Why We Need Measure B
Thursday, March 2, 2000
Monterey has a coast of scenic, environmental and historic value, yet the weakness of current regulations and the power of developers make preservation of this national tourist destination uncertain. Measure B, the Coastal Protection Initiative, sets clear and fair standards for coastal protection, and makes preservation more achievable.
The Coastal Initiative fully supports the Window on the Bay program but prevents blighting the view with parking lots, transportation infrastructure or other buildings except by a vote of the public.
Measure B would also provide additional safeguards for Monterey Bay, a designated National Marine Sanctuary. And, the Recreation Trail would be protected as a safe and pleasant place for walking and biking by preventing the over-large buildings that would box it in and create a canyon without views.
The present City Council argues B is unnecessary because they have done a good job of protecting the coast from bad development by their actions in turning down the mega-mall on Cannery Row, the "Cannery Row Marketplace." But this rejection only took place after massive public outcry to defeat it.
Measure B''s opponents claim lawsuits will result if it passes, yet in our experience it is clear that lawsuits (and bad development decisions) come when the rules are not clearly spelled out for everyone to follow. The city of Monterey has never gotten around to finishing a Local Coastal Plan and Implementation Program. Measure B can be a solid first step toward the protections called for in the Coastal Act.
CHAIR, VENTANA CHAPTER SIERRA CLUB
Measure B Flawed
The letter printed in your Feb. 17 edition entitled "Measure B Makes Sense" and authored by professor/attorney Mike Stamp contains certain statements that are misleading or false.
I am the city attorney for Monterey and have first-hand knowledge of the statements being made. That said, I''m not writing in my official capacity, but only as an interested citizen.
City staff reviewed the initiative. However, the matter was found to be flawed and even poorly drafted. After meeting with the city experts, some of the suggested revisions were made, but only a very small percentage. At one point, professor/attorney Stamp acknowledged that the document could be further improved, but in order to collect signatures at the city''s 4th of July celebration, he and his cohorts chose to press forward in a potentially flawed condition.
I resent the implication that this matter has gone through some form of city review and approval, since nothing could be further from the truth. It was reviewed after-the-fact in a careful and detailed study that noted page after page of potential defects, flaws, and errors, and with potential financial impacts that could be devastating to the city.
While it is true that nobody knows today what the actual impacts of the measure will be if approved, one of the biggest reasons for that fact is this initiative fails to define terms and conform to adopted city guidelines. Unlike Mr. Stamp, I don''t care how you vote, but I do care that you have the true facts in hand before you make that important decision.
WILLIAM B. CONNERS
What''s Wrong with the Right
The Feb. 17 Weekly scooped the Herald in the story on the Pacific Legal Foundation, the shadowy, extreme right-wing organization that is prepared to challenge Monterey''s Measure B if it passes ("Waiting in the Right Wings").
Yes, the Pacific Legal Foundation: friend to Paula Jones and tobacco companies; enemy of Monterey County''s affordable housing law, rent control, schools, affirmative action and endangered species. The influence of special interests is poisoning our democratic across the nation, and is doing the same thing here in our own backyard.
The race for 4th District Supervisor is spawning innuendo and half-truths by Debbie Bailey and her malcontent Carmel Valley handlers. That''s sad, because they don''t have a clue as to what is important to the citizens of Marina, Sand City, Del Rey Oaks, Seaside, and part of northern Monterey.
While stopping "explosive growth" plays well before the no-growth, landed gentry in other parts of Monterey, it doesn''t amount to a row of pins in District 4, where healthcare, school safety, and Fort Ord reuse are the bread and butter issues.
The claim by Bailey and her handlers that Supervisor Johnsen is a part-timer is pure balderdash and poppycock. She works more than full time, representing the residents of District 4. Just ask her colleagues on the board.
Supervisor Edith Johnsen has a clue! Her opponent hasn''t!
Supervisor Dave Potter was and is on the frontline of the effort to kill the Hatton Canyon and dam projects. Then he acts like someone else caused the traffic and water dilemma we are in and he will come to our rescue. Come on now, he has fought both solutions to these problems. No wonder it takes years to get anything done!
Potter has said "the county should plan for the future without being in constant reaction to development." He should follow his own advice by supporting rather than fighting solutions to our traffic and water problems. Possibly a new 5th District supervisor could solve the problem by supporting the professionals who had solutions which were rejected by Potter and his activists.
Think Green March 7
It''s time to elect new politicians. I hope we, as a good people who care about our world, vote to keep this incredible world as unpolluted as possible.
Al Gore is behind the recycling of nuclear waste into household items. He is also behind genetic engineering.
According to the League of Conservation Voters, Bill Bradley holds the highest voting score on the environment of all four candidates--Bradley''s score was 85 percent, Gore''s was 65 percent, and McCain''s was 0. George W. Bush speaks for himself, with the lowest air quality in Texas.
Congressman Sam Farr has avoided the clean up at Fort Ord which ended up in a lawsuit because he and the Army refused to take proper action. He also voted for GATT, WTO, and NAFTA. 0ops!
There are some new people coming on board. I hope you will give them a chance, and thus all of us a chance, to a new bright future. It''s time the people took over!
In last week''s news brief "Banking Boom," it was implied that First National Bank of Central California is, as a result of its merger with Santa Barbara Bank and Trust, no longer a local bank. According to the Comptroller of the Currency at the Department of Treasury, the local board of directors for First National sets the policies for the safe and sound operation of the bank. The board of directors of First National Bank is made up of 12 members from Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, and the bank has 2,500 shareholders in the two counties.