The Weekly Tally 01.28.21

FREE SPEECH

Call it The Purge, social media-style. In the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the social media platform Twitter permanently banned Donald Trump, owing to two tweets company officials say violated the platorm’s “glorification of violence policy.” Those two tweets, the first of which lauded those followers who voted for him and the second of which stated he was not attending the inauguration of President Joe Biden, seemed mild in comparison to the past four years of his timeline. And after the Trump purge, starting about Jan. 9, Twitter set about blocking the accounts of thousands of QAnon followers, after Q followers figured prominently in the attacks at the Capitol. Among the accounts purged: that of former Seaside mayoral candidate Joseph Smith. While Smith told TV news station KION that he previously removed Q content, which he called conspiracy theories, from his timeline, the user name still visible on Smith’s suspended account, @Verittas13, reads “The ParatrQQper PatriQt Effect,” an homage. QAnon’s underlying (and untrue) theory is that a “deep state” of pedophiles in the government set out to undermine Trump.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“They are big and charming and sort of doofy.” – Biologist Rachel Anderson speaking about the California red-legged frogs she studies, which are facing a new threat: invasive crayfish (story, p. 6).

GOOD WEEK / GREAT WEEK

GOOD

It’s good news for the region, which is in need of highly trained nurses during a pandemic, that Hartnell College’s associate degree nursing program was ranked number one among 423 schools in the Western region by NursingProcess.org, an online resource for prospective nursing students. Hartnell students had a 100 percent passing rate on a national licensure exam in 2016, 2018 and 2019. (The pass rate was 91 percent in 2017.) Debra Kaczmar, Hartnell dean of academic affairs for nursing and health, credited the school’s alliance with health care providers in the Salinas Valley that provide hands-on training, as well as student diversity, small class sizes, private funding support and its faculty. Erica Padilla-Chavez, president of Hartnell’s governing board, said in a statement: “The best evidence of our program’s quality is the outstanding reputation our graduates have earned as nurses right here in the Salinas Valley.”

GREAT:

It happened so quickly that even the mayor of Los Angeles didn’t know it was coming. On the monring of Jan. 25, the California Department of Public Health ended the Covid-19 regional stay-at-home order, effective immediately. It means outdoor dining is able to commence (immediately) and that hair and nail salons (with proper Covid-19 protection measures in place) can also re-open immediately. And also ending is the 10pm-5am nightly curfew instituted in December, part of that stay-at-home order. It’s a result, the CDPH said in a statement, of the regional ICU bed capacity projections rising to above 15 percent. By no means is the pandemic over, and Monterey County is now back to where it was before, in the most restrictive Purple Tier. To exit it, the county must achieve seven or fewer new cases per day, per 100,000 residents, on average over seven days. (The state reports the county’s average case rate is currently 80.3 cases per day per 100,000 residents.)

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