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