Welcome to the CRA Village Engagement System (VES)

For the time being, we will be using this space to distribute information that we think is important to Carmel residents regarding COVID-19. We are speaking with City officials, the Carmel Chamber, Visit Carmel as well as other organizations and local businesses to keep you updated. The Calendar function has, for the most part, been turned off as any type of gathering has been cancelled. We hope that you are getting by and making the best of a very challenging time.

As a break from the normal news cycle, CRA member and Chamber Visitors Center volunteer Roger Book sent us a live performance of one of his original songs. Called Close Your Eyes, we think it is appropriate for these times. He recorded it in the living room of their Story Book Cottage for you on Sunday. You can listen to it here. Stay tuned as we are planning to do some interactive programs soon, including a concert with Roger and perhaps other CRA members!


Interesting article from last night's Pine Cone's Announcement...an interesting read:
FRESNO SCHOLAR TRIES TO EXPLAIN CALIFORNIA'S CORONAVIRUS OUTLOOK

Victor Hanson may be a Stanford University scholar, a renowned commentator on current events and author of numerous best-selling military histories, but he also lives on a farm near Fresno and somehow always manages to imbue his sharp-edged and heavily researched critiques about politics and the media with the kind of common sense that can only come from knowing which side of a tractor is up.

A great example is his analysis, published online this morning, of California's (thus far) relatively low level of coronavirus cases and deaths. Even if you've had your fill of viral news coverage, Hanson's article is a must-read that doesn't pretend to have all the answers but certainly asks the right questions about what's going on with COVID-19 in our own backyard. 

You can find his article here. 


Latest News from Visit Carmel

As you would expect, Visit Carmel is adapting to the current challenges, using their unique capabilities to make a difference in our community. Click here to get their latest message.


Mayor Potter's Letter to the Community

As seen in the Carmel Pine Cone's email update: Carmel mayor Dave Potter has written a letter to the community, talking about how "depressing" it is to see almost all the businesses in town being closed, but also praising the civic groups that are helping everyone cope, explaining what can be expected in the way of city services and agencies during the shutdown, and thanking the entire town for it's "kindness, generosity and understanding."  To read his letter, please click here.


Having a Zoom Happy Hour

We figured that we'd take a break from all the serious news to give you a glimpse into the Zoom Happy Hour craze that seems to be taking over around the country. Click here to see what we did last night to bring Martini Fridays back while we are sequestered.


Carmel Chamber Catalyst 

You can now see the Chamber's Catalyst online newsletters here. It has great information for how businesses can deal with the process of obtaining financial aid. You can also sign up for their newsletter to be sent as an email when they come out.


Latest City Council Meeting

The council meeting was held on remotely on Monday, March 30. Here is the agenda and video links.


Our Library has Great Resources for You

The Harrison Memorial Library has lots of great ways for you to get content without having to go to the library. Here is a link to our Library page. Give it a try!

Our members can help the library staff by filling out a survey that was just released.  Here's what they have to say:

Dear Library Patrons,  

During these unprecedented times, we at the Library want to do everything we can to help our community deal with the "new normal." Many of you are already enjoying our ebooks, audio books and movies, (and if you're not, go check them out) but we want to hear from you: what else do you need? How can we help?
If you can, please take 5-10 minutes to fill out our survey at bit.ly/CarmelLibrarySurvey and let us know what you need. Community connection? Entertainment? Tech help? All of the above? Feel free to share the survey with your friends, neighbors and anyone else you can think of!  We want to hear from everyone, no library card required.
Don't have 10 minutes? Let us know what kind of virtual programming you're interested in at bit.ly/CPLprogramsurvey (2- 5 minutes). Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us! Be safe. We'll get through this together. We miss you! 
 
The Staff at Carmel Public Library   

IMPORTANT: We are Looking for Those in Need

Thank you for those of you who responded to our email last week looking for people who are willing to assist those in need. We have combined those members who stepped forward with others in the community.

Because of the complex situation that exists, the first task is to identify those people in town that might be at risk and need to be looked after. If you or anyone you know fits this category it is VERY IMPORTANT that you report them to us.

We have converted the Park Branch Library Book Shrine into a Food Shrine on a temporary basis. You can bring a few staples (canned goods, pasta, etc.) and place it in the shrine so that those in need can get some assistance. There are still books, bio-bags for table waste program and periodicals like the Pine Cone available as well.

If you have any general questions about this you can send an email to the CRA at [email protected].


Latest Information about Carmel-by-the-Sea Restaurant Service

Our restaurants have developed operating procedures that will let them continue to offer services in a safe manner. Visit Carmel is maintaining an online directory of many restaurants in the Village with their schedules and ability to offer To-Go and Home Delivery. We sent out an eBlast about this and other items. Please support our great restaurants as much as you can during these trying times.

We're happy to say that Saturday night, when we went to pick-up our To-Go orders at two restaurants, there was noticeably more activity and the restaurants commented that they have been seeing more CRA members enjoying their meals! Thanks so much for your support but keep it up...it is clearly getting more and more painful for them to continue operating but they are passionate about continuing to serve you.

Mary Schley has an amazingly complete and well-written article on the Peninsula's restaurants on page 18A of this week's Pine Cone. You should read it to get inspired as to which restaurants's offers are best for you. The problem is there are a LOT of choices! It really is amazing the job the Pine Cone's reporters do every week bringing us useful information like this.

There is another, very comprehensive list put out by a county employee who started a website called aidmonterey.com. You can see it here.

If you can PLEASE get a To-Go order from time to time. Every one makes a big difference to our restaurants and their food is great! 

To see how much fun you can have by doing a Zoom Happy Hour with your friends and how you can have a romantic dinner at home with a To-Go order from Vesuvio's click here.

While we don't have any winery VIP members yet (haven't gotten to it) we just noticed that De Tierra has a 40% off deal right now. Click here to go to their Facebook page for the offer.


Monterey Weekly's Statement on Shelter in Place Order

This is a very good overview of the current Order. All of us should read it here.


Interesting Article on Simulating Community Spread

Take a quick look at this article. It shows different scenarios when taking actions like the Shelter in Place we are under currently to slow the spread of COVID-19. Pretty fascinating seeing the difference it can make. Not a value judgement, just an interesting simulation.


Take a Deep Breath and Go for a Walk Message

Local photographer, best-selling author and online blogger Marc Silber wrote an article a couple days back that we think has some good advice that can help you in these challenging times. Check it out here


Breaking News at KSBWMonterey County WeeklyPine Cone.

We find KSBW is a good way to keep in touch with the latest breaking news. Click here. You can subscribe to their newsletter when you go there for the first time. Monterey County Weekly also is a great way to keep on top of the latest trends. Click here. To subscribe to The Carmel Pine Cone click here.


Latest COVID-19 Updates from the State of California

To protect public health and slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19, the State of California has a page that has the latest information. You can link to it here.

BREAKING NEWS FROM
THE CARMEL PINE CONE

COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT CONFIRMS SECOND CORONAVIRUS DEATH

With little fanfare, the county health department tonight announced that a second county resident has died from an infection with the coronavirus. The initial notification came with the release of the county's data table earlier this evening, on which a "1" in the fatalities row was changed to a "2."

When asked for more details, the spokeswoman for the health department, Karen Smith, said, "Yes, adult with underlying health issues. This death reminds us that we need to protect the most vulnerable among us, by staying home and avoiding contact with others."

No other details were available.HEALTH DEPARTMENT UPS LOCAL COUNT TO 34, OFFERS IMPORTANT DEMOGRAPHIC INFO


JUST TWO MORE CASES, HEALTH DEP'T. SAYS, TOTAL NOW 42

Continuing the county's trend of low levels of coronavirus cases, the Monterey County health department announced this evening that just two more people in the county have tested positive for the virus. Two weeks after the first cases became known, the total for Monterey County is now 42, with one fatality.

Both new cases are reported to be under 50 years of age, one is male and one is female, and both are from the Monterey Peninsula or Big Sur. The latest report also indicates that no source of transmission for the new cases is known.

The health department also released county-wide statistics for the number of coronavirus tests administered — data that was previously unavailable. The latest numbers show a total of 860 tests for the dangerous virus to date in the county. With the number of positive cases now at 42, that gives a positive rate of just 4.8 percent, which means that 95.2 percent of the tests administered have beeen negative. 

The complete table released by the health department today is included below, along with a table prepared by The Pine Cone showing the number of people detected with the virus in Monterey County each day since the first two cases were announced March 17.  

MONTEREY ASKS FOR N95 MASK DONATIONS 

The City of Monterey is asking residents, businesses and nonprofits to donate N95-rated masks to help protect the city's first responders, including firefighters who serve other Monterey Peninsula cities.

"The city maintains a supply of personal protective equipment for use by firefighters, police officers and public works staff," the city's public outreach director, Eric Palmer, said. "Due to high demand and a potential increase in COVID-19 emergency calls, the city is asking members of the public to donate any spare additional PPE they may have in their possession." 

Starting on April 1, donations can be dropped off in front of the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce at 353 Camino El Estero, Monday to Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., the city said. Only new masks, sealed in unopened packaging, will be accepted until April 10.

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: SCHOOLS TO STAY CLOSED UNTIL FALL 

This afternoon the state superintendent of schools told county education officials that school systems statewide would not be able to reopen until the fall because of the coronavirus crisis, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Read the story here.

JURY COMMISSIONER SAYS YOU CAN IGNORE SUMMONS 

The Monterey County courthouses in Salinas and Monterey are closed to the public and most judicial operations have been suspended, and that also means that if a jury summons comes in the mail, you can disregard it for the duration of the shutdown order, according to jury commissioner Stephanie Fathy. "Jury trials are not going forward during the court closure," Fathy said, "and jurors summoned during the closure are excused from service and should not report." 

She asked anyone who has business to conduct at the courthouse to check the court's website for updated announcements and FAQs, which you can find here.

We will keep you updated with further bulletins as developments warrant. Our next PDF edition will be published April 2 at 9 p.m. California time (please remind all your friends, family and business associates to subscribe), with our print edition being distributed around the Monterey Peninsula the next morning. 

Paul Miller, Publisher
[email protected] 

Monterey County Health Department Data 
(Click to enlarge -- will open in your web browser) 

Daily totals of Monterey County coronavirus cases 

Your Property Taxes are still Due on April 10th!

Your property taxes are still due on April 10th. Here is a letter from our county assessor.


FROM "IN AND AROUND" TO
SAFELY "OUT AND ABOUT"

If you want to smile a bit take a look at this YouTube video. COVID-19 messages taken from the view of various Broadway plays. Then, read on...

Doc Ricketts bust with protective mask.

Doc Ricketts

Even with the Shelter in Place Order you can still go out and take a hike as long as you do proper social distancing. We noticed that even Doc Ricketts is taking precautions over in Monterey. If you want to get some exercise and learn about the history of our area you can take one of our VoiceMap GPS Audio Tours. This includes the latest Cannery Row tour that will take you by this bust and tell you the amazing story of Cannery Row and Doc Ricketts.

Click here to see the available tours and here for instructions on how to take them. If you don't want to go out you can take all the tours on your home computer for free! The blog versions have lots of pictures and even more information. Have a great time being getting a break from In and Around to Out and About!


CAL AM STATEMENT ABOUT
CARMEL'S WATER SUPPLY

Click here for their full statement. Here is a short version:

At California American Water, the health and safety of our customers, communities and employees is our top priority. Our focus continues to be providing high-quality, reliable service to customers for health and sanitation purposes during the emergency.

WATER QUALITY
California American Water’s drinking water treatment barriers provide protection that includes filtration and disinfection of our surface water supplies (e.g., those from lakes, reservoirs, or rivers) and disinfection of our groundwater sources (e.g., underground wells).  These treatments are effective in removing and/or inactivating viruses. Our water meets all current federal and state drinking water requirements.

CHERRY CENTER CANCELLATIONS

We knew it was coming but are very sad to see that the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts has had to postpone all its upcoming shows including the opening of Silents: Before the Movies Talked, our very own Tom Parks' latest play which was to open on March 20th. We will be looking for the new date and will let you know when we find out.