4 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY JANUARY 18-24, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com THE BUZZ FREE SPEECH With so much information—and misinformation— out there, there is lots of hand-wringing about how to discern truth from fiction. A new coalition of educators, journalists, librarians and government officials aims to promote media literacy among high school students. Partners in the coalition include the Monterey County Office of Education; California Council for the Social Studies; CSU Monterey Bay’s Department of Education; the History & Civics Project at UC Santa Cruz; the Institute for Media and the Public Trust at Fresno State; and the Monterey County Weekly. This group, the Media Literacy Coalition, will aim to advance a statewide initiative locally. Assembly Bill 873, signed into law in 2023, directs the state’s Instructional Quality Commission to incorporate media literacy content into the K-12 curriculum. “Thank you to Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing AB 873 and affirming that media literacy instruction is essential to keeping our students safer online and to safeguarding the future of our democracy,” the bill’s author, Assemblymember Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto, said in a statement. Good: In what could be the first partnership of its kind in California, CSU Monterey Bay and Pebble Beach Company announced on Jan. 11 the Pebble Beach Scholars program, a $1.4 million endeavor that will provide eight hospitality students a year for four years with up to $5,000 annually for educational expenses as they work as interns at Pebble Beach Resorts. One perk of the program is continued on-campus housing throughout the year—PBC will pay for summer housing. Around 60 CSUMB interns have been hired by the company over the years, serving in leadership positions—PBC CEO David Stivers says having CSUMB nearby has made a huge difference for the company in finding quality employees. CSUMB President Vanya Quiñones says this is the first of what the university hopes will be similar community partnerships, providing students with paid internships in their fields. GREAT: Great news for farmworkers comes with more farmworker housing in the pipeline. On Jan. 10, the Monterey County Planning Commission unanimously approved a project at Schönberg Parkway and Alisal Road in Salinas. The project includes the construction of three two-story buildings with 46 units that can accommodate up to 360 workers during the harvest season, from April to November. (Each apartment will house up to eight people.) The housing will be open for local and temporary H-2A visa workers. The complex of 5.2 acres will be located on a 188-acre property owned by Bengard Farms. “This appears to me to be a way to provide safe housing,” Commissioner Martha Diehl said. The Planning Commission was set to consider another farmworker housing project, this one for up to 250 workers in Pajaro, on Jan. 18, but the meeting was delayed and a vote will be rescheduled. GOOD WEEK / GREAT WEEK THE WEEKLY TALLY Square footage for a four-story building envisioned by County of Monterey officials to replace an existing campus at Noche Buena Street and Broadway in Seaside. It would house the Seaside branch of Monterey County Free Libraries, a Family Justice Center from the District Attorney, as well as social services offices. The total budget is $112 million. Source: Capital Improvement Committee report 60,000 QUOTE OF THE WEEK “We are determined to be as open with our community as possible.” -Sheriff Tina Nieto speaking about an investigation into a non-fatal shooting by two deputies of a suspect after negotiating with him for about an hour while he was barricaded inside a residence (see story, mcweekly.com). (831) 718-9041 merrillgardensmonterey.com 200 Iris Canyon Rd, Monterey, CA 93940 Merrill Gardens at Monterey knows how to celebrate — with music, entertainment, and special dining experiences. Join us and enjoy the benefits of our community lifestyle! Lic #275202591 Start New Traditions With Us Visit and Enjoy A Meal On Us!