Thursday, March 18, 1999
A Bug In The System
Like raccoon roundworm, the Y2K bug winks at any particular city's border and continues on its merry way. It doesn't pay $7.50 at the gate. It doesn't care if new taxes are assessed to keep the police and fire departments solvent. It doesn't even care if you own a computer.
Also like raccoon roundworm, the Y2K bug can be handled with due awareness and caution. But you have to admit it's there before you can do anything about it. Pacific Grove has done so with the raccoons, while other locales, though conceding the existence of the furry critters themselves, are taking less immediate action regarding the parasite.
With the Y2K bug, however, we're on a bit of a deadline. Wouldn't it be nice to read in the Coast Weekly that all the Peninsula's city and county officials are indeed comparing notes and preparing as a community? Coast Weekly's coverage so far has shown that some of our public agencies are on the ball. I know that other agencies are making preparations, but I would feel more secure if every Peninsula city's status were as easy to ascertain as the county's is via their Website.
Since that is not yet the case, we rely strongly on media updates such as yours, and the use of your online Public Forum area, to keep us informed. There are several informal Y2K discussion groups around the Peninsula now, and our friends in Santa Cruz have been extremely helpful by sharing the experience of their Y2K Task Force. But basic information on how Y2K might affect the average resident is key. Please keep it up.
This letter is to publicly thank all of the people who participated in the first-ever Pacific Grove Library Adult Spelling Bee. The Library Board was overwhelmed by the wonderful turnout, more than 300 library lovers, who watched some tough competitors duel for the top prize on Friday, March 5.
More than 24 teams took part with the final spell-off between "Spell This!," a group of Monterey air traffic controllers and the LexiCon Artists from Hampton-Brown Publishing in Carmel. The LexiCon Artists pulled off a tough victory by spelling "abecedarius."
I'd like to thank our media sponsors, KION and Magic 63 Radio and our generous food sponsors Asilomar Conference Grounds, Peppers Mexicali Restaurant and Lucky and Harvest Foods. The event wouldn't have been half as fun without MCs Adrienne Laurent, John Monahan and Allen Martin.
Volunteers, of course, were truly the vital ingredients of the evening. There are too many to mention all by name but heartfelt gratitude to the wonderful library staff, the Friends of the Library and of course, the Library Board consisting of Jan Rose, Pat Rutowski, Sandy Jordan, Bobbie Morrison and committee members Claire Verduin and Carol Meyer for buzzing around to make the "Bee" a success story.
Special recognition should go to the Pacific Grove City Council for being good sports as other teams kept sending them the really difficult words to spell. Thanks to all and we're looking forward to even more fun next year for the Second Annual Pacific Grove Library Adult Spelling Bee.
LIBRARY BOARD CHAIR
We Are Your Children
I figured that I'd give you all a little taste of how many teenagers and 20-somethings feel about Salinas. There is nothing to do. Have you ever noticed that our streets are crowded all day, every day until about 11:00 or so and then quickly winds down to dead except for taxis, police and a few people?
I think it's a bunch of bored people wishing for a little more entertainment in this city. You could say it's because of our little gang problem but in reality I firmly believe lots of gang activity is due to simple boredom. They are very regular people and not a separate society. It just so happens that they have turned to creating their own entertainment.
Then there's the average teen...Your children, who are darn good kids. If they are out a lot, you can bet they are creating their own entertainment as well. Drugs, vandalism, street racing, shoplifting, frowned-upon sports (skateboarding, rollerblading), graffiti for the artistic, drinking, fighting, making music, the list goes on.
Now some of this could be perfectly legal (some not) but it seems that Salinas won't let it happen. Let's take my personal favorite, skateboarding, for example. For years and years the rumor of a skatepark has excited me but it still isn't here. There is one in Sand City but there's a steep charge and it's very small. Just think about paying to play basketball, football, soccer, baseball, tennis, etc. It's unthinkable to not have those facilities at our use for free and with minimal restrictions. Well, skateboarding is against the law on sidewalks, parking lots and streets. Everytime I see a Harden Ranch or a Costco or even an automall go up in months, I feel anger.
How about music? Ahh music, if you're human you like it and you have your favorite types and ways to enjoy it. But when it's teenagers that are putting it together and looking for a place to have a small concert for the sake of fun and entertainment, it's a no-go. It's possible in Salinas, but if it isn't country or for a church or in a bar, you have no help to look forward to. You have to rent out a place and that's not so bad, but then you have to pay for security and if one person there gets a little wild, the police shut it down in a second. Why not provide a place that people can use for free for stuff like music or a speech or poetry? The point is it's not happening and it should. Why must it cost so much to enjoy your one and only youth? I'm gonna stop writing now because I could stay up all night (nothing else to do) but I just want older folks to think about it for a little bit. At least try to open up your minds and support your children. It's kinda your job since you had them. When they say society is turning sour and our kids are full of hatefulness and stuff, remember, you are our society. We are very, very under-supported and I think it's a shame.
To respond to this and other letters check out Coast Weekly's online Public Forum at www.coastweekly.com.
All Hands On Deck
It seems we have a loose cannon for our California representative, Fred Keeley, who lives in Boulder Creek. Looks like he lives some 60 miles from where the Hatton Canyon Freeway will be built and he has decided for the people of Carmel, Carmel Valley, the Highlands to Big Sur, that they do not need the Hatton Canyon Freeway but should put up with traffic jams at Highway 1, Carmel Valley and Rio roads.
Now isn't that nice. How about letting the people that use Highway 1 make up their minds and have them vote "yes" or "no." That would be the sensible way to do it instead of a politician making the decision.
Maybe Representative Keeley doesn't want the Carmel area to have it too nice, as people might not come down to Carmel but would stop at Boulder Creek to shop instead.
In last week's news story on Seaside politics, Coast Weekly incorrectly identified Tom Collins as Mayor Jerry Smith's campaign manager. Collins served only as a volunteer on the Smith campaign. In addition, City Council candidate and former mayor Lance McClair served as mayor for six terms, and not three.