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    Tessuti Zoo: Serious Fun!

    by Robert Lewis

    [View Photos below] What in the world is that wacky looking, colorful little shop down on Forest Avenue across from Pepper with the crazy name, Tessuti Zoo? When you walk into this delightful store you have to plant your feet firmly to keep from

    falling over, your head will be spinning so as you turn this way and that in a blast of multiple colors that simply overwhelm the senses. There is so much color, so much visual detail, so much decorated design, so many multi-colored objects that it is actually hard to settle on one thing, to pick one thing, out of this rainbow, and say “Oh, that’s a table!” or “Wow, that’s a wall hanging!” or “Hey, that’s a…person!”. A person? That person behind the counter would be either Emily Owens or Mary Troup, founders and excellent co-creators of this unique zoo of wackiness. Read more…»

    On the Edge of the Jazz Experience

    During these days of down-sizing, some schools and school districts are considering eliminating all music teachers and music programs. Does the word “all” include jazz?

    by Jon Guthrie

    I greeted guitarist Bruce Forman a while back at the Plaza Linda Cantina, Carmel Valley Village, during the nascent hours of a Saturday evening.
    Bruce and I sat together in shimmers of candlelight and talked about jazz, the subject that Bruce preferred over all others. His hands, the hands so talented at caressing melodies from strings, rested upon a tablecloth of white linen. His eyes-as gray and glittery as polished granite-gazed at the earth-tone decor as though seeking wisdom among the pictures of a toreador, an ancient Mexican mission, a child of Mexico clutching a flower. Read more…»

    Whitman’s Benefit for Staff Players Repertory Company

    Neal and Elaine Whitman, Pacific Grove writers and teachers, present “A Visit with Sir William Osler and The Poetry Profs,” a benefit to celebrate the 40th year of Staff Players Repertory Company. Neal Whitman takes us back to 1919 as Sir William Osler, a pioneer in medical education, implored his medical students to read a bit of poetry each day. He was the founder of Johns Hopkins Medical School and is revered as the founder of modern medical training. In act two, Neal and Elaine will use their poetry and music to explore the performing and literary arts.
    Wishing to honor 40 years of continuously produced classics and “gems of the stage” presented at the Indoor Forest Theatre in Carmel, the Whitmans designed the afternoon program to benefit the Children’s Experimental Theater, the oldest classical theater arts conservatory program on the Central Coast, which calls the Forest Theatre its home.
    The event is set for Sunday, April 5 at 2:30 p.m. at the Indoor Forest Theatre, at the corner of Mountain View Avenue and Santa Rita Street in Carmel. Reservations are requested and can be made by calling 624-1531. Tickets are $20 and can also be purchased online at www.ticketguys.com.

    Driver in death case once again declared incompetent for trial

    Deborah King, the driver charged with murder in the death of Joel Woods of Pacific Grove, has been deemed once again to be incompetent for trial, according to Steve Somers, prosecutor in the case. Read more…»

    A Sixty-Day Report Card: Interim City Manager Wiseman

    At about the same time the fire department consolidation began, Charlene Wiseman stepped in as Interim City Manager for the City of Pacific Grove as a new person had not been found to replace retiring Jim Colangelo. Read more…»

    A Sixty-Day Report Card: Fire department consolidation

    Two months ago, Pacific Grove went into a contract with the City of Monterey to provide fire protection for Pacific Grove. We asked Monterey Fire Chief Sam Mazza how that consolidation was going, and how Monterey’s fiscal problems could potentially affect Pacific Grove’s fire protection service. Read more…»

    Pebble Beach AT&T tees up … again!

    It’s more than just a bus ride to shopping
    by Jon Guthrie

    The Pacific Grove merchant shook his head, thinking about the upcoming Pebble Beach AT&T Pro-Am golf tournament. He was particularly impressed by the arrangements for transportation from places like Carmel, Pacific Grove … even the former Fort Ord. “The trouble is, those bus riders don’t bother to do any shopping,” he said. “They get on and off the buses, check out the golf, and never spend a penny.”
    Oh? Well, doesn’t it seem likely that those who come to the AT&T arrive here with shopping not at the head of their to-do list? They come to view the most-talented of the professionals and the most-famous of the amateurs out there on the links. Fans collect in galleries to watch the likes of amateur Dan Tibbets who, in 1992, fired his first drive twenty-five feet to the left and landed the ball in a tree. They also gather in silent awe to watch how the professionals handle the most difficult of shots. Read more…»

    Mike Nilmeier and the USNS Mercy

    Malaria is among his special interests

    by Jon Guthrie

    Something seems extraordinary about the United States Navy Ship (USNS) Mercy … something beyond her bulk (69,360 tons displacement), her length (894 feet), her beam (105 feet, 7 inches), her propulsion (two boilers driving a pair of GE turbines and one shaft with 24,000 horse power), or her speed (17.5 knots). Her history also seems a bit odd-Mercy was built as an oil tanker and christened SS Worth in 1976-but her history is not really extraordinary either. Nor is it peculiar that she was never destined to fulfill her original purpose. That’s because in July 1984, she was renamed Mercy and converted to a hospital ship. Accepting this new challenge, the USNS Mercy was launched in July, 1985, and commissioned in November, 1986.

    Consider, however, that under a full head of steam 61 civilian and 1,214 military compose her contingency and not one among them posses any ordnance. Mercy is precluded weaponry by provisions of the Geneva Convention and the rules of the Pacific Partnership. Mercy must do her fighting with knives and needles, with irradiation and scalpels and microscopes and bundled medications.

    Consider that the Mercy’s stated mission is to provide “rapid, flexible, and mobile acute medical and surgical services to support task forces deployed ashore and battle forces afloat.” Also “[she] provides mobile surgical hospital service for use by appropriate US Government agencies in disaster or humanitarian relief.” Operating as part of the humanitarian operation previously mentioned, “Pacific Partnership”, the USNS Mercy eschews weaponry.

    On 27 February 1987, Mercy began training to fulfill her purpose as a mercy ship (sometimes called hospital ships) while on a humanitarian cruise to the Philippines and the South Pacific. More than 62,000 outpatients and almost 1,000 inpatients were treated at seven Philippine and South Pacific ports. Some of these people had spent a lifetime without previously seeing a doctor.

    Mercy continues her cruises today. While at sea on her missions of compassion, Mercy is equipped to offer radiological services, physical therapy, burn care, dental services, and optometry. She’s equipped to fill 1,000 patient/beds and, while it’s a service Mercy attempts to avoid, she has a morgue.

    Before each cruise of compassion, the navy accepts applications from young men and women who have some sort of medical training or background and wish to serve as volunteers. More than 400 individuals turned in applications for one summer stint in 2008. The Navy accepted 60 applicants. One of the accepted few was a student at San Diego State University with an exceptional skill: phlebotomy (the letting of blood for transfusion, diagnosis, or experiment.)

    His name and residence? Mike Nilmeier of Pacific Grove.

    Mike Nilmeier of Pacific Grove said of his artistic bent: “what I paint is pretty weird stuff but that’s okay, the process is more important than the product.”

    Twenty-two years earlier, Dr. Susan Nilmeier, a chiropractor now residing in Pacific Grove, was in labor in the comfort of a birthing center where she was attended by a midwife who specialized in natural births, without medications. Dr. Nilmeier now says: “I named my baby Michael. There was something special about the look in Mike’s eyes, the way his hands were so refined. I knew he would become a healer of some sort. Like most new moms, I read aloud to him, but what I read was kind of unusual … books about medicines, cures, anatomy, physiology…

    “To develop the medical mien even more, a skeleton hung from the ceiling in the dining room and cross sections of a brain were laid out as a display on the fireplace mantle.”

    After her son turned five, Dr. Nilmeier moved to the Pacific Grove where she joined Dr. Edward Jarvis’s practice. Later, Mike entered Robert Louis Stevenson where he expanded his interest to include art. “I really like art,” Mike says. “However, what I paint is pretty weird stuff, but that’s okay; the process is more important than the product.”

    After RLS, Mike gave his mom a hug, headed south, and checked in at San Diego State University, a college his mother had attended. Mike was chatting with a chum, Kjeld Aamodt, one day when Aamodt (a Norwegian) mentioned that he had recently enjoyed the pleasure of being a volunteer on the USNS Mercy. Aamodt encouraged Mike to apply.

    Mike said the more they talked, the more intriguing the idea sounded; he completed and filed the application. Word came back; he was accepted as a volunteer for a 15-week mercy cruise.

    “I flew to the Philippines, and met the ship at Manila,” Mike says. “This was proving to be an extraordinary experience. My bunk was in a giant dormitory-style room for enlisted personnel. There wasn’t much privacy, but I made a lot of new friends. We ate meals in a dining hall, and most of the food turned out to be really appetizing. Stepping out on deck at night was unbelievable. There is little light-pollution at sea, and the sky hosted a circus of stars.”

    “It was fascinating. People in need of medical attention would wait in small groups on shore. Many would get their basic care right there. Others would be transported to the Mercy by shuttle craft. We had a helicopter on board which would fly medical teams to sites more inland. We saw a lot of illnesses that are pretty well eradicated back in the States. I found that I’m really interested in malaria, a disease spread by mosquitoes.

    What are Mike’s short-turn plans? To graduate from San Diego State University, complete graduate studies, and become a primary-care physician. Mike would enjoy seeing his office set up in Pacific Grove one day, possibly in a medical partnership arrangement with his mom, but he would also enjoy traveling now and then with volunteer groups like those aboard the USNS Mercy. Mike also hopes to find productive ways to use his incredible art skills in medicine.

    “Most of all,” Mike says, “I hope I can navigate through life with grace and humor while helping a lot of people along the way.”

    Authors note: To learn more about the USNS Mercy, sister ships, and their projects: www.globalsecurity.org.



    Pacific Grove’s Traditional Christmas Pudding

    During the olden era, each Monterey County community seemed to have some holiday dish that the community considered especially its own. For those eager to prepare Pacific Grove’s traditional treat-a holiday pudding-the Review published a recipe promised as easy to follow.

    Here it is, from a hundred years ago …

    Please include four cups of scalded milk, 1¼ cup of rolled sweet crackers (the equivalent of crushed vanilla wafers), 1 cup sugar, 4 eggs, 2 cups melted butter, 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, 1½ cups raisins.
    Pour the heated milk over the crackers and let stand until cooled. Add sugar, eggs (lightly beaten), nutmeg, salt, and butter. Before hand, prepare raisins by parboiling until very soft. Simmer in just enough boiling water to cover the raisins. Add the softened raisins and the water in which they were cooked to the mixture. Pour the mixture into a heavy, buttered, oven-dish and bake very slowly for 2½ hours, stirring only once after the first ½ hour.
    Serve with the following cream sauce: 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 eggs, and 2 cups whipped cream. Beat the egg whites to a stiff froth, add the yolk and sugar, then beat well. Flavor with vanilla and lemon before beating once again.
    Add the whipped cream just before serving.



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