Daily news from Monterey County Weekly

ETC. Photo of the day by Daniel Dreifuss. There are lots of critical jobs out there that involve working on holidays. Here, Salinas Fire Medic Mike Arnaldo looks over the map on a way to a call in Salinas on Friday, July 2. Submit your best horizontal photos. (Please include the location where the photo was taken in the caption.)

The way we work, and the way we relate to our work, is always changing.

Good morning, and happy Labor Day. 

Sara Rubin here, celebrating work in a kind of ironic way—by taking the day off work. 

The past two years have thrust work itself into the front and center of our consciousness, with an early divide between “essential” and “nonessential” work. There were jobs that could be done safely from a laptop at home—and many of those jobs are still being done virtually—and there were jobs that required workers to interact directly with Covid patients, putting themselves and their families at risk. 

Through it all, our work has been a defining feature of how we experienced the pandemic. But even pre-pandemic, work was already a defining feature of identity in our culture. There’s a lot of academic writing about this topic. For example, from a recent paper out of George Washington University: “Work identity, therefore, is a multidimensional work-based self-concept reflecting individual’s self-image that integrates organizational, occupational, and other identities shaping the roles and behaviors of individuals when they perform work.” (Just a little dose of academic writing with your holiday morning coffee, sorry/not sorry.) 

Academic language aside, I have long found the phrase “to make a living” a bit of a puzzle. Are we doing the living while we are working? Or is working the making, and then living is what we do while we are not working? 

We all relate to work differently, whether it’s a “dream job” or “just a job.” We here at the Weekly have covered ideas of work and workers over the years with stories that run the gamut. Of course, a lot of these are pandemic-era stories; just a few months ago, we featured some unsung heroes of the pandemic, people like hospital housekeepers and farmworkers and bus drivers—some of those “essential” workers. We’ve also featured stories of artists who kept making art. “My whole life is deemed nonessential at this point,” aerialist Erin Carey told me a year ago. “It’s a weird feeling to not feel essential in the world.” 

Back before the pandemic created such a stark divide, it was already happening. In 2016, we ran a cover story about the growing “gig economy.” (Check this coming Thursday’s paper for a story about the gig economy for musicians.) And in 2019 we looked at the increasing presence of artificial intelligence in the workforce. (That was part of a special Labor Day package about the future of work.)

Besides those broader pieces about changes in how we work, we’ve looked at specific workplaces and specific workers. This is just a short selection, but some of my favorites: The team that makes Red’s donuts, which is an all-night project; the hour-by-hour lowdown on opening day at sea for a crab fisherman (it begins at 3:12am); a first-person account of delivering newspapers (yes, it’s a Weekly distribution driver); a look at various “dream jobs” or “worst jobs,” from manure shoveler to beer taster; and stories about vocational training programs at Rancho Cielo, most recently on building tiny houses, and in years past, about their refrigeration technology program and their solar panel installation training.

Especially when it comes to training a future generation of workers, it’s good to remember that the way we work, and the way we relate to our work, is always changing. If you have a story about work, reach out any time. And for now, happy Labor Day. 

-Sara Rubin, editor, sara@mcweekly.com 


The largest labor union in the U.S. is the National Education Association which, according to the organization itself, represents 3 million educators in 14,000 communities around the country. 


Supervisor John Phillips promises action on stronger party noise enforcement in North County. “Earsplitting” was the phrase used more than once by North County residents on social media who were plagued by multiple large parties featuring amplified music on the night of Saturday, Aug. 21.

Pacific Grove CiderWorks creates a delightful offering of hard ciders and port. How Tim Calvert, a former veterinarian, got to this spot making hard pear cider and Brandiperra is a story as roundabout as a pear itself.

Tattoos are personal and private. So should be the experience of getting one, according to a rising tattoo artist. Zack Garnica’s business is a little different—private and by appointment only. Forget about a noisy tattoo shop full of people in leather clothes, doors opening and closing, other distractions. Think rather of a boutique hair salon or a modern dentist’s office space.


Estéban Restaurant Indoor & Patio Dining,Take Out & Delivery daily from 4:30pm. Featuring Signature Tapas, Paella, & Seasonal Specials, Click for menus. 700 Munras Ave., Monterey, 831-375-0176

Osteria Al Mare Indoor & Outdoor Dining plus Takeout (call or order online click here) Tues-Sun 11:30am-9pm. 920.2833, 32 Cannery Row, Monterey.

Abalonetti on the Wharf Indoor & Outdoor Dining plus Takeout. Everyday 11:30am-8:30pm. Monterey's Best Calamari plus seafood, pasta & more. Click for menus/order. 373.1851

The Sardine Factory Indoor dining nightly at 5pm. Special Early Dinner Menu from 5-6pm. Click here for menus, details and reservations or to place a takeout order. 701 Wave Street, Monterey, 831-373-3775

Advertise here for $49 for 12 words / +$10 xlarge / +$1 add'l. word
Email sales@mcweekly.com or call 831-394-5656.


LOCAL INSPIRATION of the day. There’s still time to visit this classic festival of Americana and fun: the Monterey County Fair. Head over to the fairgrounds today for carnival rides and pony rides, pig racing and wood carving demonstrations, there are magic tricks and livestock and a packed live music schedule. Photographed by Nic Coury. Submit your Local Inspiration (digital art, music, multimedia, video, etc.; please include the medium you’ve used, and note when and where it was created).

Punk poetess Patti Smith returns tonight to Big Sur for Henry Miller Memorial Library’s anniversary. The Henry Miller Library’s bohemian milieu is her kind of venue.

Post-holiday weekend beach cleanup. In a tourism-heavy region like ours a holiday weekend brings an influx of visitors. And sometimes, unfortunately, those visitors leave their trash behind. That’s why the Blue Zones Project of Monterey County, City of Monterey Parks Division and the Monterey County chapter of Surfrider Foundation are teaming up to host a post-Labor Day beach cleanup. It happens from 3:30-5:30pm Tuesday, Sept. 7. 

There’s still time to vote for your picks for this year’s Best Of! Go here—voting closes tomorrow, Sept. 7.


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