may 9-15, 2024 montereycountynow.com LOCAL & INDEPENDENT csumb protesters ask to cut panetta ties 10 | at the opera 30 | Track snacks 38 A Pacific Grove doctor thought there was a better way to make a Covid-19 vaccine, so he invented one. That invention could change the world of vaccines. p. 18 By Pam Marino The Inventor

2 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY may 9-15, 2024 www.montereycountynow.com may 9-15, 2024 • ISSUE #1867 • Established in 1988 Bailee Vranish (iPhone 13) Feeding time at the Monterey Bay Aquarium is quite the party! This diver is surrounded by fish looking for a meal. Monterey County photo of the week Send Etc. submissions to etcphoto@montereycountynow.com; please include caption and camera info. On the cover: Dr. David C. Wright opened a biopharmaceutical lab in downtown Pacific Grove in 2019. He invented a new Covid-19 vaccine, along with a new way to deliver vaccines to the body that could put an end to sore arms. 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, prepaid. 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.montereycountynow. com. Audited by CVC. Founder & CEO Bradley Zeve bradley@montereycountynow.com (x103) Publisher Erik Cushman erik@montereycountynow.com (x125) Editorial editor Sara Rubin sara@montereycountynow.com (x120) associate editor Erik Chalhoub ec@montereycountynow.com (x135) features editor Dave Faries dfaries@montereycountynow.com (x110) Staff Writer Celia Jiménez celia@montereycountynow.com (x145) Staff Writer Pam Marino pam@montereycountynow.com (x106) Staff Writer Agata Pope¸da (x138) aga@montereycountynow.com Staff Writer David Schmalz david@montereycountynow.com (x104) Staff photographer Daniel Dreifuss daniel@montereycountynow.com (x102) Newsletter PRODUCER Sloan Campi sloan@montereycountynow.com (x105) contributors Nik Blaskovich, Rob Brezsny, Michael Dadula, Robert Daniels, Tonia Eaton, Caitlin Fillmore, Jacqueline Weixel, Paul Wilner Cartoons Rob Rogers, Tom Tomorrow Production Art Director/Production Manager Karen Loutzenheiser karen@montereycountynow.com (x108) Graphic Designer Kevin Jewell kevinj@montereycountynow.com (x114) Graphic Designer Alexis Estrada alexis@montereycountynow.com (x114) Graphic Designer Lani Headley lani@montereycountynow.com (x114) SALES senior Sales Executive Diane Glim diane@montereycountynow.com (x124) Senior Sales Executive George Kassal george@montereycountynow.com (x122) Senior Sales Executive Keith Bruecker keith@montereycountynow.com (x118) Classifieds business development director Keely Richter keely@montereycountynow.com (x123) Digital Director of Digital Media Kevin Smith kevin@montereycountynow.com (x119) Distribution Distribution AT Arts Co. atartsco@gmail.com Distribution Control Harry Neal Business/Front Office Office Manager Linda Maceira linda@montereycountynow.com (x101) Bookkeeping Rochelle Trawick rochelle@montereycountynow.com 668 Williams Ave., Seaside, CA 93955 831-394-5656, (FAX) 831-394-2909 www.montereycountynow.com We’d love to hear from you. Send us your tips at tipline.montereycountynow.com. now [nou] adverb at the present time or moment Monterey County Now Local news, arts and entertainment, food and drink, calendar and daily newsletter. Subcribe to the newsletter: www.montereycountynow.com/subscribe Find us online: www.montereycountynow.com

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4 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY MAY 9-15, 2024 www.montereycountynow.com THE BUZZ FREE SPEECH Journalism watchdog groups are reporting that it’s becoming more and more difficult to verify information coming out of Gaza as the IsraelHamas war stretches into its eighth month. Amid rampant contradictory information, the Committee to Protect Journalists estimates at least 90 journalists and media workers have been killed since the war began. On Sunday, May 5, the Israeli cabinet voted to shut down Al Jazeera’s operations in the country, immediately seizing its broadcasting equipment and blocking its websites. In April, Israel passed a law that allows the shutdown of a foreign channel’s broadcast in the country if it is deemed a threat to the country’s security. “This move sets an extremely alarming precedent for restricting international media outlets working in Israel,” said CPJ Program Director Carlos Martinez de la Serna. “The Israeli cabinet must allow Al Jazeera and all international media outlets to operate freely in Israel, especially during wartime.” Al Jazeera receives funding from Qatar, which is mediating ceasefire negotiations. Good: The Forest Grove neighborhood in Pacific Grove is more fire-ready than most others, thanks to its recent designation by the National Fire Protection Association as a Firewise community. To be recognized, a community must harden its neighborhood from fire, such as keeping vegetation away from structures, clearing leaves from areas such as gutters, as well as assisting their neighbors with maintaining their property, among other things. According to the Monterey Fire Department, the Forest Grove Homeowners Association spent months on the application for the Firewise recognition, which included obtaining a wildfire risk assessment from the department, detailing educational and mitigation work done in the community and creating a multi-year plan to reduce ignition risk to homes. Forest Grove is the first Firewise community in Pacific Grove and the City of Monterey Fire Department’s service area. GREAT: Three projects in Monterey County are getting a $2.1 million boost in federal funds, U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, announced on May 6. She’s scheduled to be in town on Friday, May 9 to hand out three large checks: $1 million to the Rancho Cielo Drummond Culinary Academy in Salinas; $600,000 for an electric vehicle charging station in downtown King City; and $500,000 to establish the Family Justice Center in King City. The money awarded to Rancho Cielo will be used to expand the culinary academy to serve minority and “at-promise” youth as they build skills needed in the hospitality industry, according to a press release. Monterey County District Attorney Jeannine Pacioni has been pursuing creating the justice center since the fall of 2022, with hopes of creating a one-stop hub of services for victims of violence. Lofgren secured the money in legislation for fiscal year 2024. GOOD WEEK / GREAT WEEK THE WEEKLY TALLY The amount of goods and services purchased by the County of Monterey among 469 vendors in the current fiscal year. Source: County of Monterey Contracts and Purchasing Division $344.3 QUOTE OF THE WEEK “These criminals counted on getting away with their crimes— they counted wrong.” -Acting Salinas Police Chief John Murray, speaking about 12 suspected gang members arrested in “Operation Dead End” (see story, montereycountynow.com). million 400 Cannery Row Monterey, CA 93940 (831) 645-4058 Celebrate Mother’s Day at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa and enjoy a thoughtfully prepared buffet of seasonal favorites and coastal specialties by Chef Michael Rotondo Sunday May 12th 9:30AM - 2:30PM RESERVATIONS Mother’s Day Dr. Brynie Kaplan Dau, MS, DVM Compassionate Care with exCeptional mediCine. 1023 Austin Avenue, Pacific Grove • 831-318-0306 www.pacificgroveanimalhospital.com VOTED MONTEREY COUNTY’S BEST VETERINARIAN THREE YEARS IN A ROW! ’23 ’22 ’21 SURGERY DERMATOLOGY FELINE & CANINE MEDICINE PET BOARDING PREVENTATIVE CARE REGENERATIVE MEDICINE PRP (PLATELET-RICH PLASMA) LASER THERAPY EXOTICS AND MUCH MORE

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6 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY MAY 9-15, 2024 www.montereycountynow.com 831 Evangelina Mateo, an English and social studies teacher at Greenfield High, has an ethos she tries to instill in her students: “Greatness has no magic,” she says. “Greatness is equivalent to hard work.” Last fall, Mateo began recruiting students in all her classes—AP government, AP microeconomics and civics— to participate in Academic WorldQuest, a nationwide academic competition in which students have to answer questions about a wide range of geopolitical topics. It starts with a competition at the county level, and the winners are invited to attend the national finals in Washington, D.C. Monterey County students first started competing in the event in 2023 after Linda Dilger, a member of nonprofit World Affairs Council of Monterey Bay and retired math teacher of 36 years, spearheaded an effort to bring local students into the competition. As an enticement, and to level the playing field, WACMB promised to pay for the winning team’s trip to D.C. to compete in the national finals in the spring. Last year, the winning team in the county competition was from Monterey High School; the other two teams were from Seaside and Stevenson. This year, teams from two new schools got in the mix: Santa Catalina, and two teams from Greenfield—one with three boys and one with three girls. That happened after the County Office of Education sent out an email to every high school last year to promote the competition. Mateo answered the call, and invited Dilger to come to her class and make a pitch. About 14 students were interested, but Dilger told Mateo she’d only be able to bring two teams of four. In turn, Mateo told the students she tapped to take part that they would be dropped from their team if they didn’t maintain a C grade in the class. But she also offered a carrot: If they got at least third place in the county competition, she would give them an A on their final exam. Starting in October, Mateo began having her teams study up on the topics that would be tested in this year’s competition. That meant many weekdays when the students would stay after school for two to three hours to study them. Also paramount, she says, was first teaching them how to properly take notes. Mateo was not able to be present in person when her teams finally competed in February in Salinas—she was in the Philippines, her native country, to attend her daughter’s wedding. She got the good news at 6am local time: Greenfield’s boys team won, and the girls team placed second. “I wasn’t expecting them to win the local competition,” she says. “You know how laidback we are here.” But Mateo was able to join her team in their trip to D.C. in April, where they stayed three nights and, thanks to help from staff to U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, got a tour of the Capitol that included walking through tunnels underneath it, seeing the places where insurrectionists invaded on Jan. 6, 2021, and—most importantly, in Mateo’s opinion—watching deliberations about H.R. 2, a proposed law about border policy. The boys team was able to invite a member of the girls team, so the final roster that traveled to D.C. included Enrique Anguiano, Abraham Carrillo, Daniel Morales and Jocelyn Ortiz. The students didn’t perform as well as they’d hoped in the national competition—they placed 30th out of 37 teams—which Mateo attributes in part to jet lag. But she says the team was well prepared, and stayed up studying the material the night before. Anguiano, the team’s captain, was the first student Mateo recruited, because she saw in him somebody who could recruit others. “I wouldn’t say I’m popular,” Anguiano says. “I’m respected.” Carrillo—who Mateo expects could be a senator one day—is buddies with Anguiano, and so “kind of out of pity, I just joined.” All four students are heading off to four-year colleges next fall, and WACMB is hosting a dinner to honor their efforts on Tuesday, May 14 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Monterey. The public can register to attend by visiting wacmb.org. Top of the World How Greenfield High School students, pushed by their teacher, dominated a national academic competition. By David Schmalz A team of Greenfield High School students had the opportunity to visit the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. in April when they were traveling to compete in the Academic WorldQuest national finals. “Greatness is equivalent to hard work.” TALES FROM THE AREA CODE EVANGELINA MATEO “At Santa Cruz County Bank I know exactly who to call when I need answers. The Bank makes decisions at a local level – the same way I do. The Treasury Management team walked us through the efficiencies of online and mobile banking and the security of having positive pay protection – all of which keep our bookkeeper very happy!”

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8 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY May 9-15, 2024 www.montereycountynow.com news As Salinas is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, there is a quest to bring back to glory a historic local theater: El Rey. The downtown venue has been closed since 1989, and for the past five years has been undergoing restoration. From removing the 30-plus layers of paint from the walls to reveal beautiful frescos, to finding the right 1930s-style fixtures including screws and light sockets, to matching the color and wood, the details rate high. “We’re very proud of what it’s going to look like,” says owner Kurt Mayer. Mayer says he tried to purchase the theater more than once, and the third time was the charm. He paid $350,000 for the building in 2019. “I wasn’t specifically looking for a theater, but opportunities,” he notes. “[Mayer] has meticulously brought back the beauty of the wood and the Art Deco interior,” says outgoing City Councilmember Steve McShane. El Rey is a remnant of Salinas’ affluent era in early 20th century and the decadence of its downtown; it later became a X-rated movie theater. Located on the 300 block of Main Street, it’s surrounded by new businesses like Alvarado on Main and Live@Heirloom Pizza Co., as the neighborhood has been coming back to life. The plan is to turn El Rey into a multipurpose facility to host concerts, weddings and meetings. On April 9, the Salinas City Council approved the building’s historic designation. “This designation will offer some opportunity for grant support and low- or no-interest loans through the state or even federal sources,” McShane says. The doors of El Rey are still closed, and restoration is expected to take at least two more years. Stage Time A jewel of Art Deco architecture in Salinas envisions a second life as an entertainment hub. By Celia Jiménez After more than two hours of theoretical discussion about how to create more housing, it was the personal story of County Housing Advisory Committee Chair Jose Luis Barajas that brought the realworld need into sharp focus during a public meeting in Salinas on Monday, May 6. Barajas, 25, recounted how when he and his family immigrated to the U.S. many years ago they lived in shared garages in Salinas. “That was an issue then and it’s still an issue now,” he said during a joint meeting of his committee and the Health, Housing and Human Services Committee. The failure to create more housing over many decades called for “dire action,” he said. The joint discussion was billed as a listening session two days after the County released its 985-page draft 2023-2031 Housing Element, a state-mandated plan encompassing zoning and policies regarding the building of more housing. The county is required to plan for at least 3,326 units in the unincorporated areas, with 2,190 units designated for very low-, low- and moderate-income households in unincorporated areas in the eight-year period. To do so requires zoning or rezoning land to allow for densities of 20 units or more per acre. A staff presentation provided some context: The East Garrison development, with 1,400 units on 244 acres, is 5.75 units per acre. Several of the county’s most active developers told committee members they want to build more housing but are being held back by outdated policies and onerous requirements. “The process of getting projects approved is quite difficult and quite costly. There’s a really high barrier to entry,” said Kathryn Avila of Avila Construction, noting that few developers have the upfront money to risk in the face of a possible denial down the road. “Sometimes a project dies before it even gets to you.” Developers asked for changes that included a streamlined approval process with more projects OK’d by staff instead of through the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors, as well as allowing for higher building height and less parking requirements. They also said inclusionary housing, requiring for-profit developers to include low-income units in projects, has been a failure over the 45 years it’s been in place. By requiring those units, it makes it nearly impossible for a project to pencil out. “What you get is 100 percent of nothing,” said Mike Avila, owner of Avila Construction. Developer Brad Slama called for the creation of a coalition of policymakers and developers to give a thumbs up or thumbs down at the beginning of the planning process, so that developers have the confidence to move forward. “The closer we are to ‘yes’ without having to invest a half a million to a million dollars” in environmental review and other work ahead of a final decision, the faster they can build, he said. The link to the county’s draft housing element is available at bit.ly/ MoCoHousingElement. A 30-day public comment period ends June 6. The County Planning Commission is scheduled to hear the plan on Wednesday, May 15, followed by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, June 4. An image from the County’s draft housing element shows one parcel in Carmel Valley that could potentially be upzoned for future housing. Zoning In The County of Monterey releases a hefty plan to increase housing—now comes the hard part. By Pam Marino Owner Kurt Mayer shows off an iconic element at El Rey Theater, a colorful fountain that features similar shapes to those that appear in frescos on the walls. “The process of getting projects approved is quite difficult.” County of Monterey cleia jiménez

www.montereycountynow.com MAY 9-15, 2024 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 9 Tee Times are always recommended! For tee times and more information call (831)656-1087 1250 Garden Road, Monterey (next to the fairgrounds) Monterey Pines Also Offers • GolfPassSpecials • Food&BeverageSpecials • MerchandiseSpecials • E-RangeSpecial Purchase $100 in Golf Merchandise and Receive a $100 E-Range Key. Friday, May 10 FREE CART RIDEwith paid green fee All Day NatioNal GolF DaY Enjoy 15% OFF all Clothing, Hats and Clothing accessories (discounted and sales items excluded)

10 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY May 9-15, 2024 www.montereycountynow.com About 50 students, some wearing keffiyeh (Palestinian scarves), marched around the main quad on the campus of CSU Monterey Bay on Monday, May 6 in a pro-Palestinian demonstration. They were chanting: “Gaza, Gaza, don’t you cry, Palestine will never die,” “Long Live Intifada” and “Fuck Joe Biden.” The 5:30pm event wrapped up in 45 minutes, and the protesters were gone by 6:30pm. The protest was peaceful, with no police and no counter-protesters onsite, unlike many demonstrations on college campuses elsewhere. Before the event, organizers spoke about practicing just-in-case tent-pitching. “We are practicing encampment skills,” says organizer and fourth-year student Edwin Lopez, who is majoring in Global Studies. Lopez represents the Abolitionist & Decolonial Learning Collective, a CSUMB club that discusses state violence. He says there have been no direct negotiations with the administration yet. (A CSUMB spokesperson says the administration has not received a demand.) The group is asking for an investigation of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, headquartered at CSUMB. The institute was founded in 1997 by Leon and Sylvia Panetta of Carmel Valley; Leon is a former Secretary of Defense and director of the CIA, among other leadership roles. “The institute has absolutely no connection with the DoD,” Leon Panetta says. He invites everyone to attend the next event in its lecture series on Monday, May 13. The event is titled, “The Challenge of War in the Middle East—Will There Be Peace or More War?” Speakers are former diplomat Anja Manuel; former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides; Dennis Ross, a former special adviser for the Persian Gulf; and Gen. Tod Wolters, who from 2019-22 was commander of NATO allies in Europe. A few professors observed the May 6 protest from afar, like Tyler Gidney. The lecturer since 2017, himself a CSUMB alum, organized two screenings of pro-Palestinian documentaries earlier this year. Another observer was Michael Frederiksen from the group Monterey Palestinian Solidarity, who says the CSUMB protest is smaller than those on other campuses because it’s not a large population of students. Protester Marina Aiwaz, a senior studying sociology and a former student of the University of Haifa in Israel, is planning an independent event that will connect Palestinians with local residents via Zoom. For a few years it felt as if the shine of the Golden State might be dimming, as population numbers trended downward, pushed by various factors, including a net loss between births and deaths during the first three years of the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year the state bounced back, showing an annual growth rate of 0.17 percent. Monterey County bested that rate by growing 0.8 percent, according to estimates released by the California Department of Finance on April 30. The state still has a way to go to regain its pre-pandemic numbers. In early 2020 the state’s population was estimated at 39.5 million. The population then began dipping each year, with 39.1 million estimated in a January 2023 report. This year’s report stated the population grew by more than 67,000 people. Greenfield’s population grew by 2.0 percent, the largest increase among the county’s 12 cities, with Soledad and Marina right behind at 1.9 percent and King City at 1.8 percent. Seaside only grew by 10 people. Other cities grew between 0.3 percent (Sand City) and 0.7 percent (Salinas and unincorporated Monterey County). The City of Monterey shrunk by 0.3 percent. The Department of Finance also estimated the growth of housing stock, and that’s where Soledad beat Greenfield, growing from 4,633 units to 4,755, a 2.6-percent increase. Greenfield added less than 100 units. Marina increased by 1.6 percent due to an increase in dormitory students at CSU Monterey Bay. All together, California added 115,933 housing units, including 22,802 accessory dwelling units, or ADUs—19.7 percent of the state’s new housing—bringing total housing in the state to 14.8 million units. New construction represented nearly 109,400 units. The report cited three factors for the state’s uptick: foreign legal immigration rebounding after the pandemic; more people moving into the state compared to a slowed migration of people moving out; and a natural increase due to the net result of births minus deaths. War Torn Pro-Palestinian protesters at CSUMB ask administration to rethink the Panetta Institute. By Agata Pop˛eda news BIRD BATH Learn how to create a garden for birds, bees and other pollinators in a landscape webinar sponsored by the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District, California American Water and Water Awareness Committee. 6-7:15pm Thursday, May 9. Free; registration required. bit.ly/4dIY2OP. CHAIR SALE The County of Monterey hosts a public sale of office furniture and equipment, including chairs, file cabinets and bookcases. Upcycle surplus furniture from county offices and be sure to bring your own tie downs to secure equipment. 10am-1pm Friday, May 10. 1447 Schilling Place, Salinas. Only exact cash will be accepted; all sales final. 755-4990, co.monterey.ca.us. PEACE NOT WAR Veterans For Peace Monterey Chapter 46 hosts its monthly meeting to discuss new business and promote the cause of world peace. 3-4:30pm Friday, May 10. In-person at the Monterey Peace and Justice Center, 1364 Fremont Blvd., Seaside, or via Zoom. Free. TRANSIT STOP Hear from Monterey-Salinas Transit District executive staff as they give updates about ongoing projects like the SURF! Busway and Bus Rapid Transit Project and a county-wide transit-oriented development study. Public comment is welcome in person, online or by phone at the monthly board of directors meeting. 10am Monday, May 13. MST, 19 Upper Ragsdale Drive, Monterey or via Zoom. 1-888-678-2371, mst.org. YEAH WAY St. Mary’s by-the-Sea Episocopal Church Congregation hosts an informational forum on how to develop affordable housing called, “Yes, in God’s Backyard.” Hear from three panelists including Monterey County Supervisor-elect Kate Daniels; Geoffrey Morgan, president/CEO of housing developer CHISPA; and City of Monterey Housing Manager Anastasia Wyatt. 2pm Tuesday, May 14. St. Mary’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, Edwards Hall, 146 12th St., Pacific Grove. Free. Limited seating; RSVP requested. 3734441, cooleylaura17@gmail.com. BOOK TECH Get free assistance with computer tasks like formatting Word documents, printing and more from the Monterey Public Library’s technology volunteer. Drop-in service happens 11am-noon weekly on Tuesdays. Monterey Public Library, 625 Pacific St., Monterey. Free. 646-3933. Growth Spurt Monterey County grows at a higher rate than the state as population numbers trend upward. By Pam Marino Student protesters were peaceful and well organized. They carried signs calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, along with other messages for both campus and international leaders. e-mail: toolbox@montereycountynow.com TOOLBOX The protest was peaceful, with no police. celia jiménez

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12 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY MAY 9-15, 2024 www.montereycountynow.com This November, residents of Monterey will be voting in their second-ever district-based election. The open seats on council are in districts 3 and 4—essentially, the Monte Vista neighborhood uphill from downtown, and the latter comprising the North Fremont district in the eastern part of the city. Councilmember Alan Haffa, who resides in District 3, is not seeking re-election to the council. That means the city’s first-ever election for District 3 is open, with no incumbent running. Two candidates have filed so far: Jean Rasch, who’s long been active in the Monte Vista Neighborhood Association, and Eric Palmer, formerly a longtime communications professional for the city who now works for ReGen Monterey. Gino Garcia, an incumbent who the City Council appointed to an at-large seat in 2022, is the only candidate so far to file a statement of intention to run in District 4. Garcia was appointed after former councilmember Dan Albert, Jr. lost his bid to become mayor, forcing him to vacate his seat on council. Mayor Tyller Williamson, who beat Albert Jr. in that race, does not yet face any challengers who’ve filed paperwork or announced a campaign. (Mayoral terms are two years; council terms are four.) Together, Williamson, Garcia and Palmer are running as a slate—a progressive trio who are all homeowners, but younger than the average homeowner in Monterey and focused on the challenges facing renters, who make up about two-thirds of the city’s residents. They’re not looking to turn everything upside-down—Williamson and Garcia already serve on the council— but their aim is to steer the city in a direction that also takes future generations into account, while also addressing the acute concerns of those in the present. Right now, the only contested race is in District 3, with Rasch and Palmer facing off. Rasch, a retired attorney who’s currently vice-chair of the city’s Neighborhood Community Improvement Program Committee, stands on the accomplishments she’s helped achieve thus far, like helping to resolve the pickleball disputes in her neighborhood in recent years, and ensuring 100-foot setbacks for wireless communications facilities in residential neighborhoods. Palmer, meanwhile, is the father of two young children, a former city employee and a sitting member on the Architectural Review Committee. His time as a city staffer also informs his platform: “Part of why I want to run is labor relations,” he says. For Palmer, housing, like others in his slate, is a top priority. Garcia is focused on representing the interests of residents in his district, many of whom are renters and who, before him, never had a council member from their neighborhood. He hears from residents interested in seeing more attention paid to the areas along North Fremont. “We see a disconnect from the larger city,” he says. “Not just in identity, but also resources.” New Lines Two districts in Monterey have open City Council seats; a slate of candidates has coalesced. By David Schmalz Monterey City Councilmember Gino Garcia was appointed two years ago, and is up for re-election this year. “I see a political shift that to me is very inspiring,” he says. NEWS They’re not looking to turn everything upside-down. DANIEL DREIFUSS Try Us First. We Pay The Highest! MONTEREY COIN SHOPPE Since 1970 same street for 40 years Open Mon-Thur 11am-4pm and Friday by appointment only. Call for an appointment: 831.646.9030 449 Alvarado St., Monterey www.montereycoinshoppe.com WE BUY GOLD AND SILVER, JEWELRY, COINS, DIAMONDS, WATCHES, ART & RARE ANTIQUES Monterey One Water • ReGen Monterey • Southern Monterey Bay Dischargers Group GREEN CART Food scraps without a bag TRASH Cooking oil and grease ClogBusters.org Good kitchen habits protect the environment & public health from sewer overflows! www.ClogBusters.org new arrivals suits, soft jackets, sport coats, dress shirts sports shirts, trousers & more… 831-625-8106 • carmel plaza • shop at khakisofcarmel.com

www.montereycountynow.com May 9-15, 2024 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 13 Big Sur Fire Chief Matt Harris was in the station and smelled the smoke even before a call came in reporting a structure fire. He and a colleague saw a black plume of smoke and quickly started suiting up. A call came in at 3:50pm on Friday, May 3 reporting the Big Sur Bakery was burning. Within five minutes, the two Big Sur Fire firefighters arrived from their headquarters on Post Ranch, located just behind the bakery. The response was fast, but so was the fire. “It was pretty well involved by that time,” Harris says. “Our first order of business was to prevent it from spreading to other structures.” On the latter, they succeeded. The other businesses on the property—a Shell station, Mother Botanical, Loma Art Studio and Gallery, and the event space Loma Vista Gardens—were unharmed. Same for nearby homes. But the bakery itself was not so lucky. The original two responding firefighters—followed by 10 more volunteers, plus first responders from the U.S. Forest Service, State Parks, California Highway Patrol and an AMR ambulance (dispatched to all structure fires)—were able to stop the flames from spreading, but the bakery was destroyed. The fire started when the oven exploded due to a buildup of propane, firefighters determined. The restaurant had been closed, with the kitchen operating only for recipe development and limited catering. The plan was to reopen over Memorial Day weekend, when Caltrans expects to allow 24/7 travel on Highway 1. Currently, the public is able to access Big Sur from the north, but only in convoys traveling on a onelane, compromised portion of the highway at 7am and 5pm daily. Tourism is just barely trickling back. The beloved restaurant and bakery occupied a historic building that has previously served as a hospitality hub. It was the gardens that first drew Hillary Lipman to the place known as Loma Vista. “That’s why I bought the property, was because of the gardens,” he says. “It has always been a community gathering space.” The development of Loma Vista got its start in 1908, after John Pfeiffer’s family created Pfeiffer’s Ranch Resort (which would later become Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park). Pfeiffer found resort life too busy, so he spent time up the road at Loma Vista tending bees and getting away from it all. (“It all” in those days was, by most modern measures, probably rather quiet.) Alice Jaeger (a descendant of two influential Big Sur families, the Pfeiffers and the Posts) helped transform the beekeeper’s getaway into something more. She built an eight-room inn (later converted to the bakery) and opened Big Sur’s first gas station after Highway 1 opened in 1937. She also developed the gardens and a nursery. One camellia Jaeger planted was badly singed, but otherwise the gardens made it through the fire. “It’s been many things besides the bakery and it will be many things again,” Lipman says. “It was an inn and a cafe, and I built it as a restaurant. It was a beautiful old building. But the gardens are beautiful still.” To Ashes A beloved community icon, Big Sur Bakery, is destroyed in a kitchen fire. By Sara Rubin Little could be salvaged from the Big Sur Bakery after the fire. “No one was hurt and the fire did not spread. Honestly I am just so relieved by those two things,” says restaurant owner Mike Gilson. NEWS “It’s been many things and it will be many things again.” HILLARY LIPMAN $75 per person exclusive of tax, 20% service charge $35 per person (children 5-12 years) Free for children 4 and under For Reservations, call us at (831) 375-4800 *Menu items and prices subject to change* 750 Cannery Row, Monterey SALADS & DISPLAYS Seafood Display Oysters, Prawns, Crab Legs Hearts Of Romaine Anchovies, Caesar Dressing, Granna Parmesan Organic Mixed Green Salad Citrus Vinaigrette, Beets, Candied Walnuts, Feta Cheese Grav Lax Style Arctic Char Display Cream Cheese, Mustard, Capers, Shaved Onions & Bagels California Rolls with Wasabi & Pickled Ginger Assorted Quiches Assorted Breakfast Pastries HOT ENTRÉES Mother’s Day chaMpagne brunch sunDay, May 8, 2011 10 a.M. to 3 p.M. OmELET STATION Omelets made to order with Assorted Accompaniments DESSERTS Fruit Tarts Cheese Cakes Seasonal Fruit & Berry Display Upon seating you will receive a complimentary glass of sparkling wine! The C is proud to comply with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program and support local farms, organically-grown ingredients and sustainability Don’t forget that when you join us at the C your parking is free! Executive Chef Jerry Regester and Team wish you a Happy mothers Day Adults $44.95 Children (12 & Under) $19.00 Children Under 5 Free For Reservations, please call 831.375.4500 750 Cannery Row . monterey, CA 93940 Apple-Wood Smoked Bacon Chicken Apple Sausage Yukon Gold Potato Gratin Monterey Style Cioppino Spicy Saffron-Dungeness Crab Broth Classic Eggs Benedict Ricotta Stuffed Croissant “French Toast” Grilled Rosemary-Garlic Bread the C restaurant + bar IC_Monterey_Mother'sDay2011_AD.indd 1 4/25/11 11:38:43 AM HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH BUFFET SUNDAY, MAY 12, 2019 · 11am - 3pm BREAKFAST Omelet Action Station Dungeness Crab & Classic Eggs Benedict Applewood Smoked Bacon Chicken & Apple Sausage CARVING STATION Leg of Lamb Honey Roasted Ham BUFFET Assorted Sushi & Nigiri Chilled Seafood Display Smoked Seafood Tuna Nicoise Salad Caesar Salad Swank Farms Heirloom Tomato & Burrata English Pea Soup Alaskan Halibut Duck Confit Spring Vegetables Artisan Cheese Display DESSERTS Assorted Danish & Pastries Assorted Desserts & Petite Fours BREAKFAST Omelet Action Station Dungeness Crab Eggs Benedict Classic Eggs Benedict Applewood Smoked Bacon Chicken~Apple Sausage CARVING STATION Filet Mignon Leg of Lamb BUFFET Assorted Sushi & Nigiri Chilled Seafood Display Smoked Seafood Quiche ~ Lorraine & Spinach Roasted Baby Beet & Burrata Berry Yogurt Parfait Wild Alaskan Halibut Duck Confit Spring Vegetable Crudite Artisan Cheese Display Assorted Danish & Pastries DESSERTS Assortment & Petite Fours $105 per person, $45 per person (children 5-12 years) Free for children 4 and under Exclusive of tax, 20% service charge For Reservations, Call us at (831)375-4800 *Menu Items and Prices Subject to Change* 750 Cannery Row, Monterey $75 per person exclusive of tax, 20% service charge $35 per person (children 5-12 years) Free for children 4 and under For Reservations, call us at (831) 375-4800 *Menu items and prices subject to change* 750 Cannery Row, Monterey SALADS & DISPLAYS Seafood Display Oysters, Prawns, Crab Legs Hearts Of Romaine Anchovies, Caesar Dressing, Granna Parmesan Organic Mixed Green Salad Citrus Vinaigrette, Beets, Candied Walnuts, Feta Cheese Grav Lax Style Arctic Char Display Cream Cheese, Mustard, Capers, Shaved Onions & Bagels California Rolls with Wasabi & Pickled Ginger Assorted Quiches Assorted Breakfast Pastries HOT ENTRÉES Mother’s Day chaMpagne brunch sunDay, May 8, 2011 10 a.M. to 3 p.M. OmELET STATION Omelets made to order with Assorted Accompaniments DESSERTS Fruit Tarts Cheese Cakes Seasonal Fruit & Berry Display Upon seating you will receive a complimentary glass of sparkling wine! The C is proud to comply with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program and support local farms, organically-grown ingredients and sustainability Don’t forget that when you join us at the C your parking is free! Executive Chef Jerry Regester and Team wish you a Happy mothers Day Adults $44.95 Children (12 & Under) $19.00 Children Under 5 Free For Reservations, please call 831.375.4500 750 Cannery Row . monterey, CA 93940 Apple-Wood Smoked Bacon Chicken Apple Sausage Yukon Gold Potato Gratin Monterey Style Cioppino Spicy Saffron-Dungeness Crab Broth Classic Eggs Benedict Ricotta Stuffed Croissant “French Toast” Grilled Rosemary-Garlic Bread the C restaurant + bar IC_Monterey_Mother'sDay2011_AD.indd 1 4/25/11 11:38:43 AM HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH BUFFET SUNDAY, MAY 12, 2019 · 11am - 3pm BREAKFAST Omelet Action Station Dungeness Crab & Classic Eggs Benedict Applewood Smoked Bacon Chicken & Apple Sausage CARVING STATION Leg of Lamb Honey Roasted Ham BUFFET Assorted Sushi & Nigiri Chilled Seafood Display Smoked Seafood Tuna Nicoise Salad Caesar Salad Swank Farms Heirloom Tomato & Burrata English Pea Soup Alaskan Halibut Duck Confit Spring Vegetables Artisan Cheese Display DESSERTS Assorted Danish & Pastries Assorted Desserts & Petite Fours SUNDAY, MAY 12, 11am – 2pm Complimentary Valet Parking (831) 718-9041 • merrillgardensmonterey.com 200 Iris Canyon Rd, Monterey, CA 93940 When to dine? It’s up to you. When to exercise? Up to you. Who to see? Your call. There are a million choices to make every day and they’re truly all yours. Take Charge at Merrill Gardens Senior Living SENIOR LIVING Lic #275202591 Here, you’re 100% in charge. Please let it go to your head. Visit And Enjoy A Meal On Us!

14 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY May 9-15, 2024 www.montereycountynow.com Dead End This indictment against 11 members of the Salinas Acosta Plaza Norteños is a serious win for justice, but it also raises significant concerns (“Twelve are arrested in ‘Operation Dead End,’ alleging street gang crimes in Salinas,” posted May 2). It’s great to see such a coordinated effort by the police, striking at dawn to bring these criminals in. Their dedication is commendable. But why did it take so many years and so many heinous crimes to finally get here? This isn’t just about 11 individuals; surely, they aren’t the only troublemakers in Monterey County. This arrest is a good step, but it’s just part of the bigger picture. We need to be quicker and more proactive in addressing such threats. Our community’s safety is crucial, and we can’t afford to sit back and wait for things to escalate before we act. Let’s keep the pressure on and ensure our safety measures are as sharp and swift as today’s justice proved it can be. Bill Lipe | Salinas School Board The article about the dysfunction on the Monterey Peninsula College board made no effort to ask the question of what is truly going on (“MPC trustees go round and round over how to handle complaints made against each other,” posted April 25). Everyone was equally lumped together. No mention is made of Trustee Libby Downey’s hugely successful career serving with distinction on many boards—12 years on the Monterey City Council, for example. MPC requires excellent governance and it would be helpful if we knew where the problems arise. Jim Lauderdale | Monterey At Your Service I want to thank Salinas City Councilman Steve McShane for his 14 years of service (“Salinas City Council decides to fill a vacancy in District 3 by appointment,” posted April 24; his resignation takes effect May 10). I’ve lived in South Salinas a long time and found him to be very responsive and proactive. He’s planted trees in the nearby park and seems to be the only person that speaks up for our police and firefighters. He will be missed on the Salinas City Council. Kristin Callender | Salinas I want to underscore that I’ve never seen a more responsive, hardworking and community-minded public servant. Elected representatives like him are hard to come by and he will be missed. Steve was always there to take a phone call, respond to inquiries, and promote business and events in Salinas. During the prior 14 years, Steve did so much for the city, both inside and outside of District 3. However, recently, the dysfunction and infighting, along with potential bullying by two or three sitting council members, appears to have forced Steve to focus on family (“Fourthterm Salinas City Councilmember Steve McShane resigns,” posted April 10). It’s a sad day and reality that someone as passionate as Steve about his city feels it is best to step down midterm. I appreciate his service and he will be remembered as effective and motivated for the right reasons. David J. R. Mack | Salinas I’ve watched the votes closely and it appears to me the Salinas City Council has lost its way on public safety, business and streets. Last I checked, that’s what city government should focus on. The folks on the City Council attacking him are simply failing to focus on what people want to see addressed in Salinas. I want to thank Steve McShane for his service and will be advocating for new leadership change in all of the seats across the city, including a change at the top. Vince Chabarria | Salinas I was surprised to learn about the retirement of Salinas City Councilman Steve McShane. I’ve lived in South Salinas for over 50 years and I’ve never seen anyone more committed for the betterment of Salinas, and not just his district, but all districts. I’m sorry to see so many vacancies at City Hall and the dysfunction on the City Council. I will do what I can to support candidates throughout our city who better support our police department and work as a team. Rose Clark | Salinas Everyone’s a Gamer Lynn’s Arcade, High Scores Arcade and Tipsy Putt have been great additions to the Monterey Peninsula (“Decades after regulations and rulebreakers plunged pinball into darkness, the game is experiencing a renaissance,” April 25-May 1). They’re family-friendly activities, but also a fun place for us millennial adults who enjoy local craft beer while playing nostalgic arcade games and mini golf that we grew up with. Eric Palmer | Monterey Love throwing a few back at Lynn’s! Glad they exist. Thomas Gray | via web Quite Impressive Not to mention her PhD in Heritage Studies! (“The new director of the Museum of Natural History has done a lot of everything related to the job,” April 25-May 1.) Chris Green | via web Marina on the Move? Don’t really want this kind of gentrification (“Marina’s downtown plan envisions changes in density, traffic flow and landscaping,” April 11-17). Marina has a very lovely variety of local businesses. I don’t want to see happen to them what happened to those on Broadway in Seaside. Frederick Jack Nelson | Seaside Just repave the roads and leave us be. So much patching that wears out after a winter or two. Melody Eldridge | via web Been living in Marina since January while I attend CSU Monterey Bay. I think the city is beautiful. The only complaint is everything is so spread out and far apart. Jimi Vera | via web Marina is such a quiet, wonderful place. No changes are necessary. Alec Cizak | via web Letters • CommentsOPINION Submit letters to the editor to letters@montereycountynow.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.montereycountynow.com May 9-15, 2024 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 15 Thirty-one years ago, when I was first hired at the Weekly, I started in classified advertising sales. At that time, the paper was five years old, and there was no such thing as “digital media.” We had one 386 PC in my department to run a DOS-based classifieds program, another one for admin to run our accounts receivables, and a few Apple IIG computers to run Microsoft Word for editorial and QuarkXPress for production. The only things these computers were connected to in 1993 were two $20K laser printers. That’s back when we used X-Acto knives and hot wax to paste up story and ad galleys on grid-lined flats on top of light tables. After the issue was put to bed, the flats of pages were tucked into a banged-up, yellow, oversized briefcase and driven to the printer—first in Salinas, then Monterey, later in San Jose. Today, I am Director of Digital Media, a job that didn’t exist in 1993. It’s part IT guy, part help desk, part webmaster, and part whatever needs doing to fulfill our technology needs. The latest initiative to fulfill our technology needs, and those of our readers, is an overhaul of our website. You may have noticed since April 19 that we’ve freshened up our fonts, simplified the navigation and reorganized the homepage. We have a new URL and a new name, too: Monterey County Now. We changed our name to better reflect what we do and how we serve our readers. The change also reflects our changing digital world. The first web browser, Mosaic, came out in 1993. In 1995, we connected our office computers together on a Novell network and installed Snap Mail, instantly becoming hopelessly dependent on email. In 1996, we replaced the two $20,000 printers with three $400 printers and debuted on the world wide web as CoastWeekly.com, reflecting the name of the paper from 19982004. That same year, Craigslist moved from being an email listserv to a website—and would threaten to eat up classified ad revenue within a decade. The internet has been a blessing and curse ever since. During the late ’90s, dial-up became a thing and more and more people started venturing online. People received AOL’s installation floppy disks by snail mail. Y2K was a nothingburger, followed by the dot-com bomb. By the early 2000s, sites like AltaVista, Yahoo and AskJeeves began paving the way for Google. In 2007, the iPhone put the internet directly in our pocket. Social media started to go viral with MySpace, Facebook and Twitter. Over the past 20 years, the Weekly has had many incarnations of the homepage. We’ve made changes to our print layout too, but the digital evolution is much more dramatic. By 2020, the Weekly had been publishing near-daily content online for over a decade, but when Covid hit, we—like everyone else—needed to make changes to keep up with fast-changing information. With most distribution locations closed, and readers staying home rather than going out to grab a copy, we started publishing a daily e-newsletter. It remains part of the shift in how and when we produce and deliver news. The daily e-newsletter is here to stay, sharing stories from the Thursday print edition as well as much more web-only content. The website redesign also reflects this change, delivering longform pieces alongside breaking news of the day. Today, we are proud to offer you much more than our shiny new website, including: our weekly printed newspaper, a daily e-newsletter, a Best of Monterey Bay® magazine series, a philanthropic partnership for Monterey County Gives!, a community space in The Press Club and, most importantly, a vision for reporting the news: hyperlocal, community-minded, now. The urgency is reflected in the name change, but the editorial process is unchanged. I continue to be awed and inspired by the care and dedication our reporters put into each article. Through 36 years of ups and downs, of base closings, water issues, wildfires, earthquakes, recessions and celebrations, we remain steadfastly dedicated to this community. Please join us online at MontereyCountyNow.com, note our new email address suffixes, and you can continue to find a print copy of Monterey County Weekly at 290 sites around the county every Thursday. Kevin Smith is Director of Digital Media at Monterey County Now. Reach him at kevin@ montereycountynow.com. A Digital Revolution Changes in news lead to our new name: Monterey County Now. By Kevin Smith Bridging the Gap…Squid loves to drive the jalopy, windows down, along Highway 1 just as much as any selfie-taking tourist. These days of course, the journey is difficult due to limited access—and also a battle between Caltrans and, well, everybody else. The agency wants to replace six historic bridges on the Big Sur coast, all in various levels of deterioration. That includes the Garrapata Creek Bridge, built in 1931, and according to a 2015 Caltrans analysis, “the barrier rail posts are severely deteriorated with many small cracks beginning to emerge.” Sounds like a good, safe idea. And yet: Practically everyone in the driving public hates the idea of replacing a historic bridge with a relatively ugly, modern bridge. (Specifically the balusters—those railings on the side—would be closer together, limiting the view from the bridge. “The balusters of the Garrapata Bridge constitute the windows through which the world sees the adjacent magnificent coastal sea and landscape,” members of the Albion Bridge Stewards wrote to the Monterey County Board of Supervisors on April 25.) But the supervisors don’t need persuading. Last year, Caltrans got denied by the County Planning Commission, then appealed to the supes, who denied it too. A working group has been meeting since then to sort out a compromise plan. That plan was scheduled for consideration on May 7, but pushed to June 25 because like everything on Highway 1—traffic included—it moves slowly. False Flag…Like all living creatures, Squid does some things without thinking, such as drawing water through Squid’s gills, or strapping on a seatbelt when rolling in the jalopy. But in most cases, Squid stops to think first. That’s why Squid was surprised to learn that on May 1, a public works employee with the City of Seaside, per protocol, raised the Israeli flag at City Hall to commemorate Jewish American Heritage Month, all while war rages in Gaza and thousands of innocent people have been bombed by Israeli forces. Not to mention, Seaside is home to the county’s only mosque. Perhaps it was protocol, but, c’mon—tensions are running high throughout the nation, and instead of being celebratory, it landed with offensive impact. Once it was brought to the attention of Acting City Manager Nick Borges, just after 8pm, he had it taken down within 20 minutes. He says the staffer who raised it was essentially on autopilot and wasn’t thinking. Squid can only assume that this employee was completely oblivious to the war in Gaza and the tragic toll it has taken in human life, and that an Israeli flag these days represents more than heritage. Squid’s only flag is one that honors the shared planet between landlubbers and sea creatures. the local spin SQUID FRY THE MISSION OF MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY IS TO INSPIRE INDEPENDENT THINKING AND CONSCIOUS ACTION, ETC. It’s part of a shift in how and when we deliver news. Send Squid a tip: squid@montereycountynow.com