The Public Voice
Letters To The Editor 4.05.12
Thursday, April 5, 2012
What is the difference between methyl iodide, methyl bromide, utility company Smart Meters and cigarettes, LSD, crack and heroin? All of them harm people, with the most damage occurring to exposed children (“Arysta pulls controversial fumigant from U.S. market; focus turns to alternatives,” posted March 22). But the bottom list are voluntary. The top list exposures are not voluntary, but forced by those organizations and their talking heads that benefit financially from their use.
This is a huge victory, and it took years and tremendous work to defeat methyl iodide, when the case was obvious to anyone with five minutes of unbiased analysis. Unfortunately, this huge victory is a grain of salt in the corruption and upside-down world even in this PR haven, the United States. Methyl bromide is still being used in the U.S. for reasons of “economic hardship” even though it is not being used in Bangladesh. When will the masses of people be able to see both forward and the obvious cases of harm being done to so many for the benefit of so few?
It’s not that strawberries are so important to Americans, even though they are. It is only important to a few scum pukes that make extra dollars raising and selling toxically grown strawberries. It is too much skill, quality and bother to them to take the effort and time to grow real food/strawberries without killing every living thing in the soil with their beloved methyl bromide. - Robert Williams | via Web
Paint the Town
A wonderful article, and I applaud the message that art is accessible and plentiful here in Monterey County (“It’s easier than ever to join the art fray; just open your eyes and take it all in,” March 29-April 4). A useful follow-up would be a guide to galleries, museums and art events. For example, in Pacific Grove we celebrate local art with First Fridays and with Art & Wine Walks that occur every six weeks (in conjunction with exhibit openings at the Pacific Grove Art Center). The next Art & Wine Walk is April 13. Thank you for a fine article. - Lucinda Sheer | via Web
(Editor’s note: Ms. Sheer is the gallery manager of the Barry Marshall Studio/Gallery in Pacific Grove. And the Weekly’s calendar, curated by Walter Ryce, is stocked with a range of art-related activities in every issue.)
The thoughtful act of Walter Ryce writing his article about the experiences of art is a wonderful step in keeping the doors of understanding art open for Weekly readers. I suspect you are largely preaching to the choir, but nonetheless, Walter’s article and the effort he put into talking with so many devoted local art lovers certainly provides the inspiration to think and talk about the various ways art touches peoples lives. Along with the Art Openings and Happenings listings and stories like An Informed Vision, the Weekly continues to be a champion of the arts – thank you! - Peter Hiller | Carmel
Somebody sure didn’t get a college education (“Letters,” March 22-28). A few short decades ago, college education was free in California. A $500 scholarship paid for everything but room and board for a year – books included – and that was at the University of California (a highly regarded school in the Bay Area). MPC fees were more like 15 bucks a year. “Since when is a college education supposed to be free?” Since March 23, 1868, in this state, pal. The real question is why this state no longer provides it, and that isn’t “basic economics”; that’s Republican politics. - Skip Seibel | via Web
Open the Books
When it came to a state audit of Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, Assemblymembers Bill Monning and Luis Alejo were true champions of full disclosure and transparency. These same guys authored Assembly Bill 1614 to extend the Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA) another 10 years. After months of meetings with local stakeholder groups all they did was cross out old dates on the 1994 legislation establishing FORA and add new ones. FORA meanwhile, is still unable or unwilling to account for the majority of a $100 million federal grant, even though they’ve been slapped with a Public Records Act lawsuit. FORA says the nosy public isn’t allowed to see the documents and to “trust us” about how the money was spent. They also admitted having no formal records policy and deleting emails after 90 days. Really? Monning and Alejo are quiet on this one and don’t seem to be shouting for an audit here. Apparently pork-project quasi-redevelopment agencies don’t get the same scrutiny as hospitals.
Sadly, the “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” legislators who passed this through committee couldn’t care less about $100 million of taxpayer dollars unless it’s coming in or out of their constituents’ pockets, or their own. - Luana Conley | Marina
Leon is Listening
I was appalled when I read that Leon Panetta, a serial violator of civil liberties, was voted Monterey’s “Do-Gooder of the Year” by the readers of the Weekly (“Best of Monterey County 2012,” March 15-March 21).
When he directed the CIA, Panetta’s profanity-laced tantrum helped block any investigation of widespread torture by CIA officers under the Bush Administration. As Secretary of Defense, Panetta has overseen wars in Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen (and the new war being planned against Iran), in violation of a host of domestic and international laws. The illegal drone program, begun under Bush and expanded by Obama and Panetta, has killed thousands of men, women and children.
Panetta also carried out the execution without trial of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki and, two weeks later, al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son. American citizens can now be assassinated by their own government without a shred of due process.
It’s hard to believe that some people will actually cheer for the boot that is coming down on their faces. It seems the people of Monterey County really do love Big Brother. - Phillip Crawford | Monterey
On GOD and war
During the Vietnam War, a young Army chaplain handed out his business card that said “Kill a commie for Christ.” He gave one to me. An Army infantryman showed me the VC earlobes he carried around on a wire ring on his belt loop. I should have sent the business card to the Army’s Chief of Chaplains, but I didn’t. I should have contacted the Inspector General at the Pentagon about the earlobes, but I didn’t.
I’m not religious, so I have always wondered why the chaplain’s business card upsets me more than the VC earlobes do. - Ed Leeper | Monterey