The Weekly Tally 08.15.19

WHO’S IN TOWN?

“We do not see any borders from space… From up here it is crystal clear that on Earth we are one humanity, we eventually all share the same fate.” So said Alexander Gerst, a German astronaut from the International Space Station during a violent confrontation between Israelis and Palestians in 2014. Go high enough, and there is no visible border fence or wall between the U.S. and Mexico. At ground level the rhetoric over the border is now at a fever pitch. One take will be presented by Sharat G. Lin, a research fellow at San Jose Peace and Justice Center, who is in town to give a talk titled “Challenging the Border.” He’ll talk about the border as a social construct that “deforms flows of human beings, goods, services, knowledge and capital across a vast landscape that was once open to all.”

3-5pm, Sat Aug. 17. Monterey Peace and Justice Center, 1364 Fremont Blvd., Seaside. Free. peacecentral.wordpress.com.

FREE SPEECH

The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors counts 287 newspaper members (including the Weekly), most of them (250) in the U.S. There are also member papers located in Australia, Canada, Ireland, China, South Africa, the U.K. and five in Nepal. Two dozen Nepalese editors and reporters recently convened in Kathmandu for a conference titled “Relevancy of the Weekly Newspaper and its Future,” and a report in ISWNE’s latest newsletter shows the climate for Nepalese papers is just as uncertain as in the U.S., partly because of policy interpretations that diminish the freedom of the press. Nepal’s 2015 Constitution calls for “complete press freedom,” but also includes a subjective “reasonable restriction” clause. “Nepali weeklies completed their political mission,” Shambhu Shrestha, editor in chief of Dirsthi Weekly, told ISWNE. “Now the time has come to focus on safeguarding our rights. Now government is making laws to curtail press freedom… Early journalism was full of conscience, but now it is full of commercial factors. There is a big challenge to protect the future of weeklies, which bear the great history of journalism.”

GOOD WEEK / BAD WEEK

GOOD:

It’s been a decade since the start of the Great Recession, and some local cities are still in recovery mode, Marina included. There’s finally a plan to get staffing back to pre-recession levels. On Aug. 6 the city’s Recreation and Cultural Services Commission submitted its annual report. The commission – which oversees Marina’s parks, Teen Center and senior programs – listed its accomplishments (like improving parks) and recommendations for the future. Those include restoring staffing. Since the economic downturn, “programming has been limited and challenged by very low staffing levels,” the report states. Among the positions: a grant writer, someone to oversee fee-based classes and a senior rec staff leader. Marina’s rec team has been doing a lot with a little, and is ready to expand back to where they should be.

BAD:

In 2017, Salinas’ loss looked like it would become Gonzales’ gain: Vegetable giant Mann Packing broke ground on a new processing plant in the South County city, anticipating 500 jobs by November of 2018. The process slowed down last year when Florida-based Fresh Del Monte Producebought Mann Packing, and the new facility is still unoccupied, except for some cooler storage and product transfer. The company’s temporary certificate of occupancy expires on Sept. 1, and city officials and Mann representatives are scheduled to meet on Aug. 15 to hash out next steps, chiefly concerning whether the built-out vegetable washing and packing facility will overload the city’s wastewater treatment system. “What we’re doing right now is we’re trying to figure out how to best work within the footprint,” VP of Operations April Blackmore says.

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