4 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY october 19-25, 2023 www.montereycountyweekly.com THE BUZZ FREE SPEECH India’s most famous living author, Arundhati Roy, is being prosecuted by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of whom she has been critical. Roy has been known for her involvement in human rights and environmental causes, inducing a critique of the Indian treatment of Muslims in Kashmir that she has been speaking about since 2008. The original complaint accuses Roy of giving speeches advocating for the secession of Kashmir from India, which partially governs the disputed region and claims it in full, as does neighboring Pakistan. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in Kashmir since an insurgency against Indian rule broke out in 1989. Roy is best known for her 1997 novel The God of Small Things, a critique of both British colonialism in India, and its caste system, for which she received the Booker Prize. Since 2014, India dropped from 140th to 161st on an index compiled by Reporters Without Borders ranking 180 nations’ media freedom. Good: Water use is a big deal around these parts, and CSU Monterey Bay’s work in water-use research received a boost in the form of a $1.13 million grant from the U.S. Geological Survey. The grant will aid CSUMB adjunct faculty members and research scientists AJ Purdy and Lee Johnson in their work with OpenET, a 3-year-old data program that provides satellite-based information on evapotranspiration—the process that sees water transfer from the land into the atmosphere, by way of evaporation from the soil or transpiration from plants. OpenET’s platform, collected with the help of NASA satellites, promises easily accessible water resource management data for agricultural users and other stakeholders, particularly in the western U.S. Purdy, Johnson and their CSUMB colleagues collect ground-based data in Central Coast agricultural fields to evaluate OpenET’s accuracy and reliability, and the funding will help them advance that work. GREAT: Residents of Pajaro and Watsonville can breathe a little easier after Gov. Gavin Newsom, on Friday, Oct. 13, signed AB 876. The bill, authored by state Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas, D-Hollister, will provide some environmental regulatory exemptions for the Pajaro Levee Flood Risk Management Project, which was authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1966 but remains unbuilt. The bill provides that going forward, the project can rely solely on already approved federal environmental review documents and not have to undergo a separate state review process. That alone is expected to expedite the project by at least a year, if not years. In a statement, Rivas said the “Pajaro River levee needs upgrades now, and I am encouraged and relieved that we will be able to deliver them as quickly as possible.” The Army Corps of Engineers, which is building the upgrades, is ready to start construction next year. GOOD WEEK / GREAT WEEK THE WEEKLY TALLY Amount the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation awarded the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District’s Rancho Cañada Floodplain Restoration Project, which will restore a mile-long stretch of the Carmel River’s riparian corridor. It’s the largest grant awarded through the foundation’s National Coastal Resilience Fund in its latest round of funding. Source: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation $10 QUOTE OF THE WEEK “That was not under oath.” -Gustavo Morales, accused of murdering Salinas Police Officer JD Alvarado in 2022, testifying in his defense on Oct. 16. Morales claimed he lied in conversation with an informant in his jail cell about the killing (see more, mcweekly.com). million SHIP Grant Statement This project was supported, in part by grant number 90SAPG0094-04, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy. It’s tIme to thInk about your medIcare coverage! For questions, please contact the Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP) at 800-434-0222 marina Library – thurs. october 19th at 11am (English) and 12:30pm (Spanish) alliance on aging (salinas) – tues. october 24th at 3pm (English) alliance on aging (salinas) – thurs. october 26th at 3pm (Spanish) soledad city hall – Wed. november 1st at 1pm (English) and 2:00pm (Spanish) www.allianceonaging.org Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program - ‘HICAP’ Learn more at one of our free medicare updates seminars Celebrate the season during this two-night self-guided walking tour event featuring entertainment and decor at over a dozen historic buildings in downtown Monterey. Angel image: Erica Franke, 1957 - City of Monterey CHRISTMAS IN THE ADOBES DECEMBER 9 & 10, 2022 5:00-9:00 PM HISTORIC MONTEREY'S BELOVED HOLIDAY EVENT RETURNS Info & tickets available at www.MSHPA.org beginning Oct 17 Brought to you by California State Parks & The Monterey State Historic Park Association (MSHPA) DECEMBER 8 & 9, 2023 5:00–9:00PM