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The Alisal / East Salinas: Pleasures, Protests, and Promise

The Alisal / East Salinas is a culturally rich part of Salinas, the Monterey County seat and its largest city. Alisal is home to about 61,000 of the more than 150,000 people who live in Salinas.

Ruben Gonzalez sees his city this way:  “Salinas is one whole, it’s not different sections that we believe to have.” 

On Saturday, November 1, 2014, experience the Alisal and beyond on 1.6 car-free miles of Alisal Street, stretching from Sanborn Road in the Alisal/East Salinas to Salinas Street in the downtown/Oldtown Salinas area.

As Ruben says about  Ciclovía Salinas,People from one side of town go into the other side of town, and they  see the beauty both sides have to offer.”

Below the Muertos photo, hear Ruben in a 48-second video intro to Ciclovía Salinas by J.V. Guajardo. And if you’re intrigued by what you hear, click here to learn more about Ciclovía Salinas.

Then scroll down to learn more about the Alisal/East Salinas.

Closter Park is a vibrant hub for residents and visitors on such occasions as when the community observes Día de los Muertos / Day of the Dead. Scroll to the end of this post for more from the 2012 observance pictured here. For a summary about Muertos and misconceptions surrounding it, click here.

 The post below, previously published in May 2014, includes:

  1. An intro to the Alisal, and a gallery of photos
  2. Tips for biking the Alisal
  3. Some ways that visitors and residents can boost the community
  4. A sampling of Salinas stories and resources found on the Bicycling Monterey (County) website
  5. Peace and justice: Across the spectrum
  6. Also, a previously published post, with scenes from a Closter Park observance

Sanborn Plaza  - Bike Month poster 2014

When the photo above was taken on April 30, 2014, as Bike Month was about to begin (note the poster in the window), the business on this corner was typically busy, with many shoppers inside. On May 20, a tragedy occurred near this entrance–the death of Carlos Mejía–which was followed by community turmoil.

Scroll down to “Peace and justice: Across the spectrum”  to learn more, including an intro to police legitimacy and procedural justice, info on community policing and relationships between communities of color and law enforcement, ideas for those who unite with others in group protests, and links to background about the spring 2014 tragedies.

Bicycling Monterey is in agreement with the statement of 2nd Chance Family & Youth Services: All issues facing our community are to be aired in public, peaceful, and respectful forums. We will not support any other forums that pit people against each other or promote violence or any form of negativity.  To read the 2nd Chance message in its entirety, scroll down.

Below are some of the many positive ways that both locals and visitors can respond.

1. An Intro to the Alisal / East Salinas

  • The Alisal, also known as simply “Alisal” or “East Salinas,” is represented on the Salinas City Council by Jose Castañeda, District 1; Tony Barrera, District 2; and Gloria De La Rosa, District 4.
  • About 25% of the Alisal’s population lives below the U.S. poverty level.
  • East Salinas has a lively business district. In Roberto M. Robledo’s 5/16/14 Californian story, “Agents of change fan out in Alisal,” that was emphasized by Tony Barrerra.   [Update from Dennis Taylor's 6/14/14 Californian story, "Alisal business district vibrant amid challenges": City of Salinas sales tax revenue for 2013  includes $2,269,128 from East Salinas zip code 93905. As shown in the chart in Taylor's story, that's over 10% of the sales tax collected citywide.]
  • In the Alisal, you’ll get the dynamic flavor of the predominately Hispanic/Latino makeup of Monterey County (in Salinas, that’s over 70% of the population).
  • Besides English being spoken by many residents, a delightful flow of conversation can also happen for Spanish-speaking visitors, linguistics students, and other language enthusiasts visiting the Alisal. Salinas has a predominately bilingual population (67% of residents age five or older speak a language other than English, usually español).
  • One wonderful part of being in the Alisal is that you find many warm,  friendly people. If you’re not a Spanish speaker, try it! Practice a few phrases, even “Hablo en español muy poco y muy mal.” You’ll find most locals are muy sympatico–very nice–and are happy to help you  find their neighborhood favorites. Ask them, or just enjoy exploring, and you’ll come upon fantastic markets,  restaurants and other eateries, and trades people with old world skills at moderate prices.
  • Learn more about the Alisal as you view the photos below. You can also pick up a few more tips in Bicycling Monterey’s Bike Salinas section.
  • Recognize your connectedness to neighborhood residents. Here’s just one way: You’ve likely eaten many meals that began as fresh produce from the Salinas Valley, Salad Bowl of America. In the Alisal, you can meet many of the individuals who help bring food from field to table, year after year.
  • In the weeks and months to come, follow the new “Faces of Alisal” series in the Salinas Californian. The series began 5/16/14 with Robledo’s “Agents of change,” and is planned to include writing by Allison Gatlin, Public Safety; Valentin Mendoza, Assimilation; Jeff Mitchell, Politics and Governance;Dennis Taylor, Business and Economy; Food and Entertainment, Joe Truskot; and more from Roberto Robledo, next time on Youth and Education. You may also be curious to read some history snippets about the Alisal from a 6/18/13 Los Angeles Times story.
  • Carolyn E. Brown’s film “The Salinas Project” provides valuable insights. The film premieres locally in Carmel on 10/18/14 at the Carmel International Film Festival. “Tickets to individual film screenings are only available at the door, space permitted.  Badge holders have priority entrance.  Individual tickets: $10/$5 Students.”
This post is being updated on Memorial Day 2014, which brings to mind U.S. Army Spc. Vilmar Galarza Hernandez. So I begin this gallery of Alisal residents with Vilmar, who was killed in Afghanistan at age 21, giving his life in military service. Click here for more info.

Photo credit: provided by family to media.

(All other photos in this post are by Mari Lynch, unless otherwise credited.)

Vilmar’s parents were among the many Alisal residents who work the fields.

Bike route alongside Salinas Valley field

The Alisal Certified Farmers Market is one place to scoop up those delicious fruits of their labor. Biking to the farmers markets is a multiple-win–including the exercise and experience of the neighborhood in getting there, the fun of chatting with the vendors, and the nutritious food that is fresh local produce, an increasing amount from organic growersCargo bike. in the Alisal

 Fixies are popular with youth in the Alisal, as they are countywide and beyond

2 teen boys Alisal at Madeira

This guy loves his fixie too! On the day I met him, he took the MST bus from Watsonville to downtown Salinas, then biked to the Alisal.

Fixed from Watsonville to the downtown Salinas via mst then bike to Alisal

“Alto!” this bike commuter might tell the boys above. “On public streets, a brake is required by law–that’s why there’s one on my BMX.” When I met him on Acosta Plaza, he was also well equipped for biking in the dark.

For related news, see “Keeping the local bike scene cool: It’s a multi-pronged effort.”

Bike commuter with brake and lights on Acosta Plaza

BMX with brakes and plenty of lights

Golden helmet on GarnerIn the Acosta Plaza neighborhood of East Salinas, stop at Garner and Rider at EZ Market. Are you a mountain biker, like the MORCA bunch? Say hi to Ezra at EZ Market, who is a fellow MTB-er.

And by the way, that mural is one of many cool murals throughout the Alisal. A 5/27/99  Monterey County Weekly story by Richard Pitnick, “Murals tell colorful, informal stories about Latino history,” gives you a start. Check the galleries of photos from the inaugural Ciclovia Salinas (10/6/13);  mural shots are included. And you’ll see Alisal Street in the rare state of being car-free:

Among longtime residents of the Alisal is Jeff Richman, along with his wife, Kathy, and two now-adult daughters. Jeff’s longtime career as a school nurse, and Kathy’s as a first grade teacher, means they are very much in touch with the needs of youth of the Alisal. A volunteer with Guitars Not Guns and other community efforts, Jeff is also an avid bike commuter in East Salinas, and beyond. Below, Jeff was training in the Salinas Valley for a bike ride to help end AIDS.

Photo courtesy of the Richman family.

Jeff isn’t the only Alisal resident for whom music–as well as art and dance–are a dynamic part of  neighborhood life.

Below, I was stopping by a lavandería on East Alisal Street to chat about bikes with some people there.

Not everyone loves night riding like I do! For those who don’t, remember that, day or night, you don’t always have to bike all the way to your destination. Make use of  bike-and-ride options, such as Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST/”The Bus”) or a personal vehicle bike rack.

Below, high-visibility tape on my bike trailer adds to night riding safety.

Hi vis tape on bike trailer on Alisal St, East Salinas Oct 6 2013

In some shopping centers throughout the county, bicycling is discouraged. In other cases, as is the case at the East Alisal Shopping Center, bicycling is officially prohibited. (The shopping center parking lot is private property, not a public road, so restricting bikes there is legal.)

E. Alisal Shopping Center - no bike riding allowed

But that doesn’t mean you can’t bike to the center. Clearly the property owner welcomes that: this shopping center does have bike racks.

East Alisal shopping center bike rack

On arrival at this shopping center, the recommended advice would be to park your bike and walk. Here as in other shopping centers, use common sense. Be extra alert for cars if you make the personal decision to bike in the parking lot anyway; because of the large number of parked vehicles, it can be hard for drivers to see bicyclists, as well as pedestrians.

Here, walk your bike on any sidewalks, showing extra courtesy to pedestrians. Take care not to block any business entrances or to create a hazard for pedestrians with regard to where you lock up your bike.

What about sidewalk riding in other Alisal locations? What’s legal and what’s safe regarding biking on sidewalks, throughout Salinas?

Here’s an overview about sidewalk riding: “Bicycling on sidewalks: misconceptions and advisories,” by Frank Henderson and Mari Lynch, Salinas Californian, 10/15/14.

As that overview in the Californian indicates, biking on sidewalks in Salinas is legal in nearly all of the city. Click here to read the City of Salinas ordinance referred to –  Sec. 20-108. – (Ord. No. 2274 (NCS), § 6.) 

Refer to Bicycling Monterey’s CA Bike Laws and Skills/Safety section for more info on sidewalk riding in Salinas. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Staff–like the man below–at Mi Pueblo in the East Alisal Shopping Center are typically helpful and bike-friendly. This includes that the manager has approved contributing copies of bike law and safety information, to support bike advocacy and safety outreach.

Others in the Alisal  have pitched in with copies to support local bike advocacy too–including Amezcua Insurance Services, GTO Printers, and Souza’s Alisal Pharmacy. Learn more about each in Contributors of Project Supplies.

Mi Pueblo on Alisal - A contributor of project supplies

You may also wish to refer to Bicycling Monterey’s Shopping by Bike section.

2. Tips for people who bike

  • Salinas bike maps are provided by the City of Salinas in English (click here to download PDF) and español (click here). The maps include some safety tips too.
  • As usual, follow California bike laws and safe riding practices. As mentioned above, note the sidewalk riding ordinance.
  • It makes sense that on some busy streets, e.g., on Sanborn Road, many people are uncomfortable biking in the street and prefer to bike the sidewalks. If you prefer biking sidewalks, know that sometimes sidewalk riding can be more hazardous for bicyclists than biking in the street. Be sure to read the tips on sidewalk riding in that CA bike laws/safety section.
  • As you can tell from the photos in this post, I bike the Alisal regularly. I love biking Salinas, including the many flat, wide streets, often in low traffic areas.There are, of course (as is true countywide), many busy streets too, and many streets without any bike lanes. If you have questions or need help, feel free to contact me. Just as Frank Henderson and Phil Yenovikian have offered support for people biking between Salinas and the Monterey Peninsula, I am likewise happy to set up some small group rides with people who would like to get more at ease in biking the Alisal and elsewhere in Salinas.

Advocate for bicycling by sharing info with others:

Additional local bike info:

  • For general info on biking Salinas and throughout Monterey County, click here for a 20-section guide.
  • For biking activities and events in the Alisal and throughout Monterey County, click here.
  • For biking resources and community connections in Salinas and countywide, click here.

For more Spanish-language resources for people who bike, click on the image below to go to Bicycling Monterey’s resource compilation, “Información en español sobre las bicicletas.” There you can also view an enlargement of the chart below.

Latino-Hispanic demographics Monterey County - 2005-2009 info

The cut-off of Constitution Boulevard means the Creekbridge Shopping Center, in the 93905 zip code, is officially part of East Salinas too.  The family pictured below found the nearby Class I bike path a good place for children to develop bike skills, while Mom and Dad jog alongside. That car-free bike/multi-use path is behind Creekbridge Shopping Center and adjacent to Monterey County Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

A family at Creekbridge

Hey, I’d like a mirror like the one I saw on this guy’s bike, at Hebbron and Alisal.

Bike mirrors - in the Alisal

James Serrano - Salinas planner

I have a dream of East Salinas as the crown jewel of bike-friendly streets in Monterey County! I can picture beautifully landscaped bike-walk boulevards with rapid transit stops too (click here for one in Sand City), for those many people who bike-and-ride or otherwise use the bus.

Salinas has provided 95 miles of connected bikeways for travel throughout the City and continues its work to complete the City bicycle network.  Reference:  News Release 05 07 2012 Salinas Council Pedal Power.

City of Salinas planner James Serrano has long cared very much about making the Alisal and all of Salinas as bicycling friendly as resources and infrastructure limits allow.  James is eager for ways to expand and improve infrastructure for people who bike wherever possible.  In newer areas of the city, that’s easier. In older areas, it can get frustrating for a bike-friendly planner like James!

He has been alert to San Francisco as a proving ground of sorts regarding Cal Trans restrictions and “green lanes” in California, seen by many bike advocates as one good solution to bike infrastructure challenges.

[Update: And there's good news for James and other planners and engineers who want to improve biking in California cities.  Governor Jerry Brown has signed AB 1193, the Protected Bikeways Act. Click here to learn more at the California Bicycle Coalition website.]

Salinas bike planWhen an Alisal bikeway hazard was pointed out recently, James Serrano was on it rapido!

An adjacent irrigation pipe was protruding in the bike lane. But not for long! After reporting it to James, he went out the same day and it was fixed immediately. These city employees are busy dudes–and dudettes–so I’m not saying service can be that fast every single time. But if there’s a bikeway need, James wants to know about it!

What to report? Bikeway conditions including potholes, debris on shoulders or bikeways, bikeways not clearly marked, damaged or missing bikeway signs, traffic signal not triggered by bicycles (no bike detection), vegetation overgrowth, construction obstacles, and other conditions interfering with safe and efficient travel by bike.

Alisal bike lane - irrig pipe fixed immediately

On their California Springtime Protest Pedal to Stop Distracted Driving, these Eric Okerblom memorial riders biked East Salinas, shown here on Alisal at Sanborn.

It’s sometimes said that many yards in the Alisal are full of cars. Bikes are often equally represented!

Garner near Hebbron - Bikes spoken here - April 2014And helping little ones learn to bike safely is why Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy in the Alisal was one of the schools chosen by the Transportation Agency for Monterey County for bike safety training.

MLK Salinas - May 2014 rodeo - IMG_1984

Click here for a dozen more bike rodeo photos from MLK Academy, courtesy of Elise Ehrheart of Bike Smart!

Many students at MLK walk to school, and a smaller but increasing number bike to school as well. For those bike-to-school students–plus the many students who simply bike in their neighborhoods! Principal Kristi Burns likes to support them in biking safely. Principal Burns knows that bicycling has benefits to physical, mental, and emotional well-being, along with other benefits.  She’d love to make it possible for more of her students to bike with the helmets required by CA law for minors. The principal’s wish list includes securing funds to purchase helmets that can be given to students, along with bike safety instruction. Principal Burns made that need known to Bicycling Monterey, who advised appropriate others of the need too–and they responded with a helpful start. In 2014, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy is one of the sites selected by the Transportation Agency for Monterey County for Bike Smart! Safety Training. And in addition, the school was gifted a dozen bicycle helmets by Little Bellas. This good start is thanks to Kristi Burns, as well as office assistant Maria Ortega, for being tuned in to students’ needs and expressing those needs.

See Kids Bike to School to learn more. And while you’re there, read what’s up with Bardin Elementary in the Alisal too!

Across from Virginia Rocca Barton School is a skate park. Young YMCA basketball player - at E Salinas skate parkEast Salinas skate park - young duo -People who bike often gravitate there too, which highlights the need for a bike park!East Salinas skate park across from Virginia Rocca Barton school

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A crisis gets attention. Positive actions throughout the year, in partnership with residents and others, help prevent  crises and strengthen quality of life.

3. Some ways for people

who bike, and others,

to take positive action in the Alisal

Sadly, crises like this contribute to people avoiding Salinas, like those Steinbeck fans mentioned in the 10/16/23 Californian piece, “Salinas youth and city officials: New partners in tourism.”  In my experience, there’s no reason to skip Salinas, any more than you’d skip a trip to Big Sur because a car had fallen off a cliff.
See  “Vacation, staycation: Some cool spots in the Monterey County seat” for some of my personal favorites in Salinas, including some on the east side.

Regardless of any other viewpoints, people who bike can be united in supporting youth and others in the healthy activity we  love: biking! Below are ways to do this in individual action or in partnerships with others.

A/#1.Support youth activities

The Breadbox Community Center and the Hebbron Family Center offer Saturday Evening Teen Programs among other activities throughout the week. These may include a bike component from time to time, such as the 5/31/14 bike rodeo at the Breadbox. Contributing raffle prizes, volunteering time, or helping in other ways is welcome.

The Breadbox happens to also be where I met some young artists doing bike art, while I was attending a Fall 2011 meeting there. One artist, Bryan Perez, later provided this guest post and photos of his art about his bike love–BMX!

B/#2. Support bike-friendly  businesses of East Salinas.

Consider some favorite restaurants that participate in  the HER Helmet Thursdays project. (They provide discounts on Thursdays for males and females who bike. See FAQs here.)

Each of these is pictured below:

All three are run by lovely people and serve yummy food!

 

Taco El Jaliscience at Madeira and AlisalBike parking is also convenient for Taqueria La Arrolladora, with a bike rack just a few doors down.

Taqueria La Arrolladora - Del Monte and Sanborn in East Salinas

Bike parking very closeby at Taqueria La Arrolladora - Del Monte and Sanborn

Hey, that cargo bike gets around! Below, I spotted that particular bicycle again, this time on Acosta Plaza, where we were having a bike class meeting over lunch at Taqueria El Grullense, which isn’t in the HER Helmet Thursdays project–yet anyway–but is nonetheless another of my favorite stops in the Alisal. If you see the owner, let them know they can sign up online, or by phone–and there’s no fee.

IMG_3010

Exploring the Alisal by bike–as with anywhere!–means it’s easier to pause and check out new spots.

That’s how I discovered the delightful people and yummy food at Maria’s Catering wagon by the Walgreen’s on Sanborn, as well as at La Estrella at 613 N. Sanborn (next to a 711).

And being out exploring is how I happened upon the gas station that houses Taqueria El Kiosko. They tipped the scales and proved, in my experience, that the Alisal has more great-tasting vegetarian sopes in one square mile than in the entire rest of the county! And every one of them about $2, or even less.

Taqueria El Kiosko - Salinas - sope

 

Food in the Alisal isn’t all just Mexican restaurants and other Latino fare, or the usual chain restaurants that are  found virtually anywhere you travel. Looking for a change of pace? Pedal over for a smoothie at Natura-Vida on East Alisal Street.

Also support bike-friendly businesses and organizations throughout Salinas!

Also participating in HER Helmet Thursdays are all of the Salinas spots below:

  1. Aquablue Skin & Body Spa
  2. Angelina’s Pizzeria
  3. Bahama Grille
  4. The Bakery Station
  5. Courtyard by Marriott
  6. Cozumel
  7. Elli’s Great American Dinner House
  8. First Awakenings
  9. Fox California Theater
  10. Gino’s Fine Italian
  11. Golden Fish
  12. Grower’s Pub
  13. Guadalajara Grill
  14. La Plaza Bakery & Cafe, East Salinas-Bardin Rd
  15. La Plaza Bakery & Cafe, East Salinas-N. Sanborn Rd
  16. La Plaza Bakery & Cafe, West Salinas
  17. LALLA Lounge
  18. Michael’s Grill and Taqueria
  19. Mountain Mike’s Pizza, 931 W. Alisal
  20. MYO Pure Frozen Yogurt 
  21. National Steinbeck Center
  22. Noodle House
  23. Perfectly Pressed
  24. Portobello’s Rotisserie Cafe
  25. Red’s Burger Joint
  26. Residence Inn by Marriott
  27. Rollick’s Specialty Coffee and Internet
  28. Rosita’s Armory Cafe
  29. Steinbeck House
  30. Tacos El Jalisciense, 505 E. Alisal (Alisal at Madeira)
  31. Taqueria la Arrolladora
  32. Yangtse’s Taste of Thai
  33. Zeph’s One-Stop
C/#3. Support Monterey County Youth Center bike class.
The Youth Center serves boys ages 14-17 who come from throughout Monterey County. The Center is located in the Alisal/East Salinas.
Volunteers are needed for the Youth Center bike class, which marked its second anniversary 4/15/12. In particular, to keep class rolling in the third year, a new Bicycle Class Coordinator is needed. This person need not have bike skills. They might be a retiree, a young adult, or any age in-between. Click here to learn about the Bicycle Class Coordinator position.
Cerney mural at Monterey County Youth Center
D/#4. Support Ciclovia Salinas – “Where the streets are yours – ¡Donde las calles son suyas!”
Contact Ciclovia Salinas to offer your help in preparing for the next date. Ciclovia Salinas is a youth-led initiative by youth of Building Healthy Communities-East Salinas.
Ciclovia Salinas, Monterey County’s first Open Streets, is one of the first 12 Open Streets in California and first 100 in North America . Did you know that Salinas is also recognized as a North American leader in equity for Open Streets? See Ciclovia Salinas at National Open Streets Summit.
Tell Salinas youth about summer youth internships.
Enjoy the streets of the Alisal and beyond at Ciclovia Salinas. Listen to a 2-minute audio from KUSP.

 

From the Alisal to Oldtown, Ciclovia Salinas connects neighborhoods and people.

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E/#5 Contact me for other  ideas.
See Salinas Youth and Others for Bikes: Bikes make life better, or just contact me for ideas on how to help build healthier communities through bicycling. Don’t have time or interest to get involved in group efforts? There are many ways you can make a difference as an individual too.
The girl I met in the Alisal who was running errands for her family on this bike was happy indeed. What a cool bike! Even has a fender for the rainy season. Gracias, madre y padre!
Hello Kitty bike in the Alisal - thanks parents

4. A sampling of Salinas stories and resources from the Bicycling Monterey (County) website

  1. What to Do in Salinas, the Monterey County Seat (long web page of Salinas tips!)
  2. KUSP: Bikes are taking to the streets–and it’s not where you might expect
  3. Ciclovia Salinas
  4. Open Streets and Equity: Ciclovia Salinas at the National Open Streets Summit
  5. Ciclovia Salinas Summer Youth Internships
  6. Downtown Salinas Church Asks: What would happen if we changed the ways we moved around?
  7. Salinas Youth Leading the Way in Monterey County Bike Community Firsts
  8. Campfires and Flat Tires: Warwick Sisters on Keeping Up with Dad
  9. Miguél Angel Frias, 1st Salinas Youth Poet Laureate
  10. SPC Vilmar Gilarza Hernandez
  11. In memory of Santiago Ramirez
  12. Remembering Kyle Beardshear
  13. Shawn Carden, BMX Racer
  14. Spinning Spokes and Telling Jokes: Fixed Riding in the 831
  15. Salinas Bike Scene: Something for everyone
  16. Bike Salinas: Where are street improvements needed?
  17. Bike to School: In Monterey County and elsewhere
  18. Monterey Park Cycling: For South Salinas kids, “Your community is your classroom,” and you get to class by bike!
  19. Little Bellas at Toro Park, Salinas
  20. Salinas Youth and Others for Bikes: Bikes Make Life Better
  21. Salinas 10-Mile Family Bike Ride for a Better Community
  22. Biking between Salinas and the Monterey Peninsula
  23. Keeping the Local Bike Scene Cool: It’s a multi-pronged effort – and Happy Bike Month from Salinas PD
  24. Salinas PAL Bicycle Safety Rodeo
  25. Salinas Criterium
  26. Salinas High School Cowboy Racing Mountain Bike Team
  27. Awesome Bike Coaches of Monterey County
  28. California High School Mountain Biking State Championships
  29. Excelente! Bike advocacy wins 6 of 10 excellence awards
  30. California Rodeo Kiddie Capers Parade
  31. Salinas Bike Party: A Courteous Social Bike Run
  32. Salinas Burrito Bike Rides: When car culture meets bike culture, fun ensues! – Organized by Deadend Magazine

The Bicycling Monterey site and projects are provided as a public service. Volunteers and contributions are welcome and appreciated.

5. Peace and justice: Across the spectrum

Below: Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin, conducting 6 a.m. barricade volunteer training for the inaugural Ciclovia Salinas,10/6/13.Photo by Aurelio Salazar, Jr. of Community Foundation for Monterey County, a supporter of Ciclovia Salinas.)

Ciclovia Salinas 10-6-13 6am barricade volunteer training with Kelly McMillin

  @MelendezSalinas posted on Twitter the photo below of Chief McMillin repairing a man’s bike on Alisal at the inaugural Ciclovia Salinas.  [Used on the Bicycling Monterey site by permission of Claudia Melendez Salinas.]Embedded image permalink
Below are slides I took at David M. Kennedy’s talk at California State University Monterey Bay, 3/28/14.

My apologies:

When posts are long…

such as the Bike Salinas section, the California bike laws and personal safety/skills section, and the Bicycle Advocacy: What you can do page, something glitchy happens in WordPress. My remedy, until that’s resolved someday, is to make the type a stand-out color, such as orange, so the text can still be read.

The Bicycling Monterey site and projects are provided as a public service. Volunteers and contributions are welcome and appreciated.

Thanks to David Kennedy, who granted me permission on 3/28/14 to publish these slides. Little did I know then that I’d be wanting to use them soon!

First Do No Harm - David Kennedy at CSUMB

Salinas Homicides 2010-Oct 2013 - David M Kennedy

Get Legitimacy Right - David Kennedy CSUMB talk March 2014It's time - David Kennedy CSUMB talk March 2014

Rights in America include the First Amendment right to assemble for peaceful protests.

Embedded image permalink

Show respect for the neighborhoods in these and other  ways:
  • Be peaceful in all your actions. Claudia Melendez Salinas / @melendezsalinas offered these words on 5/22/14: Mantengan la calma, por favor Please remain calm. montereycountyschools.blogspot.com/2014/05/salina
  • Peaceful protests are welcome; violence and other unlawful behavior are not. Chief Kelly McMillin of the Salinas Police Department stated 5/22/14:  “The Salinas Police Department is committed to protecting and upholding the right to protest. We hold that right as sacred. That being said, the violence that we saw [5/21/14--learn more] is unacceptable.”
  • Be respectful of police officers doing their work, whether they may be directing traffic or assisting an injured person–as was interfered with on 5/21/14. (A police officer was administering CPR to a 23-year-old shooting victim when a bottle was thrown, striking the officer in the head.)
  • Consider bringing gloves and a trash bag so you can leave a neighborhood cleaner than you found it. At minimum, please recycle or toss trash in appropriate containers, or pack it out with you.
  • Show respect for diverse viewpoints as well as cultural differences.
  • As reported by Julia Reynolds / @jreynoldsmh, Chief Kelly McMillin of the Salinas Police Department stated he has “not made any determination that either shooting was justified.” He further stated that he has “arranged for the FBI and the Department of Justice civil rights division to conduct independent reviews for both of these shootings.” 
  • As has been well put by some in the Twittersphere, if you’re not coming to support the local community but are instead coming to build your activist street cred, stay home! “Anarcho tourists” are not welcome. That type of “solidarity” is not needed and harms the community, working against legitimate goals of those seeking greater justice, peace, and well-being.
As referenced at the top of this post, here is the entire  message from 2nd Chance Family & Youth  Services, which they posted online 5/23/14:

“The Board of Directors and staff of 2nd Chance Family & Youth Services first and foremost come to you in this dire time of need for healing with open arms, hearts, and mind.

“Almost all of us at 2nd Chance have experienced violence firsthand throughout our lives. We have lost clients, loved ones, and at the same time, provided assistance to grieving families who lost loved ones to senseless violence over the last 25 years.

“Our role as an agency is to provide services through a healing, informed approach to the residents of this wonderful community. One of the main foundations of our approach is non-violence through respect.

“We teach that all people should have a sense of responsibility for their own well-being and that of others in their circle. We reject any form of abuse…physical, emotional, or mental,  and [aim to be] sensitive and understanding. Each of us is to be a mirror, reflecting support and clarity to one another. We are to take time to reflect, pray, and include ceremony in our lives. Most importantly, live these values with honesty, integrity, and love.

“It’s simple, our agency follows non-violence strategies. We teach through a healing informed approach that, in essence, emulates Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez style of non-violence strategies to promote social and institutional change. We fully support the right to gather, and protest, but in a peaceful and constructive manner.

“We fully agree that all issues facing our community should be aired in public, peaceful and respectful forums. We will not support any other forums that pit people against each other, promote violence or any form of negativity.”

* * * * *

The info below was previously published in 2012.

6. Día de los Muertos / Day of the Dead Commemorations

East Salinas: Día de los Muertos at Closter Park

Closter Park is a vibrant hub for East Salinas residents and visitors when the community observes Día de los Muertos / Day of the Dead.

Danzantes

Honoring the past and enlivening the present with such a festival requires scores of volunteers. 

The annual arts festival for 2012 took place on a beautiful Sunday, October 21.

Among those working hard to make the event happen were the Caminos del Arte Board of Directors–Nicolasa Alvarez, Ruth Hermosillo, Frances Inez Nolder, Caritina Ibarra, Kathleen Navales, Chuy Ramires, Roy Hernandez, Patricia Urzua, Jenny Camarena, and Carol Ruvalcaba.

A parade, hands-on art activities, live entertainment (see poster below for a sampling), food vendors, community booths, and more made up a day of free fun for all ages.

A bike presence was part of the day’s mix, including a bike-powered food vendor….

(and see more cargo bikes in Monterey County here)

Biking enthusiasts present at Día de los Muertos included neighborhood bike commuters. These bikers appreciated the cool bike security option of the first-ever special-event bike valet service in Salinas.  The free service made it easy for bicyclists to park their bike securely (even if they hadn’t brought a lock), then walk into crowded areas of the event.

Also present were elders who told of their grandkids participating on the Salinas High Cowboys Mountain Bike Team, youth who’ve participated in Salinas Bike Party rides, and others who appreciate the many benefits of biking.

Salinas Bike Party organized a bike booth, with help from Green Pedal Couriers. Green Pedal owner Michael Baroni provided bike valet racks and support.

SBP volunteers Robb and Kath Garcia provided oral translation services, sharing local biking and related opportunities, including Ridesharing Month.  Special thanks to Virginia H. Mendoza, Monte Bella community volunteer, for oral translations of announcements about Ridesharing Month.  Mari Lynch was also present, distributing bike maps of Salinas and tips on where to get Spanish, and English, info and support for biking in Salinas and countywide.

For a gallery of photos by Jay Dunn of the Salinas Californian, click here.

For more about bicycling in Salinas, click here for “What to do in Salinas, the Monterey County seat.” There you’ll find links to many more posts on this site about Salinas bike-related activities.  Be sure to take note of the many Salinas HER Helmet Thursdays spots–places that give discounts to male and female cyclists on Thursdays year-round.

2013 update: A Día de los Muertos / Day of the Dead commemoration is scheduled for  November 1, 2013 in Oldtown Salinas: the 16th Annual Bailando con la Muerte – Dancing with Death. Click here for details.

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