10 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY february 1-7, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com news A contentious incident that transpired at Scribble Hill in Sand City last October is moving its way through the justice system: Max Steiner, who’s based near Chico and who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2022 as a Democrat, was charged Nov. 30 by the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office with one count of misdemeanor assault and one count of misdemeanor vandalism. The incident, which occurred Oct. 12, happened when Steiner, visiting from Chico, was cycling past Scribble Hill and confronted three female Monterey residents of Palestinian descent regarding a “Free Gaza” message they had constructed on the sand dune with plants. (Over the years, the dune has become a popular place to use plants to create temporary graffiti, of sorts.) In that incident, Steiner allegedly grabbed and threw the cell phone of a 13-year-old girl who had helped write the message and he also allegedly destroyed the scribble on the hill. Steiner was arraigned in Monterey County Superior Court Jan. 16, and his attorney, Scott Erdbacher, entered not guilty pleas to both counts. (Steiner was not present; defendants are not required to appear during arraignments for misdemeanor charges.) When reached for comment via email, Steiner responded to say that the Weekly’s initial story about the incident omitted facts, and suggested the Weekly’s editorial department has an anti-Israel bias. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 1 in the Salinas courthouse. Given the trends of the justice system, it seems unlikely it will ever go to trial—Administrative Assistant Nichole Reed says the DA brings about 12,000 cases a year, but only about 100 go to trial. On A Hill An October dustup on Scribble Hill leads to misdemeanor charges and two not-guilty pleas. By David Schmalz Just after Monterey Peninsula College celebrated its 75th anniversary last spring, the campus welcomed MPC’s 12th superintendent/president, Marshall T. Fulbright on July 10. Now almost seven months into the job, Fulbright says it’s time to plan the next 75 years, and he wants the community to help determine the foundation of that plan, the college’s mission, vision and values. Fulbright has been making the rounds in recent weeks, showing up at city council meetings and other public arenas, inviting people from all over the Monterey Peninsula Community College District—a wide area that includes Marina to the north, East Garrison to the east and extends south to Carmel, Carmel Valley and Big Sur—to give their input. Specifically, Fulbright wants to know what kind of college the community thinks MPC should be. It’s a mandated exercise for accreditation to regularly review the college’s mission, vision and values, but Fulbright believes even without the requirement it’s healthy to revisit those statements. He also doesn’t want MPC to rewrite them without hearing first what the community thinks. “I know my values. I know where I want to go, but the institution doesn’t revolve around one person’s values. We’re a community college,” he says. Currently MPC’s website lists a mission statement, values statement and goals, all of which focus on items like encouraging student success, supporting students to complete their educations, hiring and retaining quality staff and providing the facilities and resources for an excellent education, among others. There are three community sessions scheduled for Friday, Feb. 2, Tuesday, Feb. 6 and Wednesday, Feb. 7. All are on campus, with free parking available—the first session will also be available virtually. Fulbright says once public input is received, a committee of people from the campus and the community will evaluate the input and contribute to creating a strategic plan for MPC’s next three to five years. Writing that plan begins next year. It’s not the only community input Fulbright and MPC leaders are looking for—later in February they’ll be convening three more community sessions from Feb. 21-27 to talk about expanding offerings at MPC’s Marina Education Center, a 12,000-squarefoot facility located off Imjin Parkway, opened in 2011. With thousands of cars passing by daily, “What would make you stop there? What do you want to see there?” Fulbright asks. A consultant’s report in 2020 recommended that the Marina center be expanded to better collaborate with nearby CSU Monterey Bay and the community at large. Later that year, over 62 percent of the voters approved Measure V, a $230 million bond measure to update and improve MPC’s facilities, including Marina. One example of what could be added, Fulbright says, is a culinary arts program to provide a seamless transition from an existing program at Monterey Peninsula Unified School District to MPC to the hospitality program at CSUMB. But does the community want or need it? “It would be disingenuous of us to put something there without getting community input,” he says. For detailed information on MPC’s community sessions in February, including Zoom availability, visit bit.ly/MPCinput. Marshall T. Fulbright was hired last year as MPC’s 12th superintendent/president. He’s asking the community for input about the college’s future. Vision Quest With a new leader in place, MPC asks the community’s help in plotting a new course. By Pam Marino A dune in Sand City is known as Scribble Hill due to the popularity of writing messages facing Highway 1. Max Steiner stopped on a bike ride in October to take apart letters that read “Free Gaza.” “What do you want to see there?” Daniel Dreifuss Daniel Dreifuss