Article and Sheriff's Department Overlooked Volunteer Service, Bad Ideas Don't Kill People, People With Bad Ideas Kill People, Duke Continues Legacy of Abuse, The Economy Has Left the Working Class Be
Thursday, February 21, 2002
Article and Sheriff''s Department Overlooked Volunteer Service
I wish to commend you on your fair and unbiased article regarding the upcoming election for the Sheriff of Monterey County. In reading the article, I must assume I am "What''s-His-Name." I would like to clarify some of the 48 words dedicated to the information I provided via FAX and a telephone interview.
I do not call myself a coach and mentor. I said the three most important things a supervisor does is mentor, coach and counsel to develop employees. I did not say, "If the community is seeing my involvement, why aren''t the deputies?"
What I did say was that I have been recognized by Congressman Sam Farr, Senator Bruce McPherson, Assemblyman Simon Salinas and Supervisors Lou Calcagno and Edith Johnson, for my voluntary service to the community, yet I got nothing from our department-no commendation, no letter of appreciation, nothing. There are numerous things that Ms. Lyons could have written in her article about me.
--JAMES V. SCARIOT SR./SALINAS
Bad Ideas Don''t Kill People. People With Bad Ideas Kill People
Mr. Maxwell makes a specious argument [Letters, Feb. 7]. Using the number of people killed as a yardstick to determine which belief or ideology is worse misses the point. Whether it is the dialectical materialism of communism, or theocratic self-righteousness of religious extremism, both are oppressive and myopic. Ideas or beliefs are not dangerous in and of themselves, humans are.--JOHN KOHIS/MONTEREY
Duke Continues Legacy of Abuse
When local and state politicians cut the deal with Duke Energy, I couldn''t believe it. The biggest power plant in California sucking up to 1.2 billion gallons of salt water a day out of Moss Landing Harbor with a devastating effect on the Elkhorn Slough and Monterey Bay.
The loss of life do to the "once through" cooling system combined with years of agricultural pesticide runoff and an increasing urban runoff (which is excessively toxic) are the main reasons for loss of marine life, not the 150 or so local commercial fisherman.
The plant should be cooled with treated sewage water. Here in Monterey County, local politicians, planners, and developers have chosen to use this valuable resource for golf courses, green belts, and agriculture.
When I was a little boy, I remember seeing the tumors on the fish my father brought back to his laboratory in Southern California. The tumors were caused by DDT, dumped off the Palos Verdes peninsula by the Montrose company. Without a healthy environment, quality of life and the economy cannot be achieved.
The Economy Has Left the Working Class Behind
I really have to wonder how it is that the average working-class drone today can see himself/herself as having any shot at "winning" in this false economy. In 1976 I started out as a plumbing apprentice. I believe my starting wage was a bit over $7/hour.
My car at the time was a brand new Datsun truck that I paid about $4,000 for. My rent was $120/month for a little cute Victorian behind the Pacific Grove post office, a house I had all to myself. So, I was making about $1,200/month before taxes and my fixed monthly expenses hovered around $200. I was left with plenty of "expendable income" to eat out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner no less than five days per week. Today I make $75/hour as a licensed plumbing contractor. I should be ten times richer today, right? Wrong! Today my "fixed" monthly expenses exceed $5,000. The over-inflated costs of everything today negate whatever gains I''ve made since 1976.
The reality as evidenced by my own situation is that the working-class today is waging a losing battle. How is anyone making it today on minimum wage or slightly higher?
I think this house of cards is going to collapse. Indeed, I hope it does. The Piper is biding his time!
--JEFFREY VAN MIDDLEBROOK/PACIFIC GROVE
Reason and Good Taste Have Left the Building
Do not misunderestimate me. Make no mistake, there is an axis of Elvis.
--HOWARD STRAND/PACIFIC GROVE