WHO’S IN TOWN?
It might be hidden under lots of hair dye, but as a population we’re getting grayer. One in every five Monterey County residents will be over age 60 by next year. The nonprofit LeadingAge California has been advocating for high-quality nonprofit senior living and care for over 60 years, representing 625-plus care providers in the state and more than 120,000 senior residents. This week LeadingAge is in town for its 2019 Conference and Expo to talk about the latest in senior health care, housing and other issues that impact health and well-being. Workshop topics include housing as health care and using technology to combat dementia. Opening keynote speaker Galen Emanuel, president of the consulting company Shift Yes, will share how to use the tools of improv comedy to drive an intentional organizational culture.
Mon-Wed May 20-22. Monterey Conference Center, 1 Portola Plaza, Monterey. $275-$925. leadingageca.org/annualconference.
Last year, voters approved Measure J, directing the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District to conduct a feasibility analysis of a public buyout of California American Water and, if determined to be feasible, to pursue acquisition. That’s despite Cal Am’s repeat assertions that it’s not for sale, meaning the specter of a lawsuit. MPWMD’s analysis is well underway – we think. At least consultants, whoever they are, are probably well underway. MPWMD attorney David Laredo has signed three contracts, with a cost-of-service consultant; an investor-owned utility consultant; and an investment banker for financial analysis. The Weekly filed a California Public Records Act request to view those contracts, but was flatly denied on the claim that they are Laredo’s, not MPWMD’s: “[MPWMD] is not a party to any of those contracts. The District did not review or approve the contracts,” Laredo wrote. “Release could jeopardize positions we are presently researching on behalf of our client.” Whether or not MPWMD proceeds with a buyout, transparency can only help build credibility.
GOOD WEEK / BAD WEEK
For another week since March 21, the lights have stayed on longer in Ngundeng Mogadishu Primary School located in Kakuma Refugee Campin Kenya, thanks to the efforts of Seaside High School’s Physical Integrated STEM students. The students teamed up with organizations We Share Solar and Change Mtaabi to create Solar Suitcase #506, a solar energy converting unit. The students practiced creating nine suitcases before #506 was shipped to and installed at the Kenyan school. After receiving several of these student-made suitcases from around the world, they had enough to stabilize the electricity of their school. A steady source of power means students are able to study for longer in the early morning and the evening. Apart from keeping the lights on in classrooms, the suitcases also have enough power to light up the school’s store and kitchen.
The nonprofit Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association, better known as ALBA, had a rough week in court. Last year, a group of farmers sued the organization, alleging ALBA repeatedly failed to pay for produce and had over-promised and under-delivered when it came to advancement opportunities. ALBA’s attorney moved to have the case dismissed, and on May 10, Monterey County Superior Court Judge Susan Matcham announced her intended ruling to let the case proceed, despite protests from ALBA’s attorney Paul Hart. He argued that because of ambiguity around whether the farmers are ALBA employees or independent contractors, some of their claims don’t hold up. Matcham appeared unswayed. The farmers’ attorney, Nina Patane, says, “ALBA is putting a lot of time and money into crushing the plaintiffs, but not hearing their concerns.”