“The Arroyo Seco River begins its life far atop the Santa Sierra Range of Monterey County where its headwaters rapidly flow downward through gorges of solid rock cut deep by millennia of erosion then wends its way eastward along beaches lined by sycamore and oak, slowly moving through deep pools and then dropping rapidly in long stretches of swift water currents before finally finding level ground of the Salinas Valley where it joins its sister river and flows northward to the Pacific Ocean.”
I wrote those words many years ago in a college creative writing class, they come to mind as I type this part of the column while sitting on a rock in the middle of the Arroyo Seco River. I am no meteorologist, but surely the temperature is over 100 degrees and seems to be getting warmer by the hour. The river today is not the full flowing watercourse of early season, it is now a dwindling stream waiting for a revival that only comes with the release of water from the millions of trees that run the full length of its twisting course to the Valley floor. But that will not happen for weeks, and so for now many small springs that feed the river are its only source of freshness.
But the river will be especially important for a few days as it will be a source of retardant, via helicopter, for another wildfire now burning within the forest to the west of the Valley. How long this fire will burn and how much it will burn and how many people it will displace are ever-changing statistics; but King City will be part of the event as the forestry station and the fairgrounds will, as they did last year, see increased activity until the forest is once again safe. I have seen no reports of firefighting personnel hurt, and let’s hope that stays that way. Those living in the vicinity of the fire I wish well but also hope they are well out of the way of those trained to extinguish large conflagrations.
We now have a new national holiday, and I am sure there are discussions rampant upon the merits of such a commemoration, but they are not for me, although I would submit suggestion for what should be the first two-day national holiday: Summer Solstice, June 20-21. This date, or time of year, has been celebrated by the ancient Greeks, Chinese, Romans, Vikings and many American Native tribes, mostly signifying renewal, or newness of life.
I am not so spiritually minded; I think it should be a national holiday chiefly because I detest the short, cold days and long and even colder nights of Winter. I rejoice in the long days of the Solstice, the longest day of the year with conversely the shortest night; that is how life should be lived. If there is a downside to the day it is that, thanks to Spaceship Earth being atilt 23-plus degrees off its axis, from that day onward the days only get shorter. Well, Utopia was always a just a dream, but I’ll enjoy the hours of sunshine while I can get it. I hope you all do the same.
BITS & PIECES
With a look at some of the city business, it would seem we will soon have a cannabis shop here in King City in the Broadway Circle, becoming new neighbors to a coffee house and sandwich shop. Some months back at a city council meeting, I stated that while I was not against the business on any moral or legal level, I just thought it wouldn’t last in a town where many can, and do, legally grow their own product. A recent visit to such a shop in Salinas has me rethinking that stance; the place was packed regardless of high prices, and a few of the faces I saw there live closer to Broadway Circle that they do to John Street.
Also, it would seem that Lateral Reverse Parking is not a big hit with residents and so city will direct the paving and striping of Broadway with traditional nose-in parking retained. I had noticed during the week the 12 spaces used as a test model were usually sparsely filled and that usually by the owners of adjacent shops, while across the street all spaces would be used. Sundays saw increased use, but apparently not enough to merit a change. With that decision made, it will be good to see repaving work begin as the main street in town has taken a bit of a construction beating lately and needs a facelift.
Until we see paving workers on Broadway, though, they will be busy a few blocks north of the downtown vicinity in a sizable area. I see curbside barricades all along King Street going west from Mildred Avenue to North Russ Street and on a two-block section of Collins Street and on North Russ Street down to Lynn Street. A one-block section of Patterson Street is already paved, and for a bike rider is a little slice of heaven free of the often-bumpy asphalt found around town. But streets are a constant work-in-progress situation for all cities, and here in town we have seen a lot of street improvement in the past five years, so we are fortunate in that respect.
And here’s a little bit to add to a piece above: it was yesterday, Saturday, that I wrote how the town would likely see increased activity due to the wildfire in the forest. Well, it took about 24 hours for that to happen as SVF is now a fully operating fire camp complete with HQ and living trailers, fire trucks, bull dozers, water trucks, sleeping trailers and tents, chuck wagons and all the other paraphernalia associated with fighting a fire. Oh, yeah, and firefighters from a half dozen different agencies.
May they stay safe. May you stay safe. Peace.