Thank you for your reporting (“Pickleball, which might be the fastest-growing sport in the U.S., is both loved and hated in Monterey County,” Dec. 9-15). Nice job describing the vibe on the court at the Wheeler Courts in Seaside.

As a lifelong player of tennis, ping-pong, etc., I now play pickleball happily. I hope that we as a community learn to adapt and get more community members up and out socializing and recreating together. Mary Conway | Monterey

Just play tennis folks! More calories burned per hour. Less stigmatized by neighbors. Great fashion. Not named after a food. It’s fun to watch and study on TV. Rewarding USTA leagues for all age groups. Not the fastest growing sport because it’s been played for centuries – think about that folks, centuries. Brandon Stettenbenz | Del Rey Oaks

All local tennis courts had seen a dramatic decline in tennis activity for many years. These under-utilized courts became the venue for other activities, some of which were inconsistent with the venues. Pickleball has revitalized these under-utilized courts. Pickleball is absolutely compatible with tennis courts as is demonstrated everywhere pickleball is being played. I also want to express that it would be preferable to have dedicated pickleball courts.

Another point I’d like to make is that the view of some neighbors that they “were there first” is ludicrous. The simple fact that the courts had been dramatically under-used for years provided a false level of quiet, certainly not the level that robust use of the courts would have yielded. That lack of activity gave a false sense to new residents of the neighborhood. The homeowners chose to purchase property next to a city park. City parks are hubs for people and activity. Linda Hylle | Pacific Grove

Water Worked

We knew it would be a long, hard slog getting public control of our water situation, but we didn’t know that this public agency, LAFCO, would work against it (“A rejection of next steps for a buyout of Cal Am is a failure of democracy,” Dec. 9-15). Fortunately, we still have the California Coastal Commission on our side. They actually believed the work of their staff. Myrleen Fisher | Carmel

Fisher is on the board of Public Water Now, the group that wrote Measure J.

This article is inspirational. Many thanks for defending voters, democracy and our constitutional republic. Margaret-Anne Coppernoll | Marina

Thank you for a common-sense analysis of LAFCO’s majority decision to oppose the public’s approval of a Cal Am buyout. In LAFCO’s tunnel-vision mindset, one $140,000 firefighter is more important to the county than millions of (potential) savings to more than 40,000 county residents. Feasibility studies have given substantial indication that a public owned and operated water utility will provide lower consumer rates than Cal Am, a privately owned monopoly, which must contribute to its New Jersey-based parent, American Water Works (AWK).

Every year American Water must pay its dividend, currently $2.41, to 181.5 million shares. Nationwide over 85 percent of water utilities are publicly owned. Why? Because they have lower rates than private monopolies. That should put an end LAFCO Commissioner Matt Gourley’s position “that government can’t run anything efficiently.” Roland Martin | Carmel Valley

What’s in a Name

Have they asked residents if this is even an issue? (“County takes first official step toward changing potentially offensive East Garrison street names.” Dec. 2-8.) They are street names, not monuments. They represent nothing and no one. Spend time and money on feeding the homeless and others in need. A complete waste of taxpayer dollars. Lisa Reilly | via social media

As a leader of the local Republican Party in this Democrat stronghold, I must say it would be nice if someone would point out to county supervisors Wendy Root Askew, Mary Adams and Luis Alejo that those Confederates were all Democrats. Their party has a troubled past. It seems lost on history that the same party whose intransigence led to Civil War is now wantonly steamrolling basic rights. Jeff Gorman | Monterey

Remembering Nez

I first met Nez in Los Angeles, at a recording session in his LA studio (“Michael Nesmith, former Monkee and video pioneer, dies at 78 in Carmel Valley,” posted Dec. 10). We were to improvise a soundtrack for a complex fight scene where a lot of people were dying over a misunderstanding – chaotic and frantic. We spent 20 minutes setting up a synth, bass drum kit and multi-reed saxes. When we were ready, we said, “OK, let’s go.”

He said, “It’s OK, I got it.” He used the sounds of us randomly clinking and blowing, and it was exactly what was needed!

Over the years, I got to do several other projects with him – synth bass on The Prison, many solos and bass lines for his complex chordal rhythms. Always an exciting challenge and great fun. Impatient, as many creators, if things weren’t going forward, he’d frequently say, “I’m bored, let’s move on.” Michael hated to waste time, which is part of what made his success inevitable.

Fun to work with, great to listen to and always a great guy. I will miss his energy and creativity. David “Dasher” Kempton | via email

His talent, innovation and humor will be sorely missed. Beverlee Richter | Lancaster, New Hampshire

Correction

A story (“SPCA removes 31 cats from a home for neglect,” Dec. 9-15) incorrectly conflated two unrelated stories. The alleged 31-cat kitten mill is the subject of criminal investigation into Debra Kallmeyer in San Ardo. In a separate matter, Trisha Tennyson is seeking to get back 22 cats that were seized from a van in Salinas. There is no criminal case pending in Tennyson’s case, and she is seeking to get a cat back from AFRP, not SPCA, which has the cats from Kallmeyer’s case.

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