The Weekly Tally 10.03.19

WHO’S IN TOWN?

Winter is coming. For stormwater professionals, that means the rainy season, when runoff from the land rushes into drainage systems and ultimately into the sea. This week, some 1,200 stormwater professionals gather in Monterey for the California Stormwater Quality Association’s annual conference. Government employees, engineers, scientists and attorneys convene to talk about the latest in environmental innovation, and workshop topics include flooding, post-wildfire runoff, trash associated with homeless encampments and biofiltration. A tour takes attendees to Pure Water Monterey, the new water recycling facility in Marina. Dr. Kyle Van Houtan, chief scientist of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, gives a keynote address.

Mon-Wed Oct. 7-9. Monterey Conference Center, 1 Portola Plaza, Monterey. $695/members; $850/nonmembers. (650) 366-1042, casqa.org.
 

FREE SPEECH

How many arrests have U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers made in Monterey County lately? We want to tell you the answer, but months into the bizarre handling of a Freedom of Information Act request by ICE officials, we still can’t. The Weekly first submitted a FOIA request on June 26, seeking arrest logs since 2016. First, on July 3, came a delay: “Due to the increasing number of FOIA requests… we may encounter some delay in processing your request,” ICE replied. Then came a followup claiming such logs are not available: “We determined that your request is too broad in scope.” That, despite the fact that ICE has previously fulfilled identical FOIA requests with spreadsheets of arrest logs. Finally, on Aug. 23, ICE followed up with an email to say an analyst was processing the request; then letter dated Sept. 10 arrived, with a CD that purports to include an Excel worksheet. Only problem? The CD is blank. ICE has not replied since a Sept. 18 request from the Weekly to send the responsive records.

GOOD WEEK / BAD WEEK

GOOD:

The happy, healthy cats and dogs (and their humans) who are patients at Pet Specialists of Monterey in Del Rey Oaks got good news in the form of a national award: TheAmerican Animal Hospital Association announced this veterinary hospital as the winner of its Accredited Referral Practice of the Year Award. (Only about 15 percent of animal hospitals in the U.S. and Canada are accredited at all, and only one wins this competitive annual award.) “We are honored that they recognized our hard work and grateful for the standards that AAHA created,” says Dr. Greg Marsolais. He credits staff members’ level of dedication and notes many have been there since the practice opened in 2011. The practice uses cutting-edge technical equipment, such as animal CT scanners and a C-arm fluoroscopy; they also operate a blood bank and offer incentives to furry donors to give blood.

BAD:

It was a bad week for Laurian WatkinsGary RicksCory Blackwell and Zach Hinton, as Monterey County Superior Court Judge Susan Matcham dismissed the lawsuit they brought against Wash Stallworth Jr. and the California Sea-Kings LLC for breach of contract and wage violations. The four alledged Stallworth, owner of the Sea Kings, a professional basketball team of the American Basketball Association, failed to pay both coach (Watkins) and players (the other three) as contracted. The reason for the dismissal? The plaintiffs failed to appear in court on Sept. 30, the day the trial was to start, nor did they show up for a mandatory settlement conference. Stallworth, though, still has to pay up: The state Labor Commissioner’s office ordered Stallworth to pay $9,111.98 in back wages and damages to Kevin Watson and $5,749.64 to Gregory Plater, both former members of the Sea Kings.

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