The Public Voice
Letters To The Editor 7.19.12
Thursday, July 19, 2012
If the trails had not been continually used for the past two decades they would have been overgrown by now (“EPA tells FORA to man the fort, threatens to close off public access,” posted July 11). It was an exercise oval for the soldiers, it was never hot in the first place! The area in question was not posted “KEEP OUT, DANGER” except by FORA in reaction to publicity. There are families, dogs, bicycle races, photographers, runners, hikers, horseback riders, all over the place every day. FORA just hopes you won’t see what a treasure this public land is, because you would scream bloody murder when they give it away for massive development we don’t need or want.
There is a difference in the marked impact zones and the area everyone calls Happy Trails. FORA is creating a huge lack of credibility for all the signage. - Luana Conley | via Facebook
It appears that FORA makes its own rules as it goes along. It is a self-serving body that takes taxpayer dollars to lavish themselves. This latest episode just points out how childish they can be. - Batcave | via Web
Reminds me of the space race (“Carmel Valley nonprofit incubates a tech-heavy dream for education reform,” July 12-18). NASA spent a million dollars developing a pen that could write upside down in space. The Russians decided to take pencils instead.
Laptops and educational software have a place in the classroom, but they also can become an expensive diversion which often falls into disrepair, don’t work properly during class, or are used mostly to play games. - eyeswideclosedtotheobvious |via Web
The Republican push for voter ID laws is further evidence of their disdain for democracy “How the Republican push for voter ID laws could profoundly change the November elections,” July 12-18.) By far, the greatest effect of these laws, as evidenced by a variety of studies, is increased rejection of legitimate ballots, as well as voter suppression and disenfranchisement, which is exactly what Republicans want.
There’s no justifiable reason for voter ID laws because effective anti-fraud safeguards are already in place, and voter impersonation fraud is extremely rare.
Since 2002, more than 196 million votes have been cast nationwide in federal general elections, and only 86 individuals have been convicted of federal voting fraud crimes. The rate of voter impersonation fraud is so minute that individuals are statistically more likely to be struck by lightning. - Sean Gallagher | Salinas
If GraniteRock is involved in these preliminary exploration efforts (it’s their land, right?), one could speculate that they’re hiring a seismic prospecting team to quickly identify potential deposits ASAP (“Seismic testing in Aromas could be a precursor to oil exploration and fracking,” July 12-18). If successful, the company would then want to begin drilling immediately any favorable hydrocarbon prospects prior to fracking regulations kicking in, if indeed fracking was required. The logic?: Hit and run, as we’ve witnessed across the ‘fracking belt’ of this desperate country. Does anyone know if the recent seismic prospecting was occurring in Monterey County? Santa Cruz? San Benito?
Once the county is identified I’d get on the horn with my Supervisor and scream bloody murder, especially if there are no local regs in place to deal with the rapacious nature of the oil the industry. It would also make great sense if Granite actually had the groin to communicate with the local community and its water district (Aromas) about its intentions. - Montereyformation | via Web
Fracking has been shown to increase fault line instability and to stimulate earthquakes. The San Andreas fault runs through Aromas and on to San Luis Obispo where the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant is located. Do we really want to take the chance of creating our own Fukushima? - FifthRabbit | via Web
Fracking, in which massive quantities of toxic chemicals are injected deep into the Earth, is totally unregulated in California despite horror stories about groundwater pollution and unstabilizing of the earth from Pennsylvania and other fracking grounds. We don’t want it in or near Aromas until these issues have been completely addressed, intelligent regulation has been legislated, and clear liability for damage to local property has been established. - LewisKeizer | via Web
Desal Finacing 101
In a comment posted on the Weekly’s Internet blog, an anonymous writer (self-identified only as “oldguy49”) makes an unfounded claim that Wedbush Securities is in a conflict of interest with respect to the now-abandoned Regional Project to provide desalinated water for the Monterey region.
The facts are that Wedbush responded to Monterey County’s request for proposals to underwrite the county’s anticipated financing for its participation in the Regional Project. We did not prepare “a report” on the Regional Project, and we received no compensation related to our response.
Our response to the county’s request for proposals is a public document, and we stand by what we said. As it turned out, Wedbush was not selected to assist the county in its proposed financing. Nonetheless, we believe that events have borne out our skepticism regarding the credit structure proposed for the Regional Project in early 2011.
At the time the county was considering its options to finance the Regional Project, Wedbush informed the county that we were providing independent project financing advice to the proponents of what is now referred to as the DeepWater Desal Project. At the time, what became the DeepWater Desal Project was not in competition with the Regional Project; it became a potential alternative to meet a portion of the Peninsula’s reliable water supply only after the Regional Project was abandoned, months later. We continue to advise the DeepWater Desal Project, but we are not – and have never been – a part of the ownership group. The merits of the DeepWater Desal Project stand on their own. - Michael Patrick George | San Francisco
(Editor’s note: Michael George is a managing director in the public finance division of Wedbush Securities.)
Correction: An item in last week’s Buzz column stated the Monterey County Board of Supervisors voted to rezone Whispering Oaks to open space. However, the board actually voted to initiate a study of rezoning.