Battle Lines

Most people do not want to spend three hours of their time away from their family and would prefer to do anything other than spend that time attending a meeting. But that is what almost 300 attendees sacrificed to be at the Carmel Unified School Board meeting (“Carmel Unified board president resigns amid a divided community and a scandal at Carmel High,” posted Feb. 16). Most people rate public speaking as one of their most feared activities. But that is what over 30 attendees did. Such high attendance and participation at a school board meeting indicates that something is very wrong with CUSD leadership.

Regardless of their differing viewpoints on various other subjects, many at the meeting agreed on one thing. They do not trust the leadership of Superintendent Ted Knight and HR Manager Craig Chavez.

For the sake of the Carmel students and continued excellence of Carmel schools, the board needs to take the meeting showing seriously and do what needs to be done to get trusted and effective leadership for Carmel Unified schools. Esther Valdes | Carmel

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Your inference of aligning parents aggrieved over LGBTQ+ rights with parents and community members aggrieved over CUSD’s plan to place stadium lights at the high school was astounding for its lack of understanding, sensitivity and its effort to gaslight the many self-made conflicts created by Mr. Knight and board members (“As chaos unfolds in Carmel Unified School District, everyone is on defense,” Feb. 23-March 1). Next, you will be suggesting that I’m aligned with anti-Semitic groups while I encourage the CUSD to find the appropriate solution to create an environmentally and community friendly sports complex at CMS. You owe your readers a huge and heartfelt apology for suggesting an alliance between groups that does not exist.

Please stick to the facts that CUSD has apparently hired an incompetent superintendent, that the board continues to remain dysfunctional, that Jon Lyons’ removal was apparently mishandled, that the district’s drive to light up the sky by putting up stadium lights at CHS was and is fraught with material and serious safety, environmental and community issues.

Ironically, the lack of candor and integrity within the environmental impact report is the same lack of candor and integrity that the superintendent and board has treated Mr. Lyons with. Robert Kahn | Carmel

Insurance Plan

As someone who has become quite intimate and frustrated with the health care providers in Monterey County, are you sure Kaiser is something we should be suspicious of? (“Squid Fry: Hand Outs,” Feb. 16-22.) I welcome any health care network across the county line that will create competition and force the pre-existing providers to make their services affordable, which they currently are not. Steve McDougall | Spreckels

Speeding Ticket

They need to have someone on La Salle Avenue near Ord Terrace Elementary School – people drive so fast down that street in front of the school! (“Seaside PD clamps down on speeding drivers on Hilby and other residential streets,” Feb. 23-March 1.) Kori Neth-Young | via social media

Past and Future

People should be customers of a business because of the products and services the business offers, not because of the race, sexual orientation or ethnicity of the business ownership (“Monterey’s first Black Business Summit focuses on resources available to minority business owners,” posted Feb. 22).

That said, I disagree with the issue of trying to make up for 200 or 300 years of systemic racism. What’s happened has happened, and trying to level the playing field by disadvantaging or disenfranchising those who haven’t been discriminated against in favor of those who have, makes no sense for the future. Yes, it may relieve the guilt of some of the white, guilt-ridden, woke thinkers. However, that kind of woke thinking simply solidifies and intensifies the feelings of those who will not or never embrace equality for all.

You cannot correct for past discrimination by committing current and future discrimination. Doing that creates a vicious cycle where the pendulum swings back and forth and benefits no one. William Offenberg | via email

Power Play

This is a good, insightful article into the process of appointing a coastal commissioner (“Coastal Commission vacancy means a chance for influence – and politics,” Feb. 9-15). I appreciate the background information which puts it in clear perspective.

Whoever gets the commissioner slot will have a big responsibility to protect our beautiful coastline from ecological and environmental catastrophes. That’s a tall order and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Eloise Shim | Salinas

Launch Pad

Thank you for the article (“A Chinese spy balloon prompted a team of grad students at MIIS to get to work,” Feb. 23-March 1). I entered the Monterey Institute of Foreign Studies (the name at the time) in 1971 after I served in Vietnam. I graduated in 1975 with a BA in international economics.

Thanks to MIFS, I got a fellowship to go to Britain and Ghana for seven months and eventually used the Chinese I studied to teach English in China for five years and was a local hire in our consulate in Shenyang for a year after that and even made a “poaching” trip with the Economics Officer to Khabarovsk, USSR, in 1990.

I’d love to tell you how it was when Soviet people weren’t afraid to spend time with Americans anymore, or attend the open Orthodox church in Harbin, where we taught English.

There was optimism back then. Richard Mohr | Fountain Valley, Calif.


A story (“As chaos unfolds in Carmel Unified School District, everyone is on defense,” Feb. 23-March 1) used the word “allies” to describe alignment between various groups advocating for a change in CUSD leadership. While they share a goal, they are not necessarily allies.

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