Communities Connecting

94.9 FM

Why on earth am I posting the URL of Party 934 and 94.9 FM, located in Hudson Valley, NY? Because it’s “a community radio station that broadcasts from all over the world. Each person on the air is located in a different part of the world, broadcasting live to the Internet.” It’s a multi-genre radio station that features DJs speaking each to their local listeners with local issues. They do not broadcast top-40 music because they feel that  “mainstream society perpetuates enough of that format.” They are currently hiring DJs.

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Raising our spirits

Busy again today, working on status updates for the Filipino Voices Exhibit panels, and going to 2pm meeting at National Steinbeck Center. Also want to mention something wonderful: Two food bloggers, Athena Plichta of Athena Plichta Photgraphy, and Deborah Ryan of East of Eden Cooking, are going to bring us some homemade edible treats to help raise our spirits and energy for the big job ahead. Thanks, Athena and Deborah!

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Real Rural

Deborah Ryan of East of Eden Cooking sent me an interesting link to Real Rural, a storytelling project by Lisa M. Hamilton that focuses on less well-known rural areas of California, the people who live there, and their experiences. I’m particularly interested in the San Jerardo Cooperative in Salinas, built by farmworkers involved in the UFW Strikes in the 1970s.

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Double Chocolate Loaf

Can I say that again? Double Chocolate Loaf — with peanut butter cream cheese spread!
From local photographer and foodie, Athena Plichta.

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East of Eden

I’ve been working a lot with the folks at the Salinas Steinbeck Center for an upcoming exhibit (“Filipino Voices” opening April 27), so that “East of Eden” thing seems continually looming, especially with a giant image of Steinbeck mounted above the Center’s lobby on a translucent scrim, the valley light shining through — and by the way, the next big National Steinbeck Festival is looming too, beginning on May 3rd. I’ll be participating on a panel there on May 4th.

In the meantime here’s something definitely worth checking out: East of Eden Cooking, which local blogger, Deborah Ryan, brought to my attention. Gorgeous photos of food!

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Scenes from the Third Annual Salinas Asian Festival

I recently attended the Third Annual Salinas Asian Festival. I was mainly interested in the Salinas Chinatown Renewal Project, plans to build an Asian Cultural Center, and eventually link back Main St. Salinas with the Chinatown area that has been physically cut off from the rest of town for many years. This is a project that could be significant on many levels for the community. I met a lot of nice and caring people who are putting a lot of effort and heart into working with and helping the people of the Salinas Chinatown area.

If you are interested in volunteering, check out the Salinas Downtown Community Board (SDCB) and the CSUMB service learners’ website for the Chinatown Renewal Project.

For more photos, go to the SCCEC facebook page.

Filipino Community Center on Calle Cebu St., members doing country line dancing to “Achey Breakey Heart”! Hmm, where have I seen this before?! (inside joke).

Hero Shots, Fil Community Ctr
I have to explain this one in a little detail. When I was a teen, I went to the Filipino dances in the Salinas Filipino Community Center. What set the Filipino dances apart from any other is the fact that there would be a band that played music for the older folks, and a band for the teens, which, during my youth would play R&B, Motown, or Rock. So coming back into the Filipino Community Hall after decades to find a Filipino band playing music for the older folks first, followed by an Indie band called Hero Shot playing music for the younger set (I’m talking post-punk Pixie’s style flailing guitar) was a kick for me. The teens loved it. The older Filipinos nearby were gritting their teeth in aural pain.

Here’s a youtube of Hero Shot’s demo video… (see what I mean?)

However, some were also trying to get into it, and were actually nodding in time to the drumming. After it was over they clapped politely and sighed with relief. I love the fact that at Filipino events the different generations are so inclusive.

Jesse Tabasa, FANHS
JessTabasa, educator, tireless resource for Filipino American history, and President of FANHS (Filipino American National Historical Society of Monterey Bay) — with part of his exhibit about the history of Filipinos in the Monterey Bay Area. When I was a kid, my mom used to hang out with Jess’ mom, Rosita Tabasa.

Salinas Chinatown Community Gardens 1
Salinas Chinatown Community Gardens — part of the Chinatown Renewal Project

Salinas Chinatown Community Gardents 3
One of the Community Garden volunteers (sorry I didn’t get her name!)

Eugene & Van of Peter Maurin Co-op

Eugene and Van of the Peter Maurin Co-op, busy screen-printing tee shirts.

Mia Ferreira

Mia Ferreira in the @risK gallery standing in front of mosaics created by at-risk members of the gallery who have been commissioned to create the art by a local housing development.

@risK Workshop area
A section of the @risK gallery workshop.

Mosaic @risK
Closeup of a mosaic piece.

Ted Ponton, the “Mayor of Chinatown,” Harley aficionado, glass worker, and all-round good guy, with Bogey.

The big bell in front of the Buddhist temple and center.

More photos to come!

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let’s drink sea water

Actually, we won’t be drinking it — as far as I know. They will be drinking it, those guys, over there…on the south Monterey Peninsula. According to “Sand City’s desalination test project becomes reality for the Monterey Peninsula” (article by Jeffrey Hsu, for PopSci), seawater will be pumped from Salinas River wells to the desalination plant in Marina (Armstrong Ranch), and distributed to south county. Total cost for the project is $280–290 million. The DRA (Division of Ratepayer Advocates) has opposed the project, citing in a letter to the Mayor of Monterey “unacceptably high costs, unfair risks, and lack of accountability to Monterey Peninsula ratepayers.” More detailed information can be found in a recent article by Mike Hornick for the Californian.

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broadband for central coast

Jennifer Pittman reports on an important proposal for federal stimulus funds (Santa Cruz Sentinel).

“If accepted, this grant application will be a huge economic multiplier, not just for Santa Cruz, but the whole Central Coast,” said Sharon Caiocca, director on information technology for the city of Santa Cruz. “This project will provide improved access to health care, educational institutions and provide a redundant broadband path for regional public safety and emergency services.”

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r.i.p. monterey county weekly print edition

The Monterey County Weekly is shutting down its print edition, and going completely online. (April Fools on me!)

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fantasy library contest

Laurie R. King (author of the mystery novel God of the Hive) lives just north of Watsonville, in Freedom, CA and would like to invite you to participate in her fantasy library contest! Prizes!

She also mentions that there is a bookstore in Watsonville (finally) — Crossroads books, at 1935 Main Street. Yay! It’s lonely knowing that there are no bookstores between Elkhorn and Seaside. In fact, for the last several days I’ve been wanting to read some really good fiction (I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction lately, for a writing project) — like maybe a mystery. So, I’ve done it. I went down to Crossroads Books and bought one of Ms. King’s books.

At home, I sat down on my front steps, facing the old oak trees and the little green vale, cumulus clouds billowing in the blue sky, and goats calling in the field, and began reading The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. And it looks like this will be a good one; it begins with the arrival of a mysterious old trunk on an editor’s doorstep. Having been an editor myself, of course I was hooked.

“I was fifteen when I first met Sherlock Holmes, fifteen years old with my nose in a book as I walked the Sussex Downs, and nearly stepped on him. In my defence I must say it was an engrossing book, and it was very rare to come across another person in that particular part of the world in that war year of 1915. In my seven weeks of peripatetic reading amongst the sheep (which tended to move out of my way) and the gorse bushes (to which I had painfully developed an instinctive awareness) I had never before stepped on a person.” — Mary Russell, from The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.

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