The world is watching Belarus after its government took unprecedented steps on May 23 to arrest a journalist by diverting and grounding a commercial plane with 120 passengers, and forcibly removing and detaining journalist Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend, Sofia Sapega. They were aboard a flight from Athens to Vilnius when a Belarusian fighter jet diverted the plane and forced it to land in Minsk. Protasevich is the founder of Nexta, a blog and social media channel on Telegram that has been used to coordinate protests against President Alexander Lukashenko, who’s been in power since 1994. Protasevich has been living abroad since 2019 and most recently blogged at Belamova, after blogger Igor Losik was arrested. Governments and press freedom agencies across the planet have condemned the arrest. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “Independent media are an essential pillar supporting the rule of law and a vital component of a democratic society. The U.S. once again condemns the Lukashenko regime’s ongoing harassment and arbitrary detention of journalists.”
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“I make my own rules…
I make it up as I go along.” - Peter Krasa who, at 76, has been running every single day -- for 23 years straight (see Face To Face story).
GOOD WEEK / GREAT WEEK
Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System achieved something only a very few hospitals accomplish, and they did it in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. SVMHS was awarded Magnet recognition by the American Nurses Credentialing Center on May 19, a high distinction for meeting rigorous standards of nursing excellence. Only about 8 percent of hospitals in the U.S. have achieved the designation. There are currently 34 hospitals in California identified as Magnet hospitals. “Achieving Magnet recognition, especially in the face of Covid-19, is a testament to our staff and high standards,” SVMHS President/CEO Pete Delgado said in a statement. The hospital was evaluated on several points including coordination across specialties and the processes for measuring and improving care. Research shows Magnet hospitals experience higher patient satisfaction, lower risk of mortality and higher job satisfaction among nurses.
The Monterey Bay region is now home to a new state park. After a nearly 10-year planning process, the California State Park and Recreation Commission voted to create Ishxenta State Park, named after the Rumsen Native American village formerly established in the region. Located in the Carmel area, Ishxenta State Park is a combination of Point Lobos Ranch and Hatton Canyon. Ishxenta State Park will also include the 20-acre Tatlun Cultural Reserve – named after the former leader of the Rumsen village – aimed at preserving the archaeological remains the village, some of which date back 2,000 years. The new state park comes as a result of the Carmel Area State Parks General Plan, a zoomed-out planning document that sets the stage for fine-tuning the management of the area’s natural resources – a fine-tuning that could eventually include a reservation system for the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.