Thursday, August 15, 2002
Article Was Nothing But Rumor As a Carmel Unified School Administrator, I am deeply frustrated with the article "Hooking Up" [July 25-31]. Without citing any evidence, or even presenting any refutable details, the Weekly accused Carmel Middle School (CMS) students of promiscuous sexual behavior in the school bathrooms.
There is no doubt that today''s teens are exposed to mixed messages about appropriate sexual behaviors in the popular media. In such a time of confusion and experimentation, it is important that information be grounded in reality.
Our educators work diligently to teach our students to distinguish between fact and rumor. The allegations made by the Weekly are based solely on rumor and are not variance with what is known to CMS faculty and administrators. By printing hearsay, especially without interviewing any CMS staff, the Weekly does a disservice to the students, their school, the district and its personnel who work hard to ensure a safe and nurturing environment.
I invite the Weekly to meet with school officials to discuss this article about inappropriate sexual behavior on our campus. Perhaps together we can undo the damage this article has caused.
CARMEL UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
Made A Libertarian Out of Me
Few people anticipated the controversy that was to arise among Salinas residents with the proposed reduction and repeal of the utility tax, and it''s pretty clear that Jessica Lyons wants to shape the face of local politics with her recent articles on the topic. If her goal was to dissuade voters from supporting the measure, she did the exact opposite for me.
Some of the statements that Lyons included in her article last week make me wonder if she fell asleep in college when they gave the lecture on sensationalism. I know from experience that one of the cornerstones of good journalism is objectivity, and attributing Mark Dierolf''s actions to some personal vendetta or ulterior motive was borderline libelous.
The Weekly should be investigating the wasteful spending and inefficiency that city leaders fail to acknowledge. We all have our own complaints about city services. They threaten to close our parks, but the majority of parks are neglected anyway. Got a crack in your sidewalk? Get on the five-year waiting list. Drive down South Main Street and you''d better get your wheels realigned. I''m tired of shrugging my shoulders and saying, "That''s just the way it is."
In repealing this tax, Salinas residents finally have an opportunity to tell city leaders, "We''re not happy with this system. We don''t trust you with our money." Perhaps that''s the message that Dierolf is trying to get across, and I applaud his efforts. Citizens who question where our taxes go are essential to a healthy relationship between government and the people.
Mora could conceivably strengthen this relationship by acknowledging that today''s cost of living is high, and offering to work with citizens on finding ways to deliver services more efficiently. I''m confident that volunteers would be lining up if Mora created an advisory board to oversee the spending habits of administrators. But threatening to eliminate police and fire services is the most reprehensible political tactic I''ve ever seen. Mora even wasted tax dollars by sending his propaganda to every Salinas resident in the form of a City Round Up newsletter.
While it''s true that Mora''s salary and administrative expenses are relevant topics of discussion for Dierolf, I don''t believe that jealousy or revenge are his motivations for pushing the utility tax repeal, as Lyons alluded to. Salinas voters are being asked to make an important decision this November, and it''s irresponsible for the Weekly to pass judgment prematurely. Opinions belong here on the opinion page. Tell your writers to stick with the facts.