The Weekly Tally 05.04.17

WHO’S IN TOWN?

The Conference of Northern California Handweavers put a poetic spin on the name of its gathering this week, “Sapphire Sea, Golden Threads,” to commemorate the group’s 65th year. Blue sapphire is the traditional gift for a 65th anniversary, and the group is meeting by the sea “to enjoy the sapphire blue of the Pacific Ocean wrapped in the golden sands of Asilomar Conference Grounds.” The handweavers offer 13 workshops throughout the weekend in weaving, spinning, dyeing and basketry for all skill levels. The keynote speaker is artist Deborah Valoma, chair of the Textiles Program at California College of the Arts.

Thurs-Sun May 4-7. Asilomar Conference Grounds, 800 Asilomar Ave., Pacific Grove. $375. CNCH2017@gmail.com, cnch.org.

GOOD WEEK / BAD WEEK

GOOD:

It’s a good week for the Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority, which for at least 10 years has been trying to make some future plans. Those plans get an official kick-off with public meetings, the first at 6pm Mon, May 8 at the Maria J. Torres-Gil Community Center in Salinas. The agency’s long-term needs study will have an eye toward eco-conscious goals: reducing landfill disposal, increasing recycling and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. It also includes several options for relocating the existing Sun Street waste transfer station, which is located smack dab in the middle of Salinas, and which city officials have been asking SVSWA to relocate for at least a decade. SVSWA is beginning to prepare an environmental impact report examining options for different configurations of future dump locations; a draft project description and details on public meetings can found at salinasvalleyrecycles.org.

BAD:

Yet another setback to a renewable-energy future: Del Rey Oaks is still staying out of the consortium Monterey Bay Community Power. Due to continued public interest after DRO City Council voted 3-2 to opt out of joining MBCP on March 28, DRO Mayor Jerry Edelen brought the matter back for consideration on April 25. The concern of the councilmembers opposed to joining is the potential liability to the tiny city if the venture goes belly-up. Even on reconsideration their concerns were not allayed, and council voted – again 3-2 – to direct City Manager Dino Pick to get agreements in writing that would limit the city’s potential liability. They want to be on the hook for no more than a per-capita share, and the MBCP board to write into its bylaws that any liability be meted out to members on a per-capita basis.

FREE SPEECH

The California Public Records Act is an indispensable tool for journalists and members of the public seeking public records. Despite a requirement in the CPRA for agencies to respond within 10 days, newspapers, including the Weekly, often face delays. (See story, p. 16, for an example: The Weekly requested records from the city of Pacific Grove on Feb. 6, which were provided – incomplete – on March 8. It took a follow-up request seeking a missing document, filed April 7, to get a complete response.) Assemblymember Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, introduced AB 1479, which would give the CPRA some teeth, allowing fines of $1,000-$5,000 on agencies that don’t comply. AB 1479 passed 11-0 out of its first Assembly committee hearing April 25. The California Newspaper Publishers Association, of which the Weekly is a member, sent a letter of support. “Delay and other barriers to access in the production of records are commonplace,” CNPA Counsel Nikki Moore wrote. “Even CNPA’s members, some of the most sophisticated public records requesters, are given the runaround by agencies that want to withhold access without issuing an outright denial.”

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