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As you may have heard, I have sort of jumped ship from the Partisan to the new journalistic operation in town, Voices of Monterey Bay. My first piece for VOMB is in today’s edition, and you can find it right here.

It’s about the proliferation of mountain bike trails in Toro Park without formal county approval and virtually no oversight by county officials who are supposed to be in charge of the public park. It’s about Monterey County government’s failure to do its job and about Supervisor Mary Adams plan to fix things.

Obviously the Partisan isn’t actually dead yet. It was a labor of love and it’s difficult to say goodbye. So, it still floats around in cyberspace in case it needs to be called into action from time to time. But Voices is more like the real deal, involving significantly more attention and effort than one cranky old journalist could ever provide. Check it out and support it. It, too, is a labor of love, a public service, an earnest effort to fill some of the widening gaps in local journalism.

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Anne Canright October 31, 2017, 11:05 am

    I was glad to get this notice from the Partisan because even though I signed up for VOMB, I haven’t been receiving anything from that site–so wouldn’t have been aware of this article. Peter Kwiek is a friend of mine and I’ve been following this issue for a while. You did a good job of laying it out, and I hope it gains more traction. It’s important! I have nothing against mountain bikers, but they–or anyone–shouldn’t get to do whatever they please in our delicate public lands.

    • Royal Calkins October 31, 2017, 11:43 am

      Anne.. Shoot me your email address and I’ll make sure you are signed up. thanks for the support. cheers

  • Anna yateman October 31, 2017, 12:43 pm

    Sign me up.

  • Eric Petersen October 31, 2017, 1:23 pm

    The article about Toro Paqrk is excellent, and discloses what hampers our parks, insufficient funding and lax management.

    At the last Supervisors Parks Committee meeting (Mary Adams and Simon Salinas), Joe Hertlein (chair of Parks Commission) chronicled the extreme decrease in the numbers of park rangers in Monterey County Parks. Clearly, there are too few rangers to have any chance of doing the job.

    The Parks Commission mests on Thursday, 02 November, 3:00 pm, in the Supervisors’ Chambers, 168 W Alisal Street.

    • Eric Petersen October 31, 2017, 1:30 pm

      Clarification = The lax management has several causes, for many years certain parks were “managed” by groups who were allowed to do what they wanted, ignoring the public and appropriate business practices by the county (ie, proper contracts, etc). Now, Monterey County isn’t putting necessary money into the parks system. The consolidation of parks under Resources Management is a good temporary move to get the situation under control — but is seriously underfunded.

  • Joyce October 31, 2017, 1:55 pm

    Royal, Thanks for your commentary on the abuses of Mountain Bikes in Toro Park. We do need
    more rangers to deal with these and other problems. That Gate at end of road should be closed
    except for park ranger use, as bikers get into the park without paying, and that cheats the rest of us responsible fee paying citizens. The bikers are ruining trails, causing erosion, degrading the habitat for dwindling wildlife species, and native plants that retain the soil and prevent erosion.
    We can’t risk another big flood of Harper creek, when winter rains overflowed and made Harper
    Canyon road impassible, until the County roads crews and the Conservation Corps. repaired it.
    Other parks have banned Mt. Bikes, and so should Toro Regional Park. Mary Adams, please HELP.

  • Luana M Conley October 31, 2017, 2:39 pm

    Keep it floating, Royal! The archives alone are a value to the community. Much gratitude for your work.

  • Skip Latham October 31, 2017, 3:49 pm

    Eric’s comment above about the county not putting necessary money into the park system is very accurate. They have gutted that entire department and now are challenged with the fallout. The mountain bikes are not the problem as evidenced with their use and implementation in the Fort Ord National monument. There are ways to manage all of the different user groups on all of the trails. It takes an investment of time and effort to make it happen.

  • Mid-Valley Abalone October 31, 2017, 6:43 pm

    Luana speaks my mind! Thanks so much, Royal, and I’ll sign up for VOMB.

  • Barbara L. Simpson October 31, 2017, 9:31 pm

    Also glad to receive note from Partisan, as Anne, ’cause am also signed up w/ VOMP but no postings being received.

  • Louis MacFarland October 31, 2017, 10:51 pm

    I will never give up on the Partisan (or Royal) !

  • bill leone November 2, 2017, 9:01 am

    It would be nice if a group of Partisan commenters banded together to provide articles, input & financial support to this crucial blog…under the sagacious direction of its Founder. There is enough going on in our community that needs reporting & commentary to justify ten more Partisans & five more Voices of Monterey Bay.

  • Peggy Johnson November 2, 2017, 3:48 pm

    Sign me up for Voices of Monterey Bay please. Though I don’t use the internet as often as I did before I was hacked, there is a void left by the local newspapers since they were taken over (read the article in last week’s Coast Weekly).

  • Julie Reynolds Martinez November 2, 2017, 4:49 pm

    Just want to let everyone know you can sign up for our newsletter at: https://voicesofmontereybay.org/signup/

    And if for some reason you aren’t getting it (usually comes out Tuesday mornings), please drop me a line at julie@vomb.org and I’ll get it working for you!

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