• District Attorney will not seek re-election

    February 16, 2018

    Monterey County District Attorney Dean D. Flippo announced that he will not seek re-election for an eighth term.
    DA Flippo stated “I began my career in the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor in 1972 and have worked in the office for almost 42 years. In 1990, I was elected as the District Attorney of Monterey, and have served without challenge in this position since taking office in January 1991, giving me the distinction of being the longest serving District Attorney in the history of Monterey County.”
    “It has been a great honor to represent the People of Monterey County in this capacity. It has also been my privilege to work with the finest management team, deputy district attorneys, investigators and support staff to be found anywhere. Their commitment to seeking justice and fighting to keep the community safe has been and is very much appreciated.”
    “My seventh term of office concludes in January of 2019. At this time, I would like to announce that I will finish out this current term, but do not intend to file for re-election in March 2018.”
    “I have been consistently active in our community and also on a state and national level, serving on many boards, foundations and nonprofits. I look forward to continuing my involvement as opportunities present themselves in the future.”

    The City of Pacific Grove Endorses Carbon Fee and Dividend Resolution

    February 9, 2018

    By Maribel R. Andonian, Co-Leader Citizens Climate Lobby

    On Wednesday, February 7, the City of Pacific Grove unanimously (7-0) voted to endorse Carbon Fee and Dividend, national carbon pricing legislation proposed by Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) and presented to the Council by the Monterey chapter. Pacific Grove is the third local city (along with the cities of Monterey and Marina) to endorse CCL’s national carbon pricing plan.

    The Mayor and Council members did for Pacific Grove what more and more cities, their mayors and city council members are doing these days to overcome the lack of leadership from the President and his administration—they took local action to protect current and future generations from the destructive effects of the increasing carbon dioxide pollution that results from burning fossil fuels.

    Climate advocates rank climate change as the most important issue facing humanity today and work to find effective, immediate, solutions to this urgent problem. Climate change affects all aspects of our current lifestyle. It threatens national security, economic security, and public health to name just three immediate impacts. We must act now to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels or our children and grandchildren will inherit a vastly different—and less livable–world. Read the rest of this story »

    33rd Annual Together With Love Run/Walk

    February 2, 2018

    On Sunday, February 11, join the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center for its 33rd Anniversary of the TOGETHER WITH LOVE RUN/WALK at Lovers Point Park in Pacific Grove.  The 10K and 5K races starting at 9:00 AM are open to competitive runners, joggers, and fun walkers – rain or shine!  
    Participants can pre-register online through noon February 9th at www.mtryrapecrisis.org/together-love, or register on race day between 7:30 and 8:30 AM.
    The “Together With Love” Run/Walk is a fundraiser that attracts some 1,500 runners and walkers per year.  100 percent of the funds raised are used to support counseling, crisis intervention services for survivors of sexual assault, and community prevention education programs for children and adults.
    Because of the uncertain future of federal funding, the Center has a goal of raising more funding locally than ever before.  Supporters who can’t participate on race day can pledge financial support for a runner or walker through the registration site:
    https://raceroster.com/events/2018/13536/33rd-annual-together-with-love-runwalk
    The registration fee for the 10K/5K is $42 ($45 on race day).  The 1K Kids’ Fun Run begins at 8:15 a.m. The price is $15. All participants in the 10K/5K receive a long-sleeved performance running T-shirt, after-race refreshments, and qualify for a prize drawing.  Medals will be awarded three deep in each age group. Kids in the Fun Run receive a participant medal and goodie bag, and may purchase a T-shirt at the event.

    CHP reminds us: No excuses when it comes to driving under the influence

    February 2, 2018

    On Sunday, February 4, football fans across the country will gather with friends and family to watch Super Bowl LII. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is teaming up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to remind motorists to designate a sober driver before the game begins. “Drunk driving is completely avoidable, but continues to be a serious problem,” CHP Acting Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “We want motorists to remember that drinking and driving is a choice that can have catastrophic results. If you choose to drink, do not drive.”

    According to preliminary data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, during last year’s Super Bowl, one person was killed in an alcohol-involved collision and 41 others were injured on California’s roadways. That same day, there were 247 arrests made by the CHP for driving under the influence (DUI). Consequences of a DUI arrest are jail time, the loss of a driver license, higher insurance rates, court fees, car towing and repair, and lost wages from time off work.

    “There are no excuses when it comes to driving under the influence,” Acting Commissioner Stanley added. “Have a game plan ready to avoid a tragedy. Leave your car keys at home if you will be consuming alcoholic beverages, and use public transportation, a designated driver, or a ride-hailing service to stay safe.”
    If you are hosting a Super Bowl party, be a team player and help keep impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel. Make proper arrangements and designate your sober driver before the big game begins. And remember: Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.

    The public can help by calling 9-1-1 if they suspect a drunk driver. Callers should be prepared to give the vehicle’s description, location, license plate number, and direction of travel.
    The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.

    Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce (PGCC) Position on the Short Term Rental Initiative

    January 29, 2018

    The intent of the Short Term Rental (STR) Initiative is to limit STRs in the residential zone of Pacific Grove. The initiative will allow the below STRs:
    Coastal zone properties
    Commercial Districts
    Home sharing, room rentals in resident-occupied homes
    The Chamber supports the initiative for the following reasons:
    STRs have impacted all lodging establishments in Pacific Grove especially small bed and breakfast inns
    The initiative is a reasonable compromise that is balanced and designed to protect the character of the residential community and workforce housing in Pacific Grove
    The Chamber Board of Directors thoroughly reviewed the initiative and concluded that it is in the best interest of the business community to support it. The Chamber’s position is consistent with Pacific Grove Hospitality Improvement District and Monterey County Hospitality Association
    STRs are in the residential area where issuing a business license for such a commercial venture is prohibited by City law
    In 1986 the residents of Pacific Grove overwhelmingly voted for a citizen’s initiative, Measure C, that prohibited the City’s 19 lodging establishments from expansion or addition of rooms and facilities. The law governs commercial overnight transient occupancy in the entire City. We believe that it is not fair to allow the addition of 280 STR homes while the lodging establishments are prohibited from expanding

    The SPCA Searching for Emaciated, Injured Mother Dog. $500 Reward Offered (full story)

    January 24, 2018


    The SPCA for Monterey County is searching for and seeking the public’s help in locating an emaciated, injured husky mix who had puppies just three days ago. The SPCA is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the location and SPCA seizure of the mother dog in order to provide emergency veterinary treatment and reunite her with her puppies.

    Yesterday, SPCA officers responded to the 600 block of Dallas Avenue in Salinas and spoke to the owner regarding concerns for an emaciated and injured husky and a black terrier type dog with a wound on its back living at this address in horrible conditions. Officers saw the terrier was in decent condition but the husky was skeletal, limping on her left front leg and nursing a litter of eight newborn puppies. The dogs were living under a camper shell in the backyard. The puppies were sleeping on a cold, wet carpet lying under the camper shell that was propped up on milk crates. The house and the yard was hoarded with belongings piled up everywhere making the conditions dangerous for the dogs including sharp objects, hazardous chemicals and trash scattered all over.

    When officers attempted to convince the dog owner to surrender the dogs to the SPCA she fled the scene with the mother dog and the terrier, leaving the tiny puppies behind. SPCA Officers seized the puppies and are now trying to locate the owner and the dogs. The husky is in need of veterinary treatment. Any information the public can give to help reunite the puppies with their mother will give her the care she needs and offer the puppies the best chance of survival. The mother dog is described as a Husky/Akita mix, approximately two years old, white, brown and gray in color, emaciated and limping on the left front paw.

    The puppies are currently receiving 24-hour foster care by skilled SPCA staff members.

    To help pets like these, please visit www.SPCAmc.org/donate-now.

    The owner could potentially be charged with the following offenses: California Penal Code Sections 597.1 (Permitting Animals to go Without Veterinary Care), Penal Code 597 (Animal Cruelty), Penal Code 597(b) (Deprivation of Food, Water, and Shelter), and Penal Code 597s (Abandonment).

    The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) for Monterey County is your nonprofit, independent, donor-supported humane society that has been serving the animals and people of Monterey County since 1905. The SPCA is not a chapter of any other agency and does not have a parent organization. They shelter homeless, neglected and abused pets and livestock, and provide humane education and countless other services to the community. They are the local agency you call to investigate animal cruelty, rescue and rehabilitate injured wildlife, and aid domestic animals in distress. Online at www.SPCAmc.org.

    More than 1 million gallons untreated wastewater released into the Bay this morning

    January 20, 2018

    Monterey One Water (M1W) formerly known as Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA) encountered an equipment control failure at the Regional Treatment Plant in Marina this morning 1-20-18 and discharged untreated wastewater into the Monterey Bay through their ocean outfall discharge pipe. The discharge pipe extends out into the ocean two miles.
    The Agency is still calculating the exact amount of wastewater released into the ocean but estimates are over a million gallons. M1W promptly notified the offices and appropriate personnel of the Marina Fire Department, Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, Monterey County Environmental Health Department and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). M1W staff immediately started sampling the local beaches near the spill site for elevated bacteria levels.
    Results from these samples will be posted on the M1W’s website immediately after they are compiled. Subsequent information will be provided on the Agency’s website as it becomes available.
    Turnouts and beaches closed for health reasons!

    UPDATE: Estimates now are that 4.9 million gallons were spilled

    Water Co. Bridge Work to Begin

    January 5, 2018

    PRESS RELEASE
    A project to install a pre-cast bridge with a 36-inch water line across Highway 68 at the Fairgrounds Road Overcrossing will begin next week, starting Monday, January 8. Scheduled closures are as follows:

    Motorists will encounter intermittent overnight lane and shoulder closures near the center median Monday through Thursday from 9 pm to 5 am, with advanced notification as project progresses.

    There will be intermittent closures of the Highway 68 onramp to northbound State Route 1 starting Monday, January 8 from 9 am to 2 pm, Monday through Thursday.

    Periodic full overnight closures will also be required for the installation of this bridge.

    Delays are expected to be minimal. Electronic message signs will be posted to alert motorists of this roadwork. Motorists may detour onto Fremont Street during daytime closures and State Route 218 during the overnight closures.

    Work will be performed by Garney Construction, under a permit from Caltrans. The project is scheduled to be complete at the beginning of March, weather permitting.

    Caltrans reminds motorists to move over and slow down when driving through highway work zones.

    For more information on this project and for traffic updates on other Caltrans projects in Monterey County, residents can call the District 5 toll free number at 1-831-372-0862 or visit our website at: http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist05/paffairs/release.htm#mon

    Resurrected Pinniped Gone for Good!

    December 19, 2017

    Update on the “Pinniped Returns from the Grave” story in last week’s Cedar Street Times.

    By Gary Baley

    On Friday, December 8, this reporter reported a dead sea  lion on the beach at Lovers Point to the Pacific Grove city offices in person. They suggested calling city animal control who denied responsibility and referred me to the SPCA who referred me to the Moss Landing Marine Lab. Voicemail. I left a message. An 8-year-old boy reported seeing some people cover it with seaweed to conceal it from the runners at the annual arthritis charity Jingle Bell Run Saturday morning. But by Saturday afternoon the pinniped had truly vanished from the beach. I assumed it was hauled out to sea. However on Sunday, that critter had reappeared—the mystery deepened—this time it had a green cord tied around its rear flippers.

    Did they tow it out to sea, cut it loose, and the tide brought it back? It didn’t seem likely because the cord was green twine, not strong enough for towing. I called the Lab again, reached a person who did some research and solved the mystery, but raised some troubling questions. 

    Dec 13 Dead sea-lion rotting carcass

    The Marine Lab had called the National Marine Mammal Stranding Network who sent a team to examine the carcass and bury it. The cord was an inspection marker. Where did they bury it? “On the beach.” The same beach? “Its standard procedure.” The PG police doubted the burial story and posited that it had been towed to sea and washed ashore again. However, lab director Gitte McDonald confirmed that on Saturday two volunteers came to Lovers Point beach, shovels in hand, dug a deep hole in the sand and buried the carcass. She stated there was a strong storm surge that weekend that may have uncovered the carcass. She also made it clear that their agency is not responsible for retrieval or disposal of dead marine mammals. “Sometimes we may retrieve one for necropsy; but not usually, and not in this case.” she said. Now, with that news, every time families go to the beach they might ponder what’s underfoot. 

    Today, the poor creature has finally found its final resting place—in the Marina dump—after rotting on one of Pacific Grove’s finest beaches for 10 days.

    Daniel Gho, Pacific Grove’s Public Works Director, read the CST article on this unfortunate pinniped on Friday, and perhaps not coincidentally, on Monday December 18, had it removed by renting a bobcat loader small enough to maneuver onto the beach, lift it, and place it into a truck which hauled it to Marina. Total cost $500. Tourists, not to mention local beachgoers and businesses, are surely grateful to Gho and this newspaper.

    Joe Cavallaro, manager of The Grill at Lovers Point is relieved. He said “Ever since the first day I reported it to every agency I could find, but nobody would do anything. It stank. It was killing business—parents didn’t want their kids near it.”

    The Beach House Chef, Matthew Farmer, felt sorry for it and had been frustrated at the lack of action from his many calls. He cringed when I described the sea  lion’s flayed skin. Tourists and locals alike had expressed disgust at the smell.

    All this raises two questions: Pacific Grove is a coastal town with four miles of shoreline, so why doesn’t it have the responsibility of disposing of dead and possibly diseased marine mammals? Why is there no city-owned boat capable and city department willing to tow carcasses out to sea? Until the City of Pacific Grove assumes responsibility for keeping its beaches safe and free of dead and possibly diseased marine animals, here are some phone numbers which may—or may not—prove useful:

    To report a dead, injured or stranded marine mammal, call: 1‑ 866‑ 767‑ 6114. For law enforcement, harassments, or other violations, call:  1‑ 800‑ 853‑ 1964. For entangled marine mammals, call: 1-877-SOS-WHALe or 1-877-767-9425. Or hail the U.S. Coast Guard on VHF Ch. 16. To report derelict gear, call:  1‑ 855‑ 542‑ 3935.

     

    Resurrected Pinniped Gone for Good!

    December 19, 2017

    Update on the “Pinniped Returns from the Grave” story in last week’s Cedar Street Times.

    By Gary Baley

    On Friday, December 8, this reporter reported a dead sea lion on the beach at Lovers Point to the Pacific Grove city offices in person. They suggested calling city animal control who denied responsibility and referred me to the SPCA who referred me to the Moss Landing Marine Lab. Voicemail. I left a message. An 8-year-old boy reported seeing some people cover it with seaweed to conceal it from the runners at the annual arthritis charity Jingle Bell Run Saturday morning. But by Saturday afternoon the pinniped had truly vanished from the beach. I assumed it was hauled out to sea. However on Sunday, that critter had reappeared—the mystery deepened—this time it had a green cord tied around its rear flippers. Did they tow it out to sea, cut it loose, and the tide brought it back? It didn’t seem likely because the cord was green twine, not strong enough for towing. I called the Lab again, reached a person who did some research and solved the mystery, but raised some troubling questions.

    The Marine Lab had called the National Marine Mammal Stranding Network who sent a team to examine the carcass and bury it. The cord was an inspection marker. Where did they bury it? “On the beach.” The same beach? “Its standard procedure.” The PG police doubted the burial story and posited that it had been towed to sea and washed ashore again. However, lab director Gitte McDonald confirmed that on Saturday two volunteers came to Lovers Point beach shovels in hand, dug a deep hole in the sand and buried the carcass. She stated there was a strong storm surge that weekend that may have uncovered the carcass. She also made it clear that their agency is not responsible for retrieval or disposal of dead marine mammals. “Sometimes we may retrieve one for necropsy; but not usually, and not in this case.” she said. Now, with that news, every time families go to the beach they might ponder what’s underfoot.

    Today, the poor creature has finally found its final resting place—in the Marina dump—after rotting on one of Pacific Grove’s finest beaches for 10 days. Daniel Gho, Pacific Grove’s Public Works Director, read the CST article on this unfortunate pinniped on Friday, and perhaps not coincidentally, on Monday December 18, had it removed by renting a bobcat loader small enough to maneuver onto the beach, lift it, and place it into a truck which hauled it to Marina. Total cost $500. Tourists, not to mention, local beachgoers and businesses, are surely grateful to Gho and this newspaper.

    Joe Cavallaro, manager of The Grill at Lovers Point is relieved. He said “Ever since the first day I reported it to every agency I could find, but nobody would do anything. It stank. It was killing business—parents didn’t want their kids near it.” The Beach House Chef, Matthew Farmer, felt sorry for it and had been frustrated at the lack of action from his many calls. He cringed when I described the sea   lion’s flayed skin. Tourists and locals alike had expressed disgust at the smell.

    All this raises two questions: Pacific Grove is a coastal town with four miles of shoreline, so why doesn’t it have the responsibility of disposing of dead and possibly diseased marine mammals? Why is there no city-owned boat capable and city department willing to tow carcasses out to sea? Until the City of Pacific Grove assumes responsibility for keeping its beaches safe and free of dead and possibly diseased marine animals, here are some phone numbers which may—or may not—prove useful:

    To report a dead, injured or stranded marine mammal, call: 1  866  767  6114. For law enforcement, harassments, or other violations, call: 1  800  853  1964. For entangled marine mammals, call: 1-877-SOS-WHALe or 1-877-767-9425. Or hail the U.S. Coast Guard on VHF Ch. 16. To report derelict gear, call: 1  855  542  3935.

    Trains and Christmas

    December 4, 2017

    By Ted Prichard
    The tradition of including a model train setup around or near the Christmas tree has been common in many homes over the decades, blossoming in the post-war ’40s and ’50s. Young boys … and even
    some girls … dreamt of having his or her private railroad empire to help celebrate the holiday season.
    Lionel Trains were fueling this fire, often included in store displays with a rather elaborate complex of tracks, trains and accessories that presented the latest offerings. Typically they were judiciously
    placed near Santa Claus to help inspire wish lists. More recently, The Polar Express film helped us to rekindle that excitement, too.
    A huge influence on the hobby _originated locally with the wartime arrival of a man named John Allen, ultimately a renowned and visionary model railroader dubbed “The Wizard of Monterey.” Born in
    1913, at around age 30 he moved to Irving Street, off Cannery Row. It was there that he began his first model railroad and developed skills that catapulted him to virtually regal status among his peers.
    Photos of his work were in the model train press regularly, continuing up to his death in 1973.


    In the early 1950s, John bought a home on Cielo Vista Terrace, situated near the top of the hill south of Monterey. There, he designed and constructed an extensive rail line that became known around the world. Today its status continues as a legendary example of the hobby at its finest, a miniature empire named the Garre and Daphetid (read that as “gory and defeated”). Ultimately he grew tired of the name’s inferences, referring to the railroad as the G&D or the GD Line. Able to devote his life’s work to creating this small world, he required little in the way of help in constructing it. His attention to detail in the planning was amazing, with so much of the infrastructure laid down even years before it might be needed. He did, however,welcome help in its operation. Local hobbyists became the nucleus of his “operating group,” while others came from some distance for the bpportunity to run trains. Numerous servicemen who were stationed at Fort Ord, DLI or the Naval Postgraduate School also volunteered their time.
    Vestiges of the G&D Operators group remain in this area, although none of the original members are with us. The late Allan Fenton, a Carmel resident, was among those in John Allen’s circle, later being a prime mover in sustaining the nearly-annual model railroad show. This year it’s being held at the American Tin Cannery, Friday and Saturday December 9 and 10. There is no charge to attend.

    Excerpt from Luke Herzog’s ‘Fishbowl’

    November 29, 2017

    For a week, the mushroom clouds left red dots on the astronaut’s eyes—bloody phantoms dancing in his vision, taunting him. Closing his lids offered no respite from the torment. It had been four days since the bombings stopped, but the fires raged on. Abrams knew it wasn’t healthy, taking every opportunity to spare a glance at the destruction below. But he couldn’t look away. He was determined to bear witness to man’s darkest hours. It was the least he could do, for the guilt was all-consuming. Floating above, watching Armageddon from the safety of their little palace in the sky. Abrams felt his stomach twist.

    He was no less fascinated by his colleagues, 230 miles above the worst case scenario. Each astronaut coped differently. Topfsky had retreated into her calculations, murmuring about fallout and wind patterns. She hunched over hastily ripped notebook paper so filled with equations and notations that she’d begun scribbling over previous ones. Discarded pages spiraled around her now, as if she was the star in her own solar system. Florez’s diet had become irregular, to say the least. Caring too little to add water to powdered coffee and Kool-Aid, he scarfed them down dry—a nebulous cloud of brown and purple dust plastered to his face and followed him about. Even Dixon’s incessant toothy grin had long since been supplanted by a forlorn smile and furrowed brow, his light humor having descended into darkness and cynicism.

    They passed over the half of the planet cloaked in shadow. The fires were more distinct against the black backdrop, flickering like torch bugs on a warm summer night.

    Abrams was stirred by the sound of conversation, an almost alien concept as the hours passed, usually reserved for discussion of raw data and bleak hypotheticals. The buzz of consoles and the perpetual scratch of pencil lead had become white noise during their dark vigil for the human race.

    “Ya spelled apocalypse wrong, darlin’,” chided Dixon. The towering Texan hovered parallel to the engineer, face-to-face but upside-down. His goatee and shaved head made him look right-side up. Topfsky’s eyes flickered, then she continued her scribbling.

    “So I did. What’s it to you?”

    He shrugged. “Ain’t the end of the world.” Dixon smiled weakly. Topfsky looked disgusted.

    “What are you working on?” Abrams turned his attention from the window and pushed against a bulkhead, launching himself toward the other two.

    Topfsky sighed. “I’m writing an account of all that’s occurred. The better question is— why aren’t you?” Abrams’s nose twitched. “What if ours is the only record to survive? Future historians might depend on our account… It might be all they have to go on.”

    Dixon raised an eyebrow. “Never had ya figured as a writer, Topfsky.”

    “Why so surprised?”

    “Just always thought you wrote in binary.”

    She pushed him away, enough to send him floating backwards, and tugged a strand of hair behind her ear. “Jackass…”

    Red appeared beside her, scratching at his chin and rolling his eyes as the Texan flailed for a handhold. The man’s actual name was Clifford Kaznach. Dixon was responsible for the nickname—a not-so-subtle dig at Kaznach’s Communist connections, though the man-child insisted he was referencing Clifford, the Big Red Dog. Nevertheless, it caught on. Abrams suspected that even the Russian had taken a liking to it.

    “God, I’d like to sew his mouth shut,” Red whispered in flawless English. He nodded toward the view of the destruction below. “And I wish we could draw the blinds, too, you know?”

    No, I don’t, thought Abrams. “Yeah.”

    “So I was just talking to Duvvur,” Red continued.

    “Does the commander want another meeting?” Once the bombings had ceased, Commander Duvvur had called for a vote. Stay or go. Remain in orbit and hope rations—and the station itself—hold out long enough for a safe return, or attempt a landing on a toxic world. They had long since lost contact with Earth; the choice was theirs and theirs alone. For all they knew, the planet was, too. The debate was long and intense. Opinions were evenly split. In the end, Duvvur cast the deciding vote. They would stay.

    Red had been in the minority. What’s the first thing you do when you hear your house is on fire? You run home, he had reasoned. But the blaze was only spreading. “No, the commander doesn’t want a meeting, but…”

    Abrams eyed Topfsky. She appeared thoroughly immersed in her writings. Abrams knew her tricks well enough by now. “The aft.” Red agreed.

    By now, the aft was in disarray. The sour smell of unwashed men and sudden indifference blanketed everything. Free-floating materials nestled in every nook and cranny. Crumpled papers and food crumbs, even wandering wrappers and packaging, drifted alongside the two sleeping bags affixed to the walls. Red and Florez spent a lot of time here. Years of training and a mission together had even left their disorganization symbiotic.

    In the room’s corner, Dixon had stashed a contribution—a golf club, a shiny pitching wedge in honor of the swings Alan Shepard attempted on the lunar surface over half a century earlier.

    Several scattered novels, Red’s favorites, glided throughout the compartment like circling vultures. Abrams snatched a book floating between a paperback edition of The Hunt for Red October and a tattered Agatha Christie thriller.

    “From the Earth to the Moon,” he read.

    Red moved closer. “You know what Jules Verne did, right? You know how the first three men got to the moon?” Abrams shook his head. Red took the book from his hands. “I’ll have to lend it to you sometime.”

    “So what’s the problem?” Abrams asked.

    “Rations.”

    “I know, I know. We’ve gone over this a dozen times. Nine crew, only supposed to be six at a time.” The crew of Expedition 146—Abrams, Topfsky, and Sho—had arrived only three days before the first bomb fell. During this transitional phase, Expedition 144 hadn’t yet departed. The end of the world had been poorly timed. “We figured we’re good for about six months. By then…”

    “But that’s if all goes well. Sadakov and I went over the math again. The numbers are worse than we feared. What we didn’t take into account was the real possibility of the station’s systems deteriorating. Or space junk. If satellites start failing at an alarming rate—there’s already enough debris in orbit, now it’s going to increase exponentially. If we can’t avoid it…”

    “Lots of ifs.”

    “I’m well aware. If bad weather hadn’t delayed your expedition’s launch. If final diagnostic tests hadn’t brought up that glitch. If I hadn’t been so damn sentimental as to insist on one more sunrise from space…” Red glanced down at the 144 insignia on his breast pocket. “I can’t help but feel we’ve overstayed our welcome.”

    “You’re not blaming yourself—“

    “You would have a better shot at survival.”

    “And you would be an ash heap.”

    Red rubbed his temples. “Six months at most, Abrams. And that’s while rationing to the extreme. That means hunger for half a year. And that’s if orbital decay doesn’t screw us first.”

    “We’ll find a way. The bombings seem to be over. We’ll establish contact again, you’ll see. Surely someone will remember we’re still up here, eh?” Abrams hoped he sounded sincere.

    Thanksgiving

    November 19, 2017

    What is this holiday really about? Gathering family and friends together, once a year, to overindulge themselves on food and drink (as they do throughout the year), and engage in time-worn repetitive Cliché’s about ‘giving thanks’ on this one day for what they were unmindful of all year, for the most part. All this while competing for attention with the football game on TV, and religious reminders of what undeserving sinners we are. Let us not exclude the mass marketers and their ‘Black Friday’ sales, to provide further distraction from the meaning of the holiday, in their pursuit of profits.

    This should be the most meaningful holiday of the year. It is not a time to be on our knees in supplication for the frailties of human beings, but standing tall, on our feet, where the view is better, with confidence in our ability to survive the inequities of life and endure; to be thankful for everything that contributes to that survival, which is only a dream for the less fortunate and hopeless.

    My generation, that survived the Great Depression of the 1930’s and the Second World War of the 1940’s, and more, endured because we were too busy applying ourselves to solutions that our daily survival depended upon, not whining or complaining about the problems. Most everyone shared the same problems. Complainers, without solutions, were met with derision, and were an unwelcome distraction. If we complained, without offering a solution, we were quickly reminded of the deprivations, hardships, and suffering that was going on all over the world, and how fortunate we really were for what we had. If we needed a helping hand, it was at the end of our own arm.

    Growing up in those times, formed the foundation of my often repeated credo that you should ‘Do no harm’, and ‘help where you can.’

    It was in helping each other, and not making things worse, that we worked our way through problems and overcame the difficulties that were constantly challenging us. Many of our friendships, and trust, came from this common effort. Such friendships are the brightest jewels in the crown of Humanity, and warrant the daily appreciation and the thankfulness that we celebrate but once a year.

    It has been said that, “The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.”

    I, for one, am thankful for the friends and loved ones in my life, on a daily basis. They are in my thoughts when I retire at night, and first thoughts when I awake. I never feel alone.

    I am most thankful for the life and health initially bestowed upon me by my universal parents,

    Mother Nature and Father Time. I’ve tried to make the most of the gifts from the one (not always successfully), before the other, inexorably, takes them away. In spite of all the ways to meet one’s demise in this world, I’ve managed to survive (with some collateral damage) and become an Octogenarian, and able to see my three beautiful children and grandchildren grow up to become my greatest source of love and unabashed pride.

    This is certainly something to be thankful for every day!

    Al Estrada
    Carmel, CA
    Thanksgiving, 2017

    Short Term Rental Workshop Monday Nov. 13

    November 12, 2017

    The City of Pacific Grove will hold a public workshop to discuss the proposed short-term rental lottery procedure, the block density definition and sunset provisions; and direct staff to revise the proposed STR ordinance based upon workshop outcome.
    The workshop will take place at 5:00 p.m. at the PG Community Center, 515 Junipero in Pacific Grove. Please note This meeting will not be streamed/televised.

    Pacific Grove proclaims “No Straw November”

    November 3, 2017

    In recognition of the substantial efforts made by citizen groups, the Pacific Grove City Council has proclaimed November 2017 as “No Straw November.”

    In follow-up to the work already done by Sustainable Pacific Grove and the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce, Councilmember Cynthia Garfield brought together a collaborative group of stakeholders to continue the effort to stop the use of plastic straws: Denyse Frishmuth and Colleen Ingraham(Sustainable Pacific Grove), Moe Ammar (Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce), Jeff Lindenthal (Monterey Regional Waste Management District), Milas Smith and Ben Harvey (City of Pacific Grove) and Barbara Meister and Bryce Leo (Monterey Bay Aquarium).

    The City of Pacific Grove has provided simple ways to participate in “No Straw November.”

    • When ordering a beverage remember to state “no straw, please.”

    • If automatically provided a straw, politely ask staff if they have heard of

    #NoStrawNovember.

    • If you do use a straw, keep the same one if you are refilling your drink.

    • Businesses and other groups are encouraged to only provide straws upon request.

    • Businesses and other groups are encouraged to find compostable, biodegradable or reusable

    alternatives for the straws they do provide.

    • Follow and share ways you are participating in the campaign on social media at

    #NoStrawNovember to help spread the knowledge.

    Councilmember Cynthia Garfield recently brought together a key group of stakeholders. “Our goal is to work collaboratively to reduce the total amount of plastic use and continue to rigorously protect and preserve our Marine Sanctuaries and Area of Special Biological Significance.”

    Robert Down School’s Art for the Sky Lesson Keeps Giving

    October 12, 2017

    Fire victims of the Northern California Wine Country fires are about to receive the bundles of blue jeans collected for the “Something Blue” donation project at Robert Down School.

    Earmarked for their Art for the Sky “lesson of a lifetime” event project to teach the Four C’s of the 21st century learning – critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity — the jeans were all the donated eventually to become the otter art image (seen here spread out before the event; story to be published in next week’s edition).

    Topes truck is entering the scene to be placed in position to elevate the artist, Daniel Dancer, who will direct the overhead drone shots and take additional stills to be posted in next weeks issue. The ensuing image will be of an otter and the children, all (500), will be covering the grass, leaving the image of one of our local icons, the sea otter. Photo by Katie Shain

    These jeans, in all sizes, are now headed to northern California victims of the massive wild fires thanks to Summer Coe, a staff member of Robert Down.

    Al Siekert’s generous and inspired idea to ask Cedar Street Times to place a request for donations that he will be driving north on Sunday is paying off.

    Donations of all types are piling up. Additional requests are adult diapers, pet cages, toiletries and batteries.

    Thursday Fursday Adoption Event at the SPCA!

    October 11, 2017

     

    The SPCA for Monterey County is holding a one-day adoption event tomorrow, October 12 – Thursday Fursday!

    During the event, the adoption fee will be waived for all cats and dog six months and older. There are currently 45 dogs and cats six months and older at the SPCA who are ready and waiting to go home tomorrow.

    SPCA adoptions include the pet’s spay or neuter surgery, permanent microchip identification, vaccinations, SPCA ID tag, a health evaluation, and lots more. It’s an amazing value of over $500! Regular adoption fees range from $35 to $290.

    The SPCA is located at 1002 Monterey-Salinas Highway, across from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.  Adoption hours tomorrow are 11 am to 5 pm.

    For more information, please call The SPCA at 831-373-2631 or visit www.SPCAmc.org.
    Thursday, October 12. Adoption hours are 11-5.

    Where:
    The SPCA for Monterey County, 1002 Monterey-Salinas Highway across from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

    Contact:  Call The SPCA at 831-373-2631 or visit www.SPCAmc.org.

    Reminder: Downtown Parking Changes

    October 10, 2017

    The Downtown Pacific Grove Business Improvement District reminds downtown businesses that parking enforcement downtown has changed. The Pacific Grove Police Department issued the following statement:

    “Last month, the City of Pacific Grove implemented the License Plate Recognition (LPR) System.

    “The LPR system will alert parking enforcement officers of overtime parking violations, unpermitted vehicles, vehicles with expired registration, and vehicles with 5 or more unpaid parking citations. This will allow staff to become much more efficient in completing their routes and prevent injury caused by manual chalking.

    “The LPR is being installed on the City’s all-electric GO-4 Parking Scooter. It will have exterior cameras, which will make it look different.

    “Once fully implemented, the parking enforcement officers will rely mainly on the LPR. This includes the Downtown Area, Central Avenue, and the other timed areas. It will also assist in enforcing 48 hour and 72 hour parking violations, as well as the City’s parking permit programs.

    :The LPR system is set to go live on Sunday September 10, 2017. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact ASM Jocelyn Francis at (831) 648-3143.
    “While this system will take some adjustments from our members who park their vehicles downtown for extended periods of time, we have been assured that PGPD will work with our District on this transition.”

    Upcoming Road Closures- FY17/18 Crack Seal and Slurry Seal CIP Project

    October 6, 2017

    This notice is to inform Pacific Grove residents that the City will begin its Annual Crack Seal and Slurry Seal Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Project on October 18, 2017. The purpose of this work is to prevent rapid pavement deterioration and potholes due to inclement weather. This work is an important part of the City’s pavement management program.

    Specific closure dates and locations can be found in the chart at the below link.

    road closures

    Views from the Salinas Air Show

    October 3, 2017

    A rare formation of U.S. Warbirds. Top to bottom: the F-22 “Raptor”, at $150 million each, it’s the deadliest thing in the sky. The WWII P-38 “Lightning” $97,000. The Gulf War A-10 “Warthog” $18 million. Photos by Gary Baley.


    Kitten Caboodle at the SPCA

    September 29, 2017

    The SPCA for Monterey County’s last Kitten Caboodle adoption event was so popular we decided to have another! Visit the SPCA this Saturday and Sunday only, September 30 and October 1. During the event, the adoption fees for all cats and kittens have been generously covered by compassionate SPCA supporters Joel and Dena Gambord so there will be no adoption fees for all cats and kittens. Read the rest of this story »

    Final race of the season will make history

    September 29, 2017

    For the first time ever Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will host an 8-hour endurance race on Sunday, October 15 as part of the Pirelli World Challenge set for Thurs., Fri., Sat. and Sun., Oct. 12 – 15. It will be the final race of the season for our world-famous track, AKA my church.
    My source at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca tells me:

    -This last event should be a good one. It’s the last race for the Touring Car categories of the Pirelli World Challenge to secure championships and a big-payout race for the Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup, but what I’m really excited about is the California 8 Hours on Sunday. Teams from around the globe competing on the International GT Series will battle it out all day on what I can figure is the longest pro race ever held on the challenging 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit. It is certain to be a high-speed chess match and a battle of wills. –

    That’s good enough for me. More on the cars and the rules next time. Don’t put the coolers and lawn chairs in mothballs yet — you’re going to need them.
    Sometimes a local scoop will have to do.

    Voter Registration Day is Tues., Sept. 26

    September 26, 2017

    Monterey County has 243,596 eligible citizens to register to vote and only 186,687 are currently registered. Help us making a difference in improving these numbers.
    Register to vote by clicking: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/register-vote-buttons/
    Register to vote online at: www.registertovote.ca.gov
    Checking voter registration status at: http://www.montereycountyelections.us/regStatus.htm
    Voters must update their registration if they have changed name, address or political party preference

    Nov. 4 Flavors of Pacific Grove: Tickets now Available

    September 26, 2017

    Tickets are now available for Flavors of Pacific Grove, A Celebration of Great Chefs, which takes place Saturday, November 4, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at Asilomar Conference Grounds located at 800 Asilomar Avenue. The following is a partial list of dining establishments signed up to serve hors d’oeuvres and tastings to the guests; Passionfish, Fandango, Pacific Thai Cuisine, Fishwife, Happy Girl Kitchen, jeninni kitchen + wine bar, Canterbury Woods, Vivolo’s Chowder House, and The Bridge Culinary Training Center. There also will be a silent and live auction and live music by WildCard. The event is $50 per person. Flavors of Pacific Grove is presented annually by the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce. For more information or to buy tickets call 831-373-3304 or visit www.pacificgrove.org

    The Gray Eminence shares a scoop – Again! It’s Race Weekend.

    September 21, 2017

    Friends, today is Friday somewhere. I know that. Currently I am slinging the gospel of speed. Starting today. In your very own backyard, the truth is on display at: two hundred miles an hour. Friends, this two hundred mile an hour truth is global, for you; the locals. I have been asked, personally; to invite you and those you can convince to go, to go. So go.
    And go you must.
    This is why…
    This weekend, now; is the best modern sports car racing anywhere: globally. Like nowhere/elsewhere: right here;: in the sweet spot that;: is,;: Mazda raceway Laguna Seca. Your own backyard.
    Porsche will be running (secret) new cars.
    Mercedes will be running the Grim Reaper.
    America’s Corvette will be faster and pass the, afore mentioned. Read the rest of this story »

    IMSA motor opera: Aston-Martin sings her song

    September 17, 2017

    By Webster Slate

    This weekend, Sept. 19-23, the hills that surround Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will be alive with the sound of music, provided by the English baritone of Aston Martin’s glorious 6.0 litre V12; the elegant Italian “dramatic soprano” of Scuderia Corse’s Ferrari 5.3 litre V-8, in unison with the “Coloratura Mezzo-Soprano” of the 5.2 litre V-10 Lamborghini, Hurac’an- GT-3. Nothing is more ominous than a German opera, right? So Wagner will be there too, with the Mercedes-AMG, GT3, M-159, 6.2 litre V-8; roaring its “Basso profundo.” It just gets more musical and fun when the Mazda Motorsports prototype RT24-P with its MT-2.0T, 2.0L Turbo 14, adds its own unrepentant and terrifying scream, as it goes by at full song at 180 miles an hour up along the Rahal straight; toward the most famous turn in the world: the Corkscrew. Read the rest of this story »

    The [Perimeter] Road to IMSA and Lambourghini Moses

    September 17, 2017

    By Webster Slate

    Hello friends. This next piece is so crazy and untrue, I naturally want to start with a disclaimer. I love my editor and paper so much, when I know it’s coming, I’ll go ahead and ask her to duck. Stop, drop and rock and roll. Everything that follows is a certain kind of makebelieve I enjoy calling science faction. Read the rest of this story »

    State of Monterey County

    September 15, 2017

    with Mary Adams

    Wednesday, September 27 • 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

    The public is invited to enjoy an update on issues and challenges facing Monterey County and District Five. Learn about the future and direction of your county government from 5th District Supervisor, Mary Adams. Question and answer session to follow.

    Media sponsor Cedar Street Times. For more information contact Rita Pescatore at the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce, rita@pacificgrove.org.

    Www.pacificgrove.org • 831-373-3304

    EASTBOUND HWY 68 (HOLMAN HWY) GUARDRAIL REPAIR/TREE REMOVAL BETWEEN CHOMP AND HWY 1 TOMORROW 9/16/17 ONLY

    September 15, 2017

    CalTrans maintenance crews will be doing guardrail repair and tree removal on eastbound Hwy 68 (Holman Hwy) between the CHOMP and State Route 1 in Monterey tomorrow only, Saturday, Sept. 16.

    Motorists will encounter one-way reversing traffic control between 6 a.m. and noon and can expect delays not to exceed 15 minutes. Electronic message signs have been posted, alerting motorists of this roadwork which is being performed by the Caltrans Monterey Maintenance and Tree crews. The CHP will be assisting with traffic control and the safety of the traveling public.

    Roadwork is expected to complete by noon on Saturday, Sept. 16.

    SPCA for Monterey County Taking in Ten Pets from Florida

    September 15, 2017

    Dogs and cats from hurricane-ravaged Florida will be arriving at Oakland International Airport  Friday, September 15 to find forever homes in the Bay Area.

    A total of 80 animals, 40 cats from the Florida Keys SPCA and 40 dogs from Miami-Dade Animal Services, are being flown courtesy of FedEx in a cargo jet. The animals – who were already awaiting adoption when the hurricane hit – will be split between Marin Humane, San Francisco Animal Care & Control, Hopalong Rescue, and the SPCA for Monterey County.

    The entire effort is a collaboration between the ASPCA, FedEx, The Miami Heat and the Golden State Warriors.

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    This is the Heal the Bay Beach Report Card for Monterey Peninsula beaches, which reports water quality grades, or when relevant, weather advisories. An A to F grade is assigned based on the health risks of swimming or surfing at that location. Look at the "dry" grade for all days except those "wet" days during and within 3 days after a rainstorm. Click here for more information on the Beach Report Card. Click the name of the beach when it pops up for more details, or choose a beach below.

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