Thursday, September 27, 2001
Am I the only reader who found Squid's multiple cheap shots at our President's speech from Barksdale AFB on the day of the attack ("Only a Mistake," Sept. 20) both distasteful, unpatriotic and inappropriate? Think about it. It's the day of the attack. Four hijacked aircraft have wrought untold havoc to our nation. It is unclear if there are other terrorist controlled planes in the air bound for the West Coast, and all Squid can think to write about is how Bush's hastily arranged rally-the-country speech would have "more articulate phrases...if a smarter head would be doing the talking." Why not take a few shots at some New York City fire fighters while you're at it, you jerk? You owe every one of your readers an apology, and shame on your editor for not using better judgment. You can choose to write something that will help us all pull together as a country, or the next time the Marines are trying to stage an anti-terrorism exercise in Monterey while being badgered by protesters, you should try to get up real close to those armored personnel carriers while you're spitting on our flag.
--TONY GRISSIM, MONTEREY
Mr. Monning's letter (9/20) pleading for us to cultivate compassion is just what you can expect from this counter-culture dinosaur from the '60s. If terrorists were to attack our community, "open-borders-Bill" can face them with his heart full of compassion, but they'll find me targeting them with something that they can better understand.
Space does not permit me to comment on all of the pathetic misconceptions in Jan Saxton's letter. Those on the far left downplay patriotism because their idealism is now gasping for breath in the light of current events. Saxton believes the Marxist dogma that blames the world's poverty on the wealthy nations. Nations are poor because they are oppressed by a host of problems. Tribalism, religious strife, tyranny, cultural taboos, and the absence of the rule of law, to name a few, plague these economies. The terrorists who attacked us did so because they have simplistic and extremist beliefs about good and evil. They are tools in the hands of their leaders who are on a crusade to unify the Islamic world while at the same time magnifying their own perverted sense of greatness.
--M. MANN, CARMEL
Share Housing Burden
Over the course of the past several months--and this past week in particular--Congressman Farr has been considering legislation to require 50 percent of housing at the former Fort Ord to be restricted to "affordable" housing. The Congressman has offered that because the jurisdictions are receiving the land "for free," we should be able to easily accommodate greater numbers of affordable units.
The truth is that the development of any housing on the former Fort Ord is quite expensive, requiring substantial subsidies from both the developers who will build housing and the cities that will provide services to those homes. At least $300 million in road, water and sewer system improvements will be needed, and very substantial costs will be incurred to remove the nearly 1,600 buildings that are contaminated with lead-based paint and asbestos.
For some time now, the cities of Seaside, Marina, Del Rey Oaks, and Salinas have been the "affordable" areas for workers who are the backbone supporting our economy, and there is no doubt that they will continue to do so. But if we are to sustain our local economy, which is dependent upon workers throughout the Monterey Peninsula, the solutions to the affordable housing problem must come from all of the cities who benefit from that workforce.
As mayor of Seaside, I recognize the critical problem of inadequate affordable housing, and am committed to developing workable solutions to the problem. However, adoption of arbitrary targets, such as Congressman Farr's 50 percent goal, ignores the many constraints to financing and building affordable housing, and leaves many of the cities who would benefit from this housing out of the equation. I look forward to working with the Congressman to develop more realistic solutions in the weeks and months ahead.
--JERRY SMITH, MAYOR, CITY OF SEASIDE
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