The Weekly Tally 09.08.22

FREE SPEECH

From Aristophanes to Moliere to George Bernard Shaw, nothing promotes independent theater more effectively than being called “blasphemous.” America Needs Fatima, a campaign of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, a Catholic national advocacy group, is calling the play The Testament of Mary, now at the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts in Carmel, blasphemous. Producer and actor Jane Press “has been performing on stage since the Kennedy administration,” as she likes to say, so it’s not the first time she has faced criticism. Fatima followers have been on the back of Colm Tóibín, the author of the novella upon which the play is based, for years. The organization started an online petition (32,560 signatures strong) seeking to stop the Carmel production, saying the text “denies Jesus to be the son of god.” There was also a danger of “possibly stripping most pure Mary completely naked on stage, as was done in NYC on Broadway in 2014.” (Not part of this production.) But the Cherry Center and Press are not stopping. You can still catch the play Friday, Saturday and Sunday, closing Sept. 11.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“Just one more night is worth millions of dollars in economic impact.” - Rob O’Keefe, president of the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau, speaking about Labor Day weekend spending

(see story, posted at mcweekly.com/news)

GOOD WEEK / GREAT WEEK

GOOD:

The Bob Hoover Academy is an alternative high school in Salinas that teaches students how to repair and fly planes. And on Friday, Sept. 13 at 1:30pm, it will have a ceremony at the Salinas Airport, in tandem with the Monterey County Office of Education, celebrating the opening of its new campus that includes three classrooms, a flight simulator and the plane the academy owns that the students learn to fly in. The academy, which was founded in 2016, has until now had its classrooms in offsite MCOE facilities. Students had to drive to the airport for the flight simulator and to work on or fly a plane. Now, the academy’s resources are all in one place, so that when students show up to the airport every morning, they will be showing up to school. “This program is the best-kept secret in Salinas, but we don’t want it to be a secret,” MCOE Superintendent Deneen Guss says.

GREAT:

Great news for Salinas comes from a long-awaited closure. After 15-plus years of effort, the Sun Street Transfer Station, a dump located in the middle of the city, will close permanently after 4pm on Saturday, Sept. 10. (Fear not, there is still a place to get rid of recyclables and hazardous household waste: Salinas Valley Recycles will open its new location, operated by waste hauler Republic Services of Salinas, at 1104 Madison Lane on Monday, Sept. 12.) This move takes the waste facility full circle, back to where it was before 2005, when the Sun Street location opened, then grew to eventually serve over 300 customers a day, six days a week. The relocation clears the way for the city’s plans to redevelop the area as the Alisal Marketplace concept, bringing more pedestrian traffic and commerce to a neighborhood that for 17 years has housed a trash dropoff facility.

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