Residents in the Big Sur area affected by the Pfeiffer Fire, may be able to receive some financial assistance. The Community Foundation for Monterey County established The Big Sur Fire Recovery Fund in an effort to assist the Big Sur community, and to provide support in the aftermath of the fire. Grants from the fund will be distributed to nonprofit agencies assisting individuals and organizations to meet needs as they arise. Those who wish to contribute to the fund can visit cfmco.org/bigsurfirefund, or mail a check to the Community Foundation for Monterey County, at 2354 Garden Road in Monterey 93940, attention Big Sur Fire Fund.
A Health Advisory issued this week for Monterey County residents, remains in effect, despite improvements in air quality. The Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District says smoke coming from the Pfeiffer Fire in the Big Sur area, has affected air quality, especially for those with respiratory problems. However district officials say today’s air quality is good and are predicting it should stay that way through Christmas. They also remind residents that even though air quality is expected to improve, smoke conditions may vary depending on the wind direction and weather.
In an effort to reduce overtime costs, the city of Watsonville plans to hire several temporary firefighters. The new deal would prevent permanent firefighters from accruing over-time, and would also allow them the option to take a vacation. The plan would pay temporary workers less with fewer benefits compared to permanent staff. Fire officials say limited-term firefighters will cover extended absences of 4 weeks or more, work 11 months out of the year and would also help eliminate injuries firefighters are susceptible to from working too many long hours.
Failed contract negotiations have forced the post office on the U-C-Santa Cruz campus to close for good this week. University officials say the closure comes after new contract terms, presented to the school by the U.S. Postal Service, were unacceptable to the campus. The new terms included a deal based on business volume along with more insurance liability being required by UCSC. The new conditions also meant the campus post office would need to cut it’s current hours. The school says they plan to install an automated mailing kiosk by the beginning of next semester.
The City of Monterey announced it’s interim City manager this week. Mike McCarthy will begin his new role on January 1st, replacing Fred Meurer, who will be retiring at the end of the month after 22 years on the job. McCarthy has been with the city of Monterey for over 10-years. He was promoted to Assistant City Manager in 2012, and prior to that was the Human Resources Director since 2009. Candidates for City Manager are being interviewed, and recruitment is expected to be finalized by next spring.