• Features

    « Previous Entries

    194 People take the Oath of Citizenship in Pacific Grove

    Another Elephant Seal Lands on Hopkins Beach

    By Thom Akeman

    A large elephant seal climbed onto a Pacific Grove beach during the weekend and joined the hundreds of smaller harbor seals that frequent the place. The visiting elephant seal is an adult male, believed to be about 5 years old and weighing an estimated 1,600 pounds or more.

    He came in about 10 a.m. Saturday while Kim Worrell, a docent with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s Bay Net program, was standing alongside The Coastal Trail at Hopkins Marine Station photographing the variety of wildlife visible from there. The big guy shimmied to the top of the beach and slept there peacefully for the next few days.

    This is believed to be the 6th bull elephant seal that has appeared on Hopkins beach since February 2010, when the first one in known history showed up. Smaller ones have been appearing sporadically since December 2004, usually in winter and spring months, possibly because the population has been growing. They are presumably visitors from the nearest large colonies – approximately 100 miles south at Piedras Blancas near San Simeon, where as many as 16,000 elephant seals gather in December and January, or 60 miles north at An︠︠o Nuevo State Park above Santa Cruz, where about 5,000 gather.

    The large bulls are aggressive and can be mean towards the harbor seals that normally use the Hopkins beach, docile animals that may weigh 200-250 pounds. The first bull here in 2010 killed at least one harbor seal in a move to assert mastery on the Hopkins beach. Others have chased the harbor seals away at times, corralled them on one side or the other, tried mounting them, and generally harassed them as bullies will.

    Earlier this year – in January – there were two bulls on the beach at the same time. They sometimes sparred when not on opposite sides of beach and kept many of the resident harbor seals away and scattered elsewhere. One of the elephant seals – a 6-year-old, 2,000-pound bull that came in last December – ended up staying at Hopkins for 10 weeks with occasional absences of a few hours to a few days.

    The one that arrived last weekend will stay as long as he wants, of course, and will create whatever mischief he likes while here. Seeing him is probably worth a walk over, even in cold weather.

    Big Boy nose Elephant seal eseal snoozing eseal11 eseal9 eseal7 eseal6 eseal4



    John Koza: Conducting Camerata

    By Marge Ann Jameson

    “The Camerata Singers are people with wide open hearts, who want to make the best experience they can for the listeners,” says John Koza, conductor of the Camerata Singers since 1999. And he’s doing what he loves to do. He has four part-time jobs which together make his career. All of them involve music — teaching at Hartnell College, music director for the First Presbyterian Church of Monterey, conducting the Carmel Bach Festival Youth Chorus, and, of course, the Camerata Singers of Monterey.

    John_KozaThis is his 14th Christmas with the Camerata singers. He earned his bachelor’s degree in vocal performance and his master’s degree in choral conducting at San Jose State University, and sang with the Camerata Singers before being chosen to replace founder Vahé Aslamian as conductor in 1999.

    Koza’s position requires him to not only conduct the choir, but also to audition the singers and eventually the music they will perform.

    “We are a family,” he points out. First in importance is who they are. Secondly comes making music. the nucleus of the group has been together for “a long, long time” he says, and they gain and lose one or two singers per year. At present, a varied group including doctors, lawyers, teachers retired people, an arborist, a man in the pest control business and others comprise the 41 singers. “The group is currently the smallest it has been in my 14 years,” he said. “But it’s also the best it has been.”

    Choosing the music to be performed is very nearly a career in itself. Koza may hear a recording and hunt down the piece, or he may be handed a score. He’s accomplished at audiation, where an individual can read a piece of music and “hear” how it’s meant to be performed. He attends conferences where music is auditioned for attendees, who go to concerts all day long for three days. They “sight read” music there and make choices. Koza also subscribes to Spotify, the online music website, in order to find new music. “I just keep discovering new things,” says the conductor. “And I’m amazed at how things keep finding me!”

    He then will do what is called a score study with the pieces selected. He anticipates his singers’ questions and needs around the piece (such as, “Where do we breathe?”) and marks up the music before rehearsals even begin.

    When he organizes a program, there is a theme. This year he is bringing back two pieces that the group has performed before “Because they dovetailed perfectly” into the program, he said.

    The Camerata Singers have been rehearsing this year’s Christmas program since September. Often the performances are a capella, but this year the John Rutter “Gloria,” the centerpiece of the program, calls for brass, pipe organ, and percussion. “We’ve hired the best available,” he said. The accompanists have been rehearsing separately, and will have two rehearsals with the singers. One of the pieces is the hardest piece he has ever attempted, says Koza, because of changes in meter.

    “When Christmas is over, I can relax,” he says. But not for long. In January, the Camerata Futures program begins a nine-week rehearsal program. High school-aged singers rehearse weekly including a full day rehearsal in February concluding with a performance with the larger group in March.

    There will also be a fund-raising performance in May.

    Camerata Singers will perform their current program three times this weekend: Fri., Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Salinas; Sat., Dec, 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Carmel Mission in Carmel; and Sun., Dec. 15 at 3:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Pacific Grove. Tickets are available at Bookmark in Pacific Grove, Pilgrims Way in Carmel, Wild Bird Haven in Del Monte Center in Monterey, and Zeph’s 1-Stop on Main Street in Salinas.

    For more information or to order tickets online, see www.camerata-singers.org.

    Photo credit: New Dawn Studios


    Mandela’s Death Sparks Memories for Cameraman

    By Marge Ann Jameson

    The year was 1989. Bob Pacelli was a television cameraman, an unsure occupation in which the competition was fierce and huge news organizations jostled for footage. He’d worked with a number of Bay Area television stations, including KRON and a local Spanish-language station. It was a close-knit fraternity. He had worked with a woman named Savannah Foa, who called him in Pacific Grove one day and asked if he would be interested in a job with the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR).

    He was on his way to Geneva, Switzerland.

    Read more…»

    Loving Lab Picked Her Adopters

    by Anne Muraski

    Maya (1)Just dont go in there!—That’s what Ellie Stowe told her husband Karl, a contractor recently hired by The SPCA, before he left home to start installing The SPCA’s new parking lot.  Ellie wanted a dog at some point but they already had three cats and a baby on the way so now was not the right time. Karl managed to get through the first day, but on the second day “Maya,” aka “the sweetheart of the shelter,” stopped to greet him during her walk with a volunteer.

    “I could resist the other dogs I’d seen, but she acted so happy to see me,” said Karl. “At the end of the day I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll just go see her again.’” The shelter was near closing when a somewhat furtive Karl (Just dont go in there!) took Maya out for a romp. “That short time with her in the courtyard sealed the deal for me—but I still had to convince my wife! Read more…»

    Rockin’ raccoons

    by Cameron Douglas

    They leave their calling card in almost any neighborhood: overturned garbage cans, ripped-open trash bags, and shredded food on the ground. These are sure signs that raccoons have paid a visit, and it’s rarely a surprise. Raccoons are as common as ants in this country. These furry, masked bandits are as American as apple pie, inhabiting all 48 states in the continental U.S. Read more…»

    Does Your Home Need Physical Therapy, too?

    by Peter Mounteer

    tim doyle-0594-rgbTim Doyle, PT, is out to change the way people live in their homes. He is a tall, personable, and friendly man who graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. He has been practicing physical therapy on the Monterey Peninsula for some 27 years. However, as of several weeks ago, Doyle is looking to help people live safely in their homes as they age, so that the kind of incidents that injure people who become physical therapy patients do not occur as often, or hopefully ever. Read more…»

    2013 Feast of Lanterns Program

    Click to view the 2013 Feast of Lanterns program here!

    Click to view pdf

    Love at First Sight for Two Rescued Doves

    by Peter Mounteer

    On Saturday, April 27 around six o’clock in Pacific Grove it was dark and cold and the downtown buzz had settled into a quiet hum as America’s Last Home Town shut down for the day. Sherry Litchfield was closing Blessings Boutique with colleague Barbara Moore when a white dove wandered by. Realizing that the bird would likely die that evening from cold and exposure, Sherry took initiative. She and Moore cornered the dove and took it inside, placing it in a small bird cage the shop had on hand. Litchfield and Moore named the bird Angel and placed him in a bigger bird cage Litchfield had purchased shortly thereafter, and kept him in the store. Several days later, another Blessings employee, Litta Sughair of Monterey, noticed a quarrel between two similar white doves and a crow in her backyard. The crow had killed one of the doves and wounded the other before Sughair was able to reach it.

    Crows are common predatory birds that live almost everywhere on the North American continent. Though not known for their overall aggressiveness as a species, like most animals crows will become aggressive when they feel as though their young are being threatened by the presence of another creature in their territory, according the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Spring is also mating and nesting season which puts the dove found by Sughair right in the middle of reproductive season when these birds are most territorial.

    According to Litchfield, the dove Sughair recovered had been wounded on its head, but the pair felt as though the laceration would heal on its own, and simply placed the second bird (which they named Grace, after the street Sughair lives on) into the same cage as Angel. There was no tension between the two birds at all, according to Litchfield, Angel took care of Grace and made sure she was well cared for.

    Well that old phrase about birds and bees when Spring comes around certainly applies to these two lovebirds, who took the Blessings Boutique staff by surprise when Grace laid two eggs, and it became apparent that Grace and Angel were female and male, respectively. Read more…»

    Boyhood Shadows: “I Swore I’d Never Tell”

    by Peter Mounteer

    “I swore I’d never tell” is a phrase that often comes up when victims of sexual assault or abuse voice perspectives on their childhood sexual trauma. The vicious mantra is the subtitle of a documentary film called “Boyhood Shadows” by Steve Rosen and Terri DeBono, longtime residents on the Monterey Peninsula and collaborators on numerous projects under the production company they both run, Mac + Ava Motion Pictures. With “Boyhood Shadows” Rosen and DeBono tackle head on a topic that makes most people cringe and turn off the TV or make up some excuse about how they need to get going to a place where they won’t have to even think about an issue that affects one in every six boys before the age of 16.

    One in six is a staggering statistic. But it’s more than just a statistic — it’s some 16 percent of the population. By numbers alone that is, in theory, almost 50 million young men. Something anyone would call an epidemic. Considering the amount of men’s sexual abuse support groups in this country — only about 40 — one thing becomes glaringly clear: Most of these victims aren’t getting the help that they need.

    Read more…»

    Aquarium Recognizes Volunteer Virginia Russell of Pacific Grove

    Each year the Monterey Bay Aquarium selects an exemplary volunteer from more than 1,000 volunteers as the recipient of the Lucile S. Packard Memorial Award for outstanding service.This year’s honoree – Virginia Russell of Pacific Grove – is recognized as an individual “whose dedication and selfless service exemplify Mrs. Packard’s lifelong commitment to volunteerism.” Award criteria include the impact of the individual’s activities on the aquarium, their commitment to the aquarium’s mission, objectives, and goals, and their length of service and number of hours contributed. Read more…»

    Restructure of Parents’ Place sought

    Foundation Seeks to Pull the Ripcord on ‘Parachute Plan’

    by Kacie Clark

    When the chattering of small children and the intermittent cries of infants threatened to drown out the official business of the Friends of Parent’s Place public forum Friday, the students and alumni of the Pacific Grove-based Parent’s Place knew exactly what to do- they stopped the meeting and sang “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” to quiet the children.

    Parent’s Place, a parenting and early childhood education program serving families with young children, has existed in Pacific Grove for 25 years. Operating as part of the Pacific Grove Adult Education Program, Parent’s Place, which expects to serve over 200 families this year, faces another round of budget cuts.

    The meeting, hosted by the nonprofit Friends of Parent’s Place, which was established in 2002 to help Parent’s Place with fundraising support, focused on a presentation and discussion of the nonprofit’s proposed “Parachute Plan.” The plan is designed to restructure the program in the face of continuing cuts to the program’s funding.

    “We’ve sustained budget cuts every year since 2008,” Wendy Root Askew, president of Friends of Parent’s place, said. “There’s been a doubling of tuition and fees, a drop in the number of people who can afford the program, as well as a cut to the number of supportive services we offer.”

    Due to the program being part of the Pacific Grove Unified School District (PGUSD), it receives funding from the state to operate. Prior to 2008, the funding model was based upon student attendance; the program received funding for each hour each child spent in the program. In 2008, the funding model changed, and this, according to Askew, is a critical problem.

    “Instead determining the amount of money by attendance, we received a block grant,” she said. “This immediately cut the amount of funding we received.”

    Further contributing to the problem, Askew said, is that prior to 2008, PGUSD could not use the grant, which covered the entire Adult Education Program, for any K-12 programs. However, starting in 2008 PGUSD could use the funding for either program.

    “They could make cuts to the Adult Education Program, and did,” Askew said. “There were huge decreases.”

    Friends of Parent’s Place designed the “Parachute Plan,” a new funding strategy to combat the continued budget cuts. The plan consists of a transfer of the program from the Adult School structure to one of a nonprofit, while maintaining a partnership with PGUSD.

    The partnership with PGUSD is integral to the success of the program, according to Coleen Beye, the transition coordinator, and presenter of the Parachute Plan. A partnership would include an in-kind donation of facilities use and utilities, with maintenance responsibilities shared between Parent’s Place and PGUSD.

    Moving to a nonprofit structure would also help the program in terms of fundraising, according to Beye. “Grant funders want to fund a nonprofit, not a school district program,” she said.

    City Councilmember Casey Lucius, an alumnus of Parent’s Place, voiced support for the program. “The City Council recognizes the importance of Parent’s Place,” she said.

    The program isn’t just good for the families involved, Lucius said, it is beneficial to Pacific Grove as a whole.

    “Families from outside of Pacific Grove come to Parent’s Place,” she said. “They come in for the day, they utilize places in Pacific Grove; our parks, our libraries. The program brings people here.”

    City Councilmembers Rudy Fischer, Daniel Miller and Ken Cuneo were also in attendance.

    Cuneo proposed that the program should involve someone with a business background to help with fundraising.

    “Idealists aren’t good money raisers,” he said. He also suggested going to, “fraternal organizations, such as The Rotary Foundation, or The Masonic Society” for possible contributions to the program.

    Heather Hubanks, representing the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce, also voiced her support for the program and the “Parachute Plan.”

    Current student of the program, Jay Tulley, the father of two children, explained what Parent’s Place meant to him and his family.

    “I’m here to give the dad’s perspective,” he said. “Parent’s Place was such an incredible help. We met other parents and went through it together. It was very reassuring. It’s in the DNA of our town, making our community healthier. It’s been a life raft.”

    Children’s book author Elin Kelsey read an original piece comparing the impact of the Parent’s Place program to that of the Chautauqua Movement, an adult education program of the late 19th century.

    “Parent’s Place is our modern day Chautauqua. Every day for the past 25 years, parents have been coming with their children to gain hands on experiences with parenting,” she read. “We would be foolish to underestimate the impact Parent’s Place is having today, and more importantly, the impact it will continue to have over the next 100 years.”

    The culmination of the meeting was a call to action, asking community members to speak to the school board and advocate for attention from the board and a continued partnership.

    “Be part of Parent’s Place,” Askew said. “Talk to the school board, request negotiation on their part.”

    Beye, who is also a student of the program, conveyed her satisfaction at the meeting’s turnout.

    “I’m so pleased,” she said. “There were a lot of supporters who came to the meeting, a lot of community members and leaders. I am so excited.”

    Central Coast nonprofit for women seeks success in challenge on Huffington Post

    Rising International is turning to the community to help it win an important Huffington Post competition by June 6. Out of a group of more than 250 applicants, Rising International is proud to be one of the non-profits selected to compete for cash awards and international attention in the RaiseForWomen Challenge launched by Huffington Post and its partners on April 24. Currently, there are more than 100 organizations in the running from at least 150 cities in more than 35 states.Rising International, headquartered in Santa Cruz, is the only California Central Coast organization participating in the Challenge. Read more…»

    We’re leaving for Nicaragua Feb. 14: What are you doing Valentine’s night?

    T.A.S.K 4 U & ME ~ Together Achieving Successful Kindness along with members of Monterey Pacific Rotary will be traveling to Nicaragua for the fourth straight year along with eight students from Pacific Grove. The group will be returning to Nicaragua, servicing five cities in six days!

    In a 4-year period these two programs together have connected hearts not just in Nicaragua, but right here in our own country. Read more…»

    Taylor Jones/Trudeau Publishing Interview on Andy Warhol and Popism

    Taylor Jones/Trudeau Publishing interviews the curator of the Monterey Museum of Art, Karen Cruz-Hendon, on the occasion of their display of the Andy Warhol show in February, 2012.

    Click here to listen to the interview

    Pretty Old the Movie is Pretty Wonderful

    By Marge Ann Jameson

    “So many people have so many stories,” says Walter Matteson, himself a teller of stories. “Verité documentaries often start out as one thing, and life happens. You’re constantly adjusting and developing as the story unfolds.”

    He is the director of a feature-length documentary film, “Pretty Old.” It’s about contestants in the Ms. Senior Sweetheart Pageant, held in Fall River, MA. He says it took him a little less than a year to find his characters and their stories.

    But Matteson doesn’t tell their stories. They do. They tell them through their actions at the 2008 pageant and their frank discussions with the camera, and thus with us. We see them donning their sequined evening gowns and their talent contest costumes, and we hear about their aspirations and the roadblocks life has put in front of them. We watch them from the day they arrive at the Hampton Inn where the event is centered, and we go backstage as they practice their dance routines and have their hair and make-up done. We learn about their motivations and their pasts . . . and we fall in love with them – and the pageant — much as Walter Matteson must have. That much is obvious as we watch the camera caress these adventuresome ladies strutting their stuff on the pageant stage.

    He concentrates on four of the 30 women, who range in age from 67 to 81, going to their homes which include the Virgin Islands, Houston, TX,  and St. Paul, MN and and following them through the days of the tournament.

    Phyllis lost her husband to Alzheimer’s and has had a heart attack. She speaks frankly about her relationship with her late husband, saying they were “married lovers,” and describes his final weeks, and how she climbed into his hospital bed to receive a heartfelt late kiss from him, on her arm.

    Francis has been diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer. She has faced it before, and continues to fight it, saying that she is not afraid of dying but worries about her 94-year old mother and her developmentally challenged son. She is a tap dancer.

    “You’ve got limits now, so what are you going to do?” one contestant asks. Tap dance, you want to answer. Don a Betty Boop costume and do a little boop-boop-e-do. Read more…»

    When we die

    The following entry was made by Steve Hauk on his author’s blog on Redroom.com. With his permission, we reprint it here.

    If you missed the articles by Les Gorn, they are on our website at www.cedarstreettimes.com under the “Features” tab, as a single PDF. Or you can read them in situ in “Past Issues” which are filed by date.


    I read something the other day that destroyed my comforting delusion that if I died suddenly my unproduced or unpublished manuscripts would eventually be discovered and produced or published and my genius hailed.

    Novelist and teacher Les Gorn (“The Anglo Saxons’’), writing for the Cedar Street Times, is doing a series on Monterey Peninsula writers over the years, and they are many.

    Not just the John Steinbecks, Henry Millers and Robinson Jeffers, but some other very fine artists who are lesser known but important nonetheless, such as Jean Ariss (“The Shattered Glass’’ and a close friend of Steinbeck’s) and Saul Alinsky (“Reveille for Radicals’’). Gorn writes that Alinsky, who lived in the Carmel Highlands, is “believed to have inspired both Barack Obama’s years as a community organizer and his 2008 campaign strategy for the Presidency.’’

    But it was the entry on Robert Bradford that brought me up short.

    Bradford lived in Pacific Grove. He was, as Gorn describes him, a writer and activist. He was co-author with another Peninsula writer, Ward Moore (“Bring the Jubilee,’’ 1953, an acclaimed novel supposing the South won the Civil War), of a novel titled “Caduceus Wild’’ as well as the author of “numerous articles in left wing journals.’’

    But, writes Gorn, Bradford’s best work was a novel that was turned down by several prestigious publishers. Gorn read it many years ago and writes  that “its characters still live vividly in my memory, a century and tons of manuscripts later, one true test, I think of literary merit.’’

    The payoff then, one would think, is that the manuscript has been rediscovered and will be published and Bradford’s literary career resurrected.

    It is here that Gorn destroys the delusion of literary justice, for, he writes, the manuscript has been “unaccountably lost.’’ Even Gorn has forgotten its title, if not its characters.

    There are other tragic stories in Gorn’s essay for the Cedar Street Times, the paper founded and edited by Marge Ann Jameson. One is of writer and singer Richard Farina  (friend of Thomas Pynchon and Peter Yarrow and author of “Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me’’).

    Shortly after the publication of that novel, Farina (see photo), in a celebratory mood, took a ride with a motorcyclist out to the wilds of nearby Carmel Valley. The `cycle hit 90 miles per hour rounding a bend and leaving the road, according to authorities. The driver lived, Farina was dead at age 29. “Farina’s grave,’’ Gorn writes, “marked with a peace sign, is in Monterey City Cemetery.’’

    Joan Baez, who for a time made her home in the Carmel Valley, wrote and recorded the song “Sweet Sir Galahad’’ to commemorate Farina’s life.

    So, very sad, but at least Farina’s best work is still with us. It would be nice if we could say the same about Bradford’s. Or even knew what he had titled it.


    We Pass This Way But Once

    Many of you have asked for a reprint of the serialized feature by Les Gorn, We Pass This Way But Once. We have made it into a single PDF. You can find it here: https://cedarstreettimes.com/newpdf/WePassThisWayButOnce.pdf

    Message for the new year, 2012 from Amy Coale Solis

    Amy is a Master Herbalist and lives a wholistic lifestyle in the Santa Cruz Mountains. She lived in Pacific Grove for a time and became a monthly columnist while working at a health and nutrition store here. this is her New Year’s message and the story of her personal transformation.

    Dec 2011 Personal note

    Greetings! I hope you are enjoying the most wonderful time of the year. I have set an intention to truly enjoy the holidays this year. Hiking through the giant redwoods with my husband, father, mother, and grandmother has for sure been my favorite outing this season. I feel fortunate to live in such a lovely place and get to show my family the special trees and sites when they come to visit. Being from southern Illinois we love to gaze at and experience the sacred giants sequoias every chance we get.


    Behind the scene there is really special stuff happening. With my earnings from the handmade basket deliveries, I have been able to invest in a mentor to support me in 2012 as a spiritual entrepreneur. To guide me while growing into the person and business I wish to be, by expressing and sharing my true essence and fulfill my propose in order to make a great living. I have always known I would be reaching for support and now the time has come. I cannot believe how quickly and amazingly things are unfolding. I am so grateful and look forward to sharing the plans ahead with you. Say tuned for all the new growth and plans in 2012.


    Below I have included my most personal article and writing ever. It’s all about my past, my journey and my story. I have never shared anything like this before with anyone. I hope it is helpful to you and helps you to know and understand a little more about me.

    Until next year 2012…. I wish you a holiday filled with enjoyment or whichever special intent you have set for yourself. Blessings and Enjoyment to each of you.

    Transformation story

    I am Amy Solis, a holistic health practitioner specializing in herbs and nutrition. I also run a small farmstead herd-share. I live in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains with my true love, my husband Reev. We are living our dream of a quiet, healthy, holistic lifestyle. I work from home supporting others through nutrition, herbs, and a natural holistic lifestyle. I get to be at home and take great care of my husband, our home, and myself. I get to be with my organic dairy goats each day and look out the window of my office at my organic garden and the beautiful trees and mountains, just as I have always wished and dreamed. My family is proud of me, I am healthy without medication, happy, pain free. I have energy naturally and I am being the woman I have always wanted to be.

    But things were not always this way . . . in fact, if I’m really honest with you, you’ll see that my journey has been quite traumatic and challenging.” What I want to share is a bit about my path because as you look and hear about my life now I think it’s important for me to share how it has not always been this way.

    I had a traumatic childhood. I was hospitalized twice as a little girl; first over dosing on my mother’s medication and nearly losing my life. Then again after being attacked by my father’s dog. Along with this, we (my family) did not have an understanding about nutrition, its effects on health and the body, or a realization about the way food makes us feel. There definitely was not a connecting or relating about good nutrition, health, concentration or quality of life. Health problems seemed to be normal. My mother suffered from constant health problems. This was very hard for me while growing up and a difficult thing to watch my mom go through. Now please before I continue let me say I am not ungrateful or blaming anyone about this, if anything, it’s the opposite. I’m thankful for these learning opportunities.

    With this background of trauma and poor nutrition, by the time I got to school I was struggling with concentration and focus. I remember reading and not remembering the sentences I had just read. By my teenage years I began to struggle with pms and severe menstrual cramping, every month going through this same horrible episode of pain, vomiting and shaking. I remember having to leave school and getting home just in time to throw up in so much pain from menstrual cramping. Another time this happened while out at the movies and I needed to call home to get someone to come and get me so this would not happen in public. The movie office said they would not call home for me and that they would only call the ambulance. I had to go in the ambulance. I was given Vicodin in the emergency room at the hospital.

    It was not helpful when the doctors would tell me that nothing was wrong and give me a look as if I were wimpy or that all woman have to deal with it and I was not any different, ending with me being sent away with birth control pills and huge tablets of ibuprofen. Making things worse to say the least. There were times while going through this I wondered if my life was even worth living if I had to go through so much pain each month.

    This was not the only health issue I was struggling with… digestive issues, ulcers, acne, depression, and serious bronchitis that would require me to take antibiotics at least two times a year. I had major low self-esteem, I did not like who I was, how I looked, and I had no idea what direction to head in. Over all, this had pretty much left me as a lost, unhappy young adult and an unhealthy, unbalanced young woman.

    I thought this is just what God wants for me and how life is for me, full of suffering, and I felt this was just the card I had been dealt, so I began to “party” and use this as a way to feel good, connect with others, and feel good about myself, overall resulting in a DUI.

    Then, when I turned 18, I was taken off my parent’s insurance plan and it hit me. Something deep down, I knew I was not going to have the antibiotics, the amoxicillin, the major ibuprofin, the Retin-A acne cream, the tagiment ulcer treatment or any of the many other prescriptions that had been sustaining my health through my childhood up until then. It was scary but I knew I had to learn to take care of myself and take my health into my own hands and responsibility if I was going to make it or even have a chance of living a healthy life.

    I got a job at a local nutrition center in the town where I was living and began to study nutrition and herbs. I began to get healthy and I started a positive path of supreme health and self care. I began to work with and study under a nutritionist/herbalist, a naturopathic doctor and an aromatherapist at the nutrition center. I became like a sponge and took in all I could learn from these mentors. They supported, encouraged, trained, sponsored, and influenced the practitioner and the person I am today. They taught me everything they know and I live and work still to this day with integrity as if I am a member of this team, in all I do.

    Following this I followed my heart, moved to Monterey Bay to be with my husband and took a position at a small nutrition center as their in-house herbalist. Here I worked for four years until 2010 when I began to focus on working from home while tending our holistic farmstead herd-share in the Santa Cruz mountains, truly stepping into, living and loving a natural holistic-lifestyle while practicing and honoring what I teach.

    If you would like to speak with a Master Herbalist I will be happy to answer your questions, work with you, your family, your health, and your natural-holistic lifestyle. I also am happy to offer a free, first time phone consultation.

    If you have a question or would like to schedule a FREE, first time phone consultation, contact: (831) 262-6522.


    Church celebrates 100 years with an organ concert: Organ installed in 1916

    By Cameron Douglas

    Technically, the Mayflower Church has been around in different forms and denominations for 119 years; but on Nov. 14 it will celebrate 100 years in its current building. The massive brick-faced structure on the corner of 14th and Central went up after a fire destroyed the original wooden church in 1910.

    These are just some of the organ’s 1,200 pipes. Some are made from redwood.

    These are just some of the organ’s 1,200 pipes. Some are made from redwood.

    Known today as the Mayflower Presbyterian Church, it stands as solid as ever. On Sunday, Nov. 14, a centennial celebration will include social gatherings, a Sunday service and a free organ concert featuring several area church organists.

    The church’s elegant pipe organ is something of a local celebrity in itself; standing as the oldest, intact, originally installed pipe organ in Monterey County. The California Organ Company built the original organ, installed at Mayflower in 1916. That organ was later “married” to another organ built by Murray Harris. Some specs on the organ: “Romantic-Symphonic” design; 1,200 pipes (for now); Two percussion stops; 20 ranks (for now)

    Organist Tom DeLay reports more pipes will soon be added and the organ’s rating will increase to 32 ranks, or ranges. The instruments it can mimic include trumpet, oboe, clarinet and “every shape and size of flute you can imagine,” says DeLay.

    Where: Mayflower Presbyterian Church, 141 14th St., PG

    When: Sunday, Nov. 14 starting at 9 am. Services at 10:15. Organ concert at 2 pm. Everyone is welcome.

    Police log


    When we set out to start a weekly newspaper, we did it because we believe that Pacific Grove needs and wants  an unbiased, locally-run, Pacific Grove-oriented newspaper. We weren’t running for City Council, we weren’t backed by anyone who was; we just wanted to provide Pacific Grove with straight news, photos, and events coverage. We didn’t reckon on an economic meltdown, either locally or on a national level, but we’ve been able to keep our heads above water.

    Cedar Street Times has been very well received. We have more than doubled our original press run and we have picked up a number of subscribers to our email version. We have a number of contributors, regular and not-so-regular, who offer us news of interest to the city’s population of all ages and interests.

    We’re pleased to offer a regular “Green Page” on ecology and nature issues and a regular page on arts events. We have provided, joyously, space for student poets, writers and photographers. We have reported on every City Council meeting and many committee meetings. We’ve offered profiles of local businesses and reviews of restaurants, plus regular food columns on cooking. We responded to requests for a police log, and we happily provide a look in Pacific Grove’s past on a weekly basis. We’ve offered some outstanding photo essays, if we do say so ourselves.

    We’re proud of what we’ve done and how far we’ve come, and we look forward to a long and . . . is “interesting” the word we want? . . . tenure.

    The following are examples of the stories we covered during our first six months, though this is certainly not the entire gamut. We hope you will join us in our future endeavors.

    Where I Call Home

    by Jade Hage

    Pacific Grove, deemed by some as the “Last Hometown,”

    Where I can wander through downtown,

    Running into everyone I know.


    Pacific Grove, where all of the students can

    Fondly recall elementary school music class with

    Ms. Sanfort;

    And where every student has had the experience

    Of Mr. Bell as their principal, and Ms. Anton’s

    Riveting exploration through world history.


    Pacific Grove, where the innate rivalry between

    The Otters and the Falcons can be noticed even

    At the high school;

    And where Breaker pride is thick in the air on

    Every spirit day, and at every athletic event.


    Pacific Grove, where the sweet aroma of kettle

    Corn wafts through the brisk April air at the

    lively Good Old Days celebration;

    Where the Feast of Lanterns and its Royal Court

    Are the highlight of the fog-blanketed summers;

    And where each kindergartener marches through

    Town dressed as a proud monarch butterfly in the

    Lively Butterfly Parade.


    Pacific Grove, the sweetest little town, where I call


    Jade Hage is a member of the PGHS Young Writers Club which submits its best poetry during the school year to grace the pages of Cedar Street Times. We thank all the students as we use Jade’s poem for our retrospective.

    Retrospective: The first 6 months

    Vol 1 Issue 1, 09/05/08

    Ikana plane helps on the Basin fire

    Reservoir could solve some of  PG’s water woes

    Candidate profiles: Carmelita Garcia, Deborah Lindsay

    Steve Hauk: Steinbeck’s conceal/carry permit

    Vol 1 Issue 2, 09/12/08

    City finds water for most on Water Waiting List

    Introducing Daniel Gho at the golf course

    Anne Meyer Cook joins Gateway Center

    Recidivist great whites

    Candidate profiles: Bill Kampe, Richard Ahart

    Feature on Sparky’s Root Beer

    Profile on the Herzog family’s summer vacation in their Winnebago


    Vol 1 Issue 3, 09/19/08

    Police equipment grant

    Progress on Breaker Stadium

    Profile of Lori Mannel, PG Museum’s new director

    Mountain lions seen in town

    Lectures on climate change

    Photo essay: Triathlon

    Candidate profiles: Daniel Miller and Ken Cuneo

    Blake Russell back from the international Olympics


    On our website 09/26/08

    B’s Coffee profile

    PG Alumni annual meeting 9/20

    Heritage Bird House contest

    Firefighters get to see the AMA free

    Letter Jim Willoughby on public nuisances

    Butterfly etiquette


    Vol I Issue 4, 10/03/08

    Fire department merger with Monterey

    AFRP gets 4-legged victims of Katrina

    Asilomar cleanup stats

    Picture essay: Heritage houses for the birds

    Council candidates David Dilworth and Susan Goldbeck

    Rags to Riches car show quits PG


    Vol I Issue 5, 10/10/08

    Museum financial woes

    Picture essay: Butterfly parade

    Leatherback turtles in the bay

    Candidate profiles: Mark Hood, Todd Hornik


    Vol I Issue 6, 10/17/08

    Tagging Monarchs, growing milkweed

    Fiction: Lady G of PG

    Bath House lease

    Farmers Market review

    NOAA’s  mural


    Candidate Profile: Dan Cort, Ted Hollister


    On our website 10/24/08

    Rods on the Wharf benefit for Gateway

    Patron’s Show is coming to the Art Center

    Process for hiring a new city manager

    Monarch Update introduced


    Vol 1 Issue 7, 10/31/08

    Reconfiguration of grade schools not happening

    Rec Trail repairs

    Measure X

    MST rate increase

    Gardening Angels

    Carmel River Steelhead Association

    Art Center’s show


    Vol. I Issue 8, 11/7/08

    Election results: Dan Cort, Bill Kampe, Carmelita Garcia, Deborah Lindsay

    Citizens want to get out of CalPERS

    City’s budget update

    Young Writers corner begun

    Big Sur Half Marathon

    Seafood Watch profile

    Deep Sea photography exhibit


    Online issue, 11/14/08

    Meet Pierre Dulaine – Dancing classrooms

    Downtown Holiday schedule

    Proposed raises for city staff

    Parking on Ocean View Blvd.

    Measure Y, Measure Z

    In lieu water fee


    Vol I Issue 9, 11/21/08

    McIndoo Bequest apportioned

    Staff pay raises denied

    PG Liquors

    Half Marathon

    Review: Henry’s BBQ

    Julian Collingwood handmade chocolates

    Patron’s Show


    Vol. 1 Issue 10, 11/29/08

    Phil Bowhay’s book on growing up in Pacific Grove

    Wearable Art at Back Porch Gallery

    Annie Holdren, new Education & Volunteer Manager at PGMNH

    Poetry House – repairs to begin

    Charlene Wiseman staying around as interim city manager

    A Celtic Winter’s Eve

    Revisions to the Museum’s Mission Statement


    Vol. 1 Issue 11, 12/05/08

    Nov. 4 election votes certified, new council seated

    Exit interview with Jim Colangelo

    Introducing High Hats & Parasols

    Mad about Monarchs Museum Event

    Frank Penner, Association’s new president

    Tsunami zone in PG

    Garland Thompson: PG’s Poet in Residence

    D.A.R.E. students visit police department


    Vol. 1 Issue 12, 12/12/08

    Holman Building up for sale

    Holiday activities downtown

    Jayne Gasperson goes on an airship ride

    PGPD breaks up a mail theft and check fraud ring

    PG rotary fixes up the gazebo


    Vol 1 Issue 13, 12/19/08

    Snow in Pacific Grove

    Reservoir update

    Ad hoc water committee established

    Introducing Max Perelman and Jeff Edmunds as commissioners

    Holiday goings-on


    Vol 1 Issue 14, 12/26/08

    Early morning fire tests the new consolidated fire department

    PG Art Center’s new exhibits

    Monarch tagging

    All the committee and commission members


    Vol 1 Issue 15, 01/02/09

    PGPD joins regional “tactical team”

    Guy Cheney joins as rain gauge person

    A look at PG’s economy

    Breaker Stadium progress

    Ice cream parlor v. the military


    Vol 1 Issue 16, 01/09/09

    Emergency funding for the library

    Coyote on the loose

    Arrests in counterfeiting ring

    Mike Nilmeier profiled

    Lunchroom recycling begins

    Feast of Lanterns looking for a volunteer craftsperson to make a sedan chair


    Vol 1 Issue 17, 01/16/09

    Dog park

    City will hire CalPERS consultant

    Profile: Cypress Cleaners green machine

    More on the coyote

    Vol 1 Issue 18, 01/23/09

    Grand Jury report

    The mayor goes to the inauguration

    Dot program lauded by Grand Jury

    New Committee and Commission members: Michael Kapp, Sarah Lewis, Tony Prock

    Road trip to look at butterfly sanctuary


    Vol 1 Issue 19, 01/30/09

    Gang activity in PG

    History of the Lighthouse

    PGHS Honors concert

    Workday at the Green Spot

    Photo essay on Farmers Market


    Vol 1 Issue 20, 02/06/09

    School budget cuts

    Chamber sets up Business Attraction Task Force

    Intern Anna Spade writes on the Obama inauguration

    Photo essay on the lighthouse

    Sudz profiled

    Operation Yellow ribbon


    Vol 1 Issue 21, 02/13/09

    Lilly Clements and Mock Trial

    Celebrating volunteers: Bruce Cowan on the cover and many more on the center spread

    Darwin exhibit at the Museum

    Charlsie Kelly profiled

    Steinbeck house on the market


    Vol 1 Issue 22, 02/20/09

    Butterfly Criterium race revived

    Tony Marino, PGPD get Chamber awards

    Museum garden passes council, work begins

    State schools supe lauds Dot program

    New commissioners: Kathy Anderson, Steve Honneger, Jim McCord

    Photo essay on the Bay by Skyler Lewis


    Vol 1 Issue 23, 02/27/09

    60-day report card on Charlene Wiseman and the consolidated fire dept

    Young entrepreneurs awards

    AT&T films a commercial in PG

    History: The 1909 death of Violet Maya Neill

    Natural succession from Monterey pine to live oaks


    Vol 1 Issue 24, 03/06/09

    City budget woes

    Schools budget woes

    Dorothy Dean Stevens Dancing Through Life

    • Marvin Sheffield comes on board to write about wildlife

    Harbor seals


    Vol 1 Issue 25, 03/13/09

    Review of the Farmers Market

    Snick ‘inherits’ the golden Steinbeck statue

    PG Hot shots trophy

    The monarchs are gone for the season

    PGHS students take honors in culinary competition

    Railroad right of way and the Rec Trail


    Vol 1 Issue 26, 03/20/09

    Businesses of the year: Tessuti Zoo, Pacific Gardens Inn, Adventures by the Sea, Petra, Rabobank, Prim & Proper

    Tom Pollacci turns himself in after an 11-month investigation of rape allegations

    New ad hoc water subcommittee members: Michael Bekker, Bob Davis, Regina Doyle, Alan Tegtmeier

    Raising the flag

    by Ashley Cameron

    February 19, 1945

    The day of invasion…

    Staring at the battleships swarming the harbor of Iwo Jima,

    Overcome by fear,

    He tries to get her out of his mind – but fails!

    Intricate tunnels underground, enable an “element of surprise”

    Volcanic ash fills his lungs, making matters worse.

    Pictures of her flash through his mind, refusing to dissolve.

    His vision obscured,

    His defenses weakened,

    He refuses to give up.

    Flamethrowers shoot death into the air while grenades fly like metal birds –

    The atmosphere – a blur of confusion.

    He watches as countless lives wither into crimson pools,

    Into dust and smoke.

    Ghosts advance slowly, risking what the day will eclipse.

    His breathing deepens.

    His heart pounds through his chest.

    The image of her remains,

    Not in his mind,

    Amidst the confusion of death, and blood, and artillery,

    But in his pounding heart,

    As he fears not death,

    But life without her.

    Compelled by this love, he drifts forward with remaining troops,

    The sinews of their hearts woven together

    To create a force strong enough to vanquish this enemy,

    To bring down the Rising Sun,

    To watch it set behind the hills of Mt. Suribachi

    On February 23, 1945.

    He never wanted to let her go.

    The tears he cried,

    While watching his comrades stab his country’s flag into the soil

    Of the mountaintop –

    A star-spangled banner,

    Standing proud above the sunset –

    Were tears of hope,

    For the daughter he left behind

    On this triumphant day.

    Green Building Starts at Home: Max Perelman’s, to be exact

    By Cameron Douglas

    At a time that many see as a financial downturn, there are also many who see nothing but opportunity for long-term growth through a commitment to the environment. Green building, graywater irrigation, storm water reclamation, improved forest management, lower carbon footprint, solar power, wind power and incentives for green industry are terms we are going to hear more and more. On the Monterey Peninsula, a grass-roots movement is pushing for our area to lead the way in sustainable living. One of those dedicated individuals lives in Pacific Grove. His name is Max Perelman.

    For a young man, Max Perelman has a long list of titles: LEED-accredited professional; MBA; graduate student; member of the Pacific Grove Planning Commission; president of American Environmental & Agricultural, Inc.; husband and dad. Read more…»

    Are we saving the environment for people and wildlife?

    Some of the most fascinating landscapes I encountered were in southern Utah.

    Family members had regaled me with the unique features of the landscapes in Capital Reef  National Park decades ago, when it was still classified as a National Monument. I arranged a trip there, and also to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in mid October.

    Whirling snow greeted my arrival, although I had noted the scudding cloud formations on my drive there. I stayed at the only ranch located within the Monument, owned by some great folks, Lurt and Alice Knee.

    The first few days I did my birding from the back of their Arabian mare, and also took  many slides of the wonderful sandstone rock formations and enjoyed viewing the cake like layers of reddish brown Navaho  sandstone alternating with the greenish Chinle sandstone layers and intermediate shades  of buff and cream sandstone.

    Lurt  Knee’s  delightful weimaraner dog Smokey, virtually acted as a guide in the  wilder areas, which were easy to get lost in; but Smokey led  the way back always.

    From Capitol Reef,  I went on to the Grand Staircase -Escalante National Monument.

    To see Dippers again, those songbirds which can dive into turbulent running streams or rivers, and walk  on the bottom, had been a compulsion of mine. Dippers are  7- 1/2 inch long, plump, short tailed, long legged, charcoal gray birds that feed on aquatic insects and tiny fish which they catch in  swift running waters . They hold their breath longer than seems possible for such small songbirds, and they never emerge from the water where you expect them to.  My rancher hosts  in Capitol Reef suggested that I try the Paria River Canyon, in the Monument as the most likely place to see Dippers since the water level was high enough that year.

    Arriving at the Paria River Canyon, I encountered  a group of ORV [Off-Road-Vehicle] drivers who seemed to be either drunk and downright reckless, or both.  Predominantly young, but including many others much older, they seemed annoyed over the fact that I guided my rental jeep carefully around  rocks and any water filled depressions on the canyon floor. They deliberately drove into and out of the riparian habitat  so the rear wheels of their vehicles hurled broken branches, mud and rocks helter skelter. They crowded my jeep, trying to force me into the river.  I had no option but to hug a sheer wall of the canyon, until these crazies moved on.

    Any  Dippers that might have been further upstream would have quickly departed  as soon as these noisy, water-churning, destructive vehicles approached nearby..  Reluctantly, I turned back, and decided to report this illegal activity to the BLM.

    The BLM official I spoke to was cordial enough, if extremely nervous. Glancing around to see if any of his co-workers were within earshot, he suggested we get some coffee, then selecting a small room, started to question me, to determine if I was a member of any special organization.  I showed him some ID and told him that I really was there for some wildlife and landscape photography; but wanted to report my harassment from the ORV group.  His responses were guarded until I informed him that I was a career  environmentalist, and favored protections for endangered wildlife, including their  habitats. When I mentioned the destructive roiling up of the riparian habitat by these  ORV drivers, he nodded in agreement , and then very softly told me that he was a member of Ducks Unlimited, the Izaak Walton League; and none of his co-workers knew that. He also pointed out that his job would be terminated immediately, if his superiors in the BLM found out about his secret affiliations. He went on to tell me that the large groups of ORV members and the retailers of the ORV’s , were lobbying  to convert faint deer  trails and hikers’ tracks in roadless areas ( the R.S. 2477 maps ) into county roads;   and they had the full support of of the Kane County Commissioners, so that it would open  more forested wildlands to  ORV usage.

    Very recently I discovered that ORV proponents already had an existing 1000 miles of  motor vehicle routes in the Monument’s 10 year travel plan; and the Paria River is not one of them, as it is a river, not a road!!   It also is part of the Paria-Hackberry Wilderness Study Area, and merits inclusion for the National Wild and Scenic River System. For eight years the Bush Administration’s BLM, spinelessly did not enforce the ORV travel plan, or even make a casual attempt at enforcement. The BLM states that it relied upon “voluntary compliance”, which is  hypocrisy at its worst; since the BLM had  previously documented the destructive impacts from illegal vehicular use, with the attending loss of critical wildlife habitat for fish, amphibians,  reptiles , birds and mammals.

    In early May of this year, in a fit of motorized mass dementia, several hundred ORV riders illegally drove their machines up the Paria River in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, in  open defiance of the BLM’s laissez-faire attitude re: travel compliance in ecologically sensitive areas. The BLM had known in advance of this forthcoming illegal invasion, as the rider’s had already trumpeted the ride; however the BLM virtually acted as a welcoming committee when they did not issue citations, or take any legal action against the  participants and organizers of this destructive ride.

    How sad it is to think that the very people who so vociferously proclaim their love  of the outdoors, as in this situation, are the same ones who cannot wait to trash such sensitive environment. Hopefully we may be able to enlist the help of the Secrtaryy of the Interior, Ken Salazar, to terminate this lawlessness once and for all.

    The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, to which I have been donating, has issued a report on the relationship  if any, between televised hype from ORV  retailers, and the vigilante driving  tactics of too many ORV owners,  with the help of Responsible Trails America ( RTA). Based upon a five-year period of surveys, RTA found  “troubling parallels between the advertising rhetoric,  and reckless,  even violent behavior taking place on off-road vehicles throughout the country.”   Three of the four companies —Arctic Cat, Suzuki, and Polaris had televised ads that were the most aggressive,  and were most likely to incite very aggressive,  anti-social behavior and lawlessness in ORV buyers.

    There are of course decent and law abiding ORV owners; however their numbers are overshadowed by the ones who commit the rapes of the very ecosystems we need to scrub our air from airborne pollutants, and to prevent the enhancement of global warming. It should also be noted that conservation of wildlands protects human communities, as well as wildlife in the forests.

    News from 1888

    Police log through 06-06-09

    Pacific Grove News from 1909

    « Previous Entries archive