Daily news from Monterey County Weekly

ETC. Photo of the day by James Atherton. Low tide exposes some cool rock formations on Weston Beach in Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. Photographed with a Lumix G9, 7mm (FF: 14mm), f/10, 1/320, ISO 320. Submit your best horizontal photos. (Please include the location where the photo was taken in the caption.)

There’s the potential for lightning on the forecast—stay fire-conscious this weekend.

Good afternoon. 

Tajha Chappellet-Lanier here, thinking about weather. While I’ve been bundled up in the Weekly’s Seaside office most days this week, I’m aware that the marine layer hasn’t been quite so present everywhere. And while I do love the sun, it only takes a few days of hot weather for these dry hills (the result of a very light rain year) to start feeling precarious.

So my heart went into my throat, for just a minute, when I heard that the National Weather Service is forecasting potential dry lightning this weekend. Specifically, on Sunday and into Monday morning, some upper level monsoonal moisture is expected to move across the region. Upper-level moisture, above a dry level, creates the potential conditions for thunderstorms, NWS Meteorologist Jeff Lorber says. Monsoonal moisture is a normal seasonal weather pattern, but it typically happens more in desert areas and it’s a little rare that we’d experience it all the way out in a coastal region. 

Lorber notes that there’s still a lot of uncertainty around the forecast, and it might not bring lightning at all. “There’s the potential for firestarts, but we don’t have high confidence at this time,” Lorber says. But because of the hot and dry conditions inland, the danger of a fire starting and spreading quickly should lightning strike is high—“We have to really keep an eye on this.”

The NWS issued a fire weather watch on Friday morning, for Sunday morning through Monday morning. The areas of concern, Lorber says, include San Benito and the interior of Monterey counties.

For many in our region this might seem eerily reminiscent of the thunderstorms in August 2020 that started the River Fire (and many others). But Lorber says there are some differences—last August’s storm was brought on by a tropical system that created a “very unstable atmosphere” and led to widespread lightning. (My mother, a Big Sur native, confirms that it was the single biggest lightning storm she’d seen here in 50 years.) We’ve also recently been experiencing a well-developed marine layer along the coast (the reason for all my sweaters), so NWS considers the coast and coastal valleys at lower risk. 

Lorber recommends that people stay fire-conscious this weekend. Don’t do anything that could start a fire and, if you’re out hiking or camping, stay aware of your surroundings. That’s good advice in general. Stay safe.

-Tajha Chappellet-Lanier, Monterey County NOW editor, tajha@mcweekly.com


The National Weather Service’s fire weather watch, published Friday morning, shows areas of concern on the Big Sur coast as well as inland, in the Salinas valley. The NWS will continue to update its forecast, and issue a red flag warning if warranted.


Restaurateurs had hoped for a quick recovery, but the future is precarious as relief funds dry up. The $26.6 billion allocated by Congress for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund program has all been spent, distributed to 101,000 restaurateurs. But more than 278,000 applied, requesting over $72.2 billion. Among them, there was Gladys Parada

Federal firefighters receive a hat tip from the Biden administration, but demand more. Until the pay and resources gaps are narrowed, federal firefighting agencies will continue to lose important staff to other, more attractive organizations.

Opponents of critical race theory bring their fight to Salinas Union. In this week’s Spin column, Mary Duan takes on “a self-described parental rights activist” and a Pacific Grove resident who has taken a keen interest in the goings-on at Salinas schools.


The Sardine Factory Indoor dining nightly, 4:30-9:30pm. Special Early Dinner Menu from 4:30-6pm. Click here for menus, details and reservations or to place a takeout order. 701 Wave Street, Monterey, 831-373-3775

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

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

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.

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. Inspired by the swirling blues and greens, and emotions evoked by the Big Sur coast, lead artist and designer at Monterey Glassworks Magdalena Kelly slowly pieced together “Solace,” an installation of many glass tiles. Originally envisioned in watercolor, each piece of “Solace” was hand-cut and manipulated through multiple castings and firings. View Kelly’s piece (and her colleagues’ works) at Monterey Glassworks in Sand City. 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).

Events to look forward to, this weekend and beyond. Historic motorcycles, museum exhibits and more.

Dawn’s Dream Winery hosts its annual guest bartender event. This upcoming guest bartender event will benefit AIM Youth Mental Health, and its mission to stop the silence around youth mental health. The event happens Saturday, July 17, from 1-4pm.

Monterey Bay F.C. revealed its official crest and colors through the release of a short film “The Story of the Greatest Union of Land and Sea.” The club launched a series of community-oriented videos and content in both English and Spanish.


Click for more >>


Reuters journalist Danish Siddiqui was killed on Friday while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters near a border crossing with Pakistan. See some of his photos.
-Reuters, July 16, 2021

The limited response to postal workers’ appeals for help provides a window into the failures of two federal agencies: the Postal Service and OSHA.
-ProPublica, July 16, 2021


Reading Jane Eyre as a sacred text. “I asked my favorite professor, Stephanie Paulsell, if she would spend a semester teaching me how to pray with Jane Eyre.”

July 18 is National Ice Cream Day. Here are the most popular ice cream flavors in every state.

We welcome your tips, comments and feedback. 

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