Google recognized the late Native American activist Richard Oakes on its homepage Monday with an illustrated image of the man who was shot and killed in Sonoma County in 1972 when he was just 30 years old. The honor came on the day Oakes would have turned 75.
Oakes’ killer, the manager of a YMCA camp near Annapolis in northwest Sonoma County, was acquitted for involuntary manslaughter by an all-white jury at the Sonoma County Superior Court in March 1973.
“We are excited to see Google give him recognition today on his birthday,” said Reno Keoni Franklin, chairman of the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians, by email. “His passing still haunts us, and the decision to let his killer go is a sad example of the type of injustices that he fought so hard against.”
The face of the United States is changing rapidly. To look at the face of the future, look no further than public schools. Kids and teens have fewer hang-ups about the identities of their peers. Yet, there is a troubling national trend at hand. While the U.S. is growing more diverse as a whole, its schools are becoming resegregated. Children from different racial, ethnic and income groups are now less likely to find themselves in a classroom with each other than they were two decades ago.
In Monterey County, the changing demographics of schools are more nuanced than the national picture, with schools in the Salinas Valley becoming almost exclusively Latino and Monterey Peninsula schools growing more diverse.
To see how local schools have changed in the past two decades, the Weekly collected and analyzed data from California Department of Education for the 1995-96 and the 2015-16 school years, as well as U.S. Census data from 2000 and 2015 for seven county school districts (see graph, p. 22) that account for the majority of students countywide.
After compiling spreadsheets and crunching numbers, three main trends emerge: White populations are aging faster in comparison to other ethnic groups, in part because their adult children no longer live in the area; many African-American families have left for other regions; and the Latino population continues to increase across the board.
Sitting in a cafe a block from the Capitol building in Sacramento just after 11am on Dec. 19, Vinz Koller anxiously monitors Electoral College votes on the East Coast. He’s contemplating committing a crime in a few hours, by voting against the will of the people in the state of California with his vote in the Electoral College.
The staunch partisan and outgoing chair of the Monterey County Democratic Party supported Hillary Clinton’s campaign. But, in a last-ditch effort to block the presumptive President-elect Donald Trump from ascending to the White House, Koller has fashioned himself as a “Hamilton Elector.”
The goal, spurred by Texas Republican and elector Christopher Suprun, is to get 37 electors for Trump in red states to cast their ballot for someone else, thereby blocking the 270 electoral votes needed to get the presidency. If that were to happen, the president would be decided on Jan. 6 by the U.S. House of Representatives, which would choose from the top three Electoral College vote getters.
Driving his Mazda 3 through the streets of Salinas, Mark Gurley, a 54-year-old fond of Hawaiian shirts, watches his smartphone chirp as he is flagged by a customer through the Uber app. He picks up his customer then drives them to their destination. This is a pattern he follows, around 18 times a day, every day, for nearly 100 hours a week.
“I love Uber,” Gurley says enthusiastically. “It’s one of the best jobs I’ve ever had.”
His use of the word “job” is loaded. That word is at the center of a controversy with 240,000 Uber drivers in California and Massachusetts who filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, arguing they should be classified as employees rather than independent contractors, and should be entitled to recover mileage and expenses.
Uber came to a $100 million settlement with drivers last spring. That settlement was then rejected in August at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Uber drivers were directed to settle their claims through independent arbitration.
Nearly 30,000 watts of stadium lights hang from the rigging of a light boat off the Channel Islands in Southern California. Once flipped on, the lights slowly increase their illumination. After five minutes, the 2am darkness on deck has transformed into a gleam resembling a San Francisco Giants night game at AT&T Park.
Squid fishing in California is done at night with one boat equipped with lights to attract and hold the squid in one spot, partnered with another larger boat with a seine – a 1,000-plus-foot-long fishing net – to bring in the catch.
I peer into the calm ocean and see a milky mass rise to the surface, as hundreds of thousands of squid emerge from the depths – translucent, with large eyes reflecting light like a cat’s would.
The night after Bernie Sanders watched the Golden State Warriors come from behind in Oakland to take out the Oklahoma City Thunder in game seven, he came to the Central Coast in an attempt to pull off a surprising result himself.
While addressing a crowd of 7,800 people in front of Colton Hall in Monterey on May 31, Sanders displayed a Warriors cap and asked the crowd, “Is this the right hat?”
In a speech that lasted more than an hour, the independent senator from Vermont stuck to the main talking points of his campaign: Break up Wall Street banks deemed “too big to fail,” create Medicare for all, make public colleges and universities tuition-free and take money out of politics.
A flatbed truck converted into a bus carried 55 braceros – farm workers on temporary visas – from labor camp in Chualar to celery fields in the Salinas Valley on September 17, 1963. The bus collided with an oncoming train, killing 32 and leaving the rest mangled and injured.
The tragedy in Monterey County garnered national headlines and the bracero program, which was maligned by Cesar Chavez and the farmworker movement that rallied around him, was soon killed by Congress. The legacy of the braceros has remained in a cloud since, often remembered by the painful conclusion.
In the narrative of social justice in the fields, the bracero program – which brought more than 2 million men from Mexico to work the land in the United States from 1942 to 1964 – has long been one derided as one that exploited immigrant workers. It was also viewed as bad for domestic workers, who saw their wages decline.
It’s a teenager’s worst nightmare: naked selfies sent to another teen in an act of foolish confidence end up online, where they are openly displayed for their classmates’ intrigue and ridicule.
This happened to a few students at Monterey High School over the winter. Classmates say the betrayal of having pictures posted they thought would be kept private by the recipient kept some kids from school for a few days.
When they finally returned, their humiliation was palpable.
Posting nude photos of underage people is a crime (even if the one doing the posting is also underage), and while the Monterey Police Department has investigated the incidents, there are few leads that could result in an arrest.
This year millennials will match the Baby Boomers, those between 52 and 70 years old, as the generation with the largest pool of eligible voters. By 2020 they’re projected to be the largest by a margin of 6 percent. They have also replaced Generation X, 36 – to 51-year-olds, as the largest generation in the U.S. workforce.
It’s a generation born into high healthcare costs, skyrocketing student debt and a more fragmented job market that pushes precarious, gig-based work as opposed to the steady jobs known to previous generations.
But it remains to be seen if this generation will throw its weight around and help shape the results of this year’s presidential, state and local elections.