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Friday News Roundup

A glimpse back in time…historical, local photographs find a home.

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Pat Hathaway collection
Pacific Grove’s Lighthouse Avenue in 1891 showing the horse drawn “street cars” that took passengers from Monterey to the train depot in Pacific Grove for 10 cents.

The vast, unrivaled collection of historical images amassed by the late Pacific Grove photographer, Pat Hathaway, has been awarded to the Monterey County Historical Society. Hathaway died Jan. 6, 2021, without having written a will, which meant his estate – and the fate of more than 80,000 photos he’d collected over his lifetime – had to go through probate court for a judge to determine what would happen to the prized collection.

On Christmas Eve, the court agreed with conservator Kent Seavey’s proposal to gift the entire collection to the local historical society. Seavey said he’s elated the public will have access to a “new” historical record he calls “probably the broadest brush of where we’ve come from to where we are.” James Perry, executive director of the Monterey County Historical Society, said the Hathaway collection of photographs, maps and images going back to 1849 is “way too important to … remain locked up in a vault.” Stay tuned for our radio report on the Hathaway collection next week on KAZU.

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Jerimiah Oetting
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KAZU News
A snowy egret hunting for food in the ample intertidal zone during this week’s king tides.

King tides kicked off our week, and that meant coastal flooding and some excellent tide pooling opportunities around Monterey Bay. King tides occur once or twice a year, when the combined gravitational influence of the sun and moon on the Earth’s oceans is at its maximum. That happens because the three celestial bodies are in alignment AND are at their nearest points to one another in their respective orbits. When the Earth is at the closest point in its orbit around the sun, it’s at perihelion. When the moon is at its closest point to the Earth, it's in perigee. Earth experiences "king tides" when both are true.

The tide around Monterey Bay reached nearly seven feet above the average low-tide line on Monday. The extreme high tides offer a preview of future sea-level rise along the California coast. The National Weather Service issued a coastal flood advisory early this week, as low-lying coastal areas became inundated with water, due in-part to recent rain.Low tide was also at its extreme, and exposed plenty of tide pools that are usually hidden under the surf.

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Erika Mahoney
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KAZU News
Even in the rain, dozens of people waited in line to get tested for COVID-19 at the Monterey airport on Tuesday.

Long lines met Monterey Bay residents who wanted to get tested for COVID-19 this week. At the Virus Geeks testing site near the Monterey airport, employee Noemi Corcoles said they've been averaging between 750 and 900 people a day since the week before Christmas. Before the holiday rush, about 350 people were showing up. Corcoles said she's holding up well. "We did hire more people because of the spike," she said.

A list of testing sites has been assembled by the Monterey County COVID-19 Collaborative. Its website offers a wealth of knowledge on COVID, testing, and vaccines. Santa Cruz County residents can visit the public health department’s testing locator site.

As cases increase nationwide, Omicron news seems to be everywhere. Here are some highlights from the week.

1. California extended its indoor mask mandate through February 15.

2. The CDC recommended booster shots for kids 12 to 15-years-old.

3. Locally, Santa Cruz public health officials urged people with mild cases to avoid unnecessary trips to the ER. Cases have increased 121% over the last two weeks, straining local hospitals.

Coming up next week, KAZU’s Jerimiah Oetting speaks with Marm Kilpatrick, an infectious disease expert at UC Santa Cruz, about the outlook of COVID-19 in 2022.

Omicron is also affecting first responders. Three members of the Pacific Grove Police Department are under home quarantine. One is a patrol officer and the two others are professional staff. The department has 33 full-time employees. The three will complete a 10- day quarantine before returning to work.

Keep scrolling for our “State of the Pandemic” update at the end of the newsletter.

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SPCA Monterey County
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In 2002, Betty White released a great horned owl as part of SPCA Monterey County's "Wild Celebration."

In a community full of celebrities, the Monterey Bay area recently lost one of its most loved stars, Betty White. She passed away just a few weeks before her 100th birthday on Jan. 17. White, who owned a home in Carmel, was applauded for her TV performances and admired for her love of animals.

“She was so engaged in the field research when she would come visit. And of course, you know, she wanted to see the animals,” Julie Packard, executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium said.

KAZU’s Erika Mahoney interivewed Packard and Beth Brookhouser with SPCA Monterey County about Betty White’s local legacy helping animals. You can find the story here.

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Natividad Medical Center
Aylin Madrigal (left) was the first baby of the new year in Monterey County. She was born exactly at midnight and is shown with her twin brother Alfredo who was born 15 minutes earlier. The twins were born at Natividad Medical Center in Salinas.

While the rest of us were ringing in the new year, one of Monterey County’s newest residents was awaiting the birth of his twin sister. The twins of 2021/22 were born just 15 minutes apart. Aylin, born at midnight on New Year’s Eve, was preceded by her brother Alfredo, who was born at 11:45 p.m. That means the twins were born on different days, different months and different years, and Alfredo is a whole year older than his sister on paper — something he will probably never let her forget.

The twins’ mother is Greenfield resident Fatima Madrigal, who said in a press release that she was “surprised and happy” her daughter arrived at midnight. Natividad Medical Center, where the twins were born, puts the odds of such a birth at one in 2 million. We’ll count that as a final positive spin on last year, and the first good omen of 2022.

State of the Pandemic
https://www.kazu.org/monterey-bay-covid-19-data

That’s it for this week! You can sign up to receive the Friday News Roundup from KAZU, right to your inbox. Just visit kazu.org to subscribe.

Until then,
The KAZU Team