Thursday, December 16, 2004
Curl Up With Some Good TV
What’s all the fuss about closing libraries in Salinas? [“Balancing the Books: Deep financial troubles could make Salinas a city with no libraries,” Dec 2-8.] Reading books is vastly overrated. What can children and adults learn at a library that they couldn’t learn from electronic sources? For ideas on how to live our lives, there are plenty of TV shows, movies and music videos. For politics, there’s talk radio and Fox News. For health, sex, finances and other concerns, there’s all kinds of stuff on the Internet.
It’s all about priorities: do we want to promote an educated and informed citizenry or do we want more disposable income to spend at the malls? —Arlen Grossman | Del Rey Oaks
Flip Floppers Get What They Deserve
Upon reading William W. Monning’s Forum opinion [Weekly, Dec 2-8], it is obvious why even Democrats voted for President Bush. Sending the exit pollers into the field will only result in incorrect information, as we were given on the eve of our last election.
Mr. Monning also has failed to notice that democracy is expanding, Afghanistan just held a free election. Even though the media seemed to favor Mr. Kerry, we are fortunate he did not win. He would have devoted as little time to the presidency as he did to his Senate seat.
Next time find someone who is sure of his convictions and will stick with them all the way. I for one would not vote for someone who says one thing and does another. We all knew what President Bush had done and were happy to vote for more of the same. —Louise Burnap | Salinas
Philanthropy is Hypocritical
So the non-profit sector would be the seventh largest economy, and over 11 million people grow fat on it, and it uses about 100 million volunteers [“The Big Give,” November 24-Dec 1]—sinners who think petty ante deeds will make up for their hellfire lives, yet the world is still a mess. I prefer the profit sector because there is a little less hypocrisy.
Nothing is ever done for selfless motives. Starve a people and then feed the survivors. Cripple a man and care for him. Kill a child’s parents and then adopt the child. Kick a dog and then pet it. That is charity in this country. This is sure a saintly country. —W.L. McAtee | Salinas
Salinas Shoulda Seen It Coming
In your story about Salinas’ severe financial woes [“Balancing the Books: Deep financial troubles could make Salinas a city with no libraries,” Dec. 2-8]), city officials assert the “perfect storm” theory; that is, events impossible to predict came together to bring the city to the brink of fiscal disaster. But how can a problem the City Manager Dave Mora acknowledges was “more than ten years in the making” come as such a surprise?
With the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, California tax laws forced most cities to restructure their zoning to accommodate more revenue generating development (commercial and industrial) and less revenue consuming development (residential).
Somehow, Salinas didn’t figure this out. And to make matters worse, the city sprawled virtually out of control at a fiscally irresponsible pace, making public services even more costly.
So what’s to be done? How about electing representatives that understand that land use, growth, public services, and sensible fiscal management are tied together? —Natasha Fraley | Pacific Grove