Daily news from Monterey County Weekly

ETC. Photo of the day by Justin DiMauro. After he and his brother took their trucks to explore the dirt roads off of Nacimiento-Fergusson Road in Big Sur last weekend, Justin DiMauro woke up early Sunday morning to this view in Los Padres Forest facing east. Shot with an iPhone X. Submit your best horizontal photos. (Please include the location where the photo was taken in the caption.)

Good evening.

It’s been more than three months of living and working in this altered reality of ours. In that time I’ve used the Weekly’s arts and culture pages to do what I’ve done for 13 years at the paper: find and write about what I think is the most interesting and valuable stuff from our culture. But it’s been with more purpose, as arts activity dried up and our lives receded inward to our homes. We still needed to hear others’ voices.

I wanted to share culture that inspires us to cheer, to get angry, to cringe, cry, laugh, to accept whatever we might be feeling. Because it seemed like a bewildering amount of news—much of it distressing or tragic—was clamoring for our attention, and I thought we might need to process emotions for balance. So an essay about trying to get rid of a rusty, dusty tricycle touched on loss and grieving; a roundup of protest songs was about how music can unite us for hard times ahead; writing about video games, I wanted to assure parents that they weren’t failing by allowing their kids more escape during a pandemic.

I found advice that could brace us for these turbulent times, as well as entertainment that avoided reality altogether. I curated poems and art, recommended TV shows, pointed out free digital resources. It’s been a privilege to bring all this to readers in this moment. But I didn’t make any of that content. There are a myriad of creative people in this community and in the world who use their witnessing, their lives, their training and talents to create art. I hope it’s been worthy of your time.

Many of you have let me know that the paper (also in this digital format, Monterey County NOW) has been meaningful for you. It has been for me too. It’s felt like a culminating moment in my own mission to share truths that circulate in the arts. And the beauty is that you don’t have to look like that person, or have lived their experiences, or come from their culture or politics or economics, to embrace their expression. 

You just have to be a thinking, feeling, caring human being. And these last three months, difficult as they have been, have proved again that there are lots and lots of you out there.

As I sign off in my final issue on staff at the Weekly after 13 years, and depart for a staff job at CSU Monterey Bay, thank you for reading. And take care.

-Walter Ryce, arts & culture writer



as of 4:30pm PST
MO. CO. 1,748 3% 15
CA 241,076 2% 6,192
USA 2,727,628 2% 121,497
WORLD 10,935,964 3% 519,852
*Percentage change from the prior day. 
Sources: Monterey County Health Department, Los Angeles Times, Covid Tracking Project, Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

How does Monterey County’s Covid-19 case count compare to other similarly sized communities in California? Hint: It’s been getting comparatively worse.


It’s expected to be a busy holiday weekend, but Peninsula cities and Pebble Beach Company have coordinated their efforts to close beaches. The closures take effect at 12:01am Friday, July 3 and run through 11:59pm Sunday, July 5.

Two more annual events have become casualties of Covid-19 this yearThe West End Celebration in Sand City and the Sea Otter Classic at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area have both been cancelled. 

Nearly two years after he was attacked by a couple who hurled racist expletives at him, Derrick Williams is suing the couple for violating his civil rights. 

If the increase in the rate of Covid-19 cases in Monterey County isn’t under control in the next three days, bars and other businesses where there could be close contact, like dine-in restaurants and wineries and tasting rooms could once again be forced to close their doors.

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Emmy-winning, Marina-based musician and composer John Wineglass brought together a potent bunch of different influences to create the 24-minute symphonic tone poem he titled Big Sur: The Night Sun. He was staying at Glen Deven Ranch and the surrounding Big Sur trees and mountains inspired him. You can hear the performance, and also watch its Carmel presentation. It’s something to see: Jayson Fann playing on a six-foot redwood drum, Canyon Sayers-Rood of the Costanoan Ohlone and Chumash tribes in full regalia calling like a coyote, the Monterey Symphony coaxing the music into existence. 

As we brace for another (more restrictive) stage of SIP, this poem by Jennifer Lagier Fellguth reminds us that “nature regenerates eroded ozone. / Deer and mountain lions reclaim community parks.”


While confederate flags and other segregationist memorials being torn down—and the ugly history of slavery in the U.S. remembered—Father Junipero Serra's treatment of Indigenous Californians (and his recent sainthood) are bound to be revisited. 
-The Atlantic, Sept. 22, 2015

Young, wild and free. During shelter-in-place, fewer cars on the road led to a significant decrease in wildlife being struck and killed by passing automobiles.
-UC Davis Road Ecology Center Study, June 24, 2020


As we privately mourn the death of Salinas Mayor Joe Gunter, who died on June 29 at age 73, there are a few public ways to honor him while still adhering to shelter-in-place guidelines. People are invited to a moment of silence and a walk-through (to maintain distancing) from noon-4pm on Saturday, July 11 at Struve & LaPorte Funeral Chapel at 41 W San Luis St. in Salinas. And you can donate to a fund in Gunter’s memory to support the annual Veteran’s Day Parade in Salinas.

Rent is due, but an eviction moratorium remains in effect. Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, officials with ECHO Housing discuss what you need to know in Monterey County and what protections you have in a webinar at 5:30pm today, Thursday July 2. Register online.


Join Us

Is your dog freaking out with the pre-Fourth of July fireworks? Veterinarians are (finally) allowed to talk about cannabis for pets, and some dispensaries offer CBD for your furry friend. 

Happy birthday, if your zodiac sign is Cancer. “It’s important for you to be your lavish, sumptuous, complex self in the coming weeks,” our astrologist writes. Whatever your sign is, check out your horoscope here.

Food trucks make it easy to buy everything from coffee to California comfort food in a low-touch environment. Wear a mask and support local restaurants.
How do you find the place where a long-gone tree, even one that was purported to have been 480 feet in diameter, used to live? It’s a bit of a history mystery.
From the Weekly’s Jukebox: 
El Camino Sutra was born out of the hive mind that is Keith Damron, Adam Behan, Sean Browne and Jacob Ellzey. Listen to their entire discography (2014-2017) and even buy their albums on bandcamp.

We welcome your comments, feedback and tips. 

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  • Calendar: Ideas for local arts, music, culture and cool livestreams
  • Eat+Drink: Restaurant updates, chef news, cocktail discoveries and culinary bites
  • Local Inspiration: Share your art, music and video
  • Whistleblower: An encrypted form for off-the-record tips 
  • Squid: Send tips to our omnipresent cephalopod columnist
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