Thursday, October 15, 1998
Just the Facts
I am disappointed that you decided to take a cheap shot at the California International Air Show. (Hot Picks, Sept. 24). You did a poor job of hiding your disdain for the event with one token comment about the funding of local charities. I don't believe I've ever read negative "testosterone" comments about triathlons, Scottish games, or outrigger canoe races. Nor have I ever seen any safety concerns mentioned about surfing competitions, mountain bike races, or overbooked outdoor music festivals, I also haven't heard much griping about fuel consumption from bar-hopping CSUMB students. I also doubt you ever considered that air shows focus on the precision flying and attention to detail more than "militaristic...violent overtones." In the future just leave Hot Picks for "what, when, where and how much?" We can decide the rest for ourselves.
Your cover "Kiss Off, Newt" (Oct. 1) was sophomoric, amateurish, and gratuitous.
By the way, California's reapportionment in 2001 won't really matter after the Democrats lose at least 20 seats in the House and five or six in the Senate this fall.
The cover story "Making the Grade" by Richard Pitnick is the September 24 issue of your Coast Weekly is an outstanding one; well researched, organized and written. It gives your readers a first time, complete and honest review of what has or has not been accomplished at California State University-Monterey Bay since it opened in 1995.
My files are filled with letters, news stories, editorials, columns, speaking notes from 1992 about the base reuse plan, which Leon Panetta initiated with a select group of local politicians and entrepreneurs calling themselves For Ord Reuse Group which arbitrarily and without reference to the public, decided a very large new university would become the centerpiece attraction for a very large new residential and commercial community on the free land and with federal funds.
A small group of concerned and perceptive residents objected to the grandiose plan with common sense questions: "What is the need? Why the rush? Where is the money? Is there sufficient water?" but we were ignored and the Army promptly transferred generous acreage to University of California and California State University and promised Monterey Peninsula College the East Garrison Area.
Then, to insure future transfers of land were in accordance with the original Panetta land use plan, Congressman Farr and state Senator Henry Mello wrote and expedited a state bill creating the Fort Ord Reuse Agency to politically control the future development of the remaining base land and work with the CSUMB advance staff on site swiftly improvising what they called an innovative curricula to be presented to 400 students by a quickly hired faculty and staff, on an inadequate living and learning campus by 1994, to meet President Clinton's purely political need to show the nation an example of successful military base conversion in California, which was suffering from his defense closings here.
Richard Pitnick's investigative report now proves what common sense citizen and professional minds noted and questioned four years ago, without effect. The politically driven, publicly funded, socially liberal, experiments by CSUMB and FORA continue with our youth and community's future at stake.
LAURENCE W. DICKEY
Thank you for the objective sound bite, or News Brief as you title it ("Driveway Politics," Oct. 8). Much appreciated. One thing was left out however...Seaside makes up their own laws. Let me explain: The city of Seaside waived our sidewalk requirements in June due to a federal grant that funded refurbishing their sidewalks. Back then we were told gravel was sufficient for the connection between the driveway and street. Next, it had to be paved. We all defined paved as asphalt or concrete. After watching us pour concrete, they wanted asphalt. We commented that asphalt was awfully expensive for a temporary connection. They responded with "we will get back to you." We never heard. After a verbal OK by public works, and two inspectors, they wanted it three inches thick the following week. We fixed it. Then, the concrete wasn't pretty enough. We questioned relevancy again on a temporary connection. Well, the city manager "just didn't like it." We said maybe lawyers could help clarify. Now, it's a "public health and safety hazard." What could make it safe we asked. Pretty concrete.
I can't find these laws in any code book. Can you? If you can, feel free to look me up in the book.
Vote for Evans
In his 19 years on the Monterey City Council, Dan Albert has attended approximately 3,274 city meetings. Has he ever met with you? Probably not. After a city politician has held office for 19 years he becomes orientated to City Hall and city staff more than to the citizens and their neighborhood problems. After 19 years in office it's time for a change.
Fortunately we have a well-qualified replacement for Dan. A woman named Barbara Bass Evans. She's smart, knows what's going on and can run a meeting and the city. She will have the support of the new City Council too.
For starters she will not be touting the massive shopping center proposed for Cannery Row. She will volunteer to serve as the mayor's representative on the Water Board, something Dan Albert never did, so we have had the mayor of Sand City, population 200, representing us. She will lead Monterey in opposing the Pebble Beach development, (316 housing units) because Holman Highway is at level of service "F". As a member of the Fort Ord Reuse Authority, she will, along with Pacific Grove and Carmel, support a population of 30,000 rather than the 72,000 that Dan Albert supports along with Seaside and Marina. These are all reasons why Barbara is supported by the Sierra Club.
It is way past time for a change. Vote for Barbara Evans Nov. 3.
Laurel Chesky's article about Monterey's mayoral candidates ("More of the Same?" >(Coast Weekly, Oct. 1) contains one fact that needs clarification.
The Transient Occupancy Tax Initiative with which candidate Barbara Evans is associated did not "fizzle." The initiative, designed to raise money for the arts and historic preservation, ran into a City Council whose sole purpose was to delay and stonewall the process until the organization responsible for creating the measure (the Monterey Action Coalition) had only days to get the necessary petition signatures that would have allowed the voters to decide in November. The "inflexibilit" of the organization refers to the Council's attempt to cozy up to the hospitality industry's demand for the money to be used primarily for marketing to attract more tourists to the area.
The Coastal Initiative, designed to limit coastline development, has been revamped to allow for the possibility of a special election and is currently being circulated. It, too, did not "fizzle."
The fact that the current mayor is referred to as "well-liked," "squeaky clean" and "floating graciously" makes this sound as though we're discussing the Miss Congeniality segment of a beauty pageant. It is a common perception around town that Dan Albert is a "nice guy." This is admittedly true, however, it is also completely irrelevant. The voting record is all that counts. Monterey owes its "prosperity" to a great many people and circumstances for which the current council cannot conscientiously accept credit.
"...There would be 1,590 units of military housing at a density of 2.5 homes per acre, according to the Seaside general plan amendment." >(Monterey County Herald, "Seaside's Fort Ord plan set aside." Sept. 12, 1998).
Here's the question! How does the military rate the appropriate density for homes adjacent to two world class golf courses?
In the rest of the region around Seaside's golf courses, the general plan amendment envisions homes ranging from an average of 5.8 homes per acre to 8.6 homes per acre, according to the same article. That area includes the Hayes Park homes currently under discussion. The Kaufman and Broad/Bakewell Company would buy the land, build and sell the homes. That density will look like a tract, a sea of roofs! It cannot be "world class" housing at that density!
Instead, in some of the area, the developer could do site development only (streets, sewers, grading, etc.) of larger lots (such as 2.5 homes per acre) which could then be sold to individuals and local contractors for completion.
Before plans are set in stone, a closer look at other options must be taken.
What About Libertarians?
May I ask why there is such an attention on the Republican and Democrat parties and their representatives? Why do we assume that they are the only people capable of running the country? The Libertarian Party sounds like a much better deal. See http://www.calp.org/
I am outraged at the government's negligence in the protection of human health and the environment.
The fires at Fort Ord of the impact areas are burning many substances that can ruin our health and quality of life, not to mention our environment and real estate values.
The open burning of explosives, metals, volatile organic compounds, hydrocarbons, chemical warfare agents, radioactive materials, pesticides such as DDT, telephone poles and vegetation can only hurt us with irreversible damage. Our air is the most precious part of our life. Without it we die.
We have had four days of burning and many people in the path of the smoke are already ill. What will it take to wake this community up to protest before the smoke hurts their health?
For more information I may be contacted at 674-1773.
Take Over Mission Park
There is a right and proper solution to the problem we face with the Mission Memorial Park cemetery. It is evident that a majority of local citizens--perhaps all who have anything to do with it--feel that they are not being well served by the owner, The Loewen Group, Inc. (TLG).
TLG is a billion dollar Canadian corporation which has become the second largest operator of funeral homes and cemeteries in North America through aggressive acquisition of locally owned facilities throughout the land.
The solution? Gather a sufficient number of citizens--the sovereign power underlying every political jurisdiction--who will demand of the administrators of the city of Seaside that the business license which grants The Loewen Group, Inc. the right to do business in the city be revoked. If a suitable operator can not be found to take over the property, the citizenry might even require the city to assume ownership and operational responsibility for this business which is so important to all the families of the area.