The Weekly Tally 05.09.19

WHO’S IN TOWN?

More and more decisions are being made for us by machines through artificial intelligence, raising important questions that the bookSolomon’s Code: Humanity in a World of Thinking Machines attempts to answer. AI has great potential for doing good, but can also do great harm by threatening, manipulating and alienating people – and whole nations – from one another. In town this week is one of the book’s authors, Olaf J. Groth, Ph.D., a Middlebury Institute of International Studies alum who is now the founder and managing partner of the Cambrian Group, a network of advisers on the current tech boom, including AI. He’s also a professor at the Hult International Business School. He’ll be speaking at his alma mater and signing his new book.

6-8pm Fri May 10. Middlebury Institute, McCone Building, 499 Pierce St., Monterey. Free. middlebury.edu.

FREE SPEECH

It’s awards season, that time to look back on the year gone by. The California News Publishers Association announced the 2018 California Journalism Awards on May 4, and the Weekly is stoked to be well represented in our category (weeklies with a circulation of 25,000 or higher). Managing Editor Dave Faries won first place for agricultural reporting for a cover story on the wine grape harvest – earning a judge’s comment that “just like a fine wine, this story has balance” – and third for sports reporting on the Monterey Amberjacks. Senior Staff Writer Mary Duan took third for both her column (“Local Spin”) and in-depth reporting for coverage of Tami Huntsman, who killed two children in her care. Staff writer Marielle Argueza and P.G. High School senior Lorenz Cushman won third for coverage of youth for our special section, “Student Voices,” and reporting on gun violence. Art Director Karen Loutzenheiser won fourth for cover design, and, with graphic designer Raul Magallanes, second for special section cover design.

GOOD WEEK / BAD WEEK

GOOD:

Monterey Bay Community Power kicked off its electric vehicle incentive program on May 1 as a springboard to its goal of getting 15 percent of vehicles in Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties to be powered by electricity by 2030. Teaming up with theMonterey Bay Air Resources Board, they put some muscle behind the idea: Through July, MBCP customers can get a discount of $4,000-$7,000 off the purchase of a new VW e-Golf, Nissan Leaf or Chevy Bolt from three local dealers, plus low-income buyers can get an additional $3,500 discount. At Cardinale Nissan in Seaside, the incentives net Leaf S-plus customers a $4,000 discount on a purchase. Those discounts can then be added to federal, state and local rebates and tax incentives, saving as much as an additional $10,000. All EVs – from any dealer – qualify for smaller incentives after Aug. 1.

BAD:

Bad news came for Discovery Whale Watch on Fisherman’s Wharf when they saw their shiny new whale-watching boat sail away from Monterey Harbor. Discovery co-owners John Mayer and Mathew Arcoleo bought the Island Explorer 3 for $1.2 million hoping to expand their business, and piloted the boat from 1,000 miles from Washington back to Monterey – but without a place to dock it. They are in an ongoing dispute with Monterey city officials over whether their lease on the wharf allows them the 100 feet of water space required to fit the boat. Without an agreement, and their pending claim against the city, the seller repossessed the boat on May 1. “It’s a gut punch,” Arcoleo says, “but we plan to keep fighting. We think it’s indisputable that we have 100 feet in our lease. We will be irrelevant without a larger boat to compete with the other guys.”

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