Thursday, July 29, 2004
Airwave Defense Needed
Thank you for the excellent feature “The Big Picture,” by Andrew Scutro [July 22-28] and a belated “Hats Off” to this same writer for the outstanding pieces some months ago chronicling his adventures in Iraq. The courage and commitment of the journalists and the Weekly to provide independent journalism should not be underated.
It is the lack of independent points of view that was uppermost in the minds of millions of recent letter-writers to the FCC, who provoked the public hearings currently underway across the country.
It is information aligned with a keen interest in educating the public which “The Big Picture” provided, and which is so often missing in corporate media news.
I caught the showing of Outfoxed Sunday night at Democratic Headquarters in Monterey, and it was a painful reminder of how Fox News emits opinion as “fair and balanced” news.
The manipulation of facts practiced to manufacture consent for the administration’s agenda has nothing to do with journalism or democracy.
The FCC should monitor the broadcast companies using our public airwaves to ensure unbiased information is being provided. There must be protection of our airwaves. Without that we cannot be free.
Saundra Salyer | Carmel
More Cuts, Not More Taxes
The old guard politicians are at it again. They are looking to take more tax money from the people in order to avoid making the tough choices about cutting wasteful spending.
The proposal being floated by Monterey city leaders to impose a quarter-cent sales tax (or other tax hike ) is another example of punishing taxpayers to pay for the bad policy decisions in both Monterey and Sacramento.
City officials are understandably outraged at the theft of local revenues by the spendaholics in the State Capitol. This raid of local coffers must stop, by constitutional amendment, if necessary. The simple fact is that the taxpayers of Monterey are not responsible for the poor fiscal management in Sacramento.
The City of Monterey says it has nowhere else to cut. Yet, it still wants to move forward on the $13 million “Taj Mahal” Civic Center Building. And, Monterey’s budget is being “thrown out of whack by projected increases in retirement packages, workers’ compensation and health-care benefits.” This demonstrates that out-of-control personnel costs are driving the crisis.
Too many politicians are ready to raise taxes without challenging the waste and fat readily apparent in the cost of administration and bureaucracy.
Dozens of city officials are making salaries well in excess of $100,000 per year. Would that not be an area ripe for looking at pay cuts or reductions in benefit packages?
Monterey voters should come to the Aug. 3 Council meeting and demand that new taxes be taken off the table.
Jeff Haferman | Monterey
In a story about a recent meeting on the General Plan “Sex and the County,” July 15-21, The Weekly misidentified Dale Ellis, assistant director of the County Planning Department. Mr. Ellis was in fact not involved in either the September Ranch controversy nor in the Planning Department’s so-called ghost-writing scandal. At the time of both of those events, Ellis was working in the County’s Code Enforcement division. The Weekly regrets the error.