Thursday, July 29, 1999
I want to start out by thanking Coast Weekly for its excellent article on plans for a train offering service to our region. I wanted to clarify and add some of my comments made in the article of July 15.
Rail to our area is an important aspect to our overall transportation needs. However, the plan as proposed by TAMC is not the rail ''WE'' need. I was not fighting the rail system as planned without offering an alternative that would truly see our money spent for the good of all and not just to satisfy a few political egos.
A large diesel train running through Marina''s residential neighborhoods does nobody any good. As it appears TAMC is going to go through with their plan using any means necessary, including an environmental impact report that of course will support the rail as planned. The county government is not interested in what those along this right of way want or they would have contacted those citizens already.
What should happen with rail money? We need a commuter rail system that begins at the Salinas terminal which acts as the hub. Like spokes of a wheel, a light rail system would spread out in all directions necessary. The money collected should be used to invest in the right of way to construct such a system.
No matter what Ms. Greenwalt of TAMC thinks, the answer is not that [people] built their homes along the rail right of way and should have known what they were getting into. TAMC is just another organization that has used an enormous amount of tax dollars and really has nothing ''concrete'' to show for their efforts.
HOWARD GUSTAFSON, JR.
MAYOR PRO TEMPORE
I am really surprised there should be controversy about running a train to Monterey County. Having just come out here from other parts of the country and the world where they do have trains, I am sorry they do not have them here.
Even in Los Angeles, which I know is an area looked down upon by so many folks up here, they have some very good train services. I used to ride the train often into the city from Riverside. Where my friend lives in Long Beach he can take a fixed rail service to downtown. Where I own a place in San Clemente, I can, and often do, ride the train direct to downtown San Diego.
In Toronto where I spent last summer, one can go via subway and trolley almost anywhere in the city. In Europe, two population centers like San Francisco and Monterey County would of course be connected by clean, frequent, well-run trains.
Isn''t it about time the United States lifted itself out of the third world and into the civilized world by building or rebuilding a modern, convenient intercity train service?
While the population of the Peninsula continues to grow, apparently the number of residents actually having lives seems to be on the decline. Membership in CAVE (Cranks Against Virtually Everything) almost seems to be a requisite for residence.
From the childish whining over a military exercise to the pathetic images of egos lying down in front of a tank is added Squid''s report on efforts to get the Monterey Bay Aquarium to quit serving seafood ("You Bite Me?" July 8).
Few TV sitcoms provide as many laughs on a daily basis as do our "Peninsula activists" and the media which strokes their egos.
Who needs cable TV?
The Pacific Grove Planning Commission will revisit the issue of disabled accessibility in The Media Room on Aug. 5. An article in last week''s issue contained an incorrect date. The Weekly regrets the error.
The July 22 letter regarding the Seaside City Council by Larry Hawkins had an extra space inadvertently added to a line that should have stated "The mayor and others said his [Choates''] vote was not necessary."