire Shipping, Yang Ming, COSCO Shipping, NYK Ro-Ro, Wallenius Wilhelmsen and CSL Group. The program is managed by a consortium of agencies including the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Monterey Bay Air Resources District. GOOD WEEK / GREAT WEEK THE WEEKLY TALLY Funding awarded by the Transportation Agency for Monterey County through the state’s regional surface transportation program for eight projects located in the cities of Salinas, Soledad, Marina and King City. Projects include striping, crosswalks and 49 ADA bus stops. Source: Transportacion Agency for Monterey County $10,538,000 QUOTE OF THE WEEK “I’ll never fault an individual for advancing their career.” -Salinas Mayor Kimbley Craig speaking about City Manager Steve Carrigan seeking the job of city manager in San Bernardino. Carrigan notified Salinas colleagues on Aug. 26 that he is a finalist for the job (see story, mcweekly.com). ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES Stop By To Shop And Find Your Vintage Treasure OVER 100 DEALERS 21,000 SQUARE FEET The Largest Antiques and Collectibles Mall on the Central Coast 471 WAVE STREET MONTEREY (831) 655-0264 P M canneryrowantiquemall.com Open Daily 11am-6pm ’22 Voted Monterey County's Best Antique Shop ♦ 3 Card Poker ♠ Century 21st No Bust Black Jack ♣ Texas Hold’em ♥ Baccarat FULL BAR! BLACKJACK BONUS POINTS PAYS UP TO $20,000 SMALL TOWN BIG PAYOUTS! 1-800-Gambler • Gega-003846, Gega-Gega-003703, Gega-000889 Gega-000891 Gega-002838 The Marina Club Casino ensures the safety and security of all guests and team members at all times, while providing exceptional service. 204 Carmel Ave. Marina 831-384-0925 casinomonterey.com ♠ ♣ ♥ ♦ Just minutes from Downtown Monterey Where Monterey Comes To Play
www.montereycountyweekly.com SEPTEMBER 7-13, 2023 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 5
6 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY SEPTEMBER 7-13, 2023 www.montereycountyweekly.com 831 One of Diana Ward’s strongest memories from her childhood in Seaside is taking flowers to the ocean with her grandmother, somewhere between Lovers Point and Asilomar, she thinks, to be cast onto the waves. There was no gravestone for June Mitts’ son, Aviation Radioman 1st Class Wilbur Archie Mitts, 24, lost to sea near the Palau Islands in 1944, while flying a pre-invasion strike against Japanese forces with two crewmembers. Ward remembers her grandmother saying how hard it was to have no grave to bring flowers to—the ocean was her only connection to her son. “My grandmother didn’t like the ocean,” Ward says. “She was a Midwest girl and missed Missouri. She thought the ocean was treacherous.” June Mitts had moved from Missouri to Seaside many years before with Wilbur and his three siblings. He attended Seaside Elementary School and graduated from Monterey High School. Mitts and his two crewmembers were aboard a TBM-1 Avenger torpedo bomber that took off from the USS Enterprise as part of Operation Forager, according to the Navy Personnel Command. Their plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire and was last seen “spinning violently before crashing a few hundred feet from Malakai Island,” according to a press release. Ward never met her Uncle Wilbur— he died three days before her birth. “Everyone focused on me because their grief was strong,” says Ward, who now lives in Modesto. She remembers a wall of photos in her grandmother’s home in Seaside that included a picture of Mitts and his two crewmembers, and a framed death notification signed by President Harry Truman. “I’ve been told he was very outgoing, he really enjoyed people, and was very easy going, very likable. He had a lot of friends,” Ward says of her uncle. Mitts had an amateur boxing career before he joined the Navy—he was the 1941 Golden Gloves welterweight champion for Northern California, fighting 37 bouts with only two defeats. Mitts also played guitar with his brother, Ward’s father. The two young men recorded themselves on some vinyl records, a “wonderful gift” to Ward. “I finally got to hear Wilbur’s voice, singing with my dad,” she says. The family had no expectations they would ever hear another word about Mitts’ remains. The American Graves Registration Service, the agency responsible for recovering missing American servicemembers, did extensive searches until 1947, but could not find any evidence of the plane or its crew. So when the Navy called Ward asking for DNA samples approximately 75 years after Mitts plane was lost, it was a surprise. “They cautioned we shouldn’t get our hopes up,” says Ward, who was contacted as Mitts’ oldest living relative. Officials needed DNA from someone from Mitts’ maternal line—Ward is on a paternal line—so she shared what names she could. Unbeknownst to the family, a group called the BentProp Project—now called Project Recover—had begun searching for Mitts’ plane and the crew’s remains in 2003 as part of a larger mission to find lost WWII servicemembers in the Pacific. Remains of the plane were found just off Malakai Island. Mitts’ remains were recovered during two searches, one in 2019 and another in 2021. They were sent to a laboratory at Joint Base Pearl HarborHickam in Hawaii for analysis, and using the DNA from the youngest son of a cousin of Ward’s, investigators were able to positively identify Mitts on Feb. 23, 2023. The call came to Ward with the news, asking her to decide where his remains would be buried. She chose Mission Memorial Park in Seaside, where other family members were buried. On Sept. 11, possibly up to 20 family members from around the country will gather at Mission Memorial Park to celebrate his life “and the sacrifice he made for all of us,” Ward says. They will sing a hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” According to Ward, her grandmother told her she sang the hymn every morning in remembrance of her lost son. “So now he has a place,” Ward says. She plans on taking flowers to his new home. Home Again A Seaside serviceman lost to the sea in 1944 is finally returning to his family. By Pam Marino Wilbur Archie Mitts was 21 in 1941 when he traveled from his family’s home in Seaside to San Francisco to enlist in the Navy during World War II. He died after his plane was shot down in 1944. Before the war, he had a successful amateur boxing career in Salinas. “They cautioned we shouldn’t get our hopes up.” TALES FROM THE AREA CODE
www.montereycountyweekly.com SEPTEMBER 7-13, 2023 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 7
8 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY september 7-13, 2023 www.montereycountyweekly.com news Schools are increasingly seen not just as places for learning, but hubs for needed resources. To that end, in 2022, Monterey Peninsula Unified School District received a two-year, $500,000 homeless innovation grant from the California Department of Education to bolster efforts to support students with unstable housing. As of June, about 22 percent of MPUSD’s student population, or 2,235 students, is experiencing homelessness as defined by the McKinney-Vento Act. That’s a 2-percent increase from the previous year. Besides increasing personnel focused on identifying and referring unhoused students, MPUSD has successfully implemented some programs to help those students, including a partnership with Motel 6 to provide emergency temporary housing for unhoused students and their families, and a rental assistance program to help families with funds to pay for the first and last months of rent and deposit. MPUSD is working on a safe parking program at Monterey Adult School in Seaside so families who live in their cars can park there overnight. There’s also a Youth Advisory Board composed of students who have experiences homelessness. Donnie Everett, MPUSD’s assistant superintendent of multi-tiered systems of support, says these interventions have helped increase impacted students’ GPA and graduation rates. Part of the grant went to support the creation of a website (mpusdbests. org) that launched on July 5 and aims to share MPUSD’s programs with other schools and organizations across the country. The idea is to share successful models so others can possibly adopt them. In House MPUSD launches a website to teach other school districts how to support homeless students. By Celia Jiménez On the morning of Aug. 22, Franklin Andrew Glenn, 29, died under a cypress tree in Window on the Bay Park in Monterey, just off the Rec Trail and steps from Del Monte Beach. Franklin was his given name, but everyone in the community of fellow people who are unhoused on the Monterey Peninsula called him “Smalls.” Toxicology tests are still pending, according to the Monterey County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office, but those who knew him well say they believe it was likely the lethal drug fentanyl that killed him. Two days after Glenn’s death, a gathering of his friends were eating lunch just down the trail from where he died, sharing stories about their fallen friend. One man who goes by Steve-O says he saw Glenn slumped over by a tree and instantly knew what had happened. “I had to leave,” Steve-O says through tears. “He’s a strong guy. A good guy. Everyone who knew him liked him.” If Glenn did die from an overdose, it would not be his first. Friends report he suffered at least three previously. (A Monterey Police spokesperson could not confirm due to health privacy laws.) What happened to Glenn is becoming increasingly common in the homeless community, say those who work with the population, although it touches all levels of society, with young people under 30 overrepresented in the data, especially male teens and adults. “It’s like the Wild West out there,” says Marta Sullivan, senior program officer of substance abuse services for Community Human Services. The nonprofit offering homeless and mental health services, as well as outpatient substance abuse disorder care, is seeing more overdoses and deaths. At this point, CHS clients know that nearly all street drugs are laced with fentanyl and other highly potent drugs and could lead to death, but they continue to use, due to how addictive it is. Dr. Reb Close, an emergency room doctor at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula and co-founder of Prescribe Safe, reports there have been 608 suspected overdoses so far in 2023, with 72 fatalities. In a case of good news/bad news, Monterey County’s death rate per 100,000 residents in 2022 was near the bottom compared to other California counties, according to data compiled by the San Francisco Chronicle. Monterey County’s rate was 20.6 deaths per 100,000. (San Francisco had a rate of 72.9 deaths per 100,000 residents.) The bad news: Monterey County’s rate nearly doubled since 2018, which saw a rate of 11.1 per 100,000. Close also keeps track of the use of the antidote to fentanyl, naloxone, which goes by the commercial name Narcan. She says it’s been used in attempts to revive overdose victims 265 times this year “that we know of.” The lifesaving drug is routinely given away free throughout the county. At a candlelight vigil marking International Overdose Awareness day on Sept. 1 at Salinas Valley Health in Salinas, several parents who lost children spoke out. Hundreds of doses of Narcan were distributed over two hours by medical professionals. On Sunday, Sept. 3, an informal memorial for Glenn was held near Del Monte Beach. An impromptu shrine was left, with a cardboard sign reading “RIP SMALLS.” Next to the sign were two boxes of naloxone, free for the taking. Regina Lebel, formerly homeless and a friend of Franklin “Smalls” Glenn, created a temporary shrine for him on Aug. 24, at the tree where he died. Smalls’ World A young man without a home dies along the Rec Trail in the midst of a street drug crisis. By Pam Marino “We’re a district that has developed a model supporting our homeless youth and families successfully,” says Donnie Everett, an assistant superintendent at MPUSD. “It’s like the Wild West out there.” Daniel Dreifuss Daniel Dreifuss
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10 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY september 7-13, 2023 www.montereycountyweekly.com By itself, the decision by the Pacific Grove City Council to part ways with former city manager Ben Harvey cost the city $437,999 plus six months of health benefits to avoid a possible legal battle. But taken within a broader context, the total costs are well over $534,000 since January 2022, according to information acquired by the Weekly through a California Public Records Act request. Those expenses include an investigation into harassment of Harvey by Councilmember Luke Coletti, which cost nearly $50,000. Harvey had his detractors in P.G. over his seven years at the city—at first mostly residents who took issue with his decisions and missteps by staff, starting in 2017 with the failed Project Bella hotel project at the American Tin Cannery. Mayor Bill Peake began questioning Harvey more in public meetings, but did not appear to have enough votes on council to fire him. After Coletti won a seat on council in November 2020, relations became icier, with Coletti openly showing disdain for Harvey and acting as the lone vote against his contract renewal in 2021. In January 2022, Harvey filed a harassment complaint against Coletti, which prompted an investigation by Ellis Investigations at a cost of $49,267. City attorney Brian Pierik advised the council to hire an outside law firm to provide guidance on the investigation’s results, which cost nearly $15,000. (An Ellis investigator substantiated three of Harvey’s claims of harassment.) One result of the investigation was a recommendation that an outside firm conduct Harvey’s next performance review, which took place in spring 2023, for $32,162. According to a source with knowledge of that review, it was positive, but by July relations between Harvey and a majority of the council deteriorated. On July 26 they agreed to accept his resignation with a 6-0 vote, with Councilmember Chaps Poduri absent. Then on Aug. 30, the council voted to hire a search firm to seek both an interim and permanent city manager, at a cost not to exceed $42,000. There are likely additional costs related to Coletti conferring with Pierik over legal questions. Per the contract approved by the council in June 2022, Pierik’s firm, Burke, Williams & Sorensen LLP, receives $280 an hour for legal services and $305 an hour for special legal services. Pierik declined to provide a log of calls between himself and Coletti, claiming attorney-client privilege. The people who may someday live in a future affordable housing project were invited to weigh in on what the units should look like. At a workshop on Thursday, Aug. 31, dozens of people used colored stickers to show preferences for amenities, colors and names of homes to be built at 855 Laurel Drive in Salinas. The city of Salinas and County of Monterey are working together on a 100-percent affordable housing project on 4.7 acres. The development is on a small piece of an 86.6acre county-owned parcel that was abandoned for decades. “We are showing our communities that we will work together to get projects done to alleviate the housing hardship facing our families,” County Supervisor Luis Alejo says. Eden Housing, a nonprofit developer based in Hayward, is in charge of the project, which includes 132 units (a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments). The project will be located next to the Salinas Soccer Complex and the SHARE Center, a shelter for individuals and families experiencing homelessness, and it will be close to parks and rec trails. Plans include a playground, computer lab and community center. The City of Salinas allocated $500,000 to the Laurel project, out of $7 million in American Rescue Plan funds it set aside for affordable housing. “This is going to be life-changing for so many people, so many families in our community,” City Councilmember Anthony Rocha says. The homes will be available for families who earn 30-to-60 percent of the area’s median income annually (currently between $32,120 and $72,240). Several people who attended the Aug. 31 workshop were agricultural workers. One of them was José Correa, an operator at Taylor Farms. “I hope that we are lucky enough to be able to apply for one of them,” Correa says. He currently rents a room for $800 but says he is getting evicted and will soon be sleeping in his car. Construction is expected to start in 2025 and be completed by 2030. Piling Up A rift between P.G. council members and former city manager proves costly. By Pam Marino news Thriving Business Growing a business isn’t an easy task, and that’s why Monterey County Business Council shares resources to help you expand your business and succeed. MCBC hosts two upcoming workshops. The Marina workshop is conducted in English, and the Gonzales event is bilingual in English and Spanish. 3-4pm Thursday, Sept. 7 at the Veterans Transition Center, 202 Twelfth St., Marina. Free. To register, visit tinyurl.com/MarinaBusinesses. 11:30am-1pm Wednesday, Sept. 13 at American Legion Post 81, 419 5th St., Gonzales. Free; lunch included. To register, bit.ly/mcbcsscsept2023workshop. For more information, call 2163013 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Becoming a Leader If you’re interested in becoming a community leader and learning how local government works, the City of Salinas’ Community Leadership Academy can offer insight and guidance on how to participate. 6-8pm Tuesdays and Thursdays starting on Thursday, Sept. 14. Sherwood Community Center, 940 N. Main St., Salinas. Workshops are bilingual; must be 18 or older. Free; child care and dinner provided. 758-7019, jessicac@ ci.salinas.ca.us, tinyurl.com/12cla. Mental Fitness During the 2023-2024 school year, Salinas Union High School District is offering the opportunity to chat with family therapist Eduardo Eizner so parents and guardians can get tips on how to improve their parenting skills and support children’s mental health, talk about substance use and more. English session: 5-6pm second and fourth Mondays of the month. Bilingual session: 10-11am on Tuesdays. Virtual events. Free. To register for English sessions, visit bit.ly/suhsdmental2023; for bilingual registration, visit bit.ly/ suhsdmentalbi2023. For more information, call 796-7060 ext. 8161. Past Due If you’re struggling to pay your water bill, the City of Gonzales is partnering with the Low-Income Home Water Assistance Program to provide residents with one-time assistance on bills. For information or submit an application, call 726-8817 or visit taphelp.org. Garage Sale Finding and selling treasures in a garage sale can be fun. The City of Soledad hosts its third annual citywide garage sale with participants all over town. All garage sales that register will be added to a citywide map for shoppers. Last day to register is Sunday, Sept. 10; the sale is Sept. 16-17. Free registration. 223-5000, email@example.com, cityofsoledad.com. Homing In The design for an affordable housing project on Laurel Drive in Salinas nears completion. By Celia Jiménez Pacific Grove City Councilmember Luke Coletti at a meeting on Aug. 30, when council approved hiring a search firm to find a new city manager. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org TOOLBOX The total costs are well over $534,000. Daniel Dreifuss
www.montereycountyweekly.com SEPTEMBER 7-13, 2023 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 11 AN OCEAN OF GIFT- GIVING OPTIONS Visit the new Monterey Bay Aquarium Store at 585 Cannery Row. Members receive a 10% discount.
12 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY september 7-13, 2023 www.montereycountyweekly.com In the wake of news that electric air taxi startup Joby Aviation has passed on Marina as it considers locations for a planned 580,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, there is optimism that the Santa Cruz-based company will reinforce its commitment to the Central Coast by soon announcing an expanded presence at its Marina Municipal Airport pilot production plant. Joby’s nationwide search for where to house its largest factory to date appears to be nearing a conclusion after TechCrunch reported on Aug. 25 that it had narrowed its choices down to Ohio and North Carolina—with Marina and Detroit, Michigan, among the locales that didn’t make the final cut. Multiple sources with knowledge of Joby’s deliberations, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirm that Marina has indeed missed out on a large-scale project promising up to 1,800 new jobs. The decision verifies what many local stakeholders had feared—that Marina’s proposal to Joby, backed by property tax breaks offered through California’s GO-Biz economic development office, could not compete with more lucrative incentive packages pitched by other states and cities eager to lure new manufacturing. Some local observers have bemoaned California’s unwillingness to throw robust incentives at Joby and other companies—believed to be rooted in the state’s existing economic strength, and the fact that officials don’t see a need to aggressively dole out perks to lure businesses. Yet the Santa Cruz company and its founder and CEO, JoeBen Bevirt, have stressed that they’re still committed to California—and especially Marina, where they established operations in 2018, and have since expanded to 120,000 square feet used to develop their fleet of electric air taxis capable of shuttling passengers over short distances. Joby officially launched its pilot production line at the airport in June, and plans to build dozens of aircraft per year at the facility. That commitment is set to play out in the form of an expansion to Joby’s Marina operations, according to multiple sources. While plans have not yet been finalized, the company is believed to be plotting a new investment in the Marina plant—potentially up to $50 million—that could roughly double its square footage to over 200,000 square feet and create up to 600 new jobs. (Joby currently employs around 400 people in Marina.) While not commenting on specifics, Marina City Manager Layne Long confirms that the city is “continuing to work with Joby at our airport to expand their operations and manufacturing capacity.” Joby spokesperson Oliver WalkerJones says “no final decisions have been made” on the location of the company’s new factory, and declined to provide specifics on a possible expansion in Marina. But he adds that Joby has “grown our team [in Marina] substantially over the past year and we plan to continue that growth, with around 50 jobs currently advertised.” The tax credits California offered Joby Aviation are relatively limited compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives put forward by other states to help Joby build a new factory. NEWS “We’re working with Joby to expand their operations.” DANIEL DREIFUSS Second Wind Joby Aviation plots Marina expansion despite passing on California for its new, larger factory. By Rey Mashayekhi Peninsul ’ Downtow Shops, restaurants, hotels and businesses Spend some time with us Downtown… oldmonterey.org 11:30am-close, 10am Sat & Sun 484 Washington Street Downtown Monterey 831.643.9525 www.melvilletav.com WOOD FIRED PIZZAS, BURGERS, PASTA, SALADS & SANDWICHES INDOOR, PATIO DINING & TAKEOUT HAPPY HOUR FOOD & DRINK SPECIALS SUN-THURS 4-6PM WEEKEND BRUNCH Transform sparse brows - Artistic custom designs hair by hair The Shape is most important. 3D Microblading Before After Look Radiant Plumper, tighter younger looking skin No downtime No pain No discomfort Also Facials, Chemical Peels, Skin Care Products, Waxing, Lash & Brow Tint 831.776.4031 Call or text 406 ALVARADO ST. 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www.montereycountyweekly.com SEPTEMBER 7-13, 2023 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 13 Lou Calcagno was first and foremost a dairyman, raising cows in Moss Landing. He was born on the family dairy along Elkhorn Slough in 1936, and he died there on Thursday, Aug. 31. He married his high school sweetheart, Carol Calcagno, and together they took over the dairy on May 1, 1960 and named it Moon Glow, for the moonrise views from the living room. Calcagno was also an influential force for decades in Monterey County politics. He served for 18 years as a county planning commissioner, then 16 years (four terms) as a county supervisor before retiring at 78 in 2015. Among his proudest accomplishments, Calcagno listed the expansion of Monterey-Salinas Transit to South County; the Prunedale Improvement Project and other updates on Highway 101, transitioning stop signs to entrance/exit ramps; a community park in Pajaro; and the acquisition of the former Capital One campus in Salinas for a government center. “Highway 101 made a big difference in people’s lives,” says Henry Gowin, Calcagno’s long-time aide. “It was probably close to a billion dollars in improvements.” Calcagno claimed not to care about politics and angering any particular constituency. Mostly, he was interested in getting results. “I worked my ass off and got a lot of things done,” he said. “I can say I left the community in better shape than before I was here.” He said he hoped that more businesspeople would run for local government. “He had very strong convictions,” Gowin says. “His convictions were based on fundamental business principles: What would a businessperson do in that situation? That’s the direction that he went.” Calcagno was an independent and at times controversial figure on the board. He was motivated to find the compromise position in politics, something that often cast him as an enemy of environmental interests, and sometimes as an enemy of development interests—or at least a tempering influence, advocating for a smaller development footprint. “He really cared—he never did this for money. He wanted to preserve the farmland,” says his daughter, Debbie Soares. Calcagno was involved in founding two nonprofit land trusts, the Elkhorn Slough Foundation and the Ag Land Trust. When he retired, he said: “I’ve still got plenty to do: a wife to take care of, a ranch to take care of, commercial property to take care of. I’m not going to be bored.” Soares confirms he was not bored and continued rising early every day to feed the cows. But regulators clamped down on manure storage on the dairy, ultimately leading Calcagno to sell his cows in recent months. (In 2019, he agreed to pay $33,479 in civil penalties for water quality violations. In April 2023, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board issued a notice of violation.) “When those cows went down the road in those trucks, it just broke his heart,” she says. “He just gave up. My mother believes he died of a broken heart.” Milk Made Lou Calcagno, a lifelong dairyman and longtime Monterey County supervisor, dies at 87. By Sara Rubin Lou Calcagno, shown at Moon Glow Dairy in 2022. A celebration of life takes place from 11am-4pm on Monday, Sept. 11 at the Salinas Elks Lodge. Calcagno will be buried at the Castroville Public Cemetery. NEWS “I left the community in better shape than before I was here.” DANIEL DREIFUSS OCT. 7 & 8, 2023 GET YOUR TICKETS NOW salinasairshow.com LET’S TURN & BURN
14 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY september 7-13, 2023 www.montereycountyweekly.com Psychedelics are having a moment. A nationwide push to bring magic mushrooms and other psychedelics into the mainstream is gaining traction, and some Californians want in. While hallucinogens are often associated with the drug culture of the 1960s, today’s movement is largely about using them to help treat the nation’s ballooning mental health crisis. Growing research portrays the drugs as a promising tool in helping people heal from various mental illnesses, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Several proposals in California seek to make psychedelics more accessible for therapeutic and personal use. These include one legislative proposal that would decriminalize the use of certain natural hallucinogens and two pending initiatives for next year’s ballot, one that would legalize the use and sale of psilocybin mushrooms and a second that would fund a $5 billion agency to research and develop psychedelic therapies. One recent UC Berkeley survey offers a glimpse of where the public stands on these types of reforms. More than 60 percent of those surveyed supported psychedelics for therapeutic use, and 78 percent supported making it easier for researchers to further study psychedelics. Meanwhile, 49 percent said they supported removing criminal penalties for personal use. Some researchers, doctors and parents urge caution around personal use because psychedelics aren’t for everyone and potential risks are still not all that well understood. The bill to decriminalize plantbased psychedelics passed an Assembly committee by a vote of 9-3 on Sept. 1. Senate Bill 58, by State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, would ensure that people do not get arrested for possessing and ingesting specified quantities of psilocybin and psilocin, the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms; mescaline; ibogaine and dimethyltryptamine, or DMT. The bill does not, however, legalize the sale of any of these substances. “A huge number of people right now in California are using psychedelics, despite the fact that it is banned,” Wiener said during an Assembly Health Committee hearing in July. Decriminalizing these substances, he argued, promotes responsible use: “If you think you’re doing something wrong, you’re less likely to seek information or talk to someone about how to be safe.” His bill would also order the state’s health agency to form a workgroup that would make recommendations regarding supervised medical use of these psychedelics—although any psychedelic-assisted therapies first need approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This is the second time Wiener has tried to decriminalize psychedelics; the first failed last year. This time around his bill is narrower in that it excludes synthetic psychedelics, such as LSD. If Wiener’s bill makes it through the Legislature and across the governor’s desk, California would follow Oregon and Colorado, where voters have already decriminalized psychedelics. Some cities in the Golden State are a step ahead. Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Berkeley, have already passed measures that order law enforcement to back off arresting people for using plant-based psychedelics. Supporters of decriminalization point to promising data about some psychedelic-assisted therapies now in end stages of clinical trials, such as the use of MDMA (commonly known as ecstasy) to treat symptoms in patients with PTSD. Additionally, psilocybin, found in hallucinogenic mushrooms, is being studied for treating depression. For example, early data from the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, has shown that psilocybin therapy can reduce major depressive disorder symptoms for up to a year. Researchers believe public attention on the worsening mental health crisis during the Covid-19 pandemic may also play a role in this renewed interest in psychedelics. “Suddenly you’ve got this discussion about mental health issues in a way that, at least in American culture, we really hadn’t been discussing,” says Jennifer Mitchell, a neurology professor at UC San Francisco who is working on developing psychedelic therapies and collecting safety data. Mitchell opposes SB 58 because she believes access to psychedelics for therapeutic use should come before personal use. Currently, psychedelics are only allowed for clinical research. If therapies are approved by the FDA, those lessons, she argues, could then help inform safety guidelines for personal access. “[Psychedelics] are actually exceedingly safe physiologically; psychologically, is where we get into trouble,” Mitchell says. “Because if you take a drug and think you can fly, you’re capable of self harm. If you take a drug and think you can breathe underwater, you are capable of self harm. And those are the types of reasons why when you take a psychedelic, we want you to be in a facilitated environment where you’re being watched.” One powerful voice opposing Wiener’s bill is a coalition led by mothers who have lost a child to an adverse reaction after ingesting psychedelics. Kristin Nash, for one, has shared the story of her son who died two months before his college graduation. Nash has shared that in 2020, Will took two grams of psilocybin mushrooms and in his altered state mistook a jar of protein powder for a water jug and suffocated. Nash now runs a foundation named after her son, William, through which she works to raise awareness and advocate for harm reduction efforts, such as better training for college campus responders. Nash is not against allowing veterans and others to use these substances for treatment, but she’d like to see the bill amended so it includes safety measures for personal use. “I don’t believe people should be arrested for possessing and using mushrooms,” Nash says. “These are being used whether we legalize them or not. And so I would argue that we need these safeguards. When we make this policy shift, we know that use will increase further, that adverse events will increase further, and so I feel like we don’t have to choose between social justice, equitable access and safety, we can do all of those things.” California voters may hear more about psychedelics next year even if Wiener’s bill fails, as advocacy groups attempt to qualify ballot initiatives for the November 2024 election. One group, Decriminalize California, is looking to legalize hallucinogenic mushrooms. Its proposal goes further than SB 58 by legalizing not only possession, but also the sale and commercialization of these substances. If approved by voters, the measure would go into effect in January 2025. “Originally we wanted to go for all psychedelics, but the problem was there wasn’t enough public comprehension about what else was out there,” said Ryan Munevar, campaign director at Decriminalize California. A separate measure would ask voters to approve $5 billion in bonds to create a government agency that would focus on psychedelic research with the goal of developing therapeutics. The idea, according to proponents, is to dedicate more resources to research that shows promise but has for long been underfunded. This story is reprinted from CalMatters, where it first appeared. Psych Out Psychedelic therapies show promise. Is California ready to bring them into the mainstream? By Ana B. Ibarra news A growing body of research shows that psilocybin therapy—from hallucinogenic mushrooms, as shown above—can relieve symptoms of mental illness. “A huge number of people right now are using psycheledics.” Daniel Patrick Martin \ shutterstock
www.montereycountyweekly.com SEPTEMBER 7-13, 2023 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 15 montagehealth.org/ohana ¡LOS PARQUES DEL CONDADO DE MONTEREY NECESITAN SU OPINIÓN! Parques del Condado de Monterey está considerando una actualización de la Ordenanza del Condado con respecto al uso de bicicletas eléctricas en los parques, y necesitamos su opinión. Actualmente, el Código del Condado de Monterey 14.12 solo permite el uso de bicicletas eléctricas en caminos pavimentados del parque; no se permite el uso de bicicletas eléctricas en senderos de tierra. Ya sea ciclista, ó excursionista ó jinete, valoramos su opinión para dar forma a esta política que afectará el uso de los senderos. FECHA LÍMITE DE LA ENCUESTA: 15 DE SEPTIEMBRE DE 2023 Monterey County Parks is considering an update to the County Ordinance regarding E-bike use in parks, and we need your input. Currently, Monterey County Code 14.12, only allows use of E-bikes on paved park roads; no dirt trail use is allowed. Whether you’re a cyclist, hiker or equestrian rider, we value your input in shaping this policy which will impact trail use. SURVEY DEADLINE: SEPTEMBER 15, 2023 Monterey County Parks needs your input regarding ebikes on trails! SCAN FOR SURVEY Prevention, Education, Treatment & Recovery serving youth, adults and families in Monterey County, San Benito County & San Luis Obispo County Recognize the signs and learn to take action when a drug-related overdose happens. Support youth prevention services www.SunStreetCenters.org Fentanyl is the single deadliest drug impacting youth and families.
16 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY september 7-13, 2023 www.montereycountyweekly.com Playing Chicken Same thing happened in Morgan Hill—a bunch of Karens move to an agricultural town and now they want to ban the mushroom farms, chicken ranches and livestock ranches due to animal cruelty, etc (“A planned chicken farm in Corral de Tierra is facing fierce community opposition,” Aug. 31-Sept. 6). I hope Ben and Tarin [Christensen] win this one for all of us. Karens telling us what we can and can not do with our property has to end. They all moved into the area, got it re-zoned for their mega-mansions and now want to tell adjacent property owners you can’t do that because we say so, and we have money to outspend you on our attorney. G. Mitchel Kirk | Morgan Hill G. Mitchel Kirk makes a viable point: Land use issues should not be decided by a small group of neighbors who want to limit farming or ranching on property zoned for agricultural use. Having lived in Alameda County and Santa Clara Valley, I can see from sad experience what happens when developers/residents run rampant over the rights of agricultural landowners. I lived in a neighborhood in San Martin where residents opposed a pre-existing dairy farm. That farm was eventually closed, now a paved development. All we have to do is look at the housing sprawl that has consumed good, fertile agricultural land. Should Abalone Creek Ranch be allowed to develop? Yes! Does a ranch have to be limited by neighbors to the point that it is not feasible to maintain a profitable ranch operation? I hope not. Look at the Highway 580 corridor to see the results of ranches that could not remain profitable enough to stay in business. That corridor was ranchland until the 1960s, with the exception of Santa Rita prison. Mary Bowman | Salinas Across the Aisle I was very moved by reading about the initial success bringing together people of vastly different worldviews to meet at a convention at Gettysburg to try to decontaminate the divide infecting this country today (“Braver Angels brings people together from across the political divide to get us to do a seemingly simple thing: talk to each other,” Aug. 31-Sept. 6). It’s a heroic climb out. And it reminds me of the brief interlude on Christmas Day 1914 when some British and German troops came out of their trenches on the Western Front and to meet to sing carols together. Generals on both sides disapproved and established new norms to prevent such fraternizing behavior. If Braver Angels becomes too successful, expect Trump to command his folks not to participate. I’m especially glad to read about the author’s own family and how she initiated a family discussion. This is where I think author Deanna Ross’ work is most needed. Of all the losses we have suffered from Trump and Trumpism, the most important is the tragic breakup of many families. Gary Karnes | Pacific Grove Whatever the author of this article has been smoking, I’d like to know where I can buy some. To believe that Republicans can be reasoned with is extremely naive. They are not our parents’ Republican Party. They have been taken over by the extreme far right. If you want to live in a country in which women have no bodily autonomy, police shoot minorities with impunity and your country’s closest allies are brutal dictators, by all means vote Republican. Marilyn Ross | Carmel Home Grown I’m all for new development, more housing and improving neighborhoods (“In Salinas’ long-range plans, developers and property owners win on appeal against school districts,” Aug. 24-30). However, my concern is that we don’t seem to have enough services available for the existing areas of Salinas as it is. We need better maintenance, more police officers, and better animal services. There are too many people roaming the streets at night terrorizing residents, breaking into vehicles and homes. Too many street racers speeding through neighborhoods disturbing the peace and making it dangerous for children. And too much animal abuse that goes unreported. Salinas needs to fix what they have before adding more to it. Norma Ray | Salinas Bakery Rising I’m bummed to not have them just a few blocks from me anymore, but I’m excited to see them grow. They are amazing (“Ad Astra Bread Co. opens its doors on Alvarado Street,” posted Aug. 30). Frederick Jack Nelson | Seaside This is soo needed on Alvarado Street. Debbie Jones | via social media Great bread and pretzels! Best of luck. Laurel Horwitz Smelser | via social media Doubling Up Congratulations—such great food! I can’t wait for the new place with more seating (“The successful restaurateur behind Emma’s Bakery & Cafe begins a new venture,” Aug. 24-30). Shari Silva-Compton | via social media Wishing you all the best! I love your bakery items and am looking forward to dining at your new restaurant. Phyllis Perry Lanini | Hollister The food will be excellent! Can’t wait to visit. Susan Heitz | Monterey Congratulations! Many wishes for success! Marta Martinez Fife | via social media Ride On Take the Monterey County Parks survey about a proposed updated e-bike policy (“Toolbox,” Aug. 31-Sept. 6). My two cents: Please stay true to County Parks’ mission statement: “The Monterey County Parks Department maintains stewardship over a system of county parks. These outdoor recreation resources are managed to preserve, promote, and interpret the natural, historical, and cultural values of Monterey County.” Please leave e-bikes off of non-paved areas in the parks. Gail Bower | Carmel Letters • CommentsOPINION Submit letters to the editor to email@example.com. Please keep your letter to 150 words or less; subject to editing for space. Please include your full name, contact information and city you live in.