• Monetary Award to the Carmel Fire Department:
At noon on Thursday, 18 December 2008, the Carmel Fire Department will have an official award presentation announcing an award of $25,302 toward the purchase of firefighting, rescue and medical equipment made available through the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company Heritage Reward and Paul Bystrowski of Monterey Insurance Agencies at the Carmel Fire Station at Sixth Avenue and San Carlos Street.
(Source: Grant for Carmel Fire Department, The Monterey County Herald, Saturday, December 13, 2008)
• 2009 Two-Week Carmel Bach Festival:
Carmel Bach Festival Executive Director Camille Kolles announced this past week that the 2009 Bach Festival will be shortened from three weeks to two weeks. The Festival will begin on Friday, July 17, 2008 and close Saturday, August 1, 2008. Kolles stated that recent attendance was approximately 70 percent of capacity and “the change enables us, above all, to maintain our high artistic standards while at the same time reducing costs in order to ensure the festival’s future viability and financial stability.”
(Source: GO! Magazine, The Monterey County Herald, Thursday, December 11, 2008)
• Forest Theatre Renovation Timeline:
At the 2 December 2008 City Council meeting, the City Council unanimously approved conceptual plans and a $131,000 contract with RFM Architects for a schematic design. The conceptual plan incorporated public comments, including “a 6-foot-high grape-steak fence like the existing fence surrounding the property, onsite parking, a turnout and handicap parking accessible from Santa Rita Street, use of the existing concrete foundation to install new benches and elimination of the center aisle in favor of two new side aisles, improvement of the existing concessions stand, elimination of the ticket and phone booths, new bathrooms in a single building, elimination of the underground corridor, and no change to the basic dimensions and height of the stage.”
The Schematic Design will take approximately three months, according to a letter from theatre architect Richard F. McCann. And according to City Administrator Rich Guillen, construction would commence by April 2009 and be completed by May 2010 in time for the Forest Theatre’s Centennial.
While City Administrator Rich Guillen stated that “people would have plenty of time to comment on the design as it wends its way through the city approval process,” it appears that the time for public hearings of the Forest and Beach Commission, Planning Commission and City Council were not taken in consideration. To wit, RFM Architects’ Schematic Design for the renovation of the Forest Theatre is expected to be completed in three months or by March 2009. Then, public hearings will ostensibly occur, a competitive bidding process and finally a negotiated contract with the selected company: the entire process could conceivably take months. Ergo, the suggestion made by Executive Director Stephen Moorer of Pacific Repertory Theatre that construction begin “after the curtain drops on the final production in October, which would provide seven months before the start of the spring 2010 season,” is reasonable and prudent, especially in the context of the Forest Theatre not having had major renovations in almost 100 years.
(Source: Architect gets $131,000 for next Forest Theater design phase, MARY BROWNFIELD, The Carmel Pine Cone, December 12, 2008)