Map Makers

No, it doesn’t make sense! (“Can a plan to politically tie the Salinas Valley to Silicon Valley stand?” Dec. 16-22.) Alejandra Raya | via social media

I lived in Silicon Valley for 40 years. In my opinion, this is a bad idea. Scott Cunningham | Carmel Valley

Excellent article! Olivia Russell Mandilk | via social media

This article misses the mark and makes zero mention of the obvious: For the first time in the Monterey Bay area, there’s a potential Latino congressional seat with a 50.5-percent Latino citizen voting-age population! It’s the brown elephant now in the room! Luis Alejo | Salinas

Alejo is a Monterey County supervisor.

Heat and Fire

The issue of historically excessive fire suppression is not a new one (“How the Forest Service’s century-long policy of fire suppression set a ticking time-bomb,” posted Dec. 17). I remember first reading about it and being surprised by it around 40 or 50 years ago. The issue is a little more complicated, however. One of the main reasons for fire suppression nowadays is the “urban-wilderness interface.” That is, we are increasingly building in areas threatened by wildfire. Property owners expect fires that threaten their property to be protected.

If the Big Sur fires of recent years had not been fought, virtually all of the treasured campgrounds, hotels, restaurants, etc. along Highway 1 probably would have been destroyed. South Lake Tahoe would also have been largely destroyed this year.

Yes we blew it in the past and, yes, organizations like the Forest Service might be slow on the uptake in certain instances, but that is not the whole story. Frank Bruno | Sacramento

The fact that more money is not put in place to thin our forests will continue to make us pay later in lives and property lost. The state and federal government should have included forest management in their so-called infrastructure bill!

The same goes for constantly flooding New Orleans and other cities in floodplains. Our engineers need to be given the tools to manage all these natural disasters before it is too late. Ray Rasul | Pebble Beach

Get Boosted

There are reams of data out there, ever growing, that support a rational approach to limiting and even stopping the spread of the SARS Covid-19 virus (“Covid boosters are urged by health officials as the omicron variant looms,” posted Dec. 17). That approach is through vaccination and simple social distancing protocols.

It’s the anti-vaxxers that really trouble many in my world. To those of you in that camp, I would say, please think of the public good, or the good of your neighbor, or your mother-in-law. And if you can’t do that then please don’t come running into my ER or my hospital when you get sick with Covid. “Get out of my ER,” is what many would like to shout when they are called to your bedside in the emergency room or the ICU.

Of course, they will never say that to you. They’ve dedicated their lives to taking care of you even when you make bad decisions. The trouble is that unlike cigarette smoking, drug abuse or overeating – all bad decisions – your actions hurt, maim and even destroy others in the community, including your care providers. John Cooper | Los Altos

Cooper is an anesthesiologist and directs Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s Outcomes Information Program.

I have to side with Montage here, and I’ll go one step further in offering my sincere thanks to their leadership for standing firm on this issue (“Hospital employees who refused Covid vaccines sue CHOMP for religious discrimination,” posted Dec. 1). This is simply common sense. Get vaccinated or move on. These anti-vaccination folks are putting the rest of us at risk and helping to prolong this pandemic. For years, all 50 states have required vaccinations for polio, smallpox and tetanus; get over it and get vaccinated. Derek Dean | Monterey

Name Games

It is ironic that Jeff Gorman, of the Monterey County Republican Party, apparently doesn’t mind that traitorous Confederate military leaders have their names on street signs in East Garrison (“Letters,” Dec. 16-22). Gorman needs a more recent lesson in history, as in Goldwater’s run for the presidency in 1964, in which he beat out Rockefeller, a “liberal” Republican at the Republican convention, by taking an anti-civil rights and voting rights stance.

That was followed up by Nixon’s 1968 Southern Strategy, meant to sway Southern Democrats to switch parties: Senator Strom Thurmond and many others did just that at that time some 50-plus years ago. It worked, as nearly all the Southern States are Republican today, and have spent this past year passing voter suppression laws, because they did not like the outcome of last year’s election. Also, in the wake of 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, some states, like Florida, have made it a crime to protest in the streets! I can’t think of a political party in today’s time that is more anti-democratic than the Republican Party.

LD Freitas | Aptos

Public Process

The long Marina City Council meetings are the result of many factors (“Squid Fry: Clock Out,” Dec. 2-8). The four-minute public comment period is not one of those factors. A meeting that goes later than 10pm reduces public participation. How many important decisions have been made after 10pm? More than zero is one too many.

The mayor and city manager need to set an agenda that is reasonably expected to end at a time when residents will participate. The mayor has to learn how to preside over a meeting so he does not waste the valuable time of the residents. Finally, many meetings commence later than the 6:30 scheduled time. An apology for the lateness is not enough. Commencing the meeting at the scheduled time, and adjourning at a reasonable time, will maximize participation by those residents who desire to participate. Frank O’Connell | Marina

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