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    Enough signatures collected to put MST project on the June, 2012 ballot

    Upset about the Monterey County Board of Supervisors’ decision approving Monterey-Salinas Transit’s Whispering Oaks Project for a transportation terminal, a loose coalition of organizations has collected more than 18,000 signatures in an effort to overturn the decision and place the question on the June, 2012 ballot. Only 10,100 valid signatures are needed. Read more…»

    Kali the Wonder Dog

    When a mischievous seven year-old Siberian husky named Kali digs up your back yard and ruins brand new bark foundation you’d think you would be upset, right? This would be the case for most dogs that have just ruined their owner’s new back yard – but not if the dog was digging to save their owners from a gas leak.

    Kali and Andy


    It all started on Saturday night when Kali dug up Andy Miller, Suzie Blodgett and Midge Blodgett’s brand new bark foundation. “She had done this before” says Suzie. “She did it the day before and earlier the same day. She just knew that something was up.” Read more…»

    Former mayor Jeanne Byrne declares she will run for Water Board

    Jeanne Byrne, architect and former mayor of Pacific Grove, has filed papers to run for Trustee Area 4 of the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District Board in November, 2011. The seat is currently held by Regina Doyle who is currently serving her first term and is up for re-election. Doyle has not yet indicated whether she will be running.

    “We need active leadership, not further studies and lack of action,” Byrne said. “The community deserves a future…whether it is for future retirement plans, future business plans or a future for your children.”

    Jeanne Byrne

    She reminds citizens that Peninsula residents face critical issues on water supply. “With the state about to virtually shut off our water supply, there will be no future for business and tourism, no future for our jobs and lifestyles,” she adds.

    As mayor of Pacific Grove from 1992-94, Byrne was pivotal in bringing the cities of Pacific Grove and Carmel onto the governance Board of the Fort Ord Reuse Authority. She has been active on a variety of City committees including the Building Standards Committee, Historic Resources and Chair of Architectural Review Committee. She continues to be a leader in the American Institute of Architects, Rotary Club, Pacific Grove Downtown Business Improvement District and Downtown Improvement Committee and is currently serving on the City’s Planning Commission.

    “I’ve come to Pacific Grove ever since I can remember, visiting my grandmother, and I’ve been a resident since 1977, living in my great-grandfather’s house,” Byrne states.

    Shortly after Byrne moved to the Peninsula, the water management district was formed with the original purpose to build the dam and then changed to build a water project.

    “I’ve watched so many proposals go nowhere, millions of dollars for studies and last-minute project delays. We can’t continue these tactics because we are out of time,” she said. “Without a water project to replace Carmel River pumping, the State Cease and Desist Order will require such severe water rationing by 2014 and 2016 that there will be no water for landscaping, businesses and recreation and water limits will be below the health standard for personal use. This will amount to loss of businesses, loss of jobs, reduction in home values and the loss of a future for our Peninsula. Read more…»

    Playing politics with public safety

    The embarrassing mess at the Sheriff’s Department stinks of sour grapes to us.

    We’re not arguing that an accused drug dealer should not have been arrested, no matter who his father is. But we think the whole thing was handled badly and that it was done in such a way as to embarrass Sheriff Scott Miller.

    Now we have the detective sergeant in charge of the investigation, Det. Sgt. Archie Warren, filing a lawsuit against his supervisor, Sheriff Miller, alleging that Miller jeopardized deputies’ safety and obstructed in the investigation and arrest of his son by phoning his wife moments before the officers arrived at the upstairs apartment.

    She probably already knew. Someone had tipped off the press and they were out there in droves, cameras rolling, as the arrest was made. So says our source, who was riding by on a bicycle.

    So who called the press? Not Sheriff Miller. We were on the phone with him within a short time and he assured us that he was unaware of the investigation and pending arrest until the officers were “knocking on the door.”

    Here’s who didn’t get a call: The Pacific Grove Police Department. When we called them, right after the incident, they were surprised. There had been — and rightly so — no indication that an investigation was taking place. Secrecy is vital to many investigations. But when armed men show up at a private residence in a quiet neighborhood, there’s a chance that someone will call the local police in a panic and mayhem could follow. We have confirmed with Pacific Grove Police Chief Darius Engles that there was not even so much as a courtesy call. Bad form on the part of Det. Sgt. Warren.

    Sheriff Miller has called for a California Department of Justice investigation. We applaud that action. Calling for any other jurisdiction to investigate would have had the odor of conflict of interest on the part of the sheriff.

    Now Warren’s attorney has tried to get a restraining order against Sheriff Miller and undersheriff Max Houser because Warren was questioned about the case, his office safe was searched, and he was transferred from narcotics to the coroner’s office and he felt it was retaliatory. The judge denied the request, saying that he just didn’t see anything to indicate that Warren was “facing retaliatory action.” In fact, what we learned Wednesday, July 13 was that Warren had been transferred because he tipped off the media about a pending pot raid on a cartel-run farm in Big Sur resulting, eventually, in the cancellation of the raid because of the disclosure to the public, and in yet-unknown costs for Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement helicopters and agents on the ground, not to mention their safety.

    Shortly after Jacob Miller’s arrest, we were advised that a man in South County was arrested on the same charges, but his name was withheld because it’s part of an ongoing investigation. So who made the meth that Jacob Miller is accused of offering for sale? Probably not him. Are they looking for the manufacturer now, who has been warned off by Jacob Miller’s arrest? We’d likely know if there were a meth lab in Pacific Grove. Meth labs smell a lot worse than sour grapes. Or do they?
    — Marge Ann Jameson

    State of the City

    State of the City Address by Mayor Carmelita Garcia on Monday, July 18th at Chautauqua Hall. The event is from 6-7 p.m.

    There will be only one City Council meeting in July (July 20) and one in August (August 17).

    Sheriff named in lawsuit following son’s arrest

    By Cameron Douglas

    Monterey County Sheriff Scott Miller and undersheriff Max Houser were named by an officer in their own narcotics unit in a civil lawsuit filed in Superior Court on July 1. The suit focuses on alleged improper actions by Houser and Miller prior to the arrest of Miller’s son Jacob on narcotics charges. As of Wednesday, July 6, Miller stated in a news conference that he has not yet seen or received a copy of the lawsuit. The suit states the court may rule in favor of the plaintiff unless the defendants, Miller and Houser, respond within 30 days.
    The plaintiff in the suit is Detective Sergeant Archie Warren of the sheriff’s office. Warren’s attorney is Christopher W. Miller of Mastagni, Holstedt & Amick Miller & Johnsen in Sacramento.
    The suit’s First Cause of Action is listed as Obstruction of Justice; Conspiracy. There, the suit claims that Houser learned of the imminent search of the younger Miller’s living quarters prior to the team’s arrival and informed the sheriff, who in turn alerted his wife. This, claims the suit, compromised the officers’ security as the arrived to serve a search warrant. Read more…»

    Sheriff’s son arrested in Pacific Grove

    ‘The Little Store’ to close

    Shirley and Wayne Daniels little store on Buena Vista in Del Monte Park has sold — and the new owners will not be operating the store, instead turning the property into living space. It’s the end of an era.
    “We really will miss the neighborhood and the great people here, but it’s time to go home,” said Shirley Daniels.
    The store is a tiny commercial enclave in the neighborhood, selling everything from hot coffee to milk to fresh sandwiches. Recently they became a drop-off point for PG&E payments as well.
    The couple had purchased the store years ago, operated it for a number of years, then sold it and retired, but had to take it back when those new owners defaulted. This time it’s permanent. “Wayne turned 80 last January,” said Shirley. They’re planning to move to Henderson, NV where they have family, and where they had been living when they had to repossess the store and return to Pacific Grove.
    She sold it through Craigslist, she said, with only four days from when the new owners looked at property till close of escrow.
    The store will close on Monday, June 27. There will be more history in the print version of Cedar Street Times.

    St. Vincent’s now accepting donated vehicles

    The nonprofit Society of St. Vincent de Paul is now accepting donations of vehicles for its charitable functions.

    The program differs from similar programs in several important respects:

    This program is both a fundraiser and way of assisting those in need. Depending on the need, the donation may translate into program or services dollars, providing essential needs such as food, shelter, housing, and care for the elderly or even medicine. Or it can provide transportation to someone in need.

    A donated vehicle or money generated from it will stay locally.

    “Part of our mission is to get to know our neighbors”, said Ron Schenk a member of St. Angelis Merici Catholic Church in Pacific Grove and the manager of the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Shops in Pacific Grove and Seaside.

    The donation program will be managed through Insurance Auto Auctions (IAA) which is one of the largest and most reputable companies of its kind in North America. Its goal is to sell each vehicle for the highest price possible, IAA has been working with charitable organizations for more than 15 years.

    If you have a vehicle to donate you can be assured:

    ·       The vehicle will be picked up within 24 hours.

    ·       The tax paperwork will be sent back to you.

    ·       Best of all, unlike similar vehicle donations programs you donation will be tied directly to your community which means you contribution will benefit someone in your immediate area.

    St. Vincent de Paul accepts most types of vehicles, running or not. The society asks for clear title, and has experts on hand who can even help donors obtain title. Registration need not be current. Boats must be on a trailer.

    If you have a vehicle that you want do donate, log on to http://www.svdpusacars.com or call (800) 322-8284.

    St. Vincent de Paul is one of the oldest and most effective charitable organizations in the world. It is a Catholic lay organization of more than 690,000 men and women throughout the world who voluntarily join together to grow spiritually and offer person-to-person service to the needy and people living in poverty.

    Pacific Grove jazz student elite going on the road

    On Fri., June 24, the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Monterey County High School All-Star Band and High School Honor Vocal Jazz Ensemble will depart for a 3-day tour to the heartland of the United States, with performances in Kansas and Missouri.

    During the tour, they will perform at a number of festivals and other sites.

    “I’m very excited about our upcoming County High School All-Star Band and High School Honor Vocal Jazz Ensemble tour to America’s jazz heartland,” said Dr. Rob Klevan, Education Director of the Monterey Jazz Festival. “The tour will give our students a chance to visit some of the most historical points of interest in America’s jazz history, as well as perform in a variety of settings.”

    After their return from the Midwest, the Monterey County High School All-Star Band will perform at the San Jose Jazz Festival. Both the All-Star Band and the Vocal Honor Ensemble will also perform at Jazz on the Plazz in Los Gatos on Wed., Aug. 17, from 6:30 to 8:30pm. The Jazz on the Plazz concert is free, and will take place at the Los Gatos Town Plaza, at the intersection of West Main Street and Santa Cruz Avenue in downtown Los Gatos. The bands will also make their traditional appearance at the Monterey Jazz Festival on Sunday, September 18 in the Night Club.

    The Monterey County High School All-Star Band, directed by saxophonist and flautist Paul Contos, includes the best and brightest student musicians from the Festival’s home county. Members are selected by the Festival’s “Traveling Clinicians” who visit Monterey schools once a month during the school year for one-on-one instruction in jazz, and the 2011 groups include jazz musicians and vocalists from Carmel, Monterey Pacific Grove, Salinas, and Stevenson high schools.

    2011 Monterey County High School All-Star Band
    Director – Paul Contos

    Saxophones
    Nathan Short – alto, Carmel High School
    Davis Mendelsohn – alto, Salinas High School
    Alexander Alegre – tenor, Pacific Grove High School Jazz Club
    Matt Pardue – tenor, Carmel High School
    Emmett Ferry – baritone, Carmel High School

    Trombones
    Peter Sujan, Pacific Grove High School Jazz Club
    Matthew Shonman, Pacific Grove High School Jazz Club
    Ben Hudson, Stevenson School
    Edison Cho, Pacific Grove High School Jazz Club
    Marshall Murphy (bass), Pacific Grove High School Jazz Club

    Trumpets
    Steven Groves, Salinas High School
    Alec Guertin, Pacific Grove High School Jazz Club
    Mikey Cho, Pacific Grove High School Jazz Club
    Tyler Chisman, Pacific Grove High School Jazz Club
    Bryan Louie, Stevenson School

    Rhythm/Other
    Patrick Hogan – piano, Pacific Grove High School Jazz Club
    Andrew Parker – bass, Salinas High School
    Nigel Hardy – guitar, Carmel High School
    Micah Cabaccang – drums, Salinas High School
    Cameron Yeater – drums, Carmel High School
    Ashley Johnson – vocals, Salinas High School

    Crisis: It’s coming.

    This Friday, June 17, we’ll have an interview with up-and-coming filmmaker (screenwriter, producer, director, editor, cameraman, actor, and everything else) Kellen Gibbs of Pacific Grove. Kellen is on his way to Orlando to answer an invitation to show his film James Potter and the Curse of the Gatekeeper at a Potter convention, but in the meantime he has another work almost “in the can,” or should we say “on DVD?”
    The trailer is breathtaking. We’ll have some behind-the-scenes shots, too. See the trailer:
    http://www.facebook.com/crisisseries

    Peter & The Wolf: Grab your blankets and go!

    Outdoor Forest Theater’s “Peter & The Wolf” performances will promote “Defenders of Wildlife,” a national organization for the protection of our native species in the United states. Tickets for all productions available at the door for all film events, festivals, plays and special events produced by The Forest Theater Guild.Box office opens one our before performance. Call 8i31-426-1681 for more information or visit www.foresttheaterguild.org. Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., with 3:00 p.m. matinees on Sundays. Ticket prices are: Adults $25, senior/military/teachers $20 and children $115 (under 4 years free). Matinee tickets are all $20 per ticket for adults and children.

    Historical plaque stolen from Brokaw Hall

    Sat., June 4 1:20 PM — One of the familiar green plaques which denote historical properties all over Pacific Grove has been stolen from dilapidated Brokaw Hall. The building is to be demolished, but that was not an invitation to take the plaque. The building and the plaque are City property and belong to everyone. The plaque would have been preserved. If you have it, or know about its removal or who has it now, contact Mayor Carmelita Garcia at 831-277-6320. You may return it to City Manager Tom Frutchey’s or the Mayor’s mailbox at City Hall. You may call Cedar St. at 831-324-4742 and leave word. We don’t have “caller ID.” No questions will be asked.

    What are you doing Saturday?

    Here’s something you need to know about if you’re interested in golf. Teaching pro Ben Alexander, our newest columnist BTW, will host a Putting and Chipping Clinic with LPGA Tour Pro Danielle Ammaccapane this Saturday, June 4 at Pacific Grove Golf Links. The clinic starts at 4 and goes until 6. Have a late lunch at the Pt. Pinos Grill and then go out for the clinic. Where else can you get a class from a seven-time winner for $20? Bring the family, bring your friends. It’s only $20 a head, but you need to call Ben ahead of time to register. 831-277-9001.

    We had lunch at Pt Pinos today, by the way — menu items from about $6 to about $16, great food, impeccable views and wonderful service. Try it. And read Ben starting with the June 3 issue.

    Brokaw Hall to come down: Is that your final answer?

    No one was happy about it, but after a site review and testimony from a number of experts at the site review meeting May 31, the Pacific Grove City Council voted 5-2 to demolish Brokaw Hall, the unremarkable building in the Butterfly Sanctuary which has been under a demolition order for a couple of months now. The building had won a reprieve and an extension, but in the end they chose “Option 3” of five presented, which also happened to be the last expensive.
    “It’s a money pit,” said Council Member Dan Miller, who wound up voting with Mayor Garcia in the minority.
    “Face it, it’s ugly and poorly built, even the chimneys,” said Council member Robert Huitt. He pointed out that if it were to be preserved, as some suggested, to make it ADA compliant would require a complete overhaul and redesign of the entire sanctuary.
    A last-minute objection on the basis of needing a CEQA , brought up by David Dilworth, was struck down by City Attorney David Laredo: There was no challenge in the allotted 35 days from the CEQA exemption notice, so the demolition order stands, he said.

    Fire Wed. night ‘suspicious’ but not ‘hazardous’

    Monterey Fire Department responded to a report of a structure fire last night, May 25, 2011 at Oceanview Blvd. And Asilomar, near the old fog horn. Heavy black smoke was reported coming from a cement storage structure that had been posted with a poison placard at the rear entrance, raising concern about hazardous materials.
    Pacific Grove Police evacuated the immediate area and established an isolation zone, and the Monterey County Health Department was advised of possible chemical hazards on scene.
    It turned out to be a storage structure for the Pacific Grove Golf Links and contained old greenskeeping machinery, including a “sander” which was the source of the slow, smoldering fire. There was fertilizer stored in the building as well, but it was in a separate room, according to Pacific Grove Police Commander John Nyunt, and was not involved in the fire.
    Fire crews were mindful of the amount of water used to put the fire out to prevent run-off and pollution, particularly as close as the building is to the ocean, according to a press release by Monterey Fire Chief Andrew Miller. The fire was declared out at about 10:00 p.m. at which time Nyunt was called in because of the suspicious nature of the fire.
    The fire is still under investigation by PG Police and Monterey Fire’s arson squad.

    Clarification on child porn case

    Last week, federal agents arrested Jason Wright, 39, of Pacific Grove on charges of possession of child pornography, which they found on his work computer. Cedar Street Times reported that Wright, “worked as an agent at a Farmers’ Insurance office on Lighthouse Avenue.”

    Pacific Grove has two Farmers’ Insurance agencies on Lighthouse, and there has been confusion about which one was involved in the case. The Farmers’ office where Wright worked is located at 718-B Lighthouse Avenue, near the post office. We have learned that while Wright did work in that office, he is not a Farmers’ Insurance agent, nor is he contracted with Farmers’ in any way. “He was working in the office in another capacity,” said Jerry Cailotto, the Regional Manager for Farmers’.

    The principal agent at 718-B Lighthouse declined to make any comment.

    The other Farmers’ agency, which is totally separate and not involved in any way, has been receiving calls about the matter. We apologize for any misunderstanding, and encourage the public to let things be as the legal process does its job.

    State files Complaint against City in police retirement matter

    The Public Employment Relations Board of the State of California has issued a Complaint against the City of Pacific Grove. The Complaint charges the city with violating state labor laws when it capped City contributions to public safety employees’ retirement benefit plans without consulting employees’ unions, saying there was no prior notice to the POA and no “meet and confer” before the measure was approved.

    In November, 2010, the Pacific Grove Police Officers’ Association, which represents the City’s police officers, corporals, sergeants, animal control officers and other law enforcement professionals, filed a charge when the City Council, and then the voters, passed a cap on the City’s contributions to their retirement system. The POA has a contract which runs through Dec. 31, 2012 and which states that the officers would pay 9 percent of their salary into the CalPERS retirement system and the City would pay the rest as an employer contribution. These rates are contracted with the City by CalPERS.

    The PERB’s Complaint “is a vindication of our efforts to see that the City keeps it’s promises to its hardworking public safety employees,” said Pacific Grove POA President Sylvia Newton in a press release. “We will continue to work with the city to ensure current and future public safety employees receive adequate retirement benefits.”

    PGPOA representative Maureen Roddick advised that there will be an informal settlement conference scheduled soon, at which all parties will attempt to reach a settlement, as required by PERB. “The law suit filed by the POA addresses other contractual and constitutional issues however the Complaint filed by PERB against the City is a significant step towards a win for the POA,” said Roddick.

    If a settlement cannot be reached, a formal hearing before an administrative law judge is the next step whose decision would be binding on the parties.

    City Attorney David Laredo calls the Complaint “a preliminary step in a long process.” He states that it is not a confirmation of facts, however.

    The PGPOA, the City, and PERB staff will hold an informal mediation conference on June 28.

    Imperial Owners lord it over other vehicles

    Last weekend was the Statewide Imperial Owners meet and they chose Pacific Grove to stage all those beautiful vehicles. 25 cars, 54 owners/drivers, and 125 votes for People’s Choice. The winner: A 1961 LeBaron owned by Dan Caruth of Walnut Creek. This weekend you can see Ferraris on the track at Laguna Seca or go to the fairgrounds for the Rock N Rod show that benefits Gateway Center. Either way, or both, it’ll be a good time.

    The 1961 LeBaron was Best of Show, too.

    No Gucci for Pucci: It’s Converse for York teacher

    For 24 years, Pacific Grove resident Dr. Robert Pucci has taught French, Italian and Latin at York School wearing Converse shoes and a polo shirt. Rumor has it he owns 50 pairs. Let’s make that 51 now that he’s retiring, because his students pooled their lunch money and bought him a special pair in York colors, with the school name on the heel.
    Friday, May 13 there was a noon-hour rally at York with a dessert spread provided by the York Parents and a special presentation of the signature Converse shoes – with most of the student body and faculty wearing their own athletic shoes. Many even wore polo shirts.
    “The ‘signature’ wasn’t planned,” says Pucci. “It just happened.”

    Dr. Robert Pucci shows off the custom Converse shoes, complete with York School logo, that were given him as retirement gift by students, including Teo Lamiot and Hussein Elbakti, far right.


    Sean Raymond, the Academic Dean, affirmed Pucci’s reputation. “You are sometimes pedantic, but never pedestrian!” he said from the microphone where students – some who hadn’t even had him as a teacher – presented the popular language instructor with cards and testimonials.
    He had taught at the college level in Texas for five years prior to coming to York. “High school is a whole different ball of wax,” he said.
    There are amazing students who stand out, according to Pucci. “I’m demanding as a teacher,” he said. “There are those who appreciate what I do at the moment, but there are those who come back. When it’s the average student who comes back, it’s even better.”
    When the school year ends in a few days, Pucci will be moving to San Francisco. He intends to travel, and the first place on his schedule is Turkey. He will doubtless be wearing a polo shirt and Converse shoes.

    Walk of Remembrance May 14, 2011

    Monterey Bay Lion Dancers entertained at the Pacific Grove Museum before the crowd — significantly larger than last year’s inaugural event crowd — departed for a Walk of Remembrance down the Rec Trail to the site of the Chinese Fishing Village, now where Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Lab is located.
    Included in the walkers were descendants of the citizens from the original village citizens, some of whom came from as far away as Oakland. One even came from China to remember the villagers, burned out on May 16, 1906 in a mysterious fire.

    Click here to view a short video of the occasion.

    Old Bath House, Take II

    By Marge Ann Jameson

    There was no standing ovation, but there could have been had there been more members of the public there to hear the statement at City Council tonight. It was announced, at the first reading of a revised lease with Robert Enea for the Old Bath House property at Lovers Point, that Jim Gilbert, owner of Abalonetti Seafood on the Monterey Wharf, had agreed to lease the property from Robert Enea and open the restaurant.

    Gilbert’s representative and managing partner, Kevin Phillips, announced that they would open the restaurant portion as soon as possible after renovations are made.

    Phillips said the news restaurant, which will retain the name “Bath House,” will serve a varied menu and will not concentrate solely on seafood. “It will not be a complicated menu,” he said, “but it will be quality.”

    He went on to say that the company puts its locals’ menu foremost, and would probably open for dinner at 4:00 to cater to locals’ tastes and needs. He said they would not aim at haute cuisine but at American fare.

    Gilbert, who has 40 percent of the square footage on the Monterey Wharf, had previously negotiated, along with Phillips, on the now-vacant property that was most recently Lattitudes. The deal fell through, according to Phillips.

    Phillips expressed excitement and anticipation over the venture. “Our motto is to exceed peoples’ expectations,” said Phillips, a 1977 graduate of Pacific Grove High School. “Any mention of top restaurateurs in the Monterey area for the past 50 years has to include Jim Gilbert.”

     

    Due to popular demand: The Firehouse Cook’s recipe for Teriyaki Barbecued Leg O’ Lamb

    Just in time for Easter Dinner
    This treatment of the requisite spring lamb is good any time of year, of course, but given the current price of fresh lamb it might remain a special occasion dish. And even folks who don’t like the aroma of lamb cooking will love this dish – it’s barbecued outside!

    I developed this recipe with my ol’ barbecuin’ buddy Tex, with whom I also worked up a recipe for barbecued ground lamb with jalapeno and jack cheese, but that’s another recipe for another time. Tex is called “Tex” because he says he was born in Texas, but I knew his mom and she says he was born in Louisiana. But I digress. Back to the lamb.

    Ask your butcher to butterfly the lamb, removing the bone completely. You’ll notice that the lamb is thick and thin – you’ll wind up with nuggets of well done and nuggets of medium rare by the time you’re finished. And you’ll also notice there’s a “raw” and a “skin” side.

    Teriyaki BBQ Leg of Lamb

    Webber style barbecue grill, covered container for marinade, optional meat thermometer
    One 4-5 lb. leg of lamb

    Mix together:
    1 c. burgundy wine (plus one for the cook if desired)
    1-1/2 to 2 c. Soy Vay Veri Teri or 1 c. teriyaki sauce or marinade plus ¼ c. sesame seeds (approx.)
    ¼ c. or to taste fresh minced garlic (you can buy it in a jar from Christopher Ranch here on the Central Coast of California)
    Cracked fresh pepper to taste

    Place the leg of lamb in a covered container, “raw” side up. Pour the mixed marinade over the meat, cover and refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally when you think of it. No need to set the alarm and get up in the night, however.

    Soak some rosemary clippings in a bucket of water for a few hours, even overnight. Don’t even think of sprinkling bottled rosemary on the fire because it’s way too expensive. If you don’t have rosemary bushes (and there’s no “midnight rosemary store” at the neighbors’ house) you might want to consider apple barbecue chips.

    When you’re ready to grill it, get a hot fire going in your Webber style barbecue. Shake out the soaked rosemary branches and put them on top of the fire, replace the grill and put the lamb on it, “skin” side down for the first go-round. Slam the lid on. At this point, the cook can get into the burgundy that was left. Or not.

    Turn the lamb after about the first five minutes, and thereafter every five minutes or so, depending on your fire. The lamb is ready when the thickest part reads 145 on the meat thermometer, probably 20 to 30 minutes.

    I’d like to suggest wild rice and a tossed green salad (add a little minced fresh cilantro and some lemon. (Cut about three slices of a fresh lemon, cut the peel off and mince it. Put the pulp in a pitcher of fresh water if you just can’t bear to throw it away. The peel, of course, gets tossed into the salad.) Her Editorness has a cousin who zings up her salads with fresh blueberries. Just a few, for the surprise factor. Try it.

    You might grill some pineapple rings really fast, and sourdough rolls. That’s up to your sous chefs – you’re the one busy making that lamb perfect while they do everything else.
    Heat the leftover marinade just to boiling if you want to serve it as a dipping sauce.  Offer it in small ramikins or in a gravy boat. You might want to add some more wine to it to make it go farther.

    It’s final: Brokaw Hall coming down

    By Marge Ann Jameson

    It didn’t make anyone happy. After spending more than two hours wrestling with the City’s budget for the next year, the Pacific Grove City Council voted unanimously to accept the fact that Brokaw Hall, the delapidated building in the Butterfly Sanctuary, must be torn down. Read more…»

    City volunteers are honored by staff and officials

    Pacific Grove’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Reception, held on April 14, 2011 to coincide with National Volunteer Week, saw the Community Center full of the people who make the city tick. Staff and elected officials honored members of various committees, boards and commissions as well as individuals who pull weeds, restore buildings, make planning decisions and so much more.
    Those who were “termed out” this year included Jean Anton from Natural Resources, George Shane from Traffic, and Craig Riddell from Planning. As Jean Anton put it, “Just because I’m termed out doesn’t mean I’ll quit volunteering!” Read more…»

    Bldg. inspector: ‘Brokaw Hall must come down’ and soon

    By Marge Ann Jameson

    Brokaw in better days; The chimney may be preserved.

     

    Citing the 2006 International Property Maintenance code and Pacific Grove Municipal Code, Pacific Grove’s chief Building Official, John Kuehl, has  sent a Notice and Order to Demolish Brokaw Hall, the building in the Butterfly Sanctuary,  to City Manager Tom Frutchey. In his March 29, 2011 letter, Kuehl ordered a 5-foot fence around the structure, a minimum of 10 feet from the building, and ordered its demolition by April 29, 2011 – after obtaining a clearance from the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District. Read more…»

    Japan Relief: Folding up and reaching out

    By Cameron DouglasMaking cranes for earthquake, tsunami relief

    Pacific Grove’s Stacey Jacobs couldn’t sleep. The website designer and mother of three pored over the news from Japan following the Mar. 11 earthquake, and wondered how she might someday answer one simple question from her grandchildren: “When it happened, what did you do for Japan?”

    She thought of folding one-dollar bills and sending those to the stricken country, but realized the logistical problems of sending currency. So she turned her thoughts to the Red Cross, which has promised 91 cents out of every dollar taken in to benefit Japan will go to Japan.

    Then she remembered her daughter had received a Christmas gift of a folding origami kit, and an idea took shape. She did the math and figured out if 1,000 schools sent in $1,000 each, a million dollars could be raised.

    How to do it? Read more…»

    Subscriber email issues

    We are unable to quickly remedy the problems with our subscriber emails. Many of you received the notifications but no attachments, and some received only one of the three but still no attachments. there were subscribers who received nothing. And there’s no rhyme or reason, no pattern. we’re working on it. In the meantime, please go to the tabs above and click on “current issue,” then “flip pages” and you will be able to read the current issue as if it were a newspaper. Which it is.

    If you open it, they will come

    By Marge Ann Jameson

    Almost 20 years ago, when the Pacific Grove Municipal Ballpark Master Plan was adopted, there was extensive community involvement in its development. A framework for operating rules allowed community use by youth and adult organized baseball and softball teams was established by the Planning Commission and Recreation Commission and adopted by the City Council in 1992.

    At that time, adult league use of the park, located at the junction of 17 Mile Drive, Short Street and Pico Avenue was the primary concern of neighbors but restrictions were put in place which made it difficult for youth to use the park at all. For example, the high school team was prohibited from using the park before March 1 of each year despite the fact that their season begins on February 1. PG Pony League, which serves about 400 children, were not allowed to play on Saturdays unless the games were classified as tournaments.

    The kids faced a shortage of playing facilities. And the municipal ball field sat idle. Read more…»

    “Blight ordinance” hits the books

    By Marge Ann Jameson

    The state of California recently enacted a law that allows cities to impose fines of up to $1000 per day on the owners of abandoned properties that are left to deteriorate, and, further, allows local jurisdictions to pass their own ordinances if they so choose. The state law is aimed primarily at the owners, commonly banks and mortgage lenders, of properties which have gone into foreclosure. The borrowers on the foreclosed loans abandon the property, usually having been forced to move by the lender, and the property is left unattended and vacant for months. These properties, without maintenance, can “discourage potential buyers of nearby properties” and eventually devalue and destabilize entire neighborhoods, in the opinion of a City of Pacific Grove staff report. Read more…»

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