Veterans Day, 2019

I was honored to be a part of a dinner and award ceremony for Monterey County Veterans of the Year with 2 other women, and 9 other men — all continuing their service through volunteer work for our community.

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Photo by Martha Karstens
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Congressman Panetta, himself a former Veteran of the Year

Then, I joined the staff and friends of Voices of Monterey Bay for a joyous birthday bash for Voices and a celebration of the First Amendment on Sunday night at the Haute Enchilada Social Club in Moss Landing. The evening was full of music, performance, readings, good food and good company. This was one of the musical performances: a family that played and sang for us.

Finally, we are wrapping up our weekend with Veterans Day free-admission-for-vets at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Photos later, I hope.

I hope yours was as blessed and filled with warmth and smiles as mine was.

The Story of a Redwood Tree

Here is the story published in Voices today:

By Kate Woods Novoa

It was a clear, sunny December morning when one of the beloved redwoods at the Henry Miller Library cracked and came down. It took out the fence but missed the library building. It was December 2, 2012.

Soon after this magnificent tree hit the ground, Magnus Toren, executive director of the library, thought of a way to honor the fallen redwood and also to help fund the library. He did not want this tree to simply rot and return to the ground as compost. He would turn it into slabs and auction them off. With the assistance of two others and they were able to obtain 38 beautiful slabs to sell out of this one tree. The process took more than three months to finish.

Two auctions of these legendary slabs have already been held, and they yielded $110,000 for the library. On Sunday, Oct. 6, the last dozen slabs will be auctioned off at the library. 

The auction is a chance to purchase 500 years of Big Sur history. 

The Henry Miller Library was created by Emil White, a longtime friend of the artist and writer who authored groundbreaking works of fiction like “Tropic of Cancer.” Located in Big Sur, 35 miles south of Carmel-by-the-Sea on Highway 1, the library occupies White’s former home. It is a public benefit, non-profit organization championing Miller’s literary, artistic and cultural contributions. Shortly after I moved to Big Sur in 1985, I had the pleasure of meeting Emil at the library. He was quite the “ladies man,” even into his 80s, and literally latched on to me for a bit.

The rest of my article can be read here:

Community Meeting by CERT and PG&E

Big Sur CERT and PG&E will hold a Community Meeting on Monday, September 30th at the Grange Hall from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.  All Big Sur residents and businesses are welcome to attend.
Big Sur CERT, through the Community Association of Big Sur (CABS) and through a PG&E grant provided by CERV of the Monterey Peninsula, has sent important email announcements to you about the PG&E Community Wildland Safety Program and the PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs. 
A PG&E representative will be there to explain these programs to you, how you will be impacted and the steps you may need to take as a result of these programs especially if there are prolonged shutoffs.
At the end of the presentation, you will be able to ask questions and express any concerns you may have.
Please join us, light refreshments will be served.
Thank you, Big Sur CERT.

Arthritis Foundation Bike Ride on Central Coast

Today’s Date: Thursday, September 19, 2019

District:            05–Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito and Santa

                         Cruz Counties

Contact:          Jim Shivers or Colin Jones

Phone:             (805) 549-3237 or (805) 549-3189



CENTRAL COAST – The Arthritis Foundation’s California Coast Classic Bicycle Tour will move through Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties beginning Saturday, Sept. 21 through Friday, Sept. 27 in the following locations:

Saturday, Sept. 21:  The cyclists will enter Santa Cruz County via Highway 1 and complete their day at Natural Bridges Elementary School in Santa Cruz.

Sunday, Sept. 22:  The cyclists will leave Santa Cruz and use portions of Highway 1 before arriving at the Veterans Memorial Campground in Monterey County. 

Monday, Sept. 23:  The cyclists will use State Route 1 from Monterey to Big Sur in Monterey County.

Tuesday, Sept. 24: The cyclists will use Highway 1 from Big Sur to Cambria Highway in San Luis Obispo County.

Wednesday, Sept. 25:  The cyclists will use portions of Highway 1 from Cambria ending their day at the Oceano Dunes Campground in San Luis Obispo County.

Thursday, Sept. 26: The cyclists will use portions of US 101, Hwy. 154 and Hwy. 246 from Oceano to Buellton in Santa Barbara County.

Friday, Sept. 27: The cyclists will use State Route 246 in Buellton and US 101 to travel from Santa Barbara to Ventura County.  Law enforcement will be located along the route to ensure the safety of motorists, participants and pedestrians.  Motorists are advised to ‘Share the Road’.

For traffic updates on other state highways in Santa Cruz County, travelers may contact Caltrans District 5 Public Affairs at 805-549-3318 or can visit the District 5 website at:  or the event website at:

FYI, the bicyclists will be camping at Pfeiffer State Park on the 23rd, so take that into consideration for any highway plans you have those two days in Big Sur.

Sustainable Destination Stewardship Plan for Big Sur

Big Sur Sustainable Destination Stewardship Plan Update
And A Request for Input

Dear Big Sur Community Members,

Many thanks to all the community members who participated in meeting with Costas Christ of Beyond Green Travel during his visit in August.  CABS has now entered into a contract with Beyond Green Travel to move forward on a Destination Stewardship Plan for Big Sur. To learn more about this process, go to the “Initiatives” page on our website.

An important component of this work is collecting data on traffic.  CABS is coordinating with traffic engineers, Cal Trans and TAMC to consolidate existing data sets and reports on traffic volume as a preliminary step to establish where we are going in terms of gathering data for overall vehicle impact on the Highway. 

Residents from up and down the coast have expressed that capturing traffic counts in real time, 24-7, 365 days a year for multiple years is an important place to start. Three locations stand out as initial gathering locations: Mal Paso Creek Bridge, Nacimiento Rd and Highway 1 intersection and the southern county line. 

We believe that the residents who travel the highway on a regular basis may have insights that could inform the scope of this study. You can help us with the following question. Aside from these 3 locations, above, where else along the Highway or side roads would data on traffic volume be of value?

Please email your input on this question to


Best Buddies Bike ride this Saturday

Today’s Date: Tuesday, September 3, 2019

District:            05–Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito and Santa

                         Cruz Counties

Contact:          Jim Shivers or Colin Jones

Phone:            (805) 549-3237 or (805) 549-3189



CENTRAL COAST – The 13th Annual Best Buddies Challenge Bicycle Ride will include the use of Highway 1 on Saturday, Sept. 7 beginning at the Quail Lodge on Carmel Valley Road at 7 am and finish at the Hearst Ranch Warehouse on San Simeon Road.

This event will include three additional starts at the Big Sur Station at 8:30 am, at Sand Dollar State Park at 10 am and at Ragged Point at 11 am.  

Traffic control for this non-competitive ride will include rolling closures by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) as the riders continue in a southerly direction. 

All riders will be off the road by 4 pm.

Electronic Message Boards will be posted alerting motorists to ‘Share the Road’ with cyclists.  Motorists can expect delays not to exceed 15 minutes. 

Caltrans reminds motorists to be aware of these cyclists and any support vehicles.  For more information regarding this event, please visit the Best Buddies Challenge website at:

                                    BEST BUDDIES ROUTE MAP BELOW

For traffic updates on other state highways on the Central Coast motorists can call Caltrans District 5 Public Affairs at (805) 549-3318

or visit the District 5 website at: