Monterey County Weekly

The Buzz 08.09.18

GOOD WEEK / BAD WEEK

GOOD:

For years, the promise of better train service to Salinas has been purely conceptual. That changes at 11am on Aug. 9 when the Transportation Agency for Monterey County holds a groundbreaking ceremony to put a shovel in the ground on the Monterey County Rail Extension project, which will offer two round-trips daily from Salinas to Gilroy. The idea is to extend Caltrain service further south, and offer an alternative commute to Silicon Valley. The $81 million project includes some rail improvements, but mostly improves access to the existing station, TAMC planner Christina Watson says: “It’s going to really transform the train station and make it a nicer place to be.” Speakers at the groundbreaking include State Transportation Agency Deputy SecretaryChad Edison, Assemblymember Anna Caballero and TAMC Director Debbie Hale.

BAD:

As wildfires rage across California (again), the headlines of major media outlets are finally acknowledging what has long been in plain sight: With climate change making the West hotter and drier, wildfires will continue to grow more frequent and destructive. A snapshot of the warming planet came with the Aug. 1 annual State of the Climate report led by scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which compared 2017’s weather to past years. Globally, it was the third-hottest year on record (2016 was first; 2015, second), and had the highest greenhouse gas concentrations in at least 800,000 years. Among other tidbits: Arctic maximum sea ice coverage and Antarctic sea ice coverage both reached a record low. In turn, sea level rise reached an all-time high, and is rising at about 1.3 inches per decade. Buckle up, folks.