the weekly Tally 10.15.20


The great thing about having a billionaire back your journalistic enterprise is that there’s a billionaire backing your journalistic enterprise. The awful thing about having a billionaire back your journalistic enterprise is that they can lose interest and take their money away. So it went for The California Sunday Magazine, which announced the week of Oct. 5 that it was suspending publication after the Emerson Collective, the organization founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, the wife of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, was cutting its ties with the magazine. Over its lifespan, California Sunday won three National Magazine Awards and found its home as an insert in the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle, but went all-digital in June. Emerson acquired California Sunday’s parent company, Pop-Up Magazine Productions, in 2018; the parent company produced live stage performances of the magazine across the country – multimedia shows that combined storytelling and music and visuals and which normally sold out within hours after dates and locations were announced. Emerson Collective announced in August it was cutting ties with Pop-Up Magazine as well.


“We’re anti-Whole Foods. We’re going in the opposite direction.” - Jay Dolata, co-owner of Elroy’s Fine Foods, on the grocery store’s mission.



The bad news is that the federal government can’t even reach consensus on the cause of the climate crisis. The good news is that local governments are taking action, and three local cities are among 36 in California to be recognized by the Institute for Local Government for “measurable achievements in saving energy and reducing greenhouse gases at the local level, amid significant challenges related to the ongoing pandemic.” The Beacon Sustainability and Climate Action Awards were announced Oct. 8 during the California League of Cities’ annual conference with “spotlight” recognition going to Seaside and Salinas, and a “vanguard” award – reserved for just six cities – going to Pacific Grove. The Beacon Program is funded partly by utility ratepayers through the public goods charge, levied by the California Public Utilities Commission, and providing sustainability frameworks to local governments.


The Monterey Bay’s most recent amazing wildlife discovery happened not in the water but on the sandy shores of Moss Landing State BeachCryptocteniza Kawtak, a species of trapdoor spider, was officially declared and named in a new scientific article by UC Davis professor Jason Bond. Trapdoor spiders hunt by digging a hole and covering it with a door of soil hinged by silk. They wait until their prey arrives and then launch out of the hole to attack. The genus name of this trapdoor spider is Cryptocteniza, which is a combination of the Greek words for “hidden” and “comb.” The species name, Kawtak, was selected in a public competition and means “on the seashore” in the Mutsun language that was spoken by the area’s indigenous inhabitants. Bond first found a female of the species in 1997, but waited until finding the first male in 2019 to officially declare the discovery.

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