P.G. Workers' Union Wants It's Dues Back

Pacific Grove employee union representatives want City Manager Jim Colangelo to cancel the reorganization of city staff that was approved in October and reinstate all employees who were laid off.

The union has filed an unfair labor complaint with the Public Employment Relations Board against the city, contending Colangelo’s reorganization plan, adopted by the City Council on Oct. 3, deleted 21 full-time and two part-time employee positions while adding 23 lower-paying full-time and two half-time positions.

P.G. Workers’ Union Wants It’s Dues Back

New Monterey Police Blotter – February 2008

Still a high number of car burglaries. Word must be out that we all leave our cars unlocked and full of easy to fence valuables.

2/3/08 CITY OF MONTEREY had unknown vandalize the men’s restroom at Cannery Row and Reeside.

2/4/08 CANNERY ROW PIZZERIA reports theft of a check which was later cashed at the Washington Mutual in Pacific Grove.

2/5/08 Citizen reports unknown to have damaged his vehicle while parked in the WHALING STATION.

2/5/08 Citizen 800 block of Alice reports theft of his Mountain Bike.

2/6/08 WARREN, SPENCER was arrested for DUI at Spencer and David.

2/7/08 NIC’S MINI MART, 701 Lighthouse, reports an unknown suspect to have thrown a bottle of hot sauce threw their front window. The window was shattered causing $200.00 in damage.

2/9/08 Cox, Rick was cited for allowing his dog to run loose in the 200 block of Laine.

2/10/08 Citizen reports that her silver two door VW might have been vandalized at the 500 block of Lighthouse.

2/10/08 Citizen 500 block of Pine reports the theft of her mother’s vehicle.

2/11/08 Citizen 300 block of Dickman reports an unknown suspect wearing a black hooded sweatshirt to have entered his apartment using the 2nd story balcony and steal property.

2/11/08 Battery report at 600 block of Cannery Row.

2/11/08 HUDSON, GLEN was arrested for possession of more than 1oz. of marijuana at Wave and McClellan.

2/12/08 WILLIAMS, SHERRY was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia at Prescott and Lottie. Vehicle was parked at scene.

2/13/08 Citizen reports burglary to her vehicle while parked at 590 Cannery Row.

2/13/08 Citizen reports the auto theft of her 2006, black Dodge Dakota stolen from the corner of Hoffman / Lighthouse. Occ: 02/13/08 2130 hrs-2341hrs. Value: $25,000.00. POE: broken passenger window/keys with vehicle.

2/14/08 FORSHT, JOHN was cited for driving with a suspended license and unsafe speed at Prescott and Pine.

2/14/08 DICKEY, LAURA and EDWARDS, CHARLES were arrested for DUI at Lighthouse/Washington after being involved in a collision.

2/15/08 RENONI, NICHOLAS was arrested for resisting an officer at the Custom House Plaza.

2/16/08 DIETEZ, SETH was arrested for driving while under the influence following a traffic collision located at Prescott / Laine.

2/16/08 Citizen reports theft of his backpack containing clothing and $200 cash from an employee area of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

2/17/08 Citizen reported his car was keyed at Wave and David.

2/18/08 Citizen reports his vehicle to have been burglarized in the 2000 block of David.

2/20/08 Citizen reports the theft of her neon green tote bag and passport from 700 block of Lighthouse.

2/22/08 Citizen reports a male to have been causing a disturbance and exposing himself to citizens in the 600 block of Lighthouse.

2/23/08 THOMAS, BRYAN was arrested for public intoxication near the fountain at Heritage Harbor.

2/23/08 Citizen reports residential burglary in the 700 block of Belden. A white female mid 20’s and white male mid 20’s were seen leaving on foot.

2/23/08 Citizen 500 block of Wave Street reported a theft from her unlocked vehicle.

2/23/08 Citizen 600 block of Irving reports his vehicle struck and damaged while parked.

2/23/08 MILLER, MARC was found to be in possession of less than an ounce of marijuana while driving at David and Hawthorne. Miller was released at the scene on citation.

2/24/08 Citizen reports his peace being disturbed in the 600 block of Lighthouse.

2/25/08 POPE, WILLIAM was cited for driving on a suspended license at Terry and Hoffman.

2/25/08 San Luis Obispo Co. was aided in the arrest of POPE, WILLIAM on an outstanding NO OR warrant.

2/27/08 MPD assisted PGPD in a theft that occurred at the Wells Fargo Bank in PG.

New Monterey Police Blotter – February 2008

Read My Lips, No T.O.T.

But hotel and motel owners, who feel the city is reneging on promises made when they agreed to form a Pacific Grove Hospitality Improvement District and fund it with $1 and $1.50-per-night room assessments, said they would support a sales tax increase and pay an increased business license tax as well.

Adding another 2 cents on the dollar to the room tax — raising it from 10 percent to 12 percent — was expected to raise an additional $600,000 for the city, but approximately $230,000 of that is committed in a contract with the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said City Manager Jim Colangelo.

But the masters of hidden fees have a few tried and true schemes to generate revenue.

14 Hidden Hotel Fees to Avoid

In recent years, hotels have become increasingly adept at finding ways to nickel and dime their customers. According to a study published last year by PriceWaterHouseCooper’s Hospitality Division, hotels are gorging themselves on surcharges and hidden fees. Hotels worldwide were on track to rake in nearly $2 billion in surcharges and hidden fees in 2007, more than tripling the $550 million they took in just four years ago. That’s a lot of minibar charges and towel replacement fees.


Make sure to take time to smell the roses in that lushly landscaped garden because you are likely to billed $3 or more a night for the effort involved in keeping the greenery perky.


Need a towel at the pool? Expect to pay a buck or two. Don’t scamper off to your room with it either, as you may be billed five dollars or more if you forget to return it to the attendant after your swim.


Business center, fitness room
If there’s a room with special equipment in it you’ll probably get charged for simply staying in the same hotel with said equipment, even if you never venture into the business center or gym. Fees typically run $5 – $10 a day. At resorts, this is typically called the “resort fee.”


Hotels are tacking $1-$3 dollar a night “Safe Warranty” fees onto bills to cover the cost of providing the safe and the insurance policy that covers the things stored in it. (Good luck collecting anything if that in-room safe is burgled though, as most hotels post signs disclaiming responsibility for valuables.)


Housekeeping, bellman gratuity fees
These folks certainly deserve to be paid well for their hard work, and most travelers show their appreciation with tips. But before you dig out the dollars, be aware that fees of $10-$30 a stay are being added to some hotel bills to cover housekeeping and bellman gratuities.


Water and newspapers
How nice that a bottle of pure spring water was thoughtfully left in your room. Don’t drink it. Chances are it’s not a gift and you will be billed anywhere from $4-$6 a bottle. The newspaper that shows up at your door in the morning? Expect to be billed for the “convenience.”


Energy surcharge
Intended to recover the rising costs of providing electrical power, this charge can add $3-$6 dollars a day to your bill.

Early check in or out/extended cancellation
Checked in earlier than the hotel’s stated check-in time? You may be billed up to $50 for that early access. Had to leave sooner than planned? Expect to be charged anywhere from $50 to the cost of one night’s stay. And make sure to check the cancellation policy: Hotels that used to allow you to cancel the same day before 6 p.m.are now billing customers for one night’s stay if they don’t cancel 48 hours ahead of time.


Shuttle service
Taking the hotel shuttle from the airport used to be free, but it’s likely to cost you now, and almost as much as taking a cab to your lodgings.


Travelers with late-day flights often ask hotels to store their bags so they can enjoy another vacation day before heading to the airport. Some hotels are now charging up to $3 for each bag they babysit for the day.


Check the bill before you tell the bartender to keep the change. Posters on several travel boards have reported seeing charges for 20% of each drink added to their tabs for the bartender gratuity.


Room block fees
You’d like to reserve a bunch of rooms, all on one floor, for a family reunion or other event? No problem, because some hotels will be happy to bill you $10-$20 for that service.


No, it’s not the insane prices charged for those goodies, it’s the charges that are now added to your bill if you move something in the bar to make room for your own bottle of water, or even pick something up to look at it for a few seconds (sensors in the bar record your action and add the product’s fee to your room bill.) Some travelers who’ve routinely asked for the mini-bar to be cleared out before their arrival have been surprised by $50 “unstocking” fees.


Random incorrect charges:

Numerous posters on travel forums have reported getting charged for smoking in non-smoking rooms when the evil weed had never touched their lips. Ding: cleaning fee of $100 to $250, and sometimes more. Other random fees include being charged for unordered movies, unmade phone calls, etc.

Read My Lips, No T.O.T.

City Manager Takes Heat Over Hiring

In a trend that has raised some eyebrows, Colangelo has hired at least seven women who once worked for Monterey County, where he worked as an assistant administrative officer between 1999 and 2005.

“We don’t look at it as a coincidence,” says PG resident Pat Herrgott. “Jim Colangelo says it’s hard to find qualified people, so he brings over everybody he worked with before. That’s not fair employment.”

Former PG mayor Jeanne Byrne, for one, isn’t cutting Colangelo any slack. “It‘s inappropriate to create jobs that never existed and fill them with your friends,” she says. “Certainly not all of them are the best qualified. There’s nobody there to get them up to speed.”

Ahh. Jeanne Byrne. Single term PG mayor. Sandwiched between Dingbat Flo and Socialist Sandy. Accomplished nothing really.

City Manager Takes Heat Over Hiring

Council Picks Iris Peppard As Farmers Market Organizer

Also up for the job was Joe Aliotti of Community Help Around Monterey Peninsula, who runs two farmers markets in Salinas. His proposals to involve local schools and stakeholders earned him the staff recommendation. “We interviewed both parties and he seemed to be farther along,” says City Manager Jim Colangelo.

Though impressed by both proposals, Councilmember Lisa Bennett made the successful motion to go for Everyone’s Harvest. “The flavor of her market seemed to match my values a little more,” she says. “A little more organic, a little more focused on being local.”

Council Picks Iris Peppard As Farmers Market Organizer

Oregon Town Fires Mayor For Racy Pictures

(KATU News)
Small town votes (organized by a person named Miller!) to recall their mayor for posing in her underwear and posting pictures on MySpace. Not as tolerant as Pacific Grove’s residents with their own city councilperson with a racy photo past.

Mayor Gronquist

According to the person who spearheaded the recall drive, Ron Miller, the vote was 142 in favor and 139 against the recall of Mayor Carmen Kontur-Gronquist.

She came under fire after she posted photos of herself posed in lingerie on a fire truck on her MySpace page.

But the voters weren’t really just angry about the picture, some said.

Miller said the recall vote was also about some of her decisions as mayor of the small town, located along Interstate 84 between The Dalles and Pendleton in the Columbia River Gorge. That included her management of the city golf course, where she eliminated two positions during the fall and winter. That apparently did not sit well with some of the big golfers in town.

As for Gronquist, she said she is selling a poster of herself on eBay. A portion of the proceeds, she said, will go to the Arlington city ambulance company.

Oregon Town Fires Mayor For Racy Pictures

If You Are The Butterflies, Show Me Your Badges

Hey Monarchs, big brother is watching you..

Approximately 3,500 of the gold-black-and-white lepidoptera have been tagged by the Ventana Wildlife Society as part of the Monarch Alert project.

The tagging has been going on since 2001 but only recently in Pacific Grove, Johnson said, because Monarch Alert had to get a waiver from the Pacific Grove City Council to catch butterflies in the sanctuary and George Washington Park. A city ordinance levies a $500 fine for disturbing or molesting monarch butterflies.

If You Are The Butterflies, Show Me Your Badges

Seaside Driver Flees P.G. Cops, Meets P.G. Tree

Driver was also arrested for drugs. Duh.

The officer gave chase, police said, and the driver of the Suzuki sped up, reaching speeds of more than 60 mph before he lost control of the car and ran into the power pole at Sinex and Dennett avenues.

The driver, Cameron Ferguson, 18, of Seaside, and a juvenile passenger, were taken to Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula for observation, police said, while PG&E crews and firefighters cleared up the accident scene.

Seaside Driver Flees P.G. Cops, Meets P.G. Tree

Tow Surfers And Tow Craft Wipe Out

Tow Surfing in P.G? Begging for hurt.

As officials warned residents to stay away from Central Coast beaches and bluffs, several surfers who braved the waves were uninjured after wiping out in giant breakers off Pacific Grove on Sunday.

Riding a personal watercraft shortly after noon, Ed Guzman tried to rescue a surfing friend he’d been towing amidst the 20-foot-plus surf off of Ocean View Boulevard and Coral Street when another large wave hit, the second in a towering set.

Guzman was washed off his craft, firefighters said.

Guzman, owner of Club Ed surfing school in Santa Cruz, was trying to aid his surfing partner, Don Curry, who had wiped out in a 25-foot wave and lost his board, said Monterey Fire Division Chief David Potter.

Tow Surfers And Tow Craft Wipe Out