(This is a personal opinion. Expressing it was provoked by, in the
writer's opinion, a misuse or misunderstanding of the meaning and use of
the word, "ethical.")
A fairly recent article in Automotive News asserts that autonomous cars
make ethical decisions.
If a connected car can make better and faster decisions, isn't it a
niggling quibble to say it isn't capable of ethical decisions?
Nonsense. Ascribing moral agency to a motor vehicle is an
anthropomorphic projection that abdicates human responsibility. Or it may be sophistry promoting acceptance of self-driving cars by
suggesting they are or can be equipped to choose between good and bad.
It is the driver who makes the ethical decision to cede responsibility
to the connected car and its programmers.
Granted, increasingly sophisticated computers can absorb relevant data
and calculate relative outcomes more quickly as compared to a human
behind the wheel but, faced with a choice of evils, will a car choose to
sacrifice itself and its passengers?
Will it take in to consideration who and how many passengers are in the
car and their relative worth as compared to a gaggle of school children
alongside the road or doddering old folks on the other side?
Regardless of the outcome in that situation would the defense be, "the
car made me do it." Let us hope not. An example that comes to mind are
concentration camp guards and commandants' excuse that they were "just
following orders." Or, more currently, ISIS beheadings in the name of
Allah. Or, a recent headline in TU-Automotive: "Smart Services Could
Shoulder The Burden of Thinking."
The historic tendency of humans to give over their freedom (and
responsibility) to outside agencies is no doubt a reason why Stephen Hawkings,
Bill Gates and Elon Musk have all decried the oncoming of
artificial intelligence and with it, the possibility of autonomous
weapons searching for and engaging targets on their own. Or Google
robots with AI that "learn" from humans and contexts and create their
own version of reality.
As devices become more and more sophisticated and "learn" from each
other there will be a concomitant incentive for humans to let AI rule.
It won't be "the devil made me do it" but "the algorithms decided."
Time Inc. is slated to launch
The DRIVE automotive web site
soon and is going first class (see Lane Changes).
The venture, along with numerous other digital acquisitions and
ventures such as
the launching of The Foundry in house. It will draw on the
company's editorial, web and app developers, tech experts and
outsiders as needed to provide cross-channel content marketing
Meanwhile New York Times' CEO Mark Thompson believes that the company's
digital revenue will soon surpass the company's print income
which is now 70% of its total revenues. Margaret
Sullivan, Public Editor for The NYT,
reported Thompson told her,
"I think five years is
feasible to reach that tipping point." . . . Auto enthusiast
publisher TEN, on the other hand, sees a future in video on
demand, Erik Sass reports in Media Post. TEN recently announced
that one of its print titles, Motor Trend has launched a new
subscription TV service that will bring subscribers
1000 hours of original automotive programming, including racing
footage, episodic series, event coverage, historical archives,
films, documentaries and selected television series. It will also provide
video produced by other TEN publications. The Motor Trend OnDemand venture follows TEN's
launching a print version, event
series and website spun from its popular Roadkill video series.
The aforementioned Mr. Sass also reports The New York
Daily News launching
Daily News Autos "a digital content hub
and resource for consumers in the market for a new car and auto
enthusiasts." He says the new site includes in-depth features
and automotive entertainment content skewing towards
enthusiasts. . . . Forbes will launch a
social network for its "Under 30" members.
Gavin O'Malley of Media Post says the app, expected to be
introduced by Forbes in October. Forbes' Under 30 list presently
includes about 2,000 members from precocious entrepreneurs to
Michael Wolf in
the MIT Technology Review explains why he thinks the New York
Times and other major news publishers should not allow Facebook's Instant Articles,
Apple, Snapchat Discover
and an anticipated similar venture by Google use their content.
They are giving away worthwhile content they pay a great deal of
money for and get no money in return. Building their brand's
value is questionable at best. Their print advertisers get no
added exposure and, if the digital distributor sells ads against
the content they provide, they get only 30 percent. Of course, as
he notes, there is increased incentive for these providers to
include more product promotion, so-called native advertising
in their content a la Buzzfeed. That trend is being fed by
more Content Developers.
If you didn't see it, Top Gear's cast
and producers signed with Amazon Prime for $250 million plus and
will air their new show in the US, UK, Australia and Germany
starting next year where Prime is now available, with more
nations expected to be added to the list. . . .
Apple News has
signed dozens of publishing partners, Erik Sass reports in
Publishers Daily. Among then are Condé Nast, Hearst,
York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Wenner Media,
Bloomberg, Reuters, BuzzFeed, ESPN,
Vox Media and Mashable. Apple returns them 70% of the ad revenues their
content brings in.
Sass also writes that the Washington Post is bolstering its video offering with a launch of a new video content hub:
Washington Post Video. It will deliver fresh video, he says drawn from across the web as well as its own editorial features. He cites the NY Times and Wall Street Journal as among a number of big newspaper publisher focusing on digital to engage audiences and increase revenues. . . .It’s worth noting that 20th Century Fox has increased its investment in
National Geographic print and TV.
Every 2.5 seconds eight startup ventures begin around the globe. It is
not so fast in the U.S. Here, one new startup opens every five seconds.
Those statistics are reported by Tyler Lochner in Real-Time
Daily. His source, a
real-time graphic (below) from
Gasoline, a startup
apparel brand for startups. Its not so bad or crowded as you might
think: in the time it takes for 30 startups to be born, 27 die.
Erik Sass reports in Media Post that Jimmy Wales, founder of
has launched a social network and mobile phone service that allows
customers to donate part of their phone bill to their favorite
non-profit. Begun in the UK in 2012, the network, "TPO", ("The People's
Operator") uses Sprint's mobile service and offers a variety of
subscription plans and the opportunity for people to connect around a
shared cause via text messages and photos while facilitating crowdfunding, without TPO skimming off the top. In announcing the unqiue
service, Wales was quoted, "Existing social networks treat you as a
commodity to be sold to advertisers. This leads naturally to intrusive
use of your data and an inherent conflict between what you want and what
Also in Media Post, Chuck Martin writes, "By
the end of the
year, four times more things than people are expected to be connected to
the Internet." This is based on a report by IC Insights, a company that
"tracks global trends in integrated circuits and other technologies that
power the Internet of Things." The
company predicts there will be 13 billion
things connected by the end of the year and
a total of 25 billion by 2020.
Kaila Colbin, in her Online Spin
column, "A Hacked Jeep Is Just The Tip Of A Very Scary Iceberg," rightly
points out that
security and privacy is major, major concern as all those connections
come into our lives. She warns "...It's doubtful there's any one
answer. But it's clear that, if we don't take this stuff seriously, a
hacked Jeep may just be the least of our worries.". . . . However, it is
worth noting as Andrew Tolve reports in TU Automotive's Weekly Brief
members of the Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers have joined together
to create a U.S-based Information Sharing and Analysis Center (Auto ISAC)
to mitigate the risk of auto hacking. He says the center is expected to
be open by the end of the year and "will serve as a central hub for
intelligence and analysis, providing timely sharing of cyber threat
information and potential vulnerabilities in motor vehicle electronics
or associated in–vehicle networks."
Speaking of AI and
autonomous weapons (see Road Ahead), Michael Knab's Legendary Car Life
reports that a U.S. firm has challenged a Japanese company to a
of giant robots to take place next year. The piloted robots will fire
3-pound paint cannon balls at one another at speeds up to 100 miles per
pit notes |
Media reports of
Mitsubishi closing its only
assembly plant in the U.S. say the company started selling
vehicles here in the ‘80s. They actually began in 1971,
selling Chrysler Colt and Cricket sub-compacts it built in
Japan for distribution by Dodge and Plymouth dealer
networks, respectively. Doing it that way was the huge
Japanese conglomerate's "toe in the water" approach that it
has employed in growing from a wooden ship-builder to a
55-division multi-national operation with its fingers in
building ships, airplanes, and autos, the insurance, banking
and travel industries and other enterprises. It says it will
continue to build cars in Japan for sale through its dealer
If you can't get enough of cars by
driving and working on them and reading and watching them,
you can now add "smell" to your indulgence. Sunoco, official
fuel of NASCA and NHRA, has bottled a spoofy his-and-hers
fragrance called "Burnt Rubbèr" as part of a new advertising
campaign labeled "The Essence of Racing."
Larissa Faw reports
for Media Post that the accent is on the second syllable of
"rub-ber" to add a pseudo French accent to the product.
It is available only on Sunoco's Social media outlets so
awards and events
The 2015 top winners in Auto Pacific's Ideal Car Awards, based
on responses from a survey of 66,00 new owners: Ford- F-150,
Porsche and GMC. . . .Five-time British Rally Champion
McRae won the top prize in the week-long fun-filled Barbados
historic rally - King of The Carnival... . . .SEMA awarded
$150,000 scholarships to 45 current students, and 13
loan-forgiveness awards to employees of SEMA-member companies. .
. .Bob Kocher won a first place division award with the
Lancia he took to what
he terms, "The Midwest's biggest Italian Gathering" (the 10th
annual). . . . Motor racing photographer Jesse Alexander has
received the 2015 International Automotive Media Competition
Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Save The Salt Coalition and the Utah
Alliance are working together as advocates for the land speed
racing (LSR) community to protect the Bonneville Salt Flats. The
cancellation of four of the five major racing events for 2015
due to weather and deteriorating conditions at Bonneville
prompts their campaign and a request for more members. You can
find out more at:
www.savethesalt.org or by contacting
"Landspeed Louise" Noeth: at
Stuart Gosswein, at firstname.lastname@example.org . . . .
Marketing Newsletter's first
one-day show Nov. 9 in NYC will cover the industry, its
executives and advertising innovations. Go
here for more information and to register
. . . . Jimmy Zimmer, Co-founder and President of Lyft
ride-sharing platform, will keynote the Nov. 17 Connected Car
Expo in Los Angeles prior to the L.A. Auto Show Press Days,
Nov. 18-19. Thirty world debuts are slated for this year's show.
NEMPA will hold its annual "housekeeping" meeting Sept. 15. . . .Ford is graciously hosting
IMPA's September 16th (PLEASE
NOTE – IT IS A WEDNESDAY) session at the 3 West Club, 3 West 51st Street
in New York City. Sheryl Connelly, Ford Motor Company's wizard for global consumer trends
and "futuring" will be speaking. The program begins with a noon reception, then lunch
and the presentation/Q&A, all concluding by 2 p.m. . . . It's time to
make reservations for IMPA Test Days, which returns to
Monticello Motor Club in Monticello, NY Tuesday and
Wednesday, October 13-14.
The annual banquet will be held at the Honor's Haven Resort & Spa.
(Attire for the banquet is typically something dressier than a polo
shirt.) When making reservations, please state you are with the IMPA
Group. This will allow you to take advantage of the IMPA rate of $135
for a room (this rate includes all hotel and resort fees - ** DOES NOT
include NY State Taxes).
To make your reservations, contact the Honor's Haven Resort & Spa
reservations department at 877-969-4283 or you can make reservations
online here: Honors Haven.
For full Test Days information and to volunteer, contact
WAPA's September meeting on the 23rd will be at the River Farms in
Alexandria, VA. and will feature a continental breakfast,
luncheon and 2016 MX-5 Miata Drive sponsored by Mazda from 10 a.m. until
with interview opportunities. The group's
fall rally will be Oct. 22nd at the
lodge of Little Seneca Creek, Boyds, MD. Volunteers for the event are
needed. Those interested should contact:
email@example.com. For OEM inquiries about showing
vehicles, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Housing and
is now open for
the 2016 Washington Public Policy Days.
Registration for MAMA's fall rally at The Autobahn Country Club officially closed Friday (Sept. 11). The
day-long Oct. 7 event marks the 25th anniversary of the group's founding. It starts with a 7:30 am breakfast and offers paced touring
laps (60mph) on the track, a pre-planed road tour of the countryside and
a selection of SUVs and trucks to negotiate an off-road course in the
infield. If you want to plead for a late reservation, Contact Jill Ciminillo (email@example.com) or
Patrick Olsen (firstname.lastname@example.org). . . .Or, if you can't make the Rally, join the group on September 22nd at the
CATA Headquarters in Oakbrook Terrace,Il. for lunch, demos and talk with
Rob Filipovic, Product Planning Manager for Jaguar Land Rover.
The Texas Auto Writers Association's famed Texas Truck Rodeo will be
sponsored for the second year in a row by The Steel Market Development
Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel
Institute (AISI). The event will be held Oct. 8-10 at the Knibbe Ranch
outside San Antonio. It attracts auto journalists from across the U.S
who join Texas writers in evaluating the winners in the class
competition and the winner of the
coveted "Truck of Texas" title. The trucks are evaluated back-to-back on
the street, track or off-road. Michelin and BF Goodrich are lunch and
door prize sponsors for the event.
Auto-Design-O and MPG joined forces once again on Sept.1 to bring
together world-class auto design professionals to discuss influences on
their work with auto journalists along with a stimulating showcase of
their work and services
shedding light on the talent, inspirations, and innovations found on the
Rezvani Beast shown by Ferris Rezvani, President and CEO of Rezvani Motors caused a stir at the
MPG and Auto.Design.O gathering of media and designers. Photo: Jan Wagoner
whet their appetite for design, MPG members are invited guests of the
Car Classic 2015 at the famed Art Center College of Design, Oct. 25 in
Pasadena, Calif. Credentialed journalists are admitted free and their
guests can get a deal:
It is a
chance to experience the future during this daylong event at the college
-- a leader in educating the world's top automotive
designers and transportation specialists. . . . Registration is now open
for MPG's annual Track Day
at Willow Springs International Raceway Oct. 6. The event has a new fillip this
year: racing credentials in addition to a valid driver's license are
They may be one of one of the following:
A valid SCCA racing license
A valid NASA racing license
Other recognized racing license or qualification
Evidence of completion of a track-based driving school within the past
Any driver who cannot provide one of the above can qualify to drive on the track in one of three ways:
Attend Track Day One (October 6) and participate in a track driver training course with
Danny McKeever’s team, and receive an endorsement from a pro
driver. Attend Track Day One (October 6) and take a qualifying drive
with a pro driver and receive an endorsement. Appeal to the Track Day
Committee for special consideration based on demonstrated track driving
experience and expertise.
A Celebration of Life for Le Roi "Tex" Smith is scheduled at the
Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, on the grounds of the Los Angeles Fairplex, in Pomona, California for October 3, 2015 from 3pm until 7pm.
For additional information contact Brian Brennan at
The Santa Ana Drags Reunion will be held on Saturday, 3 October 2015, at
Santiago Creek Park, from 10AM to 2PM. For more information contact
Richard Parks at Rnparks1@juno.com . . . . On track to re-open in
December 2015 after a $125M capital campaign, Los Angeles' Petersen
Automotive Museum's immersive technology, visceral storytelling and
stunning galleries will solidify it as the American epicenter of
DiMora Vicci 6.2 A Hihglight of Palos Verdes Concours
The Palos Verde Concours d'Elegance on Sunday Sept. 20 will have
Tour d'Elegance on Saturday the 19th for 50 cars that will traverse the
rolling hills of the Palos Verde Peninsula and conclude with a special
lunch opening of the Terranea Resort restaurant overlooking the Pacific.
Edward Kemper host of Island Driver TV on OC-16 and
autowriter for Hi Luxury magazine provides a run-down of auto
activities in paradise that includes: Auto Lunch Bunch speakers and
displays' Hot-rod shows, Harley Hog rally, regular NBC Motorsports show
with the grizzled, ex-racer/raconteur Bill Maloney; Kemper's daily
Island Driver TV show with tests drives and guests; SCCA races;
Euro Car gatherings, Pacific Super Car Events, Box Car racing and more.
Kemper stresses that the lunch bunch does not require memberships, dues,
etc. and is open at the Hawaii Yacht Club to anyone interested where you
order off the menu and pay your tab. For more information about Hawaii
car life, contact: Edracers@aol.com.
. . .
Maloney's '76 Motorsports Roundup has been signed by the Armed Forces
Network that reaches 188 countries and 340 ships at sea.
On September 4 UBER offered Manhattan Uber users free rides in 2015
Dodge Chargers liveried in Star Wars stormtrooper markings from 9.am to
5pm. The stunt marked Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys and memorabilia
hitting store shelves.
The New York Times headlined a story "There's No Tech News If There's No Uber News." It referred to four days in a row of
Uber activity that made
news in the U.S.: a stock offering that added $100 million to its $55
billion valuation, starting a food delivery service, expansion of its
service in India and complaints about its way of doing business by the
cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles.
If the NY Times wanted to be
inclusive, they could have named at least seven other nations around the
globe where Uber is encountering resistance from governments, unions,
taxi companies and independent cab services.
Sao Paulo, Brazil has banned Uber. A German court has banned unlicensed
taxi drivers and posted stiff fines for offenders.
Canada's taxi industry allegedly is in crisis, because of Uber and other
independent ride services not buying licenses or paying taxes, and, of
course, taking business from those that do. France has suspended Uber.
Japan has not experienced the strife attending Uber's entry in other
markets but is battling it in its courts over licensing issues. Korea,
like India, is enjoying upgraded taxi service generally due to the
competition from Uber but has turned to its courts over licensing of
Uber vehicles and their drivers. Spain has banned Uber on the basis of
unfair competition and has asked the European Court system to agree. The
company has launched its service in China and is meeting great
resistance there. The foregoing summary from Michael Barra in Mobile
Other charges against the company are failure to
adequately screen its drivers, some of whom have been accused of raping,
beating and robbing passengers. Also, that Uber deceives both the drivers
and prospective customers as to the availability of either in a
particular area and in predicting the income Uber drivers can expect to
Tim Hwang and Madeleine Clare Elish assert in Slate that Uber's contention that it is simply an Information Society free service
using algorithms is not true and, "What the company has produced is a
mirage of a marketplace—an app experience that produces the sensation of
independent riders and drivers responding to the natural fluctuations of
supply and demand. But a look underneath the hood reveals a system that
intermediates and influences more than it facilitates free exchange."
This undermines Uber's contention that its drivers are not employees.
For its part, Uber
has the money and the great acceptance of shared mobility to
some say ruthlessly, pursue its concept, fighting in the courts and
employing other iterations of it approach. In Spain, it introduced a
shared bus service and when that was opposed it went to a mobile food
delivery service. It has imitated a food delivery service in the
U.S. and is testing a "Smart Route" bus service in San Francisco. And a
package delivery service. It recently opened a project to develop
autonomous cars safety with the University of Arizona. And it has
partnered with Microsoft's Outlook email to make its service available
on that app.
There's little question that shared mobility is proving its worth and
gaining acceptance by the public, as evidenced by the growth of similar
competing services like Lift, Zipcar, Daimler's Car2go, several rental
car companies developing their own drop-off or shared system and various
shared-car ventures. Jerry Hirsch of the Los Angeles Times quotes
Susan Shaheen, a transportation expert and professor at the University of
California, Berkeley, "there are 23 car-sharing companies renting 19,115
vehicles to service about 1.3 million members in the U.S. The industry
is growing at about 35 percent annually."
Uber is ushering in the age of "Shared Economy"
announced an Audi On Demand service in San Francisco. Joe Mandese of
Media Post listed four new ventures proposed in a recent competition for
"EatWell, a startup enabling users to share pictures of their food in
order to get recommendations for healthier and more satisfying eating
options. Schwap, kind of an "Uber for power equipment," enabling owners to lease
their underutilized gear to people who need to rent it temporarily.
Sustainable Suds, which does away with plastic shampoo and conditioner
bottles by shipping biodegradable refills to subscribers to refill their
own bottles. casualHour, a venture enabling users to temporarily
lease underutilized space in hotels and residential building common
areas for gatherings, parties and meet-ups.
Wrapfy is a California startup "that has created an Uber-like platform
to connect advertisers with car owners willing to have their cars
wrapped with ads for a fee," according to Steve McClelland in
Some 1500 drivers have already signed up.
Perhaps Uber's most
telling impact will be on the auto industry as predicted by Kailia
Colbin in her Online Spin columns. In an earlier column she saw Uber
getting out front and dominating the auto industry as evidenced by its
"poaching 40 driverless-car researchers and scientists to populate its
new tech center in Pittsburgh. However, she modified that assessment in
her next column, acknowledging that existing automakers would see the
need to thwart being put out of business by someone else's autonomous
cars and would therefore develop their own. (Toyota has announced an
autonomous car research and development program with Stanford and
With more companies following, a demand for rules, regulations and
safety standards would be created and that would allow driverless cars
to become generally available and useable.
across the finish line
Ann Arnot –A well-liked auto journalist who for nearly 30 years wrote
for Redbook, McCall's and Woman's Day, where she had a regular
automotive column, "Woman at the Wheel." And a weekly auto column for
The Detroit Free Press and New York Post.
Michael Argetsinger - A founder of the International Motor Racing
Research Center and an award-winning motorsports author.
Buddy Baker, Jr. – NASCAR star, first to eclipse 200 mph on a closed course, won Talledaga four times and set
still standing record for
average speed in wining Daytona 500 in 1980.
Dick Guldstrand - A gentlemanly engineer, famed Corvette sports-car
racer and champion, a skilled tuner of Corvettes
after his racing years but first and in his blood –a southern California
Justin Wilson – Popular Indycar driver, safety advocate and elected
representative of his peers in dealing with the sanctioning body. The
result of a head injury suffered while competing at Pocono Raceway.
A fund for his children has been established by Indycar:
Wilson Children's Fund
4551 West 16th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46222
"CELEBRATING CARS AND THE CULTURE AROUND THEM" has announced an impressive
staff as reported by Chris O'Shea in Adweek's
Fishbowl NY.: Mike Guy, Editor;
Jonathan Schultz, deputy editor, Lawrence Ulrich, chief
auto critic; Chris Cantle, West Coast editor; Max Prince, senior editor,
A.J. Baime, editor-at-large; Brett Berk,
writer-at-large. Heather Albano, managing editor and Ben Keeshin, staff writer. Other autowriters are expected to contribute. Berk will also
continue to contribute to the select list of luxury pubs for which he
has been writing.
Kyle Campbell has joined the NY Daily News Jersey City office,
working for the
paper's new Autos section, which is all online. He
expects to do some writing, reviews and coverage of auto shows. Reach
him at: Kcampbell@NYDailyNews.com. . . .
Ron Sessions has a new email address for his Sessions Media:
His phone # is: 248-506-1757 . . . . Dave Destler, formerly with
TV, advises he is out of autos. . . . Daren Fonda, supplants
Anderson at Kiplinger's Personal Finance. He can be
reached at: email@example.com. .
. . Jerry Reynolds in Farmers Branch, TX changed his email from the car guy
to Jerry@thecarproshow.com. . . . Emails for
Barbara Hassler-Steig at
Autosport should be addressed to BBNYC@gmail.com.
Glenn F. Campbell
Frankfurt Motor Show Press Days |
IMPA |Ford Motor Company Luncheon, New York, NY
Frankfurt Motor Show Public Days|Frankfurt, Germany
Nissan at the DAC, Detroit, MI
Jaguar Land Rover Luncheon, Oakbrook Terrace, IL
Jaguar Land Rover at the DAC, Detroit, MI
Test Days, Monticello Motor Club, Monticello,NY
2nd Annual Silicon Valley Reinvents the Wheel Symposium, Mountain View, CA
Track Days, Willow Springs International Raceway, Willow Springs, CA
DAC, Detroit, MI
Fall Rally, Joliet, IL
Truck Rodeo, Knibbe Ranch, TX
DAC, Detroit, MI
Tokyo Motor Show Press Days|
Tokyo Motor Show Public Days|
Tokyo Motor Show Public Days|
2016 Lexus RX Press Preview|
Lincoln at the DAC, Detroit, MI
Las Vegas, NV
Jaguar Land Rover
Los Angeles International Auto Show |
Press & Trade Days, Los Angeles, CA
Tesla at the DAC, Detroit, MI
Los Angeles International Auto Show |
Public Days, Los Angeles, CA
NACTOY Finalists at the DAC, Detroit, MI
Dean Batchelor Awards, STBD
Holiday Social at Dana House, Wheaton, IL
Buick-GMC Sales, New York, NY
Automotive Journalist Media Event – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Location in Detroit TBD
Annual Business Meeting
Networking Reception at the NAIAS, Detroit, MI
North American International Auto Show Press Preview|
North American International Auto Show Industry Preview|
North American International Auto Show Charity Preview|
North American International Auto Show Public Show|
Keep Laguna Seca Local
The following is an open letter to the public from Gregg Curry,
SCRAMP Board President:
Dear Neighbors and Friends,
The Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP)
built what is known today as Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 1957.
Laguna Seca was created by a Federal Land grant to provide a
safe and dedicated facility for racing. The land was originally
a part of Fort Ord but was deeded to the county in 1974 to
administer the land with a concession agreement to operate the
facility with SCRAMP.
SCRAMP is a non-profit organization that has served the
community for nearly 60 years, which annually donates more than
$250,000 of its proceeds to 60-70 local charities and civic
organizations. SCRAMP has grown from presenting a single motor
sports event in 1957 to annually producing five major events
which generate a $200 million economic benefit for Monterey
More than 300 local community members annually commit thousands
of hours volunteering at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the love
of motorsports in Monterey County. We are a local, active and
highly visible member of the community dedicated to bringing
world-class racing events to the Monterey Peninsula —
benefitting our race fans, sponsors, charitable organizations
and our community.
SCRAMP has invested more than $50 million in the Laguna Seca
facility, and we continue to be committed to upgrading Mazda
Raceway Laguna Seca to enhance the overall experience for
spectators, sponsors, participants and visitors.
Since January 2014, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors has
conducted closed-session meetings to discuss a new Concession
Agreement without SCRAMP's knowledge. These closed-session
meetings resulted in the Board of Supervisors entering into a
90-day due diligence agreement with International Speedway
Corporation (ISC) to take over management and operation of the
raceway. ISC is a for-profit, publicly traded corporation based
in Daytona Beach, Fla., whose primary business is the ownership
and management of NASCAR race tracks.
SCRAMP is requesting a fair and open process where we be given
equal consideration to continue to improve and manage operations
of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and that this process be held in
the open with the benefit of public participation and review.
We urge you to contact your Monterey County Supervisor to
support and request consideration of SCRAMP to keep revenue
local for the benefit of our community and to continue the
legacy SCRAMP established in 1957. We, your neighbors and
friends, ask for your support.
For more information please visit:
SCRAMP Board President
New editorial; some social outreach
Hope everyone is doing well.
Please take a moment to peruse my latest editorial on the auto
industry located here on Autoblog, one of the largest automotive
news, opinion and reviews sites in the industry. There will be
Mergers & Acquisitions
Also, if I may impose a tiny bit more of your time, please like,
friend and follow my Facebook and Twitter feeds. I've got about
50 or so highly-trafficked editorials out there in the digital
media space. Not exactly McDonald's numbers, but about 36
million pairs of eyeballs happily served thus far since 2014.
This being the case, it's about time I built up my own damn
social media street cred with some serious numbers and you can
help! Payback will be in karma, all of it positive and
life-affirming, even if not monetary.
I'll have more news in the coming couple of weeks, as well. I'll
disseminate that news through all possible channels, so stay
Here are those social links:
LeMONS CHEATERS THREATENED BY DATA DUMP
Ashley Madison hackers turn attention to crapcan series, leaving
subscribers vulnerable to job loss, divorce, general
Angleton TX--Hackers have threatened to post LeMons' driver
lists to the Web if their demands are not met by the Sept 19 app
deadline for MSR Houston (race 14-15 Nov). Calling itself 'Duntov
Action Jihad,' the shadowy group claimed it would "...ruin these
[hella-butt] cheaters' lives by letting the world know what they
do with their weekends" unless LeMons officials "...temper their
'tude against Corvettes, F-bodies, Grand Prixs's (sic), and
other examples of pure GM awesumeness (sic)."
LeMons CDTO (chief dodgey-technology officer) Nicholas R. Pon
confirmed "...an attempt by unauthorized parties to totally jack
our goods" but said the attack did "no more damage than the
typical 80-year-old SCCA coot's attempt to sign up using AOL and an ENIAC console."
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Mullin Museum in Southern, Calif. continues its celebration of The French Art Deco Movement by documenting
René Lalique’s Incredible Hood Ornaments. The 112-page
Lalique Automotive Art
book chronicles Lalique’s growth as an artist, from jewelry designer through Art Noveau and eventually to his press-molded glass factory that employed about 600 workers.
Saving water in
California is like finding gold and
California-based Mothers of
wax and polish fame is on the verge of announcing a new
formula that eliminates water not only in the Golden State but
everywhere Mothers is sold.
Ken Chester, Jr., a longtime automotive journalist based in DesMoines, has been tapped to host a new two-hour Saturday morning radio show for
iHeart Media’s News Radio called "
The Ken Chester Show." Ken is known to readers and listeners as a regular automotive columnist for the Des Moines Register and
oft quoted automotive expert featured on a number of local television news programs. He is
founder and CEO of Iowa-based Motor News Media Corporation – an
automotive news service that provides automotive reviews, photography and features to outlets across the United States.
W Radio 690 AM Los Angeles has announced Ricardo Rodriguez-Long as the recipient of the
"500 Programs Award." "Going over the five hundred live shows puts Ricardo in a selective group of Radio Hosts," said
Carmen Campos, GM at the Los Angeles station. "We are extremely honored to have this opportunity to recognize his outstanding work with the community and are thrilled to continue his show on Sundays." Ricardo also serves as the automotive editor for
Hoy Los Angeles, the largest Hispanic newspaper in the country, as well as the jury director for the
Annual Hispanic Motor Press Awards. W Radio 690 - XEWW- Los Angeles is known as "La voz del pueblo" (people's voice) and is an extension of W Mexico.
motoring press organizations
North American regional automotive press associations provide
information and background not easily found elsewhere. If they are
too distant for you to attend their meetings, belonging usually
gives you access to transcripts or reports of these events and other
American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association, Inc.
Norma "Dusty" Brandel
President, Exec. Director
Automobile Journalists Association of Canada
Automotive Press Association
Jeff Green, President
American Racing Press Association
Stan Clinton, President
Eastern Motorsports Press Association
Ballston Spa, NY
Ron Hedger, President
Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association
Davis Adams, President
International Motor Press Association
Scotty Reiss, President
Midwest Automotive Media Association
Kirk Bell, President
Motor Press Guild
Los Angeles, CA
Jsaon Fogleson, President
New England Motor Press Association
Craig Fitzgerald, President
Northwest Automotive Press Association
Nik Miles, President
Phoenix Automotive Press Association
Cathy Droz, President
Rocky Mountain Automotive Press
Andre Smirnov, President
Southern Automotive Media Association
Bill Adam, President
Southeast Automotive Media Organization
Texas Auto Writers Association
Truck Writers of North America
Tom Kelley, Executive Director
Western Automotive Journalists
San Francisco, CA
Washington Automotive Press Association
Les Jackson, President
quotes to note
"Everyone is going faster and faster and getting shallower and
The Value of Slow Journalism in an Age of Instant Information
Paul Salopek in Nieman Reports
"Sex may sell but it doesn't sell everything."
How We Buy
Thu-Huong Ha in Quartz
"What it we posted a blank video on YouTube -- would anyone
Agency Proves People Will Watch Anything On You Tube
Richard Whitman for Media Post
"Being online is like being a part of the greatest cocktail
party ever and it is going on all the time."
Building Attention Span
David Brooks, NY Times
"This new emphasis on brands telling engaging — okay,
search-optimized — stories to consumers rather than interrupting
them with clever :30s is famously opening up new ways for
laid-off or burnt-out reporters to make a living in their
pajamas, as an editor of mine used to put it, creating all sorts
of "brand journalism."
Nurturing Freelancers Who Nurture The Brand
Thomas Forbes, Content Marketing Insider
"A US Senate report last year concluded only two of 16
automakers had the ability to detect and respond to a hacking
FCA hacking risk kept from regulators for 18 months.
Jeff Plungis and Chris Strohm, Automotive News
"Big Data fiends are quickly coming to realize that having
hordes of data and making use of that data are not one and the
So Much Data, Such Little Understanding
Tyler Loechner, Media Post
"One aspect of the Internet of Things world is the issue of
voice controls that are always on." (Examples Listed)
Privacy in a World of Always On
Chuck Martin, IOT Daily
"Free is a very popular price. Of course, free isn't really
free; in the content marketplace, someone is always left holding
the bag -- mainly exploited contributors, legacy media companies
bleeding retained earnings and venture capitalists betting on
the come that seldom comes."
Bob Garfield, Garfield At Large
"A community is defined by what it has in common, and the more
technology allows us to pursue our individual interests, the
more we surrender the common narratives that used to bind us."
Ode To A Grecian Eurozone
Gord Hotchkiss, OnlineSpin
"Auto-play is the HGH of video advertising, pumping up numbers
to a level that make no sense — and yet we continue to applaud
the results the way fans used to applaud Barry Bonds after he
hit another home run into San Francisco Bay."
A Gold Mine Built On Landfill
Ari Rosenberg, Online Publishing Insider
"The Internet is slowly becoming unbundled from devices and arranged around people."
A Window Into The Future of The Web
Tom Goodwin, Online Spin
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