Thursday, January 15, 1998
Creative and Artistic One of the things I enjoy best about Coast Weekly are your creative and artistic covers. Roberto Ocampo's portrait of Cesar Chavez (Jan. 1, 1998) was wonderful. I also enjoyed reading the article "Cesar in Salinas" from The Fight In the Fields, which speaks to the struggle and ultimate victory of organizing farmworkers. This piece inspires and gives hope to all working people to struggle for better working conditions.
Taking Janet to Task
I am anxiously awaiting Janet Duke's review of the movie epic Titanic. In her guide to year-end (movie) releases (Dec. 18, 1997), she erroneously predicted that moviegoers "can count on sizzle, if not steak" from acclaimed director James Cameron's latest effort. I hope that someone on your staff (preferably someone who has seen the movie) wastes no time in reporting that this filmmaker has delivered one of the most substantive movies of the year, containing not just the breathtaking special effects, grandiose sets and gorgeous costumes, machines, and people for which he has become renown, but also some of the most heartfelt performances, touching humor, poignant dialogue, and sensitive moments in any film in recent memory. Here's hoping that Coast Weekly's readers will not be dissuaded by Janet Duke's shallow praise for this exceptionally deep undertaking.
There's a happy postscript to Laurel Chesky's report on the demise of MPC's sailing program ("Staying Afloat," Nov. 20, 1997). In response to public pressure, MPC officials came up with the money to repair the boats and met with a coalition of sailing students and instructors to work out a system to generate funds for ongoing maintenance.
West Marine, a local boating supply company, came forth with a $500 in-kind donation toward the purchase of much-needed equipment.
As a result, the popular program has been reinstated and a full slate of classes will be offered beginning Feb. 2.
Sailing on Monterey Bay is a glorious experience, and MPC's Nautical Science program makes it available and affordable. On behalf of all once and future sailors, our appreciation to Laurel Chesky and Coast Weekly for your help in keeping the program afloat.
PUBLIC RELATIONS CHAIR,
MONTEREY BAY SAILING ASSOCIATION
Due to your excellent reporting on threats to our coastline I am moving to LA immediately. Why wait years for Highway 1 to become a 12-lane super-scenic expressway when I can live where the wonders of cement are already fully appreciated?
Let Hearst Corp. pave their ranch. Allow them to give us that economic boost. Minimum wage service industry jobs for everyone! Then, we can invade Cuba for Hearst Corp. (again) and bury Castro in concrete.
Forget wasting time saving our coast; pave it!
Those Pesky Demon Voices
I am responding to an article I read in Coast Weekly by Chuck Thurman on page 28 of the Dec. 24 issue. The article concerned New Year's Eve and "Demon Voices." Chuck describes Demon Voices as "stuff that doesn't make any sense so they send it to newspapers in hopes they reprint it and give some air of validity." Chuck goes on to say that these "Demon Voices team up with the forces of gout or politically correct." The issue Chuck made most references to was the new non-smoking policy in bars for '98. I think the article is an embarrassment to Coast Weekly, its readers, and the United States of America. Perhaps if Chuck Thurman was running the country we would just blow smoke into each others mouths as an Olympic event to see who dies first. I am astonished that this article was published. Chuck compares the government actions with demon voices. I have served my country and am proud to be part of a politically correct system. I am offended that this article was written in the matter it was. I hope in the future your writers can come up with ideas with a solid scientific or reasonable foundation for supporting their personal beliefs about smoking and the type of person who enjoys drinking in a bar.
Rest of the Story?
In Richard Pitnick's narrative of Dec 24 on "The Lake in the Woods," there is some very misleading information in that discussion of the justification of the Forest Lake reservoir and concerns only for water for golf courses in Pebble Beach.
I would suggest that there is a real "rest of this story" that the public needs to understand. Back in 1978 when starting my six years on the MPWMD, I was very involved with this PB reservoir and the proposed water supply "savior" by using recycled sanitary sewage water from the Carmel sewage plant.I was chair of the recycle and reuse committee of the MPWMD. Since that time, I've followed this recycle project as a major hobby of oversight of several of these agencies.
In this case of the Pebble Beach reservoir, now 110 years old, and still serviceable, we must remember that this was one of two reservoirs originally built to redistribute water from the Carmel dams. The service area included Pacific Grove, Monterey, Presidio and Seaside. Those customers of Cal/Am paid for those reservoirs and the pipelines for further drinking water supplies (and fire fighting). Certainly the PB reservoir was not designed only for Pebble Beach property owners and their forest golf courses.
The PB reservoir was coupled with the David Avenue reservoir in this distribution of Carmel River water. Presently both of them are essentially dry and abandoned. (I thought our area was principally short of water storage space, especially in dry summers). So why did the water politicians allow these reservoirs to be forgotten as part of our drinking water supplies for major urban customers?
WM. C. WOODWORTH
ORIGINAL MEMBER OF THE MPWMD
Loaded With Flaws
Shame on you CW-your article regarding David Piper (Dec. 31) seems to be loaded with flaws. I always believed that a reporter would present a fair article rather than a sensational one. However, it seems that Ms. Duman's article is a one-sided presentation.
I am a colleague of Mr. Piper at MPC and would like to present another side to Mr. Piper. I have known David Piper as a friend and a colleague. In the years that I have known David, I have never once heard him speak about women in a mean-spirited manner. In addition, I have recently team-taught a class with David and was highly impressed with the soft and kind manner he related to the women in our class. So, I am very disturbed by Ms. Duman's portrayal of a sex-crazed professor type.
David has a reputation as a fine teacher and a very efficient counselor who gets things done. I have heard many students rave about how he helped them in many ways.
Is CW going to print a positive article on David Piper if the allegations prove to be wrong? I certainly hope so, in the interest of fair play.
CURT ERIKSON, PHD
PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY
Richard Pitnick is to be congratulated for writing a fine general article on the messy sale of Brett Weston's archive (Jan. 8). Though he made a few errors, such as Brett's photos have sold for up to $20,000 each, (not merely $5,000); and omissions (such as the banker, Keesee, added insult to injury by offering sell back the vault to Ms. Williams for $6 million), it did address most of the issues. However, to say that "Keesee and Burris have shown great savvy..." would not be consistent with the critics appraisal of the Weston show at ICP in New York, (where they blasted it!) Also, the very notion that Burris and Keesee, who never even knew Brett, much less worked with him, are going to ".totally reinterpret Brett's career" is a scary statement. I would like to know what qualifications Keesee has which gave him the right to buy Brett's lifework, (also Ms. Williams life work), from the trust, for $200,000 down as opposed to Ms. Williams all-cash offer (other than the fact that her offer did not charge Erica's trust a "commission" of $150,000 for Burris and her own attorney?) These points and the article in general barely touch the tip of this iceberg. I hope a follow-up article is in the plan.
Take Back The City
The Monterey city elections are coming up in November of 1998. Two city council positions and the mayoral throne will be available. Wouldn't it be humorous to see those individuals lose their jobs in city hall in 1998? Who are currently displacing old people and students into the ranks of homeless from "older mother-in-law units"! I think it's about time voters take back this lovely city from these jack-booted regulatory thugs who are affecting our incomes and our wonderful way of life by throwing low income tenants into the streets. We choose not to live in cookie-cutter housing designed to prohibit the sense of neighborhood. We should take the example from Carmel, which legalized older mother-in-law units, and make Monterey the city of caring and love, and not the city that encourages government arrogance and interference with its citizen's daily lives.
Facing the Consequences
I have observed teachers at MPUSD first hand by volunteering at my child's school a few hours a week. I am most impressed with the commitment, guidance, and mentoring exhibited by these teachers. It would be a tremendous loss to MPUSD, the community, parents and children if these teachers were to move to another district so they can be better compensated for the outstanding jobs they do. If you are a parent, you understand the amount of energy it takes to meet the demands of one child; imagine these teachers with 20 children, six hours at a time, all the while maintaining a level of enthusiasm that fosters learning. MPUSD teachers also devote an inordinate amount of time and personal resources to keep our kids interested in school. The school board needs to consider a significant pay increase for the MPUSD school teachers or students, parents and the community will face consequences of lesser qualified teachers attending to our children's needs.
KERI A. COLE