Monterey Peninsula

Volume 71 Issue 2

Monterey County Branch

Nov./Dec. 2023


Calendar of Coming Events

Wed., Nov. 1 - Hike, Point Lobos - See Hiking Group

Saturday, Nov. 4, 1:00 - 3:00 pm - Nov. Branch Meeting. Panel on successful local homeless services. Monterey Center for Spiritual Learning, 400 W. Franklin St., Monterey

Wed., Nov. 15 - Hike, Ribera Road - See Hiking Group

Fri., Nov. 17 - Romancing the Coast tours Trotter Galleries, Pacific Grove

Fri., Dec. 15 - Hike, Jack's Peak - See Hiking Group

Sunday, Dec. 17, 3:00 - 5:00 pm - Branch Holiday Party. Home of Pat Fletcher, 6 Overlook Place, Monterey

Thurs., Jan. 11, 2024 - Romancing the Coast tours John Cerney's Tall Tales Art Exhibit, Triton Art Museum, San Jose

Sat., Feb. 24, 2024, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm - IBC meeting with Santa Cruz County Branch, Seascape Golf Club, Aptos. Speaker: Holly Martinez, Director, California Commission on the Status of Women & Girls.



Successful Homeless Services – Today

And Tomorrow

Date: Saturday, November 4

Time: 1:00 - 3:00 pm (NOTE THE TIME CHANGE.)

Place: The Monterey Center for Spiritual Learning,

400 W. Franklin Street, Monterey (click here for a map)

A new speaker has been added to our panel discussion. Come and learn more about the amazing work being done to help move the more than 2,400 unhoused residents of Monterey County toward stable, permanent housing. In addition, we’ll hear about a creative partnership in Monterey designed to provide affordable housing.

Speakers include: 

·        Jocelyn Curran, Director of Downtown Streets, Salinas, a nonprofit that provides case management and employment opportunities for the homeless.

·        Vanessa Diffenbaugh, Project Manager for MidPen’s Madison Street Affordable Housing Project in downtown Monterey. MidPen Housing is one of the largest non-profit developers of high-quality affordable housing in Northern California.

·        Genevieve Lucas-Conwell, former Executive Director of the Coalition for Homeless Service Providers (CHSP) in Monterey County.

Panelists will respond to questions and participate in a discussion of the current status, recent progress and future plans of homeless services in our community. Please join us to learn about these ambitious projects, get your questions answered and find out how you can support these initiatives. The program is open to the public; bring a friend or family member.

Downtown Streets Team (DST) has been awarded $1.8 million in support of its mission of fighting homelessness through the dignity of work and the power of community by the California Community Reinvestment Grant Program (CalCRG).

MidPen focuses on building affordable housing that helps prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place. Last month, the Monterey City Council unanimously approved moving ahead with one of four tentative designs for a 42-unit, 100% affordable housing project on city land right behind City Hall – a major step towards final approval of the new MidPen Housing Corp.’s project.

The Coalition for Homeless Service Providers (CHSP) recently organized and hosted the 2023 Lead Me Home Summit on Homelessness, which is a one of a kind event where policymakers, stakeholders and people with lived experience of homelessness come together to discuss strategies to end homelessness in Monterey and San Benito Counties.

Please RSVP via email or text: [email protected] or 831 402-8753

Sharon Armbrust - Programs


Date: Sunday, December 17

Time: 3:00 - 5:00 pm

Place: Home of Pat Fletcher, 6 Overlook Place, Monterey (Click here for map.)

It is almost time to ring in 2024! We welcome fully vaccinated members, prospective members and partners to join us for our Holiday Party at the home of Pat and Peter Fletcher.

Attendees are asked to bring a bite size appetizer or dessert according to the information below as well as wine or another beverage to share. As our party will be in a private home, we will not have table seating so please plan your special treat accordingly.

We invite you to bring a new or gently used unwrapped book to be donated to local children for the holidays. Books for any child’s age are good; bilingual books are especially appreciated.

Last names A-P:  Bite-size appetizer

Last names R-Z: Bite-size dessert

RSVP by Wed., Dec 15, to Pat Fletcher at 408-373-5800 or [email protected]. Let her know if you need to reserve a driveway parking spot due to mobility issues.

Parking is on the street, which is hilly. Plan on carpooling, if possible. Drop off your dish/beverage in front of the house before parking, if you wish.

Save the Date - February Meeting

Annual Inter-Branch Council (IBC) Luncheon Meeting

Date: Saturday, February 24, 2024

Time: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM 

(Registration starts at 11:00 AM followed by lunch and speaker presentation)

Location:  Seascape Golf Club Banquet/Monarch Room, 610 Clubhouse Drive, Aptos 95003 (click here for map)

Speaker: Holly Martinez, Executive Director, California Commission on the Status of Women & Girls.

Open to members, their invited guests, potential members, and general public.



·        $35 for members (early bird rate)

·        $40 for non-members

·        $40 for registrations postmarked after January 19, 2024



All registrations must be pre-paid and are non-refundable.


You may pay by one of two ways:


1.   By check payable to AAUW-Monterey Peninsula Branch. Complete the printable registration form here. Mail a check and the form to P.O. Box 1786, Monterey, CA 93942. Questions? Joanne Webster, [email protected].


2.   You may register and pay with a credit card by using Eventbrite by clicking here:

A nominal fee will be added to the cost of registration for using Eventbrite.

For questions re Eventbrite, contact Mary Ripma, [email protected].


Water: Entitlement or Human Right in Monterey County?

Our September program meeting featured Dr. Carol Lynn McKibben, Associate Professor at Stanford, who specializes in California history, urban history, and Immigration history. She gave a highly informative and thought-provoking presentation about her latest research project into the history and issues related to water on the Central Coast.

She highlighted the background of the private for-profit company that is now Cal Am. Her research found that Cal Am customers pay one of the highest water rates in the country. She discussed the ongoing need to eliminate the ground contamination on the former Fort Ord that affects water in the area, and the status of the current efforts to achieve a public buy-out of Cal Am.

Thanks to the Program Committee for facilitating this great discussion. Upcoming programs will tackle other difficult issues – Solutions to Homelessness – and other more lighthearted but compelling topics. We urge you to attend our programs and participate in our various committees. Soon the Tech Trek and scholarship committees will be staffing up to select our recipients. Please consider signing up for a committee. Or, if you have a special interest others might share, start a group just as the Banned Book Group did.

We are women working together to create gender equity for women and girls. Thank you for being a member of AAUW Monterey County Branch.

Fatima Dias and Joanne Webster, Co-Presidents


What is new with our Local Scholarship Program?

We are so fortunate to have strong support from two local foundations, Pebble Beach Company Foundation and Monterey Peninsula Volunteer Services (MPVS).

Pebble Beach Company Foundation recently featured two of our scholarship recipients in their Annual Report! You may view Marlaina F. (2022) on the cover page (smiling new RN!) and Lizet R. (2023), pictured above, on page 7. Click HERE to view the report. Heartfelt appreciation goes to AAUW member Noelle Hetz for securing our grant funding over the past several years.

Thanks to our new co-director/grant writer Sandi Berman, we just received a generous grant from MPVS! Please consider making the MPVS Benefit Shop your destination for shopping and donations! Their store is located at 655 Broadway Ave., Seaside.

We welcome donations all year round to the Scholarship Program. We are a 501 (c) (3) program. Kindly make your check payable to:

AAUW-MPB Local Scholarships

Send to: Kathy Poulson

1092 Presidio Road

Pebble Beach, CA 93953

Maggie Pedersen & Sandi Berman, Local Scholarships Co-Directors

Tech Trek Fundraiser Event

Missed It? You Can Still Donate.

On Saturday, October 21, we got to hear firsthand accounts about Tech Trek STEM Camp from four of the girls that we sponsored for this year’s camp. The girls also presented some of the projects that they completed during camp. El Moore, a 2016 camp alumna, gave the girls an idea of what college life is like at U.C. Santa Cruz, where she now attends as a Chemistry major. El felt that she probably wouldn’t be majoring in Chemistry had she not gone to Tech Trek Camp in 7th grade. The parents of the girls were happy with how their daughters blossomed while attending camp.

Special thanks to Nancy Edwards for allowing us to meet at her beautiful home, and to our board members who supplied wonderful food for our event.

Your donations make this life changing opportunity possible. If you missed the fundraiser, you can still give. Checks may be made out to "AAUW-CA SPF" with "Tech Trek, Monterey Peninsula" in the memo line. Send it to Karen Hall, 13 Harryette Dr., Salinas, CA 93905. Thanks!

Karen Hall, MCB Tech Trek Director


The Branch received an interesting report conducted by the Panetta Institute of their 2023 Survey of America’s College Students.

Some key findings from the report.

·        For the first time since the surveys began, students are not sure that they will be better off than their parents.

·        Students gave low marks to our nation’s political leaders and are generally dissatisfied with our country’s leadership.

·        They show high levels of support for action on gun reform, climate change, abortion, and immigration.

·        Sadly, 3 in 5 college students are concerned about a mass shooting happening at their school.

·        Students prefer a presidential candidate who is intelligent, who understands a changing America for young people, who can fix the economy, and who is a “unifier”.

If you’d like to download the full report, click here.



From time to time, we will publish information about AAUW-CA webinars that provide meaningful information to our members about issues related to AAUW’s mission and goals.. Case in point was the webinar about movements in some California school districts to ban books and what our State Legislature has enacted to ensure that school curricula are inclusive. If you missed the webinar, you can now see a video of the presentation at

Did you know that:

·        Last year, the Burbank Unified School District permanently removed five books from the English curriculum, meaning that these books are no longer allowed to be discussed in class. Those five books are The Cay; Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; To Kill a Mockingbird; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; and Of Mice and Men.

·        Protesters became violent at a June 2023 school district meeting in Glendale during a debate over gender and sexual identity studies.

·        In July 2023, the Temecula Valley School District said it would pull any material from its social studies book that references gay rights activist Harvey Milk.

In response to such activities, Governor Newsom signed AB 1078 into law in September 2023. AB 1078 prohibits school boards from banning instructional materials or library books on the basis that they provide inclusive and diverse perspectives in compliance with state law. Read more about it here:

We encourage our members to participate in AAUW webinars that address issues such as gender equity and social justice. STAY INFORMED!

Marilyn Erickson - Public Policy Director


Morning Books (via Zoom)


Mon., Nov. 20, 10 AM


by Geraldine Brooks

Leader: Loma Livernois

Mon., Dec. 11, 11:30 AM

Holiday Lunch

Kathy Poulson, Coordinator

Joy of Reading Books


Tues., Nov. 14, 1 PM

Klara and the Sun

by Kazuo Ishiguro

Host: Joanne Webster

Tues., Dec. 12, noon

Luncheon & book selection for 2024

Abalonetti's on Fisherman's Wharf

Marilyn Erickson, Coordinator

Evening Books


Tues., Nov. 21, 7 PM

Bandit Queen

by Parini Schroff

Host: Judi Lang

Leader: Mary Conway

Tues., Dec. 12, 6 PM

Holiday party

Host: Noelle Hetz

Miriam Lilley, Coordinator

Storytellers Book Club


Thurs., Nov. 9, 2 PM

Planning meeting

504 Larkin Street, Monterey

Host: Nancy Soulé

Thurs., Dec. 14, noon

Holiday luncheon

Tarpy's Roadhouse

2999 Salinas Highway, Monterey

Nancy Soulé, Coordinator

Banned Books Club

Thurs., Nov. 9, 2 PM

The Bluest Eye

by Toni Morrison

Host: Gail Widener

Thurs., Dec. 14, 2 PM

Holiday Cheer & 2024 Planning Meeting

Hosts: Kenis Dunne & Suzette Cavanaugh

Place: TBA

Suzette Cavanaugh & Kenis Dunne, Coordinators

Hiking Group

The Hike Planning Meeting met and planned these hikes.

November 1 - Point Lobos (8 am) - Dianne Driessen

This is a robust 4-mile hike looping from Whaler's Cove to Bird Rock and back! We might see otters, harbor seals, sea lions, egrets, pelicans, and possible whale spouts! This hike has many steps, inclines/declines, mostly unpaved trails and uneven footing so it is not for everyone; however, it is beautiful!

November 15 - Ribera Road (10:30 am) - Dianne Driessen

This hike is a strolling passage along the beautiful ocean views in Carmel Meadows. It is about 1.75 miles, mostly flat easy walking after the initial descent of 200 feet from the gate (which we ascend on our return)! An optional half-mile section goes up to the cross, is steeper, angled and uneven.

December 6 - Jack's Peak - Chris Parmentier

December 20 - No hike

January 3 - Carmel Walk - Pat Fletcher

January 17 - Pacific Grove Ghost Rail - Nancy Edwards

February 7 - Pacific Grove Art Walk - Nancy Soulé

February 21 - Harkins Slough - Fatima Dias

March 6 - Palo Corona - Sue Henderson

March 20 - Pebble Beach - Debbie Hobbs

April 3 - Calla Lily Valley - Andrea Madsen

April 17 - Toro Park - Karen Hall

Details will be sent out about a week before each hike. Hikes are always subject to change depending on weather and other factors.

Chris Parmentier and Ardith Peck, Coordinators

Sand Dunes Hike - Sept. 6

Andrea Madsen, Nancy Soulé, Nancy Edwards, Karen Hall, Dianne Driessen, and Ardith Peck

Wharf to Aquarium - Sept. 20

Julie Smith, Chris Parmentier, Karen Hall, Nancy Edwards, Eileen Tremain and Nancy Soulé

Romancing the Coast

Friday, Nov. 17 - Trotter Art Gallery Tour with Terry Trotter, 301 Forest Avenue, Pacific Grove

(Click here for a map.)

Tour time is 10:00 am. Street parking available. Optional lunch following at The Victorian Corner. Coordinator: Nancy Edwards. RSVP by Nov. 13 to 831-238-3603 or [email protected].

Save the Date: Thursday, January 11 - John Cerney’s Tall Tales Art Exhibit, Triton Art Museum in San Jose

Details to follow. You will immediately recognize the work of John Cerney as his “Billboard Mural Art” is all over the county. Take a peek at: and

Linda Hanger, RTC Coordinator

On August 17, Romancing the Coast toured Mission San Juan Bautista. Standing left to right: Sandy Grimmer, Gail Widener, Ardith Peck, Julie Smith, Chris Parmentier. Kneeling, left to right: Ruth McMaster and Nancy Soulé.

Annie Glass Studio

On September 15, after lunch at the California Grill, we toured the Annie Glass Studio in Watsonville. Unlike blown glass, the technique for making Annie Glass is “slumping”; the hot glass is poured into a ceramic mold and it slumps into the desired shape. Browsing in the factory store was almost as popular as the factory tour.

Earthbound Farm

On October 12, we met at Earthbound Farms for a delightful lesson on the beginnings of bagged salad, the joys (and challenges) of organic farming and an enlightening tour of the gardens, all followed by a tasty lunch in the gazebo. The little zip lock bag in the photo is an example of the first bag they used for the bagged salads.


Anne Albano and Julie Smith, Co-VP Membership

To protect the information of our members, membership information about new members and changes for current members will not be shown in the newsletter. Instead, we will list their names, for you to go to the password-protected online directory (see the third column below) to see what is new, allowing you to make changes in your printed directory. - Editor

Directory Updates

If there are errors or changes in your directory listing, please tell us so corrections can be made. - Editor

Add Meredith Tibbey to your printed directory.

New Members

Patricia Cox

Judy McCormick

Annette Rahn

Online Directory

The password to our password-protected online directory on our website in the Member Center is on the second page of your blue membership directory. (If you cannot find it, call Julie Smith or Anne Albano.) This is where all of our members' contact information is readily accessible.

New Member Bios

Patricia Cox

Pat received a BA from Clarke University (Dubuque) and is interested in the book groups.

Judy McCormick

Judy attended Chico State University, earning a B.S., R.N. and PhN. She is a retired R.N. and is interested in book groups and Great Decisions. Her hobbies are reading and gardening, and she has a project to sort family photos to pass on to her children. She recently moved here from the Bay Area and loves the peace and quiet here. She has three grown children, and two grandsons are attending college in Sydney, Australia.

Annette Rahn

Annette received a BA from Connecticut College, an MA from Columbia University's Teachers College, and an MBA from Santa Clara University. She worked as a marketing research project manager for over 30 years. In 2018, they moved to Carmel Valley Ranch. She is interested in Romancing the Coast, and a Gourmet Group if it forms. Her hobbies are knitting, cooking, playing mahjong, and walking/hiking. She volunteers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

In Memoriam - Margo Hohulin

Margo Hohulin passed away on October 24 from complications of cancer that she had battled for several years. She joined our branch in the fall of 2019. She worked with our then treasurer to eventually move into that position until it was realized that health issues would not permit it.

Our deepest condolences to her husband John on his loss.

Board Meetings

Nov. - no meeting

Dec. - TBD





Jan./Feb. Messenger

Please email articles for the Jan./Feb. newsletter to

Caryl Rojas by Dec. 15.

AAUW California News

AAUW California has a campaign with a focus on LinkedIn advertising to raise awareness among educators about AAUW's mission. It includes a new educator landing page on their website. They also have a LinkedIn Company Page, "AAUW California on LinkedIn".

It's time to consider becoming a candidate for a position on the AAUW California Board of Directors. More information will be coming.


If you paid the full $115 AAUW yearly dues, $69 of that is tax deductible. In addition, any donations to our charitable funds will be tax deductible for a tax year if paid by December 31st of that year and if you itemize deductions. Note that a donation to any of these three areas can also be made in honor or in memory of a friend or family member.

More information and a donation form (optional) may be found at this link to our website. If making a donation directly from an IRA as a qualified charitable donation (QCD), consult your tax advisor or for further information.
Tech Trek

Make check payable to "AAUW-CA SPF"
with "Tech Trek, Monterey Peninsula" in the
memo line.
Send to Karen Hall
13 Harryette Drive
Salinas, CA 93905-3319

Make check payable to "AAUW"
with "AAUW Fund" in the memo line.
Send your check to Gabriele Simbriger-Williams
P.O. Box 1786
Monterey, CA 93942
or donate at, including your member ID for credit to our branch.
Local Scholarships

Make check payable to "AAUW-MPB Local Scholarships".
Send your check to
Kathy Poulson
1092 Presidio Road
Pebble Beach, CA 93953
Newsletter Schedule

Newsletters are published around the 1st of the months of September, November, January, March and May. There will be short "eblasts", containing reminders or special announcements. If you do not receive a newsletter, please contact me so we can fix it. Please note that newsletter content will relate only to AAUW and branch matters, a policy of AAUW National.

Caryl Rojas, Newsletter Editor