Krista Almanzan

For kids growing up on the Central Coast, actually getting to the ocean can depend on their socioeconomic status or where their families live.

Some young people surf and explore in the tide pools, while others never visit the Bay.  But here's some good news: the Monterey Bay region is teeming with programs to inspire the next generation of marine scientists, no matter who they are or where they come from. 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Walnuts are one of the highest value crops in California -- bringing in almost $2 billion every year. But keeping the crop free of destructive insects can be costly.

Scientists are studying if walnut growers could reduce their pest control costs by employing hungry bats.

Sean McNamara is walking toward a white barn at his family’s walnut orchards outside of Winters.  "So here are three boxes," says McNamara.  He looks up about 15 feet at bat boxes attached to the side of the barn.

Doug McKnight

Monterey County’s only art house cinema abruptly closed last month, leaving behind a gaping hole for movie goers looking for new documentaries and independent films.  But now there’s an effort underway to re-open the Osio Cinemas in downtown Monterey.

Jirko Senkel stands in the deserted lobby of the Osio Cinemas. It’s theaters are dark.  The popcorn machine is empty and no one is selling tickets. In fact, the only thing filling the lobby these days are the sounds of the adjacent café.

Krista Almanzan

There’s a saying at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca: “for people, not for profit”.  That’s because behind the multi-million dollar events that happen at the track off Highway 68 is the non-profit Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP).

SCRAMP built the raceway from the ground up back in 1957 on land owned by Monterey County, and has run the facility ever since.  But today it finds itself on shaky ground with its landlord.

Krista Almanzan

If you want to see the future of California, look no further than Salinas.  That’s the assertion of a four month reporting project by the journalism non-profit Zocalo Public Square.   It’s called Salinas: California’s Richest Poor City