Politicizing The Butterfly

Butterfly Molesting

Ahhh politics. Here’s a the work of one that looks good

Assemblymember Mark Stone — whose district includes Pacific Grove’s Monarch Sanctuary — is pushing a bill, AB 2421, to protect the iconic black and orange insects. “As monarch butterfly populations decline, ecosystems across our state are at risk of collapse,” said Stone, who introduced the bill in February. “This measure provides grants and support to preserve and restore monarch and other pollinator habitats.

Then we see what it really is. Looks like another tax and spend project.

The bill would establish the Monarch and Pollinator Rescue Program, which would be overseen by the California Wildlife Conservation Board. The program would offer grants to farmers, ranchers, nonprofits and public agencies to pay for habitat restoration projects throughout the state.

Politicizing The Butterfly

Zombie Butterflies On The Loose

Zombie Butterflies

Probably birds. Would be odd if it was hawks brought in to control sea gulls finding the town’s symbol more tasty than gulls.

The butterflies are often found clinging to life — their abdomen removed with seemingly surgical precision.

“Their abdomen is just severed clean off, like you took it off with a scalpel,” says Stong, who is also the regional coordinator for the Xerces Society’s Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count.

Connie Masotti, a docent at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, has also found several of the gutless butterflies. Based on their observations, Masotti suspects that the predation happens just before sunrise, since the butterflies are still alive when the docents get to their stations in the early morning.

Zombie Butterflies On The Loose

Mvsevm To Imprison The Monarchs

Since the place was gifted to the fish prison it’s only natural for them to do the same with butterflies. And to do it with nothing more than summer tourists in mind.

The Mvsevm

“We have a bit of a challenge when tourists come here in the summer,” says Lori Mannel, executive director of the P.G. Museum of Natural History. “They say, ‘Where are the monarchs?’”
But thanks to a $50,000 planning grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Mannel and her colleagues expect that to change: A butterfly pavilion in the museum’s native plant gardens is in the works, an enclosed structure that will be home to a variety of native butterflies in all of their life stages, from caterpillar to chrysalis to winged.

Mvsevm To Imprison The Monarchs

Monarch's Law: Do Not Molest Butterflies In Pacific Grove

Do Not Molest Butterflies

Often brought up in “True Facts” articles. Really is a law on the books.

Many people many not know it, but there is law which was written more than 70 years ago. It says if you are caught molesting a Monarch, it’ll cost you $1,000. That’s how serious Butterfly Town USA is about protecting the butterflies.

Monarch’s Law: Do Not Molest Butterflies In Pacific Grove

Butterfly Parade 2013

1970s Butterfly parade
1970s Butterfly Parade

Self sustaining before it was a UN buzz phrase. One of the few remaining events that are not capitalized on. Flutter on, little chrysalis’ and butterflies.

On a sunlit, 80-plus degree Saturday morning in Pacific Grove, several hundred kids dressed up as insects, sea creatures, farmers, artists, pioneers, clowns and healthy vegetables for the 75th annual Butterfly Parade and Bazaar.

A few parents, grandparents, babies and dogs dressed for the occasion, too.

The popular, don’t-you-wish-you-lived-here event is a rite of passage for Pacific Grove grade-schoolers. As they move from kindergarten to fifth grade, they get promoted from caterpillars to monarch butterflies, lady bugs, bumble bees, jellyfish, otters, farmers, pioneers, gold miners and, finally, clowns.

They gather in their handmade costumes in front of Robert Down Elementary School to pose for the paparazzi, then convene with their classmates for a 1-square-block strut that starts and ends on Pine Avenue.

Butterfly Parade 2013

P.G. Remodel At Butterfly Sanctuary

Practical and purposeful items like straight pathways and a historic building are out, zig-zagging trails and demolished buildings are in.

The path, which had been straight and wide enough to drive a car on, now meanders and is narrower. The small metal posts and twine marking the path were replaced by thick redwood posts and bulky rope. City workers added a drainage system to combat erosion.

Brokaw Hall, dating back to 1914 and formerly part of the Del Monte Military Academy, was considered unsafe and needed to be torn down, Zimmer said. It was dismantled in June.

“Brokaw Hall is gone and is becoming the hall of flowers,” said volunteer Bob Pacelli. He and other volunteers plan to add 75 plants to the sanctuary before the ceremony, he said.

He is part of a project to add eight new genera of plants. The plants have been used in the sanctuary throughout the years, but not recently, said Frances Grate, a Pacific Grove gardener who is involved in the project.

The long-term goal is to plant permanent flowers that the butterflies can use instead of relying on temporary plants brought to the park each year.

P.G. Remodel At Butterfly Sanctuary

Where Are The Butterflies At The Mvsevm?

For sale it seems. The exact plan some had was to turn the Mvsevm into another art gallery.

local historian Esther Trosow said she was “flabbergasted” when she went into the store at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History and discovered they were selling monarchs — dead ones.

“It’s one thing to have monarchs on display in the museum” as part of an exhibit, Trosow said. “In fact, the museum sorely needs an adequate monarch exhibit. It’s another thing to have specimens displayed as baubles in the gift shop.”

The framed display was introduced after a major renovation and overhaul of the museum store, which included abandoning the sale of cheap toys in favor of better quality items and crafts from local artists.

Where Are The Butterflies At The Mvsevm?

How Many Scientists Does It Take To Herd A Flock Of Monarchs?

None really. Just plant more trees like Pacelli says.
more butterfly trees

Last summer, Pacific Grove commissioned habitat scientists to conduct a thorough study of the conditions in the sanctuary, such as light, winds and placement of trees. The city said it will incorporate strategies proposed by the scientists into its new plan, as well as a system of feedback where the community can provide input.

One man who has given much for the sanctuary is Robert Pacelli. He spearheaded the campaign to bring potted eucalyptus trees to fill in the holes after the 2009 trimming.

His plan seemed to work. Pacelli said about 7,000 butterflies returned last winter, which was up from a paltry 700 or so the winter following the tree pruning. Numbers have been lower across the country, though, so the effect of the city’s trimming remains unclear.

How Many Scientists Does It Take To Herd A Flock Of Monarchs?

Broken Brokaw Hall Saga – Demolition Is Final Answer

Cost to repair, half a million. Cost to demolish, $35,000

“It’s a historic structure,” said Esther Trosow, with the Conservancy. “It’s on the list of historic structures and they let it fall into a state of decay. If any private citizen did that, according to the historic preservation rules, they would have to be in injunctive relief, which means they would have to fix it. And the city has just decided that they don’t need to do that. They’re thumbing their nose at their own laws.”

Browkaw Hall sign

Cedar Street Times is reporting that the building’s historical plaque has been removed and presumed stolen.

Broken Browkaw Hall Saga – Demolition Is Final Answer

There Goes The Budget Surplus – Rebuild Broken Brokaw Hall?

Tear it down – not worth the money to preserve, especially if the habitat is meant to be a home for butterfies.

In an attempt to atone for the sins of the past, the Pacific Grove City Council signaled Wednesday that historic Brokaw Hall might escape demolition.

The dilapidated city-owned building at 263 Grove Acre Ave. was scheduled to be torn down by June 6 after the city’s chief building official, John Kuehl, declared it a health and safety hazard.

The council Wednesday was expected to authorize paying $36,000 for its destruction and to debate about what elements of the one-story wooden building, which was built in 1914 and is former home of the Del Monte Military Academy, would be worth salvaging.

There Goes The Budget Surplus – Rebuild Broken Brokaw Hall?