Debt Bondage

Putting our kids in debt before they even graduate from college should be a crime (“Taking on student debt, Mark Stone proposes legislation to reign in student loan servicing firms,” April 4-10). And then to add insult to injury they charge him like 5 – or 6-percent interest, which should be a felony. It’s completely disgraceful that our country does this to our young people.Dean Brown | via Facebook

I have some federal student loans with 6.8-percent interest. I would honestly rather light my money on fire than pay them back. Brittney Vaughn | via Facebook

[I pay] 8.5 percent on my grad school loans. And the only reason it’s not higher is because Congress stepped in and capped it. Eloise Kelsey | via Facebook

College is no longer worth the return on investment. How about interest-free student loans? I’m down with that. But a free ride (i.e. complete loan forgiveness), definitely not. Students currently in debt should just have to pay back the actual cost of their loan, without interest. Heidi Linkenbach Short | via Facebook

Funny how conservatives spin this. To them, we should give tax breaks to the rich, the idea being that they’ll invest in the economy and get more people employed (the trickle-down lie). But when it comes to investing in a system (education) that will create those very same employers, then no. Strange logic. Patrick Bolger | via Facebook

This is not enough. Make California public colleges free. Hetty Keaton Yelland | via Facebook

Looking for Leadership

Thank you, Leon Panetta, for more than four decades of public service, for being someone who I could trust to represent me and my country, for bringing the right people together and getting the job done (“After 40-plus years in public service, Leon Panetta has plenty to say about the dysfunction – and opportunity – facing our democracy today,” April 4-10). Joseph T. Donahue | Salinas

Absolutely love him. Follow him on Twitter… but he doesn’t have a Twitter account! How cool is that? Jean Hardy | via Facebook

Leon Panetta is a Monterey Peninsula treasure. I’ll buy him a bottle of wine when we get this president out. Stephanie Johnstone | via Facebook

Please keep publicly speaking, Mr. Panetta. Dale Williams | via Facebook

I had respect for Leon’s balanced approach over many years. Unfortunately a drift into partisanship has eroded his credibility. Scott Cunningham | via Facebook

The dysfunction in Washington is there are too many career politicians. Term limits should be set in place for them. We don’t need 15-30 years of the same person running for office.Fernando Andrade | via Facebook

Shot Down

This is a sad situation for all involved (“DA releases video showing the fatal confrontation between a mentally ill mother and Salinas police,” April 4-10). No one can predict that there could have been a different outcome. A better one, yes of course. But in reality, this type of situation is just so hard to manage. I have been on scene and worked with those who are mentally ill and local police along with behavioral crisis staff. This is not about blaming those involved but more about what can we do for our mentally ill.

It’s easy to blame people, but in the end it is not the police department or health staff’s fault. It is the nature of this woman’s mental illness sadly winning over everything else. My heart goes out to all involved. Unless you have been in this situation, you cannot judge. Kymmberlee Navarrette | via Facebook

I’m a bit mad that the writer is focusing on the mental health worker not arriving right away. The lady’s psychotic and has a supposedly real gun. The mental health worker isn’t a miracle worker. Securing the scene is the police department’s job. Brent Fontes | via Facebook

Pesticide Free Zone

Bravo, Greenfield (“Greenfield takes first step to become a ‘pesticide-free’ city with a ban on Roundup,” April 4-10). Chris Caffrey | via Facebook

Thanks to the Weekly, the long-term health effects of pesticides and how they relate to Roundup made the headlines this past week. This came after Greenfield unanimously suspended the use of Roundup to move to greener alternatives. Also in March, a UCLA report revealed county ag commissioners are issuing permits for highly poisonous and drift-prone pesticides without considering whether there are safer alternatives. The findings of this report are concerning, especially when our Monterey County Ag Commissioner told the Weekly he has followed the same protocol for 35 years.

News on local victories shows that we have the power to change policies. We need to remain vigilant. And it makes me happy to know that newspapers like the Weekly are reporting on community voices, not just those of the most powerful. Sarait Martinez | Salinas

Editor’s note: Martinez is a member of Safe Ag Safe Schools.

FORA Fading

Thank you, Senator Monning! (“Bill Monning presents a bill that would dissolve Fort Ord Reuse Authority in two years,” posted April 2.) FORA needed to end years ago. Sharon Sarris | via Facebook


A listing (“Art Openings & Happenings,” April 4-10) misspelled the name and web address of a gallery showing works by Armin Hansen. It is Karges Fine Art, not Karages, at

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