Daily news from Monterey County Weekly

ETC. Photo of the day by Cliff Halverson. A flock of marbled godwits rushes away from the breaking wave in Moss Landing. Photographed with Sony aR7 iv, 600 mm lens, 1/2000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 1000. Submit your best horizontal photos. (Please include the location where the photo was taken in the caption.)

An exercise in bonding at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Good afternoon. 

Agata Popęda here marvelling over many blessings of Monterey County.

When a mother visits an adult child, the element of stress is a must. My Polish mother visited me last weekend to look around and tell me what she thinks about my new life in Monterey County. 

She knows the U.S. a little, and spent some time in the Washington D.C. area, where she developed her opinions—and she has strong opinions—about American summers and American tomatoes. The first are humid; the second don’t ever get ripe. Those being sold at Safeway don’t even taste like tomatoes.

Last weekend, my mother, who hated my apartment in Harlem and was appalled by New York’s “Siberian” winters, told me that she not only approves of me moving to Monterey County, but in fact agrees that I found the best place on earth to live. “You know what, Spain has nothing on Monterey,” she said. “You live in a fairytale.” The Spanish Costa Brava has been, so far, at the top of her “best of” lists.

While many foreigners imagine the U.S. as the streets of New York or LA, few know about rural California—its nature, fruits and veggies, farmers markets, artisan baked goods, redwoods, oaks and meadows. All that would be enough in terms of reasons to live in this area. While my mother had her own experience of abundant rural childhood in the countryside of the Western Poland (and she was surprised to find them here—heirloom tomatoes, fresh herbs, raw honey), she was never exposed to the pleasures of marine life, the ocean competing (and ultimately winning) in the contest for the biggest wonder and the biggest beauty around.

We took a ride on 17-Mile Drive and visited all the impossible-to-miss tourists spots, from Fisherman’s Wharf, through Spanish Bay to Bixby Creek Bridge, where we parked and snapped an obligatory selfie, next to which I had to write the name of “the TV show” (Big Little Lies) in Polish. 

We hit the Monterey County Fair, but I was not able to persuade my mother to take a carousel ride. She didn’t like the corn dog, nor the lines. She loved the Monterey Bay Aquarium though, despite the fact I had to drag her there because she “doesn’t do” zoos or museums because there are too many kids. Neither of us had ever been to an aquarium and I realized that for the first time we shared an experience of being stunned together, which turned out to be a good exercise in bonding.

In other words, I’ve never had more fun with my mother as an adult than when she looked at me to see if I saw what she was seeing—a sea turtle passing majestically a couple of inches from our noses. And this other creature? What is it? A fish or a magical hat with a pair of eyes, floating on its own in emerald light? We also made a pledge to never eat smoked mackerel again. They look like such nice fish.

With my mother's visit coming to the end, I feel tired and triumphant. And extremely proud I could show her this most dazzling place on earth that is now my home.

-Agata Popęda, staff writer, aga@mcweekly.com

BY THE NUMBERS

Monterey County’s Covid data, updated after the long weekend, includes three more deaths attributed to the virus. That brings the county’s total to 546 lives lost since the beginning of the pandemic.

LATEST LOCAL NEWS

Governor appoints Jared Jefferson, a chief deputy public defender, as Monterey County Superior Court judge. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Susan Matcham. Matcham retired a year ago after more than 10 years on the Monterey County bench, where she heard criminal, civil and family cases.

Cannabis prices continue to drop as fall harvest season threatens further saturation. Market reports for cannabis are elusive, but growers and advocates say product that went for $1,200 to $1,400 per pound at this time last year is now as low as $400 to $500 per pound.

A new effort to train health workers reimagines health care. In this week’s Spin column, editor Sara Rubin explains what makes community health workers so valuable and how a new program is trying to train more of them.

SPONSORED: EAT+DRINK

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Beach House at Lovers Point Indoor Dining & Takeout Daily at 4:30pm Sunset Supper, cocktails & wine. Click for menus/order. 375.2345, 620 Ocean View, PG.

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

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LOCAL INSPIRATION

LOCAL INSPIRATION of the day. Carmel itself is a garden and right in the middle of it there is another secret garden that can make you feel even more like a squirrel running through an endless forest of native plants. Mission Trail Park (or Mission Trail Nature Preserve), designated as a nature park in 1979, provides for a fantastic one-and-a-half-mile-long hiking passage from Mountain View Avenue to Rio Road, where the Carmel Mission Basilica Museum is located and open for touring. Dogs are also able to enjoy this native plant garden that includes Monterey pine forest, coast live oak woodland, wetland, willow riparian corridor and a coastal prairie. Photographed by Agata Popęda. 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).

Cast those ballots. Today is the last day to vote for Best Of Monterey County.

Gonzales gin and tonic. Next time your aunt comes over for gossip with a side of gin and tonic, impress her with some award-winning gin from a Gonzales-based distiller. Bixby Gin, made by Lloyd Distillery, won a gold medal at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits competition.

Virtual book talk. The Monterey Peninsula College Guest Authors Series presents novelist and short story writer Bret Anthony Johnston, who will read from his work and discuss the writing of fiction. Tune in via Zoom to garner some writerly wisdom—6-7pm Wednesday, Sept. 8.

BEST OF MONTEREY BAY® REAL ESTATE

Click for more >>
realestate.montereycountyweekly.com

  
IN CONTEXT

First Lady Jill Biden makes a bit of history. Starting today, Dr. Biden is back in the classroom teaching at Northern Virginia Community College—she’s the first first lady to continue a full-time job in addition to her duties in the White House.
-The Washington Post, Sept. 3, 2021

China’s bitcoin miners are moving to Texas. After the Chinese government cracked down, crypto entrepreneurs are being welcomed into the American wild west.
-BBC, Sept. 4 2021

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HELPFUL DISTRACTIONS

The Department of Defense is working to rename bases named after Confederate generals. And they are accepting your suggestions for what to use instead.

Imagine all the salad you could make with this. Ever heard of a 12-foot tall kale plant?

We welcome your tips, comments and feedback. 

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