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CRA News January 2008

Selected articles from the newsletter of the Carmel Residents Association

Caricature of Gunnar Norberg, whose book is now available
The above caricature of Gunnar Norberg graces the cover of his book, The Private Norberg Story: Me and the General, WWII at the homefront. Learn about the book.
Courtesy of Wies Norberg

CRA Meeting: "A Survey of Carmel's Small Theatrical Companies"

featuring Hamish Tyler, Marcia Hovick,
Stephen Moorer and Dr. Barbara Mossberg

Thursday, January 24 -- CRA Meeting
         4:30 p.m.
Vista Lobos Meeting Room
(Torres between 3rd & 4th)

Carmel's early history is intertwined with the theater. The Forest Theater and Golden Bough were integral parts of residents' lives and names such as Edward Kuster, Herbert Heron and Cole Weston still resonate.

Today our village enjoys a wealth of theatrical riches. The component companies-Forest Theater Guild (FTG), Pacific Repertory Theater (PRT), Children's Experimental Theater (CET) and Staff Players are creative and prolific. And, the Sunset Center Theater and Cherry Center venues bring in an impressive and divergent lineup of performances. The Jan. 24 speakers will talk about our local small theater companies.

Hamish Tyler, executive producer of the FTG, will talk about this organization whose history goes hand in hand with the outdoor theater. He has worked with the Guild for 32 years and is now the visual and performing arts administrator for Monterey County and head of KMST Channel 26. FTG's first performance, David, was held in the newly-established Forest Theater in 1910.

Marcia Hovick, founder of CET and the Staff Players, will discuss the children's drama program, which she founded in 1960. CET's Traveling Troupe visits Monterey County elementary schools bringing drama into the lives of those who might not have this opportunity. Staff Players, the oldest continually producing theater company in Carmel, was founded by Marcia in 1969 to support CET.

Stephen Moorer, artistic director of PRT, founded this company in 1983. The group played primarily in Monterey, with some productions at the Forest Theater until 1995, when they opened in the present Golden Bough Theater.

Dr. Barbara Mossberg, performer, poet, professor, president of the FTG board of directors and former member of many Carmel arts boards, will present an ecumenical, cultural historian's look at the Carmel arts scene. Her stress will be on what is at stake-how important it is for our community to support the arts.

A footnote: Stephen Moorer is a product of Children's Experimental Theater -- living proof of its success!

It's time for Citizen of the Year nominations

After a hiatus of one year to allow for a gala celebration of the Carmel Residents Association's 20th Anniversary, the Citizen of the Year award ceremony will take place once again on Sunday, March 9, at 3:30 p.m. at the Carmel Woman's Club. According to event chair Barbara Livingston, in addition to the thrill of finding out who has been selected Citizen of Year, there will be great food and wine provided by Michael Jones of A Moveable Feast and cake courtesy of Magdy Ibrahim of Pātisserie Boissiere. Fifth District Monterey County Supervisor and Carmel resident Dave Potter will announce the winner and present the CRA award.

To make a nomination for Citizen of the Year 2007, send a letter listing experience and qualifications -- how this person has contributed to and enhanced the quality of life in Carmel-by-the-Sea -- to Citizen of the Year Committee, Box 13, Carmel 93921. All nominees, either resident or business community members, must live in Carmel or its sphere of influence. Neither nominators nor nominees need to be members of CRA. Nominations must be received by February 21.

The excitement of the Citizen of the Year Celebration is that no one knows who has been nominated or selected except for the small selection committee. So -- who will it be on March 9th? It's up to you to send us your nominations!

Previous Citizens of the Year are Jim Wright, Joyce Stevens, Enid Sales, Jack Billwiller, Skip Lloyd, Noel Mapstead, Clayton Anderson, Roy Thomas, Jean White, Bob Kohn, Linda Anderson, John Hicks, Noel Van Bibber, Jim Holliday, Frankie Laney, Nancy and Bill Doolittle, Merv Sutton, Barbara Livingston and Olof Dahlstrand.


In safe hands -- how Carmel weathered an enormous storm

Carmel and Pacific Grove Fire Chief Andrew Miller says that, in his 25 years of public safety work on the Monterey Peninsula, the January 4 storm with its sustained winds was the most extreme he has ever seen! Mayor Sue McCloud heard that a gust over 80 m.p.h. was measured on a wind gauge near the former Jean Arthur house on Carmel Point.

No one who was in Carmel that Friday needs to be convinced, however! Our point here is that no matter how violent the storm that came our way, its strength was equaled and surpassed by the dedicated men and women who pushed back and protected us. Many of them worked around the clock. We were truly in safe hands.

When a massive storm hits our village, a pre-organized process, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) springs into action. Located on the lower level of the Police Department, with its own generator, computers and telephones, the EOC is staffed by every city department. Headed up by Incident Commander Bruce Meyer of the Fire Department, EOC staff included Police Chief George Rawson, Assistant Fire Chief Dave Brown, as well as City Administrator Rich Guillen, Heidi Burch, Sandy Farrell, Jane Miller, Stephanie Pearce and Karen Love from City Hall. Building and Planning supplied Brian Roseth, John Hanson, Margi Perotti and Leslie Fenton. Cindi Lopez from Community Activities and Library Director Janet Cubbage were on hand as was Joe Monza from the Red Cross. Police personnel Dawn Almario, Jeff Olinger and Jennifer Morais also worked in the Emergency Operations Center.

With the help of a large "status board," EOC workers monitor, organize and dispatch emergency calls to the team in the field. During times of multiple calls, according to Chief Rawson, EOC staff must use a form of triage to assess which emergency is the most life threatening, sometimes re-directing or diverting assets on the way to another site.

The field crew, out in the worst of the storm, included Carmel Police Department personnel Ken Shen, Jeff Watkins, Theran Mills, Mike Calhoun, Steve Rana and Lisa Panetta. Carmel Fire Department personnel on duty were: August Beacham, Mitch Kastros, Matt Gardner, Ian Watts, Ken Hutchinson, Sarah Gunter, Gene Kofman, Bill Cox and John Trenner. Carmel Regional Fire Ambulance staff working through the storm were Tom Brown, Michelle Cumming and David Jedinak.

In addition, there was Stu Ross, head of Public Works, with Tim Wood, Jaime Aquino, Rob Cover, Jim Pingree and Matt Feisthamel as well as Ben Martino and Cleve Waters from Building Maintenance. Since high winds and trees don't mix well, Forester Mike Branson and his staff, Kelley Green, Kimberly Moscato and Dave Maschmeyer really had their hands full.

According to Chief Rawson, 6 to 10 cars were crushed or damaged and at least five homes are known to have been hit or somehow damaged by falling trees. However, there may be more damage inasmuch as some people arranged for repairs without notifying the city. At 2:04 p.m. on Friday there were 16 streets in Carmel closed or blocked by trees and/or downed wires. Even Highway One between Ocean and Carpenter was closed on Friday morning. "We are blessed that we didn't have anyone hurt," Rawson said.

Fire Chief Andrew Miller, who remained in Pacific Grove, assigning Assistant Fire Chief Dave Brown to Carmel, said, "The staff did an exemplary job. Everyone worked 48 hours straight with little or no sleep, putting Carmel residents as top priority. The firefighters lived up to every expectation I had as fire chief, working steadily from call to call," He reiterated Rawson's sentiments, "I am grateful that no one was injured or killed." Chief Miller said that Carmel and Pacific Grove were the hardest hit by the storm because of their upper canopy trees and coastline. And on Monday, after the storm had wound down, it seemed there was no rest for the weary -- Carmel firefighters were called to a structure fire on 13th and Junipero.

Although the storm had subsided by Saturday, many workers, including Margi Perotti and Leslie Fenton, reported for duty. Margi and Leslie were the "pine needle girls," helping the tree crew clean up debris from drains and gutters on Carpenter and in northeast Carmel. "We were so cooped up in the EOC on Friday," quipped Margi, "that on Saturday we decided to get out and throw some things around!"

It wasn't just city staff that took care of us, however. Chief Rawson was in constant touch with EOCs from the city of Monterey and the County. Since Salinas was not hit as badly as the coastal communities, the County EOC was standing by to provide support and resources should our field workers become overwhelmed. [They weren't.] As well, the Carmel EOC was in close touch with Wendy Sarsfield, PG&E government liaison, on power-outage questions and concerns.

The Carmel Foundation stayed open and available for those who needed support. Local markets, Bruno's and Nielsen Bros., remained open with generators. Your editor had a great adventure shopping at Bruno's. Their generator lit only the front portion of the store; so employees armed with flashlights escorted customers around helping them find batteries, food or whatever they needed.

Chief Rawson talked about the challenge for the elderly, many of whom were left for days without power. While some just toughed it out, others moved into local hotels. Mayor McCloud faxed us a sheet put together by the Carmel Innkeepers Association listing hotels which had discounts for locals who needed shelter. Rawson mentioned the importance of the Citizens' Emergency Response Training (CERT) offered by the city, which stresses preparedness for events such as this storm. He also talked about the value of local networking -- checking around your neighborhood to see who is in town and who needs help. This is especially helpful with so many vacant homes.

Finally, Chief Rawson said that the city will have a comprehensive meeting to debrief staff -- to be sure that "we do the best we can with our resources."

In our opinion, the Carmel-by-the-Sea staff more than exceeded any and all expectations. Everyone who was involved is a hero in our eyes!

[We appreciated the Herald editorial on the obvious value of undergrounding of utilities. The Feb. issue of CRA News will have an article on this possibility with information from the city's ad hoc Committee on Utility Wire Undergrouding report.]

President's Message
Culture -- the heart and soul of Carmel

by Roberta Miller

Wherever Monte and I travel, the inevitable question arises, "Where are you from?" I've always thought it curious that when we respond, "Carmel-by-the-Sea," people everywhere answer in similar ways. "Oooh! It is so beautiful!"

The natural beauty of Carmel is a well-known treasure. But, the wealth of Camel also begins with its culture -- a culture that in many ways defines its very heart and soul. A history of the human spirit. A culture that often reaches back to its earliest roots for inspiration, and then creates something fresh and new. Our community culture continues to evolve, incorporating arts, photography, literature, music, drama and architecture in concert with cultural institutions and foundations that enrich our lives.

It all started with an earthquake. The 1906 earthquake ravaged San Francisco. As a result of the conflagration that followed, many artists and writers were burned out of their homes. A Carmel poet named George Sterling convinced his fellow colleagues to move south to a wonderful community of beach cottages and thick forests. It was a proper setting for quiet contemplation and nourishment of their creative souls as it had been for Robinson Jeffers, Sinclair Lewis, Mary Austin and Edward Weston (his collection resides in our library), to name a few. And so Carmel-by-the-Sea claimed the beginning of its own literary heritage and embraced its Bohemian ways.

Community theaters blanket Carmel-by-the-Sea. Our Sunset Center Theatre is now considered state-of-the-art. It is enjoyed by locals and people from all over the world. The diversity of performances is a hallmark. The Cherry Foundation is a gallery, a sculpture garden and a small theatre, presenting the works of contemporary artists, poets and writers.

The Forest Theatre Guild, the Children's Experimental Theatre/Staff Players and the Pacific Repertory Theater will be the subject of our January 24 meeting. Their history is briefly discussed in the meeting announcement above.

Local artists perform and exhibit at Devendorf Park and at other city-sponsored events. The annual Carmel Art Festival brings artists from all over the world to display their talents in a unique Carmel landscape. Passers-by watch the plein aire artists at work with great pleasure and enjoy the sculpture in Devendorf Park.

Galleries are an important part of our downtown ambiance and certainly a tourist destination for many. The Carmel Art Association, founded in 1927, is a premiere art gallery providing local artists the opportunity to become part of Carmel's downtown community with a place to sell and display their paintings and sculptures. Individual artists are frequently featured in exhibitions.

The Harrison Memorial Library is the heart and soul of our cultural community. Together with the Carmel Public Library Foundation, it offers a plethora of innovative, cultural programs for the community -- the Local History Lecture series, Author, Author programs, a monthly book club and the Friends of HML's Literary Sunday Afternoons, just for starters.

The number of festivals and exhibits sponsored by private groups, non-profits, entrepreneurs and the city are increasing. But, the Carmel Music Society, Carmel Mozart Society, Chamber Music Monterey Bay and the Monterey Symphony have enriched our culture for many years. The annual Bach Festival is acclaimed throughout the world. Literary festivals honoring our eminent writers are a good way to perpetuate an interest in our heritage and culture. There is no better example than the two-day Tor House Jeffers Festival -- a celebration of Robinson Jeffers' poetry with well-known scholars. Among other events, Tor House presents a highly anticipated poetry-reading series.

To focus, foster, seek out and enthusiastically encourage the growth of artistic diversity in our community is a good thing for all of us. This is our signature milieu -- a bridge connecting the business, visitor and residential communities. It is our cultural heritage -- from sculpture and music in the parks to a variety of festivals, exhibits and performances in art, drama, literature, music and photography.

Culture is a history of the human spirit. Somerset Maughan's quote remains appropriate today: "The value of culture is its effect on character. It avails nothing unless it ennobles and strengthens that. Its use is for life. Its aim is not beauty but goodness."

Beach Cleanup

Saturday, January 26
10 a.m. - noon

* Volunteers meet at foot of Ocean Avenue
* Please bring gloves
* Coffee and cookies served courtesy of Caffe Cardinale and Safeway Stores, Carmel.
* Thanks to the Pine Cone for the ad donated each month!


Thanks to Kay and Harvey Kuffner for running the Nov. beach cleanup while Clayton Anderson was away.

When a problem arose with obtaining the cookies Safeway usually donates, Paulette Missud rode to the rescue with delicious home-baked treats.

Thanks, Kay, Harvey and Paulette!

Comments by Skip Lloyd on Forest Theater Master Plan

During the "Public Appearance" section of the Nov. City Council meeting, CRA board member Skip Lloyd, speaking as an individual, commented on the newly-unveiled draft plan prepared by a Los Angeles architectural firm for the Forest Theater Foundation. He pointed out that a "thorough master plan was prepared for the facility in 2001 after a very long, thoughtful process with a great deal of public input."

Stressing that Carmelites have "deep feelings about the theater," Lloyd said he hoped that "before this plan travels too far down the track, there is an effort to solicit more community input." Public presentation of the plan has been made -- with only immediate neighbors invited -- by a flyer manually left at their homes in a city envelope.

In saying that "people aren't sure where this plan fits with the process of adopting a plan for the Forest Theater," Lloyd encouraged the council to open up public discussion of any plan for the Forest Theater to the entire community.

Waste Management seeks 11.86% rate increase

Residents and commercial customers could see an 11.86% increase in their Waste Management bills if the City Council agrees to a recent request. The corporation says the increase would reflect increased disposal fees approved by the Monterey Regional Waste Management District, a cost of living adjustment, increased fuel, labor, health and benefit costs, as well as the need for a fair rate of return.

The City Council, however, decided in December to postpone the decision so that they could sit down with Waste Management and review the entire contract. Although the increase was slated to begin on Feb. 1, that won't happen since the item was not listed on the council's January agenda.

We do appreciate the services that the city negotiates. Carmel residents who routinely visit family in other cities often comment on how advanced our recycling system is compared to other locales -- with our combined recycle bins and large yard-waste containers. Because of its efforts, Carmel is well beyond the mandate to recycle 50% of all solid waste. Mayor Sue McCloud said, however, that the state legislature could possibly increase the mandate to 75%.

Carmel named top destination!

Once again Carmel has received recognition from Condé Nast Traveler. In the 2007 Readers' Choice Awards, Carmel is number six in the list of America's ten top cities. The entire list, from 1 to 10, is San Francisco, New York City, Charleston, S.C., Santa Fe, Chicago, Carmel, Honolulu, Savannah, San Diego and Boston.

Very exclusive company and note that Carmel is the only small town listed!


Gale Wrausmann -- in her own words

Kay Ambro intended to write a profile of Gale Wrausmann but a long power outage kept her from finishing. Because Gale had provided well-written, fascinating comments, we decided that they can stand on their own. Wrausmann has a BA in math and MBA from UC, Berkeley. She is a walking-tour guide, photographer, classical pianist, world traveler and former corporate executive.

"While living in San Francisco, I spent many years visiting Carmel and playing tournament golf. I won a few tournaments here, including a division of the California State Women's Amateur Championship at Pebble Beach in 1976. Laird Small was my caddie!

"During those years, I had the opportunity to stay with my Airedale in Edward Weston's cabin in Wildcat Canyon. At that time his original darkroom was intact. My days were spent photographing the area, and evenings spent reading the diary of his experiences in Carmel, while listening to Bach (his favorite composer).

"I moved to Carmel in 1995 ... lured by its nature, culture, golf, love of dogs and most of all as a mecca for photographers. The Shivas Irons Golf Society offered me a part-time position here. We held a conference at Stanford University with Michael Murphy, Ram Dass, George Leonard and Fred Shoemaker -- exploring golf as a vehicle for personal growth and transformation. I played the Stanford Golf Course with Michael Murphy, who signed a copy of his classic book, Golf in the Kingdom, for me, 'For Gale -- of gorgeous swing. With admiration, Michael Murphy.' That day I couldn't miss a putt, even though I hadn't played for some time. I concluded that looking through the viewfinder of my camera all those years sharpened my ability to read the lines of putts. It was a lesson that you can't compartmentalize your life experiences ... everything you love to do enriches other things you do.

"Carmel was originally built during the Arts and Crafts movement, which fostered the idea of 'living in simplicity, in harmony with nature.' I have always collected Arts and Crafts furniture, and appreciated the ideals of that movement. When I saw photographs of early Carmel, I had an instant affinity with the spirit that created such a unique place.

"I saw Carmel as a haven for creativity and spirituality. Since my primary reason for moving here was photography, I began photographing the village with the idea of doing a book. Fascinated by my discoveries, I shared them with friends and neighbors ... places like Salvador Dali's apartment, the cottage where John Steinbeck originally met Ed Ricketts, a cottage built by Julia Morgan and tiles she created for Hearst Castle, the clubhouse of the first golf course built along the waterfront, Edward Weston's photo studio, Mary Austin's first log cabin home and a house made of 57 ships. This evolved into Carmel Walks, a guided tour featuring the history, artists and architecture of Carmel, which I've been giving for 12 years. You can set off in any direction in Carmel and find something of interest. There is beauty in the details. Carmel has 60 hidden courtyards and lots of secret pathways worth exploring. I know of no other place like it. After I gave a tour to USA Today, the author of the article advised Carmel walkers to 'close their wallets and open their souls.'

"I have had people from every state and almost every country in the world on my tours. They find Carmel a place of inspiration and often bring home ideas to share with their own communities. Over the years, many have been inspired to express their talents while walking through town. Broadway actors performed for us on the stage of the Forest Theater, architects spoke of the influence of European style on American buildings in the 1920s, the woman whose face inspired her husband to write the song, 'The First Time Ever I saw Your Face,' sang it for us and poets have shared haiku poetry.

"It's important that Carmel remain a place of inspiration and freedom of expression. That is what it was originally about. We're often concerned with re-creating or preserving things from the past, but if we only focus on the outward sense of things without the spirit that prompted their expression, we get forms without real substance.

"On the tour I ask foreign visitors from unusual countries to tell us something we might not know about their homeland. Inevitably this leads to a broader conversation about their culture. Many of them are visibly moved that Americans care. This interaction provides an opportunity for understanding, appreciation and healing."

[Gale's photography book on Carmel will be released later this year. You can view some of her photographs on the web site www.carmelwalks.com. Her photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Santa Fe and San Francisco and have won international awards." -- ed.]

A friendly reminder to keep you safe
from Public Education Coordinator Mitch Kastros, Carmel Fire Department

Yellow tape and barricades are warning signs which advise you of hazardous conditions within their perimeter. During storm activity they are usually indications of overhead hazards from trees and/or electrical hazards from broken power lines and utility poles. A fallen tree could contain wires, which might not be visible. All wires are to be considered energized, and do not need to be touched in order to cause you harm.

In emergency situations we constantly ask people not to cross the tape and barricades. But, after emergency personnel have left the scene, people often continue to walk and drive through these barricades as if they were not there. Those who do this are risking serious consequences with regard to life and health.

If you have questions, please call Mitch at 620-2030.

City Council bans smoking in Carmel parks

Thanks to the City Council, children, youth and non smokers in Carmel will be protected from secondhand smoke, our parklands will have less unsightly cigarette litter and the danger of fire will be diminished.

At its December 4 meeting, the council finalized an ordinance prohibiting smoking in all city parks.

This latest effort to reduce the negative effects of cigarette smoke and litter, together with the existing prohibition of smoking in city buildings and on the beach and the beach walkway, puts Carmel in the vanguard of California cities which are taking pro-active measures to protect the health and safety of residents.

CRA board member Vinz Koller, telling the City Council that "this measure puts you in the lead -- other cities will follow," thanked staff and council members for bringing up this ordinance, which he had suggested in September on behalf of the CRA board. Holding up a plastic bag of cigarette butts collected within a few minutes near two benches in Mission Trails Nature Preserve, Koller said that on a path in the Preserve he had even found a cigarette that had been discarded while it was still burning so that it had charred the surrounding wood chips.

Former Mayor Gunnar Norberg's book now available

Over 60 years after the events took place, Gunnar Norberg's book, The Private Norberg Story: Me and the General, WWII at the homefront, is finally printed and available. Paul Fridlund of Pilgrim's Way, our only community book store, has copies for sale and there is a copy at each branch of Harrison Memorial Library. You can also order it online at Amazon.com.

Prepared and edited by Gunnar with much help from his wife Wies, the book's genesis was a series of talks given by Gunnar during the 50s and 60s to local service clubs. He came to realize that people found great humor in his military adventures, as when he was being driven around by a general, for example, rather than vice versa. Or the times he was turned down by the army because of poor eyesight only to finally be inducted when they desperately needed more troops.

The book's introduction by Gunnar's son, Eric Norberg, lays out interesting information about this well-known Carmel figure:

"Gunnar first thought of setting the story down in print in the late 1960's, but it was more than a decade later that he actually began the project. He completed it shortly before his death on August 17, 1988, in Carmel, California, a community he'd moved to in the late 1930's after a successful career as a magazine editor in New York and Chicago (including a stint as editor of Radio Guide, direct predecessor of T.V. Guide magazine).

"Since there were no magazines to edit in Carmel, he developed a new career as a travel agent and accountant, and devoted his spare time to serving the community. He was a City Councilman of Carmel for more years than anyone else in the town's history to date, and, through his efforts to preserve the unique character of Carmel-by-the-Sea, he became known to legislators both in the State Capitol of Sacramento and in Washington D.C.

"He became Mayor of Carmel just a decade before actor Clint Eastwood was elected to the same office under a worldwide glare of attention."


Celebrating an historic Carmel house

Gene McFarland reports:
"Carl Iverson recently held a two-day celebration of the restoration of his 102-year-old house, Brownie (two doors south of the Golden Bough). Part cancer fundraiser in memory of his late wife, including a Stanford researcher, a Leukemia/Lymphoma Society director, a boisterous reunion with an amazing number of Danes, relatives and others, and part tribute to the preservation of a Carmel treasure with the mayor, council members, and an amazing cross-section of our neighbors of every stripe. A tribute to the power of an idea, to humanity, to goodwill and outreach. Very special."

Charitable giving done wisely

Barbara and Steve Brooks sent this helpful information:
"We've recently made some donations from our IRA account and found the web site CharityNavigator.org to be very useful in making our choices. Using information from tax forms, the site lists financial profiles of 5,000 non-profit organizations, rating them from zero to four stars. We eliminated one of our donees in favor of another based on this information. The effectiveness of a charity is not directly related to its financial profile but poor financials can hurt productivity. Another site is Give.org by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance although we have not used it."


... that Margi Perotti has been appointed Code Enforcement Coordinator for the business district. She says she has been walking the streets, talking to people and letting them know she is there. "I don't want to write citations," Margi said, "because voluntary compliance works much better."

Building Official John Hanson handles code enforcement for the residential area and backs Margi up if she needs extra help.


"At some point you do have to draw a line, a balance between residents' concerns and marketing ourselves."

Pacific Grove Councilman Scott Miller
quoted in the Dec. 8 Herald article, "P.G. says no to hosting Concorso."

Remember that your City Council is on T.V.

City Council meetings are taped and re-broadcast
Sundays, 8 a.m. - 12 noon on
KMST Channel 26


Carmel Residents Association
P.O. Box 13
Carmel, CA 93921
Phone: 831-626-1610
Contact the Carmel Residents Association
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