WHO’S IN TOWN?
Organic foods continue to grow as a popular option for consumers. One research firm estimates that the market would grow to more than $363 billion by 2024. Here in Monterey County, organic produce gross sales have risen every year since 2012, from $182.6 million to $412.3 million, according to the county’s 2018 crop report. The Organic Produce Summit is back in town for its fourth year, attracting hundreds of growers, buyers and retailers. The summit features two powerhouse keynote speakers: Award-winning chef Dan Barber is author of The Third Plate. Organic consumer activist Robyn O’Brien is vice president of rePlant Capital, a financial services firm focused on reversing climate change, and founder of Do Good, a strategic advisory firm.
8am-noon Thursday, July 11. Monterey Conference Center, 1 Portola Plaza, Monterey. $995. organicproducesummit.com.
Four Monterey County newspapers, as well as the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian, have new ownership: San Jose-based New SV Media Group. All five newly acquired outlets – the Pajaronian, King City Rustler, Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune – were previously owned by Illinois-based News Media Corp., which publishes dozens of newspapers in nine states. New SV Media publications include Gilroy Dispatch, Morgan Hill Times, and Hollister Free Lance, Metro Silicon Valley, Santa Cruz Good Times and Northern California Bohemian in Napa, Sonoma and Marin counties. “We were pleased to find a Northern California-based publisher with adjacent properties that was a good fit for the Pajaronian,” News Media Corp. President Nickolas Monico told the Pajaronian, which last year went from three days a week to a weekly. “This transaction enables us to focus on the success of our core properties in the Midwest.” Publisher Jeanie Johnson will stay on, and expects all five papers to get a new design.
GOOD WEEK / BAD WEEK
Congrats to Salinas Union High School District and Soledad Unified School District for officially welcoming new schools meant to help alleviate overcrowded classrooms elsewhere. On June 28, the long awaited Rancho San Juan High School in North Salinas opened with members of the media, public and the incoming freshman class in attendance for a ribbon cutting and campus tours. The high school was funded through the $128 million Measure B bond passed in 2014. The campus, located on Rogge Road, has room for around 1,500 students. RSJHS will be the fifth high school joining SUHSD. The following day, SUSD opened their newest middle school, Main Street Middle School. The school was built with funds from Measures C, a $40 million bond passed in 2012, and Measure G, a $25.1 million bond voters approved in 2018.
The Center for Climate Integrity released a report that estimates potential costs associated with climate change and is campaigning for oil companies to foot the bill for their share of the damages. According to the report, Monterey County will be the 15th most costly in the state, and will have to spend $628.5 million for 24 miles of seawalls by 2040 to protect the coastline from a rising ocean. Congressional District 20 is ranked as the 72nd most costly in the nation, with an estimated $907 million in adaptation expenses. The community will have to either pay higher taxes or cut existing public services to cover the adaptation costs, according to the report. Without adapting, the report points to bigger and more expensive problems down the line such as displacement of homes and roads, a decline in property values and public safety risks, to name just a few.