WHO’S IN TOWN?
School may be out for the summer, but for many teachers it’s a time for learning. Monterey Challenge Institute 2019 is in town to help educators from all over the world bridge the digital learning gap students experience due to unequal access to the internet and digital tools, as well as a lack of understanding of how to use technology productively. The institute is led by Digital Promise, an independent, bipartisan nonprofit created by the U.S. Congress and President George H. Bush in 2008 and formally launched by President Barack Obama in 2011. The summer institute focuses on challenge-based learning, encouraging teams to think big, ask questions, investigate and solve problems.
Mon-Wed July 8-10. Embassy Suites, 1441 Canyon Del Rey, Seaside. $499. digitalpromise.org.
What’s not new is that President Donald Trump uses Twitter as a platform to announce policy proposals, foreign policy deals and attack the media. What is new is the verve and frequency with which he has been doing the latter. According to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a project of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, Trump has tweeted more than 7,000 times and more than 11 percent of those tweets insulted or criticized the media. (They keep track in a Google sheet; check it out at pressfreedomtracker.us. There are some doozies.) There were 56 such anti-media tweets in June 2019 alone, when Trump launched his re-election campaign. “Over the first 19 days of June, the president posted 45 tweets containing critical, insinuating, condemning or threatening rhetoric about the press, including four references to the media as the ‘enemy,’” the tracker reports. On June 15, for example, he accused the New York Times of “a virtual act of Treason” for reporting on increased cyberattacks by the U.S. against Russia.
GOOD WEEK / BAD WEEK
Good news arrived for Hartnell College in a June 28 letter from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges: The college’s accreditation has been reaffirmed for seven years. It’s a sigh of relief after a long journey to get here: In 2007, the ACCJC placed Hartnell on accreditation probation and issued seven recommendations to get the college into compliance, including ensuring accuracy in the course catalogue. In 2013, the ACCJC again placed Hartnell on probation, this time with 12 compliance recommendations, including filling vacant and interim administrative positions. In a congratulatory letter noting the college had met all 128 standards, ACCJC President Richard Winn wrote, “The team commends [Hartnell] College for the successful implementation of its mission and commitment to student learning, student achievement, and student participation.”
The dream of salvaging the region’s wastewater, purifying it and introducing it back into the water supply was supposed to become a reality on July 1. But the plan, known as Pure Water Monterey, ran into the kind of delays that often plague large-scale projects: Weather events, deliveries postponed, unanticipated complications. One of agencies running the project, Monterey One Water, says it is now expected to go online in September or October. The agency also reports the final cost of the water recycling plant is going to be $124 million, or 10-percent more expensive than originally planned. (The good news is that amount will be more than offset by recently awarded grants.) An updated estimate shows water produced by the plant will also be more expensive than originally projected, about $2,000-$2,100 per acre-foot; an initial projection had put that figure at $1,720 per acre-foot.