Daily news from Monterey County Weekly

ETC. Photo of the Day by Laurie Lindley. Don’t get too sucked in to the details of this Carmel Valley succulent. Submit your best horizontal photos. (Please include the location where the photo was taken in the caption.)

Legislation by local lawmakers provides an overview of the most pressing issues of the present—and some other interesting ideas.

Good afternoon. 

Tajha Chappellet-Lanier here, contemplating the legislative process.

Specifically, I’m reading through a bunch of the bills written (at least in part) by our local lawmakers, and subsequently passed through the State Legislature by their Sept. 10 deadline. These are among the bills that could become law if signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

At a high level, the topics covered by these bills are a look at the most pressing issues of the present. They deal with broadband infrastructure and housing and climate change and making sure our social safety net catches those who need it and the still ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. And much more.

It would take more than a newsletter intro to give each piece of legislation the discussion it deserves. But here is a look at a few interesting bills, each with implications for Monterey County or the state at large.

From Assemblymember Robert Rivas, D-HollisterAssembly Bill 1144, on cottage food operations, would allow people who make and sell food out of their homes to grow their businesses further. The bill would raise the gross sales limit for Class A cottage food operations from $50,000 to $75,000 per year, and raise the Class B limit to $150,000 per year. Cottage food businesses have been popular in California since they were legalized in 2014, but the pandemic (and corresponding chaos in the restaurant side of the food industry) inspired a new generation of entrepreneurs. These include people like Salinas native Otto Kramm, who bakes and sells sourdough bread out of his 700-square-foot apartment.

Rivas also managed to secure $8.1 million from the state budget in order to rebuild the Hebbron Community Center in Salinas, which closed in 2020 due to significant structural safety issues. “The pandemic demonstrated just how important community spaces are—they provide opportunities to connect, learn, and play that not only benefit our physical health, but our mental health as well,” Rivas said in a statement. “Salinas residents will now have a new facility that will be a place of learning and community celebration for years to come.” (You can read more about this community center save in Thursday's forthcoming issue of the Weekly.)

From Assemblymember Mark Stone, D-Scotts ValleyAssembly Bill 424, on student loan collection reform, would protect private student loan borrowers from unsubstantiated collections. This is a follow-up to Stone’s 2020 student loan “bill of rights,” which aims to protect borrowers from deceptive or predatory lending practices.

From Senator John Laird, D-Santa CruzSenate Bill 456, on wildfire prevention, would build on former Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2018 executive order on forest management. Laird’s bill would require specific tracking of the forest management work set in motion by Brown’s order. Another piece of legislation authored by Laird, Senate Bill 390, which would reform the state Employment Development Department (and which we covered extensively here) is also awaiting a signature from Newsom.

From Senator Anna Caballero, D-SalinasSenate Bill 365, on telehealth reimbursement, would make “electronic consultation services” reimbursable under Medi-Cal. The pandemic public health emergency has allowed a lot of flexibility for and extension of virtual doctors visits, but there remain some concerns about how those allowances might be rolled back when the emergency ends. This bill would take a step toward normalizing telehealth as a legitimate way to get care.

These are just a few of the bills by local lawmakers that await the governor’s signature, not to mention those (like Sen. Laird’s SB 272, which updates the language in certain sections of California’s code to be gender neutral) that have already been signed. Gov. Newsom now has until Oct. 10 to sign or veto the bills before him. And that, of course, is when the real work on any of these topics begins.

-Tajha Chappellet-Lanier, associate editor, tajha@mcweekly.com 

BY THE NUMBERS

Updated numbers from the Monterey County Health Department show that 70 percent of eligible county residents (those aged 12 and over) are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

LATEST LOCAL NEWS

Staffing levels vary, but nursing levels are a concern for local hospitals amid Covid surge. For Elisa Moylan, chief nursing officer for Mee Memorial Hospital in King City, scheduling nurses is a precarious balancing act.

Agencies tasked with managing Laguna Grande Park finally get serious. It’s been a long time coming, but the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District and the cities of Monterey and Seaside are finally making headway toward a plan to manage Laguna Grande Regional Park.

Marina City Council chooses a new operator for the Marina Equestrian Center. The council picked a new vendor for the largest park in the city for the next 20 years.

Tomorrow is Election Day. Don’t forget to vote in the gubernatorial recall election. Here’s what you need to know, including details on where to cast a ballot.

SPONSORED: EAT+DRINK

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Melville Tavern Indoor, Patio Dining & Takeout Mon-Fri 11:30am, Sat & Sun Brunch at 10am. Happy Hour Sun-Thur 4-6pm 643.9525, 484 Washington St, Monterey.

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

 
LOCAL INSPIRATION

LOCAL INSPIRATION of the day. Andy Mandon spikes the ball during a game of beach volleyball at Carmel Beach. For a discussion of the pleasures of beach volleyball, read here. Photographed by Daniel Dreifuss. 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).

Fall Arts Calendar. The Weekly’s Fall Arts Calendar is coming soon—do you have events happening now through the end of 2021 that we should include? Email calendar@mcweekly.com.

A presentation about local Monterey County history by Monterey County Historical Society Executive Director James Perry will take place tonight, Sept. 13, from 7-8pm at the House of Four Winds.

Pet Food Express’ virtual pet fair is running until Sept. 30. This Carmel-headquartered event will offer animal lovers the chance to meet and adopt new pets from more than 100 rescue and shelter partners from all over California. Register here.

BEST OF MONTEREY BAY® REAL ESTATE

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IN CONTEXT

“I got a 'mild' breakthrough caseHere's what I wish I'd known.”
- NPR, Sept. 12, 2021

The great rebootFrom zippers to glass, shortages of basic goods continue to hobble the U.S. economy.
- Reuters, Sept. 13, 2021

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A constant debate between parents and the child-free: Who is happier? A neuroscientist explains.

Beatles maniaUnheard John Lennon interview tapes are up for auction.

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