The Weekly Tally 07.28.22

FREE SPEECH

Every year, Pulitzer Prizes – the most prestigious awards in journalism – acknowledge the best work in a range of categories. In 2018, The Washington Post and The New York Times shared the award for national reporting for their coverage of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and Russia’s ties to allies of former president Donald Trump, who won that year. Stories included revelations that Trump then attempted to influence investigations into that influence on American elections, with serious implications for the integrity of the country’s democratic institutions. Trump appealed, asking the Pulitzer board to rescind the awards, and threatened to sue for defamation. In a letter to the Pulitzer board, Trump wrote (falsely) that the stories were “based on false reporting of a non-existent link between the Kremlin and the Trump Campaign.” In response, the Pulitzer board commissioned two independent reviews of the Post’s and Times’ submissions, and on July 17, announced the findings: The reporting is credible and holds up to scrutiny. “The 2018 Pulitzer Prizes in National Reporting stand.”

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“Our friends and neighbors and our Graniterock people are in those homes.” – Keith Severson of Graniterock, speaking about the Anzar Fire that began on the company’s quarry on July 21. It burned 104 acres (see story, mcweekly.com)

GOOD WEEK / GREAT WEEK

GOOD:

During the days of widespread Covid restrictions, Del Rey Oaks resident Ryan Sanchez took his daughter down to the city’s basketball court at Del Rey Park, where he hadn’t been for years. When he saw its state, he was dismayed; the surface was cracked and uneven. Sanchez is a basketball guy: He played on the UC Davis team, and coached for 10 years at Carmel High – the girls team for two years and the boys team for eight years. So he got to work and started doing research – “I had a lot of time on my hands,” he says – and took his proposal to Mayor Alison Kerr. She, and the city, were enthusiastic. This spring, Sanchez started fundraising for donations to pay for a new court, and estimates he’s raised between $20,000-$30,000 so far; Carmel Gives and Monterey Peninsula Foundation are handling the donations. Sanchez estimates construction will start and finish in early fall.

GREAT:

Water from several drainages flows into Lake El Estero in Monterey. It was once an estuary with ocean connectivity; these days, to prevent flooding during storms, city officials pump water out of the lake and into Monterey Bay. The great news is that thanks to $1 million in state funds, a new pumping system will be installed that redirects that excess water, generally between 110 and 140 acre-feet per year: Instead of going into the ocean, it will go to Monterey One Water’s sewer system, which uses advanced water recycling to treat it and put it back into the drinking water supply. This project was originally intended to be part of the sourcewater for M1W’s Pure Water Monterey project, but without guaranteed funding – meaning an uncertain timeline – it was dropped, says Tricia Wotan, Monterey’s environmental regulations manager. Now it’s on track, and expected to come online in three years.

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