Thursday, February 19, 1998
Nancy Hand's article "Fishing for Balance" printed in Coast Weekly (Feb. 12) lists the Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman's Associations (PCFFA) as a supporter of AB 1241 bill. Last January, PCFFA advised Assemblyman Keeley that we supported the concept of this bill, and agreed to give our conditional support through the first committee hearing. Although we are in agreement that California's present system of fisheries management needs an overhaul, we have serious reservations about many provisions of this bill.
Additionally, the article reported that Monterey Bay Aquarium Marine Science Advisor Dr. Steve Webster, while discussing overfishing, stated "Some of the species that appear to be in danger are.salmon." On April 12, 1996, the Pacific Fisheries Management Council (PFMC) unanimously adopted a resolution which stated, in part: ".commercial and recreational fishing has not been the cause of the decline of.salmon." Many stocks of salmon, including our Sacramento fall-run king, are quite healthy. The PFMC, as well as most fishery scientists and conservation organizations, acknowledge that habitat loss and not fishing effort, that is the cause of the severe decline in those salmon stocks now depleted or listed.
Central California's steelhead and Coho salmon populations are in serious trouble, because of loss of habitat.
Separating fact from fiction has long been difficult for opponents of the Cannery Row Marketplace project. Now it appears these folks have succeeded in relaying their propaganda through a reporter.
In Coast Weekly's effort at "analyzing" the state of the Marketplace project ("Row on the Row," Feb. 12), not only were several facts loosely played with minus any substantiation ("Monterey City Hall was flooded with calls."; "Tipped-off media flocked to the site." are just two examples), but the story even tosses out a conspiracy theory for good measure.
An allegation is made, attributable only to "some opponents," that project developer Dan Summers may have "planted" hazardous materials at the site "in order to circumvent the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process in order to break ground."
Such an accusation is typical of the tripe that has been bandied about by foes of this project, which has been dramatically redesigned to meet the public's concerns. It further conforms to all the rules and regulations of the city of Monterey and the California Coastal Commission.
Last June, Monterey Mayor Dan Albert sent a three-page letter to the Save Our Waterfront Committee chiding its Web site for containing information about the Marketplace "that in some cases is inaccurate and in other cases misleading." Albert also wrote, "Through careful attention to accuracy, we can ensure that we have a public debate on any future project on that (Web) site based on fact, rather than misconception."
Now "some opponents" have the property owner "planting" hazardous materials at the site. Patently ridiculous? Of course. More to come? Probably.
Hysterical cries of conspiracy at every turn may make for entertaining copy, and may earn the reporter a pat on the back from project opponents, but the public is cheated when the facts are so blatantly sacrificed for mere fiction.
DOUG THOMPSON, PUBLIC RELATIONS/ COMMUNITY RELATIONS CONSULTANT
CANNERY ROW MARKETPLACE
Why Support Chualar II?
Supervisor Salinas says farm worker housing in Monterey County is desperately needed. This is true. But most farm workers can qualify only for low-low-income housing units, either to buy or to rent.
The Rancho Chualar II development is billed by its supporters as a solution. 12.5 percent of the project will be sold at market-rate. No homes or apartments for low-low-income families will be built. Moreover, low-income housing units already exist in Monterey County that sell for less money than the low-income units proposed in Rancho Chualar II.
The city of Gonzales requires 15 percent of housing projects be set aside for low-income families, not 12.5 percent as is Chualar. Gonzales also requires developers to pay for all infrastructure to support their developments. Why are requirements less in Chualar? Who benefits?
The developers of Rancho Chualar II are in a hurry to get their project approved so they can apply for community block grants (taxpayer money) for infrastructure improvements (millions of dollars). They assume that residents will assess themselves for the bulk of many needed services.
Why would any supervisor support Rancho Chualar II when low-income housing needs can be better addressed by our cities at no expense to other county taxpayers?