Thursday, June 26, 2003
By Enjolina Moss, Niko Kyriakou and Zachary Stahl
Drawing the Future
Sketches of what might be the future of affordable homes will be on display Thursday, as local developers and city officials scout designs suited for the needs of Monterey County.
The forum, organized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), is part of a three-phase project called Concepts: Housing Solutions for our Communities. The project is designed to gather affordable housing models, and eventually implement them in the community.
The forum will feature the winning housing designs from a competition organized by the AIA to find homes that are realistic and suitable for Monterey County. The goal of the forum is to lead the transition from pencil sketchings to concrete planning.
The plan is to "find the site, find partners and make it happen," says Kate McKenna, principal planner for the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments, the main sponsor of the event.
According to McKenna, the development director for the city of Monterey will reveal plans for redevelopment between Alvarado Street and Lake Estero. "The city of Monterey has a housing site in mind for one of the winning housing projects," she says.
Salinas will also be scouting home designs as it prepares to begin its 14- story redevelopment project in Old Town, McKenna says. The project will include both hotel and residential use.
Representatives from housing projects already underway will focus on the partnerships necessary to make these things happen. The panel will include Keith McCoy who is expected to unveil plans for the East Garrison project on Fort Ord.
McKenna hopes that panelists "will take some of the practical tools and teachings and take them back to the community."
The forum will take place on Thursday, June 26, at the Salinas Community Center, starting at 8:30 am. Call 883-3750. [ZS]
Shopping for Justice
Nadia Hashimi, a 22-year-old Afghani woman and student at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, says locals can help improve the dire situation faced by women in Afghanistan and many other places around the world--by shopping.
Hashimi will speak this Saturday in Carmel at Amanda, a women's clothing boutique that will host a two-hour shopping event featuring crafts made by women in some of the poorest nations on earth. Artisans from countries such as India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Uganda and Nepal, as well as Afghanistan, will have their goods displayed and, hopefully, sold at this event organized by Rising International, a Freedom, Calif.-based group that aims to reduce world poverty by marketing and selling crafts made mostly by women at shopping events held around the state.
Rising International works with the International Federation for Alternative Trade, a network of over 160 Fair Trade organizations, which reports that millions of women worldwide continue to live in poverty, struggling to earn a living wage. The federation attempts to ease their plight by "providing fair wages and good employment opportunities to economically disadvantaged artisans and farmers worldwide."
Hashimi will focus on the economic struggles faced by these Third World women in her talk, "Shopping for Social Justice: Women Reach Across the Economic and Social Divide."
Linda Ford, Vice President for Advancement at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, will host the event Saturday from 3-5pm at Amanda, along with Sylvie Vidal, owner of the boutique. Nadia Hashimi's presentation will begin at 3:30pm. Call Sylvie Vidal at 620-0980 or Rising International at 722-2141. [EM]
Talking Post-War Iraq
Even if weapons of mass destruction (WMD) are not found in Iraq, the WMD argument for invasion cannot be disproved. This is the position of Fred L. Wehling, senior research associate and Middle East expert with the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Wehling will defend his analysis Wednesday, July 2 at 1:30pm at MPC, as part of the college's Gentrain lecture series.
Wehling believes WMD were most likely removed from Iraq or destroyed without a trace of evidence. As a result, he says, it's impossible to say whether the Bush and Blair administrations told the truth about Iraqi programs. Furthermore, Wehling says, any WMD Iraq had would probably not have been disposed of without the threat of US invasion.
Wehling's projection makes it difficult to assert that the war did not achieve its objective of eradicating Iraqi WMD.
Wehling says destroyed WMD are extremely difficult to trace. He doesn't expect hard evidence to turn up, but rather anticipates the best leads to come from Iraqi personnel. If Wehling is right, and their confessions soon fill the news, then debates will probably continue to center on locating WMD (while preemption and unilateralism may be more pressing foreign policy questions).
Wehling was once a consultant at the center-right RAND think tank and a researcher at Sandia National Laboratories. He has a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA.
Wehling will begin his talk with word associations, questioning common perceptions of the Middle East, and then open the dialogue to audience direction. Call 646-4224 for details. [NK]
Pacific Grove Library Hours Cut
Due to proposed budget cuts and shortfalls, the Pacific Grove Library is reducing its hours on July 1. In addition to shorter weekday hours, the library will be closed on Sundays. 550 Central Ave., Pacific Grove. 648-5760.