• The Gray Eminence

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

    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 more…»

    Final race of the season will make history

    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.

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

    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 more…»

    IMSA motor opera: Aston-Martin sings her song

    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 more…»

    The [Perimeter] Road to IMSA and Lambourghini Moses

    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 more…»

    The Circus Is Coming to Town

    Just a few day from now, one of the great motorsports circuses will arrive on our peninsula. WSBK or more commonly called World Superbike. This circus brings with it more rings than Elizabeth Taylor. Starting Tuesday, the factory big rigs and rider motor coaches will lumber up the “A” road from Highway 68 and sail in on the North-Douth Boundary road, into the sacred ground that is Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Read more…»

    Hors D’oeuvres, Champagne, and Motor Oil

    Last Wednesday evening Jameson’s Classic Motorcycle Museum in Pacific Grove hosted the South American contingent of MOTUL. The company produces the highest quality of synthetic oils and lubricants, used worldwide by the racing elite. And even locally by me. Motul has been on the cutting edge of science since ’53. 1853. About 30 people were here for their sponsored World Super Bike races, enjoyed the museum and its heart and soul, Neil Jameson.

    On a whole they could not have been nicer or more interesting. I enjoyed a fascinating conversation about what is in the company’s future. More to follow, as deadline looms.

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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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