A Mandate, Unmasked

Good, because we didn’t wear them anyways (“Monterey County Board of Supervisors suspends indoor mask mandate effective immediately,” posted Nov. 18). Spencer Norcos | via social media

Jesus, make up your minds, or just leave it to the experts like you should have to begin with. Watch them change it again next week. Anna Bensch | via social media

Santa Cruz County voted to drop its mask mandate the same day Monterey County voted to enact one. The difference was that Monterey County’s was not enacted by a qualified health officer and it was to be triggered on certain data points. San Francisco and Marin counties dropped theirs over a month ago.

The arrogance of the members who voted yes is astounding. It undermines the authority of the county health officer, and Dr. Edward Moreno has done one of the best jobs in California, all things considered. It sows distrust in the county government.

The whole charade is for political expediency on the behalf of two individuals who obviously are demonstrating a disconnect between what they want personally and what is good for the community. Adam Biagi | Monterey

Editor’s note: Santa Cruz County has since reinstated its mask mandate, effective Nov. 22. San Francisco requires masks in certain indoor settings.

Insurance Claim

Please forgive my strong words, but I do not know what you’ve been smoking in that absurd conclusion you made in your editorial that referenced Kaiser’s attempts to locate in Monterey Peninsula: “… local oversight of local health care is going to be better for patients, especially when there’s an incentive to deliver care at a lower cost.” (“Kaiser comes to town, and local hospitals launch a new insurance plan,” Nov. 11-17.)

The actions of Montage/CHOMP and SVMH are about consolidating power and controlling the outflow of medical care dollars to insure increased profits. Period.

Monterey County has some of the most expensive health insurance in California. Removing competition such as Kaiser continues the overpriced, obscenely expensive care Montage and SVMH provide. By consolidating their power, their billing, their distribution of health care dollars, Montage and SVMH can dictate higher prices. I do not buy that this is a win-win for all and Blue Shield will suddenly be an affordable option. I have been one of those privately insured consumers who one year paid a combined $13,000 out-of-pocket bill to CHOMP.

This is about establishing an expensive medical conglomeration here on the Monterey Peninsula. Grace Silva-Santella | Marina

Fired and Furious

Having been through the same ordeal at the Defense Language Institute in 2013, I have the utmost sympathy for the two Hebrew instructors who were terminated after, in one case, jumping through numerous hoops to receive a reassignment that never materialized (“Two former DLI Hebrew instructors claim religious discrimination is behind their terminations,” Nov. 18-24). Elizabeth Bowditch | Seaside

Wheels on the Bus

I very much appreciated your article on biking and busing (“With proper planning, riding the bus in Monterey County is convenient, affordable and climate-friendly,” posted Nov. 20). It delighted me to hear of your good times on two wheels or six wheels. And most of all, savoring your appreciation for the time in Kochi, Japan.

My wife and I lived in Italy, Greece and Austria for eight years, car-less, and we fell in love with the Good European Urban Car-free Lifestyle. Such that when it came time, we chose San Francisco for that fondly remembered lifestyle. And then we chose retirement to pedestrian-sized and senior-friendly and still car-free Monterey.

We haven’t bought gas, or gripped a steering wheel, for 27 years. And it’s all good. Tom Finnegan | Monterey

I moved here three years ago and do not own a car, so I walk or take the bus everywhere (mostly) I need to go. I don’t find it quite as convenient as you indicated (it’s both more expensive and less convenient than in my former residence in Bellingham, Washington) but the experience of bus use may be quite different for those who need to use it generally as opposed to those who choose to use it on occasion.

I live in Pacific Grove, and typically catch the #2 to Carmel. The problem is the once per hour schedule. If you just miss one you have to sit around a whole hour and that is incredibly frustrating, though it does enhance planning skills. Also, getting to locations like Ryan Ranch, where many medical offices are situated, is so inconvenient that I avoid some medical appointments. This area is depressingly car-centric.

I love public transit and would love to see many more people using it. Convenience and safety are two things that motivate people in this area, and MST needs improvement on both. Sharon Thompson | Pacific Grove

On the Run

Thank you for covering the long-distance runners at Hartnell (“Hartnell’s cross-country teams are one race away from claiming the state championship,” posted Nov. 19). The men’s and women’s programs may be the most successful sports teams in Monterey County history. The work ethic of these students reflects the work ethic of Salinas Valley residents as a whole. Cross-country is a very challenging sport and the athletes in this program always rise to the challenge. So many athletes have left this program to compete at the collegiate and professional level.

Congrats and good luck to Coach Zepeda and these inspiring athletes. Keep making all of us in Monterey County proud! Eric Palmer | Monterey

Editor’s note: The teams placed second (women’s) and third (men’s) in the state championship.

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