Thursday, August 8, 2002
Many of us are shocked by the hypocritical rhetoric emanating from city officials. The Council recently spent well over $3 million on a grandiose civic center for employees whose salaries and benefits are already at the high end of the scale considering our population is diminishing? Now the city is moving forward on a new $3 million golf clubhouse. Is that fiscal responsibility when real public needs are being neglected?
Mayor Koffman and her majority council continue to allocate $125,000 annually to the business community to promote tourist marketing that will only create more pressure on our already coveted water supply and antiquated sewer system while at the same time doubling the sewer surcharge for residents and senior citizens with limited resources. P.G.''s budget priorities are simply out of control. It''s not only the failing sewers that need fixing and replacement. It''s the whole Pacific Grove city government!
JACKIE SPJUTE/PACIFIC GROVE
Dissent is Good for Democracy
As a young teenager I remember asking my mother how could people let the Holocaust happen. "We didn''t know it was happening," she said. Right then I knew I wanted to be alert to world events, I wanted to speak out when things were wrong.
Now, as an adult, I''m incredibly grateful to live in a society where I can find out what''s going on and I can speak out. I like to think I''d have spoken up in the dark days of McCarthyism, and when Japanese-Americans were rounded up and held in camps.
Some things happening these days alarm me, like some aspects of the Patriot Act, like the possibility that we''ll soon be bombing Iraq. (And then who?) These things alarm lots of people and it''s important that we say so. The more voices that are heard, the more inclusive we are, the stronger our democracy is. Free speech is not about everyone agreeing.
The Monterey County Peace Coalition is one place locally where people are gathering to talk about other solutions to today''s problems besides military action. We are lawyers, physicians, church members, veterans, social activists, concerned citizens, good-hearted people. We want the same things as everyone else: social and economic justice, clean air and water, food, education, decent housing and meaningful work for all, and to feel safe. We want our children to inherit the best world we can give them, but we may differ with some folks on how to get there.
We believe the strength of our society is increased with well-informed, critical and open discussions. Please join us for our monthly meetings.
U.S. Out of California
The federal government continues to wage a war on medical marijuana in our state in complete opposition to voters'' wishes. In 1996 the voters approved California''s Compassionate Use Act (Prop. 215), which permits seriously ill patients to grow and use marijuana for medical purposes. However, the government continues to harass a variety of people who are trying to deliver this medicine to others in dire need.
Take for example, Rev. Lynnette Shaw who is a patient and the owner of the Cannabis Buyer''s Club Marin in Fairfax. Her case will be heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco later this year.
Rev. Shaw and others will speak at Medical Marijuana BBQ/Rally on Sat., Aug. 17 at Whispering Pines Park in Monterey on Pacific Street. Starting at 5 pm, Rev. Shaw will talk about her appeal and her prospects for victory.
THOMAS F. LEE/SEASIDE