CRA News October 2007
Selected articles from the newsletter of the Carmel Residents Association
CRA Meeting: Mayor Sue McCloud
|Thursday, October 25 -- CRA Meeting|
| 4:45 p.m. -- Mayor Sue McCloud
- "Looking Back As We Go Forward"
Vista Lobos Meeting Room
(Torres between 3rd & 4th)
Above and Beyond
While hospitalized at Community
Hospital, Carmel Residents Association member Margaret Young's
house was burglarized. Not wanting her to come home to the mess,
Barbara Livingston called City Hall to find the name of a business
which might repair the jimmied window. Building Official John
Hanson, who has done two tours of duty in Iraq, did more than
provide information. He arranged for and facilitated having Carmel
Glass replace the window. When we mentioned to John how thoughtful
and helpful this was, he replied, "I'd do that for anyone in town."
by Roberta Miller
Not too long ago, I was in New Zealand enjoying
two of my grandchildren, who love to perform plays, dance and sing, present
a rousing rendition (at least to Grandma) of one of their favorite songs
from The Lion King, called Hakuna Matata. As I applauded
their enthusiasm and listened to the words, I began to ask myself if maybe
there was a president's message in the lyrics.
They sang, "Hakuna Matata what a wonderful phrase. Please don't worry for the rest of your days. It's our problem-free philosophy, Hakuna Matata, Hakuna Matata.... "
Monte and I moved to Carmel in 1998. While walking on the beach one morning, we met a man who told us that for the last 20 years he and his wife had traveled by motor home from Pennsylvania to Carmel every year and spent two weeks in our area. He asked, "What's happening here? The character and quaintness is changing. Each year we come there are fewer charming cottages, larger homes, more construction and another one of our favorite stores has gone. Carmel needs to wake up."
Almost ten years have passed since this poignant encounter. The same question is still being asked by longtime Carmelites with a strong historic perspective, as well as by newcomers who have a desire to live in this community and be surrounded by beauty. What's happening here? Well, some residents respond by saying that Carmel is still a charming and unique place to live, so don't worry! "Hakuna Matata!" Anyway, there is nothing you can do about it. Wrong! Wake up, Carmel!
Thanks to our forefathers, the early history of Carmel has given us a blueprint for helping to keep our unique, quirky ways. This requires the efforts of our citizens and city officials to protect this village through strong advocacy and steadfast adherence to our General Plan and subsequent ordinances. It has given us an unflinching desire to keep our natural beauty -- our beautiful pearly-white beach, our pine forest, Mission Trails Park, Pescadero Canyon, our small parks scattered amongst our quaint downtown and lovely Forest Hill Park, nestled in a residential neighborhood. Wake up Carmel!
We cannot and should not expect our elected officials to do it all. We can roll up our sleeves and help! Isn't that what democracy is all about? Our increased population, new demographics (63% second homeowners) and aggressive land development have brought new pressures to bear on Carmel which, in turn, may very well require different strategies and rules than in our historic past. Wake up, Carmel!
We might not immediately notice the effect of the incremental alterations or chipping away at the character of this alluring one-square mile. But, visitors and friends, who make this a yearly destination, more often than not raise the question, "What is happening here?"
Here are a few of my concerns. Maybe you share some of these and might have others.
In our downtown -- a deterioration of ambiance and visual pleasures, particularly on our Main Street USA Ocean Avenue
Mayor McCloud has said that the city is aware
of the problem and plans to hire a code enforcement officer. Well done,
The downtown could be enhanced greatly by replanting trees that have been removed by disease or age. Wake up, Carmel!
In our residential neighborhoods -- virtually everyone has noticed the growing tendency for small, older cottages to be replaced with the maximum-size house allowed. Our unique, diversified architectural styles are disappearing.
In our large recreational areas --
In our city infrastructure -- many of our
older buildings, particularly the Scout House, are badly in need of upgrading.
Wake up, Carmel!
We all need to work together. We should all want and expect our City Council, commissions, boards and residents to continue to honor and respect our ordinances and share a mutual desire to do whatever needs to be done to preserve and enhance the beauty of our village for the next generation to enjoy.
"It is our task in our time and in our generation to hand down undiminished to those who come after us, as was handed down to us by those who went before, the natural wealth and beauty which is ours." John F. Kennedy
Carmel-by-the-Sea's 91st birthday
will be more reasonable in price and simpler in fare. Instead of the traditional
chicken barbecue, participants will enjoy hotdogs, chips, soda and cake
-- all for the bargain price of $5 per person. Lunch will begin at noon
at Sunset Center. Tickets are available at Nielsen Bros. Market and at
During lunch, musical entertainment will be provided by the Carmel Rotary Blues Band.
The traditional Halloween parade, streaming up and down Ocean Avenue, will begin at 11 a.m. Children, dogs on leashes and adults who want to participate should meet at 10:45 a.m. on the corner of San Carlos and 9th. Look for CRA President Roberta Miller in the parade.
Event committee member Gene McFarland has recruited many CRA members to help with the lunch, including Dorothy and Tony Budlong, Jane and Tony Diamond, Casey MacKenzie, Carl Iverson, Gloria and Lee Eldred, Jean Grace, Barbara and Dick Stiles, Sherry and Dave Shollenbarger, Jim and Catherine Bell, Nancy Collins, Erl Lagerholm and Karol and Jerry Gleason.
Many of you participated in the three
July General Plan Update workshops and looked forward to the continuation
of this process.
We were told that a compilation of opinions expressed at the workshops would promptly be placed on the website carmelgeneralplan.org and that an open house would take place in early September during which the public would be able to react to a draft vision statement -- the composite of comments made during the workshops. To date, nothing new had been added to the web site and the open house and the rest of the process have been delayed.
According to Planning Services Manager Brian Roseth, "One repeated comment at the workshops was the value that a citywide survey would add to the process. It would provide a forum for more in-depth questions that could be answered on an individual basis ... It also would be more inclusive -- not everyone could attend the workshops."
Roseth is preparing a "scope and budget" for a survey to present for "possible approval" to the City Council at its Nov. 6 meeting. So, until the survey has been decided upon and then, if approved, completed, circulated and its results compiled, no other part of this process can move forward.
We will keep you posted.
Vinz Koller, speaking on behalf of
the Carmel Residents Association board, asked the City Council at its
Sept. 11 meeting to consider prohibiting smoking in public parks with
signs at the entrances.
Such an action, similar to the city's prohibition of smoking on the beach and beach walkway, would not only improve the ambiance of Carmel's natural areas but protect them, particularly Mission Trail Nature Preserve, from fire.
The City Council did not respond to the request at the meeting nor have they done so subsequently.
¡Cinco Años! For five years, our CRA
summertime "Fiesta in the Forest" has been enjoyed by many! It seems like
yesterday that we first began setting up this event in the forest at Indian
Village in Pebble Beach.
¡Muchos voluntarios! Our fifty-three hard-working volunteers were very busy on August 23, the date of this year's event. We had begun our volunteer coordinating at a "mini-fiesta" at Frankie and Dick Laney's home in early August. How much we all appreciate such a big part the Laneys play in the summer barbecue with their myriad of tasks.
¡Cocineros! Among the many cooks are Carol and Pierre Prodis, who have been barbecuing chicken for over 100 attendees for many years. Tony Budlong has been the indispensable "runner" and is always at-the-ready to help with shopping and barbecuing. Dorothy Budlong is one of the lovely ladies who volunteered to cook our Mexican rice dish at home, along with Inge Kessler, Casey MacKenzie, Sherry Shollenbarger, and Jonnie Webb.
¡Héroes! Some of the heroes, those wonderful "big guys," who clean the site, drive in stakes, and put up the entry portal for the Fiesta this year were: Carl Iverson, David Shollenbarger and Paul Webb. New CRA members who volunteered to be "coffee captains" for the barbecue were Kathy and Ron Fredrickson. And Brie Tripp, always a cheery worker, served as a "multi-tasker" in setting up tables, greeting guests with name tags and serving dessert.
¡Amigo! As always, our "amigo" who helps with every part of putting on the CRA barbecue is Gene McFarland, our right-hand man!
¡Gracias a todos! Our thanks to all of the always-helpful volunteers!
Fire Hydrant Update
The last discussion we had regarding the fire hydrant situation in town revealed some serious concerns. An antiquated water system was finally starting to break down, with an unacceptable number of fire hydrants rendered inoperable, or severely compromised.
In a little over a year the combined efforts of the Carmel Fire Department and Cal-Am Water have turned the tide of a potentially-disastrous scenario.
Faced in the past with a variety of restrictions and challenges, which caused delays in appropriately servicing our water-supply system, the fire department lobbied to remove these hurdles once the problems were discovered. Through the leadership of Fire Chief Andrew Miller and Assistant Fire Chief David Brown, the fire department and water company were able to test every fire hydrant in the city's system at once, instead of 20% per year, as is the standard under ideal circumstances. Compromised areas have been mitigated through the repair or replacement of water supply pipe and/or fire hydrants, and the sense of urgency has been reduced significantly. There is still work to be done, but the project is about 70% completed, with total completion slated for the first half of 2008. The original plan called for this project to last about five years, but thanks to the diligence of fire department leadership, it is on track to be completed in about half that time.
We plan on being out on the streets again in the near future to flow test 20% of our fire hydrants in order to stay current with fire-code requirements. Remember that the test involves the use of many gallons of water for each hydrant, but this water use is necessary in order to assure that each hydrant is capable of operating properly, and that the water being delivered to your home or workplace is clean. Before we can turn off a fire hydrant (which is connected to your water system) after conducting a flow test, we must continue to flow the hydrant at a low rate until the water runs clean enough to drink. If we turn off the hydrant before the water runs clean, the water will back up into your pipes and you will receive dirty water. There have been a few times that we have been forced to prematurely turn off a hydrant, due to emergency calls during flow testing, intense complaints about the water flow in the streets or fears of water doing damage to property. If your water becomes dirty, let it run until it looks clean enough to drink.
Emergency Home Beacons
We would like to make you aware of a valuable tool that you can purchase to assist us in finding your location should you ever need our assistance in an emergency. It is an emergency home beacon, basically a special light bulb that fits a standard light socket and will flash to identify your location to emergency responders. Simply put the light into a porch or window-lamp fixture and use it as you would any other light bulb. In an emergency, you turn the light switch off and on at least three times to activate the flashing feature.
[Please note: These lights can be purchased online or by telephone. There are several sources with similar prices. We have listed below a company which does not charge extra for shipping. Neither the city nor the Carmel Residents Association is associated with, profits from or endorses this company. It is merely listed for your convenience. -- Editor]
911Beacon -- $19.95
Safety Think, Inc.
To order online, go to: http://www.safetythink.com/
Click on "Home Safety," on the right, 2nd from the top and then click on "911 Beacon."
Saturday October 20
(3rd Saturday because of City Birthday)
10 a.m. - noon
* Volunteers meet at foot of Ocean
* Please bring gloves
* Coffee and cookies served courtesy of Caffe Cardinale and Safeway Stores, Carmel
Although its main goal of stopping
the Hatton Canyon Freeway was accomplished in 1999, when Monterey County
voted it down, the Hatton Canyon Coalition, originally chaired by CRA
Board Member Skip Lloyd, has stayed active to monitor the design process
for the future four-laning of Highway 1 from Carpenter to Rio Road and
the transfer of Hatton Canyon from California Department of State Parks
(which now owns it) to the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District.
The Coalition's consultant played a significant role in the design of the four-lane project, but it is on hold due to lack of funding. And, despite a multi-year legislative effort, there seems to be no hope of moving the land to the Regional Parks, a separate agency, to prevent a future transfer of the land back to Caltrans.
So, having achieved their original goal and having gone as far as they could on the secondary tasks, the group has disbanded and given its remaining bank balance to the Big Sur Land Trust. We thank them for their perseverance in helping to preserve Carmel!
City Council meetings are taped
Sundays, 8 a.m. - 12 noon on
KMST Channel 26