Comrade Chesky Got It Wrong
Thursday, March 8, 2001
I was sickened by Laurel Chesky''s article "War and Peace" (March 1-7, 2001). For those of you lucky enough not to have read it, Ms. Chesky''s article was an ignorant NIMBY protest against the U.S. Navy''s plan to use Fort Hunter Liggett for F-18 Hornet aircraft bombing practice. Never mind that the bombs the Navy intends to drop there are dummy rounds that contain no explosives. Chesky and her comrades Sam Farr and the New Cameldoli monks apparently oppose the Navy''s plan to use the military base for this purpose solely because they perceive the noise of the jets engines to be inappropriate to the surrounding area''s tranquility. That reminds me of the idiots who moved next to the oldest military base in the country (the Presidio of Monterey) and then have the gall to complain that they play the "Colors" and "Taps" when raising and lowering the flag in the morning and evening.
I suppose we should just let our military men and women deploy into harm''s way without proper training. Let them die. Who cares?! We''ve got our BMWs, Lexuses, and million dollar homes here on the Central Coast. Those military men and women are just our hired help anyway, right? What does it matter if a few more of them die from lack of proper training?
When confronted with this sort of attitude, as I often am in this part of the country, I have to shake my head in disgust at the worthlessness of so many Americans these days. So many of you neither appreciate nor deserve the freedom our military men and women provide you with their blood. Are you so ignorant as to think that you would enjoy these freedoms in other countries of the world? Why not check out the political climate in Saudi Arabia, Cambodia, Russia, China, or even Mexico?! Your freedom is leased, brothers and sisters. Find the cost of freedom buried in the ground
I welcome those F-18s. Let them fly low over my house every day and night on the way to their practice. That''s the sweet sound of freedom as far as I am concerned. As for the Brother Isaac Meyers and the other monks, they should get off their lazy duffs and do something useful with their lives. And Chesky should do some traveling so she can come to appreciate what this country and its military safeguard for her every day!
Run for the Borders
I was very gratified to see my favorite bookstore, Borders, receive some well-deserved praise in your article.
The one element missing in your article was how the bookstores treat the artists--authors and musicians. In this regard I can personally attest that Borders was very welcoming to me. When I approached Borders about doing a reading from my novel, they not only readily accepted my offer but the community relations manager, Dorothy Gander, ordered my book in advance and gave it a prominant display months before the event. Moreover, Borders has continued to reorder copies of my book and has kept it on the shelves more than a year after the event. An author couldn''t ask for better exposure than, in my case, to have my work next to Gore Vidal''s.
Thanks very much, Borders.
Rosa Martha Villarreal,
Nutha Vote For Ray
Recently, Mr. Donald Gonzalez wrote a very pointed and mean-spirited letter to your publication to register his displeasure with your restaurant feature writer, Raymond Napolitano. I don''t know what Mr. Gonzalez''s credentials are, but I have a few of my own. In addition to my 25-year career in the fine dining business, I have spent many years writing about food, wine and restaurants for numerous publications.
I find Mr. Napolitano''s weekly critiques to be consistently witty, insightful and entertaining reads. It is also refreshing to find a local writer who takes the time to actually spell everyone''s names and the names of the dishes correctly. He obviously has the background one would need to understand the passion and the pain that is the restaurant business. While Mr. Gonzalez wishes to see more menu descriptors and a list of prices, it is my belief that only a truly amateur and boring writer would resort to filling his column with "just the facts," as Sergeant Friday would say. Instead, Ray Napolitano attempts to give his readers the smells, tastes, textures and an overall feel of the place he is visiting. Additionally, he does include the menu items and the price ranges of the dishes that he has consumed during his visit.
Kudos to people like Mr. Napolitano who have the courage to write constructive, well-informed and balanced reviews of subject matter that can be anything but. And thank you to the Weekly for having the guts to employ him.
The Old Bathhouse Restaurant, Pacific Grove
Greener Pastures Call
I want to bring to the attention of the community the urgent situation at Natividad Medical Center. Although we have a beautiful, new "state of the art" hospital, we do not have enough nurses to staff it! Our current rate of nurses leaving their positions to work in the "greener" pastures of other area hospitals is alarming. Let me tell you why.
I have worked at Natividad Medical Center for almost 16 years. The last few years have been the worst in my career. We are most times understaffed, working countless overtime hours just to meet the minimum. They give us periods of respite by hiring traveling nurses who cost the county an extremely high amount of money. Lunch is a luxury and breaks are nonexistent. The pay is also much lower than at the other two area hospitals. Morale is at an all-time low. If I were not committed to stay for the sake of the underserved people using NMC and my loyalty to my remaining co-workers, I would leave too!
We want to give good quality care. Please tell our County CAO Sally Reed to make that possible. We had dozens of job openings in December-would YOU apply?
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