WHO’S IN TOWN?
There is a love of cars and car culture that pre-dates Car Week, which begins Aug. 9. Before classic automobiles were rolled out onto the greens for the first time in 1950, tricked-out lowrider cars were already a thing down in Los Angeles and destined to become an icon of California culture. The inauguralTavares Family Car Club Lowrider Super Show features lowriders, and also trucks, motorcycles, bikes, pedal cars and even more vehicle variations. One of the biggest events of the show will be the Super Hop Competition, hosted by China Man, a well-loved lowrider driver. The event and competition is sanctioned by Lowrider Magazine and is billed as family-friendly, with live music and DJs.
10am-5pm Sat Aug. 3. Salinas Municipal Airport, 30 Mortensen Ave., Salinas. $40; free/children 10 and under. taverasfamilycarclub.com.
Facebook stole the headlines this week when the Federal Trade Commission announced a $5 billion settlement with the social media company, theSecurities and Exchange Commission announced a $100 million settlement and the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would investigate Big Tech. Meanwhile, big print newspaper companies are also getting bigger: Gannett, the largest newspaper owner by circulation in the U.S. (including The Salinas Californian), is in merger talks with GateHouse Media, the largest newspaper owner by number of newspapers. The Wall Street Journal reported, “private-equity-based GateHouse has a reputation for aggressively slashing expenses at titles it acquires.” If the two publishing giants merge, the company will own one in every six papers in the U.S., according to the Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media at the University of North Carolina. CISLM reports that from 2004 to 2018, the total number of U.S. newspaper owners has decreased from 3,897 to 2,654.
GOOD WEEK / BAD WEEK
At least one species is bucking the extinction trend that is threatening our planet’s biodiversity. In July, wildlife officials announced the 1,000th California condor has hatched since efforts to save the critically endangered species from extinction began several decades ago. In 1982, the total population numbered only 22. That was when all remaining wild condors were brought into captivity. A captive breeding program proved successful and condors were reintroduced into the wild starting in 1992. According to the conservation nonprofit Ventana Wildlife Society, California’s Central Coast is now home to 98 condors. An additional 365 birds are found in Utah, Arizona and Baja California. The main threat to condors comes from scavenging animal remains that are poisoned with lead from bullets. That danger should diminish now that California has made it illegal to hunt using lead ammunition as of July 1.
Scott Pruitt may not be the head of the Environmental Protection Agency anymore, but his efforts to walk back an Obama-era recommendation to ban the brain-harming pesticide chlorpyrifos are leaving a legacy. In 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals told the EPA they had 60 days to enact a ban, but the EPA asked for a rehearing. The case, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) v. Wheeler, was heard again this April. It was filed against the EPA by a coalition of agricultural, social and environmental groups relying on the agency’s own data, showing the dangers of chlorpyrifos (see story, p. 12). The court gave EPA three options: ban the pesticide, finalize its science and work on a proposed ban, or deny the ban. On July 18, EPA decided to go with complete denial. States including Hawaii and California have already enacted bans of chlorpyrifos, but a federal ban is now off the books.