• Vote Counting Update

    June 8, 2018

    The California Secretary of State as of June 5 reports that there are 180,266 registered voters in Monterey Co, and only 32,483 – or 18% – turned out to vote. All precincts in the county have reported their Election Night results. County elections officials will continue counting ballots (vote-by-mail, provisional, etc.) during the 30-day post-election canvass period. These results are Semi-Final until the Secretary of State certifies results of all state contests on July 13, 2018.

    Vote Counting Schedule – Monterey County

    June 8, 2018

    The California Secty of State of June 5 reports there are 180,266 registered voters in Monterey County and only 32,483 — or 18% — turned out to vote. All precincts in Monterey County have reported their Election Night results. County officials will continue counting ballots (vote-by-mail, provisional, etc.) during the 30-day canvass period. These results are Semi-Final until the Secty of State certifies results of all state contests on July 13, 2018.

    Vote Counting Schedule

    June 8, 2018

    The California Secretary of State as of June 5 reports that there are 180,266 registered voters in Monterey Co, and only 32,483 – or 18% – turned out to vote. All precincts in the county have reported their Election Night results. County elections officials will continue counting ballots (vote-by-mail, provisional, etc.) during the 30-day post-election canvass period. These results are Semi-Final until the Secretary of State certifies results of all state contests on July 13, 2018.

    vote reporting schedule

    June 8, 2018

    The California Secretary of State as of June 5 reports that there are 180,266 registered voters in Monterey Co, and only 32,483 – or 18% – turned out to vote. All precincts in the county have reported their Election Night results. County elections officials will continue counting ballots (vote-by-mail, provisional, etc.) during the 30-day post-election canvass period. These results are Semi-Final until the Secretary of State certifies results of all state contests on July 13, 2018.

    Ballot Box Ballet at Pacific Grove City Hall

    June 7, 2018

    Monday morning a citizen named Tom came to Cedar Street Times to tell us the ballot box at Pacific Grove City Hall was so full he could not get his ballot into the box. He went on to say that the many people trying to vote there could not.
    This reporter has actually been to places in this fine country that, through District gerrymandering and genuine racial intimidation have changed the way the actual ballots are utilized toward the count. Or, stifled with modern day racial gauntlets, thwarting the vote entirely in others.  Texas and Florida are common places for this sort of thing, still. Many other states share similar circumstances. But what I found right here in Pacific Grove was surprising, indeed. 
    I left the CST going upstairs through the museum, across the street to Pacific Grove City Hall. I arrived at the entrance to City Hall and looked for direction to the ballot box. There were none. In fact there were zero directional signs outside or inside.  The main hallway on the first floor is fairly short in length, so I found the ballot box after just a few tries. I carefully examined it in order to determine its condition without touching it.
    This moment is when I realized I should not touch it and when the importance this ballot box and the human sacrifice to ensure its wellbeing. The sacred nature of the American vote, and the privilege to do so, enveloped me with pride and concerned me to the very marrow of my existence. There are countless dead bodies on the road to this greatest American institution. I was going to honor them. I knew that this process at this place, Pacific Grove City Hall had absolutely broken down. I knew I was standing there alone. So there I was alone in the Pacific Grove City Hall, with just my personal integrity and patriotism, when the torrent of voters arrived one after another to deliver their early ballots. Sometimes four and five deep. Without exception they were each and every one upset and confused and disappointed, with bent and damaged ballots. Wave after wave relentlessly intense Americans trying to do their duty. The older most mature voter seemed particularly disappointed. With well more than a few sternly expressing this to me for publication in this paper. There were no instructions what to do. Only an excuse.
    A voter had discarded a city guide to polling places. On it was information about early ballot delivery. The nearest collection point was the library in Monterey. More and more of people commanded my attention. I was in a carnival of horrors. Now every single voter was physically wrestling with the ballot box. Old and young alike sought resolution by force. I broke away enough to gather my thoughts and call my editor. I conveyed my concern that what looked was happening was tampering with the ballot box, manhandling it; anyway.
    Many people had already called the election department, thank you. They received the same response that both the City Clerks did and I did as well. Essentially, let’s see what happens.  I became less sure that a solution was at hand. By this point I had called the Elections Department twice. I called again and was very literal. I pointed out that on behalf of the newspaper Cedar Street Times I was asking formal, actual questions that were to be answered: now. The main question was, exactly when was this situation going to be resolved? I was moved up the chain of authority until I spoke with a person who could affect change. She did. They were on their way. From where I asked? They did not know, probably another box somewhere. “After all there are more than 14 that are scheduled for pick up today.” Frustrated with some of the more aggressive behavior and anger from these normal people in an abnormal and frustrating situation, I called Police Chief Christey to report or not report the dysfunctional ballot box and high tension amongst the locals. I called my editor to see if she could find out if they were jammed up at any of the other ballot boxes. With remarkable speed Marge Ann did so. It was smooth sailing everywhere else. While wave after wave of frustrated citizen came and went I called the Elections Department for the fifth time and spoke with the helpful honcho and suggested to her that, since all the other ballot boxes were ok, she should expedite her crew here, now. I could hear the sense of relief in this stranger’s voice as she told me “that is right. They are the way and will be there any time now.” In fairness our heroic ballot box recovery team arrived less than an hour and a half after my first call to them. Under these circumstances, that’s pretty good.  Read the rest of this story »

    Warning: Data Breach at Chili’s

    May 19, 2018

    Notice of Unauthorized Access to or Acquisition of Chili’s Grill & Bar Guest Data

    What Happened?
    On May 11, 2018, we learned that some of our Guests’ payment card information was compromised at certain Chili’s restaurants as the result of a data incident. Currently, we believe the data incident was limited to between March – April 2018; however, we continue to assess the scope of the incident.

    We are working diligently to address this issue and immediately activated our response plan upon learning of this incident. We are working with third-party forensic experts to conduct an investigation to determine the details of what happened. Read the rest of this story »

    Short-Term Rental Lottery Tuesday

    May 19, 2018

    Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 3:00 P.M.
    Council Chamber – City Hall – 300 Forest Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA
    AGENDA
    SHORT-TERM RENTAL LOTTERY
    This meeting will be conducted by staff to comply with the Lottery
    requirements pursuant to Ordinance 18-005, passed February 21, 2018 and
    adopted March 23, 2018. The Notice is posted to allow Council presence.
    No Council action will be taken.
    This meeting will be video/audio recorded, but not live-streamed.

    The Event:  Meet Your New Energy Service Provider: Monterey Bay Community Power

    May 14, 2018

    The Event:  Meet Your New Energy Service Provider: Monterey Bay Community Power
    Date: Thursday, May 17, 2018
    Time:  7:00 pm–8:30 pm
    Location:   Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, 165 Forest Ave., P.G. 93950
    Information: MBCP website: www.mbcommunitypower.org  MBCAC website: http://climateactioncompact.org

    Details:

    Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) is a regional project among local government agencies that will provide electricity to businesses and residences throughout Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties through the Community Choice Energy (CCE) model.

    MBCP began serving non-residential (commercial, industrial, agriculture and government) customers in March 2018. Residential customers will be enrolled in July 2018.

    Join Sustainable Pacific Grove on May 17, 2018 from 7:00pm until 8:30pm to learn more about the positive impacts MBCP will have on Monterey County. Representatives from MBCP will be available to answer questions. If you live in Monterey County, this program is for you!

    Packard Foundation gives $200,000 to Library Renewal Project

    May 14, 2018

    Packard Foundation gives $200,000 to Library Renewal Project

    By Gary Baley

    Announcement of a $200,000 donation from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation drew a round of applause from the crowd of over 100 that gathered in Jewell Park Saturday to celebrate the Pacific Grove Library’s 110th birthday and kick-off a 110-day fundraising effort for the $2.5 million library Renewal Project slated to start this summer.

    The birthday party was organized by Friends of the Pacific Grove Library, a non-profit group focused on supporting the library with volunteerism and fundraising and the Library Advisory Board.

    Library Director Scott Bauer welcomed the crowd and introduced speakers including Pacific Grove Mayor Bill Kampe, architect on the project Karin Payson, Friends president Kim Bui-Burton, Library Advisory Board Chair Nancy Enterline, and several others who spoke on the importance of the library to the community.

    Attendees could bid on a Little Free Library replica of the original Carnegie Library, make birthday cards, create a FacebooK print by local artist Barbara Lee Furbush, and make a donation—all proceeds going to the renewal project.

    The Carnegie Library replica is a Little Free Library, constructed by local residents Don Livermore and Bill Pagano as a “Built for Books” fundraiser for the Library Renewal Project. It is on display at the entrance to the Library. A silent auction is being conducted at the Library until Friday evening, July 6, 2018, where the highest bidder and lucky recipient will be announced at the Pacific Grove Public Library Closing Reception that evening. Read the rest of this story »

    Packard Foundation Gives $200,000 to Library Renewal Project

    May 14, 2018

    By Gary Baley

    Announcement of a $200,000 donation from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation drew a round of applause from the crowd of over 100 that gathered in Jewell Park Saturday to celebrate the Pacific Grove Library’s 110th birthday and kick-off a 110-day fundraising effort for the $2.5 million library Renewal Project slated to start this summer.

    The birthday party was organized by Friends of the Pacific Grove Library, a non-profit group focused on supporting the library with volunteerism and fundraising and the Library Advisory Board.

    Library Director Scott Bauer welcomed the crowd and introduced speakers including Pacific Grove Mayor Bill Kampe, architect on the project Karin Payson, Friends president Kim Bui-Burton, Library Advisory Board Chair Nancy Enterline, and several others who spoke on the importance of the library to the community.

    Attendees could bid on a Little Free Library replica of the original Carnegie Library, make birthday cards, create a FacebooK print by local artist Barbara Lee Furbush, and make a donation—all proceeds going to the renewal project.

    The Carnegie Library replica is a Little Free Library (https://littlefreelibrary.org/), constructed by local residents Don Livermore and Bill Pagano as a “Built for Books” fundraiser for the Library Renewal Project. It is on display at the entrance to the Library. A silent auction is being conducted at the Library until Friday evening, July 6, 2018, where the highest bidder and lucky recipient will be announced at the Pacific Grove Public Library Closing Reception that evening.

    The replica was constructed with local, historic, repurposed materials including a 1930s record player stand and a bookcase from the Holman home on Lighthouse Ave. It has been weatherized and is ready to be put to use to promote reading and literacy.

    Nancy Enterline announced that, thanks to a request from Julie Packard, the Renewal Project just received a lead gift of $200,000 from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. She noted that the Foundation was very pleased to support this important project to benefit our community for generations to come. 

    Bui-Burton also announced that the Packard Foundation gift, joining contributions from the City of Pacific Grove, Friends of the Pacific Grove Public Library, Pacific Grove Public Library Foundation, the DeWitt Foundation and generous individual donors has raised 80 percent of the $2.5 million goal of the Renewal Project.

     

    Packard Foundation gives $200,000 to Library Renewal Project

    May 14, 2018

    Announcement of a $200,000 donation from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation drew a round of applause from the crowd of over 100 that gathered in Jewell Park Saturday to celebrate the Pacific Grove Library’s 110th birthday and kick-off a 110-day fundraising effort for the $2.5 million library Renewal Project slated to start this summer.

    The birthday party was organized by Friends of the Pacific Grove Library, a non-profit group focused on supporting the library with volunteerism and fundraising and the Library Advisory Board.

    Library Director Scott Bauer welcomed the crowd and introduced speakers including Pacific Grove Mayor Bill Kampe, architect on the project Karin Payson, Friends president Kim Bui-Burton, Library Advisory Board Chair Nancy Enterline, and several others who spoke on the importance of the library to the community.

    Attendees could bid on a Little Free Library replica of the original Carnegie Library, make birthday cards, create a FacebooK print by local artist Barbara Lee Furbush, and make a donation—all proceeds going to the renewal project.

    The Carnegie Library replica is a Little Free Library (https://littlefreelibrary.org/), constructed by local residents Don Livermore and Bill Pagano as a “Built for Books” fundraiser for the Library Renewal Project. It is on display at the entrance to the Library. A silent auction is being conducted at the Library until Friday evening, July 6, 2018, where the highest bidder and lucky recipient will be announced at the Pacific Grove Public Library Closing Reception that evening.

    The replica was constructed with local, historic, repurposed materials including a 1930s record player stand and a bookcase from the Holman home on Lighthouse Ave. It has been weatherized and is ready to be put to use to promote reading and literacy.

    Nancy Enterline announced that, thanks to a request from Julie Packard, the Renewal Project just received a lead gift of $200,000 from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. She noted that the Foundation was very pleased to support this important project to benefit our community for generations to come. 

    Bui-Burton also announced that the Packard Foundation gift, joining contributions from the City of Pacific Grove, Friends of the Pacific Grove Public Library, Pacific Grove Public Library Foundation, the DeWitt Foundation and generous individual donors has raised 80 percent of the $2.5 million goal of the Renewal Project.

     

    Packard Foundation gives $200,000 to Library Renewal Project

    May 14, 2018

    Announcement of a $200,000 donation from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation drew a round of applause from the crowd of over 100 that gathered in Jewell Park Saturday to celebrate the Pacific Grove Library’s 110th birthday and kick-off a 110-day fundraising effort for the $2.5 million library Renewal Project slated to start this summer.

    The birthday party was organized by Friends of the Pacific Grove Library, a non-profit group focused on supporting the library with volunteerism and fundraising and the Library Advisory Board.

    Library Director Scott Bauer welcomed the crowd and introduced speakers including Pacific Grove Mayor Bill Kampe, architect on the project Karin Payson, Friends president Kim Bui-Burton, Library Advisory Board Chair Nancy Enterline, and several others who spoke on the importance of the library to the community.

    Attendees could bid on a Little Free Library replica of the original Carnegie Library, make birthday cards, create a FacebooK print by local artist Barbara Lee Furbush, and make a donation—all proceeds going to the renewal project.

    The Carnegie Library replica is a Little Free Library (https://littlefreelibrary.org/), constructed by local residents Don Livermore and Bill Pagano as a “Built for Books” fundraiser for the Library Renewal Project. It is on display at the entrance to the Library. A silent auction is being conducted at the Library until Friday evening, July 6, 2018, where the highest bidder and lucky recipient will be announced at the Pacific Grove Public Library Closing Reception that evening.

    The replica was constructed with local, historic, repurposed materials including a 1930s record player stand and a bookcase from the Holman home on Lighthouse Ave. It has been weatherized and is ready to be put to use to promote reading and literacy.

    Nancy Enterline announced that, thanks to a request from Julie Packard, the Renewal Project just received a lead gift of $200,000 from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. She noted that the Foundation was very pleased to support this important project to benefit our community for generations to come. 

    Bui-Burton also announced that the Packard Foundation gift, joining contributions from the City of Pacific Grove, Friends of the Pacific Grove Public Library, Pacific Grove Public Library Foundation, the DeWitt Foundation and generous individual donors has raised 80 percent of the $2.5 million goal of the Renewal Project.

    Judge rules for City in STR case

    May 11, 2018

    City of Pacific Grove Attorney Dave Laredo advises this morning, May 11, 2018, Judge Anderson presided over a hearing on the motion for preliminary injunction filed by Petitioners Strongpg, Joy Colangelo, Kevin Delaney, William Harder, Alka Joshi, and Spencer Tall (Petitioners). They sought to enjoin the City from implementing the new restrictions on short-term rental (STR) licensing, including the Lottery, pending a trial on the merits of the petition.

    To obtain a preliminary injunction, a moving party must show 1) a likelihood of success on the merits; and 2) irreparable harm. Judge Anderson found Petitioners failed to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits, and denied the motion.

    Judge Anderson emphasized that land use regulations, including the power to zone, involve the exercise of the sovereign’s police power. A government may not contract away its right to exercise the police power in the future. Further, property ownership rights, reserved to the individual by constitutional provision, must be subordinated to the rights of society.

    A case management conference is scheduled for July 31, 2018, at which time Judge Anderson will likely set the matter for trial.

    Based upon the pleadings filed by the parties, and oral argument, Judge Anderson ruled in favor of the City. Based on this ruling, the STR License lottery will proceed on May 22 as planned.

    Carter’s two-home run day leads JV Breakers to victory over Soledad, 16-4

    May 11, 2018

    By Brian “Woodie” Wood
    Pacific Grove’s JV baseball team was hosted by Soledad on Tuesday (May 8) in their last road game of the season.  The strong Salinas Valley winds did not bother the Breakers as they triumphed in a 16-4 victory over the Aztecs.
     
    Catcher Chianti Carter led the way with two home runs and five runs batted in. PG tallied three runs in the first off of a single by JJ Courtney, double by Charlie McMahon and Carter’s first home run.  In the second, PG added another two runs. Mario Bonelli had a long double aided by walks to McMahon and Carter and singles by Zach Malone and Jay McMahon.  The wheels came off of the Soledad wagon in the fourth when the Breakers put across eleven runs. Highlights were Carter’s second home run (plus a single), a single and double by Courtney, C.McMahon’s second double of the day (plus a walk), two singles from Jay McMahon, a single by Bonelli, and walks to Aidan Borman and Desi Green.  PG knocked out 11 hits in the inning.
     
    The game was called after four innings and PG pitcher Colton Bell struck out nine and allowed just three hits in his complete game victory.
     
    PG (12-9 overall, 8-3 league) hosts Soledad on Thursday (May 10) at 4pm at the JV Field for their final game of the season. 

    Mathletics Celebrates Math: The Only Subject that COUNTS!

    April 30, 2018

    The 50th Annual Monterey County Mathletics Competition welcomed over 400 students to Hartnell College on Saturday, April 28, 2018 for a day dedicated to the only subject that counts – Math!

    Held each Spring, Mathletics is sponsored by Monterey County Office of Education and California State University, Monterey Bay Mathematics Department. Photos from the event can be found here.

    The 50th Annual Mathletics event began with the competition, held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., where students took exams in Integrated Math, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, and Statistics. Professors then scored the exams while students enjoyed lunch and rotated through various STEM learning opportunities including an engineering design challenge, a math festival, a college fair, photo station, and a mini-film series. The Awards Ceremony concluded the day.

    This year, award opportunities were increased to recognize several of the top performing students. Scholarship winners were as follows:

    • The top high school senior taking the Advanced Calculus BC exam – Filip Zacek, Carmel High School – received the Richard Morgantini Scholarship of $1,250.
    • The members of the highest scoring Advanced Calculus BC team – Oscar Chen, Stella Li, and Holden Orias, Stevenson School – received the Robert P. Balles Calculus Team Scholarship of $1500.
    • The members of the highest scoring AP Statistics team – Jason Buckley, Kate Crompton, and Henry Loh, Pacific Grove High School – won the Robert P. Balles Statistics Team Scholarship of $1500.
    • The top high school senior taking the Statistics AP exam – Henry Loh, Pacific Grove High School – received the CSUMB Mathletics Professors Scholarship of $500.

    First, second, and third place winners in each level received gift cards, gift certificates and a first, second or third place medal.

    Malone pitches PG JV to a 6-1 win over Sacred Heart

    April 22, 2018

     By Brian “Woodie” Wood
    Zach Malone pitched 6 1/3 innings of 3-hit 1-run ball against host Sacred Heart in Atherton on Saturday (Apr. 21) as the JV Breakers handled the Gators 6-1. The JV players were spectators for two hours in the first game of the double-header as the varsity teams squared off (Sacred Heart was victorious 7-3).
     
    PG put on two runners in the first. Malone knocked a 2-out single to left-centerfield before Chianti Carter drew a base on balls. Both were left stranded.  In the second, Charlie McMahon earned an 8-pitch walk followed by an infield single off the bat of JJ Courtney.  Jordan Booker executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third.  Sean Powell walked, but again the runners were left stranded. In the third, once again the Breakers had plenty of baserunners and some bad breaks. After Malone walked and Carter singled McMahon hit an apparent single to left field just over the the shortstop’s head. The runner at second had to freeze and was thrown out at third by the leftfielder. Undaunted, PG loaded the bases after Courtney walked. Once again, Sacred Heart worked out of the inning without allowing any runs. Malone would suffer the same fate in the fourth when his “single” to right field just over the second baseman’s head caused the runner at third to pause long enough to be forced out at home.

    Read the rest of this story »

    Sacred Heart Breaks PG’s with a 7-3 victory

    April 22, 2018

    By Brian Woodie Wood
    On Saturday, Pacific Grove traveled to the Bay Area to take on Sacred Heart Prep Gators in Atherton.  Although the outcome was a 7-3 loss for the Breakers, it was much closer for much of the game.
     
    PG was never at a loss for base runners throughout the game and in the first Hunter Hanes drew a two-out walk followed by a single into right field by Kevahn Ebron. However, no runs were scored. Sacred Heart scored three in the bottom half of the inning off of a double two singles, a walk and a sacrifice fly.  Shortstop Trevor Heyn of PG minimized the damage when, with runners on first and second and no outs, he made a fine stop of a ball hit deep into the hole to his right and threw a strike to Nathan Wood at third for the force out—the only chance for an out on the play.
     
    The Breakers had two more base runners in the second when Wood powered a hard single to left field followed by Ben Minik who stroked a single to the left of the center fielder. Once again, the PG runners were stranded. 

    Read the rest of this story »

    Breakers JV Nine falls to Gonzales

    April 21, 2018

    By Brian “Woodie” Wood

    PG’s Junior Varsity traveled to Gonzales on Friday (Apr. 20) to play against the Junior Spartans. Pacific Grove had held Gonzales scoreless on Tuesday, but that was not the case today. In a slugfest the Junior Breakers came up one run short in a 17-14 loss.

    Although the PG pitching came up short, their bats were on fire. So a review of the contributions would be appropriate. Sean Powell 3 hits & 4 runs scored; Charlie McMahon a triple and 2 singles & 2 runs scored; Zach Malone a single & 2 runs scored; Chianti Carter 3 walks, a single, & 2 runs scored; Jordan Booker on base twice & a run scored; JJ Courtney 4 singles & 2 runs scored; Mario Bonelli a single; Colton Bell single and walk; Dezi Green 3 singles, a walk & a run scored.

    PG JV travels to Atherton to play Sacred Heart JV on Saturday (Apr. 21).

    Pacific Grove, on the Brink, Stages 7th Inning Rally to Down Gonzales 3-2

    April 21, 2018

    By Brian “Woodie” Wood
    The Pacific Grove Breakers traveled to windy Gonzales on Friday (Apr. 20) to take on the Spartans in a return match from Tuesday where PG had come out the victor 13-0. Tonight’s game was a pitcher’s duel between Dylan Graham of the Breakers and Gonzalo via Gomez of Gonzales. After 4 ½ innings the score was 1-0 PG, with the Breakers’ run coming in the first on a walk to Trevor Heyn followed by a stolen base and RBI double by River Watts.

    Meanwhile PG’s pitching and defense was stellar through the first four innings. Graham notched five strike outs, allowing no runs. Key defensive plays were a force out when second baseman Nathan Wood ranged far to his left to snag a grounder and spun to deliver a strike to Heyn at second; and a throw out of a runner at second attempting to steal by Rosas, Heyn putting on the tag. The Breakers had eleven runners in the first five innings, but could only tally the one run. Josh Mares had two singles plus a single by pinch hitter Anthony Alliotti and walks to Colby Burnell, Watts, and Freddie Albert.

    In the bottom of the fifth, Gonzales took advantage of two PG miscues and scored two runs off of an error, a double by via Gomez, and a wild pitch. However, Graham knuckled down with runners on second and third and one out as he retired the next two batters on a line out to centerfield and a strike out to end the inning.

    Going into the seventh, PG found themselves down 2-1, needing a run to tie and two to go ahead. PG proceeded to stage both a one out and a two out rally. Heyn stroked a one out single up the middle and stole second. Graham knocked him home on a single to right field tying the game. With two outs and nobody on, Hunter Hanes reached on an infield single. Rosas advanced Hanes to third with a single to left field and with some heads up base running took second on the throw to third base. After Watts was intentionally walked, Colby Burnell delivered a single to the left of the shortstop into center field to drive home Hanes and a give Pacific Grove a 3-2 lead.

    Heyn came on in relief in the bottom of the seventh and sparkled as he set down Gonzales 1-2-3 with a strike out, ground out, and strike out to save the game for winning pitcher Graham.

    Josh Mares had two hits for the Breakers and Heyn scored two of PG’s three runs. PG, tied for second in the MTAL with Carmel, travels to Atherton on Saturday (Apr. 21) to play Sacred Heart Prep. PG and Carmel play twice next week with both still in the hunt for the MTAL crown, 1 ½ games behind Soledad.

    Edison (Fresno) Has a Good Old (Days) Time against Pacific Grove

    April 15, 2018

    Great weather, Good Old Days, and the Pacific Grove Breakers welcomed the Edison Tigers from Fresno for a Saturday (Apr. 14) afternoon game. The Tiger bats were squaring up on the ball from the first batter and rolled to a 4-1 victory over the Breakers.

    Starting pitcher Dylan Graham set down Edison 1-2-3 and PG lead-off hitter Trevor Heyn started things off in the bottom of the first with a sharp single up the middle. However PG could not take advantage of the hit. Four hits led to two runs for Edison in the second. The Breakers had a small two-out rally in the second when Nathan Wood singled to right field with a runner on first. Those runners would remain stranded.

    Edison added a run in each of the next two innings to take a 4-0 lead. In the third, catcher Wood made a nice play in freezing a runner at third on a dropped third strike-wild pitch and then gunning down the batter at first. PG stroked a single in the third (Hunter Hanes) and fifth (Heyn) to no avail. However, in the sixth after Hanes walked, Kevahn Ebron singled, Hanes stole third, and scored on a ground out by Josh Mares taking the score to 4-1.

    PG made two other nice defensive plays. In the fifth with runners on second and third, Edison hit a ground ball to Heyn at shortstop who threw a strike to home where Wood made the tag for the out. In the following inning, PG turned a nifty 6-4-3 double play (T.Heyn to Justin Heyn to Ebron) to end the inning.

    Breakers relievers (Mares and T.Heyn) kept Edison at bay in the final three innings, including Heyn striking out three in a row with the bases loaded and nobody out.

    PG is tied for second with Carmel in the MTAL behind first place Soledad. Pacific Grove (Varsity and Junior Varsity) travel to Gonzales on Tuesday (Apr. 17) and host the Spartans on Friday; and then Carmel and Soledad (twice each) over the following two weeks.

    Last Chance for Free Tax Prep

    April 12, 2018

    People who earned less than $54,000 in 2017 have four last chances to get FREE tax prep or help to file an extension.

    Monday, April 16
    Hartnell College Main Campus, 411 Central Avenue, Salinas, Room B110 6-9pm
    MPC Extension, 289 12th Street, Marina, Room MA101 5:30-8:30pm

    Tuesday, April 17
    CET Salinas, 24 East Alvin Drive, Salinas, 5-9pm
    MPC Monterey Campus, 980 Fremont Street, Room BMC 206 5:30-8:30pm

    In addition, the following sites will be open on Saturday, April 14:

    CET Soledad, 930 Los Coches Rd, Soledad, 9am-2pm
    Hartnell College Alisal Campus, 1752 Alisal Road, Room C205, Salinas, 9am-1pm
    Salvation Army, 2460 N. Main Street, Salinas, 1pm-4pm
    Marina Branch of Monterey County Free Libraries, 188 Seaside Avenue, Marina, 11am-2pm
    Community Partnership for Youth – 775 Kimball Ave #101, Seaside, 9am-1pm

    For people who prefer to do their own taxes, United Way also offers free online software for both federal and state returns on its website. To file for free online, household income can be as much as $64,000.

    Regardless of whether you are required to file, United Way urges anyone who earned less than $54,000 to file taxes as they may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Many workers to not file because of the high cost of preparing even a simple return — $200. VITA eliminates this cost barrier and allows workers to claim all the refunds and credits for which they are eligible.

    Last year, VITA Volunteers prepared 2,595 tax returns and helped local workers claim more than $3.4M in refunds and credits, resulting in an economic stimulus of $5.4 to our local economy.

    VITA brings back money that stays in our community, benefiting the local economy and giving families a financial boost. The IRS estimates that one in four people do not claim the credits they are due and that more than $14 million in Earned Income Tax Credits goes unclaimed in Monterey County each year.

    Pole Vaulter will leave PGHS on a high

    April 8, 2018

    After 12 years the women’s pole vault record was broken by Senior Mary Grebing at the track meet held at Pacific Grove High School on Thursday April 5, 2018.  An all time high for this senior who also swims on the high school team and plays middle for the U18 Central Coast Volleyball travel team.  She also won the triple jump in the meet last Thursday.  Accepted to SDSU in the fall this senior is leaving PGHS on a high.   

    Pro STR Group Files Writ of Mandate against Pacific Grove, the Mayor, and City Council

    April 7, 2018

    An unincorporated association of Pacific Grove property owners who operate short-term rentals have retained an attorney who filed a writ of mandate in Superior Court of the County of Monterey against the City of Pacific Grove, the mayor, and the members of the City Council.

    Calling themselves STRONGpg (Short Term Rental Owners and Neighborhood Group of Pacific Grove), the group issued a statement about their stance: “After a very civilized democratic process, our City Council approved an ordinance in December, 2017, that tightened up the rules on short-term rentals while allowing existing STR owners in good standing to continue operating.” They believed, they go on the state, they had a solution to housing thousands of visitors to Pacific Grove and at the same time provide millions of dollars in Transient Occupancy Tax.

    Then according to the group, the City Council popped up with a lottery which is “based on complicated criteria that do not correlate with verified complaints lodged against STRs.”

    As a consequence, they decided to retain an attorney, David Lanferman of Rutan & Tucker LLP of Palo Alto who filed the writ. It asks for the City Council’s decision to be reversed and that there be a permanent injunction to prevent any STR lottery, and that the City be required to pay reasonable litigation expenses, costs and attorney’s fees plus any other relief the court might deem just and proper. The complaint also asks that no action be taken to “impair, suspend, terminate, or non-renew any transient use license currently in effect.”

    Members of STRONGpg who have joined the effort include Joy Colangelo, Kevin Delaney, William B. Harder, Alka Joshi, Kathryn Kranen and Spencer Tall.

    “People are concerned, not just for restrictions placed on the future use of their own properties, but for neighbors and friends who will lose out in the Lottery,” they said in their statement.

    A hearing is set for August 7, 2018. Read the rest of this story »

    Tuition Program for At-Risk Youth Employees at MacDonald’s is an Inspiration for Us All

    April 7, 2018

    Spring is here and I am glad to be enjoying it here in Pacific Grove. All too recently a nice story arrived on my desk from my editor. It was affixed to a brick with a rubber band, before it was subtly thrown across the newsroom and hit me on my left shoulder.

    Community Health Services in Monterey has a program named Safe Passage. This program is set up to help young, under-privileged people come off the streets or the often awful circumstances they inhabit. Simply put, when an individual enters the program, they are nurtured and counseled in a manner that is kind and productive. I can only imagine that many times the starting point for these remarkable youth has left them with little to show other than dread and despair. 

    What attracted me to this story is that I am always delighted to hear when the human spirit prevails over the human condition. What follows is my privilege to share.

    Once entered in the Safe Passage program the recipients live in a small, wonderfully kept, unremarkable home on Pearl St. that surely must seem like a mansion to some of them. This is where Ali Garcia runs the program. This writer’s estimation is that Mr. Garcia is an extraordinary example of the human spirit prevailing. Thus he became motivated to dedicate his efforts to help others. This he does. Ali starts his work with new entrants at the beginning. Alas, many are light on life skills. I’ll guess subjects like personal hygiene and manners come into vogue quickly as so many other skills are both learned and observed. Ali and the program he administers is remarkably successful. Good program, well implemented. How he got there is as remarkable as the program itself.

    One day, Ali had just a moment of time and thought he’d treat himself to a dollar menu sundae just down the street at the local McDonald’s. While there he saw a table with a sign that read something like “National Hiring Day.”  There was a man sitting at the empty table – James Fernandez. Mr. Fernandez is the manager of the whole place. Ali went and got his dollar menu sundae and went and sat at the table with James. Read the rest of this story »

    Rain, rain, go away—never mind, PG plays through it in 10-5 loss to Palma

    April 7, 2018

    By Brian ‘Woodie’ Wood

    The rains came as expected on Friday (April 6).  The San Francisco Giants postponed their game against the Dodgers at 1pm, six hours prior to game time. The Junior Varsity Game between Pacific Grove and Palma was postponed two days prior (and played this past Wednesday, April 4).  However, the varsity match between host Pacific Grove High School and the visiting Palma Chieftains went as scheduled on at a wet and soggy Don Curley Field. Despite a persistent rain, the game was played to completion with the 10-5 victory going to the Chieftains. Click to read more and see photos Read the rest of this story »

    ‘Big Little Lies’ film set goes up at Lovers Point

    April 6, 2018

    At its April 4, 2018 meeting, the Pacific Grove City Council approved a “location film permit” for Lovers Point Park for a temporary and limited length of time.
    The applicant, Blue Blues Productions, LLC had requested a permit for episodic television filming at Lovers Point Park, including exclusive use of a 1200 square foot portion of the ark plus parking lot use over a 12-day period, to give them time for set-up, filming, and take=down of the structure.
    Blue Blues Productions, LLC, is connected with HBO who are beginning the filming of Season 2 of “Big Little Lies,” the television serial which was partly set in Pacific Grove and aired recently.

    Park use fees include:
    Park rental fee @ $2,111.00/day at 12 days $25,332.00
    Park use fee @ $2.10/sq. ft. $30,240.00
    Parking spaces in Lot A @ 35 x $21 for 3 days $2,205
    Parking spaces in Lot B @ 11 x $21 for 3 days $693.00
    Estimated total $58,770.00
    Less 25% credit on City costs $14,692.50
    Revised estimated amount $44,077.50

    The fees will not include personnel charges such as police officer and public works employees, which will be reimbursed directly to the City by Blue Blues Productions, LLC separately from the park use fees. Environmental documents are not required and the Coastal Commission has advised that the activity is exempt from a Coastal Development Permit because it is a temporary event.
    Blue Blues Productions wasted no time beginning their project. As soon as the ink was dry on the permit, a crew showed up to begin construction of what appears to be a gazebo and deck. As of April 6, 2018 it looked like this:

                

    It remains to be seen what part the gazebo and deck will play in the upcoming season.

    Find out about the area’s Bohemian Art movement

    April 5, 2018

    BOHEMIAN ART OPENS FRIDAY (4/6) at Pacific Grove Art Center. The history of the Monterey area’s “Bohemian/Beat culture” of the 1950’s is celebrated in a new exhibit, “Art, Architecture &… Surfing: Working Artists of Del Monte Park & Huckleberry Hill.” Opens with a free, public reception. 7-9 p.m. at 568 Lighthouse Ave. during the Art Center’s First Friday Gallery Night,
    — The evolving exhibition, curated by Erik Nelson and Amanda Chaffin, reveals the vibrant artist communities who were separate yet enjoined through the artist’s works, home building and intellectual interests politically and socially. The works and stories of the painters, sculptors, ceramists, actors, book binders and writers are shown throughout this exhibition along with current works of the two communities, children and friends. The exhibit will continue through April 26.
    — Reception guests also may enjoy continued viewing of the two current exhibits. Viewers can soar from an aerial view as they interact with the fields and rivers and feel how perception can take on new shape and new meaning in Daniel Van Germen’s “Field of View” exhibit. Guests also may be amazed by the one-of-a-kind paper and fabric collages in the “Cutting Edge: Cloth, Paper, Scissors” exhibit by Annette Chaplin, Joy Colangelo, and Marybeth Rinehart.
    — PGAC’s “Lost Treasures” of art pieces now on sale will be open for reception visitors to search through and purchase. Many of the PGAC 17 resident studio artists will open their doors so guests can catch a glimpse of how painters, printmakers, watercolorists, fabric artists and sculptors work in their private spaces.
    — Regular hours at the Pacific Grove Art Center are Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. The unique, community-based nonprofit art venue was established in 1969. There is no charge, but donations are suggested and welcomed.

    Cal Am Attempts to Disrupt Public Water Now Petition Drive

    March 19, 2018

    Over the weekend voters on the Monterey Peninsula received a mailer from Monterey Water Works paid for by California American Water. It asked them to withdraw their signature from the Public Water Now ballot petition based on what Cal Am claims are inaccurate and misleading statements made by Public Water Now (PWN). The mailing included a preprinted form for them to sign and a prepaid envelope.

    “With only two weeks left to collect signatures, we were appalled by Cal Am’s act of desperation,” says George Riley, Public Water Now Director. “It was sad to see how they had mischaracterized our intentions and the facts we had already published. We feel compelled to set the record straight.”
    The PWN initiative does NOT increase the cost of water on the Peninsula. Nor does the initiative in any way interfere with new water supplies or put our future water security at risk.
    The PWN initiative does NOT raise property taxes. The bond to buy Cal Am would be paid off on our water bills and offset by the $19 million annually that Cal Am now takes in corporate profit and pays in taxes. Read the rest of this story »

    Small Cell Towers nixed in 7-hour Monterey Planning Commission meeting

    March 19, 2018

    By Gary Baley

    In a 7-hour marathon Planning Commission meeting Thursday evening, commissioners overruled staff and voted 7-0 to deny telecom giant Verizon’s application for a small cell tower in the Monte Vista neighborhood of Monterey. The meeting, held in City Council chambers, lasted from 6 pm Thursday to 1 am Friday morning. 

    The full Planning Commission was in attendance: Stephen Millich (Chair), Michael Dawson (Vice Chair), Michael Brassfield, Sam Ezekiel, Daniel Fletcher, Terry Latasa, and Hansen Reed. Staff was represented by Todd Bennett, Senior Associate Planner.

    Pouring rain didn’t stop 150 residents from attending the meeting nor did it dampen the passions of those opposed to the project originally slated for 13 cell towers in three adjacent neighborhoods: Monte Vista, Skyline, and parts of Old Town.

    Read the rest of this story »

    Lauren Coppla does it all

    March 16, 2018

    Lauren Coppla knocked in a home run to start the 3/15/18 girls softball game against Stevenson, which ended with a score of 11-1 in five innings.That was feat enough, but after the game was over, she rode to the Pacific Grove High School track, changing into her track clothes in the car, and ran the third leg f the girls 4×400 meter relay race which the team won.Lauren also runs the 100, 200, and 4×100 relay, but because of the softball game,didn’t run those events this week.
    No one has ever done this at PG High, and her coaches (softball, Sal Lucido and track, Steve Watkins) were amazed,
    Beginning the season, Lauren might have had to make a choice between the two sports, but her coaches agreed that she could take part in both as long as softball came first. Lauren will go to softball every time, then to track as she can. The two sports follow the same season so there will likely be a lot of conflicts.

    Oh, and she carries a 3.5 GPA at the same time.

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