Covid Closures

I’m sad, but we need to get Covid under control (“Gyms, hair salons, malls, houses of worship and more ordered to close again by Gov. Newsom,” posted July 13). Little did I know this morning would be my last time at Pilates for who knows how long. Pam McClure-Roman | via Facebook

This sucks, but I get it. They better close down hotels too while they are at it, because I’m pretty sure majority of the spike is not coming from gyms and hair salons but from people in different areas traveling about. Saw so many tourists this past weekend. Sydney Coleman | via Facebook

It’s insane how many people are coming here from all over the country right now without a care in the world. Granted, these people are my bread and butter, but I’m so worried. JJ Felton | via Facebook

Developer Drama

When we lost our son Errol McDowell to brain cancer, our world ended (“Voters in San Benito County rejected zoning changes that would allow significant growth on Highway 101. A Pebble Beach developer is moving forward anyway – with one powerful environmental ally,” July 9-15). And a new world began, one devoted to curing the disease that took our beautiful boy. Pediatric cancer is the number-one killer of kids by disease, brain cancer the number-one type of cancer. Through our charity trust we purchased 112 acres along Highway 101, 16 acres of which were comprised of a junkyard with 172 abandoned vehicles, giant steel buildings, an illegal chop-shop and a “double wide” meth lab. It was Errol’s vision to buy the property, clear it, and build a vintage roadside stop, with all profits to pediatric cancer research. This is what we’re doing. We have the support of the community, the county supervisors, and the country’s leading pediatric cancer researchers.

We’ve since, through CHEER, helped clean up the property and rivers. Steelhead trout have returned to the San Benito River. Last month, research we funded led to a breakthrough in the treatment of medulloblastoma, the very cancer that took Errol. Seventy-five percent of the property we’re putting into permanent organic farming and open space. The Weekly took a curious negative spin on an utterly positive project.

The Weekly calls our project a “shopping center,” despite our articulating with words and pictures what our project would look like. It is not a “shopping center.” This was disappointing and confusing. We have won our fight against the opposition group and we are about to launch our project. Rider McDowell | Pebble Beach

I was disappointed to read such a one-sided article about millionaire Rider McDowell’s project. I was born and raised in Hollister and my father is a former county supervisor. I joined the grassroots organization Protect Our Rural Communities (PORC) to help protect important wildlife corridors and the watersheds of the Pajaro and San Benito rivers. PORC is a diverse coalition of community members who have been fighting for human and environmental justice for decades, and it supports smart growth in our cities and opposes building new strip malls on our beautiful rural land that is also sacred to local tribes.

We collected 4,000 signatures to let voters decide on whether to allow new developments at four exits along Highway 101, including at Betabel Road. The voters strongly agreed with PORC.

After the vote, the County Supervisors decided to approve McDowell’s Betabel development under a different zoning code to circumvent the voters’ decision. Should we allow elected officials and millionaires to override the will of the voters? Is this how a democracy works? Laura Solorio | Salinas

Standing Up

Great piece, except for the stupid comment at the end about a “ridiculously large tip” (“Monterey County NOW: A racist confrontation at Bernardus,” sent July 7). I mean, why should somebody be tipped extra for doing the basic right thing? The act of tipping itself comes from the period after slavery was abolished and employers didn’t want to pay freed slaves, so they thought, “I know, let’s make them stand cap in hand and wait for a handout.”

Paul Seftel | Carmel

Mascot Mayhem

Leave all names of statues, mascots, food labels, and books, etc. as they are and as they have been (“Monterey County NOW,” sent July 13). This idiotic and nonsensical movement to make changes to appease the loud minority has no place in our country. If you don’t like it, move to another country. Ksenia Berkoff | Monterey

Why even have mascots? Isn’t the goal of student achievement a reflection of the school itself and those who teach and/or coach? A school’s musicians, fine artists, thespians, et al. don’t need mascots. Why athletics? Marcia Hardy | Carmel

All Caps

Kudos to your recent decision to capitalize the word Black when referring to a person (“Free Speech,” July 9-15). You will, of course, also capitalize the words Brown and White when referring to people and, depending on your racial sensitivity, the words Red, Yellow, Albino, etc. John Rapp | Pacific Grove

Freedom Rings

Your Independence Day section was extraordinarily good (“The Declaration of Independence set out bold principles for American freedom – for some, but not for all,” July 2-8). For those who are young now, all of this may seem like ancient history, but for those of us who have been around for a while, we have lived through much change and will probably live through much more.

The Weekly is getting to be a better and better paper and you remind us of what we need to be aware of. Thank you. June Malament | Pacific Grove

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