april 18-24, 2024 montereycountyweekly.com LOCAL & INDEPENDENT Carmel valley’s housing crunch 10 | Rhiannon Rings 32 | round like a record 34 Life Time Sea Otter Classic Gravel Trap p. 22 Mo Memories p. 24 Take A Ride p. 26 The Salinas High School mountain biking team is one of the oldest in a fast—and fast-growing—prep sport. By Dave Faries p. 18 Riding High The Bike Issue

2 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY arpil 18-24, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com April 18-24, 2024 • ISSUE #1863 • Established in 1988 Maurice Druzin (Olympus OM -1, 75-300 Zoom lens) A hummingbird goes all in on an Aloe blossom at Point Pinos in Pacific Grove. Monterey County photo of the week Send Etc. submissions to etcphoto@mcweekly.com; please include caption and camera info. On the cover: From left to right: Salinas mountain bike team members Jennifer Morillo Vega, Jack Denny and Diana Rivera. Morillo Vega and Denny are captains for the Cowboys squad. 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 bradley@mcweekly.com (x103) Publisher Erik Cushman erik@mcweekly.com (x125) Editorial editor Sara Rubin sara@mcweekly.com (x120) associate editor Erik Chalhoub ec@mcweekly.com (x135) features editor Dave Faries dfaries@mcweekly.com (x110) Staff Writer Celia Jiménez celia@mcweekly.com (x145) Staff Writer Pam Marino pam@mcweekly.com (x106) Staff Writer Agata Pope¸da (x138) aga@mcweekly.com Staff Writer David Schmalz david@mcweekly.com (x104) Staff photographer Daniel Dreifuss daniel@mcweekly.com (x140) MONTEREY COUNTY NOW PRODUCER Sloan Campi sloan@mcweekly.com (x105) contributors Nik Blaskovich, Rob Brezsny, Tonia Eaton, Caitlin Fillmore, Jacqueline Weixel, Paul Wilner Cartoons Rob Rogers, Tom Tomorrow Production Art Director/Production Manager Karen Loutzenheiser karen@mcweekly.com (x108) Graphic Designer Kevin Jewell kevinj@mcweekly.com (x114) Graphic Designer Alexis Estrada alexis@mcweekly.com (x114) Graphic Designer Lani Headley lani@mcweekly.com (x114) SALES senior Sales Executive Diane Glim diane@mcweekly.com (x124) Senior Sales Executive George Kassal george@mcweekly.com (x122) Senior Sales Executive Keith Bruecker keith@mcweekly.com (x118) Classifieds business development director Keely Richter keely@mcweekly.com (x123) Digital Director of Digital Media Kevin Smith kevin@mcweekly.com (x119) Distribution Distribution AT Arts Co. atartsco@gmail.com Distribution Control Harry Neal Business/Front Office Office Manager Linda Maceira linda@mcweekly.com (x101) Bookkeeping Rochelle Trawick rochelle@mcweekly.com 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 APRIL 18-24, 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 April 18-24, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com THE BUZZ FREE SPEECH California lawmakers are exploring how to make Big Tech pay journalistic outlets for sharing links to the news that journalists report, write and publish. Assembly Bill 886, known as the California Journalism Preservation Act, would require entities like Google and Meta that disseminate links to remit payment to the outlets that those links came from. As the bill moves through the legislative process, Google is taking drastic action to try to stop it. On April 12, the company announced a partial news blackout, in which it would stop linking to some California news sites for a “small percentage of California users.” Industry leaders and lawmakers were quick to condemn Google’s actions. “Harmful tactics by Big Tech to intimidate and threaten California’s media outlets is plain wrong,” said Assemblymember Dawn Addis, D-Morro Bay. State Sen. John Laird, D-Santa Cruz, noted Google’s tactics could create public safety problems for people reliant upon news articles in emergencies. Good: Great news for everyone who recreates on Fort Ord National Monument was delivered in October when volunteers with the Monterey Off-Road Cycling Association (MORCA) finished installing a 50-foot fiberglass bridge on Trail 47 over an eroded, impassable gulley called Couch Canyon. MORCA received $78,379 in grants from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for materials, then gave 500-plus volunteer hours to install it. Last year, riders in the Life Time Sea Otter Classic were rerouted on several races due to the erosion at this site, but this week will utilize the new bridge. “This will be the first year that thousands of Fuego Short/Fuego XC/ Fuego XL riders cross the bridge,” says Peter Berridge, communications and outreach chair for MORCA. The bridge connects a popular trail about one mile from Laguna Seca Recreation Area to many Fort Ord trails widely used by mountain bikers, hikers and equestrians. GREAT: Students in South County schools will soon be rocking out thanks to generous donors. The Monterey County chapter of Guitars Not Guns and the Monterey County Office of Education will distribute 200 Keith Urban Yamaha guitars among 10 South Monterey County school districts on Monday, April 22. Guitars Not Guns is a nationwide nonprofit organization that provides guitars and lessons to young people as an alternative to a life of crime. The Monterey County chapter of the nonprofit, formed in 2010, has served more than 3,000 children, according to Director Steve Vagnini. Guitars Not Guns received over $25,000 from nearly 200 donors in Monterey County Gives! Vagnini then contacted MCOE Superintendent Deneen Guss, who helped identify which schools needed support for their musical programs. Many current and former Guitars Not Guns students are now playing in bands across the county and beyond. GOOD WEEK / GREAT WEEK THE WEEKLY TALLY The percentage of Californians surveyed who said they skipped or postponed medical care due to its cost. Forty-six percent of those people said doing so made their condition worse. Source: California Health Care Foundation Health Policy Survey 53% QUOTE OF THE WEEK “Today the ATC is a large, lifeless and decaying structure.” -Former Pacific Grove Mayor Bill Kampe, speaking on Thursday, April 11 to the California Coastal Commission, which voted 9-1 in favor of a luxury hotel at the American Tin Cannery site (see story, mcweekly.com). 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 ’23 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 APRIL 18-24, 2024 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 5 Caring for your growing family’s health needs, now and beyond 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. Offering a full range of services – for the expected and unexpected – you can rely on us for complete and compassionate maternity care for both mother and newborn. Learn more at SalinasValleyHealth.com/maternity Call today to schedule an appointment. MATERNITY & FAMILY-CENTERED CARE Medical Center 450 East Romie Lane, Salinas 831-757-4333 Obstetrics & Gynecology 250 San Jose Street, Salinas 831-758-8223 PrimeCare Salinas 355 Abbott Street, Suite 100 831-751-7070 Elida Marquez, MD

6 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY APRIL 18-24, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com 831 The similarities between the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the Southern Ocean are few. However, a keystone species found in both ecosystems brought a team of researchers and divers from several institutions, including the Monterey Bay Aquarium, to Antarctica for a three-week dive trip. Sunflower stars live in rocky kelp forests off the coasts of North America and Antarctica. Alongside fellow predators like sea otters, sunflower stars feed on the forest’s urchins, helping maintain ecological balance. These nearly 3-footwide stars can be purple, orange or beige, with 20 arms or more. Sunflower stars were once one of the most recognizable sea stars on the Pacific coast. An outbreak of sea star wasting syndrome on the West Coast of North America killed more than 90 percent of sunflower sea stars from 2013 to 2017. This die-off is considered “the largest marine wildlife disease outbreak on record,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This sea star was granted federal protection under the Endangered Species Act in 2023. April Ridlon, director of science for the Ocean Conservation Department of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, says work is just beginning to understand “Pycno,” or Pycnopodia helianthoides, the scientific name for sunflower stars. “The evidence for how Pycno supports kelp forest persistence or recovery is slim because they fell prey to [wasting syndrome] before this work was done,” Ridlon says. The Aquarium is also exploring housing or growing the sea stars. George Peterson, director of dive programs at the Aquarium, spent two years helping plan the research trip. Citizen scientists, including some from Monterey, paid to attend and focused on collecting baseline assessments, or a snapshot of ocean conditions. Many of these areas had never had scientific diving surveys done before. “We can go back and survey again to get a better understanding of what may be happening, why is all of this happening, and what we can do to help,” Peterson says. Teams worked long days from 6am to 10:30pm, wearing heated vests and dry gloves for scientific dives of 45 minutes or less in 29-degree water. “You lose manual dexterity very quickly,” Peterson says. “Doing scientific dives in that extreme environment was very taxing.” Peterson struggles to describe the Antarctic landscape, referring to the fantastical surroundings found in Lord of the Rings or Star Wars as the closest available comparison. However, underwater the environment was dishearteningly familiar. After more than 240 team dives, three organisms showed signs of sea star wasting syndrome in the Southern Ocean. “You may say, ‘Yay, only three’ but conversely, we found three,” Peterson says. “We were hopeful we would not find evidence [of wasting syndrome] and we did. No area I’ve dove in on the West Coast of North America or South America is untouched.” As research on the syndrome evolves, human-fueled climate change appears to be the most likely culprit. Continued research is needed to understand the influence of freshwater runoff from melting glaciers on the Southern Ocean ecosystem, for example. “Unfortunately, there is nowhere in the ocean that is untouched by climate change,” Ridlon says. “Doing comparative research like this allows ecologists to learn common lessons.” Understanding the relationships between seemingly unrelated parts of the globe reinforces the importance of water sources. “It’s one ocean,” Peterson notes. “How one ecosystem might be affected thousands of miles away, is literally not that far away.” Another trip to Antarctica to capture the next round of assessments will happen in 2026. Peterson hopes to go back. “When you’re there, you’re cold, tired and engaged in the work. You don’t know how you pulled it off,” Peterson says. “After some reflection, you just can’t see how you can’t go back. What’s happening in Antarctica, I believe will determine the fate of the world’s oceans. We all must tell the story of what’s happening.” Seeing Stars Sea star research takes a Monterey Bay Aquarium team on an Antarctic expedition. By Caitlin Fillmore People on the February-March 2024 trip to Antarctica included paying citizen scientists, as well as staff from institutions like the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of Hawaii, among others. “That extreme environment was very taxing.” TALES FROM THE AREA CODE COURTESY OF MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM The Chamber Connects At the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, we are connectors, providing our members with valuable introductions to new customers and referral sources. 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 • info@montereychamber.com • 831.648.5350


8 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY april 18-24, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com news The abundance of whales in Central Coast waters, something everyone cheers for, has at the same time presented a challenge: How can we create a crab fishery that can coexist with whales? The last several seasons, which historically have started on Nov. 15 and peaked during the holidays, have been delayed due to the presence of whales and kept crab off tables during a time when the demand is highest. The problem is that whales can get entangled in traditional crab fishing gear, which includes a trap on the seafloor and a rope in the water column that goes up to a buoy on the surface. One potential answer to that challenge is ropeless crab fishing gear, where weighted buoys can be remotely released—via an app on a smartphone—and rise to the surface. Then the pots are pulled up, and there’s no danger to whales. The traditional crab fishing season closed April 8, but this year fishermen have been allowed to apply for permits to keep fishing crab using experimental, ropeless gear, which could be the future for late crab season fishing, and become more essential for local fishermen trying to make ends meet as closures of other fisheries stack up. On April 10, the state announced the salmon fishery, set to open in mid-May, would close for the second consecutive year. The idea is to test the equipment to see if it’s feasible—i.e., whether fishermen who use it can make a profit. Ryan Bartling, an environmental scientist with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, stresses that it won’t make or break the fishery; upwards of 90 percent of landed crab is caught in the first two months of the season, he says. Pop Ups Crab season is over, sort of—new, experimental gear could extend the season until summer. By David Schmalz Salinas City Councilmember Steve McShane brought tomato seedlings to a council meeting on Tuesday, April 9 to give to his colleagues, “to spread goodwill,” he said. Then he announced his resignation, effective May 10. McShane has been on council for 14 years. He won his first election in 2010 in a four-way race, ousting three-time incumbent Janet Barnes. He was reelected three times after that, each time facing only one challenger. The open District 3 seat means it’s the first time in decades that a prospective candidate would not have to challenge an incumbent. Speculations about who will fill McShane’s vacancy have sparked conversations among District 3 residents, some of whom are organizing to demand an election instead of an appointment. David Bigham Jr. is calling on residents to attend a city council meeting on Tuesday, April 23, when council is set to discuss a process for filling the vacancy. “If someone who we’ve elected is leaving early because he feels the council is dysfunctional I don’t want that same group selecting my representative, that doesn’t feel good,” Bigham says. McShane says at least seven people are interested in representing District 3. They include Margaret D’Arrigo, a Hartnell College trustee, and educator Cary Swensen, who ran against McShane in 2022. Special elections may incur additional expense if they aren’t concurrent with another election (the next scheduled election is Nov. 5, 2024). If Salinas holds a stand-alone election, the cost would be between $16-$24 per voter; according to the Monterey County Registrar of Voters, there are 14,543 voters in District 3. That would mean a minimum price tag of $233,000. That’s a sum some may think is worth paying, but others might reconsider. Salinas is facing a $20 million shortfall according to projections for its 2024-2025 fiscal year budget, a number Assistant Finance Director Selina Andrews announced during a meeting of the finance committee on April 9. “I’m very confident that we’re going to be able to balance the budget,” Andrews says. “I don’t see that we’re going to have a need to cut any services at this point.” In recent years, McShane found himself on a 5-2 losing faction on council on some political disagreements. He cited family obligations and “dysfunctional leadership” as the reasons for his resignation. (Family obligations may also lead to him and his family to move out of District 3.) “There has been a lot of internal lack of progress when it comes to significant policies because some of my colleagues suffer from a lack of trust,” McShane says. McShane came under scrutiny last year while serving as a councilmember and as CEO of the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce. Councilmember Andrew Sandoval raised concerns about conflict of interest, a matter that is currently under investigation by the California Fair Political Practices Commission. Sandoval also requested the District Attorney investigate; the DA is waiting for the FPPC’s investigation to be completed before determining any possible actions. In 2023, the City of Salinas terminated its membership in the chamber, and McShane resigned as CEO. Salinas City Councilmember Steve McShane is resigning effective May 10, with twoand-a-half years left in his term. Musical Chairs Salinas City Council will decide how to fill a vacancy, through election or appointment. By Celia Jiménez The season for Dungeness crab in Monterey Bay historically starts in mid-November, but in recent years has been delayed to avoid potential entanglements with whales. At least seven people are interested in representing District 3. Daniel Dreifuss nic coury

www.montereycountyweekly.com APRIL 18-24, 2024 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 9 For 40 years the volunteers of the Monterey Bay Aquarium have kept us afloat. Starting before we opened in 1984, we’ve benefitted from the generosity of over ten thousand people who have collectively given more than four and a half million hours of their time in service of our mission. These passionate volunteers have welcomed 71 million guests from around the world, assisted in the rescue and release of stranded sea otters, inspired students to become ocean leaders, cleaned exhibit windows (while underwater), and filled countless other roles that have made the Aquarium a place of wonder for four decades. We wouldn’t be here today without our community of volunteers. We’re forever grateful for their kindness and dedication. Thank you, volunteers, for your continued support of our mission: to inspire conservation of the ocean! Thank you, volunteers

10 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY april 18-24, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com Pacific Repertory Theatre amended its Golden Bough Theatre renovation project, resolving all existing issues in front of the Carmel Planning Commission on March 13. The project was previously approved in 2020, but certain details remained at issue in terms of bringing the building into full ADA compliance, next to additional design changes, proposed by PacRep with a new application submitted in 2023. The big vision includes a total rebuilding of the theater, meant to improve the audience experience. Originally constructed in the 1920s, Golden Bough Theatre has been PacRep’s home since 1995. In 1999, PacRep announced a fundraising campaign for renovations, and in 2011 completed the first phase of the project. The second phase started in 2021. “We currently have a soft opening scheduled for the late June to early July time period,” says John Newkirk, PacRep’s development and marketing executive. Among the final issues to resolve were: the size of bathrooms, the size of exit ramps and how to pave them, the Monte Verde entrance (not fully meeting the ADA requirements), the driveway (too big), the loading dock area, the fence. The commission’s concern was the project could expand the footprint of the building, increasing site coverage. PacRep Executive Director Stephen Moorer, who appeared in front of the commission with project architects and a group of supporters, said there will be no footprint expansion. He explained why the architects decided to enlarge restrooms (already ADAcompliant), adding a baby changing station and moving urinals to offer more privacy. (This additional square footage was previously approved by the Planning Commission in 2020.) The parties found a solution to everything: Ramps will be paved with concrete, the driveway can be 8 feet long and a loading dock can have a short platform to facilitate access. The biggest issue was the fence. The architects requested iron rods while the commission insisted on a wooden fence. After ensuring the rod iron fence will not have spikes and will look as “residential” as possible, the commission approved the project unanimously. PacRep will be back in front of the commission seeking approval for changes to the front, including getting rid of the current “mustard” color of the building. “This is not the color we envisioned,” Moorer said. They were going for golden. In 2010, the County of Monterey approved a master plan that would limit the number of new housing units in Carmel Valley to 266. It was too many for residents’ group Carmel Valley Association. CVA took the county to court and won—the result was a cap of 190 units. Fast forward to today, when state laws requiring cities and counties to add more housing units will force a new reality in the valley. At some point, the cap will be no more. Rather than preparing to fight, CVA leadership appears to have accepted that more units are coming. They’re turning their focus to pushing the county to make most of them affordable to the people who live and work there. “The board as a whole has come to the conclusion that the priority needs to be affordable housing,” CVA President Pris Walton says. CVA is now waiting for the county to release its draft housing plan, called a housing element, to comment in detail. The county’s Housing and Community Development director, Craig Spencer, says the draft will be released in mid-May for a 30-day public comment period. The county must add 3,326 units to its housing element, almost 2,000 of which are in the very low-, low- and moderate-income categories. Some of those will need to be in Carmel Valley. Now five months past the state deadline to complete and approve a housing element in order for the California Department of Housing and Community Development to certify it, the county is vulnerable to state fines and penalties. It also leaves the county open to what’s known as the builder’s remedy, laws that enable developers to get larger projects approved when there is no certified housing element in place, as long as there is 20-percent affordable housing included in a project. On April 9, county planners received a builder’s remedy application for 59 single-family market-rate homes and 15 townhomes deed-restricted as low-income—20 percent of the 74 units total—on Val Verde Drive, at the mouth of Carmel Valley. Show Time With Planning Commission’s blessing, PacRep moves forward on theater remodel. By Agata Pop˛eda news FARM FAIR Farmworkers can receive information on several agencies dedicated to supporting well-being via housing, healthcare, labor rights and more. San Ardo’s community resource fair has information available, plus snacks and raffle prizes. 5:30-8pm Thursday, April 18. San Ardo School District, 2428 Center St., San Ardo. 208-4295. ONE PLANET Hear from speakers who are involved in protecting the planet this Earth Day at this climate justice forum hosted by the local chapter of the Climate Reality Project. With the effects of climate change already being felt, this is a chance to learn about how to make a difference. 9:30-11:30am Saturday, April 20. Monterey United Methodist Church, 1 Soledad Drive, Monterey. 375-8285, chapter@climaterealitymb.org. STAY HERE The Monterey Hostel has reopened after three-and-a-half years of renovations. To showcase the new space, they’re holding an open house where you can see the work that was done and learn more about its nonprofit work. 11am-3pm Saturday, April 20. Monterey Hostel, 778 Hawthorne St., Monterey. 394-5656, montereyhostel. com. GREEN THUMB Get your garden ready with the UC Master Gardeners of Monterey & Santa Cruz Counties’ annual spring plant sale. Proceeds go to benefit the all-volunteer UC Master Gardener program. Shop the plant sale online until Sunday, April 21. 759-7351, mbmg.ucanr.edu. FIND A JOB Various businesses and organizations set up at Hartnell College to share information on full- and part-time job openings, as well as internships and volunteer opportunities. 11am-2pm Monday, April 22. Hartnell College, 411 Central Ave., Salinas. Free. 755-6700, hartnell.edu. BIG HELP Big Sur neighbors are asking for help due to the Highway 1 closure south of Rocky Creek Bridge, which is restricting access except by the daily convoys. Donations to the Big Sur Disaster Relief Fund set up by the Community Foundation for Monterey County will be used for grantmaking to local nonprofits supporting the Big Sur community. Donate by mail, phone or online. Mail: Community Foundation for Monterey County, 2354 Garden Road, Monterey, CA 93940, “Attn: Big Sur Disaster Relief Fund.” 375-9712, cfmco.org/bigsur-relief-fund. Squeeze Play Carmel Valley residents won a housing unit cap in court. New state laws are going to break it. By Pam Marino Stephen Moorer inside the Golden Bough Theatre, currently under construction. The project is a complete remodel, including new seats, a new lobby and new lighting. e-mail: toolbox@mcweekly.com TOOLBOX “We have a soft opening scheduled for late June to early July.” Daniel Dreifuss

www.montereycountyweekly.com APRIL 18-24, 2024 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 11 INSIDER SQUID SAYS: SUPPORT LOCAL & INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM Join your neighbors and become an INSIDER HOW TO JOIN Go online at insider.montereycountyweekly.com Or by mail: 668 Williams Ave., Seaside, CA 93955 Your contribution level: $500 $150 $50 $20 $15 $10 Other $________ Contribution schedule: Monthly (dollar match special) Annual One-time Name_________________________________________________________________________ Address_ ______________________________________________________________________ City, State_ ____________________________________________________________________ Email_ __________________________________ Phone________________________________ May we include your name in public acknowledgements? Yes How would you like your name to appear?__________________________________________ No, I would prefer to be anonymous Payment: Credit card number_ ____________________________________________________________ Expiration date __________________________CVV code_ _____________________________ Name/Billing address (if different from above)_ _____________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ In the media landscape of today, the Weekly and NOW rely on reader support to fulfill our mission. We’re thrilled that 3,641 readers have already supported us with financial contributions. Thank you. These are your friends and neighbors, and you can join them by scanning the QR code below. This is a group that has earned the moniker Weekly Insiders. We’d like you to consider joining them and help us grow this community. Weekly Insiders are a collection of people recognizing the value of local journalism and choosing to help underwrite the costs. If you become a Weekly Insider before the end of April, your first month’s contribution will be matched, dollar for dollar. But wait, there’s more: If you join before the end of April at the $15-per-month level (or above!) we’ll send you a stylish “Totally Locally” Squid reusable shopping bag with our sincere appreciation. DOLLAR MATCH SPECIAL Sign up as a monthly supporter by April 30 and your first month’s donation will be matched dollar for dollar.

12 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY April 18-24, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com Will East Garrison, a planned community on the northeastern edge of the former Fort Ord, ever have a “town center,” as envisioned when it was approved nearly 20 years ago? Maybe. But, as always with East Garrison, it’s complicated. The County Planning Commission got a taste of that on April 10 when they considered an application to amend the project’s plan to move forward with the development’s final phase, which is to include a town center with commercial space and a public park in the middle. When the County Board of Supervisors approved East Garrison in 2005, the idea was that the development would pay for itself—the county didn’t want to be on the hook to pay for any services, or the upkeep of roads. It’s a development model born out of Prop. 13, which California voters passed in 1978 and which capped property taxes, and in doing so, reduced the ability for municipalities to fund basic services. But even that, apparently, is not enough for things to pencil out. At the April 10 Planning Commission meeting, land use attorney Tony Lombardo, representing Century Communities, told the commissioners that the economy has changed from 20 years ago, and that the reason the project has not yet been finished is because as it stands, it can’t get financed—condos with shared walls, he told them, are a death knell to new development because a lawsuit is all but guaranteed in a building with shared walls and plumbing, for example. He and others also stressed that in a post-Covid economy, the allowed 75,000 square feet of commercial space is too much—the application asks to reduce it to 30,000 square feet. It also increases the number of single-family homes, and decreases the total residential units by 16—from 341 to 325. Another crux is parking. Numerous residents spoke about concerns with the fact that the next phase’s affordable housing component—66 units that nonprofit CHISPA is proposing to build concurrently with the town center—has no dedicated parking spaces. Some planning commissioners also shared concerns, but CHISPA CEO Geoffrey Rush told them he hasn’t yet had time to discuss parking issues for the project. (Parking for residents in that project is open, not dedicated, so it’s either on the street or in an adjacent commercial lot for the town center.) Rush added he’s less concerned about parking than providing housing to the 1,700-or-so families that he knows are in need of it. Some commissioners also raised concerns about the timing of the park built in the center of the planned town center, and wanted to ensure that it happens concurrently with CHISPA’s project and the commercial side. The commissioners voted unanimously to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve the amendment the developers are seeking, but with a few, vague caveats about dedicated parking spaces for the CHISPA project and ensuring the park is built concurrently to the initial phases of construction. Park Place East Garrison’s ‘Town Center’ is coming, allegedly. But the rollout has been messy. By David Schmalz The County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider amending the plan for the final phase of East Garrison (shown above) on June 11. NEWS It increases the number of single-family homes. DANIEL DREIFUSS this weekend saturday, april 20 TRUNK SHOW april 20 special fitting expert: Todd Davidson made in italy 831-625-8106 • carmel plaza • shop at khakisofcarmel.com

www.montereycountyweekly.com APRIL 18-24, 2024 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 13 World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area April Event Understanding Military Coups in Africa: A Question Concerning Democracy Friday, April 26 Jeremias Zunguze, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Ethnic & Gender Studies California State University, Monterey Bay Why are there so many military coups in Africa? Why does the “rule by the people” not seem to work as we know it? Are the coups a destruction of democracy and/or are they forces to restore the rule of the people? Professor Jeremias Zunguze, discusses the underlying historical and cultural factors that have combined to shape African democracy, where various forms of power and governance have continued to compete for sovereignty and monopoly, often resulting in seasonal-like military coups, civil wars, and proxy wars. www.wacmb.org or call (831) 643-1855 11:15am Registration • 11:45am Luncheon • 12:45-2pm Speaker Presentation Reservations Required • Deadline is Sunday, April 21 $36 for members • $41 for guests WACMB will accept auditors to this event Hilton Garden Inn, Aguajito Road, Monterey Visit our website www.wacmb.org for information and reservations Our 65+ Bay Area locations let us peek at a lot more boos. In-person or virtual visits at Pediatrics – Monterey genpeds.stanfordchildrens.org

14 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY april 18-24, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com That’s Politics Steve McShane’s comments about dysfunction are just dishonest (“Fourth-term Salinas City Councilmember Steve McShane resigns,” posted April 10). The Salinas City Council is not dysfunctional, it is just dominated by a voting bloc that he is not a part of. It is very obvious what happened here: He made some comments that rightfully drew backlash from the community, council members rightfully sought to hold him accountable, and he finally decided he could not take the backlash and quit. But he can’t just say that, so instead he gaslights and basically cites the response to what he did as a sign that the council is somehow dysfunctional. Very weak all around from McShane. Damian Maldonado | Salinas more Politics Seaside City Council hires a capable city manager and an incapable city attorney, who doesn’t know her legal bounds (“Investigations of some Seaside city staff continue. Resignations, meanwhile, are piling up,” April 11-17). Then they can’t resolve the fight by focusing on the rights of city employees and the capabilities of their city manager. Roelof Wijbrandus | Seaside I know many city employees who have shared it’s been a nightmare since the city manager got hired. He brought in his crew and is running everybody out. The city attorney is only trying to clean his mess. Grazia Balisteri | Seaside Land Grant Thank you for this article (“Rana Creek Ranch—a vast, majestic property in Carmel Valley—is slated to become a recreational treasure,” March 28-April 3). One thing that was not mentioned is that the ranch and surrounding ranches have done a good job in managing for wildlife and habitat utilizing cattle grazing as a benefit to increase biodiversity. We have been beat up by environmental organizations for years because of lack of understanding on their part. Those of us in the private sector of land ownership have to manage for all aspects of the environment, but are never complimented for our actions. Yes, Rana Creek Ranch is biodiverse but let’s not turn it into an overgrown, unproductive landscape with the elimination of grazing. Scott Violini | Salinas Note: Violini is a fourth-generation livestock producer. Happy and sad. There’s going to be more traffic on Carmel Valley Road. Barry Kilzer | Carmel Valley Furry Friends Prior to the pandemic, there was a steadily increasing demand for primary, specialty and emergency veterinary care in the U.S. (“Los Coches Animal Hospital closes in Soledad, leaving fewer health options for pet owners,” April 4-10). With the rate of pet ownership increasing each year and pet owners investing more resources than ever in veterinary care, the infrastructure was already feeling the strain. During the Covid lockdown, over 23 million households acquired pets in the U.S. The subsequent surge in demand for veterinary care overwhelmed providers, and the need to deliver services curbside crippled their ability to effectively and efficiently serve sick and injured pets. Burnout surged among veterinary professionals. A significant percentage of veterinarians and veterinary technicians left the field entirely. Four years later, even as other industries have found ways to mostly recover from the pandemic, the veterinary industry continues to reel. As more clinics are bought by corporations like Mars, Inc. (BluePearl Monterey, for example, is owned by Mars Veterinary Health, a subsidiary of Mars, Inc., which also owns VCA, Banfield, and other veterinary clinics globally), those corporations are seeing unprecedented revenue growth. These corporations continue to raise the cost of services, making care inaccessible and cost-prohibitive for the majority of pet owners in the county. Prior to the pandemic, the crisis with veterinary healthcare was smoldering. Now, it is an inferno that will engulf the industry if meaningful changes are not made. Gianna Matthews | Salinas Note: Matthews is a registered veterinary technician at BluePearl Monterey. Take Flight Thank you so much David Schmalz for bringing attention to this wonderful film with sights most of us will never be able to see! (“A new documentary captures the complexities of condors,” posted April 11.) Audrey Morris | Carmel Picking Sides I had no doubt that some people would object to your article on Leon Panetta’s speech at the World Affairs Council of Monterey Bay and your expression of the damage Newt Gingrich and his ilk did, and perhaps even complain to the Weekly (“Letters,” April 4-10). But thank you for your courage to speak out and the eloquence with which you expressed yourself, and to the Weekly for printing it (“Leon Panetta speaks on world leadership in a time when democracy is under attack,” posted March 29). Maria Morgan | Pacific Grove Picture This I find the Monterey County Weekly informative on local issues and events. Your political cartoonist, Rob Rogers, has a bad case of TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome). This only promotes division, hate and violence. At least half or more of American citizens believe the opposite of what this cartoonist promotes. To be a truly balanced, fair and truthful publication this needs to stop. As the last three years have shown under the current administration, we have our Department of Justice, the alphabet agencies and DAs going after conservatives without just cause but letting criminals run loose. Our country’s borders are being overrun by ten million migrants from over 170 countries, a weak military, compromised education system, paying personal debt with taxpayers’ money, and many more threats to our Constitutional Republic. Martie Thummel | Pacific Grove Letters • CommentsOPINION Submit letters to the editor to letters@mcweekly.com. 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 april 18-24, 2024 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 15 Monterey Peninsula College is an institution built to support the dreams of thousands of students. The community college’s mission statement captures that spirit, along with some baseline expectations for being: “Monterey Peninsula College is actively committed to student access and success and to fostering an equitable, inclusive, respectful, and supportive community by providing excellent academic programs and student services that respond to the needs of our richly diverse region.” And yet, MPC’s own five-member board of trustees is unable to foster respect among themselves. The board’s bitterness is not subtle. There are accusations of unfitness for office, lying, law-breaking, sexism, racism, even physical assault. This is among the adults who are elected to serve as leaders of an educational institution. The board was flagged by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges in 2023, which determined: “In order to increase institutional effectiveness, the team recommends that the Governing Board consistently act in a manner uniform with Board Policy 2715.” Policy 2715 calls on members to “work together in a spirit of harmony and cooperation, treating other board members with respect and courtesy.” It’s not just the accreditation commission that sees a flawed board. It’s also the MPC board’s own chairperson, Rosalyn Green. On March 14, the board convened for a restorative justice mediation session led by Sheila Smith McKoy of the firm RSSC for a cost of $10,750. Green did not mince words in introducing the mediation session. “We are here today sadly because we are a dysfunctional board,” she said. “We are creating a system of failure because this board doesn’t seem to understand its role, and is unable to work in a collaborative manner. I say this not to be insulting, but because it’s our reality.” McKoy guided the board through practices in listening, not interrupting and refraining from personal attacks—basic principles that would just as easily belong in a third-grade classroom, not a college boardroom. Then they each had an opportunity to speak their mind in a very public venting session. “I don’t feel like I am trusted,” Trustee Loren Steck said. “I don’t trust you, Loren,” Trustee Yuri Anderson responded. So it went, for an excruciating two hours of trustees shredding each other in public. “We came a little dangerously close to name-calling,” McKoy said calmly, after the bloodletting was over. “We might not be able to forgive. So I invite you to release.” But no sooner had McKoy wrapped up than the board fell immediately back into its old patterns of abject failure to govern. They had one set of tasks to vote on that day: selecting a new chair and vice-chair (and other governing roles) for 2024, something they had already attempted and failed to do 13 times because they are so divided. Trustee Debbie Anthony declared she would abstain from a vote—she sees the board divided 4-1, everyone against her. Meanwhile, a separate 2-2 divide put Steck and Libby Downey on one side, and Green and Anderson on the other. Anderson urged the board to table the decision, noting a vote would simply perpetuate the divisiveness. “Taking a vote where we continue to look like factions is all of us abdicating our responsibilities,” she said. Anthony joined Green and Anderson in voting to delay the chairperson vote until May 22, meaning Green remains chair at least until then. The board next meets on Wednesday, April 24, when they have a chance to try out the concepts McKoy taught them, like listening to each other. If the March 14 meeting itself was any indication, they still have a lot to learn. For example, Steck interrupted Green to proclaim the meeting was over and instruct her on how to organize the May meeting agenda—exactly the kind of small but significant slights the group had just spent the day learning to avoid. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” said Dean Roseleen Ryan, one in a long line of campus leaders who spoke. “I believe each and every one of you have good intentions, but good intentions are not enough. There is a huge gulf between your intentions as a board and your behavior. That chasm has caused a lot of damage for this college.” The MPC community, and the students, deserve better. Sara Rubin is the Weekly’s editor. Reach her at sara@mcweekly.com. Last in Class Infighting on MPC board makes even the most basic tasks impossible. By Sara Rubin No Logo…Squid is still miffed that CSU Monterey Bay picked a squid-snacking otter as a mascot over a squid, so Squid stayed away from the big launch party administrators threw to show off a new logo and branding on April 4, but Squid could tell things were amiss immediately after it was over. Dozens of students took to CSUMB’s Instagram account to decry the new logo and branding and ask why administrators spent money on a new look instead of fixing problems on campus they think need fixing. One big complaint is that Monte, the otter mascot, was removed from the logo. Another is that it’s boring and “too corporate-looking.” More than one compared the logo, which includes a light blue swoop in the background, to a box of Sensodyne toothpaste, which features a remarkably similar swoop. The logo also features the name “Cal State Monterey Bay.” Is CSUMB switching to CSMB? Squid’s colleague was told CSUMB was not “easily identifiable beyond our campus borders,” so Cal State Monterey Bay was determined to be “a strong identifier,” and is now a nickname. A spokesperson said they used non-tuition money from a strategic investment fund and no total figure on spending for the rebrand is yet available. Squid suggests they invest a little more and return Monte to the logo—or better yet, switch to a cephalopod. Bug Bytes…Squid joined TikTok to see what the fuss was about and wound up addicted to hoarder house cleanup videos. (They gave Squid the courage to donate some old hand-knitted tentacle-warmers.) Among the thousands of stories depicting dance moves, weird recipes and other digital chaff, Squid stumbled upon the Monterey County Mosquito Abatement District’s account, a special district protecting the entire county from skeeter infestation. Rather than stick to all funny or all serious videos, MCMAD’s stories run the gamut. One tells the story of a mosquito control technician surprised by her supervisor on her rounds. She unsuccessfully tries to convince him to stop for Starbucks. At the end they wind up, where else, Starbucks. Another video set to dramatic music displays helicopters equipped with sprayers on a mission of larvae destruction. District Manager Ken Klemme tells Squid’s colleague they’ve been using social media for a couple of years as a way to get the word out—one Nextdoor post received 80,000 views. He reminds us that now is the time to dump those buckets and other containers in the backyard before mosquito larvae start hatching. For larger jobs like old pools, their service is free to residents and businesses. Squid proposes a new dance move, “the skeeter slap,” for MCMAD folks to perform on their rounds. It’s sure to go viral. the local spin SQUID FRY THE MISSION OF MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY IS TO INSPIRE INDEPENDENT THINKING AND CONSCIOUS ACTION, ETC. “We are creating a system of failure.” Send Squid a tip: squid@mcweekly.com

16 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY APRIL 18-24, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com Crisis Control The 25th Denim Day celebrates progress on ending sexual violence—and reveals how far we have to go. By Lauren DaSilva FORUM In 1998, the Italian Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a 45-year-old driving instructor for raping his 18-year-old student because of what she was wearing. The justices determined the rape of the student was actually consensual because she was wearing tight jeans and, therefore, must have helped remove them. This became known as the “jeans alibi” and sparked outrage worldwide. The following year, the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women (now Peace Over Violence) hosted the first Denim Day: a campaign promoting solidarity with survivors by wearing denim. Held annually on the last Wednesday in April (Sexual Assault Awareness Month), Denim Day pushes back against the harmful, inaccurate and victim-blaming myths about sexual violence, increases awareness about sexual violence and its cost to survivors and communities, and lets survivors know they are not alone. Denim Day’s 25th anniversary is Wednesday, April 24. It is an opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come and also the challenges that persist. Highlights include the growing understanding and acknowledgment of the prevalence and experiences of male survivors of sexual violence; the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), which ensures protections for incarcerated survivors thoughout the U.S.; Title IX assurances for survivors seeking accountability in education; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recognition of sexual violence as both a public health issue and priority; and the longevity and success of local rape crisis centers across the United States and the world. Though significant progress has been made since the first Denim Day, it has not been without setbacks. Reproductive rights and access to abortion care that is essential for many survivors of sexual violence are under attack; our political leaders are accused of sexual abuse; sexual violence is used as a weapon of war; the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) is experiencing an extreme reduction in funds for victims’ services in the 2024-2025 fiscal year, resulting in a 43-percent cut to those funds in California. Increasing awareness about sexual violence and resources available to survivors is as important now as ever. Since September 2016, the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center has provided 31,103 crisis intervention, accompaniment, advocacy and counseling services to 6,909 survivors and significant others. In the last almost eight years alone, MCRCC has provided services to 1.59 percent of Monterey County. We know that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experience sexual violence in their lifetimes in the U.S., and Monterey County is no exception. If MCRCC is to truly be available to all survivors in our community, we have significant outreach and awareness work to continue. You can help us by wearing denim on April 24 for Denim Day, in solidarity with survivors worldwide, letting people know they are not alone, and sharing MCRCC’s 24-hour helpline: (831) 375-4357. Lauren DaSilva is executive director of the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center. OPINION Increasing awareness is as important now as ever. FOR MORE INFO + REGISTRATION MONTEREY.ORG/REC (831) 646-3866 SCAN ME! REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! THE CITY OF MONTEREY BEST SUMMER EVER! CAMP QUIEN SABE OVERNIGHT CAMP WHISPERING PINES DAY CAMP TINY TOTS SUMMER CAMP SPORTS CAMPS SPECIALTY CAMPS LEGO, GYMNASTICS, WOODWORKING AND MUCH MORE!