september 21-27, 2023 montereycountyweekly.com LOCAL & INDEPENDENT Litter No More 15 | Beyond Fair Food 40 | international coffee tour 42 The 66th annual Monterey Jazz Festival sees icons of the craft like Herbie Hancock sharing the spotlight with fresh faces like Samara Joy. p. 20 Serious Chops A guide to arts and culture: Fall Arts Calendar 2023 p. 24 Curtain Call Tim Jackson’s retirement marks the end of an era for MJF. p 38
2 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY SEPTEMBER 21-27, 2023 www.montereycountyweekly.com #BeThe1To WWW.SUICIDEPREVENTIONSERVICECC.ORG September is National Suicide Prevention Month Together we will save lives! KNOW THE SIGNS FIND THE WORDS REACH OUT Samara Joy Jamie Cullum Herbie Hancock 350+ ARTISTS | 76 SHOWS on 5 STAGES | EXPANDED LOCAL FOOD VENDORS | CALIFORNIA BEER & WINE MAKERS MONTEREYJAZZFESTIVAL.ORG PLUS SNARKY PUPPY | JOHN SCOFIELD | CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE | LAKECIA BENJAMIN | CHARLES LLOYD Dianne Reeves FEATURING Thundercat
www.montereycountyweekly.com SEPTEMBER 21-27, 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 21-27, 2023 www.montereycountyweekly.com september 21-27, 2023 • ISSUE #1834 • Established in 1988 Jane Varron (Canon EOS RP) A pair of cormorants perched during a rosy sunrise on Cannery Row. Monterey County photo of the week Send Etc. submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org; please include caption and camera info. On the cover: Jazz singer Samara Joy’s second album, Linger Awhile, won Best Jazz Vocal Album at the Grammy Awards in February 2023. Joy herself won Best New Artist. The rapidly rising star returns to the 66th annual Monterey Jazz Festival this weekend. Cover photo by Meredith Truax 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) MONTEREY COUNTY NOW PRODUCER Sloan Campi firstname.lastname@example.org (x105) contributors Nik Blaskovich, Rob Brezsny, Jesse Herwitz, Jeff Mendelsohn, Steve Souza, Jacqueline Weixel Cartoons Rob Rogers, Tom Tomorrow Production Art Director/Production Manager Karen Loutzenheiser email@example.com (x108) Graphic Designer Kevin Jewell firstname.lastname@example.org (x114) Graphic Designer Alexis Estrada email@example.com (x114) Graphic Designer Lani Headley firstname.lastname@example.org (x114) SALES senior Sales Executive Diane Glim email@example.com (x124) Senior Sales Executive George Kassal firstname.lastname@example.org (x122) Senior Sales Executive Keith Bruecker email@example.com (x118) Classifieds business development director Keely Richter firstname.lastname@example.org (x123) Digital Director of Digital Media Kevin Smith email@example.com (x119) Distribution Distribution AT Arts Co. firstname.lastname@example.org Distribution Control Harry Neal Business/Front Office Office Manager Linda Maceira email@example.com (x101) Bookkeeping Rochelle Trawick firstname.lastname@example.org 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 21-27, 2023 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 5 OUTPATIENT INFUSION CENTER DESIGNED WITH PATIENTS IN MIND Providing comprehensive cancer care close to home is a vital part of improving the health of our community. Salinas Valley Health Outpatient Infusion Center offers a more convenient, connected experience for our patients and their families. The center is centrally located and designed to ensure that every patient experiences the utmost level of care within a soothing and nurturing atmosphere. Patients can adjust the lighting to their comfort, and they can take advantage of free wholesome snacks and beverages. Scan the QR code for all the details of the services we offer in our Outpatient Infusion Center. Outpatient Infusion Center 515 East Romie Lane Salinas For more information about our cancer care services, visit SalinasValleyHealth.com/ cancer or call Salinas Valley Health Cancer Care at 831-755-1701. Comprehensive Care in One Convenient Location: • Chemotherapy infusion • Immunotherapy • Blood transfusion • Therapeutic phlebotomy • IVIG infusion • Iron infusion • Antibiotic infusion • Injections • Lab draws • Port-a-cath care • PICC line care
6 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY SEPTEMBER 21-27, 2023 www.montereycountyweekly.com THE BUZZ FREE SPEECH One of the biggest companies that controls the flow of information is on trial. The U.S. Department of Justice filed suit against Alphabet, the parent company of Google, in 2020, and a trial began on Sept. 12. Antitrust claims are at the basis of the government’s case, arguing Google maintains illegal monopolies in search services and advertising, and has systematically and illegally shut out the competition. Google pays billions of dollars each year to manufacturers and wireless carriers to be the default search engine on new devices. Google claims it has landed in the top spot in Americans’ internet search habits legally, by developing the best technology. “Google won these competitions on the merits,” attorney John Schmidtlein said at trial, according to news reports. For the U.S. government, the case is about trying to ensure lasting competition in the information marketplace going forward. “This case is about the future of the internet,” said Kenneth Dintzer of the DOJ. Good: The Monterey Police Department has ramped up efforts to support the city’s unhoused population with a new Outreach and Navigation Center. Located at the historic French Consulate Building at 401 Camino El Estero, next to Lake El Estero, it will serve as a central base for the city’s Multi-Disciplinary Outreach Team (MDOT), a collaborative effort between MPD, Monterey County Behavioral Health, Montage Health and other agencies to address homelessness and quality-of-life issues. The center allows MDOT to expand its presence in the downtown and waterfront areas and will “support our focus of proactive field work,” Police Chief Dave Hober said. MPD is also in the process of hiring a homeless outreach navigator, a new Monterey City Council-approved position designed to better connect people experiencing homelessness with food, clothing, shelter and other services. GREAT: Congratulations to four local artists from a variety of disciplines who have received Individual Artist Fellows Awards from the California Arts Council. The group includes two emerging artists: painter and muralist Natalia Corazza and interdisciplinary community artist JC Gonzalez of Urban Arts Collective in Salinas. Two established artists are also included: Pacific Grove-based writer Ava Homa, who is the first Kurdish woman to publish a novel in English (Daughters of Smoke and Fire), and Carmel Valley photographer, designer and writer Jerry Takigawa. The emerging artists received $5,000 each, and the established artists $10,000. A total of $660,000 has been awarded to 71 artists in a 17-county central California region, from Fresno to Santa Barbara. The program is designed to recognize, uplift and celebrate the excellence of California artists practicing any art form. GOOD WEEK / GREAT WEEK THE WEEKLY TALLY A grant the City of Salinas has been awarded from the state’s Encampment Resolution Fund to connect 90 people to services and house 55 individuals living on the Carr Lake encampment. Salinas is one of 11 communities that received grant funds to transition unhoused individuals into homes. For 2023, the state has budgeted $3.5 billion to address homelessness. Source: Office of Gov. Gavin Newsom $8.1 QUOTE OF THE WEEK “It’s a good process and I’m sorry it took so long, but that’s the nature of the beast here in Carmel.” -Carmel Mayor Dave Potter on Sept. 12, after a 4-0 vote that favors keeping a 50-year-old decorative wall that will force developer Patrice Pastor to amend a proposed building (see story, mcweekly.com). million 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 21-27, 2023 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 7 50 years of Connecting communities, Creating opportunity, and Being kind to our planet. Here’s to the next 50! Monterey-Salinas Transit
8 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY SEPTEMBER 21-27, 2023 www.montereycountyweekly.com 831 “This is going to be a funshop,” Sanga of The Valley tells a group gathered on a gray and chilly Saturday in Sand City’s Art Park. The participants—mostly adults, but also one member’s 10-yearold daughter—pick whatever instrument they fancy and sit in a circle outside. “I don’t like the word ‘workshop.’ If you are not having fun, you are not going to learn.” “Fannshop” could easily be another option. Sanga, a Trinidadian drummer, arrived from New York City for his annual visit to the Esalen Institute in Big Sur. But he’s also here to help Jayson Fann, the founder of the School of Sacred Rhythms, kick off a master series of Saturday percussion workshops in Sand City. Fann is an artist and percussion teacher. The workshop invites people of all ages to practice a couple of Saturdays per month with master drummers from all over the world. He promises such talents as Beyonce’s drummer Marcie Chapa or Def Leppard’s Rick Allen. “It’s a place for me to host those master percussionists,” Fann says about his “organic residency” at the Sand City Art Park, where he has been using a cargo container as a polytheistic temple for his drums—hundreds of them, big and small, brought from Africa, Hawaii, South Korea and China. “The master drummers come not only with practical knowledge, but also with historical knowledge,” he adds. “Each of them brings a piece of the puzzle.” The puzzle or “the research,” as Fann likes to describe it, is the origin of contemporary music (rock, jazz, blues, hip-hop) preserved in rhythms that originated in Africa and arrived in the U.S. with enslaved people, through Cuba, Puerto Rico and Trinidad to New Orleans. As they interacted and evolved, these rhythms crawled from the Delta up the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, slowly penetrating the continent. According to Fann, African traditions survived in the music of today and its rhythms are still essential components of social movements. Both Sanga and Fann were longtime students of Nigerian percussionist Babatunde Olatunji, who worked with such stars as John Coltrane and Miles Davis and was part of the civil rights movement. “I met Sanga at the Big Sur Deli when I was 16 years old,“ Fann says as we sit in a circle. “I didn’t remember this. I told him a couple of days ago.” Sanga laughs and nods, completely relaxed with a big drum under his legs. He tells a participant that he can’t wear a wedding ring when he drums because he will ruin it. Then he tells all of us what to do with our arms and legs. “You are like a zombie right now,” Sanga says when the workshoppers start paddling dry in the air. “There is no life in your body.” We move to the “base,” “tone” and “slap” movements of the hand. These are the fundamentals. “No matter who you are, you have to do this. No matter how good you are, it’s never there—you have to bring it to you.” The workshop lasts two hours. When it starts, it’s still a chilly midday; while we are drumming, the sun comes out. “Now everybody says: ‘godda godda, goon goon goon,’” orders Sanga. “Bring the drum into your inner thigh. Stay calm. Stay with the drum.” Rhythm is universal, Fann notes as he explains the importance of the drum in all cultures. “The drum is our first instrument—the pulse, the heart,” he says. People in different countries play the drum a bit differently, but the differences are not as striking as the scales or tuning of each musical culture. Drumming, Fann believes, is a natural bridge activity across cultures, a common ground to find mutual respect. Just like those rhythms, we all came from the same African homeland. The second workshop in the School of Sacred Rhythms took place on Aug. 20, with dancer Kora Griot and cultural ambassador Fode Sissoko from Senegal. More workshops are coming soon, including Afro-Cuban rhythms with Aptos-based Javier Muniz. School of the Sacred Rhythms takes place at 10am on selected Saturdays. At Sand City Art Park. 525 Ortiz Ave., Sand City. $50. facebook.com/jayson.fann. Beat It Sand City’s Art Park now houses the School of Sacred Rhythms, a drumming workshop for all. By Agata Pop˛eda From left: Jayson Fann, Sanga of The Valley and Leonard Han being brotherly in the Sand City Art Park, where the School of Sacred Rythyms is located. “The drum is the pulse, the heart.” TALES FROM THE AREA CODE COURTESY OF JAYSON FANN
www.montereycountyweekly.com SEPTEMBER 21-27, 2023 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 9 AN OCEAN OF GIFT- GIVING OPTIONS Visit the new Monterey Bay Aquarium Store at 585 Cannery Row. Members receive a 10% discount. HAPPY HOUR SUNDAY BREAKFAST 4PM TO 6PM LATE NIGHT 9PM TO 10PM 9:30AM TO 11AM Catch all your favorite teams on 18 HDTV’s LOCATED BEHIND THE PORTOLA HOTEL & SPA | COMPLIMENTARY PARKING (831) 649-2699 | PETERBSBREWPUB.COM
10 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY september 21-27, 2023 www.montereycountyweekly.com news A contract between the Hartnell Community College District and the Hartnell College Faculty Association ended in June 2022. Since then, faculty have continued working under the old contract which, in its final year, gave a 1-percent raise. Meanwhile, inflation spiraled upward and the federally determined COLA rose to 8.7 percent. When faculty members returned to the bargaining table this year, they were disappointed to learn the administration was offering a 6.25-percent raise for 2022-23. “We’re way apart on wages,” HCFA President Nancy Schur-Beymer says. Currently, Hartnell faculty annual pay ranges from $57,126- $121,962, while Monterey Peninsula College faculty make between $61,600- $131,192. The MPC Board of Trustees approved a 7.22-percent wage increase on June 28. The Hartnell union was asking for a 10.5-percent increase in the first year, 8-percent the second and whatever the state allocated COLA in the third year. Hartnell administrators offered 6.25 percent for the 2022-23 school year, 3 percent for 2023-24, and 1 percent in 2024-25. Negotiations resumed on Wednesday, Sept. 20, after the Weekly’s deadline. The two sides are meeting after a kerfuffle arose on Sept. 5, when faculty were angered by a proposal on the Hartnell board’s agenda to restructure the managers’ pay schedule. The union claimed some managers would receive a 41-percent raise, but administrators say it’s a mischaracterization and that raises are 6.25 percent the first year and 4.2 percent the second, although some positions will receive more. The board postponed a vote on manager raises until October, after negotiations with faculty are scheduled to end on Sept. 27. “It’s complicated and negotiations are complicated,” Hartnell President/ Superintendent Michael Gutierrez says. “The reality is that we, much like our faculty, are wanting to come to an agreement. We all have the same goal in mind so we would like to see it happen.” In Labor Hartnell faculty are fighting for raises and equity to catch up with other colleges. By Pam Marino In the year since Arelie Garcia’s disappearance, her family has organized marches and rallies urging authorities to do more to bring her home. They’ve held fundraisers and started GoFundMe pages to raise money for a billboard and a $10,000 reward for anyone who helps find her. Her friends have made car magnets and flyers bearing her face, in the hope that someone may have recently recognized the missing young woman. Still, there’s been no sign or word of Garcia’s whereabouts. Friday, Sept. 22 marks one year to the day since Garcia was reported missing. After leaving her Salinas apartment at around 6:30am, she texted her sister that she was on the way to her job at a local car dealership. But she never arrived at work, and her two sisters used the Find My iPhone app to locate her red Honda that same evening—pulled off to the side of Highway 1 in Big Sur, with her phone, keys and purse inside. The Salinas Police Department enlisted the help of the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office in the initial search for Garcia; helicopters, drones and search parties scoured the surrounding Big Sur area to no avail. A year later, authorities say there’s been little progress. “We have exhausted every lead we had,” Salinas Police Cmdr. Brian Johnson says. “Nothing new has come up.” The Garcia family says they were initially frustrated by police efforts. It was Garcia’s own sisters who located her car using a phone app, and the family says their own sleuthing turned up a Google Maps image of her car parked off of Highway 1. “We were very unhappy in the beginning,” says Veronica Garcia, Arelie’s sister. “It felt like we didn’t have any answers.” “We weren’t sure if cameras were looked at, if steps were being done,” adds David Torres, Veronica’s husband. “The vehicle was found by her sisters; everything they came across, [the family] found out themselves.” Torres says the family eventually “got tired” of leaving it to the police, began doing more media interviews and started organizing rallies around Salinas. The family has been more satisfied since Salinas Police Detective Edwin Cruz took over the case: “He’s been helping us way more—we’re very grateful for him,” Veronica notes. Johnson says he understands the Garcias’ frustrations and appreciates their efforts to help find her. “It’s a grieving family—they’re doing the only thing they can to help the case and help us,” he says. “They need closure, and I think it just wears on them.” On Thursday, Sept. 21—on the eve of one year since they last saw Garcia, whose 26th birthday was in July—the family will hold a candlelight vigil at Closter Park in Salinas, followed by a 7pm mass at St. Mary of the Nativity Catholic Church. “I feel in my heart that she’s still alive,” Veronica says. “I just hope God gives her the strength she needs to come back home.” Arelie Garcia’s family has organized public rallies, like this event in Salinas in March, to raise awareness of her disappearance and urge authorities to do more to find her. Holding Hope Arelie Garcia’s family marks one year since her disappearance—with little progress in finding her. By Rey Mashayekhi Hartnell’s faculty union conducted informational pickets ahead of board of trustees meetings, like this one at the Castroville campus in June, demanding higher salaries and other benefits. “We have exhausted every lead.” Daniel Dreifuss Daniel Dreifuss
www.montereycountyweekly.com SEPTEMBER 21-27, 2023 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 11 PROGRAMS FOR ALL AGES THE CITY OF MONTEREY FOR MORE INFO + REGISTRATION MONTEREY.ORG/REC (831) 646-3866 SCAN ME! play! MONTEREY PRESCHOOL ADULT & SENIOR PROGRAMS ADULT ULTIMATE FRISBEE GYMNASTICS YOUTH DANCE CLASSES SCHOOL BREAK CAMPS YOUTH FLAG FOOTBALL LEAGUE AND MUCH MORE! 831-233-3263 1730 The Mall | Seaside sullivansautoservice.com $50 Off any maintenance or repair over $350 Limited time onLy no cash vaLue
12 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY september 21-27, 2023 www.montereycountyweekly.com The Bible, in the Book of Matthew, quotes Jesus as saying no one can serve both God and money. In the end, you will be devoted to one and despise the other, he said. Leaders of the Diocese of Monterey are apparently choosing money in a lawsuit they filed against the Carmel Mission Foundation, an independent, secular nonprofit the diocese helped create and partnered with for a decade to benefit restoration of the historic mission. The diocese’s lawsuit, filed May 8 in Monterey County Superior Court, accuses the foundation of breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, breach of contract and other alleged offenses in the handling of money related to the renovation of the Downie Museum, completed in 2021. (The museum has never reopened.) The suit alleges that an estimated $6.3 million in funds raised for renovations was “lost, misused and consumed through excessive administrative costs, mismanagement and/or self-dealing,” according to court documents. The foundation clapped back in a response filed July 10, denying all accusations and charging that the diocese knows its claim of a misuse of funds is untrue. The intent of the diocese is to shut down the foundation and use donor money for its own purposes, the foundation argues. Foundation attorney Forrest Shryock says their evidence shows there was no impropriety. “There can be disputes about how projects should be run, but it’s one thing to have a difference of opinion and quite another to accuse someone of fraud because you disagree with how they’re running the project,” he says. The suit was filed not long after the foundation’s board voted to transfer its money to a fund at the Community Foundation for Monterey County. “We made this decision because we believed that we had a fiduciary responsibility to our donors to make sure their donations were used for the intended purpose of restoring and preserving the Carmel Mission property,” said Richard Denier, foundation board chair, in court documents. (An attorney for the diocese did not respond.) The diocese sought a temporary restraining order which was granted, blocking a transfer of funds. But in a hearing on July 21, Judge Vanessa Vallarta made no ruling on a permanent injunction and expressed doubts that the diocese had proved its case, Shryock says. She told the two sides to work out a resolution. The next hearing is scheduled for Nov. 17. During the deluge that battered the Central Coast in 2019, a crucial access point into the Big Sur backcountry was lost: A trail around the western border of Los Padres Reservoir, and ultimately connected to the Carmel River Trail, partially slid out. The timeline for when it would get repaired was an open question—it was owned by California American Water, whose local employees are primarily focused on keeping the water system running, and on fighting off a public buyout by the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District. Enter the nonprofit Ventana Wilderness Alliance, which recruited a team of volunteer wilderness rangers to do all the legwork to establish a rerouted trail that would bypass the slide and finish at the same destination. The amount of work those volunteers did—and the scope of the activities they carried out—is nothing short of impressive. They worked with the County Planning Department to secure grading permits (it helped that some of the volunteers, Aengus Jeffers and Laura Lawrence, are land-use attorneys). They also included ecologist Nikki Nedeff and archaeologist Su Morley, who also moved that process along, while Bellinda Taluban helped with engineering and Aaron Cole assisted with mapping. The trail is now done, but not yet open to the public, because the easement for the property—originally granted in 1949 to the U.S. government—must still be updated. To that end, Cal Am is working with the U.S. Forest Service. Cal Am spokesperson Josh Stratton writes via email that the two entities “anticipate executing the easement agreement soon,” after which the trail would be open to the public and a vital access point to the backcountry restored. Forest Service spokesperson Michael Papa writes via email that a new easement is required because the old 15-foot right-of-way path no longer exists. VWA Executive Director Mike Chamberlain declined to comment until the easement process plays out. Church Bell A legal battle brews between the Monterey diocese and the Mission Foundation. By Pam Marino news Block Party King City residents living in District 5 are invited to a block party to meet City Councilmember Robert Cullen and to join in festivities like music, tacos, face painting and more family-friendly fun. 5:30-7:30pm Thursday, Sept. 28. 300 block of Forden Drive, King City. Free. 385-4848, kingcity.com. Peace Signs International Day of Peace is around the corner and you can celebrate it locally. The Peace Coalition of Monterey County hosts its annual celebration with a potluck gathering and screening of the film Peace One Day. 6-8:30pm Friday, Sept. 22. Monterey Peace and Justice Center, 1364 Fremont Blvd., Seaside. Free. 9157257, email@example.com, peacecentral.wordpress.com. Water Ways Save Our Shores invites you to a different way of enjoying beach time: a beach cleanup to celebrate California Coastal Cleanup Day. 9am-noon Saturday, Sept. 23 Meet at the parking lot off Sand Dunes Drive north of Monterey Tides Hotel, Seaside. Free. 462-5660, saveourshores.org. Into the Woods Join Los Padres National Forest officials and partner groups for National Public Lands Day. Learn about community service projects planned and in the works at the Monterey Ranger District, and join in planting, painting and gardening projects at the ranger station. Wear sturdy shoes, gloves and sun protection. 9am-noon Saturday, Sept. 23. U.S. Forest Service Monterey Ranger District, 406 S. Mildred Ave., King City. Free. 385-5434, fs.usda.gov/detail/ lpnf. talk to the manager Monterey City Manager Hans Uslar gives an update on city programs and policies. Tune in virtually to hear from him and ask questions. 9:30-10am Wednesday, Sept. 27. Virtually at youtube.com/cityofmonterey. Free. 646-3799, monterey.org. Snap and win September is National Library Card Sign-up Month, and Monterey County Free Libraries is celebrating with a photo challenge. The challenge is an “out and about.” To participate, submit a photo that includes your library card and tag MCFL on Facebook (@eMCFL) or Instagram (@e_mcfl). Winners will take home a prize basket. Saturday, Sept. 30 is the last day to participate; winners will be announced on Oct. 2. For more information, contact your nearest MCFL branch. Map at co.monterey.ca.us/government/departments-i-z/library. Easing Up Four years after washout, a trail into the Ventana Wilderness has a reroute—but no easement. By David Schmalz The Carmel Mission Foundation collected donations specifically for renovations like those completed in 2021. The Diocese of Monterey disputes the costs involved. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org TOOLBOX The suit alleges an estimated $6.3 million was “lost.” Daniel Dreifuss
www.montereycountyweekly.com SEPTEMBER 21-27, 2023 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 13 COVID-19 Monterey County Funeral & Burial Assistance Program (MCFBAP) MCFBAP Application line: 831-356-3137 Hours: 8:00 - 11:00 AM, Monday - Wednesday Low income Have incurred funeral expenses for a decedent that has passed away from COVID-19 in Monterey County after January 20th, 2020 The applicant must not be eligible for the FEMA Covid-19 Funeral Assistance Program The applicant, the person applying, may be Undocumented* Monterey County residents that are: *The applicant may be Undocumented, US Undocumented & Citizen of another country, Temporary work visa holder, Citizens of the of the Fed. Sta. of Micronesia, Palau, & the Rep. of the Marshall Islands, Temporary tourist visa holder, or a Foreign student. Minors may apply to this program if they have incurred expenses directly and meet all eligibility criteria. COVID-19 Programa de Asistencia Para Funerales y Entierros del Condado de Monterey Linea para aplicar: 831-356-3137 Horario: 8:00 - 11:00 AM, Lunes a Miercoles Sean de bajos ingresos Hayan incurrido en gastos funerarios para un difunto que falleció por COVID-19 en el Condado de Monterey después del 20 de enero de 2020 No sean elegibles para el Programa de Asistencia Funeraria por COVID-19 de FEMA. No tengan estatus migratorio** Son elegibles los Residentes del Condado de Monterey que: **El solicitante puede ser indocumentado, y ciudadano de otro país, titular de una vista de trabajo temporal, ciudadano de la Fed. Sta. de Micronesia, Palau y la Rep. De las islas Marshall, titular de visa de turista temporal o estudiante extranjero. Los menores pueden postularse a este programa si han incurrido en gastos directamente y cumplen con todos los criterios de elegibilidad. MONTEREY PENINSULA MANAGEMENT DISTRICT MPWMD.NET Take control of Smart flow meters can monitor both indoor and outdoor water use. They measure water down to a fraction of a gallon and can send notifications to you through a web portal or mobile app that tracks usage and alerts you to leaks or plumbing malfunctions. Most smart flow meters can be installed with no modification to existing plumbing. Some strap to your existing water meter. Inline flow meters require minor plumbing and are a good choice for those who travel or have a second home. Smart flow meters can be purchased online or from your local hardware store. To receive a Smart Flow Meter Rebate, purchase a qualifying device and submit the receipt and rebate application to MPWMD, P.O. Box 85, Monterey CA, 93940 or email the documents to email@example.com. See montereywaterinfo.org for details and application form. Learn more about the following brands: Bluebot: bluebot.com Flume: flumewater.com Phyn: phyn.com Flo by Moen: moen.com/flo Alert Labs: alertlabs.com Get a $200 Rebate* your water use. *Rebate up to $200 or actual cost if less. Available to water users within the MPWMD.
14 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY september 21-27, 2023 www.montereycountyweekly.com In 1883, two years after he created Hotel Del Monte, railroad baron Charles Crocker facilitated the construction, near Cachagua, of the so-called Chinese Dam—the Carmel River’s first—which aimed to provide 400 acre-feet of water annually to his hotel. The San Clemente Dam—which sought to provide water to the Monterey Peninsula—followed in 1921, and the Los Padres Dam, which was built in 1949 and is the only one left, sought to do the same. Downstream, meanwhile, along the river’s banks, homes, ag fields and golf courses cropped up, encroaching on the river and narrowing its banks, sometimes with manmade fortifications. The result is a river that is tightly constrained and largely kept out of its historical floodplain except in years of deluge, a natural process that for adjacent property owners can be a disaster. There is a plan in the works, years in the making, though not yet quite near the finish line: the Rancho Cañada Floodplain Restoration Project. The project calls for widening and restoring the riverbed and banks where the river flows through a 40-acre, mile-long stretch of Palo Corona Regional Park through the section that was reclaimed from part of the Rancho Cañada Golf Course in a purchase facilitated by the Trust for Public Land, Trout Unlimited the Santa Lucia Conservancy and the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District. The idea behind the purchase— other than just creating more parkland for the public—was to “re-wild” the land, and as part of that, ensure there was a wildlife corridor from the Ventana all the way to Fort Ord. It’s not just for wildlife with four legs. The restoration will help amphibians, fishes, and other creatures. Crews plan to propagate the re-formed banks with seedlings collected from about 30 species of native plants found along the river. “This is going to be [a project] that people will sit up and take notice of all across the country,” says Christy Fischer, TPL’s conservation director of coastal Northern California. “It will be a spectacular gem in the watershed, a national stature project.” She ticks off a list of benefits: enhancing habitat and natural processes along almost a mile of river, lowering flood risk, increasing recreational opportunities and climate resilience. Jake Smith, the park district’s planning and conservation program manager, agrees with Fischer’s assessment. Final—so-called “100-percent”— plans are still being detailed, and Smith says the district has about $30 million in grant applications outstanding that will help pay for it all. He is optimistic about applications pending before the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Wildlife Conservation Board, but says the district has backup grants planned in case those fall through, and still expects, or at least hopes, construction will start sometime next year. “It’s a major legacy project for the community,” he says, adding a phrase oft-heard in land restoration and conservation circles: “It’s like a relay race, and people are handing off the baton.” Wild Again A generational project to restore a mile-long length of the Carmel River is well on its way. By David Schmalz Jake Smith of the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District, looking at a map of the restoration project. “I am so excited to be working on this project,” he says. “It is so near and dear to my heart.” NEWS “It’s a major legacy project for the community.” DANIEL DREIFUSS (831) 718-9041 merrillgardensmonterey.com 200 Iris Canyon Rd, Monterey, CA 93940 Our community features a seasoned team ready to meet each resident’s individual needs. If you are considering senior living, we are here to help. SENIOR LIVING Lic #275202591 Call Today and Schedule Your Personalized Visit! Here For You
www.montereycountyweekly.com SEPTEMBER 21-27, 2023 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 15 It all starts with small steps, especially when it comes to changing habits. That is the thinking behind Amor Salinas, launched two years ago by the City of Salinas, a new venture seeking to inspire pride among Salinas residents and invite them to work together to improve their quality of life. Since 2021, Amor Salinas has organized dozens of cleanups across the city to remove litter and debris from streets. The city continues to host trash disposal events in partnership with Republic Services, Salinas’ waste hauler. This year, Salinas held nine trash disposals, two more than in previous years. Amor Salinas started with a monthly cleanup and now does them regularly in parks and neighborhoods, working with churches, schools and local organizations including Blue Zones, Niner Empire (a 49ers fan organization), and more. Some events are initiated by city staff members, others are requested by Salinas residents. On Aug. 19, Compass Church hosted an Amor Salinas cleanup covering eight blocks in each direction around the church. “We just provided the volunteers and the muscle to make it happen,” Associate Pastor Andrew Statezny says. About 100 volunteers showed up and collected more than 100 bags of trash. Salinas has a goal to be a low-litter city by 2030. According to a map that tracks litter progress in Salinas, 1 percent of the city has a high litter problem, while 27 percent is moderate. Litter has historically been a challenge, with some streets around the periphery of the city serving as dumping grounds for trash, including large items like mattresses. It’s an eyesore and an environmental hazard and, as Amor Salinas organizers note, negatively impacts community pride. While cleanup participation has climbed, some residents say litter has also visibly increased. They cite higher prices to drop off trash at the Madison Lane Transfer Station than the old Sun Street station, which closed permanently in September 2022. Victor Cervantes, a gardener who works around the city, says litter has worsened and he blames it on the closure of the Sun Street station. “[At the Madison Lane station] they have a $50 minimum charge and they take no cash,” Cervantes says. He notes that it’s cheaper at other locations (like Marina and Gonzales) but both are further away, expending more time and gas. Bill Freeman, a longtime Salinas resident, says he has seen more litter near Highway 101 entrances along Boronda Road and homeless encampments in Salinas. He attributes some of it to a lack of trash cans. Jose Arreola, a city community services administrator who oversees Amor Salinas Neighborhood Services, is working to increase participation in litter abatement efforts. (Organizers don’t check ID, one way of encouraging participation.) Arreola notes that participation was up at two citywide trash disposal events earlier this year. “The response was more than double anything we’d ever experienced at a free cleanup,” he says. More than 300 vehicles showed up at each. Clean and Green Salinas has increased community involvement in an effort to clear litter, but the struggle continues. By Celia Jiménez Volunteers participate in a cleanup event organized by Amor Salinas. The city also sponsors free trash disposal days; the next takes place on Thursday, Sept. 28 from 9am-noon at Natividad Creek Park. NEWS “We just provided the volunteers and the muscle.” COURTESY CITY OF SALINAS Smarter, faster urgent care. 8 a.m.–8 p.m. every day including holidays Walk in or make a reservation online MoGoUrgentCare.org LOCATIONS y CARMEL 26135 Carmel Rancho Blvd., Suite B-1 y MARINA 2930 2nd Avenue, Suite 120 y MONTEREY 2020 Del Monte Avenue, Suite B
16 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY september 21-27, 2023 www.montereycountyweekly.com Jail Time Your report on the Monterey County Jail is much needed, important coverage (“New documents reveal how Monterey County Jail and prison health care contractor Wellpath are still failing incarcerated people,” Sept. 14-20). MacGregor Eddy | Salinas Many thanks for writing this story. Hard to believe that in and around Monterey County such things are going on. Is there any hope that some legal avenue is around to compel the necessary changes? How can they get away with it? Why don’t supervisors or mayors or someone make them make the changes? I hope your article puts the spotlight on these terrible events. In any case, keep up the good work! Ted Pierce | Berkeley Playing Politics You seem to promote illegal crossings of the U.S. border with your comment “an open secret that Monterey County’s agricultural workforce includes many people without papers” (“Salinas ag leaders host Ron DeSantis for a campaign fundraiser,” Sept. 14-20). Would it not be better to re-implement a Bracero program so people in the agricultural workforce would have proper papers, and the ag industry would not have to support illegal crossings to obtain needed workforce? I speak from personal experience that ag work is both fulfilling and rewarding financially. Walter L. Wagner | Salinas I applaud Sara Rubin and the Weekly for pointing out the hypocrisy of the ag leaders who are involved in hosting a fundraiser for DeSantis. His racist antics are in no way a path to comprehensive immigration reform. For an employer to host such a divisive figure who targets the very people who make up the majority of their workforce is mind-boggling and suspect—it is beyond the pale. To characterize this article as “supporting illegal border crossings” is a typical deflection tactic and shows a real lack of comprehension. Andrea Smith | Monterey Today’s agribusiness landscape is far removed from mere sowing and reaping—it is steeped in a complexity of labor challenges and legal intricacies. The focus isn’t on the legal standing of a worker, but rather their commitment to the demands of the field. A significant portion of the workforce, nearly half, lacks official documentation. This is not a reflection of employers’ preferences, but a response to the labor markets’ realtime dynamics, especially in places like Salinas Valley. President Trump’s vision of a fortified border came with a nuanced perspective on agribusiness. His support for an increase in H-2A worker visas signifies an understanding of the sector’s needs. This stance wasn’t partisan. Yet, these conversations remain ensnared in the Congressional gridlock. Modern agribusiness stands at a crossroads—caught between the urgent need for a dedicated workforce and the quagmire of legal verifications. It’s not a secret tucked away but an overt challenge, waiting for actionable solutions. The host committee for this particular affair is nuanced. These individuals aren’t primarily driven by extreme ideologies. Instead, their identity is rooted in their roles as entrepreneurs and community pillars. They significantly influence the local economy. Their motivations seem transparent: to establish and maintain connections with those wielding power and influence to further their business aspirations. In this intricate web of business and influence, David Armanasco’s name frequently surfaces. There’s an undeniable pattern in his readiness to engage with this publication, almost as if the platform is an extension of his lobbying efforts. Bill Lipe | Salinas The economy of Florida is certainly much better than here in California. California has more poverty than Florida. California has more homelessness than Florida. Just because you dislike Republicans is no reason why Californians cannot listen to and learn from multiple candidates. [This column] is a disgrace in my opinion. Gloria Moore | via email A Human Crisis Franklin Andrew Glenn Jr. was my son and he was loved very much by his family and friends (“A young man without a home dies along the Rec Trail in the midst of a street drug crisis,” Sept. 7-13). We loved him more than he knew and wanted him home here in Arizona. We would ask him to come back every time he would call home. I was waiting for the day for him to walk in saying, “See mom, I told you I could do it—I’m clean.” This breaks my heart. His son just turned 10 and has always had questions and wanted to go find his dad; he looks just like him. I want everyone to know [Franklin “Smalls” Glenn] was someone to us and his friends; he was a son, a big brother, a dad, a friend and he will be deeply missed. Ara Glenn | Tucson Work Trade Thanks for the great article on the legacy of the Bracero program on the Central Coast (“Monterey County Board of Supervisors commits to a celebration of Bracero history,” posted Sept. 13). I picked berries and cherries in the Pacific Northwest as a child. Native American families from Canada came and worked beside us. They lived temporarily in encampments on the farms. I believe this too was part of the Bracero program. Brita Ostrom | via email Across Cultures Absolutely beautiful (“Through dance and history, a local Filipino American woman shares her love for Hawaiian culture,” Sept. 7-13). Lavene Nunez | via social media agree to disagree Quit making your Forum a political stunt…from a local resident who prefers a non-political atmosphere (“The Legislature should pass ACA 1, giving California voters a chance to approve affordable housing bonds,” posted Sept. 11; Forum appears most weeks in the Opinion Section). Sally Palomino | via email Letters • CommentsOPINION Submit letters to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
www.montereycountyweekly.com september 21-27, 2023 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 17 During the pandemic, typically slow-moving government agencies acted with urgency. School districts scrambled to get laptops to students. And hotel operators were invited, by the state of California, to house indigent people. Project Roomkey was meant to achieve two goals: Provide limited government reimbursement revenue to otherwise-empty hotels, and give people in need a place to quarantine or isolate. One local hotel that signed up was the Country Inn in Marina. “We were trying to be good neighbors and help everybody out, while also trying to keep our head above water,” says Tony Ng, vice president of operations. “There were ups and downs, sure. But it was a way to pass through the pandemic.” The downs of Project Roomkey at the Country Inn have become a flashpoint in Marina. City Council discussed the program on Tuesday, Sept. 12, mostly covering that councilmembers had no idea it was happening and that during the three years Roomkey was operating, 911 calls to the property skyrocketed. Police Chief Steve Russo told council that a typical hotel generates 30-40 calls a year to police and fire; this one was generating 300-400 calls a year. There were investigations into alleged drug sales, and there were fatal overdoses. “The call volume is significant on a small police department,” he said. Roomkey came to a close this spring and already, Russo said, the call volume has tapered off. But just in recent months, Marina officials have come out swinging. On June 19, Marina City Manager Layne Long sent a letter to Salinas City Manager Steve Carrigan asking Salinas to consider reimbursing Marina for “the cost impacts of locating this program in our city.” Long’s letter is shocking for a few reasons. First, Salinas— which successfully ran Roomkey in its own city—was just a contractor. Salinas city officials ran an updated version of the program for its last 18 months, after previous contractors Coalition of Homeless Service Providers and Dorothy’s Place. Second, Long estimates Marina lost out on $100,000 in transient-occupancy tax revenue due to the rooms being utilized this way. But Roomkey was meant to generate some revenue, better than zero. (Country Inn still has not rebounded to pre-pandemic occupancy.) Third, Long suggests nobody notified Marina officials about the initiative. There was open public discussion about it—it’s just that Marina officials weren’t at the table tuning in. (The board for the Continuum of Care in Monterey and San Benito counties, overseen by the Coalition of Homeless Service Providers, is composed of government officials and meets publicly.) And fourth, most jarringly, it reveals that Long doesn’t get how homelessness works. It’s a regional problem that requires regional solutions. Sending a nasty demand letter to your neighbor is not the way to encourage cooperation. Salinas Mayor Kimbley Craig serves on the Continuum of Care board. She shared a brief story with me about a former constituent who, with her disabled husband and three children, had been living in Marina, and lost their home there; then they found a place in Salinas and lost that, too. Craig helped point them to the SHARE Center—a joint county/city shelter, managed by a third-party nonprofit contractor—where they lived for a time. The SHARE team helped the family find long-term housing in King City. “Who do we bill for that?” Craig says. “How about we just take it on as a community and as a region.” Long might know some of this if he participated in the Continuum of Care’s regional discussions, but he seems preoccupied with throwing others under the bus. (He did not respond to my request for an interview.) In the Sept. 12 discussion, he blamed the now-sheriff and former Marina police chief. “Tina Nieto used to attend those meetings, but she quit after five or six months,” Long said. (I asked Nieto about it, and she says that’s untrue—he asked her to attend one meeting and she did.) “We need to stop yelling at each other and start working with each other,” Craig says. Marina could better serve its constituents, both those who are housed and those who are not, by joining in a regional effort to address the hard challenge of homelessness. Sara Rubin is the Weekly’s editor. Reach her at email@example.com. Staff writer Pam Marino contributed to this report. Under the Bus City of Marina blames everyone else for homelessness. By Sara Rubin Stars Struck…Squid’s never much cared about being famous—Squid gets to squirt enough ink around—and furthermore, Squid prefers to ooze around town under the radar when Squid has to go on a run for shrimp-flavored popcorn. But Squid was nonetheless crestfallen when Squid’s application for a star on Seaside’s Broadway Walk of Fame was roundly denied. The sad news came via an email Seaside Recreation Director Dan Meewis sent to Squid on Aug. 30 which read, “Because of the high caliber of the  nominated individuals…It is with regret that we inform you that you were not selected.” A cephalopod can’t get no respect. The Seaside City Council—which first approved the Walk of Fame concept in February 2022 and installed the first six stars earlier this year—considered its second slate of six (maybe seven) nominees on Sept. 1, along with a construction budget. But before Squid gets into how much it will cost, get this: The city is changing the name of the program from “Walk of Fame” to “Seaside Stars.” Squid’s colleague inquired about why the branding is changing, only to be told it cannot be discussed at the moment, because it’s a legal matter the council, city manager and attorney discuss behind closed doors. Wait, what? Turns out that on May 8, Derek Yee, general counsel for the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, sent the city a cease-and-desist order demanding that Seaside both change the name of the program, remove the existing stars and redesign new ones. Should the city not comply, the letter lays out a litany of trademark law violations that the chamber will sue Seaside over (plus attorney’s fees). Whoopsies! So over the past months, the city has redesigned a new, different style of star. What’s more is that the city must rip out all the old stars and replace them with new ones for an estimated $58,784, which was not in the budget (staff recommends pulling from the general fund). That’s on top of the $42,574 approved for this year’s stars, plus another potential $6,000 or so for a seventh candidate who didn’t make the cut, barely (environmental activist Kay Cline, whose star the council ultimately approved). So less than two years into the program, it’s sapped countless hours of staff time and to date, more than $100,000 of treasure. There are plenty of laudable, err, “high-caliber” names on this year’s nominees—Mel Mason of The Village Project stands out—but the one that sticks in Squid’s craw is Tim Brown, who served as Seaside’s city manager from 1994-1998, but resigned after his staff issued a vote of no confidence against him, and after then-mayor Don Jordan, a Brown ally, lost re-election. Furthermore, audits of the city’s finances from 1995-97 showed $3.6 million in deficit spending. High-caliber, indeed. the local spin SQUID FRY THE MISSION OF MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY IS TO INSPIRE INDEPENDENT THINKING AND CONSCIOUS ACTION, ETC. “We were trying to be good neighbors.” Send Squid a tip: firstname.lastname@example.org