january 25-31, 2024 montereycountyweekly.com LOCAL & INDEPENDENT yoga for laughs 8 | kaiser comes to town 12 | New orleans vibes 39 | powered by plants 42 Make a Run For ItRun clubs make the solitary sport social. p. 20 HEALTH & FITNESS 2024 • Quick workouts • The power of sleep • supplement scene • Meet the Montage CEO Inside: Monterey County Health Department celebrates 100 years of service
2 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY JANUARY 25-31, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com San Carlos School in the Diocese of Monterey, mindful of its primary mission to be a witness to the love of Christ for all, admits students of any race, color, national and/or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to the students at the school. San Carlos School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and/or ethnic origin, age or gender in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs. While San Carlos School does not discriminate against students with special needs, a full range of services may not be available. Likewise, San Carlos School does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of gender, age, disability, race, color, and national and/or ethnic origin. It is the policy of San Carlos School to promote equal opportunity in any and all employment decisions. San Carlos School reserves the right to be the sole judge of merit, competence and qualifications, and can favor Catholic applicants and coworkers in all employment decisions, especially in those positions that have direct bearing upon pastoral activity of the Church. Notice of Non-Discrimination Policy Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations. Ready for More Rain. Aquifer Storage & Recovery Injection Well in Seaside Surplus Carmel River rainwater is is already being stored in the Seaside Aquifer. Last Sunday the Carmel River exceeded a flow rate of 120 cu. ft. per second (minimum required) at the Highway 1 guage. MPWMD began injecting the surplus water for our future use. MPWMD.NET
www.montereycountyweekly.com JANUARY 25-31, 2024 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 3 Let us help you reach your best health. Choose the health and wellness services that are right for you — when and where you want it. z Emergency care z Urgent care z Virtual visits Visit: montagehealth.org/care Healthy, how you want it. z Primary and specialty care z Preventive programs z And much more
4 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY january 25-31, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com january 25-31, 2024 • ISSUE #1851 • Established in 1988 Bailee Vranish (Cannon R6) Up and into the kelp forest—two divers clean an exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Monterey County photo of the week Send Etc. submissions to email@example.com; please include caption and camera info. On the cover: The OtherRunners, like many local run clubs, is as much about a social aspect as a fitness aspect. Cover Photo: Daniel Dreifuss etc. Copyright © 2024 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: $300 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 firstname.lastname@example.org (x103) Publisher Erik Cushman email@example.com (x125) Editorial editor Sara Rubin firstname.lastname@example.org (x120) features editor Dave Faries email@example.com (x110) associate editor Tajha Chappellet-Lanier firstname.lastname@example.org (x135) Staff Writer Celia Jiménez email@example.com (x145) Staff Writer Pam Marino firstname.lastname@example.org (x106) 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, Nic Coury, Tonia Eaton, Jeff Mendelsohn, Jacqueline Weixel, Paul Wilner 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. NOW IN YOUR INBOX Sign up today at montereycountyweekly.com/mcnow
www.montereycountyweekly.com JANUARY 25-31, 2024 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 5 Your care, your baby, our focus. KEEP RISING Having a child is one of life’s most significant events. We offer nationally recognized patient-centered care from pre-natal screenings through delivery and beyond. Our Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is equipped to treat amongst the most medically fragile of babies. Like generations of families, you can rely on us for complete and compassionate maternity care for both mother and newborn. Learn more at SalinasValleyHealth.com/maternity
6 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY January 25-31, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com THE BUZZ FREE SPEECH When Zoom-bombers dropped virtually into local government meetings last fall spewing racial slurs and racist tropes under the guise of public comment, city officials were caught off guard, stymied by how to balance free speech rights and the California Brown Act’s open meeting regulations with stopping hate speech. Some cities are now taking a proactive approach. Brian Pierik, contract city attorney for Carmel and Pacific Grove, shared with the P.G. City Council in a written report that under the Brown Act council meetings are limited public forums where the council may put restrictions on speech that is outside of the agenda or the council’s legislative scope. Individuals who engage in such speech will be warned, and if they continue, muted. Pierik suggested including an agenda statement outlining what will happen if speakers run afoul of the limits. (Carmel already uses the statement on its agendas.) The matter was continued during the Pacific Grove Council’s Jan. 17 meeting to a future date. Good: There is good news for easy public access to statewide and local history. The California Digital Newspaper Collection (viewable at cdnc.ucr.edu), which is run out of UC Riverside and administered by the California State Library, announced Jan. 22 that 2.7 million pages have been added to the collection from dozens of titles. A treasure trove of material has been added from Salinas-based newspapers. The website, where one can literally read each issue on the page—though the text can be tiny and hard to make out sometimes— will now feature all the issues of the Californian from 1929 to 2001, as well as issues from two newspapers that few locals have likely heard of: the Salinas Daily Journal from 1889 to 1899 and the Salinas Index Journal from 1905 to 1942. That’s a lot of rough, but readers can only assume there are many diamonds nestled within. Dig in. GREAT: In times of emergencies, it’s good to have friends, and in the case of Nanao, Japan, which was devastated by a 7.6 magnitude earthquake on Jan. 1, it has good friends on this side of the ocean who want to help. Nanao and Monterey have been sister cities since 1995. When the earthquake hit, members of the Monterey Peninsula-Nanao Friendship Association, an informal hospitality group to welcome visitors from the sister city, reached out to their contacts in Nanao to make sure they were safe. They asked Monterey Mayor Tyller Williamson to send a letter of encouragement, which he did on Jan. 3. Association members also set up the MPFNA Nanao Earthquake Relief Fund at the Community Foundation for Monterey County to raise money to send to relief agencies in Japan (more at monterey.org/sistercitynanao). Monterey City Council gave $25,000 to the fund. GOOD WEEK / GREAT WEEK THE WEEKLY TALLY Increase in health plan spending on prescription drugs in California in 2022 compared to 2021. Health plans paid about $12.1 billion for prescription drugs in 2022, when drugs accounted for 14.2% of total health plan premiums. Source: California Department of Managed Health Care Prescription Drug Cost Transparency Report $1.3 QUOTE OF THE WEEK “It was all local guys. It speaks volumes.” -Midfielder Miguel Guerrero from MBFC2, who was one of about 90 players that tried out on Jan. 20 for Monterey Bay F.C. Team management says a goal is to recruit local talent (see story, mcweekly.com). billion Join the conversation! Participate in a Community Input Session and provide your perspective on MPC’s Mission, Vision & Values • February 2 (Friday): 12pm - 1:30pm Monterey Campus (LF-103) & on Zoom • February 6 (Tuesday): 3pm - 4:30pm Monterey Campus (LF-103) • February 7 (Wednesday): 5:30pm - 7pm Monterey Campus (LF-103) For more information: visit www.mpc.edu/ShapeMPC 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 VOTED BEST SPORTS BAR BY MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY READERS!
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8 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY JANUARY 25-31, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com 831 For Pacific Grove native Leah Johnson, aka Ginger Joy Johnson, the path to discovering Eastern medicine—and the therapeutic value of laughter— started in her childhood home. Her father, Jerry Alan Johnson, founded the International Institute of Medical Qigong. What is qigong? Leah Johnson defines it as “Chinese energetic medicine,” and it was developed in the same period as acupuncture. But as Johnson was immersing herself in her Eastern studies after graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in speech pathology, her interests veered toward something many in the West—or East, for that matter—may have never heard of: laughter yoga. The first thing to understand about laughter yoga is that it’s not at all like yoga in the sense most would understand it—it’s not about poses. Rather, it’s all about laughter, whether it’s authentic or manufactured. Both, Johnson says, elicit the same chemical response in the body. The practice of laughter yoga was brought into the mainstream by India native Madan Kataria, aka the Laughter Guru, who wrote about it his 2002 book Laugh For No Reason. Johnson, who in 2019 became a certified laughter yoga teacher through Kataria’s Laughter Yoga International University in India, knows laughter isn’t a cure-all for our ills. On the other hand, she believes it can help—a lot. “I’ve seen it work. Laughter yoga helps people reduce stress for things that are super stressful and painful,” she says. “We’re joyful, loving human beings, you can look at children and see that. We forget that.” In her sessions, Johnson leads exercises like pretending one is crying—or maybe actually crying—and then laughing one’s way out of it. “Whenever we do [a laughing] exercise, we’re using our body, and bringing joy to it,” she explains. During exercises, people are encouraged to make eye contact. “When you laugh with people…you start to like those people.” In terms of its overall positive impact on the body, Johnson contends that 10 to 15 minutes of laughter is the equivalent to 20 minutes in a gym. Part of that, she says, is that it opens up the veins and lowers blood pressure. Johnson earns her income as a happiness coach for private clients, including companies. But after moving back to the area just over a year ago from New Mexico, she’s taken to offering free Saturday classes at 10am on the grass next to the volleyball courts in Monterey along the Rec Trail and near the beach. Just a handful of people show up regularly, and she’d prefer people to let her know they’re coming. The sessions offer both a chance for people to check out laughter yoga and, for Johnson, a chance to reconnect with the community she grew up in. In those sessions, especially if there are new folks, she starts off with a little history of the practice and its purported benefits: it decreases stress, improves mood and boosts the immune system. She also explains to the participants, “The main thing here is to allow yourself to be playful.” Then everyone starts practicing laughter: A manufactured ha ha ha ha, hee hee ho ho sort of thing, and then it speeds up. After around 45 minutes in, she leads the group to lie down on the grass, on a yoga mat or blanket, for a meditation exercise, if they’re into it. “Meditation is optional, people can pray if they wish. Laughter yoga is not political, religious or dogmatic. Anyone can do it,” she says. “We’re all one people, and we all need to be loved, just as we are…Let’s just focus on people laughing together.” Johnson is hoping to grow the local laughter yoga community, and the attendance at her free Saturday classes, and hopes it can help people feel more awake, more alive, and in turn, “love at a deeper level.” She’s also keenly aware of how challenging that can be given all that’s going in the world. “I choose to feel happy,” she says. “You have to work for it to make it a reality, to be a positive light in this world.” To learn more about Happiness Coach Ginger Joy Johnson, visit myljw.info or call (575) 342-8999. Laugh In For better mental and physical health, laughter yoga calls on participants to laugh—even if it’s forced. By David Schmalz The spiritual and wellness journey of Pacific Grove native Ginger Joy Johnson (center) ultimately led her to laughter as a form of therapy. She’s shown here with Jan Austin and Benjamin Forest leading a workshop at Window on the Bay in Monterey. “I choose to feel happy.” TALES FROM THE AREA CODE DANIEL DREIFUSS health & fitness The Chamber Informs We are informative, serving on advocacy-focused committees and task forces to stay on top of key business, government and community issues and educating our members on topics impacting businesses in our region. If you're looking for a platform to initiate important conversations and grow your business, we invite you to join our business association on the Monterey Peninsula! Join Today! • montereychamber.com • email@example.com • 831.648.5350
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10 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY january 25-31, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com news Just hours after the first CSU Monterey Bay faculty members took to campus streets in the rain loudly demanding more pay and improved working conditions—joining their colleagues at 22 other California State University campuses on Monday, Jan. 22, in the first strike of its kind in the CSU’s 64-year history—the CSU and California Faculty Association headed back to the bargaining table. By Monday evening, the two sides reached a tentative agreement and the strike was called off. “This tentative agreement makes major gains for all faculty at the CSU,” CFA President Charles Toombs said in a press release. He credited the collective action of lecturers, professors, counselors, librarians and coaches, including following through with plans for a five-day strike for the success. The union had been pushing for a 12-percent increase in salaries this year, while the CSU was holding firm at 5 percent per year over three years. Anything more would mean “massive layoffs,” CSU representatives said on Jan. 16. The tentative agreement reached Monday includes a 5-percent general salary increase for all faculty retroactive to July 1, 2023. Another 5-percent increase will come July 1, 2024. The lowest-paid faculty will see a $3,000 increase retroactive to July 1, 2023 and another $3,000 bump on July 1, 2024. Currently, the lowest-paid faculty member makes $54,360 annually. Total increases could result in a salary of over $66,000. The contract also includes increasing paid parental leave from six to 10 weeks. It extends the current contract for 2022-24 to June 30, 2025. Union members will vote on the agreement over the next few weeks. Strike That CSU faculty see gains in tentative agreement, reached after a single day of historic strike. By Pam Marino Salinas City Council voted 6-0 on Tuesday, Jan. 23 to approve a new contract with the Salinas Police Officers Association. Negotiations took place in record time of just three months. The previous contract expired on Dec. 31. It’s a turnaround from 2019, when the council imposed “the city’s last, best and final offer” on SPOA after going to arbitration. ”For several months, this council was criticized that we wanted to defund the police department, and that [couldn’t be] further from the truth,” said City Councilmember Tony Barrera. Councilmember Steve McShane differed: “I would argue that this council is not supportive of the PD,” McShane said during the meeting, noting that percentage-wise, its budget has decreased over the years. In the past three budget years, Salinas PD’s piece of the overall city budget pie has slightly decreased from 43.5 percent in 2021-2022 to 41 percent in 2023-24. During the same span, funds for the department have increased from $53 million to $60 million. The new contract, which goes through Dec. 31, 2025, includes a 4-percent increase for cost-of-living adjustment in February and a 2-percent increase in January 2025. Other changes include increasing on-call pay for detectives from $2.25 to $5 per hour, and adding Cesar Chavez Day and Juneteenth as holidays. The estimated contract adjustments for the next two years will cost $2.4 million. In the past week, SPD lost its former chief, Roberto Filice, who accepted a job at East Bay Regional Park District, and two police officers who moved to Hollister Police Department. Last March, SPD had 161 officers and 19 vacancies; it currently has fewer than 130 officers. “We just don’t have enough officers to adequately staff patrol,” the union wrote in a statement in December. Recruitment and staffing challenges are not unique to SPD, but understaffing has impacted police protocols in Salinas. One year ago, SPD changed its prioritization of calls due to low staffing. “We had to make some drastic decisions,” Chief Roberto Filice told the council on Jan. 24, 2023. Crimes like robberies, sexual assault and homicides trigger an immediate response; others, like trespassing, theft and vandalism, get a response on a case-by-case basis. In the contract discussion on Jan. 23, McShane said, “We have the lowest staffing in our police department I’ve ever seen,” noting residents call him reporting things like stolen bikes and petty theft, and also report lack of response to collisions. Councilmember Andrew Sandoval says since he’s been on council (starting in 2022), they have approved several requests from the Salinas PD including equipment, technology and a hiring incentive program in March of 2023. The program includes hiring bonuses of $27,500 for lateral police officers, $10,000 for police recruits, and referral incentives of $2,500 for staff who refer a police officer or recruits who are hired. To fund the $425,000 program, SPD used funds saved from vacant positions. “We are at mission critical in terms of staffing,” Mayor Kimbley Craig pointed out. “We are net negative 50 officers on the street in the last 15 years.” Sandoval and Craig hope this contract will help retain current police officers. Police Officer (and SPOA board member) Mario Reyes was on the negotiating team. “The Salinas Police Department is at a critical inflection point,” the union wrote. Police Pay Salinas City Council unanimously approves a two-year contract for police officers. By Celia Jiménez CSUMB faculty marched through the campus on Monday morning, Jan. 22, the first day of Spring Semester. They were back to classrooms the next day after a contract agreement was reached. “We are at mission critical in terms of staffing.” Daniel Dreifuss Daniel Dreifuss
www.montereycountyweekly.com JANUARY 25-31, 2024 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 11 • Tire Rotation & Air Pressure Check • Test Battery, Starter, & Alternator • Clean Battery Terminal • Inspect All Bulbs • Inspect All Belts & Hoses for Cracks • Inspect All Fluids Levels (excludes oil) • Test Heating System • Inspect 4WD & AWD System (if applicable) • Suspension Check • Test Drive System (if applicable) New Years Deal $87 Winter Special *Most vehicles. Cannot combine with any other offer. Some restrictions may apply. Additional diagnostics not included. Must present coupon at check-in. Limited time only. 831-230-0910 1730 The Mall | Seaside SullivansAutoService.com THE SARDINE FACTORY | 701 WAVE STREET, MONTEREY FREE PARKING | sardinefactory.com | 831.373.3775 Winter Three-Course Menu Voted “Best Restaurant in Monterey” by Monterey County Herald & Monterey County Weekly Readers pacificgrove.org | 831.373.3304 January 31st - February 4th 2024 $25/per person - 1 day $100/per person - 5 days Advance Purchase @ pacificgrove.org $5 Military Discount w/ID Day of Purchase Only 12 & under free NO REFUNDS Stay & Shuttle is Free Pacific Grove Shuttles in front of PG Museum of Natural History Forest/Central Avenues
12 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY january 25-31, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com Since 2022, Kaiser Permanente has been making inroads into Monterey County. As far as public outreach, that has been largely in the form of charitable giving—to nonprofits Jacob’s Heart, Everyone’s Harvest and more. With $7.5 million, Kaiser was the largest private donor toward the Pajaro Valley Healthcare District’s 11th-hour acquisition of Watsonville Community Hospital. But the feelings of goodwill did not extend to Monterey County’s four hospitals. In 2021, Kaiser approached Natividad, Salinas Valley Health, Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula and Mee Memorial asking if they’d accept Kaiser’s insurance. All four said no. But Kaiser insurance is accepted at Watsonville Community Hospital. And that’s critical to Kaiser’s plans to open at least one clinic in Monterey County. The California Department of Insurance requires insurers to have “provider network adequacy” so that customers can actually use their insurance. That requires an in-network hospital to be located within 30 minutes or 15 miles of a covered person’s residence or workplace. That means Kaiser could serve a swath of northern Monterey County customers, with or without additional local hospital participation. Kaiser is not just an insurance company but also a health care provider, serving primarily Kaiser-insured patients—which is what concerns local hospital leaders. If Kaiser siphons off privately insured patients—whose insurers pay more to providers than Medicare and Medi-Cal—it upends the reimbursement formula. Seeking lower-cost health care, various union groups are advocating for Kaiser locally, with a campaign asking Natividad to accept the insurance. “I will continue to fight for access to health care,” says County Supervisor Wendy Root Askew, who is championing a new county clinic in Marina. “If Kaiser can offer that—excellent, I am thrilled. If Kaiser can only offer that for a portion of my residents, we need to continue this conversation.” Kaiser plans to move into Salinas, and submitted a building permit application in September, and city officials approved the permit on Dec. 20. Sources say Kaiser is also exploring a second location, possibly in Marina. Kaiser representatives declined to speak in detail, but in a written statement, confirm plans to serve Monterey County: “We are excited to respond to calls from businesses and individuals who have long asked that we bring Kaiser Permanente to the area.” Property tax checks in Monterey County are no longer headed for Salinas. For the first time when last month’s Dec. 10 deadline rolled along, all property owners who paid by check using a provided envelope sent their payments to a contractor in Whittier. The change was phased in over a year-and-a-half, after the check processing equipment at county headquarters was becoming too old to use and too expensive to replace, says County of Monterey Tax Collector and Treasurer Mary Zeeb. A contractor was determined to be more cost-efficient. The new address took some taxpayers by surprise, especially when some noticed their checks weren’t clearing for weeks after sending them to Whittier. Zeeb calls what happened to those payments “isolated,” compared to the over 150,000 checks that are processed. “We’re talking handfuls,” she says. The contractor, RT Lawrence Corporation, offers an automated “payment processing lockbox service” that processes the checks and deposits them directly into a county bank account. It’s estimated to cost approximately $45,000-$50,000 this year. Besides the new process for accepting checks, Zeeb says that in October, she instituted a new way to pay in monthly installments with a service at no cost to the county. The company Easy Smart Pay receives monthly payments through users’ bank accounts, credit or debit cards, and then pays the county in April and December when taxes are due. The company holds the money it collects from taxpayers in an account and uses it to make liquid investments following state regulations, according to the ESP website. There is a 1.99-percent fee for using a credit card, but e-checks cost the user nothing. “I try to give taxpayers as many options as I can, especially if it doesn’t cost the county any money,” Zeeb says. Property taxes can also be paid by credit card or e-check over the phone or online at co.ca. us/taxcollector, small fees do apply depending on the method. Plan Ahead Kaiser Permanente is at work on a Salinas location, and eyeing a spot in Marina. By Sara Rubin news Taxing Times Every year, United Way Monterey County leads the VITA program, pairing volunteer tax preparers with low-income residents to help them file their income taxes. Volunteers are needed for roles as intake specialists to help clients prepare the correct documents. Learn what’s required at upcoming training sessions. 2pm and 6pm Thursday, Jan. 25, 10am Saturday, Jan. 27 English training; 2pm and 6pm Friday, Jan. 26 and 2pm Saturday, Jan. 27 Spanish training. Makerspace in the Community Impact Center, United Way Monterey County, 232 Monterey St., Suite 200, Salinas. Free. 318-1998, firstname.lastname@example.org, unitedwaymcca.org/ vita-volunteer. Winter Ready Get updates on winter storm preparedness, how to make an emergency plan, sign up for notifications and more at a workshop hosted by the County of Monterey. The following week, the City of Soledad leads a winter readiness event, hosted by Soledad PD and Cal Fire. 5:30-8:30pm Thursday, Jan. 25 at San Pablo de Colores Hall, 505 San Juan Road, Pajaro. Free. 796-1900, co.monterey.ca.us. 5pm Wednesday, Jan. 31 at Soledad Community Center, 560 Walker Drive, Soledad. Free. email@example.com. Soup’s Up The Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum hosts the 29th annual Drury Tankersley Clam Chowder Dinner. This benefit dinner also provides a chance to sample Salinas Valley flavors from a wine bar featuring local wines. 3-7pm takeout, 5-7:30pm dinner Friday, Jan. 26. Orradre Building, Salinas Valley Fairgrounds, 625 Division St., King City. $20. 385-8020, mcarlm.org. Search Party Pacific Grove is recruiting a new city manager and seeking community input on what to prioritize. Weigh in through an online survey on what’s important to you in the hiring process. Survey is available at surveymonkey. com/r/GYB9GCS or cityofpacificgrove. org. Social Trends Monterey County Works is rolling out its Technology Cadre, a paid internship, in which young people (ages 18-24) have access to a mentor and learn new skills to build a resume in marketing and social media. Friday, Feb. 2 is the last day to register; internships begin Tuesday, Feb. 20. 333-6177, firstname.lastname@example.org, montereycountyworks.com. Payment Plan Monterey County tax collector brings changes to how property taxes are collected. By Pam Marino Kaiser’s 30,618-square-foot location is in a former Babies ‘R’ Us on North Davis Road in Salinas. The earliest it could open is 2025, based on state agency filing timelines. e-mail: email@example.com TOOLBOX “If Kaiser can offer that—excellent, I am thrilled.” Daniel Dreifuss
www.montereycountyweekly.com JANUARY 25-31, 2024 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 13 Elevate your team’s health with us. Beyond quotes, we deliver tailored, budget-friendly benefits solutions for your employees’ needs. (left to right) Eric Grossklaus | Denise O’Laughlin | Bertha Soto | David Perez Juan Zavala | Deborah Madrid Our Employee Benefits team continues to grow and provide the best in Medical, Dental, Vision, and Medicare Plans as well as Executive Life Benefits. Leavitt Central Coast Insurance Services As an experienced Benefits Broke and Human Resource Leader, I understand employee benefits from both the business and human sides. 950 East Blanco Road, Suite 103 Salinas | (831)424-6404 RECICLAJE BASURA PATATAS FRITAS POTATO CHIPS SOBRAS DE COMIDA Y DESPERDICIOS DE JARDÍN Sobras de Comida. Reciclables. Basura. ¡Lo que va en cada bote es importante! Separe.
14 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY JANUARY 25-31, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com Outside of rare situations involving historic water rights, the State Water Board has prohibited California American Water from setting new water meters—or upsizing existing ones—since it imposed a ceaseand-desist order on the company’s overpumping of the Carmel River in 2009. That means housing projects on the Peninsula have largely been impossible, along with, say, adding another bathroom to an existing house. Cal Am, the investor-owned utility that delivers water to the Peninsula’s taps, maintains a desalination project is necessary right now to meet demand, and to get the state to lift its order. The Monterey Peninsula Water Management District has long disagreed with that assessment, and its staff believes that, with expansion of recycled water project Pure Water Monterey that will come online in 2025, there is more than enough water to supply Cal Am’s local service area for at least the next 30 years. MPWMD General Manager Dave Stoldt also believes that there should be enough supply to get the State Water Board to lift the order, while Cal Am has maintained that only desal will do that. Which of the two opinions is correct is currently being assessed by the California Public Utilities Commission; as part of the California Coastal Commission’s approval of the desal project in 2022, Cal Am must show the immediate need for the project in testimony to the CPUC. Chris Cook, Cal Am’s local director of operations, filed his testimony last December, and on Jan. 22, Stoldt filed his. Cal Am forecasts annual water demand in 2050 will be 14,480 acrefeet, while the district predicts 10,599 acre-feet—a 37-percent difference. They disagree on both how to count population forecast, and how much water each person will use. Stoldt’s testimony reflects something he has talked about for years: that Cal Am is double- and triple-counting the same thing. Here’s how: Cal Am uses the Associated Monterey Bay Area Governments’ growth assessments to project population growth, while adding on top of that demand from the state Regional Housing Needs Allocation and legal lots of record, both of which are already accounted for AMBAG’s projections which, per a Jan. 10 AMBAG report, are “substantially lower” than the agency’s 2022 projections. In other words, Stoldt says, Cal Am is sometimes counting the water demand created by a new family in a new house three times instead of one. Cal Am argues that people will use more water once desal is built, on the basis that tiered rate structures—a conservation incentive—will be removed. But that doesn’t account for the higher cost of desalinated water, which would be shared among ratepayers. The CPUC will make its assessment in the coming months. By fall, Stoldt intends to petition the State Water Board to lift the cease-and-desist order after the Pure Water expansion is online in 2025. Cal Am has indicated that it doesn’t intend to join him in doing so. On Demand How much water does the Peninsula need to remove the shackles of water poverty? By David Schmalz Dave Stoldt of the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District filed testimony on Jan. 22 with his water supply forecast, something of a rebuttal to Cal Am’s, which is 37-percent higher. NEWS Cal Am is double- and triple-counting the same thing. DANIEL DREIFUSS Apply at www.centcoastfcu.com, visit your local branch, or call us at (831) 393-3480 Big Become A Member Today and Access Your Home Equity NMLS# 786119 Become A Member Today And Access Your Home Equity A home equity line of credit (HELOC) can be an easy, affordable way to nance home improvement projects, so go ahead, Dream Big! Seaside: 4242 Gigling Rd. Salinas: 1141 S. Main St. Soledad: 315 Gabilan Dr. King City: 510 Canal St. DreamBig Ready to unlock the hidden value in your home? *Terms and conditions apply. Apply at www.centcoastfcu.com, visit your local branch, or call us at (831) 393-3480 Monterey County eye AssoCiAtes Eyecare for the whole family in two convenient locations! Including treatment for cataracts, glaucoma, corneal diseases, diabetic eye disease and macular degeneration…Most insurances accepted! 1441 Constitution Blvd. Bldg. 400, Suite 100 • Salinas, CA 93906 831-424-1150 406 Canal Street King City, CA 93930 831-385-6400 Eric J. Del Piero, MD Leland H. Rosenblum, MD Anna J. Shi, MD • Roger C. Husted, MD Elaine J. Zhou, MD • Braden A. Burckhard, MD www.montereyeye.com MEDICAL AND SURGICAL DISEASES OF THE EYE Careen Caputo, OD, MPH • Aldon Rodriguez, OD
www.montereycountyweekly.com JANUARY 25-31, 2024 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 15 WHERE THE WORLD COMES TO CELEBRATE CYCLING. SECURE YOUR SPOT: SEAOTTERCLASSIC.COM MORE THAN A FESTIVAL. MORE THAN A RACE. RACE, RIDE, CELEBRATE. 2024 A P R I L 1 8TH–2 1 ST
16 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY january 25-31, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com Water Flow Growers have always supported recycled water efforts—heck, we helped build and pay for the first water recycling plant that is now Pure Water Monterey (“Recycled water to supply Peninsula raises eyebrows from Salinas Valley growers,” Jan. 11-17). But we’re also on the hook for bringing our groundwater into sustainability and that means measuring water use—all water use—to make sure we can meet our state and environmental obligations. Pure Water Monterey is a great project. That doesn’t change the fact that there are major questions about how much water official water agencies say is available for its expansion and the validity of water purchase agreements, including one with the City of Salinas and Monterey County Water Resources Agency that has been on hold since 2022. Ratepayers are on the hook for $77 million-plus of loans for the expansion. Growers are on the hook for groundwater sustainability. We are taking our jobs seriously and asking hard questions. We are grateful for the agencies taking their jobs seriously, too. We look forward to working with Monterey One Water and the Monterey County Water Resources Agency to address outstanding questions so everyone can move toward sustainability. Douglas Scattini | Salinas The farmers absolutely have a point. M1W has been very vague from the beginning about where they actually get their water. Why? Because they import water from the Salinas Valley to the Monterey Peninsula. John Tilley | Monterey Career Goals Thanks for informing us, because this sounds wonderful! (An internship program between CSUMB and Pebble Beach is believed to be the first of its kind,” posted Jan. 16.) d’Aulan Gentry | via email On Strike Please be careful when posting statistics. When you said 95 percent of faculty voted to strike, you failed to clarify that it was 95 percent of those who chose to vote (“A one-week CSU faculty strike is on after administrators walk out on negotiations,” Jan. 18-24). That is very different than 95 percent of all CSU Monterey Bay faculty. Robert Deihl | Seaside School Lunch Free hot lunch really saved me when I was a child. I’m grateful for these options for my daughter as well (“School kitchens are transforming to provide higher-quality, healthier meals for kids,” Jan. 18-24). Rachelle Escamilla | via social media Track Time Ridiculous! (“A nonprofit was set to take over management of Laguna Seca Jan. 1, but the contract remains in limbo,” Jan. 11-17.) A bunch of Karens want to close down a national treasure? Who told them to move in next to a race track? If they can hear cars at Laguna Seca they live in the flight path of MRY—will they try to shut down MRY too? Or is the airport OK because their private jet is parked there? If you don’t like the noise of the racetrack, move away from the racetrack! Steven Swartzendruber | Salinas In the Mail Thank you for both lifting up the need for Valentines for Alliance on Aging, something I was going to look up during these rainy few days, as I have made Valentines for them in the past (“Here’s your invitation to write a Valentine’s card, without the baggage of romantic love attached,” posted Jan. 17). And thank you for lifting up snail mail. I have found that people appreciate it more than many will admit, unless they have never received any. I make new cards out of used cards and other items that catch my eye, having done collage-type things since high school. Alice Ann Glenn | Monterey A Look Back Wonderful article (“Observations on 19th-century culture and wilderness on the Monterey Peninsula,” Jan. 11-17). A photo on p. 17 shows the interior of the Carmel Mission many years after it was abandoned, but before it was restored. You can see several (seven to eight upright, whitish headstones. I was informed by mission staff, 30 years ago or so, that those were burials of the Indians who had been abandoned by the Padres, but still kept the faith. I believe that in subsequent years, they were re-interred outside, in the gravesite currently on the mission grounds. Walter Wagner | Salinas Touch Down I’m a very old lady with zero interest in sports, but you made that memory sound so exciting, I’m sure my heart beat faster! Thank you for the delight (“A bucket-list experience during peak football season,” posted Jan. 19). Go Niners. Marilyn Brown | Pacific Grove Whose Country? I’m sure Susan Whitney feels good about sending in her opinion, but she is totally wrong in her thinking (“Letters,” Jan. 11-17). I would classify her as a Trump hater with Trump Deranged Syndrome. In her mind she can’t see anything clearly, because of her hatred. Our country and the citizens within were much better off under the Trump administration. If she doesn’t realize that, she must or filthy rich, or an idiot. Our country has gone off its rails and the Biden administration continues to make things worse. We need Trump back in the saddle in order to even have an attempt at normalcy within our United States again. People like Susan are part of the problem. Jenn Thompson | Salinas Susan Whitey is SO wrong. Not much has gone right in the past three years compared to the previous four years. President Trump is not even a politician and his record is so much better than the Biden administration’s. I know Trump has his faults, but loving his country is not one of them. We were, without a doubt, better off with Trump as president, which you cannot deny. I understand that you hate Trump, but he is obviously our best choice. Susan Romero | Monterey 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 january 25-31, 2024 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 17 During the school day, Carmel Middle School is buzzing with students, teachers and staff. On one Wednesday evening a month, when the campus is mostly empty except for athletes wrapping up practice, the school library comes to life for a meeting of the Carmel Unified School District Board of Trustees, with dozens of adults filling chairs in audience formation. These meetings follow a pattern: The board invites public comment, and a parade of parents and community members get up, called by numbers, to speak at the podium. There’s a mom who objects to books in the library that include sexual content. There is a retired attendance secretary who, having retired, is unafraid to tell the board they’re doing everything wrong (“I don’t understand why the board can’t follow their own board policy,” Ann Berry said in October). There’s a parade of parents expressing a mix of anger and confusion about the state of the school district’s governance. Then most of the members of the public leave—there’s no subsequent invitation for them to make comments, even on specific discussion topics on the night’s agenda. The board hears from CUSD staff and student club members. Then the board members break, often for many hours, into a room for a closed-session discussion. Under California’s public meetings laws, several things may be discussed in closed session including litigation and personnel matters. CUSD has plenty to talk about, with no fewer than three pending lawsuits filed by current or former employees alleging sexual harassment. Meanwhile, personnel also continues to be a topic. The former superintendent, Ted Knight, resigned on Aug. 11 last year. Former deputy Sharon Ofek was appointed as acting then as interim superintendent and then, in September, became the sole candidate in contention for the job of superintendent—the board voted 4-1 to forgo a search process and instead negotiate with her. Facing community outcry, the board backpedaled in November, and announced plans to solicit public input instead. Meanwhile, CUSD is still embroiled in litigation over the terms under which Knight resigned. Christine Davi is a district parent (and also a professional in public agency law—she is city attorney for Monterey). After asking nicely a few times for CUSD to correct what she identifies as an illegal payout of $770,000 to make Knight go away quietly, Davi sued in October. She filed an amended complaint in December detailing alleged violations of that agreement, which she argues exceeded the allowable payment by at least $524,480, based on government code and Knight’s contract. “With approximately 2,274 students enrolled in the district, CUSD, in its excessive overpayment to [Knight], deprived funding in the amount of $230.64 per student enrolled in the 2023/24 school year,” the lawsuit claims. In a case management statement, Davi suggests that the three board members who voted to approve Knight’s separation agreement—Sara Hinds, Jason Remynse and Karl Pallastrini— be held personally liable to pay back the district. In a statement filed on Jan. 12, CUSD’s attorneys indicate they may ask the court to toss out the lawsuit. District officials refer questions about pending litigation to the court record. And when I asked 2023 board president Hinds for an interview about leadership transitions, she told me she was interested only in talking about positive things. Current president Remynse did not respond to a request for comment for this story. That all leaves a big, gaping hole where there could be information, but instead there is guesswork and distrust. Carmel Unified School District has hired three superintendents since 2015. Two of them resigned before the end of their contract term and agreed to drop claims against the district. “The community needs to know who is going to be the new superintendent, and they haven’t had any input,” board member Anne-Marie Rosen said in September. For a few months at least, it looked like the board intended to remedy that. But those plans may have been scuttled—the board’s agenda for a meeting on Jan. 24 (after the Weekly’s deadline) includes a closed-session superintendent appointment. Sara Rubin is the Weekly’s editor. Reach her at email@example.com. School Bell Carmel Unified looks for new superintendent amid fallout over the last one. By Sara Rubin Shell Game…Squid only has occasion to try lobster (delicious) when Squid’s cephalopod buddies on the northeastern seaboard send them via airplane. But Squid also knows, much like crab fishing on the Central Coast, that when humans fish for lobster in traditional traps on the seafloor with a buoyed rope, it can create potentially fatal impacts on whales, which are protected by human laws. So Squid found it absurd when two defamation lawsuits were filed last year—one by fishermen in Massachusetts, another by fishermen in Maine— against the Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation on account of its Seafood Watch program listing lobster as red, i.e. “avoid,” due to its science-based assessment of the potential impacts of lobster fishing on whales. Broadly speaking, the lawsuits argued the listing hurt lobster sales. But here’s the thing about defamation lawsuits: You can say bad things, so long as they’re true—the truth is a defense. On Jan. 9, a federal judge in California dismissed the Massachusetts fishermens’ lawsuit after they agreed to drop it—they’d have been on the hook for the Aquarium Foundation’s legal fees if they lost. (Squid expects the same for the Maine case.) At its core, it’s a First Amendment case, and last Squid checked, Seafood Watch has every right to make scientific assessments about the harm a fishery can cause to marine life, and shout it out to all species, anywhere in the food chain. Squid just hopes the lobster fishermen can clean up their practices. Lobster is delicious, after all. Lucky for Squid, all Squid needs to catch a delicacy are tentacles, jaws and ink. Keep Trucking…Squid oozes around town in whatever configuration is fastest, dodging traffic jams in the old jalopy. Sometimes that means taking the truck route. Squid had been using a new truck route (as of 2022) in Soledad, until Squid heard a report from contract engineer Leon Gomez who presented on Jan. 17 to Soledad City Council. The new route, it turns out, is more dangerous and less environmentally friendly than the old route. The previous route has 36-percent fewer collisions, was 2.3 miles shorter and fewer schools (two instead of four) are along the way. Improvements, like signage, to upgrade the new route would cost a bunch of money. So Soledad city staff and Gomez recommended returning to the old route. Mayor Anna Velazquez noted that the council approved a six-month trial and it was supposed to return to the council for consideration—it did, but one-and-a-half years later than it should have. Velazquez suggested holding a community meeting to get feedback, based on concerns she has heard from constituents. So Squid expects the process to remain stuck in park for a little bit longer before they wind back the clock to 2021. the local spin SQUID FRY THE MISSION OF MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY IS TO INSPIRE INDEPENDENT THINKING AND CONSCIOUS ACTION, ETC. “They haven’t had any input.” Send Squid a tip: firstname.lastname@example.org
18 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY January 25-31, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com Race to the Bottom Donald Trump doesn’t just defeat his rivals. He humiliates and obliterates them. By Jeet Heer FORUM In the brutal game of politics, autopsies are often conducted while the patient is still alive. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis only ended his presidential bid on Jan. 21, but the stench of decay followed his campaign for months, as he faltered in the polls and was mercilessly mocked by front-runner Donald Trump. Journalists had already run postmortems of the infighting and incompetence that allegedly hamstrung the candidate from the start. To the extent that DeSantis’ failure smooths the path for Trump’s inevitable coronation, it’s to be regretted. But DeSantis was never a Trump alternative in any meaningful sense. The whole logic of his candidacy was that he was Trump without the baggage—someone who could carry out Trump’s agenda in a more competent way. To that end, DeSantis styled for himself a political persona of cold, calculated bigotry that was singularly loathsome. DeSantis allied himself with the homophobes and transphobes of Moms for Liberty to sign many anti-LGBTQ+ laws. He targeted Black voters for disenfranchisement. He placed the state’s colleges and universities in the hands of far-right ideological fanatics intent on destroying intellectual freedom. He turned migrants into political props by having them transported to Martha’s Vineyard. There’s no reason to mourn DeSantis’ epic failure. His early defeat is remarkable given the amount of money and support he received from GOP plutocrats. By September, big donors had given over $23 million—far more than to any other Republican candidate. Because donors quickly ran into campaign finance limits, his campaign relied on the Never Back Down super PAC, funded to the tune of more than $130 million. Normally, having a rival under more than 90 indictments for serious crimes would be good for a candidate. But the Republican electorate is so enamored of Trump that the more often he is indicted the stronger he becomes. The reason is simple: Trump’s core political identity is as an anti-system politician—an outsider who upsets the applecart of the status quo. When he’s indicted, it’s just further proof that the system is out to get him. DeSantis’ big problem was that the GOP electorate loves Trump as the great avatar of their hatred of the political status quo. Running as “Trump—but competent” is like trying to create a rock star that is “Elvis—but chaste and subdued.” It reflects a misunderstanding of the product being sold. One manifestation of Trump’s anti-system politics is that he doesn’t want to just defeat his rivals; he wants to humiliate them. Consider the nicknames: Little Marco (Rubio), Lyin’ Ted (Cruz), Ron DeSanctimonious. DeSantis told an Iowa crowd, “You can be the most worthless Republican in America. But if you kiss the ring, he’ll say you’re wonderful.” Exactly one week after these damning words, DeSantis endorsed Trump. In a rare gesture of magnanimity, Trump announced that the nickname Ron DeSanctimonious has been “officially retired.” There was no need to rub it in. Jeet Heer is a national affairs correspondent for The Nation. OPINION There’s no reason to mourn DeSantis’ epic failure. 1 NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI) Addressing Implementation of the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plans for Presidio of Monterey, Ord Military Community, and Sharpe Army Depot in California. The United States Army Garrison Presidio of Monterey (USAG Presidio) invites all interested parties to review and comment on the Draft EA and Draft FNSI addressing the implementation of Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans for Presidio of Monterey (Presidio), Ord Military Community (OMC), and Sharpe Army Depot (Sharpe) in California. The USAG Presidio is updating and/or developing SPCC Plans for these three installation sites to assist the with prevention, control, and cleanup of potential oil spills. The SPCC Plans are consistent with the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA’s) Tier I Qualified Facilities’ requirements, set forth by Section 311(j)(1)(C) of the Clean Water Act as amended by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. The Draft EA evaluates the potential environmental effects from implementation of the SPCC Plans, including management and reporting procedures outlined in the plans, which are consistent with the USEPA Tier I facility requirements. The Draft EA/Draft FNSI will be available for a 30-day review beginning on January 25, 2024 at the following locations: Monterey Public Library Seaside Branch Library Lathrop Branch Library 625 Pacific St. 550 Harcourt Ave 450 Spartan Way Monterey, CA 93940 Seaside, CA 93955 Lathrop, CA 95330 An electronic version of the Draft EA/Draft FNSI is available on the USAG Presidio website at: https://home.army.mil/monterey/my-fort/allservices/environmental/public-notice-environmental-assessment-and-impact. A hard copy of the Draft EA/Draft FNSI is available upon request at POMSPCCPlansEA@hdrinc.com. Please forward written comments to: Presidio of Monterey, Directorate of Public Works ATTN: AMIM-PMP-E P.O. Box 5004 Monterey, CA 93944-5004 Email to: email@example.com THE DEADLINE FOR PROVIDING COMMENTS IS FEBRUARY 26, 2024. 1 NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI) Addressing Implementation of the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plans for Presidio of Monterey, Ord Military Community, and Sharpe Army Depot in California. The United States Army Garrison Presidio of Monterey (USAG Presidio) invites all interested parties to review and comment on the Draft EA and Draft FNSI addressing the implementation of Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans for Presidio of Monterey (Presidio), Ord Military Community (OMC), and Sharpe Army Depot (Sharpe) in California. The USAG Presidio is updating and/or developing SPCC Plans for these three installation sites to assist the with prevention, control, and cleanup of potential oil spills. The SPCC Plans are consistent with the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA’s) Tier I Qualified Facilities’ requirements, set forth by Section 311(j)(1)(C) of the Clean Water Act as amended by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. The Draft EA evaluates the potential environmental effects from implementation of the SPCC Plans, including management and reporting procedures outlined in the plans, which are consistent with the USEPA Tier I facility requirements. The Draft EA/Draft FNSI will be available for a 30-day review beginning on January 25, 2024 at the following locations: Monterey Public Library Seaside Branch Library Lathrop Branch Library 625 Pacific St. 550 Harcourt Ave 450 Spartan Way Monterey, CA 93940 Seaside, CA 93955 Lathrop, CA 95330 An electronic version of the Draft EA/Draft FNSI is available on the USAG Presidio website at: https://home.army.mil/monterey/my-fort/allservices/environmental/public-notice-environmental-assessment-and-impact. A hard copy of the Draft EA/Draft FNSI is available upon request at POMSPCCPlansEA@hdrinc.com. Please forward written comments to: Presidio of Monterey, Directorate of Public Works ATTN: AMIM-PMP-E P.O. Box 5004 Monterey, CA 93944-5004 Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org THE DEADLINE FOR PROVIDING COMMENTS IS FEBRUARY 26, 2024. 1 NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI) Addressing Implementation of the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plans for Presidio of Monterey, Ord Military Community, and Sharpe Army Depot in California. The United States Army Garrison Presidio of Monterey (USAG Presidio) invites all interested parties to review and comment on the Draft EA and Draft FNSI addressing the implementation of Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans for Presidio of Monterey (Presidio), Ord Military Community (OMC), and Sharpe Army Depot (Sharpe) in California. The USAG Presidio is updating and/or developing SPCC Plans for these three installation sites to assist the with prevention, control, and cleanup of potential oil spills. The SPCC Plans are consistent with the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA’s) Tier I Qualified Facilities’ requirements, set forth by Section 311(j)(1)(C) of the Clean Water Act as amended by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. The Draft EA evaluates the potential environmental effects from implementation of the SPCC Plans, including management and reporting procedures outlined in the plans, which are consistent with the USEPA Tier I facility requirements. The Draft EA/Draft FNSI will be available for a 30-day review beginning on January 25, 2024 at the following locations: Monterey Public Library Seaside Branch Library Lathrop Branch Library 625 Pacific St. 550 Harcourt Ave 450 Spartan Way Monterey, CA 93940 Seaside, CA 93955 Lathrop, CA 95330 An electronic version of the Draft EA/Draft FNSI is available on the USAG Presidio website at: https://home.army.mil/monterey/my-fort/allservices/environmental/public-notice-environmental-assessment-and-impact. A hard copy of the Draft EA/Draft FNSI is available upon request at POMSPCCPlansEA@hdrinc.com. Please forward written comments to: Presidio of Monterey, Directorate of Public Works ATTN: AMIM-PMP-E P.O. Box 5004 Monterey, CA 93944-5004 Email to: email@example.com THE DEADLINE FOR PROVIDING COMMENTS IS FEBRUARY 26, 2024. 1 NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI) Addressing Implementation of the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plans for Presidio of Monterey, Ord Military Community, and Sharpe Army Depot in California. The United States Army Garrison Presidio of Monterey (USAG Presidio) invites all interested parties to review and comment on the Draft EA and Draft FNSI addressing the implementation of Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans for Presidio of Monterey (Presidio), Ord Military Community (OMC), and Sharpe Army Depot (Sharpe) in California. The USAG Presidio is updating and/or developing SPCC Plans for these three installation sites to assist the with prevention, control, and cleanup of potential oil spills. The SPCC Plans are consistent with the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA’s) Tier I Qualified Facilities’ requirements, set forth by Section 311(j)(1)(C) of the Clean Water Act as amended by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. The Draft EA evaluates the potential environmental effects from implementation of the SPCC Plans, including management and reporting procedures outlined in the plans, which are consistent with the USEPA Tier I facility requirements. The Draft EA/Draft FNSI will be available for a 30-day review beginning on January 25, 2024 at the following locations: Monterey Public Library Seaside Branch Library Lathrop Branch Library 625 Pacific St. 550 Harcourt Ave 450 Spartan Way Monterey, CA 93940 Seaside, CA 93955 Lathrop, CA 95330 An electronic version of the Draft EA/Draft FNSI is available on the USAG Presidio website at: https://home.army.mil/monterey/my-fort/allservices/environmental/public-notice-environmental-assessment-and-impact. A hard copy of the Draft EA/Draft FNSI is available upon request at POMSPCCPlansEA@hdrinc.com. Please forward written comments to: Presidio of Monterey, Directorate of Public Works ATTN: AMIM-PMP-E P.O. Box 5004 Monterey, CA 93944-5004 Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org THE DEADLINE FOR PROVIDING COMMENTS IS FEBRUARY 26, 2024. MONTEREY’S PREMIER GERMAN CAR SPECIALISTS 249 DELA VINA AVE. MONTEREY 831.373.5355 CCREPAIRMONTEREY.COM R E P A I R