Letters to the Editor for Oct 21, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
ESPRESSO FOR BRAINS
I was sitting in one of those Lighthouse Avenue coffee bars the other day while a group of 20-something espresso heads were chuckling over Christine O’Donell’s latest bizarro pronouncement and generally feeling superior to anyone dumb enough to take someone like her seriously. As the subject drifted to how many Tea Party types it takes to change a light bulb, an elderly lady whom I’ve heard express opinions slightly to the right of Louis the 14th paused by their table on her way out.
“Just out of curiosity,” she asked, “How many of you hipsters are even registered to vote?”
A chorus of annoyed shrugs and one raised hand came by way of an answer. “Well, if the Obamacrats in Delaware are anything like you, I see a Republican witch in your future!” she laughed. “Old age and treachery always overcomes youth and skill!” Kevin A. Lewis | Pacific Grove
FOLLOW THE SCENT
It is not news that Monterey’s sewer pipes need repair (“City sewer lines are at the breaking point,” Oct. 14-20): “The city was responsible for more spills than any other in the county this year, according to Monterey County Health Department records.” Monterey’s city beach has been closed off and on for years because the water was found to be dangerous to human health. Instead of a “proposed sewer fee increase,” the city should pay for this long postponed maintenance out of the city’s sewer fund and capital improvement funds.
Both the Regional Water Quality Control Board in 2004 and the State Water Board in 2006 notified Monterey that it is in violation of state-mandated rules regarding runoff. First Flush reported storm water bay pollution in 2003.
Why should citizens and business owners pay a “proposed sewer fee increase” for long-standing city-deferred maintenance? Instead of fixing sewers, city hall has been throwing money at high priced consultants, higher salaries, too many management/executive employees, five planners in a built-out city producing plan after plan with no implementation, an ill-fated city hall (where did that $13 million go?), developer loans and graveyard subsidies.
City governments are created to finance things that citizens can’t do for themselves, not pay outlandish management salaries and consultant fees. With the right budget priorities, city hall has had and does have adequate public funds, $95 million, to take care of city streets, parks, library, public safety and, yes, sewers.
Say “no” to increased sewer fees. Barbara Bass Evans | Monterey
ACROBAT AIN’T THE ANSWER
Candidate Anthony Canella’s thoughts about why he is qualified for the California Senate are astonishing (“Salinas Assemblywoman Anna Caballero woos the center in her bid for state Senate,” Oct. 14-20). He claims that his experience in dealing with a budget deficit of $2 million as mayor of Ceres, population 42,500, qualifies him to tackle the $14 billion deficit of a state of 35 million. Did he really say that with a straight face? And parroting Fox News talking points about taxes and jobs doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
We don’t know much about him but we know he’s not what you would call tech savvy. He seems particularly proud of his questioning the city’s need for “new computers” and “five new copies of Adobe Acrobat.” Uh, Anthony, a) new, faster computers are probably the single best thing you could do, for very little outlay, to save the city money in the long run. And b) Adobe Acrobat is upgradeable for $99.
Way to trim the fat from that $2 million deficit. I see a balanced budget in California’s future. Tom Fern | Monterey
PUT DOWN THE F-14S
While the pro-war, pro-empire national leadership of both political parties is loath to admit it, it is impossible to gain control of the exploding cost of the central government and unsustainable deficits and debt levels without taking a meat ax to military spending.
Today, the U.S. officially spends about $750 billion per year on the military, but the real figure probably exceeds a trillion dollars. This is far more than every other nation of the world combined spends. It is three times what Ronald Reagan spent at the height of the Cold War before the Soviet Union imploded. Andrew Russo | Salinas