Thursday, January 3, 2002
Green Development Hurts, Too Ah, the humor of it! the Weekly''s recent issue celebrating the Big Sur Land Trust provided wonderful cover for Post Ranch to make a pitch for expansion masquerading as a newsbrief [Dec. 10]. Big Sur needs the Land Trust but the necessity of ten additional $500-$1,000-per-night accommodations at Post Ranch is doubtful.
What terrific spin that supposed "news" item put on the Post Ranch quest for further commercialization of the coast, including the play given the requested 24 staff housing units. Granted Big Sur is always in need of worker housing, but these won''t be gifted to Post Ranch employees. The units are rented to the staff at rates short of oppressive.
Will the housing reduce traffic on Highway One as claimed? Thirty vehicles per day compared to the millions traveling the coast annually makes the statement ludicrously self-serving. The environmentally joyful noise that rings with the wastewater treatment announcement sounds as if it''s voluntary. In fact, Post Ranch is desperate for fresh water, so necessity not ecology is driving this program.
To read this "newsbrief" one would think that all that stands between the Smith Butterfly and extinction is a few more Buckwheat plantings at Post Ranch. Maybe, though, those little blue wonders would be better served by no development at all.
Not mentioned in the newsbrief but certainly newsworthy is the request in the development plan for a new and larger swimming pool, a new spa, and new support buildings. It''s a trick, though, to put an eco-friendly glow on such items. So Post Ranch give us a break. Sell your development schemes elsewhere legitimately. And Coast Weekly, out of respect for your readers, be alert to this type of shabby influence-peddling posing as news.
G. MAUPIN, BIG SUR
Leave the Mines at Ft. Ord
Iwas just watching a CNN clip (Internet as I have no TV) on the de-mining of Afghanistan. It showed an Afghani worker who is paid $100 a month to do the dangerous work of finding and disposing of the discarded and abandoned munitions of recent conflicts.
It had me wondering what it costs a day to have someone doing the same job at Fort Ord. It had me thinking about the scope of the work we have to do at Ford Ord and how important restoring it immediately is to many of us living in the Monterey Bay area.
But I think some have we have lost sight of the goal. If the objective is to protect innocent people, then there are other places which need our attention first. If the objective is to open the door to individuals to make a profit, then I might have to agree that Fort Ord needs immediate fixing.
Yes, Monterey County needs affordable housing now, or sooner. Yes, Monterey County needs to support a diversity of the artists who are responsible for so much of this area''s vibrancy.
No, Monterey County does not need to duplicate a peace (or war) officers training facilities when they are available in other areas even though this is a much nicer place to travel to on taxpayer dollars. I always remember that taxpayer money pays for the hotels these ''peace officers'' stay in during training. Who among us would classify local hotels as ''economical'' in the statewide marketplace?
Maybe training facilities should be built alongside prisons since we have already determined the most economical place to house people at taxpayer''s expense. In doing this we also gain the added benefit of having our most able men near where we are most likely to need them in an emergency. This is without mentioning the savings we would have by not maintaining redundant, safe-weapon storage and communications facilities.
So are our efforts and resources best applied to cleaning a small piece of local real estate in order for interested parties to create revenue and profits or would the same amount of effort be better applied to protecting all people from the ravages of residual military munitions?
I know my answer to that question. Yes, I want more bicycle trails on Fort Ord. But I will wait.
Let''s clear the American made mines from Afghanistan and the other lands we sent/left/sold/dropped/loaned them on. Let''s make the world safe for all children. And all people.
If American people are a caring people let''s show it by taking back our bombs and destroying them. We can start so easily by merely taking back the discarded ones.
JIM NEEDHAM, CARMEL