the Weekly Tally 05.20.21

FREE SPEECH

When the governor of California decides to make a local school his stage for a big statewide announcement, you can be sure local press will show up. So it was that on May 12, Gov. Gavin Newsom appeared at Elkhorn Elementary School to propose a sweeping $20 billion proposal for California’s education system. The WeeklyMonterey HeraldSalinas CalifornianKSBW and Telemundo were among local outlets present. But the parameters from where they could report were limited; Weekly Staff Photographer Joel Angel Juárez attempted to photograph Newsom walking up to the school, but a staffer from Newsom’s team stood in his way and said no photos of Newsom’s arrival would be allowed. “It’s not the story we want to portray,” the staffer said. Newsom toured the school but the press was not allowed to follow that part of his visit. “We were explicitly asked by the school not to allow press into the classroom,” Newsom’s communications director, Erin Mellon, writes by email. The governor, however, did have a team with him recording, and some of that footage was used in a short video produced by the governor’s office about the announcement.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“You will be able to make that recipe as well as any chef in any restaurant in the world.” – Chef Daniel Weinstein, a recipe developer at Driscoll’s, believes anyone can learn to cook to impress (read Food & Drink story).

GOOD WEEK / GREAT WEEK

GOOD:

The Covid-19 pandemic may have shut down the conference industry but it didn’t shut down innovation. The Monterey Conference Center is now poised to join a movement toward virtual or hybrid events through use of a state-of-the-art 10,000-square-foot studio by Canadian company Immersive Design Studios. The studio, located in the Steinbeck Ballroom, is equipped with 360-degree wraparound screens that use IDS’ CANVAS software platform. Not only do viewers get a 360-degree view of what’s happening in Monterey, but the speaker or performers can see thousands of attendees at once. Up to 80 in-person guests can be accommodated. An announcement from the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau called the studio a safe and cost effective way to reach audiences “without compromising on the quality and communal energy of an in-person event.”

GREAT:

The Monterey County Board of Supervisors delivered great news for the South County community of San Lucas on May 11, when they voted 5-0 to fund $881,840 worth of sidewalk and curb improvements. The idea started for County Supervisor Chris Lopez when he visited San Lucas School. “I explained the most important thing they could do is use your voice,” Lopez says. “Thinking about your community, what could make it better?” Students followed up and instead of an out-there wish list, they asked for basics – sidewalks. “I think you guys should really put sidewalks in San Lucas because it is very dangerous for us kids,” one student wrote. “King City has sidewalks and it is not fair that we don’t have any.” The amount is the biggest expenditure in this year’s $1.35 million Community Development Block Grant funds, allocated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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