Thursday, January 5, 2006
Top 10 Things You Will Not Miss About Monterey
10. Trails. Believe it or not, the rest of the country has many more miles of excellent, unused trails. Mostly miles and miles away from any form of development. I’ve moved to Southern Oregon, and can easily hike for days without seeing a soul.
9. Monterey winter. And spring. And summer. That constant, foggy grayness that seeps into your soul. You will not miss the lack of direct sunlight most of the year.
8. Monterey winter. Much of the rest of the country has a concept called “seasons.” Things burst into achingly lovely bloom in the spring. The hillsides turn into a fiery, golden carpet in autumn. And there is this magical thing called “snow” in the winter. Summer is too hot, but the evenings are warm and sultry. Each comes with it’s own holidays, rituals, and wardrobe. An experience not to be missed.
7. The beach. It loses it’s magic after a while. It’s always sandy, the sea is always pounding and cold, and the seaweed smells. Try the mountains, they change. See #8 above.
6. Tourists. I don’t really have to explain that one.
5. Old times. You remember the Dream Theater, Wildberries coffee house, Cannery Row as it was. When it was a funky coastal town, not a gentrified tourist trap. Come to think of it, Pacific Grove, Carmel, and Monterey as they were, too.
4. Mexican food. The rest of the country has really good burritos as well. Only they charge half the price.
3. Spaghetti Hill. I was born and raised on that hill. My Italian great-grandparents bought a house there in the 1920s, and my family has lived on the hill ever since. I met my husband while he was stationed at the Presidio, and we married in the chapel there. “Taps” through the trees still makes me cry. I would love to live there, but I just can’t afford a million dollars for a home there. OK, $900,000.
A family member is selling hers on the hill, and just bought one here, twice the size, on four times the lot, for less than half that. Think about it.
2. Attitude. Put it this way: Just because you live in the golfing capital of the world, just because you are a short drive from San Francisco, just because you have the ocean on one side and Carmel on the other you are not better than everyone else.
1. Morning. The cost of living is so affordable in much of the rest of the country that you can work a normal, 40-hour week AND afford a home AND afford a family. Now I no longer suffer from insomnia caused by financial worries. So I can enjoy my mornings after a well-rested night.
Annie Cable | former Monterey resident
Editor’s note: This letter is an apparent response to a
similar list (expressing a pro-Monterey-nostalgia sentiment)
that appeared in the Dec. 31-Jan-4 issue.
A Promise Broken
President Bush has justified his warrantless eavesdropping on American citizens by claiming he is protecting American lives. Like a father protecting his children, he says this is the primary job of the President.
But the oath he took states: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
The President is our servant, elected to defend the institutions that ensure our American freedoms. By ignoring these institutions in the fight against terrorism, he has broken his oath.
Dan Brown | Salinas
Norwegians Deserve More Lefsa
I am in disagreement with your paper’s presentation of the illegal immigration problem [“Not Enough Mexicans,” Dec. 1-7; “Looking for a Home,” Dec. 8-14; “The Boundaries of Truth,” Dec. 15-21].
When I first moved to California I came with eight years of social work experience working with disadvantaged minorities from other sections of the country. I moved here the month they passed Proposition 13. As a result, I ended up managing restaurants, until I was able to obtain another social work position.
I did the payroll, along with other duties. First of all, they claim so many dependents they don’t pay taxes. I remember one individual claimed nine dependents. He lived with five other restaurant workers in an apartment in LA. His children were in Mexico.
Our division manager said, “if they don’t show up for work (i.e, if they are picked up by INS) save their jobs—they’ll be back in two or three days.” He was correct.
Mexico’s second-highest source of national income besides oil is the money they send back to Mexico. They are exporting their poor and illiterate here. If they have a child here it’s a citizen. They have large families and are low-income so someone has to pick up the slack. That would be the taxpayers.
My grandparents were Norwegian. No social worker came out and spoke Norwegian and gave them lefsa, or something for nothing. If I move to Mexico no one is going to come out and speak English and give me something for nothing. Spend 30 years on the street and then write an article. I could go on but I think you get the gist of this.
Pat Stocks | Marina
Not Enough Europeans
The most salient point in the whole [“Not Enough Mexicans,” Dec. 1-7] article appears on page 31—“Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Mexicans, Central Americans and other migrants…don’t even bother applying for an American worker’s visa. They just come.” And because of this behavior, we must adjust our laws to satisfy this illegal behavior?
What are we trained to tell our children when they whine “…but everyone else does it”? How far do I get when I tell the cop who has stopped me for speeding, “Everyone else is going faster than me”?
How come everyone else is always told: “America is a nation of laws”?
The laws apply to everyone, or do they? They don’t seem to apply to illegal aliens. There is no amnesty for me if I get a speeding ticket and 20 years later it is still unpaid. I can be sent to jail for that arrest warrant. But an illegal alien breaks the federal laws in crossing the border illegally, then does not file income taxes and wham, he just waits long enough and he can get amnesty.
For that matter we should just do away with immigration laws and let anyone come into this country at will. The laws should apply equally to everyone. So let all Europeans or Orientals come into this country without having to wait for visas.
I will close by saying that I am a Hispanic, Chicano-born and raised in a border town in Arizona. My father was a fieldworker. But I see a great deal of blindsidedness in this trend towards amnesty for illegal aliens.
NAME WITHHELD BY REQUEST<>
<>Employers Love Undocumented Workers>
I am speaking as someone who has had an employer say, to my face, that they could get a Mexican for $5/hour, when I asked for what the employer thought was too much pay.
I have a lot of respect for hardworking people who are trying to better their lives, but the truth is, employers use illegals to avoid paying American workers an American wage. If the illegals weren’t here, employers would have to raise wages, my guess is by at least $3 to $4 an hour. Illegals can make $7 an hour, live five to a room, save their money and go home and buy a house for $10,000.
Americans are more than willing to work for a decent wage, but not for chump change, and Americans demand safe working conditions and basic rights.
Employers love hiring illegals, because they won’t ask for their legal rights. And won’t join a union. The farms can drench the workers with toxic pesticides, and they won’t have the problems they would have with empowered American citizens. Industry can have unsafe operations, no problem. Somebody gets hurt, loses an arm, send them home, get another.
Every illegal worker here takes a job from an American citizen, and keeps wages and benefits low for all workers, and there is a solution.
Focus on the employers. Put la migra on the track of the employers, not the illegals. Put employers who have hired illegals in jail, one day in jail for every day an illegal has worked for them. Fine them big money, a hundred dollars per worker per day. No jobs, no illegal immigration, more jobs and higher wages and benefits for citizens.
Jay Dancing Bear | Monterey