WHO’S IN TOWN?
Nearly 10 years ago, research by marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols proved what many Monterey County residents instinctively know: being in, on or near the water is good for us. Nichols released a groundbreaking book, Blue Mind, increasing awareness of how water has a positive effect on our emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing. Nichols is in town this week for the 9th annual Blue Mind Summit at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur. The location is by design – Nichols said in a press release he can’t imagine a better place to combine the benefits of water and mindfulness. He’s being joined by mindfulness expert Shauna Shapiro and neuropsychiatrist Daniel Siegel. The three aim to combine contemplative practice with science to create the experience of “Blue Mindfulness.”
Fri-Sun June 28-30. Esalen Institute, 555000 Highway 1, Big Sur. $420-$3,180. 667-3000, esalen.org.
Two years after the California Constitutional Convention in Monterey in 1849, the state’s first governor, Peter Burnett, delivered a State of the State address. In it, he spoke at length about a “war of extermination” between the “white man” and the “Indian race.” He believed the violence wouldn’t stop “until the Indian race becomes extinct.” Fortunately, what Burnett considered an “inevitable destiny” did not come to pass. Today, California is home to hundreds of thousands of Native Americans. On June 18, the state’s current governor, Gavin Newsom, spoke in front over 100 tribal leaders and apologized for the atrocities committed against their ancestors, becoming the first California governor to do so – and he notably changed the language we use to talk about history. “It’s called genocide,” Newsom said. “No other way to describe it. And that’s the way it needs to be described in the history books.” A newly created Truth and Healing Council will also invite Native Americans to clarify the record with their own historical perspective.
GOOD WEEK / BAD WEEK
There was a time that each of the five Monterey County supervisorial districts had an office within the district. For nearly 15 years, the largest – District 3, which encompasses South County – has been without one. Supervisor Chris Lopez is changing that, and this week attended the groundbreaking for a building in Greenfield that will be the new home of his office. “It allows you to keep a finger on the pulse of the community a little easier,” Lopez says. “If folks want to stop over and say, ‘Hey I think you should vote this,’ it creates an opportunity.” He and his staff will be tenants in The Vines shopping center, part of a new complex including a Starbucks on Walnut Avenue, which is quickly becoming a new hub for Greenfield. Next up: Greenfield officials have asked Monterey-Salinas Transit to consider adding a bus stop on the east side of Highway 101 for easier access.
The 30th annual National Low Income Housing Coalition’s “Out of Reach” report came out June 18, and shows a worsening situation since 1989, with 2.5 million low-cost rental units gone from the market. The coalition developed a “housing wage,” an estimate of the hourly wage needed to afford a rental home by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s determination of fair market rent, without spending more than 30 percent on housing. Monterey County’s 2019 housing wage is $29.62/hour, or an annual income of $61,600, in order to afford a two-bedroom fair-market rental home at $1,540 a month. The estimated average hourly renter wage is $16.48, however. At that amount, an affordable rent would be $857 a month. The coalition estimates a Monterey County household would need 2.5 full-time jobs to afford rent.