The Weekly Tally 05.30.19

WHO’S IN TOWN?

Imagine running into battle carrying another human being on your back. That’s what ground soldiers do every time they don body armor, helmets and other items known as Personal Protective Equipment. PPE can weigh as much as 120 pounds. While it saves lives, it also reduces soldier effectiveness. In 2016, the U.S. Army embarked on a plan to reduce PPE weight. Enter scientists, who are researching how to maximize high-performance materials to reduce load but keep safety. Sikhanda Satapathy is in town this week to talk about his work leading the computational mechanics team in the Soldier Protection Sciences Branch of the Army Research Laboratory in Maryland, where his team studies how the body interacts with PPE when armor comes under fire.

11am Fri, May 31. Department of Physics, Naval Postgraduate School, 833 Dyer Road, Monterey. Free. Contact Professor Frank Narducci for campus access, frank.narducci@nps.edu.

FREE SPEECH

Maybe you’ve seen the video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, speaking about failed negotiations with President Donald Trump. With a simple movie-editing maneuver, the video is slowed down, making Pelosi appear like she’s slurring her words, maybe drunk. The slowed-down video went viral, and then a news story quickly spread about how the video had been altered. YouTube removed the altered video, but it remains available onFacebook and Twitter. Twitter’s policies allow “inaccurate statements about an elected official,” while Facebook officials have said they’d reduce the frequency with which the video surfaces in users’ feeds – but not remove the video. “We don’t have a policy that stipulates that the information you post on Facebook must be true,” according to a statement the social media giant provided to the Washington Post. That’s in contrast to the Post – as well as the Weekly, and countless other media outlets – that do have policies regarding that information we publish is accurate and true.

GOOD WEEK / BAD WEEK

GOOD:

In 2013, a nonprofit created by the Bakker family – plus the labor of some 3,000 volunteers – led to Salinas’ first accessible playground, Tatum’s Garden. It’s named for Tatum Bakker, who was born with spina bifida and uses a wheelchair. It wasn’t long after opening their first playground that the Bakkers started thinking about a second to serve more kids of all abilities, but plans to build one at Toro Park fell through. That led Tatum’s Garden Foundation to put out a request for proposals looking for alternate locations, and a site in play is a win-win: They’re now in talks with thecity of Marina to build an accessible playground as part of a new city park across from Water City Sports Center, currently home to dilapidated barracks. “The timing seemed really good, as we already had a park in the planning process,” says Public Works Director Brian McMinn, who announced the plan May 21 to City Council.

BAD:

The class of 2019 has graduated, and CSU Monterey Bay has quieted down for the summer. CSUMB’s Personal Growth and Counseling Center is set to get even quieter in June, when Senior Director for Health and Wellness Services Caroline Haskell retires after 23 years. With her departure, CSUMB loses a lot of institutional knowledge: Haskell was a founding director of CSUMB, and has counseled thousands of students and scaled up mental health services significantly. “Caroline has truly been an integral piece in building our community here,” Ronnie Higgs, VP of Student Affairs says in an email. A replacement has not yet been named; the process of forming a search committee is underway. Haskell plans to continue clinical therapy in her private practice and is currently working on a contract for the California Endowment to address inequity in mental health services.

 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY CLASSIFIEDS

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