Sealing The Deal

That is the best news I have heard all decade (“Big Sur land returns to Esselen Tribe after 250 years,” posted July 27). Erin Skitt Lancaster | La Selva Beach

I’m happy to hear some good news! Richard Hernandez | Salinas

The headwaters of the Little Sur River are a very special place. Wonderful that the best caretakers of the land are back! Ken Peterson | Monterey

Water Drops

Is anyone going to address the reason for the failure – the endless lawsuits filed by activists on BOTH sides of the issue? (“Admitting failure on water, the Monterey Peninsula will beg state officials for a new deadline,” July 23-29). I get that the environmental impacts of proposed solutions need to be reviewed, but they have, over and over and over again! All proposed solutions are going to cause hardship (desalination, drinking treated sewage or imposing extreme rationing) – it’s time to stop arguing and pick one. Stef Helbock Pummell | Monterey

What’s in a Name?

I was born at the old Carmel Hospital up on the hill in 1939 (“Monterey County NOW: The end of offensive mascots?” sent July 13). I have lived in this area all of my life. When I was a sophomore at CHS in 1954, I wrote an essay for my English teacher, Ms. Margarita Brey, titled: “What is a Carmel High Padre?” After research at Harrison Memorial Library, I learned what the Spanish Catholics did to our Carmel and Carmel Valley Indigenous people. The conclusion of my essay was that I was embarrassed to be a CHS “Padre.”

My high school coach George Mosolf was my football and swim coach, his son Mike was in my class, and his daughter Suzie was in my brother’s class, ‘59. Coach George was my adult hero, he taught us what sportsmanship and being a gentleman was all about!

I am expressing my shame at being a “Padre,” not being a graduate of CHS. My best wishes to the CUSD board to resolve these issues. James F. Hicks | Carmel Valley

Tax and Tip

As a frequent visitor to Monterey, I’ve watched rates increase steadily over time and began to wonder if the local hotels are trying to emulate the high rates in SoCal (“Monterey City Council considering raising hotel tax to make up for revenue lost due to Covid-19,” July 16-22). I don’t come here to “be” in Los Angeles, but it seems that Monterey is bent on losing its identity and becoming just another tourist trap. Raising the room tax makes it harder to justify visiting here as much as I’d like to. Higher room taxes will not increase tourist volume. It will only squeeze more money out of less visitors. Terry Kosaka | Los Angeles

Between 2006-2019, Monterey has collected $260 million in TOT revenues. Monterey elected officials are recommending a 2-percent increase.

A 2-percent increase does not include all of the other fees collected. This 2-percent increase will rank Monterey as one of the highest in the state. Meeting planners will choose a different destination due to costs. Meetings that come to Monterey generate the highest incremental tax revenues, create less impact on our streets and most importantly create thousands of jobs. TOT revenues on average have risen by 5 percent per year.

How many of your children have worked in a restaurant, or do you have a neighbor who is a hospitality professional?

Increasing the TOT will slow down Monterey’s recovery and drive out residents who will no longer be able to find a job. Jeroen Gerrese | Marina

Editor’s note: Gerrese is chair of the Monterey County Hospitality Association.

Back to School

When public schools don’t open next month, rightfully, for the safety of teachers and children due to Covic-19, do not forget our poorest children (“Still more questions than answers for Monterey County schools,” July 23-19). Thirty percent of Monterey County families are run by single parents, those that can afford it will hire tutors, those that can’t need to choose between going to work to afford housing and food or leaving young children at home alone. Approximately 15 percent, or 60,000 people in Monterey County live below the poverty line (make $30,000 a year, where the median home cost is $568,000), the largest demographic of which are women ages 25 to 34. According to The Public Policy Institute of California, the child poverty rate was 21.7 percent in 2015-2017. Jill Lewis | Carmel

Build Out

Perhaps, instead of forcing a development that the people of San Benito County have clearly said they don’t want, a more fitting tribute to Errol McDowell would be a cleanup of that beautiful area, protection of the steelhead trout and a regional park in his name? I for one would not want my son’s name associated with such a contentious project; “winning” isn’t everything (“A Pebble Beach family is determined to develop a project on the Pajaro River, despite opposition from voters,” July 9-15). K. Escobar | Hollister

Sara Rubin has written a splashy article about the McDowells’ proposed development, but it is one-sided. Short shrift is given to the concerns of the locals. Just for starters, water is in short supply in San Benito County, so where is the water to come from?

The McDowells live elsewhere and will not feel any environmental impact from such a development. Worst of all, I found myself deeply offended by the multiple flyers they sent out, relentlessly defending their project and bad-mouthing anyone and everything in their way. It was a nasty business and continues to be so. I deplore their tactics altogether, no matter what benefits such a project might bring to their stated purpose. Susan Maresco | Aromas

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