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The Buzz 07.09.20

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FREE SPEECH

It might look like a small and subtle change, but new guidance from the Associated Press Stylebook to capitalize the words Black and Indigenous when used as ethnic or racial terms turns them into proper nouns, making a significant change. “The lowercase black is a color, not a person,” according to AP’s explanation for the change. “These changes align with long-standing capitalization of other racial and ethnic identifiers such as Latino, Asian American and Native American. Our discussions on style and language consider many points, including the need to be inclusive and respectful in our storytelling and the evolution of language.” At the Weekly, we adhere to earlier guidance from AP when it comes to publishing a person’s ethnic identity: “avoid broad generalizations and labels.” To that end, our preference remains for more precise terms whenever appropriate – such as “Esselen” or “Chumash,” rather than the more general Indigenous, or more descriptive phrases like “an immigrant from Nigeria” or “Caribbean American” rather than Black.

GOOD WEEK / BAD WEEK

GOOD:

Pandemic or no pandemic, the Blue Zones Project is still chipping away at a goal of improving long-term health outcomes for Monterey County residents. Part of that means bringing in businesses and institutions to implement healthy lifestyle opportunities. The county’s first two Blue Zones-approved schools were designated on July 2: Los Padres Elementary School and Monterey Park Elementary School, both in Salinas City Elementary School District. The schools now offer baskets of fresh fruit to kids at recess, and forbade snacks and drinks other than water in classrooms and hallways. They both cleaned up under-utilized school gardens to encourage more outdoor learning. “It’s clear that SCESD is very committed to optimizing school environments to better promote physical, social and emotional health,” says Griselda Reyes, lead for schools for the Blue Zones Project. “It’s really empowering.”

GREAT:

For a decade, Monterey-Salinas Transit has been looking for a place to grow. In 2011, the agency envisioned a new bus yard on the former Fort Ord at a proposed development called Whispering Oaks. When voters turned in signatures for a referendum on that project, MST’s plans also came to a halt. So the agency started looking elsewhere, and in 2016, MST acquired a 4.8-acre lot in King City with plans to expand in South County. And this week, on July 10, they finally break ground on the new 11,000-square-foot South County Operations & Maintenance Facility that will support maintenance of 40 buses, as well as administrative functions. A group (of no more than 12 people, all with face coverings and at least six feet apart) will be there to celebrate the start of construction on the $13.5 million project, which is funded with a combination of federal, state and local sources.

OVERHEARD

“It’s a me problem, not a mask problem.”
-A woman complaining to her friend about how her nose is too big, making it hard to find a mask that fits, while waiting in line at Rite Aid in Pacific Grove

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