House of Cards

Thank you for the coverage regarding the proposed expansion of gambling in Marina (“After voting in January to allow a second cardroom, Marina City Council reverses with a 5-0 vote,” Feb. 9-15). Sadly, the final statement in the article is inaccurate. David Schmalz reports that the issue is now “toast” because the council voted to maintain the existing moratorium on cardrooms.

The motion was two parts; continue with the current ordinance language that would prevent casino operator Parkwest from setting up a gambling establishment in Marina, but the critical second section directed staff to bring back language that would open the city up to more cardroom gambling. The additional language included: consideration of zoning locations for cardrooms, streamlining the process to transfer cardroom permits and increasing the number of tables in an establishment from 10 to 15.

The overwhelming majority of Marina residents are opposed to expansion of cardroom activities. Councilmembers were provided language from reputable studies that showed dangers of gambling and alcohol with young adults and college students.

Marina’s cardroom moratorium was established in 1996, two years after the closure of Fort Ord. Twenty-seven years ago Marina City Council and residents said no to any expansion of cardrooms. Tuesday night, our existing elected officials took an important first step by retaining the existing moratorium language. The council needs to continue to hear residents. If the council is conflicted, they need to place the expansion of cardroom activity on the ballot in 2024. Grace Silva-Santella | Marina

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Thanks for a very good article on the cardroom issue. We don’t know what latitude staff will take when considering directions [in council’s motion], but we could be right back where we started on this issue. The community will be watching very closely. Jeff Markham | Marina

Left or Right

Unlike Squid, I didn’t see any propaganda at the Jan. 18 Pacific Grove City Council meeting (“Squid Fry: Stop the Squeal,” Feb. 9-15). In my opinion, the P.G. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force appointments were mishandled.

The PGLIVES group was there. They are common sense and concerned watchdogs, led by Mike Gibbs. Someone has to keep their eyes on the Pacific Grove City Council while many residents are distracted, asleep, or just plain misinformed about the goings-on. The PGLIVES group cares about the welfare of our community and enhancing our quality of life. Vincent Tuminello | Pacific Grove

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I attended the most recent meeting of the DEI Task Force in Pacific Grove [on Feb. 13], and once again Mike Gibbs was spreading his lies about [Task Force member] Nadja Mark. He continues to claim she said that Pacific Grove is racist. She did not. She said that someone at a school board meeting stood up and declared that. He also continues to claim that she said that fired police officer Michael Gonzalez is a bigot. She did not. She said he put himself close enough to be perceived as a bigot. These are important distinctions, which Mr. Gibbs is willfully ignoring in order to push his own conservative agenda, hoping that no one will read the truth, but it’s all there in black and white. Adam de Boor | Pacific Grove

Up In Arms

I question the wisdom of printing a letter praising AR-15s and the NRA after a hoax gun scare (“Letters, Feb. 2-8; “Gun threat against San Carlos School sends Monterey Peninsula schools into lockdown,” posted Feb. 1). I hope seeing his letter in print doesn’t encourage this freak to actually use his military grade weapon.

Please consider the mass killing of seven that took place in Half Moon Bay just a few weeks ago. The weapon used in that crime was legally obtained (thanks to lobbyists from the NRA).

It might be helpful if you would hold off on printing such letters. Marilyn Ross | Carmel

School Daze

Thank you for covering [this story] (“Carmel High School principal removed from his position, amid uproar from parents,” Feb. 9-15). The community deserves transparency on what happened to our principal and leader. Shel Lyons | Carmel

Love Wins

The tale of Mark Contreras and Lori Long is a much-needed reminder that it is the usually unsung heroes who simply decide to do what must be done to improve our world that make it a better place (“Love is in the air – even as the fight for marriage equality continues,” posted Feb. 13).

I had a friend, Mary Valleau, born without muscles in her legs, who with the help of her family, cheerfully fought to live a productive life. And did she ever: She was elected to the student body [association] of her community college, worked as a National Park Service uniformed park aide at Indiana Dunes and transferred to NASA-Ames Research Center, where she played a seminal role in creating a small program to join NASA and the NPS in joint research and education programs.

People like Lori and Mary are remarkably important builders of the good things of our world and deserve all the helping hands we can offer. Donald M. Scott | Carson City, Nevada

Bottoms Up

Amazing beer from an amazing brewer! (“Natalie Mika never intended to make craft beers her life, but she found a niche at Peter B’s,” Feb. 2-8.) Jesse Fuentes | via social media

Puppy Love

We absolutely love Dr. Burtch. BirchBark Foundation is a great organization to support (“A small foundation that helps with medical costs for urgently ill animals has found its niche,” Feb. 9-15). Roxane Viray | via social media

So very proud of Dr. Merrianne Burtch and BirchBark. An amazing organization that I am proud to support. Leslie Fry Sonne | via social media

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