Letters to the Editor for Feb 13, 2003
Thursday, February 13, 2003
Raise 'Em or Raze 'Em
Was this a premature April Fools joke? ["Up Against A Wall," Feb. 6-12]. Mr. Skidmore and his Homeowners on the Lagoon Association (HOTLA) proposal to protect homes at the expense of an endangered species is ludicrous. Are we actually debating million-dollar residential properties against extinction?
The National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act are very clear on the definition of a "take." That Monterey County has repeatedly killed the salmon stocks the nation is protecting is entirely negligent, as well as criminal. Shame on our county administration and homeowners for supporting such activities.
How many of the HOTLA members belong to the Monterey Bay Aquarium or carry a "seafood watch" card? Hypocrisy is popular here on the Peninsula.
Alternatives exist to destroying the steelhead. The seawall option may be viable. Engineering concerns, not aesthetic reasons, may ruin the wall's feasibility. Increased water flow, channel gouging and other effects must be carefully considered to prevent harming the lagoon and neighboring habitats.
The easiest solution is to follow FEMA flood-zone building guidance and remodel the houses to mitigate potential water damage. Raising homes or constructing second stories is common throughout other lagoon and marsh regions.
Mr. Skidmore needs to become comfortable with his legal alternatives, or cash in on his property windfall profits. Of course Maine's state coastal zone management regulations make such engineering decisions much clearer: the coast stays, the property perishes.
John Daziens /Monterey
Sue Hecht's letter in this week's issue is such a wonderfully cogent statement of the case against a US invasion of Iraq as well as the rest of the Bush Inc. agenda in general [Letters, Feb. 6-12]. Anyone else interested in "regime change" (in Washington!!) should check out Ramsey Clark's new Web site VoteToImpeach.org.
This week has seen the appeal to fear escalate with Colin Powell's speech at the UN followed by more Bush rhetoric, plus a conveniently-timed "Code Orange" terror alert, or whatever it's called, designed to convince us with scary "what ifs" instead of solid evidence (of which there appears to be little or none).
Even if there were solid evidence, a responsible leader would present a sane alternative to dealing with it. Listening to the rhetoric of Bush and Rumsfeld in particular is like listening to sixth-grade thugs trying to browbeat second graders into following them on an adolescent raid, and anyone who believes and supports them is thinking like an elementary school child.
I myself am beginning to feel fearful, but not of Saddam or Al-Qaeda or whatever other menace Bush and the boys try to threaten me with. I'm scared of them.
Janet Asiain/Via Email
Cal State Not Prestigious Enough
Your article about wine was badly flawed and lost credibility when you twice wrote "Cal State Davis" or "Davis (Cal State)." I'm sure you have assaulted and insulted many local U.C. Davis alumni. Be more careful about gross things like this, please.
Let's Get Naked
"Food in the Nude" a new phenom ["Eat It Raw, Feb. 6-12]? Not!! Hast thou never heard of Gypsy Boots, the pre-hippie-era long-haired wild man who was a regular guest on the Steve Allen Show of the early-1960s? Gypsy always ate his food raw and he was a vocal advocate for that. Now, what's truly enlightening is to be nude and eat your food. That's what we do at HAI workshops. As the bumper sticker for the Masons suggests "2B1 Ask1." Want to know about the joy of nude eating at HAI workshops? Ask me!
Jeffrey Van Middlebrook/Pacific Grove