Thursday, April 16, 1998
Dead Wrong No wonder I had so many calls asking if I was OK. When I picked up my copy of Coast Weekly at lunch time and turned to page 13 (April 9,"Bring out Your Dead"), I immediately noticed the toe tag in the photo. No, it''s not me! Thanks for the good laugh (and lots of attention)!
P. JONES (PENELOPE A. JONES)
Where''s the Meat?
As a recent transplant from the East Coast, I have been enjoying my move to Monterey for the sun, the space, and the more relaxed attitudes of the Left Coast. Part of that enjoyment has been found in your paper, in which I enjoy the movie and restaurant reviews, browse the classifieds, and prize one particular feature above all others. Imagine my surprise then, when on that fateful day (April 9 to be exact), I picked up the new Coast Weekly, turned towards the back of the paper, and realized...AAAAAUGGHHH! AGHH! AGHH! No "Red Meat"!??!!!! I hope that this omission is due to a dearth of new strips or some other miscommunication, as the sublime strangeness of this cartoon is one of the things which consistently draws me to your paper. Please reinstate it immediately, if not sooner!
Editor''s response: Breathe deeply and relax. "Red Meat" was erroneously trimmed from last week''s paper. It''s back and we''re sorry.
Ernest Thank You
Thank you for the refreshing cartoon strip, "Friends of Ernest," that you recently added to Coast Weekly. I''ve been enjoying them. Meg Biddle is obviously an artist with a talented hand and a funny bone for illustrating Ernest and Calvin. With Ms. Biddle and Alan Shugart, well-known around these parts for his independence, business and political savvy, you have snagged a winning team. How did you do it, when the other papers failed?
I look forward to future installments of Ernest and his funny--and wise--friends.
Local Dog Makes Good
Love the "Friends of Ernest" strip. It''s good to have a local dog hounding those dogs in Washington.
Kids and Computers
I have not been sold on young kids'' computer use (April 2), thanks to the research of Joseph Chilton Pearce and others. Pearce >(Evolution''s End) has documented that regular use of a computer, or TV, is damaging to children''s neurological development. He is adamant that use of computers by young children will take human intelligence on a downward spiral, with incredibly negative social repercussions. For this reason, he recommends delaying regular computer or TV use until age 11 or 12.
Although staff writer Richard Pitnick''s editorial stated, "computers are here to stay in the classroom," I suggest that a public response in opposition can change this. Computer industry marketing reps are not the only people with voices! Remember Margaret Mead''s advice: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it''s the only thing that ever has."
Lest you think that I''m a total Luddite, please note that I''ve had a home computer for 15 years. I simply consider it a tool for adults and older children.
MARI LYNCH DEHMLER
Hunter for Supe
Letter writers O. Netto and Larry Hawkins (April 2) applaud Supervisor Judy Pennycook''s most recent vote on Rancho Chualar II. Like Ms. Pennycook, the candidate I support, Kurt Hunter, also opposes Rancho Chualar II. But unlike Ms. Pennycook, Kurt Hunter would not have voted to approve the developments of Bishop Ranch, Westridge Shopping Center, Auto Mall, Yank''s Air Museum and the building of hundreds of new homes in North Monterey County when we have such major traffic and water problems in that area of our county.
I invite you to join me in voting for Kurt Hunter on June 2; he''s a man of principle.
Straight-Shooter for Chualar II
Anyone knowing this buckskin will attest to the following facts. I''m a straight shooter and I don''t hang with no bend-over issue. These points are stated outright to protect those with frail constitutions or cockeyed dispositions--take your leave pronto and turn to the funny pages. Do it now or you''ll be shot or bent over!
My Aryan right-wing flank condemns all leadership of those who have been corralled into opposing Chualar Rancho II as left-wing agitators out to deliberately and maliciously mislead honest Christians in waging a prejudicial campaign to pre-empt their neighbors'' constitutional right to pursuit of happiness. Perhaps said "ethnically pure" leadership is displaying schizophrenic symptoms by attacking the very heart of capitalism which is "free enterprise?" In league with the devil these low-down communist sympathizers...
It would be well to know how many of the 17,000-plus signatures opposing Rancho II are Mexican. Furthermore, how many of these opponents are already blessed with homes of their own? How many live in the Third District? Ducks Unlimited; decent homes for fellow human beings: No way? Heaven forbid racists to prevail!
Let''s look at it this way; if the 160-acre plot was so prime, fertile and precious, why didn''t a hundred astute growers rush in to buy it? Where were these vigilant champions of prime land preservation? No doubt comfortably safe at home, asleep. ''Em certainly weren''t bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when needed.
In closing, chew this chaw: In Soledad, Emiliano Zapata is alive and well. Many say he''s hung up his carbine and is busy running for Third District Supervisor. What?
A.J. DE LOS SANTOS (AKA "C. CRAZYHORSE")
Thanks for the Support
The Committee to Preserve Ag Land thanks the thousands of Monterey County residents who signed the referendum petition to overturn the Board of Supervisors'' Feb. 24th approval of the Rancho Chualar II project, the hundred who gathered signatures, the Planning Department staff, Planning Commission, and Subdivision Committees that unanimously oppose it, and Supervisors Pennycook and Potter who voted against its approval.
The Rancho Chualar II project is the test case for deciding whether farmland in the Salinas Valley will remain in agricultural production, or be converted to residential uses. It is appropriate that the voters of Monterey County will decide this issue, rather than three supervisors. The voters'' choice will determine the future of the Salinas Valley. We thank everyone who supported preserving agricultural land by getting the Rancho Chualar II project onto the November ballot.
MELANIE A. HORWATH
I was pleasantly surprised to see my friend''s playful rebuttal to another letter in your rag. Jeffrey Schaffer is a heavyweight intellectual/scientist (author of 13 books and a major geologic treatise) and he''s my good friend. Knowing Jeff as I do, I know that he was toying with the other letter''s author. He was dabbling in a bit of devilish advocacy. Jeff is every bit the cynical agnostic I am.
A recent phone chat I had with Jeff spurs me to make the following observation regarding environmentalism as we know it. Jeff and I concur that few environmentalists ever are honest and clear-minded enough to see beyond the "religious fervor" of their dogmatic indoctrination. There''s a central hypocrisy/irony to their pretzel logic. On the one hand they accuse most of humankind of being anthropocentric in how we view our relationship to the biosphere, yet in the next breath these same accusers have the ignorant audacity to suggest that we humans are powerful enough to destroy life on earth. If a six-mile-wide asteroid couldn''t kill of all terrestrial life 65 million years ago, then how is it we supposedly possess the wherewithal to do so? Even if we were to detonate every nuclear weapon on earth and every biological and chemical weapon in existence, life would still go on all over this planet. Now maybe homo-sapiens would not be part of this survival, but certainly many life forms, simple and complex, would adapt and thrive. It''s obviously anthropocentric to suggest that life on earth has no validity unless humans are factored into the equation and that we are powerful enough to play god with life!
Schaffer and I are in total agreement that the biosphere is far more resilient than environmentalist doctrine would have the gullible believe. Our pollution may eventually lead to our exclusion from the scene, but life will go on long after we''re gone.
JEFFREY VAN MIDDLEBROOK
Each year, the United States Postal Service issues several dozen commemorative stamps on a wide variety of topics, from Elvis to the environment. These stamps are important for more than the fact that they get our mail from here to there--they represent popular issues that touch the American people.
The SPCA of Monterey County is joining with other humane groups around the country in urging the Postal Service to issue a postage stamp promoting spay/neuter. Why a postage stamp about spay/neuter? Because it is a key solution to a very real problem: Pet overpopulation. The SPCA faces this problem every day--too many pets, too few homes and the sad fate of those animals no one wants. Many people only see evidence of the problem in their local animal shelter, not realizing that the hundreds of stray, feral or unwanted pets here are multiplied by the millions across the country.
The SPCA is committed to significantly reducing the pet overpopulation problem. Besides requiring all SPCA adopted pets be altered, the SPCA operates two low-cost spay/neuter clinics. But widespread education and awareness are needed to encourage pet owners to take more responsibility for their animals reproduction. What could a postage stamp do for this issue? Bring it to the attention of the billions of people.
If you support the idea of a pet spay/neuter postage stamp, send a letter to:
Dr. Virginia Noelke, Chair
Citizen''s Stamp Advisory Committee
United States Postal Service Dept. CF
475 L''Enfant Plaza, SW, Room 4474E
Washington, DC 20260-2437
JANE SULLIVAN, PRESIDENT
SPCA BOARD OF DIRECTORS