Thursday, December 24, 1998
Thank you for your superb series of articles on Rancho San Juan, Mountain Valley, and urban sprawl in the Salinas Valley >(Coast Weekly, Dec. 3). Between these two developments alone, Monterey County will lose close to 1,000 acres of prime farmland, add more than 10,000 residents, and generate more than 30,000 additional automobile trips. And that's just the start of things to come.
LandWatch's 'State of Monterey County 1998' report documents the potential loss of thousands of acres of farmland in the Salinas Valley to urban sprawl. (See http://www. mclw.org/pages/stateofcounty.html) But there is a glimmer of hope. There are ways to grow that don't destroy those very things that make Monterey County so special. LandWatch is committed to promoting Urban Growth Boundaries (UGBs) and other planning strategies that direct development into cities and away from open space and farmland. After all, who wants Monterey County to become a suburb of San Jose?
If you are interested in supporting better planning and less sprawl in Monterey County, please join LandWatch. Call us at (831) 375-3752 for further information, or visit our Website at www.landwatch.org.
Disneyland for the Rich?
It seems to me that your paper has contradicted itself: You portray yourselves as advocates for the average person, yet take stands which are against their interests. In particular, I'm referring to your consistent opposition to any kind of change or growth in the area. The Monterey Peninsula is becoming a Disneyland for the rich people, thanks to supply and demand. Lack of new building means that the supply of housing is extremely limited, pushing house prices 5-10 times higher than housing in similar-sized cities in other parts of the country. Only people with inheritances and trust funds can buy, since people with outside money can bid higher prices than local wages will support.
Many people oppose growth for environmental reasons. Those who are renting should realize that they're setting themselves up either to rent for life, or leave the area. Projects that build large, expensive houses are often blocked, but rarely stopped. Projects to build smaller, cheaper houses never get off the ground. These people play directly into the hands of property owners who know limited supply will increase the sale price of their property. Any excuse to limit growth is a good one, if you stand to profit from limited growth.
JOHN S. POSTOVIT
The Almighty Dollar
I saw two matters in Coast Weekly that caused me concern. First, Whole Foods (Nov. 17) is neither union-busting nor anti-activist. They have not made any attacks on either group. They are a grocery company, not political lobbyists. Attacks on them are unjust. The Kiwanis ("O Tannenbaum," Dec. 10) also must understand that if they take fundraising into the realm of commerce, not to whine if profit-making companies also donate a similar product to those who need it. Attacks are unjustified. We all compete for the almighty dollar. I would like to sell Christmas trees to earn my way in this world too.
Full of Whining
Yolanda Hughey's Public Forum in the Dec. 3 Coast Weekly was full of the whining that is typical of minority liberals. Yolanda speaks of black Americans having "outlived their usefulness" and that they are "no longer capitalist America's desired work force." The "desired" work force for most employers are people who are capable of doing their job properly and don't rely on affirmative action quotas to get hired. Yolanda also claimed that Prop. 187 was targeted at Hispanics. No, Yolanda, Prop. 187 was targeted at illegal aliens. Our country has no business providing government benefits to illegal aliens. We also have no business allowing legal immigrants into the country that can't support themselves without government handouts. Any black American who thinks they're being pushed to the side in the work force should consider acquiring work on their own merits rather than depending on quotas and liberal, big government solutions.
BRIAN L. BURLESON
Coast Weekly cluttering up our local Burger Kings?!! (News Briefs, Dec. 10). Some times I can't believe what corporate eggheads sit around and discuss!
I really don't care if Burger King has decided not to allow Coast Weekly in their stores due to clutter. I personally find Coast Weekly a refreshing alternative to the "other" newspapers around the county who report on only and all of the "ills" of this society. I guess I would simply bring my Coast Weekly with me, but that is not my point.
How many times has each of us encountered a Burger King wrapper, cup or fry box thrown in the gutter or in the park or on the beach?! With this line of thinking, maybe we should not allow Burger King into Monterey County because their packaging is "cluttering up" our towns and countryside. "Too much clutter and unwanted litter," Lauran Bloom says. Tell me Lauren, just what is wanted litter? Let's face it, the society in which we live needs personal accountability, to pick up after ourselves. This is the solution, and if HKM's eggheads want to bolster their "public perception," maybe they could concentrate real hard and try to reduce their packaging, or here's an idea...place newspaper recycling bins in all of their stores!
Geez, and they pay these guys!
Keep up the good work Coast Weekly, I'll be reading you anywhere I want.
KYLE S. HOTCHKISS
(BURGER-EATING, COAST WEEKLY-READING AND PERSONALLY ACCOUNTABLE!)
Your special issue on California writers (Dec. 10) included some interesting titles but your failure to include Leonard Gardner's Fat City was a surprising omission. This 1969 short novel received high praise from Joan Didion, while Joyce Carol Oates called it "a quintessential American story of surpassing beauty and heartbreak...flawlessly rendered, unforgettable." It is set in the world of small-time boxing in Stockton during the 1950s and deals with desperate men attempting to stay alive between bouts of fighting, harvesting, loving and boozing.
It has recently been re-issued in paperback by the University of California Press as an important work of California fiction. Read it and I think you will agree.
As a member of LandWatch, and a lover of the Monterey Peninsula, I'd like to add my voice to theirs in favor of urban greenbelts. As I watch the degradation of beauty in this community, the horrifying and illegal cutting of trees by PG&E, the urban sprawl encouraged by Marina and Seaside, I despair of the future. Perhaps this is a way to at least contain.