4 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY JUNE 27-JULY 3, 2024 www.montereycountynow.com THE BUZZ FREE SPEECH Watchdog journalism organization Media Matters for America laid off more than a dozen employees, due in large part to its ongoing legal battle with Elon Musk’s social media platform X. Media Matters earlier published its research that showed the proliferation of antisemitic and pro-Nazi content on the social media platform. In November, X sued Media Matters, claiming that the organization “knowingly and maliciously manufactured side-by-side images depicting advertisers’ posts on X Corp.’s social media platform beside Neo-Nazi and white-nationalist fringe content and then portrayed these manufactured images as if they were what typical X users experience on the platform,” the complaint states. Media Matters President Angelo Carusone called the lawsuit “frivolous,” but said the organization was forced to go through a round of layoffs not only due to a shifting media landscape, but because “we’re confronting a legal assault on multiple fronts.” The case is scheduled to go to trial in April. A judge in March tossed a similar case X filed against another group, Center for Countering Digital Hate. Good: Good news for artists in Salinas. On June 18, the Salinas City Council approved $150,000 for the Alisal Vibrancy Plan’s Salinas-Based Artist Grant Pilot Program. The pilot will provide funds for Salinas-based artists to create public art for the Alisal Greening and Beautification Project. The funds are from the Alisal Vibrancy Plan’s capital improvement program. The public art projects will include two sculptures—one at the roundabout on Alisal Street and Skyway Boulevard, and another at the Bread Box Recreation Center; a mural at Closter Park; and murals or wraps at trash-recycling corrals. Councilmember Tony Barrera said he was excited about this pilot, noting this program will positively impact the Alisal Vibrancy Plan (not to mention actual neighborhood vibrancy). Community Development Director Lisa Brinton said the goal of the program is to support local artists. GREAT: The nonprofit Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas was awarded a $3.4 million grant, U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, announced on June 18. The federally qualified health center provides “vital services to some of the most vulnerable families in the Central Coast,” Lofgren said in a statement. The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Center Program, designed to fund centers that provide affordable, accessible and quality primary care to underserved communities. This is the second federal HHS grant Clinica de Salud has received this year—in January it was announced it was receiving $2.2 million. The organization includes 13 clinics across the Salinas Valley, as well as Castroville, Pajaro and Seaside. It became the first federally qualified health center in Monterey County in 1989. GOOD WEEK / GREAT WEEK THE WEEKLY TALLY The amount LCB Communications LLC received in grant funding from the California Public Utilities Commission. The funds will go toward LCB’s Aromas-San Juan Project, which aims to build a broadband network to 1,101 locations across Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties. Source: California Public Utilities Commission $29.5 QUOTE OF THE WEEK “The team had to do a really risky strategy— too risky, in my opinion.” -Alex Palou, driver of the no. 10 DHL Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, speaking about a plan that gave him the IndyCar win at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Sunday, June 23 (see story, montereycountynow.com). million FOR MORE INFO + REGISTRATION MONTEREY.ORG/REC (831) 646-3866 SCAN ME! REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! THE CITY OF MONTEREY BEST SUMMER EVER! CAMP QUIEN SABE OVERNIGHT CAMP WHISPERING PINES DAY CAMP TINY TOTS SUMMER CAMP SPORTS CAMPS SPECIALTY CAMPS LEGO, GYMNASTICS, WOODWORKING AND MUCH MORE!