Thursday, July 21, 2005
Peninsula voters may not get a chance to vote on financing a study of the cost of a public takeover of California American Water Company’s local system after all.
Last month, after listening to ratepayers overwhelmingly support the idea of buying out Cal Am, the Peninsula water board voted 5-2 to place a measure on the November ballot.
At the board’s July 18 meeting, they were slated to vote on the wording: “Shall the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District be directed to investigate the cost and process to publicly acquire the private water utility system presently owned and operated by the Monterey District of California American Water and be directed to recover the costs of the investigation as a surcharge upon the water bills of Cal Am’s customers?” And then board member Michelle Knight switched her vote. Last month she supported the measure; now she opposes it.
Alvin Edwards, who initially proposed the idea of a public takeover, was unable to attend the July 18 meeting, leaving the board split 3-3 and unable to approve the language for the November ballot.
To break the tie, the board continued the item and scheduled a meeting for 3pm on July 21 at the water district’s Ryan Ranch office, 5 Harris Ct., building G, Monterey, to vote. [JL]
One of Monterey’s most distinctive buildings, a blue-roofed Northern Chinese-style structure known as the Marsh Building, appears to be on the fast track to historic status.
Last Wednesday, Monterey’s Historic Preservation Commission convened to discuss a report on the process, but officials from the Catholic Diocese of Monterey, which owns the building, requested an extra week’s time to review the report, according to diocese spokesman Kevin Drabinski.
As a result, the proposal will again go before the Preservation Commission on July 22 at 5pm in the Monterey City Council Chambers. The proposal is also slated to go before the Monterey City Council on Aug. 2, and the State Historic Resources Commission in Sacramento on Aug. 5.
“It’s a tight schedule,” says state-certified historian Enid Sales, who submitted the Marsh Building’s application to the State Office of Historic Preservation in May requesting that it be added to the National Register. “[The Marsh Building] is architecturally unique, and there’s nothing like it in the country.”
Some preservationists, including Sales, fear the diocese wants to raze the 77-year-old structure, which it purchased in 1999, because of its proximity to the Royal Presidio Chapel.
Diocese officials deny they have any plans to tear the
building down. Last May, they decided to put the
stucco-covered wood-and-brick structure on the market after
learning that it would cost $3 million to renovate it.
Yawls and Youth
It’s about goodwill, historic preservation and maritime science, yawl.
Over the last decade two Russian Navy “yawl” boats have been used by Boat Base Monterey to teach Monterey and California’s youth about the important role Russia played in the scientific exploration of California.
The two six-oared boats were loaned by the Russian Navy’s Engineering Institute in 1996 to commemorate both the 300th anniversary of the Russian Navy and the 150th Anniversary of California’s Statehood.
Since then, the boats have traveled California as goodwill ambassadors of the Russian Navy. They’ve also participated in local education programs for the Lyceum and the Monterey Maritime Museum.
“The role that these boats played in bringing an appreciation and awareness of the 19th century naval scientific expeditions that visited California should not be forgotten,” says Lt. John Middleton, RFN Commander of Boat Base Monterey.
Boat Base Monterey promotes historic programs that encourage awareness of the Russian Navy’s contribution to California’s history.
For more about Boat Base Monterey and the original Science under Sail please visit www.93950.com/boats. [RM]