Friday, November 29, 2013

Carmel parents raffling attractive prizes to benefit education

The Carmel High School Padre Parent group and the Carmel High School Foundation invite the community to participate in a raffle extravaganza to benefit student scholarships.

Grand Prize Package includes two tickets to Super Bowl XLVIII (Feb. 2014) plus $2,000 cash for travel expenses.

Other prizes include tickets to Pebble Beach Food and Wine festival, AT& Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Laguna Seca/LaMans, Laguna Seca/Historic Car Races, San Francisco Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders; wine tasting at Joyce Vineyards; golf at Quail Lodge and Rancho Cañada Golf Club; lodging and dinner at Post Ranch; and more.

All proceeds will go towards scholarships for the senior class of 2014, CHS Foundation endowment scholarships, and Padre Parent student-based needs.

Cost: $25 per ticket, 5 for $100. Winning tickets will be drawn from 5:30 to 6:50 p.m. on Friday, December 20, at the Il Fornaio Rotunda, Carmel.

To purchase tickets or to promote its efforts by selling tickets, contact Cindy Haydock, CHS Padres Parents, at (831) 298-7330,, or download an order form here. Tickets also available at the drawing event on December 20. Need not be present to win.

It's not too late to sign up for a Turkey Trot

Come work off those Thanksgiving pounds! Sign up for a Turkey Trot to benefit youth in foster care.

Peacock Acres, a non-profit dedicated to supporting foster children in Monterey County, will host the 6th Turkey Trot for foster youth in their program this Saturday, Nov. 30. The event will be held in Manzanita Park at 17100 Castroville Blvd. in Prunedale. Race day registration will begin at 8:30 am and the race will start at 10:00 am.

Race registration costs $30, and all participants receive a t-shirt. Registration is available online here. This is a pet- and family-friendly event, and participants are strongly encouraged to bring their four-legged friends.

Proceeds from the Turkey Trot will benefit a new project, The Learning Center at Peacock Acres. The Learning Center is designed to guide foster youth toward completing their high school requirements and preparing them for independent adult life. The unique educational needs and classroom challenges shared by students in foster care are often overlooked, and the Learning Center will increase the chances for personal fulfillment, economic self- sufficiency, and positive contribution to society in the foster youth who participate. A portion of proceeds from this event will also help us provide holiday gifts for our youth.

Peacock Acres has been providing therapeutic foster care since 1980 and currently operates four residential programs: Therapeutic Group Homes for boys age 7-17; Incarceration to Success for boys ages 16-19; Transitional Housing Placement Program for foster teens ages 16-18; and the Peacock Acres Transitional Housing program for emancipated foster youth ages 18-24. To find out more about our programs and the youth we serve, click here.

Monday, November 25, 2013

MPUSD officials still want your input in superintendent search

Last week, trustees with the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District zeroed in on the consulting firms they want to hear from before hiring the one that will conduct the superintendent's search. 
And the winners are:  The Cosca Group; Dave Long & Associates; Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates; and Leadership Associates. 

You may remember that the consulting firm trustees retained last time did not seem very thorough when vetting its candidates. So the right consulting firm is crucial. If you're inclined to hear them personally, they're scheduled to make a presentation on Dec. 11. 

Incidentally, trustees continue to seek community input for the qualities everyone wants to see on a new superintendent, and they continue to announce a survey will be launched soon to gather more community input. I checked late Monday, and the survey was still not posted, but you never know. If you want to see if it's out yet, check it out here.

And the wheels keep turning...

Common Core for Parents

*** UPDATE *** The Monterey County Office of Education has postponed a parent education night on the Common Core previously scheduled for Dec. 5.

*** The Monterey County Office of Education will host a workshop so parents can hear what the fuzz is all about the Common Core Standards.

There is a major shift in the way teachers will instruct and students will learn. The Common Core State Standards call increased used of critical thinking skills so students can be ready for college or the workplace at the end of high school. Students will be required to explain their math reasoning, collaborate with peers on projects, and demonstrate their abilities to assess content, analyze impacts, express themselves in writing and provide evidence on how they reach conclusions.

The parent engagement nights will be available in English with interpretation into Spanish.

From 5:30 – 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 12, at the Monterey County Office of Education,901 Blanco Circle, Salinas.

*Child care and refreshments available.

The meetings will assess what participants know and want to know about Common Core State Standards. Additionally, they will provide valuable hands-on strategies on how parents can make a difference in their schools by asking the right questions or at home by providing supplemental learning activities that extend classroom learning. Simple strategies, such as math games and prompt questions to ask during reading sessions or while watching educational programming will be shared so parents can support classroom instruction. Additionally, various resources and tools will be made available in both English and Spanish, hard copy and via Internet.

For more information, contact Claribel Solis at 831.755.0368 or or Jordan Alexander-Santana at

Friday, November 22, 2013

TGIF: if you have no plans for dinner tonight, there's still time to support Maddie

Friends of Maddie Pfefferkuch, a four-year-old who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, are  hosting a fundraiser for her family at The Breakfast Club on Seaside until 9 p.m. today.

Maddie's faced with 16 months of intense treatment, and her family needs a lot of financial support.

So head out to The Breakfast Club,1130 Fremont Blvd. in Seaside, and have some yummy food. Or buy raffle tickets. Or donate here if you can't make it out there. To learn more about Maddie, visit her Facebook page.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Randall Reinstedt is giving away Monterey history books

It's been nearly three decades since Randall Reinstedt first published "More than Memories: History and Happenings of the Monterey Peninsula." The teacher-turned-author has received so many requests for his book, he and his wife Debbie cobbled together some resources to put together another print.

The result, the 2012 reprint of "More than Memories," a comprehensive history of the Monterey Peninsula that includes activities, questions, and other ideas for teachers to use in their classrooms.

And here's the best part. The Reinstedt's are giving away 1,000 copies, thanks to a grant that's making the giveaway possible.

You have until Nov. 30 to make the request. Download an application from here and then submit it to

The books will not be mailed, so it's probably better to be local. There will be local distribution points in the Monterey Peninsula that will be announced in December.

From my quick read, I can see the book is a great resource, so I encourage all fourth grade teachers in Monterey County to ask for a free copy.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

MPUSD Superintendent search: what Trustees do not need.

I'll chime in the ongoing conversation taking place in Monterey regarding the search for a new superintendent.

And I'll take issue with an idea that was floated by Herald editors in the Nov. 12 editorial  titled "Monterey Peninsula school board needs help." I agree with the idea that trustees need assistance in steering the ship --  although I don't see it crashing against the rocks anytime soon.

The trustees are a very trusting bunch. They should be: once they hire their top administrator, they have to rely on his or her advice. Yes, they have to do their due diligence, but they can't be second-guessing  the person they hired to do a job every step of the way.

Which brings us to the next point: what  kind of person should they hire to do the job. Herald editors suggested the board not only look at conventional places -- i.e. other school districts -- but look outside the box and think about CEOs, lawyers, ex-military, and other folks with managerial experience, even if they don't have experience in the educational realm.

That's what I'll take issue with. It's been tried, and it doesn't work. 

MPUSD doesn't need a general and I don't believe a person from the private sector would do it either. Yes, there are strong managers everywhere, but I don't believe that would be a good fit for this district.  The district needs somebody who can build trust among administrators and from the rank and file -- and having a person with no experience in education would not bode well for him/her from the get-go. Perhaps the district should look into hiring another interim superintendent and groom a candidate from within.

Don't take my word for it. Read these two columns by renown educator Larry Cuban, who describes in this column the thinking behind supporting CEOs, lawyers and other non-educators as superintendents. In this other one, he describes what's happened when non-educators get appointed to the top job.

If you want to skip to the bottom, I'll give it to you.

"The dream of corporate-inspired reformers for nearly two decades that governance changes and non-educators as managers in urban districts will turnaround failing schools and erase the test score achievement gap has yet to materialize."

In other words, it doesn't work. So let's not go there. 

Monterey County girls: explore careers in Science, Technology and Engineering

"Expand Your Horizons" is a conference and career fair for young women, their parents, and educators that will take place this Saturday, Nov. 23, at Hartnell College in Salinas.

The conference is designed create interest among young women around pursuing careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Workshops include: Marine Invertebrate DNA Extraction; Plastics: Reduce, Use, or Recycle; Underwater Robotics; and Water Density/Oceanography. The keynote speaker will be Maryanna Rogers, a fellow at the Design School at Stanford.

For more information about the event or to sign up, click here.

Hartnell Speech Team earns awards

The newly formed Hartnell Speech Team received multiple awards on November 4 at the Mustang Invitational Tournament held at Sacramento City College. The tournament included 24 schools from Arizona, California, Oregon and Utah. The team brought five awards to Salinas!

The team was coached by Jason Hough, professor in Communications at Hartnell.

Here's a list of the winners:

Andrea Cervantes, First Place, Dramatic Interpretation
Andres Aranda, First Place, Poetry Interpretation
Karina Neeley, Third Place, Oral Interpretation
Marc Dover, Fifth Place, Oral Interpretation
Ariana Valencia, Fifth Place, Poetry Interpretation

Other teammates and participants include, Julia Felice, Maria Hernandez, Daniel Ibarra, Angelica Jubane, Richelle Mendez, Miguel Padilla, and Alyssa Rendon.

Sounds like the team did a wonderful job on their inaugural performance. I can't wait to see what other triumphs lay ahead!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

State Senator Anthony Cannella recognizes Chualar students

State Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) presented awards to Chualar students who participated in Red Ribbon Week on Oct. 31.

Red Ribbon Week was established by Congress in 1988 to recognize the efforts of Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent, who was murdered in the line of duty. Every October, schools around the country encourage young people to lead a drug-free life. The theme of the week this year is “A Healthy Me is Drug Free!”

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pacific Grove students show off their talents during Fall Arts Expo

The public is invited to celebrate the creativity of Pacific Grove High School students during the Fall Arts Expo. Students will show off their talents through their works on digital media students, fine art, photography, poetry, culinary arts, theater and music.

The Fall Arts Expo will take place from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5 at Pacific Grove High School library. 615 Sunset Dr., Pacific Grove.

The Mayor of Pacific Grove and local business leaders will be present to judge the students work. There will also be music and food at the event.

Also on Dec. 5, the school will celebrate the opening night of the school play starting at 7:00 pm at the Pacific Grove High School Pagoda Theatre. Tickets to the play will be raffled off at the Expo.

At the Festival of Lights in downtown the Pacific Grove High School band will be playing starting at 6:30 pm.

Salinas Valley Memorial hospital hosts free art therapy workshop for children

Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System is teaming up with certified art and music therapist Jack Cheney to help children heal through art and music. Children ages six through 16 can participate in this multi-media experience for free.

The Art for Healing Workshop will allow children and teenagers to use art and music as tools to discover hidden strengths and insights. Cheney has been a part of the Salinas Valley Memorial System art and music therapy program for years and is passionate about the healing powers of drawing, collage, painting and musical instruments.

“Children facing grief, illness and even ordinary social pressures can find healing through art,” says Jack Cheney, certified art and music therapist. “It’s a joy to help people explore their creative talents and in the process feel better about themselves and overcome challenges.”

The workshop will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. on Nov. 20. All of the art and music supplies will be provided. Registration is required by calling 831-759-1951 or emailing

Thursday, November 14, 2013

CSUMB student offers holiday cheer for foster care children

Emma Ramirez, CSUMB student extraordinaire, garnered a lot of attention earlier this year for a book drive she sponsored to benefit foster care children.

Now, she wants to help foster care children with winter clothing. She's conducting a drive for scarves, gloves, jackets, and all the winter accourterment you can think of.

The drive began this week and ends Dec. 13. Clothes can be dropped off at CSUMB Student Services Building, the dinning commons, or Voices for Children CASA, 945 S. Main St, Salinas. For more information, email Emma at

Lovely to see Emma's still around, keeping up the good work!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Free flu shots at Monterey County Schools

Flu season is upon us, and the Monterey County Health Department is hosting free flu vaccine clinics at schools throughout the county. Open to anyone two years of age and older who is interested in getting a flu vaccination.

Wednesday, November 13 – 4:00-7:00 pm – Seaside High School, 220 Noche Buena Street, Seaside

Thursday, November 14 – 4:00 pm -7 pm - Main Street Middle School, 441 Main Street, Soledad

Sunday, November 17th - 12:30-3:30 pm - Cachagua Child Development Center, 37320 Nason Rd, Carmel Valley

Tuesday, November 19th – 11:00 am -2:00pm - CSUMB, Student Center - West Lounge

Junípero Serra's legacy examined

Nov. 19 marks the 300th anniversary of Junípero Serra's birth, and CSUMB professor Ruben Mendoza, a scholar on the California Mission system, has been busy granting interviews.

An interview Mendoza did for Eternal Word Television Network, a global Catholic radio and television network,  will be aired at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 21. EWTN is available on DISH Network, Direct TV, and Comcast Digital Channel 229. His interview will also be available online here.

Mendoza has also been interviewed for a Catalonian mini-series on Serra, which began airing in the Balearic Islands in September and is expected to air in Mexico in the near future. 

If the mini-series is as good as the promo, I can't wait to watch it.

And speaking of Serra, CSUMB will host a symposium on Serra's legacy on his birthday.

Serra is credited with founding the first nine of the 21 missions in Alta California. The missions were instrumental in the advance of European colonialism, and in the subjugation of Native Americans to the colonial powers.

The symposium will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the University Center living room, and will include presentations by Rose Marie Beebe and Robert Senkewicz, both professors at Santa Clara University. Guest panelists will include Ann Marie Sayers of Indian Canyon; Kathryn England-Aytes, a psychology lecturer at CSUMB; and Father Carl Faria of the Diocese of Monterey.

In conjunction with the symposium, an exhibit of mission photography by Mendoza will open in the Student Center West Lounge at 5 p.m., Nov. 14.

The University Center is located on Sixth Avenue at B Street. For driving directions and a campus map, click here.  Event is free, but a parking permit must be purchased from a dispenser on the lot or here.

RSVP for both events by calling Heather Wilde at or calling 582-3890. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Everett Alvarez students keep an eye on the road

Everett Alvarez students recently took part in a study to observe distracted driving on the road. They were able to watch first hand the myriad of occupations drivers engage in when they're supposed to have their hands on the steering wheel. One of them wrote a report about their findings. Here it is.

My name is Shyla Poudrier and I am the Vice President of the ADAPT club at Everett Alvarez High School. ADAPT stands for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team. We are a co-branded club with the statewide program Friday Night Live. On October 15, 2013 our club participated in Road watch. Road watch is a statewide event where students survey drivers and observe if they are engaging in distracted driving.

This event took place on the corner of Independence Blvd. and Nantucket in Salinas, CA. from 7am to 8am. We observed that of 603 drivers 47 cars were engaging in distracted driving. Of the distracted drivers; 45 percent we using their cell phones in various ways, talking, texting, changing music, etc. Twenty-seven percent of driver driving distracted were eating or drinking. Nine percent of distracted drivers had either a pet on their lap or on the front seat. And lastly, 4 percent of distracted drivers were performing some type of personal grooming; ie, putting on makeup, brushing hair, etc.

These statistics were collected in just one hour. Road watch is a statewide event and the statistics showed us that there were more than 7, 000 documented cases of distracted driving throughout the state. These statistics allow us to be aware of distractions while driving that can not only harm us but other people in our community."

I hope being able to watch how people get distracted discourages you, Shyla, and your teammates from engaging in distracting behavior when you personally are behind the wheel. That would be the best result you could report.

Marina to host town hall meeting about schools

Marina Councilman Frank O'Connell will be hosting a townhall meeting to discuss updates on Marina schools, recruitment process for new superintendent, and the joint use agreement between the city and Monterey Peninsula Unified School District for school facilities.

Speakers include: MPUSD Board members Diane Creasy and Tom Jennings, Mayor Bruce Delgado, MPUSD Executive Director Maintenance, Operations, Transportation, and Technology John Silvestrini and Recreation Director Terry Siegrist.  Refreshments will be provided.

The town hall meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12 in the Community Room of the Marina Library.

MAOS Mom extraordinaire chimes in controversy

Joanna Greenshields, reader extraordinaire and another keen observer of MPUSD, added her two cents in the ongoing dialogue the district's having about the future of MAOS. You can find it here.

But because she addresses a very important point that could be missed in the conversation (something that I've already alluded to in previous posts) I'll highlight it here. It revolves around the issue of people coming forward with credible information when they want me to write a story.

This is an excerpt from Ms. Greenshields' comments:

One of the difficulties for Ms Melendez has been getting accurate information on the underlying story of why MAOS would be seeking autonomy from the current administration.

People with accurate knowledge and an understanding of the complexities currently facing MAOS and MPUSD,  are either unable or unwilling to have an open, honest dialog with her about how we got to the point of charter exploration.

And there you have it. I'm asked all the time: do a story about this or that. Half of the time I'm chasing my tail because I'm trying to get information and people won't talk to me. Mr. Jensen writes to me: don't write until you get all the answers. Well, I'm not getting any answers, but hopefully, if I write what happens at a board meeting -- all on the record, thank goodness -- something else can pop up.

So, if you have a story for me, you know where to find me. I'm waiting patiently.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The biggest takeaway from the MPUSD election

MPUSD trustees, this message's for you.

And it's a message that I was going to send later in the month, as you come closer to select a new superintendent -- but I reserve the right to re-send the message later in the year ;)

The community has spoken. And the community really wants a leader they know and trust.

Isn't that what teachers and other people have been telling you for years?

So Mr. Tim Chaney ran a good, hard campaign, but he's a newcomer to the community. To his credit, he's very close to winning a seat on the board, and perhaps we won't know until Friday whether he actually makes it. 

And here's Carole Dawson, a respected community leader who's voluntereed for several organization over the more than two decades she's lived among us.

She practically didn't lift a finger for the campaign, and she's close to nabbing that seat.

If you count the votes cast for Richard Gold, who has lived in the community also for over two decades, you can tell Monterey residents decidedly voted for trust.

It's not just the election that's making me write this. It's what's happening in your district, from MAOS on down.

You need a leader who can be trusted. And trust does not just blow in from the bay like the summer fog. It's built over time, it's earned.

And unfortunately, given the current circumstances, it can easily be shattered. Think about that.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Reading between the MAOS and MPUSD lines

Sometimes, the most fascinating stuff to come out of board meetings it's what's left unspoken.

Take the Monday night meeting of the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District. I thought I was losing my mind when I kept thinking to myself, why are they doing this? Why do teachers want to take the Monterey Academy of Oceanographic Science away form Monterey High and make it its own charter? What's the real reason?

I've been asking myself this question over and over again. I even asked marine biology teacher Geoff Von Saltza, but I never felt I received a satisfactory answer.

So the question came up again, Monday night, from some people in the audience.

Why do the teachers want to do this?

English teacher Ron Woods said, in not such few words, they want more control. Echoing Woods, Von Saltza said (see the videos) that MAOS has always been a teacher-driven program, and that they want to return it to its original mission.

So they want more control.

Then Monterey High principal Marci Plummer got to the podium and told trustees something like this:

"I’ve offered and I've extended during the entire process the opportunity to work with us on an alternative proposal, a schedule within a schedule so we could begin articulation. I have a memo I wrote about our meetings (documenting) some of the things MAOS needed and we have achieved 10 out of 11 objectives around course curriculum... "

(Mmm. There's people at MPUSD who actually take notes during meetings. Fascinating.)

Plummer went on. She's made some hires for MAOS. And she also offered all the teachers who are willing the opportunity to work with her to design a master schedule.

So the teachers want more control and Plummer has tried to make concessions. At least, that's what she said.

Then came the most poignant commentary of the evening, from MPUSD keen observer Pam Silkwood and mom of two MAOS students. The idea of a charters is innovative and out of the box, it should be encouraged and pursued, she said. But the plan as presented lacks details, and besides, the charter petition is just a symptom of a bigger ailment at the district.

"It's an example of lack of collaboration between teachers and administration," Silkwood said. "I have respect for both parties. A MAOS charter is like putting a band-aid on a gouging wound."

There you have it. The real reason why MAOS teachers want out of Monterey High is because they seemingly can't work with administrators.

At least that's what I thought until Tuesday evening. Then Scuttlebutt came a'calling, and the rug was pulled from underneath my chair.

I've covered the district long enough to agree with Pam Silkwood in one thing: this is symptom of a bigger ailment. It's worrisome because the district is looking for a new superintendent, and it makes me wonder how effective he or she will be working in this atmosphere of distrust.

And it makes me very sad because in school we ask students to learn to collaborate and work together, but we can't get the adults to do that --not just at MPUSD, but everywhere I turn in education. So how realistic is it to ask that of young people?

Also, we ask of our youngsters not to lie, and it turns out, adults do it ALL THE TIME. And I wonder, how can anybody work with people they can't trust???????

That's how Scuttlebutt pulled my rug. Because, it turns out, some of the adults in the room Monday night were not being completely honest about what's happening in the district. It's not the first time I've heard these claims, so by now I'm giving them more credence.

Excuse me, everybody. I need to go throw up.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Marina High has talent

Students at Marina High participated in a talent show to raise funds for their prom.

And what talent!

Montana Billings signed "Climb" by Miley Cyrus.

Everyone got together at the end of the show to sing Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours."

And they all had a grand time!


Friday, November 1, 2013

UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal visits Seaside High School

UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal visited Seaside High School on Wednesday as part of Achieve UC, a series of events designed to inspire students to apply and attend college.

Blumenthal shared some personal history with about 200 students from all grades. He told them how he and his sister were the first to attend college, how college taught him about the world, and how he dreaded his English classes but ended up loving writing, according to Raul Ebio, interim director for early academic outreach at UC Santa Cruz.

Deciding whether to go to college "isn't really about jobs and money, but it is true that college graduates make a lot more money over the course of their lives than than students who stop after high school," Blumenthal said.

Chancellor Blumenthal also bragged about UC Santa Cruz's marine sciences, astronomy, and genome programs on campus. President Barack Obama awarded Professor Sandra Faber the National Medal of Science. Professor David Haussler was one of the first to crack the genomic code.

Blumenthal also made a deal with Seaside: if the school can pay for transportation to UCSC, the university will pay for dinner before attending the Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation, a favorite event on the City on a Hill.

Chancellor Blumenthal ended his intervention by urging students to go to college, regardless of which one they attend.

"Yes, I'm biased. I think UC Santa Cruz is a great school. But my message today is un-biased: Go to college, wherever you choose. What matters is that you go to college. If you choose a UC campus, we will help you in every way we can. So, work hard, keep your grades up, and realize your dreams!"

I hear the students were not the only ones impressed. The administrators were swooning. It's not every day that a university chancellor visits a high school, they said.

Pretty cool, huh?

The School Success Express Tour's coming to Salinas

California schools are undergoing tremendous changes.

Not only are they in the midst of implementing new learning goals, they will also have more money to do it in the upcoming years.

The money will be particularly important to schools that serve students whose first language is Spanish -- also called English learners -- and students in low income families.

In an effort to get input from the public, the California Endowment is bringing a bus across the state called the School Success Express Tour,a tour of 12 cities where parents and students are invited to help shape implementation of the Fair School Funding law.

The forum will take place at Los Padres Elementary School, 1130 John Street in Salinas. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the forum will begin at 6:00 p.m.

Fair School Funding is expected to increase money per student in most low-income schools. At Alisal Union, for example, there will be an almost 87 percent increase in funding over the next seven years. Other low-income districts are projected to receive a similar increase.

Debbie Aguilar needs help

Debbie Aguilar is the face of comfort in Salinas. After losing her son Stephen to gang violence more than a decade ago, Debbie took on a crusade to try to stop young Latino males from killing one another.

She's a frequent speaker in schools, she organizes vigils, and lobbies legislators to get funds to combat violence.

Debbie's usually the first supporter when a young man gets killed in Salinas. She's there to embrace family members and offer support through her group "A Time for Grieving."

Now, Debbie desperately needs some comfort of her own.

In the span of two weeks, Debbie's lost her mother and her husband. Her mother Carmen died about two weeks ago, and her husband Oscar Sergio Clam Aguilar  died just this week. Debbie now has to deal not just with the impact to her family but the financial burden two funerals are taking on her.

She's not being shy about needing help. There will be a car wash/bake sale starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday at 44 John St. in Salinas.

She's also taking donations on Rabobank account 501954746.

Debbie's helped a lot of people throughout the years, and now that she support, hopefully a lot will step up to comfort her.