Thursday, May 25, 2006
CALCAGNO IS HIS OWN MAN
Supervisor Calcagno thinks it’s fine for him to negotiate the alignment alternatives for the Westside Bypass and eventually vote on them—even though he owns land in the affected vicinity [“Calcagno’s Conflict?”, May 11-17]. He claims a thin defense: Calcagno leases the land, so the alignment doesn’t affect him directly, and his parcels are 3,000 feet away from the planned roadway.
Trouble is, Calcagno recently claimed that the bypass alignment is still undetermined, which means we don’t really know if his parcels lie 3,000 feet distant. Furthermore, the road alignment will determine whether his parcels develop or remain farmland, creating at least a 10-fold difference in the land’s value. Leasing has nothing to do with it.
A transportation sales tax is on the June ballot. Voters are asked to provide funds so that their elected officials can decide which, if any, of the ballot’s 16 listed projects will ultimately be built. Upon what will those officials base their decisions—the public welfare or their personal finances? —Jack O’Brien | Salinas
COUNTY NEEDS LUTES
It doesn’t take a political genius to figure out we need new leadership in Monterey County. Natividad Hospital in perpetual peril. More than $1 billion behind in road building and repair. Water aquifers over-drafted by 200 percent, but no end in sight to new subdivisions. Rancho San Juan, a new city negotiated behind closed doors, rejected by 76 percent of county voters. Six years and $6 million squandered on the General Plan Update, with the latest version (the fourth) targeting growth at Rancho San Juan AGAIN!
As a Salinas City Council Member and Mayor Pro tem, Jyl
Lutes puts residents before special interests. While county
leaders fumbled the County General Plan, Lutes’ team adopted
the Salinas General Plan on time and within budget—a General
Plan so visionary it was recognized by the Congress of New
Urbanism. While county leaders shifted costs to the cities and
wrung their hands over Natividad’s finances, Lutes helped
transform Salinas’ budget crisis into a Standard and Poor
“A-Plus” credit rating. While County leaders worked to
out-maneuver overwhelming public opposition to Rancho San
Juan, Lutes defended the public interest, tirelessly
campaigning against the massive project.
Lutes deserves your vote, too. —Evelyn Epstein | Aromas
BOOKS ON MP3
Frequent Conversation: Q: What’s that around your neck?A: NanoPod.
Q: How many songs does it hold? A: I have no idea; I’ve never listened to music on it. I listen to books, the New York Times, and an occasional radio program on it.
Q: Oh really, I had no idea you could put books on an iPod and listen to them. A: People are always surprised when I tell them you can listen to more than music on an iPod.
A: That’s a great idea, I’m going to tell my sister who just got one for her son for his birthday.
I can’t tell you how many times I have had the above conversation. Little to nothing is done (including Stuart Thornton’s recent article [“Me and My iPod,” May 11-17]) to inform busy people about using this amazing little device to keep up their “reading” of books, newspapers, magazines and other printed material. A huge oversight in my opinion. —Diane Driver | Pacific Grove
LOVE AT FIRST VISIT
I drove my daughter’s car down to her at the Defense Language Institute, along the way everyone I spoke with in and around Monterey were very helpful. I was just going to deliver the car and spend some time with my daughter but then I fell in love with your entire slice of heaven you have there. We went all sorts of places; your town is hilly for my crippled taste, but whenever I got tired there was some new person offering a chair—sometimes their chair.
In all my travels all over this world I have never experienced such kindness, from the movie theater, to the Italian restaurant on that angled street and the sushi bar on the wharf. Because of all the nice people that make up your community, I stayed another five days, and hated leaving.
There was however one place that stands above the rest for its old world charm, gracious hospitality, and excellent eats. Compagno’s Market & Deli on Prescott Avenue, owned and operated by Bennett Compagno.
Thank you Monterey for your wonderful people, on my next trip down I will be looking for a live-aboard and a home. —Bill Jesernig | Kennewick, Wash.