Water Ways

Thank you for the writeup on water issues (“This is a big week for water in Monterey County,” posted Nov. 15). It is the best non-technical explanation I have seen, and is much appreciated. Sandra Weaver | Seaside

As a lifelong fisherman who cares deeply about the Carmel River steelhead, I am personally in favor of desalination (“Coastal Commission approves Cal Am’s desal plant in Marina, but many hurdles remain,” posted Nov. 18). I’d even be OK with desal infrastructure right here in Marina. But this is not the right desal plan. And it’s not the right time to begin such a project.

Why wouldn’t the Coastal Commission wait a few months until the buyout litigation is resolved? All of the foolhardy community members who fought so hard to get this project approved were pawns, unable to look at the project in context of Cal Am’s imminent buyout.

Many of the perceived benefits are theoretical while the detriments are real. The notion that a desal plant in Marina will produce a bunch of magical affordable housing on the Peninsula is ridiculous. The Coastal Commission members are clearly in Cal Am’s pocket. Patrick Kuhl | Marina

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Nice article (“All the spin on desalination makes it easy to forget what’s at stake,” Nov. 17-23). I would surmise that if a state agency such as the California State Water Resources Control Board gave you or me a cease and desist order in 1995 such as they did to Cal Am, and we ignored it, we would probably be in jail or worse. R.J. Roland | Monterey

Past and Present

My own family descends from some of those Californios occupying what are now the counties of Monterey and San Benito, but I’d not read much about the early history of those areas (“As American expansion exerted pressure ever westward, Monterey County became a scene in the crossfire,” Nov. 17-23).

I was also interested in the Pat Hathaway archive and the arson of the Chinese fishing village in Pacific Grove (“Perusing an extraordinary collection of historical photographs that was saved,” posted Nov. 5). I first learned about it at age 12 or 13 and thought it terribly unfair. The images should be published more widely. Tom Loughran | Woodburn, Oregon

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Thank you for a wonderful story. I never knew anything about any battles in Natividad. They did not teach that in Monterey Union High School or Monterey Peninsula College [when I attended] in the 1950s. I knew the John Frémont story, but that is all.

My sister still lives off Boronda Road. I’ve been up and down Crazy Horse Canyon Road. My grandson was born in Hollister. Thank you for bringing this history back to life. Tania Grant | Carmel Valley

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I thoroughly enjoyed this bit of history. Extremely well written with plenty of sources identified. I hope the Monterey County Weekly and author David Schmalz will continue to publish these wonderful vignettes of California history – unvarnished, please. John Skardon | Seaside

Data Dump

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Democracy remains a fragile enterprise in need of a strong and free press. Newspapers are closing. Social media is toxic. 
There is an alternative.
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Monterey County Weekly has launched the Fund for Independent Journalism to allow donors to make tax-deductible contributions now through December 31.
Every donation helps protect local and independent journalism and keep democracy intact.


The news of the data breach at Hartnell is very concerning for anyone who has taken classes at the school during the digital era (“Hartnell College says personal data was breached in ransomware attack,” posted Nov. 15). Community colleges draw a wide swath of students from an entire community. Many only take one class during one semester and never enroll again. Was their personal data compromised? How about all of the people who once lived in our community, took classes at Hartnell and now live elsewhere? They likely have no idea this breach occurred and their personal data may have been compromised.

I fear the hackers have found a soft underbelly in personal data at America’s community colleges. Reform is needed right now. Mark Carbonaro | Monterey

Round and Round

I understand the frustration at this intersection but I fail to see how a roundabout would be a safe alternative for all the pedestrian traffic at the beginning and end of school days (“Envisioning a safe way to improve a troublesome P.G. intersection begins Wednesday with workshops,” posted Nov. 8). What are the cars in the middle of the roundabout supposed to do when someone enters a crosswalk – stop in the middle? That would defeat the essential idea of a roundabout: keeping traffic merging and moving.

And, while I really appreciate and applaud the roundabout at the intersection of Highway 1 and Highway 68, any comparisons with the intersection in question in this article are not realistic, given that the roundabout at the highway intersection has virtually zero pedestrian use. Completely different situations. Kyle Kovalik | Pacific Grove

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Round peg, pentagonal hole (“Some big resources are bolstering plans to fix a five-way intersection in Pacific Grove,” Nov. 17-23).

Q: Why’d the chicken not cross the street (at the Sunset/Congress/Cedar intersection)? A: Because it’s now a roundabout (and traffic doesn’t stop).

Q: When is a roundabout not a roundabout? A: When it requires its traffic to stop.

Q: How does a roundabout work for pedestrians? A: It doesn’t – it’s to keep cars moving.

Q: How much does a roundabout cost? A: How much ya’ got.

Hyping an inappropriate solution (roundabouts) before even stating the problems and conditions is not only backwards, it’s a boondoggle creation. Win Bryson | via email

By the Book

Old Capitol Books in Monterey is a wonderful find as well (“Local bookstores are thriving in this era of renewed commitment to reading,” Nov. 3-9). Rowan Chandler | via social media

Carmel Bay Company in Carmel also carries a great selection of books. Cindy Wilson Dodd | via social media

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