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Local News

Assemblyman Mark Stone helped  a student get readmitted to her first choice college, University of California at Irvine.      Isabella Bettencourt’s acceptance was first declined after UC Irvine stated that a specific course had not been properly recorded to the university, although this course was not required to be accepted.     Bettencourt, a graduate of Mount Madonna School in Watsonville, contacted Assemblyman Mark Stone when she found out her acceptance was revoked.     Stone organized a phone call with UC President Janet Napolitano and other people to get the issue cleared-up.    

 

The Bettencourts thanked stone for turning around the situation and helping their daughter be re-admitted into university.

The California superior court ruled that Monterey County violated the California Environmental Quality Act by failing to evaluate their contract with the Wildlife Services program….. Which relocates and kills some native California predators.      The court determined that there is no evidence showing that predator control would not result in environmental damage.     88 percent of the animals that wildlife services handles are dispersed,  but 11 percent are killed.

 

According to the Center for Biological Diversity,  Monterey Wildlife Services has killed three mountain lions,  two bobcats,  and 105 coyotes in Monterey County between June 2014 and June 2015.

Cal Am customers,  whose water bills were in the upper tiers,  will be at the center of this week’s state public utilities commission hearing.     Commissioners will determine if the company should be penalized for improper water fees according to the residential allotment system.    Water bills showed massive increases between 2010 and 2014,  and mostly hurt the higher-use customers (who had more residents in their homes and were honest about the amount of people in the household).     The CPUC conducted a hearing to determine if Cal Am will be fined for this discrepancy;  but will wait until this Thursday and Friday’s hearings in San Francisco,  to make this determination.   

 

A potential fine for Cal Am could be from  3.1  to  310 million dollars based on this week’s testimony.  

Organizers demonstrated a rally on Monterey Road to last Monday. The group conducted the protest to oppose the white supremacy attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, and dozens stood on the overpass above Lighthouse Avenue in Monterey with protest signs.     Law enforcement was present at the rally, stating it was to ensure that everyone was given the opportunity to express their first amendment rights. Jimmy Panetta was quoted at a town hall meeting nearby, that the first step to change is to speak out against domestic terrorism.  

Traffic on highway 68 between Salinas and Monterey Peninsula has increased in congestion.     About 30,000 travelers drive on that road every day, and transportation planners stated the commute time is unreliable.    They also expect the traffic to become ten percent worse over the next 25 years.    TAMC is looking at a series of new roundabouts to solve the traffic problem. The estimate for the roundabout project is at about $48 million dollars, and they will vote on this plan at the TAMC Board of Directors meeting on August 23rd.

On Lapis road, north of Marina, illegal campers were given violation notices in order to evacuate them by the end of august.     Local deputies along with members of social service organizations went out to offer resources to the people camped out on this road and will be doing so until the deadline.    The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, along with Waste Management, are reviewing the waste on the road and the magnitude of the cleaning that will need to happen.         Monterey County District 4 supervisor Jane Parker and her aide Wendy Askew are looking to establish a safe parking program for homeless people in Monterey County.

A  Santa  Cruz  man  was  arrested  after  he  assaulted  someone  with  rocks,  an  aerosol  can,  and  a  pipe.    26  year-old  Alexander  Ptucha  was  charged  with  aggravated  assault  after  he  assaulted  a  tenant  from  a  studio  apartment  he  had  been  evicted  from.    Ptucha  has  been  charged  with  assault  with  a  deadly  weaponassault  with  a  caustic  chemicaltrespassing,  and  resisting  arrest.

A  New  Mexico  man  is  due  back  in  a  Santa  Cruz  county  court room  this  Friday  for  his  Preliminary  Hearing.    62  year-old  Judson  Swallow  is  accused  of  threatening  to  “Shoot  Up”  Dominican  Hospital  last  week.   Although  his  attorney  requested  that  Swallow  be  released  without  bail,  a  Santa  Cruz  County  Superior  Court  judge  denied  that  request.

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