Daily news from Monterey County Weekly

ETC. Photo of the day by Ingrid Makau. Birds everywhere! Terns take over the sky on a sunny morning in Moss Landing. Submit your best horizontal photos. (Please include the location where the photo was taken in the caption.)

A more beautiful Salinas is attainable, if people get involved in a new volunteer effort.

Good afternoon. 

Celia Jiménez here, thinking about a new campaign the city of Salinas launched today, called Amor Salinas. It’s an initiative that envisions a clean, beautiful city and, more importantly, wants to create a web of volunteers willing to enhance their city. 

Mayor Kimbley Craig says they want to build a sense of pride for Salinas, for the long run. “This is not a one-year deal. This is a multi-year project,” Craig said. City Manager Steve Carrigan called Amor Salinas a “community commitment.”

They’re off to a good start. “The reaction to this movement has been overwhelming,” Carrigan said at a press conference this morning. The initiative already has over 15 partners including Downtown Streets Teams, Salinas City Elementary School District, Asian Cultural Experience, and more. Cleaning the city sounds like an easy task, but Carrigan says it will take a village of volunteers and organizations to run it successfully. (When it comes to funding, when they meet on Tuesday, Sept. 14, Salinas City Council is set to read and review a proposal to set aside $2 million from the American Rescue Plan Act for cleanups throughout the city.)

The idea started during a ride-along Carrigan and City Councilmember Orlando Osornio did through the Alisal neighborhood. They talked about similar initiatives in Northern California. “We need to make that model and make it our own,” Carrigan remembers thinking. 

But what the actual outcome will be depends on what the public asks for. Sophia Rome, who works in management analysis for the city of Salinas, says Amor Salinas is an organic initiative that will evolve. She wants people to be creative while submitting their ideas, that go beyond cleanups and plantings. “There’s an opportunity for public art,” she says. Anyone can submit ideas for projects (in either English or Spanish) online. Salinas is also accepting project proposals for Neighborhood Beautification Grants

I was surprised to see over 50 people attending Amor Salinas kickoff Thursday morning. Most of them were wearing a white or dark gray T-shirt with the Amor Salinas logo. People are enthusiastic about this new initiative, and it’s clear that it is about more than making the city look better—it’s about changing the culture in the community and working together for the city people want to see and want to live in. 

To that end, Craig is especially supportive of young people getting involved, so they can shape the future city they will live in. But to make this work, volunteers of all ages will be needed.

Volunteering is a great way to meet people, make friends and get engaged with your community.  If you are interested in participating, Amor Salinas is hosting a community cleanup at Natividad Creek Park on Saturday, Sept. 12 from 11am-3pm. Call 758-7407 for more. 

To stay connected with residents, the city also started a new text messaging system. To sign up, text Amor Salinas to 474747 to find out about upcoming volunteer opportunities.

-Celia Jiménez, staff writer, celia@mcweekly.com

BY THE NUMBERS

You’re not the only one who’s online more these days. A huge 90 percent of Americans surveyed by Pew Research Center say the internet has been “essential” or “important” to them during the Covid-19 pandemic. Still, we’re fundamentally social animals. So 68 percent of people say that while digital interactions are useful, they’re not a replacement for person-to-person contact.

LATEST LOCAL NEWS

A CSUMB Police post on Instagram raises questions about an officer’s hand gesture. To the department it was simply an officer holding a pen at the ready to write up arrests as a warning not to drive impaired during the holiday. But to numerous members of the campus community who commented, it appeared as if the unnamed officer was making a white power hand gesture.

Carmel pandemic parklets live to see another month. The three councilmembers who voted in favor had one caveat: Restaurants must start paying $842 a month rent for each city-owned parking space they occupy. Rent is due Sept. 13.

Legality issues further delay Cal Am recycled water deal, push sides further apart on Pure Water Monterey expansion. Utility California American Water and the public agencies negotiating an agreement to bring much-needed water to the Monterey Peninsula appear back at square one and further apart on their terms for a deal. Some close to the negotiations say a deal is no longer imminent.

How far should pesticide transparency go? In this week’s Spin column, editor Sara Rubin writes about pesticide transparency and how the ag community feels about it.

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LOCAL INSPIRATION

LOCAL INSPIRATION of the day. There is still time to visit the collection of private photos of and by famed California photographer Ansel Adams currently on display at the Monterey Museum of Art’s La Mirada Cultural Center. The exhibit features 110 works, including portraits by and of Adams’ intimate acquaintances, as well as photographic portraits made of him. Viewable Sundays through Sept. 19. 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).

With special guest Flea by her side, Patti Smith delivers a powerful Big Sur performance. Billed as an evening of words and music, Smith, an icon of the 1970s punk rock movement in New York City and a revered writer and poet, weaved her 18-track set between songs and poems, originals and covers.

The future of the Carmel Lagoon. Supervisor Mary Adams is holding a community meeting to discuss options for long-term flood risk reduction activities in the vicinity of the Carmel Lagoon. It happens tonight, Sept. 9, from 5:30-7pm. Join the Zoom meeting here.

City of Seaside and KB-Bakewell Seaside Venture II invite for a community update regarding Seaside Campus Town. The event will take place 10am-12pm on Saturday, September 11.

BEST OF MONTEREY BAY® REAL ESTATE

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realestate.montereycountyweekly.com

  
IN CONTEXT

Biden to unveil vaccine mandate. President Biden is moving to require tens of millions more American workers to get vaccinated against Covid-19. The Los Angeles school district also announced today that it will require the vaccine for students over the age of 12.
-The New York Times, Sept. 9, 2021

Declassifying the 9/11 Investigation. President Biden says he will open up the government’s secret files about the plot, but will they answer the questions that remain?
-ProPublica, Sept. 9, 2021

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