Tag Archives: California

Save the Ocean Contest Week #2

Week 2 for the Save the ocean contest:

Post entries on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/YourSanctuaryTV in the comments and on twitter – #YourSanctuaryTV – describing what they’ll pledge to do to “Save the Ocean!”

Whichever pledge receives the most likes and RT’s wins a delicious dinner for two at Café Fina in beautiful Monterey, California.

amp2 Sets Launch of “Your Sanctuary TV” for March 1, 2013

amp2, in partnership with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, and all 14 National Marine Sanctuaries in the system, unveiled plans for a new repository for Free Marine Conservation Video Content available to Access Channels across the country and throughout the World.

AMP2 Your Sanctuary

AMP2 Your Sanctuary

“This is a natural growth path for our television program,” remarked Your Sanctuary Producer Stephen Ellzey, “we’re all about connecting Communities to our Ocean resources and what better way to do it than through Community Television Stations?”.

Your Sanctuary TV will provide Free, ready to broadcast programs, while those Stations broadcasting the content are welcome to find local underwriters to help build on-demand platforms, fund Ocean Conservation Events, or otherwise tie in to the ongoing process of preserving and protecting our Ocean for future generations.

Retiring MPC president looks back, forward


When Doug Garrison arrived at Monterey Peninsula College six years ago, he found a campus full of challenges, perhaps first among them a deep distrust within the ranks.

Teachers and staff felt decisions had not been made transparently, and everyone seemed concerned about the future of the community college, said Lynn Davis, a former MPC trustee who sat on the board for eight years.

“Doug came in and almost immediately the staff and faculty changed” their perceptions, he said.

Soon after arriving, Garrison announced an “open door policy” instead of a “back door policy,” Davis said.

“It meant anybody could come in and talk, not come the back way and get a deal. Everybody was treated the same,” he said.

Garrison, 62, has just retired from a 38-year career in the community college system, ending with what many describe as a successful run at MPC. During his presidency, Garrison not only mended fences among different constituencies in the college, but branched out into the community. He oversaw the renovation of the Monterey campus and the opening of the Education Center in Marina, all while navigating the perilous waters of California financial storms.

“Despite the unprecedented decline of funding from the state of California during Doug’s tenure, he and his administration have managed to continue to achieve the educational mission of the college through partnership with MPC faculty and staff,” Loren Steck, outgoing chairman of the board, said in a


statement. “Doug has been a star, and he will be greatly missed.” 

Inclusive style

Garrison said several factors contributed to his inclusive style.

He was raised in Chula Vista, 10 miles from the Mexican border, a place where diversity and respect for other cultures is a way of life.

“It was so common to be around English, Spanish, Tagalog,” he said. “It had an impact on how I saw things.”

When he was 17, Garrison broke his right leg playing in a homecoming football game. His leg didn’t heal properly, so doctors had to break it again, and it became infected. Garrison had to wear a cast for four years, with frequent stays in the hospital.

“That’s why this (leg) is shorter and it hurts all the time,” Garrison said. “What that did give me was a lot of time for introspection and to think about life and what it is. It created a laboratory for watching people, especially people who were in pain and dealing with challenging circumstances. It fine-tuned my care for people and experiences they were going through.”

At San Francisco State University, where he received a master’s degree in teaching English at community colleges, Garrison found his true calling. He was impressed with the way his teachers helped students find their voices, young people who came from challenging circumstances. At his first job at College of the Desert in Palm Desert, he was in charge of setting up remediation programs, something new at the time.

It was at College of the Desert that Garrison experienced another profound influence. A disabled student was placed in one of his classes. Before having a stroke, the student had been a successful chemical engineer with one of the largest chemical corporations in the world. The stroke stripped him not just of his ability to communicate, but also from wife, children and most worldly possessions.

“I don’t know why the college put him in my classes — I didn’t have a clue of what I was doing. But that guy had a huge impact on me,” Garrison said. “You may imagine, a 24-year-old guy with a tenure track job, you’d think I’m pretty hot. He taught me humility, really. He showed me the core humanity of when everything gets stripped from you and you can’t really articulate your thoughts anymore. You really get humble, and you recognize the blessings you have.”

His student regained some ability to express himself after working with Garrison, he said.

“He gave me more than I gave him,” Garrison said. “He taught me humility, patience, the ability to get through really tough challenges. He solidified in me that belief in the dignity of human beings, and that everybody has something to say.”

14 years teaching

Garrison spent 14 years as a teacher, then moved into administration. In 1994, as dean of Santa Rosa Junior College, he was tasked with opening up the Petaluma campus.

“When you go into a facility where there are no existing procedures or policies, and you build it from the ground up, it’s a great opportunity to imbue in everybody a sense of ownership,” he said. “When I left there it had grown to enrolling over 7,000 students. I was really very proud of that.”

In Monterey, Garrison said, it was important to expand MPC into the community and open its doors to underserved students. The new Education Center, which opened in September 2011, should really benefit students from Seaside and Marina, where educational attainment is not as high as in Pacific Grove or Carmel, he said.

“You can call it a gateway center for people who are first-generation college students,” he said. “They don’t know what it is to make an appointment to see a counselor, they don’t know how financial aid works. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed” at the Monterey campus.

Garrison earned the respect of community members and college constituencies for his willingness to listen to all sides and make decisions that made everyone feel they had been included in the conversation.

“I’ve had six presidents, and I would put Dr. Garrison as one of the finest,” said Mark Clements, president of the teachers association. “He’s been instrumental in maintaining our focus, on being able to set priorities for what we need to do. We have not always agreed or seen eye to eye, but he’s always been … willing to listen to all sides. That was extremely important during difficult times, to have a president willing to listen to all sides and keep everyone working as a team.”

Lauren Wash, president of the classified union, also gives him high marks.

“He has a fair and balanced approach to everything that was put in front of him,” Walsh said. “He definitely didn’t take sides. He tried to walk a little line and represent everyone.”


The biggest challenge Garrison sees on the horizon — not just for MPC but for all California community colleges — is the drive to centralize operations and transform the schools into a statewide system such as the University of California or California State University. That will likely result in decreased local control and more homogenization throughout the system, he said.

“I’ll be careful to say that this is not all bad, but it does have some casualties in it,” he said. “Colleges are human organizations, they’re made up of people, and the people who are there were hired because they reflected the needs of the human organization at the time.”

The rules have begun to change. In January 2012, the California Community Colleges Board of Governors approved a master plan set to revamp operations at all 112 community colleges. The most notable shift felt locally is a decreased emphasis on life-enrichment classes such as painting and dance, which many in the community cherish.

With these types of transformations, “you end up with a staffing pattern that no longer matches what you’re supposed to be,” Garrison said. “In the business world, they clean house and move forward and start over. In education, it is not that easy.”

Although he still doesn’t have a plan for what to do in retirement, Garrison said that after nearly four decades in education, it was time to move on.

“One of the things that happens when you are in a position like this, 24/7, is that the time that exists for yourself gets shrunk and shrunk,” he said. “The first thing I want to do is get time to find Doug. I don’t know what that’s going to be. But I’m going to enjoy the process.”


Claudia Meléndez Salinas can be reached at 753-6755 or cmelendez@montereyherald.com.

Exciting things happening at Monterey Peninsula College

With the end of the 2012 football season for the MPC Lobos the team finished the season as the Coast Conference tri champion. This weekend MPC lost to Contra Costa 39-25, and finished the year 6-5.

The MPC Women’s Basketball team is just gearing up for their season and are off to a great start.  This weekend the team took 3rd Place at the Skyline Invitational by beating Skyline College on Sunday!

Spring classes are also up and on-line. Registration begins November 27th! Please review your class options and plan your schedule here: http://webreg.mpc.edu/SR_ScheduleOfClasses.aspx?Mode=text&TermID=20133&CourseDiscipline=NewDiscipline


Via Almanac of Eats:
Sponsored by: Sweet Earth Natural Foods

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” – Luciano Pavarotti

Maybe I’m interpreting it wrong, but “cleaning out your fridge” sounds less like an unpleasant task of throwing away mysterious food items and more like an opportunity to eat delicious things you totally forgot were there.

However you want to celebrate today (I feel obligated to tell you this: when in doubt, throw it out. My former ServSafe certified heart can’t handle you risking your health on some salsa you’re unsure whether is green from tomatillos or green from mold), there is some interesting ideas about where today’s food holiday originated from. Some think it was because of an ad campaign from Whirlpool Alliance, while others relate it to the time of year. It’s a perfect time for the “out with the old and in with the new” concept as you create space for all those holiday goodies that will be coming in and out over the next month and change.

Today, I reached into the back of my freezer (which is a part of the refrigerator unit, so it, too, needs to be cleaned out today, yeah?) and found a couple Sweet Earth Natural Foods burritos. If you haven’t heard about this very hip company, love burritos, and try and eat as thoughtfully as possible… you’re missing out. Sweet Earth uses (according to their warm website): enlightened food traditions and farm friendly ingredients to hand-craft delicious and nourishing food. Always warm, vibrant and fool of flavor. Every burrito is an intentional blend of plant-based protein, ancient grains, fresh veggies, and beneficial hebs and spices. Worldly and local.”

I had already tried their Kyoto (which features a blend of Japanese adzuki beans, edamame, bok choy, spinach, ginger, and shiitake mushrooms) earlier this year and was really impressed with the flavor profile. Today I’m trying the Curry Tiger burrito. Filled with lentils (maybe it’s a super cliche vegetarian thing of me to admit, but I really dig lentils), curried seitan, red peppers, potatoes, and spiced with turmeric, cinnamon, and cardamom, this burrito isn’t joking around either. The flavors and textures are  balanced and harmonious – what you would expect high-quality Indian food should taste like. Just, y’know, wrapped up in a tortilla. This burrito further proves to me that it’s not all about the beans, cheese, and salsa!

Happy National “Clean Out Your Fridge” Day!

Party in the Hangar at Monterey Airport

Party in the Hangar at Monterey Airport. via the Monterey County Weekly-

Local winemakers go to tasting events about as frequently as the Pope goes to mass. So my ears perked up when I heard one tell me last year’s debut PIH was the best wine event he’s been to. Maybe it was the runway setting, the phalanx of foodie trucks, or the better-than-ever Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association demos, flanked by more than three dozen small-plot local wineries. Whatever the case, it flies higher this year, with 20,000 square feet, more than 40 wineries, a bubbles lounge, caviar, a try-and-buy wine market, tastes from 16 purveyors including Carmel Valley Ranch, STICKS and Gino’s, appearances from local celebrity chef Todd Fisher, vinter Q and As and food trucks like Babaloo Cuban, Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Company, Bacon Bacon SF and others serving (at added cost). Prepare for palate lift-off. 

1-4pm. Del Monte Aviation, 100 Sky Park Drive, Monterey. $60 in advance ($70 at door); $95 VIP; $30 designated driver; $7 Riedel tasting glass. 375-9400, http://www.montereywines.org.

PROP 30 Passing, MPC Issued Statement

MONTEREY, CA – November 7, 2012 – Due to the passage of Proposition 30 Monterey Peninsula College issued this statement to the press.

Dr. Douglas Garrison, President/Superintendent of Monterey Peninsula College stated, “The Governing Board, faculty and staff of Monterey Peninsula College are gratified by this statement of support from Californians. The infusion of new revenue will help the state meet its current obligation to fund K-12 education; 89 percent of the funds provided by Proposition 30 will go to K-12 schools; 11 percent will go to community colleges. Passage of Proposition 30 will provide the College a more reasonable cash flow because a portion of what the state owes us will be paid on time.  These funds do not reflect any increase.” Garrison goes on to say, “MPC will not be adding many additional students — we simply won’t be eliminating students or programs.”

The passage of Prop. 30 will have ripple effects throughout California’s system of higher education. Protecting the University of California and the California State University systems from $250 million “trigger cuts” that would have taken effect immediately if the initiative failed. It will also allow UC and CSU to avoid hefty mid-year tuition hikes. Because of the Proposition 30 passage, Monterey Peninsula College will be saved from a mid-year budget cut of $2.3 million.

ABOUT MPC: Monterey Peninsula College is committed to fostering student learning and success by providing excellence in instructional programs, facilities and services to support the goals of students pursuing transfer, career, basic skills, and life-long learning opportunities. Through these efforts MPC seeks to enhance the intellectual, cultural, and economic vitality of our diverse community.


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MEDIA CONTACT: Celeste C. White | white page communications

Dr. Douglas Garrison, Superintendent/President | 980 Fremont Street, Monterey, CA  93940 | (831) 646-4000 | www.mpc.edu

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