• Your Achievements: Peeps

    PGHS golfer is headed to West Chester University of Pennsylvania

    peep Lauren Signing WCU 11.16.2013Pacific Grove High School Senior, Lauren Molin, signed on November 16, an NCAA “National Letter of Intent” to join West Chester University of Pennsylvania to play golf fall 2014. Lauren lettered and was the MVP of the PGHS women’s golf team for all four years. She has been accepted into the West Chester/Penn State University’s Engineering Co-Op program, allowing her to earn two degrees from two universities.

    Student Conducting Toy Drive as PGHS Senior Project

    Samantha Wagner collected toys last week-end and will do so again Saturday and Sunday. The toys benefit at-risk youth.


    CPY drive

    Jimmy Williams named to alumni Hall of Fame

    jimmy williamsPacific Grove High School alumnus Jimmy Williams was named to the alumni Hall of Fame in a ceremony at a pep rally during Homecoming week. Williams is a 1998 graduate of the high school and the son of Linda Williams, who is principal of Robert Down School. After high school, he received a degree in engineering physics at Santa Clara in 2002, followed by a doctorate in applied physics in 2009 at Harvard. During his graduate work, he was supported by a fellowship from the National Science Foundation. He has worked as a van Bibber Fellow in the physics department at Stanford University, and will be starting a position as the Alford Ward Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland in the spring of 2014. He also currently volunteers his time at Mission Graduates in San Francisco, working towards getting underrepresented students from the Mission into college.

    New Assistant Planner

    peep laurel ohalloranLaurel O’Halloran has accepted the position of Assistant Planner in the Community Development Department at the City of Pacific Grove.


    Employee of the Quarter – Arlon Moore

    Arlon Moore, Equipment Mechanics, has been named Employee of the Quarter for the period July to September 2013. Arlon was selected by a review panel of his peers for his dedication to the City, team work and “can-do” attitude. It is noted in his nomination, that Arlon jumps into whatever task is thrown his way. “He is friendly, kind and always ready and willing to assist others. He takes initiative and has been cross-trained in many other PW functions.” Arlon was recognized by the City Council at their October 16, 2013 meeting.

    Pacific Grove Welcomes its Newest Police Officer

    renfroCharles L. Renfro is Pacific Grove’s newest police officer; he was sworn in on Wed., Oct. 16.

    Renfro served 16 years with the Fresno Police Department and has more than 19 years of experience as a police officer. He has also worked in patrol, investigations, street violence, homicide, problem-oriented policing, burglary, robbery, Internet crimes against children and sexual assault units and divisions.

    Renfro has been recognized by several state and federal agencies for his work, including the California State Legislator’s Office, the Fresno Council on Child Abuse Prevention, the United States Attorney’s Office and the United States Marshals’ Service.

    He obtained his law enforcement certification through the State Center Community College Police Academy in Fresno. Renfro completed coursework in criminology from the California State University in Fresno. He is also bilingual in Spanish and teaches California Peace Officer Standards and Training blocks regarding search warrants and investigations.

    Pacific Grove Welcomes New Library and Information Services Director

    silveiraAfter a nationwide recruitment, which stimulated much interest and many highly qualified applicants, the City is pleased to announce the selection of Steven Silveria as the City’s first Library and Information Services Director. Steven has a masters degree in Library and Information Services from UC Berkeley, has had progressively responsible management experience in several other library systems (such that he has supervised as many as 14 branches at a time), and has consulted with other outstanding libraries. In addition, Steven has developed workshops and presentations on information technology, open sourcing, and the use of technology tools in the public and not-for-profit sectors. “Pacific Grove is very fortunate to have someone of Steven’s character, experience, and knowledge being the person who will occupy and set the standard for this important position,” said City Manager Tom Frutchey.

    In addition to managing the Library, Steven will be responsible for developing the capabilities of other City programs to use and manage information. Data-based decisions demand hard information on the costs and effectiveness of City programs. “This is one area in which the City can greatly improve,” said Frutchey.


    Hula’s announces new GM

    Hula’s Island Grill and Tiki Room, at 622 Lighthouse Avenue in Monterey, announces their new General Manager, Brittany Van Dueck. Brittany is a recent Honors Graduate from the University of California, San Diego. She has cultivated a thorough understanding of the hospitality business and Hula’s representatives say they are excited to have Brittany leading the team as the new General Manager.

    Giving back: Local entrepreneur shares his good fortune

    by Cameron Douglas

    mandoCMYKMidday on a Sunday: Rich chords from a Spanish guitar resound inside a modest restaurant on Fountain Avenue in Pacific Grove. Dancers are dressed in traditional flamenco garb: ladies in bright, flowing dresses, men wearing black. Performers chat with restaurant guests and explain the dances’ histories and meanings. There’s a warm, relaxed feeling in the room as people enjoy each other’s company. It’s one of many ways Mando’s Mexican Restaurant serves the community.

    Mando’s is nearing a three-year anniversary, having opened in September 2010. The owner, Armando Cruz, comes from humble beginnings. Born in Barcelona, Cruz grew up in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. He came to California and picked grapes in the fields near Fresno. The tremendous heat of California’s Central Valley took him by surprise. “I wanted to go back [to Oaxaca],” Cruz says, “but I had no more money.” Read more…»

    Scout Project Moving Ahead

    scouts1Eagle Scout candidate Michael Johnson, second from left, a senior at Pacific Grove High School and a member of Monterey Troop 43, watches Sean ‘Koji’ Stewart, City Public Works, install a memorial bench as Michael’s brother Matthew and his dad, Duncan McCarter, look on.  The clean-up and renovation of Esplanade park is Johnson’s Eagle Scout project. With oversight by Al Weifuss, the city arborist and additional input from Public Works, Johnson organized removal of ice plant and wild spinach, the trimming of dead tree branches, and repainting the park’s sign.

    City Employee of the Quarter

    Terry Shaeffer

    Terri Schaeffer was named Pacific Grove’s City Employee of the Quarter by her co-workers. A plaque and a check were presented to her at the recent City Council meeting by City Manager, Tom Frutchey who praised her for taking on the Housing position all by herself, as well as Code Compliance. She also updates the City’s website.

    New Police Sergeant

    new sgtOn Wednesday, Aug. 7, Pacific Grove Police Chief Myers (third from left) held the swearing-in ceremony for our newest Police Sergeant, Orlando Perez (center). The Department now has a strong core of experienced sergeants, two of whom have an in-depth knowledge of the community – Sgt. Jeff Fenton and Sgt. Roxane Viray – and two who bring a wealth of knowledge from other departments – Sgt. Carl Lafata and Sgt. Orlando Perez. Also in the photo are Councilmembers Ken Cuneo and Alan Cohen, Mrs. Perez, Mayor Bill Kampe and City Manager Tom Frutchey.

    Howard Burnham as Field-Marshal Montgomery

    It’s December 1945. At British Army of the Rhine HQ, Field-Marshal Montgomery has just been informed of the strange death of General George Patton, Jr. Monty proceeds to survey his and Patton’s parallel lives and loathings, and the part in them played by Erwin Rommel. A chance to review the three most charismatic generals of World War II in the West.

    Patton, Rommel & Me
    at the Works, 667 Lighthouse Ave.
    Sunday, Sept. 8 at 5:30 p.m.
    $10 at the door

    Elizabeth Werbaneth Earns Degree

    Elizabeth Werbaneth of Carmel Valley earned a bachelor’s degree in games and simulation arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in May. The institute, founded in 1824, is the nation’s oldest technological research university. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in engineering, the sciences, information technology, architecture, management, the humanities and social sciences. Institute programs serve undergraduates, graduate students and working professionals around the world. Rensselaer faculty are known for research conducted in a wide range of fields, with particular emphasis in biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology, the media arts and technology.

    New Face at City Hall

    peep azizThe Community Development Department would like to welcome our new Associate Planner, Anastazia Aziz. Anastazia has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo, Canada and was a Commonwealth Scholar in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She has taken graduate courses in Public Administration from San Jose State. Most recently, she worked for the City of San Jose, for the past 12 years, in the Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement, Environmental Services Department, and the City Manager’s Office. She brings expertise in the realms of current planning, storm water regulations, contract administration, and city government administration.

    Happy Birthday, Helen Johnson!

    To Miss Helen Johnson on her 90th Birthdaypeep Helen

    By Brother John Hotstream, director (retired) at St. Anne’s Mission, Klagetoh, Arizona.

    Delivered by Sandi Douglas at Canterbury Woods Staff Party, August 9, 2013.

    Dear Helen — We’ve all read Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. A sad story with a happy ending. Well, Helen, you should be the main character in a new version of the “Carol.” No Scrooge here, but a fairy godmother who can turn sadness into joy, and want into plenty.

    You don’t need the ghosts of Christmas past, Christmas present, and Christmas to come, to see what’s needed in this world. You see quite well, see with the heart.

    A Navajo boy named Braydon, whose parents you helped to transport him to Albuquerque many times for treatment of a brain tumor. Braydon now is on the waiting list for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Another Tiny Tim on the way.

    Several families who fought the cold, the snow-crusted nights in their hogans — you supplied some ten wood stoves, and this magic not only kept them warm but gave them a stove to cook on. Warmth in the cold!

    All the children who got a chill from your Halloween displays and a few cavities from your treats, not tricks!

    The many families who had holiday feasts and more, pressed down and overflowing, from your special food boxes.

    Your visits to the rez, to St. Anne’s Mission, a “come and see” person you are, on site, ideas upon ideas about how to improve the lives of the people, not the least being your role in Heifer International.

    Your involvement in all of creation from sanctuary for the monarch to sleeping beneath the swimming sea creatures at the aquarium. No nonsense about you — the business of respecting and maintaining the four-legged, the two-legged, the winged, as the Navajo would put it.

    Well done, dear friend!

    But one more story, please. On one of your visits, we were driving to Ganado, a town oabout fifteen miles from Klagetoh when we cam upon an accident, a car and two open range horses. Your words to me: “You do your good Samaritan thing; I’ll check on the horses.” All covered! The horses had to be put down and the tourists were shaken but uninjured. So there is is, a perfect picture — you helping those creatures who had no one to help them. Helen, I think you have the heart of a Navajo, a great love for creation and all its creatures.

    Thanks, from Brother John and all the Navajo whom you’ve helped through all the years. And if I may speak for the animals — thanks for being part of the circle of life!

    Legal Services for Seniors Announces 2013-14 Board

    Legal Services for Seniors has elected a new slate of officers to serve as their executive board of directors for the 2013-2014 fiscal year:   Mr. Donald Leach, Esq., President.   Mr. Mike Leavy, CFA, Co-Vice President.   Mr. John Kesecker, Esq., Co-Vice President.   Ms. Carol Anne Kolb, CPA, Treasure. Ms. Lynn Lozier, Esq., Secretary.

    Mr. Donald Leach, Esq. is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law pursuant to the State of California Board of Legal Specialization.

    Mr. Mike Leavy, CFA is the Chief Investment Officer for Integris Wealth Management, a financial planning and investment management Services Company and a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation since 1991.

    Mr. John Kesecker, Esq. with the law firm of Fenton & Keller works in the areas of business transaction, real estate, and estate planning, probate, and trust administration extensively with businesses in the Salinas Valley and the agricultural industry.

    Ms. Carol Kolb, CPA is a partner at PMB Helin Donovan, a full-service CPA firm providing accounting, auditing, tax and consulting services to individuals, closely held businesses and nonprofit organizations.

    Ms. Lynn Lozier, Esq. is an attorney at Heisinger, Buck & Morris whose areas of practice include Estate Planning, Probate, Trust and Estate Administration Elder Law and Conservatorships.

    Other board members who will be helping achieve LSS’ mission of the provision of no-cost legal representation to Monterey County seniors are: Mr. Charles Des Roches (immediate past president)

    Ms. Liza Horvath, Monterey Trust Management, Mr. Gregory Chilton, Esq., Ms. Donna Jean Brandt, Mr. Henry Carrasco,   Ms. Leslie Geyer and Mr. Thomas J. MacDonald.

    Sculptor Edward Eyth Named Academy’s 2013 Sport Artist of the Year

    World-renowned American sculptor Edward Eyth has been selected as the American Sport Art Museum and Archives’ (ASAMA) 2013 Sport Artist of the Year for his outstanding work in continuously creating sculptures that capture the spirit of the Olympics and sport.Edward-Eyth-211x300

    Eyth joins painter Charles Billich as this year’s Sport Artists of the Year and they will be honored at the Academy’s 29th annual Awards of Sport event, “A Tribute to the Artist and the Athlete,” Thursday, Nov. 14 at the university’s Daphne, AL, campus.

    “Eyth has displayed great passion in creating outstanding sport sculptures throughout the years,” said United States Sports Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich. “We are excited to honor him.”

    Eyth said becoming a Sport Artist of the Year is a career highlight among his many impressive achievements.

    “It’s an outstanding honor and career highlight to receive this award,” he said. “I’m genuinely grateful to the American Sport Art Museum and Archives for this recognition, and for their exceptional efforts in supporting athletic achievement, culture and the arts.”

    Inspired by the beauty and eloquence of the human form, many of Eyth’s sculptures have been recognized internationally. The artist’s sculpture, “Balance,” which features a gymnast gracefully poised on a balance beam, was selected as winner in the sculpture category at the 2008 United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Sport and Art Contest. The sculpture was then a finalist at the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Sport and Art Contest in Lausanne, Switzerland.

    A graphic works finalist in the 2012 national contest for American artists, Eyth submitted “Olympic Spirit,” a painting that depicts a male and female athlete elevating the five rings that symbolize the Olympics. He did a similar large outdoor sculpture that received the Olympic Rings Award and was selected for inclusion in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Landscape Sculpture Design Exhibition.

    “Balance” by Eyth won the 2008 USOC Sport and Art contest and was a finalist at the IOC competition.

    In 2011, Eyth earned a silver medal at the National Art Museum of Sport Second Annual International “Commitment to Excellence in Art and Sport: A Fine Art Competition.”

    Eyth’s sculptures are featured in select private collections around the globe and as part of the permanent collection at ASAMA, which arguably holds the largest collection of sport art in the world.

    Throughout his distinguished career, Eyth has worked with famous filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola. He has consulted on projects with the Smithsonian Institution, Universal Studios, Paramount Studios, Columbia Pictures, Walt Disney and Jim Henson Company.

    He received degrees in visual communications and industrial design from the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, where he was awarded a scholarship for outstanding academic achievement and graduated with distinction. Three years after graduation, Eyth was recruited by the Art Center College to teach an advanced visual communications course. In 1989, he was honored with the college’s “Great Teacher Award.”

    In 1992 Eyth moved to New York City, where he instructed a design course at the Fashion Institute of Technology. He has lectured at various colleges and educational institutions including Parson’s School of Design – New York; School of Visual Arts – New York; University of California, Los Angeles; Art Institute of Pittsburgh; Society of Illustrators; and the Puppetry Guild of Los Angeles.

    While living in New York, Eyth studied old master paintings and sculptures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art done by artists such as Carpeaux, Rodin, Veyrier, and Houdon along with collections of various ethnic works. Further research included the Louvre, Musée Rodin and other prominent museums in Europe. This immersion in the world of artistic masters reinforced Eyth’s passion for figurative art and prompted his transition to the full-time pursuit of sculpture and drawing.


    Students Make the Dean’s List

    Several local residents made the academic Deans’ List at Azusa Pacific University. These students are honored for a spring 2013 grade-point average of 3.5 or better. They are joined by 1,678 students receiving the same honor.

    Ashley Cameron, Amanda Cardoso, Charles Hewett, Grace Sunukjian of Pacific Grove, and Melanie Hong of Carmel.

    Azusa Pacific University is an evangelical Christian university committed to God First and excellence in higher education. With 57 bachelor’s degrees, 40 master’s degrees, 14 certificates, 10 credentials, and 9 doctoral programs, the university offers its more than 10,000 students a quality education on campus, online, and at seven regional centers throughout Southern California.

    Eagle Scout Project: Muni Ballpark gets a Facelift

    by Skyler Lewis

    muni ballpark - yellow stripes - Skyler LewisWhen he noticed the poor condition of the Pacific Grove Municipal Ballpark’s grandstands at his sister’s softball games, PG Eagle Scout candidate Christian Leisner was inspired to fix them.

    Age 16 and a member of Pacific Grove’s Boy Scout Troop 90, Leisner organized this volunteer project, a requirement for Eagle rank, with the assistance of Pacific Grove softball players, coaches, and his Boy Scout Troop 90 troop mates.

    He first contacted the city and his troop at the beginning of July.  Once the city green­-lit the project, he started work the day the troop approved it, with paint donated by PG PONY and tools from the City of Pacific Grove.

    Leisner said he was grateful for the “endless amounts of help” by his family and other gracious volunteers.

    John Goss from Pacific Grove Public Works, Jon Shoemaker from Jon Shoemaker Hardwood Floors, and PONY coach Chris Henden assisted Leisner with the woodworking.

    For the painting portion, Leisner got help not only from members of his troop, but also from the PONY softball team. Pacific Grove PONY Baseball and Softball use the ballpark, located on 17 Mile Drive, throughout the year for practices and games.

    Reece White, a family friend of the Leisners, also helped with the painting.

    Leisner said that his volunteers were easy to lead, and that, except for the fact that the Pacific Grove fog made the paint dry slowly, they encountered very few roadblocks in the project.

    Staci Consiglio, PG PONY Vice President, greatly appreciated Leisner’s work — both his physical repairs of the stadium and his demonstration of community involvement. “I think it’s awesome when we can model volunteerism to our kids and they in turn want to give back,” she said.

    These repairs have come at an excellent time. After successfully hosting last week’s Bronco Super Regional tournament, PG PONY now prepares to host the Mustang 9 World Series next summer.

    “The end result,” said Craig Bell, PG PONY President, “is a field that all of our players should be especially proud to play on.”

    muni ballpark - Christian Leisner with PG PONY volunteers - Staci Consiglio

    Michaels named assistant district attorney

    Annie Michaels, who has overseen environmental and consumer fraud cases for the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office, has been promoted to assistant district attorney. Michaels received her undergraduate degrees from Simmons College in Boston. She received her juris doctorate degree from Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco and was admitted to the California State Bar in 1988.
    She joined the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office in 2006, and prosecuted high profile cases including William Jay Zubick, who pled guilty to 11 felony counts of stealing and laundering more than $16 million.

    She worked with the U.S Attorney.’s Office to prosecute David A. Nilsen in the fall of Cedar Funding, a Monterey-based hard money lender.

    District Attorney Flippo stated that “Ms. Michaels is an extremely dedicated and professional prosecutor with an inexhaustible work ethic.” She will join the two current assistant district attorneys, Berkley Brannon and Stephanie Hulsey.

    Melissa Woolpert of Carmel Valley Named To Dean’s List

    Melissa E. Woolpert, of Carmel Valley has been named to the dean’s list for the spring 2013 semester at the University of Vermont. Woolpert is a senior animal sciences major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

    To be named to the dean’s lists, students must have a grade-point average of 3.0 or better and rank in the top 20 percent of their class in their respective college or school.

    Chartered in 1791, UVM was the first college or university in the United States that did not give preference to a religious sect in its charter. The school now has nearly 10,459 undergraduates in seven schools and colleges, 1,540 graduate students and 449 medical students. As a small, comprehensive university, it blends the academic heritage of a private university with service missions in the land-grant tradition.

    Rick Swette Receives Degree from Georgia Tech

    Rick Swette of Carmel has earned a master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. He was among approximately 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students who received degrees during the school’s 245th commencement exercises.

    The institute is one of the nation’s leading research universities, providing a technologically based education to more than 21,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It has more than 100 interdisciplinary research centers operating through the colleges of architecture, computing, business, engineering, sciences and the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts that consistently contribute research and innovation to American government, industry and business. For more information, visit Georgia Tech’s website at www.gatech.edu.

    Matthew Ryan Earns Honors at Tufts University

    Tufts University recently announced the dean’s list for the spring, 2013 semester, which included Matthew Ryan of Pacific Grove. Ryan as a member of the class of 2015.

    Dean’s list honors at Tufts University require a semester grade point average of 3.4 or greater.

    Tufts University, located on three Massachusetts campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Grafton, and in Talloires, France, is recognized to be among the premier research universities in the United States.

    Miles Cutchin to Enroll at Hampden-Sydney College

    Miles Taylor C. Cutchin has been accepted by Hampden-Sydney College and will enroll with an Alumni Award in August. Miles is a graduate of Pacific Grove High School and is the son of Chief Petty Officer and Mrs. Wally T. Cutchin of Pacific Grove.

    According to Dean of Admissions Anita Garland, “This year’s freshman class is among the most selective ever enrolled. The academic and extracurricular talents of these young men are outstanding. All of us at Hampden-Sydney College are looking forward to the matriculation of the Class of 2017.”

    A college for men, Hampden-Sydney is known for its rhetoric program that stresses excellence in writing and speaking, the Honor Code that stresses individual and collective responsibility, and a focus on the education and development of young men.

    Eagle Scout Candidate Cleans Up Pacific Grove Park

    by Skyler Lewis

    arboristMichael Johnson, a scout in Monterey’s Troop 43 entering his senior year at Pacific Grove High School, is coordinating a service project this summer to restore, make accessible, and beautify Pacific Grove’s Esplanade Park.

    The 1.2-acre plot on Ocean View Boulevard between Lovers Point and Asilomar, notable for its Monterey Cypress grove, has been relatively underused despite its oceanfront location, possibly because it lacked many benches or other infrastructure, and the ground was covered with weeds. Read more…»