Letters to the Editor for Jan 10, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Quit Whining And Do Something
Dan Linehan’s “Bird-Brained Idea” [Local Spin, Jan. 3-9] was quaint but provided no alternatives for us to help save the Pacific Grove museum and our town’s other public services. Our families are active participants in this community – we benefit from numerous public programs, and we give back via locally focused organizations. We have made this community our home and plan to raise our children here. Dan made some great points about the value of the museum and we hope it can be preserved.
Nevertheless, the financial vitality of the city is more important and such a small town being $2.6 million in the red is greatly concerning. Government bureaucracy is being streamlined, which is necessary but also means that over 25 percent of city employees making over $100k have been retired. While it’s unfortunate that these dedicated public servants must move on, it’s reassuring that they have generous retirement packages depending on length of service.
There has been too much whining over what services citizens are unwilling to lose and too little constructive feedback on what the city government could do to balance its budget. We should end this fruitless bickering, roll up our sleeves and figure out some real options. The city gave PG citizens their preferred tax option and it was voted down. Now we need to understand the consequences of this decision: government services will be reduced. We can either accept this or step up to the plate with increased public-private partnerships, volunteering and creative solutions.
The productive thing is to start ACTING like a community, donating our time, money and expertise, as well as voting FOR necessary tax increases and programs to help us weather a financial crisis that has been passed to our current government and constituents.
The current Pacific Grove government didn’t create this fiscal mess; they just uncovered it. We should pitch in to help fix the situation. – Max Perelman and Peter Brumis | Pacific Grove
Let Food Be Food
Salinas Valley is one of the breadbaskets of the world and harbors one of the largest organic growing fields. This budding industry can easily be destroyed, as is systematically being done by genetically engineered crops through cross pollination, accidents, mistakes, ignorance, sabotage, floods, winds, insect and animal vectors. For example, 75 percent of soybeans grown in the United States are genetically engineered-contaminated. Following are canola and corn. The biotic industry promised this wouldn’t happen, but it did!Genetically engineered foods are forced upon us because our political leaders refuse to require labeling laws, as Europe does. There has been a coincidental rise in food allergies, especially soybeans since the advent of “GE” foods but the biotic industry refuses to acknowledge that fact. Bringing Big Pharma and GE crops to Salinas is the death knell to our organic and commercial food industries. Imagine instead, Salinas, the only place in the world where pure foods are still grown! Talk about big-money potential. – Lorna Moffat | Monterey
Catching The Wave
I watched the construction of Wave Street Studios, and every step pointed to the creation of a special venue. Rhett Smith’s design and building is a dazzling gem in Monterey’s crown. Fittingly, the first public concert (Jan. 5), launching Smith’s musical vision for this site, delivered more than I had hoped for.
Featured were consummate jazz pianist Hod O’Brien and vocalist Stephanie Nakasian [“Now and Later,” Jan. 3-9], enhanced by bassist Dan Robbins and drummer Vince Lateano. Adding to the mix was Nakasian’s and O’Brien’s daughter, Veronica Swift, 13, who sang duets with her mother.
Although I’m a longtime resident of this jazz capital, I’m not (shh) a huge jazz fan. But Nakasian and O’Brien not only enthralled me with my parents’ jazz favorites, but delighted me with Dave Frishberg and other composers.
I suspect that the O’Brien and Nakasian quartet are at the front of a parade of musical greats who will pass through Wave Street Studios. Music lovers, keep an ear to the ground. – Mari Lynch Dehmler | Monterey
A Question Of Waste
How can we allow President Bush to veto bills we need to fund necessary health care and education for our children, and instead allow him to spend our taxes on his ill-conceived war where much of the money goes for corruption and extravagant pay for constructors? It’s hard to believe that our country allows such waste. – Marjorie Atkinson | Salinas