Alex Rocha-Álvarez movingly describes the hardships her parents endure in the strawberry fields, in large part for her support and advancement (“The inequities facing agricultural workers transcend Covid-19, into history and into the future,” Feb. 18-24).
Winning a degree at Yale is a challenge even for the most advantaged and well-prepared. I hope that Alex can persevere and vindicate her parents’ sacrifices. May she put her elite education to work for the community, perhaps as a lawyer or a journalist. Whatever career she pursues, like her parents’ path, it will not be easy. James W. Sullivan | Pebble Beach
This was a well written story, but sad. Danny Martinez | via social media
The saddest part of that story was, “To them, it’s just the way it’s always been.” Gary Bolen | via social media
Pay inequity is the underlying issue. Subsidize labor, not billionaires. If agriculture jobs actually paid a wage that could sustain a dignified lifestyle, Americans would do the work themselves and not rely on cheap imported labor to keep essential goods on our shelves. John Norman | via social media
Up And Away
I can’t believe people still support this toxic industry (“Pandemic celebrations using mylar balloons create a big spike in power outages,” Feb. 19-24). Heidi Bates | Carmel
I’ve seen so many balloons while hiking this year, wrapped around trees, in seasonal ponds, etc. Joyce Ortega | via social media
They need to be banned. Pretty, but devastating to the environment. Edie Abendschan | via social media
For years we’ve been told that mylar balloons cause environmental damage. Still, I’ve picked many up along Highway 1, intentionally released but luckily caught up in foliage.
Now we are being told that they also cause power failures. Unfortunately PG&E has been so dishonest; can we really believe their claims that so many of the failures were caused by these balloons?
But, “pretty?” They are ugly, garish and gaudy! Marilyn Ross | Big Sur
Another good reason to ban mylar balloons. James Tarhalla | via social media
Instead of balloons, can we popularize gifting flowers instead? Tosca Salvacion | via social media
So Sheriff Steve Bernal won’t explain in public to the Board of Supervisors about the third escape of a suspected murderer in the past 14 months? (“A murder suspect’s flight from the Monterey County Jail was reported by a passerby as it happened,” Feb. 18-24.)
He didn’t issue a public service emergency notice to shelter in place when the latest escape occurred on a sunny afternoon of a national holiday?
This man is the number-one public safety officer in Monterey County?
How is this possible? Dan Logan | Pacific Grove
The supervisors have the best oversight tool in the world: a checkbook (“County supes try to take the sheriff to task, but lack oversight authority,” Feb. 18-24). Dan Waterhouse | Fresno
Results matter. Financial resources management matters. I hope this works out for the best, for the homeless and the city (“Oakland-based nonprofit chosen over local organization to operate the new Salinas shelter and navigation center,” posted Feb. 12). Margaret Carey Lang | Salinas
Getting a Jab
Monterey County is completely excluding people over the age of 65 from getting Covid-19 vaccinations if they do not reside in certain zip codes that are predominantly Latino (“A guide to Covid-19 vaccinations in Monterey County,” Feb. 18-22). The county has articulated that these zip codes were selected to affect “racial equity.” They are leaving residents of Pacific Grove, Carmel and Monterey to fend for themselves, out of the county, if vaccinations can be found. I am driving 200 miles to Sacramento so I can get a vaccination through a health care network. It is unfair and raises constitutional concerns to completely exclude a population.
What is truly unfortunate is that the County Health Department looks the other way when agricultural businesses house many of these Latinx residents in deplorable housing where adherence to health protocols is impossible. The county has contributed to the disparity with Covid infection rates by its failures. Janet Gray | Pacific Grove
Yesterday, I went to Natividad in Salinas to get my first “old guy” Covid shot. It was effortless and the process was fast and efficient.
While I’m delighted to have my first shot, I continually think of the folks who form the base of our community: the service workers, clerks, grocery store personnel, drivers and farmworkers. I truly hope they are moved up in the list.
I was reminded of this by the folks at Natividad: nurses, staff who manned the desks and clipboards; the security person. I made a point to acknowledge my gratitude, to say to each of them, “Thank you for being here.”
Every one of them was at first surprised, and then smiled. The smile delighted me, but the surprise I found extremely sad. Apparently my “thank you for being here” isn’t often expressed. These people are the backbone of our communities. The very least we can do is acknowledge them when we see them.
Yes: We are “all in this together” but let’s at least thank those who are the unsung daily heroes. Tracy Valleau | Marina
Who We’ve Lost
Thank you. There’s a flag there for my dad and brother (“Pacific Grove holds a memorial for Covid-19 victims,” posted Feb. 19). A reminder to wear your mask and get an oxygen meter. Julia Duran | via social media