Letters to the Editor for Apr 26, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
PARTY WITH PRINCIPLES
The Weekly chose CSUMB’s Earth Day music fest as a Hot Pick [A&E Calendar, April 19-25]. It was a music fest. It was (most disappointingly) not Earth Day. There were tables from various environmental organizations, largely ignored, and a few passing mentions of Earth Day. Certainly, there was no “consciousness raising” from the musicians.
Pacific Grove’s mayor distributed tree seedlings at PG’s Good Old Days to attempt to make it a carbon-neutral event [News, April 19-25]. CSUMB’s contribution was to crank up the kilowatt usage on the speakers. Surely a university can do better. —Rosemary Foster | Monterey
I am writing about a concern we had at MST regarding the pull quote that was chosen for an article in the Monterey County Weekly [“Roll Up,” April 12-18]. While we are always grateful to have articles written about our transit services, the pull quote, “Riders aren’t really using it,” does not accurately reflect the entire piece and actually is taken out of context from the quote within the story itself. The full quote is, “Riders aren’t really using it for entertainment. Well, except birthday parties—a lot of people take it to visit family.”
Wouldn’t it have been just as appropriate to use “A lot of people take it,” for the pull quote? Why choose the one partially negative statement in the entire article and highlight it?
Had the author called MST for comment for the article, we could have provided a more comprehensive picture of how the ridership on the line is actually trending. Over 1,300 people took Line 55 [to San Jose] in February. And more people rode in February (the most current data that’s available) than any other month since the service debuted in late August of 2006—nearly 50 people each day. So, ridership is trending upward. I don’t think that supports the quote that riders aren’t really using it.
It’s a shame that as we are all trying to get people to take cars less to help reduce congestion and greenhouse gases, a positive pro-public transit article has to be marred by an out-of-context and unfairly negative pullquote.
To illustrate the impact of the negative pull quote, I received e-mails from people who read the article on-line. They all were very complimentary and supportive. However, those who have only seen the printed version have had a very different view.
We’re pleased with the coverage the Weekly has given to MST in the past. Indeed, this article—without the pull quote—continues in this supportive direction. However, in the future, please take into consideration the accuracy and slant of your choices for pull quotes. It really makes a difference to your readers and to the subjects of your articles. —Hunter Harvath | Pacific Grove
The letter writer is director of administration for Monterey-Salinas Transit.
MORE INFO IS BETTER
Thank you for your article on MST’s San Jose Express. As a disabled Senior Citizen who does not drive, I use this line frequently; however, there are some improvements that could make this line more practicable and convenient.
As you note, Diridon Station is very close to the HP Pavillion and the Center for the Performing Arts. Most of the major events at these venues are in the evening. Since the last bus returns to Monterey just before 6pm, it is impossible to use this service for Sharks games or the San Jose Opera, for instance (both of which I would like to attend).
Even if one takes advantage of the connecting services to the East Bay or San Francisco, afternoon games and concerts in these areas are impossible because one has to leave mid-afternoon to return to San Jose in time to catch the last bus.
You did neglect to mention the Caltrain connection to San Francisco or to San Francisco International Airport via the BART connection. I find this most convenient for San Francisco shopping or museums. The San Francisco Station is right across the street from the Giants’ ballpark, but because of the early departure necessary to make the last connection to Monterey (4:33 pm), attending games is difficult.
Another bit of important information is the half-price rate for seniors and disabled persons. With a monthly Peninsula Pass, for instance, which many of us have, the price to San Jose is only $4.50 additional fare for a Super Day Pass, which covers a round-trip. The Senior/Disabled Caltrain round-trip fare to the San Francisco Airport is $5.50, or to San Francisco $7.50; this makes a round-trip ticket from Monterey for a day in San Francisco for a Senior Citizen or a Person with Disabilities $12.
Please add this information to your excellent piece promoting this very vital link in our public transportation system. —John R. McConnell | Monterey
METH ARTICLE STANDS
Regarding Bobby Jaurigue’s claim that he was misrepresented in my article on meth addiction [Letters, April 12-18]: I stand by what I wrote. No truth was misrepresented and context was kept intact.
In truth, the article doesn’t make Jaurigue out to be anti-Prop 36; it makes him out to be exactly what he is: someone who has had years of experience on the front line and knows that there is no silver bullet when it comes to drug addiction. He may have felt heat for being quoted saying something about Prop 36 that was anything less than, “It’s the best program ever and it always works.”
His accusation that I misrepresented myself is not true. I did introduce myself as a student doing a project, but I later informed him that I do some freelance work and had been talking to the Weekly about a story on meth and Prop 36. I told him this before our second interview. The letter was an insult to my integrity and completely unfounded. —Adam Joseph | Marina
I applaud Ms. Fisch for her dedication to bringing attention to breast health issues, and for her apparent devotion to cancer sufferers [“Height of Hope,” April 18-25]. I’m sure she actually believes everything she promotes on her Web site, which you referenced as if you were performing a public service. But your job as journalists is to go beyond simply parroting the things people tell you. You didn’t actually look at the site much, did you?
Sadly, the amount of bizarre nonsense and bad advice on her site is absolutely mind-boggling. I could use up every page of your paper explaining the absurdity of the dangerously pseudoscientific mumbo-jumbo served up there.
To save space I’ll only make two suggestions. Number one: Readers, follow no advice you find on that site. Talk to your doctors instead. Number two: Weekly, please, I’m begging you—hire a qualified professional, a doctor perhaps (not a chiropractor) to review your health-related articles, so that you don’t continue to promote quackery in your community.
And before anyone accuses me of indifference to cancer sufferers, let me assure you that I have no problem sharing this letter with my mom, who survived breast cancer, a double mastectomy, and all the pain and suffering that involved—because of rational doctors and modern science, and not fanciful notions about “holistic” care. Let me be clear—there is no such thing as alternative medicine. There is only medicine that works, and medicine that doesn’t —John Mount | Monterey