The Public Voice
Letters To The Editor 12.20.12
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Dear Arvin Temkar, Steinbeck readers, dog lovers of the world and Weekly readers: If you were mildly amused or even somewhat disturbed by the “revelations” in the article (“Journalist paints Travels With Charley as a work of fiction; Steinbeck fans yawn,” Dec. 13-19), here are a few excerpts from the reviews of Travels With Charley when it was published:
Eric Moon in Library Journal, June 15, 1962 wrote, “It’s a slight, inconsequential book by a nice man rather than a great novelist. But it’s a pleasant evening’s reading, and it will be deservedly popular.”
Orville Prescott in New York Times, July 27, 1962: “Relaxed, informal and chatty [Steinbeck] indulges in whopping exaggerations, tells tall stories, sketches odd characters.”
George Mills in Des Moines Sunday Register, July 29, 1962: “If Steinbeck ‘discovered’ present-day America, he doesn’t give a deep report of his findings here. Maybe he brought back a satchel full of characters who will spark future Cannery Rows and Sweet Thursdays.” - Herb Behrens | via Web
(Editor’s note: Mr. Behrens is a long-time volunteer at the National Steinbeck Center.)
You missed the Salinas used-books venues in the article focused on Old Capitol Books (“Even as national book chains sputter, local booksellers see a bright future,” Dec. 6-12).
Oldtown Book Nook opened last September in Salinas at 521 South Main St. Lynne Steele, a retired library staffer and former president of Friends of the Salinas Public Library, runs the store with backup from her husband, Jeff Todd (another ex-FOSPL prez). They’ve been Amazon.com Power Sellers for about eight years, but have always wanted bricks in addition to the clicks. They’re open six days a week.
There’s also the Friends’ Corner Book Store within the John Steinbeck Library at 350 Lincoln Ave., which has been open since mid-summer; Downtown Books and Sound within the art gallery/tourist-info space at 222 Main St.; the bookstalls inside Halltree Antiques at 202 Main St.; and FOSPL’s sale shelves inside Rollick’s Coffee at 210 Main St., which have been operating on the honor system ever since Rollick’s opened its doors.
It’s once again possible to do a decent used-book store “crawl” in Salinas! - Lauren Cercone | via Web
Congratulations, Squid, you get it (“Squid raps on ex-parte communications and the impending Peninsula water crisis,” Dec 6-12). Ron Weitzman does as well. I am probably one of the crazy people you are referring to, but Cal Am will NEVER get their three-legged stool built, and the county caved like a paper house.
Any plan that is predicated on taking water from the Salinas Valley, regardless of the depth of the wells, forcing the farmers to give up recycled water rights that the Salinas Valley paid for and a recharge program that must take into account fish flows and would have contributed nothing this last year, is fraught with peril.
Dave Potter should be absolutely ashamed of himself (if that is possible), and a one-time exception to an ordinance that must have been thought through years ago is a bad precedent. I do applaud the Water District for discussing a contingency plan. I just hope it is not too late. - Oldguy49 | via Web
(“An elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., today ended in the untimely deaths of 20 children and six adults,” posted to Facebook Dec. 14.)
The shooting in Sandy Hook has people asking “Why?” and, “How can we change things?” You want change? Just turn back the clock to a simpler time, when we weren’t a completely socially detached society.
Do not think that because we post on the Facebook or Twitter or share pics on Instagram all damn day that were more social. It’s the opposite. Look around you. When you see people on the street, they aren’t looking at you or their surroundings, they are not enjoying the scenery, they are looking down at the their phones, watching YouTube as they walk down the block. They’re lost in textland, updating their Twitter about everything that annoys them and Instagraming pictures of their subway sandwiches and Starbucks coffee.
We’re only paying attention to what’s in our hands; we’re no longer paying attention or are aware of our surroundings. It takes  dead first-grade children for people to look up and away from their handheld link to the matrix devices to care.
Clicking “Like” on something does not equal care, but tell that to people nowadays and all that will happen is they will update their status to something like, “smh @ stupid people #getaclue #goaway #yourdumb”… then they will wait for confirmation that people agree with them, and how does that happen now? Not by someone saying, “Hey, I feel you.” Nope, it’s by someone clicking “Like.” They can’t say, “I agree” anymore. You want change? Start small. Get to know your neighbors. Call your friends instead of texting them… snail mail real photos to loved ones instead of impersonal electronically sent pictures.
Get connected with people again, without the electronic buffer. Maybe if we weren’t all so busy in textland/appland/coffeeland/etcland, we could look up and see a problem coming before a problem is in our face. - Sandy Guillen | via Facebook
How about supporting our local Guitars Not Guns nonprofit? - Jane Flury | via Facebook
It’s a brutal article that I can see is offensive. But it’s true. What’s it gonna take for some change to actually to take place here? But if you think about it, we shouldn’t have to be scared shitless all the time! This was horrible… what can we do to help? - Priscilla Torrance | via Facebook
Why does the foul language have to be used when discussing such a tragic event? Again, what examples are we for OUR children? - Bonnie Dankert
(Editor’s note: The comments from Ms. Torrance and Ms. Dankert refer to an article from The Onion that used strong language in capturing the nation’s despair; the Weekly posted a link to that article on its Facebook page.)
(“Tell us your favorite way to fix crab for the Yuletide table and enter to win two tickets and rentals for the ice skating rink in Custom House Plaza,” posted to Facebook Dec. 14.) Drowned in butter, then more butter, then served with a side of butter. - Alan Vasquez | via Facebook