Thursday, March 3, 2005
Exercise: Not Just for the Rich and Thin
Thank you, Monterey County Weekly and Ryan Masters for spreading the word on the plight of the small, grassroots fitness and dance classes that meet at Pacific Grove’s Chautauqua Hall [“Class Actions,” Feb. 24-Mar. 2]. I am fat, over 50, a writer of modest means, who spends her day hunkered down in front of a word processor. For someone like me, a fitness program is not an optional frill. It is essential for my physical and mental well-being.
For 11 years, my personal fitness program has been the Chautauqua Hall Jazzercise class. I find it to be an affordable, fun, high-quality workout where participants of all ages, sexes, sizes and levels of fitness are made to feel welcome. Now the Rec Department wants to more than double the rent. It’s difficult to understand how their expenses could have increased so dramatically to warrant such an enormous rent hike. These programs practically run themselves with minimal intervention from the city. Something’s not right with this picture. I urge the PG City Council to carefully consider all sides of this issue and take a, close look at the Rec Department budget before rubber-stamping the rent increase. —Joyce Krieg | Pacific Grove
Memories: That’s What’s Left
Yes, it is marvelous to create a sacred space or a private area. [“Making Room,” and “The Sacred Rustic,” Feb. 24-Mar. 2]. The retreat or memory garden is very important in one’s individual or family life. It also is very easy to lose!
Our labor of love and investment took over 30 years to materialize.
Just a small lawn patch with containers of roses, greenery, and a few odds and ends, lawn chairs to enjoy the plants, the trees, the quiet, and the sky. We were truly looking to embellish it as we could afford when we retired.
Then the sky darkened, the smells became foul as the stench of machinery fumes and human waste rose and the quiet was replaced by the noise of machinery, men cussing, occasionally loud music, and the rising intrusion of a two-story garage with a two-story house. So be careful or all of one’s hard work and plans can be replaced by new city rules and uncaring “neighbors.” There is a difference between going into a new place where one sees the monsters and it being imposed onto one at a later date. Welcome to the new “neighborhood.” So much for a quiet place. —P. Owens | Pacific Grove
Tourists: Take Only Photos, Leave Only Taxes
Carmel’s long tradition of high quality public services, quiet tree-lined streets, beautifully maintained parks and a gorgeous beach draw residents and businesses to our village. These benefits and the solitude that shape our quality of life also bring huge numbers of visitors. We must not continue to take the minimalist approach to our declining public services and defer the maintenance of our roads and civic buildings. We must not continue to pay high-priced contractors to provide rubber-stamped services that don’t take into account the fact that Carmel is not like Anytown, USA.
City Hall’s decision to outsource responsibilities may seem cheaper, but in the long run we lose our character, individuality and the very things that drew us and visitors here. We must turn this village around by bringing back our lost public services and improving the quality of life that made Carmel a special place. Why shouldn’t the visitors help pay for improvements? Vote Yes, with me, for a 2 percent increase to the hotel tax. —Roger Fremier | Carmel