6 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY FEBRUARY 1-7, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com THE BUZZ FREE SPEECH Slash-and-burn continues at major news outlets, with the Los Angeles Times the latest paper to lay off more than 20 percent of its newsroom, or 115 people. Billionaire owner Patrick Soon-Shiong told reporters the paper was losing $30 million to $40 million a year. He and his family bought the LA Times and San Diego Union-Tribune for $500 million six years ago; they sold the Union-Tribune to MediaNews Group (a subsidiary of the hedge fund Alden Global Capital) in July. More than 350 staff members engaged in a one-day strike to protest the cuts. This comes amid cuts elsewhere; Business Insider is laying off 8 percent of its staff, less than a year after laying off 10 percent of its workforce last April. The Sports Illustrated staff was gutted, and 10 days later, on Jan. 29, unionized members of the NewsGuild at Sports Illustrated filed a grievance with the National Labor Relations Board. At Conde Nast, where the company plans to lay off about 300 people (or 5 percent of the staff), hundreds of NewsGuild members from various publications such as Vogue and Vanity Fair walked off the job on Jan. 23. Good: Good news for the Salinas art scene and particularly for young, aspiring artists comes via Artists Ink. After a winter break, the nonprofit brought back its training program, Cepanoa Arts, on Jan. 31. Workshops include animation, aerosol spray paint, open studio (every Friday from 5-7pm), ukulele and vocal classes. Jam Lab (every third Friday from 5-7pm) invites all musicians and musically inclined to bring instruments, vinyl or just a spirit of camaraderie with fellow musicians. As this initiative restarts for 2024, there is also a three-year celebration of First Fridays (5-9pm Friday, Feb. 2) featuring more than 20 local artists and artisans in Midtown Lane in Salinas as part of Artist Alley, co-hosted by Artists Ink and Co-Lab Studio. “Be a part of the artistic renaissance,” an invitation reads. Wherever you are in your journey as an artist/maker/musician—or just someone who appreciates it—there are ample opportunities to join in. GREAT: Last year, Sara Nantz-Konsia, who lives overseas, approached the nonprofit Big Sur Land Trust about giving it an 80-acre parcel of land in Big Sur she had owned since 1988 that’s surrounded on three sides by the Joshua Creek Canyon Ecological Reserve. The transfer was effectuated before year’s end, but before that, BSLT reached out to the state Department of Fish & Wildlife—which manages the Joshua Creek property— about absorbing it into the reserve, which Rachel Saunders, the trust’s director of conservation, says the agency is amenable to. “It’s a cool unexpected thing that happened,” Saunders says. “We’re grateful to Sara for her interest in seeing the land conserved.” Saunders, who recently visited the site with other BSLT staffers— it’s tricky to access, and they had to hike the last bit to get to the property—says it contains mixed evergreen forest, redwoods and oak and riparian habitat. GOOD WEEK / GREAT WEEK THE WEEKLY TALLY Inmates released from Monterey County Jail into ICE custody in 2023. Prior to the passage of SB 54, the California Values Act, ICE picked up 213 people upon release from the jail in 2017. Since then it has been fewer—41 people in 2018, 52 in 2019, 23 in 2020, then two in 2021 and 2022. Source: Jan. 23 report by Chief Deputy Garrett Sanders to Monterey County Board of Supervisors 3 QUOTE OF THE WEEK “The only thing that lasts of any people is their art. That’s how we know the Greeks.” -Chicano art collector Armando Durón, whose family’s collection is now on display at the Monterey Museum of Art (see story, mcweekly.com).