2020 Census starts today

BTW, I filled out mine this am, even though I never got anything in the mail. There is a spot below where it asks for your mailed census number to click if you never received anything, like me.


Big Sur let’s be COUNTED!

Everyone COUNTS

The Census is Safe and Confidential 
With all of us at home and sheltering in place, the best and safest way to respond is Online or by Phone. It is actually the only way we can respond at this time.

Please note: If you have a “PO BOX” or “HC67 BOX” you will not receive a notice from the Census Bureau. Please respond by going online or by phone to complete your Census questionnaire.

To respond Online:  my2020census.gov

  • Click on Start Questionnaire
  • Enter Census ID or Click on: “If you do not have a Census ID, click here”
  • You will be prompted with questions for each individual living at one address

To respond by Phone:

  • Toll Free Numbers:

           English – 1-844-330-2020
           Spanish – 1-844-468-2020

Questions or information on the 2020 Census, click on this website:

Complete the 2020 Census Today | Take the 2020 Census‎

Or email: info@CABigsur.org

Renters / Property Owners Living at the same physical address –

  • Count everyone on your property including yourself, your family and renters (non-family members) and include in one questionnaire. See the sample questionnaire below for questions asked for each individual.

Why the Census Matters –

  • Census data determines Federal funding allocations for schools, childcare programs, road maintenance projects and social assistance programs.

Safe and Confidential –

  • Information collected during the 2020 Census can’t be shared or used against you in any way. Your information can’t be shared with immigration or law enforcement agencies, and it can’t be used to determine your eligibility for government benefits. Your privacy and security are taken seriously.

A Voice for California –

  • Participating in the 2020 Census ensures that you & your communities have fair representation.

Download a sample copy of the Questionnaire HERE.  (PDF, 8 Pages, 381.8 KB)

Supervisor Adams’s Update

March 26, 2020

Dear Kate,
I hope this message finds you well and safe and that you are making adjustments to a new routine at home. Learning how to live and conduct business as we Shelter-in-Place (or SIP) is quite a process for all of us. I can’t thank you enough for the effort you and your family are making to help Monterey County slow the spread of COVID-19 through our community.
If we’re at all alike, you have been watching and reading the news constantly to be up to the minute and fully informed. The amount and speed of information coming out is both dizzying and frustrating at the same time. Not wanting to inundate you with too much information, but also feeling the need to connect, we have decided to email you a bi-weekly newsletter for the duration of the SIP Order. This newsletter will be a sort of compendium of information and resources and will include responses to the questions most frequently posed to us over the previous days. It will also include pertinent updates from the County related to the pandemic. I hope you will find it useful. For those who would like a day-to-day update on the status of COVID-19 and our local response, please refer to the Monterey County Daily Situation Report. Or, you can opt to receive real-time updates by texting “MCCOVID19” to 888777. 
Please know that while the way we conduct work at your Fifth District Supervisor’s Office has shifted, the work has not stopped. I have quickly become an interactive meeting pro, virtually attending both the Board of Supervisors and Transportation Agency for Monterey County Board of Directors meeting this week, as an example. My team and I remain committed to ensuring the needs and issues of District residents are heard and addressed as quickly as possible. While working remotely, you can reach us at district5@co.monterey.ca.us for assistance.
Take care and be well. Again, I repeat my birth state of Kentucky’s motto “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”. Together, we will survive this extraordinary challenge.
Best, Mary. SIP Digest for the Week of March 18 – 25
Shelter in Place Order: The County reissued its Shelter-in-Place Order to align with the State’s Stay-at-Home order. The most significant change is the County replaced a planned end date of April 8th to an indefinite time. The Monterey County Public Health Officer Order is consistent with the statewide order and orders issued by other Bay Area local Public Health Officers.The order can be found here.
Monterey County Government Center schedule: The Government Center at 168 W. Alisal has modified the Public Access hours to promote safety among the public and essential government employees and to reduce the spread of COVID-19. For the time being the Monday – Friday schedule is as follows:PUBLIC ACCESS – OPEN: 7am – 1pmLIMITED PUBLIC ACCESS (doors locked) – 1pm – 5pm
If you need to access the Clerk’s office or County Council between 1pm – 5pm to ensure filing timely claims, service of complaints etc., please knock or signal the security guard for entry.
COVID-19 Hotlines, Websites & Email Address:  The Monterey County Health Department COVID-19 webpage is continuously updated with news, information and data.For health related questions, call the Monterey County Health Department information hotline at 831-769-8700 or 831-755-4521Monday – Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.  Or, email your questions to COVID-19@co.monterey.ca.us The COVID-19 Economic Assistance Hotline is available Monday-Friday from 8 am to 4 pm831-796-1909.Montage Health Virtual Care Option. Free to all community members experiencing mild respiratory symptoms including coronavirus/COVID-19. 831-622-8001Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System Coronavirus Hotline.831-755-0793. The hotline is staffed with registered nurses and is available from 7:00am to 11:00pm, 7 days a week. 
Essential Businesses: The County has published a list of business types that may remain open and those which should close during the SIP Order.  Essential businesses include a variety of services for home repair and maintenance, including landscaping. Golf courses are closed as directed by the State’s Stay-at-Home (SAH) Order.House cleaning services, for the purposes of disinfecting, continue to be allowable so long as appropriate social distancing practices are followed.  
Property Taxes: The Treasurer Tax Collector has issued a statement with important information regarding Property Taxes. Unfortunately, the authority to delay tax payments does not reside at the County level. 
Parks: County-owned park facilities, except for Laguna Seca, are open at this time.  This includes Jacks Peak, Royal Oaks, Manzanita, Toro, San Lorenzo, San Antonio (both shores) and Nacimiento.  There may be certain amenities within each park that may be closed, including play structures.
Libraries: While our physical libraries are closed to the public, the County is providing all online services.  Anyone who doesn’t have a library card can apply online and a card will be mailed to use for all online services.  We expect “Library By Mail” to continue operating as long as the library items are safely processed and returned. 
Businesses and Restaurants Open for Delivery or Take-Away: A variety of groups and individuals are publishing lists of businesses and restaurants offering drive-up or delivery services including:Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau – Travel UpdatesMonterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce – Who’s Open Daily UpdatePacific Grove Chamber of Commerce Open RestaurantsCommunity member developed resource – Aid Monterey
We have received a number of requests for the County to require stores to provide “Senior Hours” or limit the number products any one person can purchase at a time. Unfortunately, these are not actions we can take under the existing SIP Order.  That being said, I am happy to share that a number of businesses have stepped up and implemented these strategies on their own accord. Click here for resources provided by State Senator Anna Caballero’s office. 
Utilities: The CPUC has directed that utilities can NOT shut off services due to non-payment during the current COVID-19 crisis. From PG&E: If a customer is experiencing financial hardships and has trouble paying their bill due to the economic impact of COVID-19, please call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000. For additional ways PG&E is supporting customers during the COVID-19 public health crisis, go to www.pge.com/covid19. From California American Water: To protect employees and customers, California American Water customer payment centers will be closed from Monday, March 16, until at least Monday, May 3. Customers may visit the website www.californiaamwater.com to view bills and pay online or may also pay by mail, by phone at 888-237-1333 or visit local third-party payment centers.
Educational Resources: The Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) offers FREE online college and career readiness resources for educators and students through its Monterey Bay Career Connect.
Pebble Beach Access: On March 25th, Pebble Beach Company closed tourist related access  into the Del Monte Forest to support social distancing directives. 1200 Aguajito Road, Suite 1, Monterey, CA 93940 | (831) 647-7755 | district5@co.monterey.ca.us
Supervisor Mary Adams | 1200 Aguajito Rd., Ste. 1Monterey , CA 93940Unsubscribe kwnovoa@mac.comUpdate Profile | About Constant ContactSent by district5@co.monterey.ca.us in collaboration withTry email marketing for free today!

USFS closes all developed recreation sites in CA

Forest Service closes developed recreation sites throughout California until April 30

GOLETA, Calif. – USDA Forest Service appreciates the public’s interest in outdoor recreation, particularly in light of current events. The Pacific Southwest Region of the Forest Service, in response to the recent statewide shelter-in-place order issued by the Governor of California, is joining the cause to aggressively mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by closing developed recreation facilities on our National Forests statewide.

“Developed recreation sites” refers to designated recreational use areas designed to facilitate public use. Information on individual recreation sites and opportunities are available from local National Forests.

Closures of developed recreation facilities are being put in place until at least April 30th in an attempt to avoid groups of people and promote social distancing of staying more than six feet apart.

While designated recreation sites will be closed, the general Forest area including the extensive trail system will remain open and available to the public. Hiking and walking outdoors are widely considered beneficial to maintaining one’s health. It is the intent of USDA Forest Service to maintain trail access to the extent practicable.

Please keep health, safety and the environment in mind when visiting National Forests. Your personal responsibility is critical to ensuring public safety and preventing further restrictions. We ask that you consider whether your personal participation in outdoor recreation at this time would pose an unnecessary risk to others as we all work together to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19.

We appreciate your cooperation in keeping our National Forests safe and healthy for everyone’s use.


Big Sur Chamber of Commerce, Big Sur Health Center, Esalen Institute Community Liaison, Big Sur Fire, Big Sur CERT, Monterey County Sheriff and the Community Association of Big Sur met today to continue coordinated efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each organization provided an update on their current operations and preparations for continuing to shelter at home.
It is important to note that as of this moment, there are no known cases of COVID-19 in the Big Sur planning area.
Big Sur Health Center:
Sharen Carey reports the Health Center has rescheduled regular non-essential exams and is conducting more telephone medicine.  There is a triage tent set up in the front parking lot for people with potentially contagious illness. Staff are equipped with the necessary PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to safely see patients. The Health Center requests that if you are sick for any reason, please call ahead to see if a visit or a telephone call is needed. Patients with symptoms of COVID-19 will be assessed and testing will be arranged if appropriate, then sent home for quarantine until results are available or routed to CHOMP if necessary. So far, there have been no known cases of COVID-19 in the Big Sur area.
Big Sur Fire:
Matt Harris reports that 20 members of Big Sur Fire are currently operational and equipped with PPE needed to continue their first responder mission. The Fire Station at Post Ranch is in lock down with access limited to all but key personnel. Many of the volunteers are now unemployed, creating financial uncertainty.  Matt is asking the community to consider hiring members of Big Sur Fire for property maintenance and fire clearance projects.
Big Sur CERT
Hal Latta and Dick Ravich report that a resident survey has been sent out to the CERT Team leaders responsible for each of 7 enclaves that CERT has a presence. The survey is intended to establish the segment of Big Sur’s population that is sheltering at home.
Monterey County Sheriff:
Jesse Villasenor reports that all Deputy’s are equipped with PPE and the SO is operating and responding normally (24/7, 365). Recent calls involve burglary of unattended parked cars. Notably, all Law Enforcement agencies continue with active mutual aid including officers from the Fish and Wildlife Service, State Parks, US Forest Service and California Highway Patrol.
Big Sur Chamber of Commerce:
Kirk Gafill, Rick Aldinger and Diana Ballantyne report that business activity has slowed appreciably. A list of businesses, from north to south and their current status, hours of operation and telephone contact information may be downloaded HERE. (PDF, 2 Pages, 92.8 KB) Top of mind for all of the businesses is the continued good health and safety of employees sheltering on property as well as those employees sheltering at home.
Esalen Institute:
Lacy Shannon reports the property is closed at least until April 12th with that date to be re-evaluated at the end of March. Esalen admin. is supporting out of work staff in helping them to secure unemployment benefits, as needed. A current challenge is maintaining a ‘shelter in place’ status while at the same time supporting off property employees who regularly rely on services like laundry facilities, mail deliveries and meals. Some employees are working from home and those sheltering on property are fulfilling their job duties, and, in some cases, have adapted job functions to maintain employment and income.
Community Association of Big Sur:
Butch Kronlund reports his appreciation for those organizations above answering the call to coordinate efforts during this rare moment in modern human history.  As needs emerge, CABS intention is to utilize all of the combined ingenuity and resourcefulness of its Board of Directors and many Associate members in support of the Big Sur community.

Rock & Mud Slide just South of Gorda

Incident: 00183 Type: Mud/Dirt/Rock Location: Sr1 N / Gorda Loc Desc: NB JSO GORDA, 11 MI’S JNO RAGGED POINT Lat/Lon: 35.842500 -121.401944 

Detail Information
Unit Information
6:32 PM1Unit Assigned

Misc. Updates & Info

From the USFS:

Los Padres National Forest offers
virtual services in response to Covid-19
GOLETA, Calif. – Los Padres National Forest is limiting public access to its offices and implementing virtual services beginning today to protect the health and safety of employees and members of the public during the COVID-19 outbreak in accordance with guidance from federal and state authorities.

Customers needing information, permits and maps are encouraged to call the Supervisor’s Office or Ranger District Offices during regular business hours for prompt customer service, or by visiting the Forest website at

https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/lpnf for additional updates.

“As we work through an unpredictable and rapidly changing situation, health and safety is our number one priority,” said Los Padres National Forest Supervisor Kevin Elliott. “We are committed to continuing to support our communities and fulfill our mission as we all work together to minimize the impacts and spread of COVID-19.”

These actions have been taken based on the best available medical advice to limit gatherings of large numbers of people and to promote social distancing.
Members of the public are encouraged to call the following Los Padres National Forest offices:

Supervisor’s Office – (805) 968-6640
Santa Barbara Ranger District – (805) 967-3481
Santa Lucia Ranger District – (805) 925-9538
Ojai Ranger District – (805) 646-4348
Monterey Ranger District – (831) 385-5434
Mt. Pinos Ranger District – (661) 245-3731

Visitors to our National Forests are urged to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For tips from the CDC on preventing illnesses like the coronavirus, go to:


I also got a notice they were suspending controlled burns, but cannot find it.



In a statement on its website, the P.B. Co. announced it was closing The Lodge at Pebble Beach and the Inn at Spanish Bay. The closure also applies to the company’s four golf courses and goes into effect at 5 p.m. today

“The health and well being of our guests, employees and their families is of paramount importance,” the statement said. “In light of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, Pebble Beach Resorts has temporarily suspended our resort operations. For more than 100 years, we have welcomed guests from near and far to enjoy legendary golf and world-class accommodations along a backdrop of stunning natural beauty. Once the world is ready to travel again, we look forward to welcoming you to Pebble Beach.” 

The company said it was continuing to take reservations for arrivals after April 17. It also announced that “in order to provide essential services to Pebble Beach residents, our Gallery restaurant and Pebble Beach Market will both be open for take-out meals only.” 


Governor Newsom Signs Order to Protect Public Health by Expanding Vote-by-Mail Options and Extending Deadlines for Presidential Primary CanvassPosted: 20 Mar 2020 09:00 PM PDTSACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today issued an executive order to permit vote-by-mail procedures to be used in three upcoming special
Governor Newsom Deploys California National Guard to Help Distribute Food at Food Banks & Protect California’s Most VulnerablePosted: 20 Mar 2020 08:07 PM PDT  Food banks are seeing a shortage in volunteers and experiencing greater need due to COVID-19   Governor calls for
Benefit programs available to help California workers who are losing wages due to the impacts of the CoronavirusPosted: 20 Mar 2020 06:24 PM PDTSacramento – Workers who have lost their jobs or have had their hours reduced due to the impacts of COVID-19
SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to California Counties Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)Posted: 20 Mar 2020 04:48 PM PDTSACRAMENTO, Calif. – The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Oregon small


I highly recommend reading this article in VOMB for Under the Sheltering Skies to get a first hand report for what this sheltering in place has been like to our service industry employees. httpshttps://voicesofmontereybay.org/2020/03/19/my-last-paycheck-at-a-santa-cruz-restaurant/

And from McWeekly: “What a week this has been. In many ways, our lives and community have been transformed by the arrival of a pandemic in Monterey County. Hour by hour and day by day, all of us have been forced to adapt and let go of routines, plans and expectations. This is true right here at the Weekly, where a dogged and dedicated team has tirelessly pursued breaking stories while publishing our annual Best Of Readers Poll (our biggest issue of the year) and launching this new daily e-newsletter, Monterey County NOW. While taking on that work, we lost seven beloved staff members to layoffs this week in an effort to respond to a major malfunction in the economy. What a week this has been.” Amen. Is 2020 over, yet?

Get take out, when you can, from your local restaurants. Tip well, if you can. Buy gift certificates for use later. Shop your local stores and markets. They are doing everything they can to provide you with what you need. Donate to your local news outlets, if you can, as advertising revenue is drying up. Stay home, wash your hands, and most of all, be kind.


I think there were a couple other notices buried somewhere in my inbox, and if I find them, I will either add them here, or post another post after the photo tomorrow. BTW, I encourage you to send me any photos from your time of solitude for my photo Sunday posts. I think this is the only time when I wish I were married again so I would have someone to talk to and commiserate with…then I recover my sanity and smile.

Big Sur: Overtourism to Ghost Town

I published the following article in Voices of Monterey Bay, tonight.

One day Big Sur locals are complaining about the invasion of tourists in our formerly peaceful little village, and the next we are struggling to survive. Mother Nature has decided to put the brakes on tourism everywhere, including Big Sur.

Big Sur is no stranger to natural disaster, and we have had our share in the last few years. Just in the last four there was the Soberanes Fire that started July 22, 2016 and lasted until October, and we had  assorted Highway 1 closures that stranded us for weeks at a time. So this is not new to us. We have ridden out similar scenarios many times, and we are good at it. It is always during a disaster that Big Sur really shines and takes care of its own.

“We as a community simply can’t help but work harder and try our very best to persevere,” Kurt Mayer, owner of Big Sur Deli and Big Sur Taphouse, once said.

In Big Sur, like elsewhere, businesses scrambled to figure out how they would handle this latest natural disaster. What did it mean for staff, employees, and customers? By Wednesday, businesses were in compliance with the county order and our local Big Sur markets and stores were busy contacting locals to find out what they wanted so they could stock appropriately.

Diana Ballantyne, general manager of Fernwood Resort, Rick Aldinger, general manager of Big Sur River Inn, and Ken Harlan, owner of Lucia Lodge, are soliciting input from locals about stocking their stores to help residents avoid town trips. Fernwood is also offering a 10 percent discount to all locals — except on alcohol and tobacco. River Inn is still dispensing propane and gas, paid for at the pumps. Best to call for hours, though. Just got word from Big Sur Bakery that they are open for take-out and are exploring available options.

Mayer’s Big Sur Deli has a history of stocking the store for locals, as he did when the bridge was out and Paul’s Slide was closed. The area in between became an island. Locals should give the store a call and let them know what you want them to stock for you. Also, those businesses that carry propane, like River Inn, will have it available but with limited hours.

River Inn, Fernwood, Riverside  Campground and Gorda are all still accepting guests as of this writing. Gorda’s gas station (pay at pump only) and general store are likewise open, as is take-out from the restaurant.

As we all know given the speed of this virus, and the orders being issued, this could change tomorrow, or even by the time this is published. All are implementing deep cleaning and sanitation routines. Other businesses have temporarily closed completely. Treebones is closed for the duration of the shelter in place. Esalen has completely closed for four weeks. Deetjen’s and Henry Miller Library have completely closed temporarily as well. Just heard from Nepenthe, and they say they are also completely closed for the duration.

The State Parks have closed all their parks to overnight camping. The Monterey District of the Los Padres National Forest has also closed off all its developed campsites in compliance with Monterey County’s shelter-in-place order.

If you are a Big Sur local and have any special needs, I urge you to call one of our local businesses and see if they are able to accommodate you.

It is always during a disaster that Big Sur really shines and takes care of its own.

Another unreported side effect of this current situation is what is happening with people who have second homes outside of major cities and the impact on their tenants/caretakers. Here in Big Sur, these owners are coming to hide out in their second (or third) home. One South Coaster told me that “I can’t speak for all of Big Sur, but our landlord just told us he’s coming up with his kids for a few weeks. He asked me to do a huge grocery shopping trip for him, his nanny, and three boys and it feels hugely unfair and dangerous. We spent the last few weeks stocking up just so we could stay home during this time.”

There are probably other similar stories out there I have not yet heard about.

The South Coast of Big Sur is unusually positioned. We live like this, particularly in winter. We sometimes spend a good deal of our summer getting ready for winter. Yes, we tend to be a bit squirrelly. Some make town runs weekly, others monthly, and a few only go every six months or so.

We once used CB radios to communicate. Now it is Facebook, DM, or email and text. Tuesday night, a neighbor and I were communicating this way and we shared that we were both going to King City the next day. She was refilling her stock of gasoline and propane and picking up some food while she was at it. Her husband was away, and she only had the back-up vehicle, which had a battery problem. She was glad to know a neighbor would be around in case she had trouble. She did, and we found her being assisted by two guys in a Subaru and so we followed her home. We stopped and shared stories.

Big Sur can have a wicked sense of humor as evidenced by this gem from Diana at Fernwood: “But seriously, let me know if there is something in particular, other than the basics.  I’m thinking a case of asparagus, so the entire Big Sur valley starts smelling like asparagus pee at the same time.” She says it is arriving on Thursday.

It is the way we come together as a community that always makes me proud and honored to be a part of it. We are like small towns all over America who come to the aid of neighbors during times of crisis, and usually with a sense of humor. We may freak out momentarily, but then the shirt sleeves get rolled up and we have at it. Be safe, be healthy, be patient, but most of all … be kind. https://voicesofmontereybay.org/2020/03/19/from-over-tourism-to-ghost-town/

CA State Parks closes all state campgrounds

For Immediate Release: 3/17/2020

California State Parks Temporarily Closes All Campgrounds in the State Park System: Non-campground outdoor areas of parks, including trails and beaches remain open.


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California State Parks announced today the temporary closure of all campgrounds in the state park system to support state and local efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

As of today, non-campground outdoor areas of parks, including trails and beaches, remain open. Visitors are reminded to practice social distancing and maintain at least six feet between other visitors and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Restrooms also remain open, and visitors are advised to take soap for hand washing and alcohol-based hand sanitizers when water is not available. 

Most importantly, State Parks recommends that everyone follow precautionary guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health, public local health agencies, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when recreating in the outdoors.

Last week, State Parks temporarily suspended guided tours and large events, and temporarily closed facilities such as visitor centers and museums.

State Parks is monitoring the COVID-19 situation carefully and is committed to following the state’s updated policy on social gatherings to help slow the spread of COVID-19. For the most up-to-date information on how State Parks is supporting the state’s COVID-19 efforts, please follow State Parks on its social media platforms: FacebookTwitter and Instagram.