12 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY february 1-7, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com If past tournaments are any indication, around 190,000 people or more could attend the AT&T Pro-Am between Feb. 1-4. Many need a place to park, but parking is in short supply in Pebble Beach. Years ago the tournament’s organizers, Monterey Peninsula Foundation, looked just 11 miles to the north for a solution, to a place with acres of empty lots, CSU Monterey Bay. The foundation and the university hammered out an agreement: In exchange for one lot during the tournament, CSUMB would receive tournament passes worth thousands of dollars. No cash changes hands. The passes are used for “donor engagement,” a CSUMB spokesperson says. It’s not known exactly who gets the passes, some of which are for entrance to the exclusive Palmer Club EIGHTEEN at the Pebble Beach Golf Links, named for famed golfer Arnold Palmer and located within view of the 18th hole, where the top golfers of the world will finish their rounds. Last year, per the agreement, the university received 20 tickets to the Palmer Club, along with seven parking passes to park in Pebble Beach. CSUMB also received 36 tournament general admission tickets. The Palmer Club tickets and parking passes were valued at $22,000, according to a CSUMB spokesperson; the general admission tickets had an approximate value of $3,300. When asked who receives the passes, the only answer given was that they are used for donor engagement, presumably meaning entertaining donors or prospective donors. MPF uses the lot to provide free parking and shuttles to spectators and tournament volunteers. According to the 2023 contract (obtained by the Weekly via a California Public Records Act request) MPF was allowed an office trailer, rented light towers, fenders and barricades, portable restrooms and signage in the weeks leading up to the tournament and removed within several days of the tournament’s end. There is a cost to the university for CSUMB Police and other staff to assist with traffic enforcement and perform other duties around opening the lot, about $8,000 per event. The university had no breakdown of possible maintenance expenses of the lot itself. In addition to the tournament passes, CSUMB was listed as a partner during the tournament, similar to major sponsors. It meant CSUMB could distribute information about itself in parking lots and other designated areas, as well as provide a promotional video to be shown on shuttle buses. A decade ago, activists worried about the dangers of fracking created momentum in Monterey County to curb oil and gas operations, which culminated in 2016 with the passage of Measure Z, a ballot measure that sought to ban not just fracking in the county, but also wastewater injection and new oil development. It passed by a 56-44 margin, and was quickly litigated by oil interests before it could take effect. That led to decisions, over the course of nearly seven years of litigation from Monterey County Superior Court to the California Supreme Court, that found Measure Z unlawful; regulation of oil and gas is strictly in the purview of state and federal agencies, not local ones, the decisions affirmed. And now, even as climate change accelerates and nearly every new year globally becomes among the hottest in recorded history, developing oil fields locally, remains an attractive investment for some. On Oct. 18, Bakersfieldbased Trio Petroleum Corp. announced its acquisition of a 22-percent interest in the McCool Ranch oil field, which is a few miles north of the company’s operations in San Ardo. Per the company’s statement at the time, there are about 7 million barrels of oil in the ground at the McCool Ranch property Trio is leasing. On. Jan. 4, Trio announced that its work to refurbish oil production on the property, which went idle in 2015 due to crude oil prices falling below $30 per barrel, is going favorably, and that the wastewater injection well on the site is in “excellent condition.” The property has four existing horizontal oil wells and two vertical ones, and per Trio’s Jan. 4 statement, has the potential capacity for drilling another 25 wells. “[Trio] believes that current oil prices and other considerations (e.g., approved permits) make this an ideal time to restart McCool Ranch, that the restart is going well, and that the field should soon be providing important cash flow to the company,” the statement reads. Full Lot CSUMB trades a parking lot for exclusive AT&T golf passes to court donors. By Pam Marino news Road Ahead The City of Salinas hosts a workshop focused on the future streetscape in the Alisal, specifically in the areas of active transportation, walking and biking, circulation and street design. Business owners, workers, commuters and residents along East Alisal Street, East Market Street, Williams Road and Sanborn Road are encouraged to complete a survey with feedback on the Alisal Streetscape Master Plan. 6-8pm Thursday, Feb. 1. Firehouse Recreation Center, 1330 E. Alisal St., Salinas. Free; food provided. For more information, call 758-7409. To fill out the survey, visit bit.ly/AlisalStreetsMP. County Priorities The County of Monterey hosts its annual legislative workshop. County officials check in with state and federal leaders on legislative priorities for the upcoming year. Hear the latest on clean drinking water for San Lucas, homeless funding formulas, dam safety projects on the San Antonio and Nacimiento, and more. 10am-noon Friday, Feb. 2. Monterey Government Center, 168 W. Alisal St., Salinas; or via Zoom at bit.ly/BOS322-22. The meeting will also be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube. Free. 755-5066, co.monterey.ca.us. Chair Yoga The City of Gonzales and the Blue Zones Project are partnering to provide chair yoga classes. The kick-off on Feb. 3 includes a raffle and a guest speaker from the Alliance on Aging. 9-10am each Saturday from Feb. 3 to March 23. Vosti Center, 107 Centennial Drive, Gonzales. Free. 675-5000, montereycounty.bluezonesproject.com. talk to power Seaside City Councilmember Dave Pacheco hosts a town hall meeting to hear from constituents and provide updates. Speakers include City Manager Jaime Fontes and Police Chief Nick Borges. 6pm Monday, Feb. 5. Embassy Suites, 1441 Canyon Del Rey Blvd., Seaside. Free. 521-0577. Get Connected Internet is a basic tool people of all ages need for communication, commerce and education. Lowincome residents can qualify for discounted prices with the Affordable Connectivity Program. Government assistance offers a $30 monthly discount for home internet service and a one-time discount of up to $100 for a computer or tablet. Wednesday, Feb. 7 is the last day to apply. Open to residents enrolled in government assistance programs such as Medi-Cal or CalFresh. To sign up, visit internetforallnow.org/applytoday or call 866-745-2805. Drilling In Despite the will of local voters, the South County oil industry is showing new signs of life. By David Schmalz Monterey Peninsula Foundation gets access to the North Special Events Lot at the corner of Second Avenue and Fifth Street in Marina. e-mail: publiccitizen@mcweekly.com TOOLBOX For one lot, CSUMB would receive passes worth thousands. Daniel Dreifuss