Free Speech

I deeply appreciate your article on Bill Monning’s and Mark Stone’s courageous stance against AB 2844 (“Local lawmakers stand alone, vote no on controversial bill,” Sept. 15-21). As the first person to testify against this travesty before the Assembly Committee on Accountability and Legislative Review last spring, I continue to be outraged at its false premise that boycotts of companies sustaining Israel’s illegal settlements in occupied Palestine are anti-Semitic. The bill is a desperate smokescreen to prevent necessary scrutiny of Israel’s war crimes against Palestinians. Gov. Brown, please find the courage to veto AB 2844! Rev. Larry George | Roseville

Bravo Senator Monning and Assemblymember Stone! From the note I sent to Gov. Brown: “Please veto AB 2844. Please respect the rights of California’s students to have political opinions. And please save California the cost and embarrassment of trying to implement then defend this unconstitutional law.” Brigitte Jaensch | Seaside

The First Amendment allows us to hold and express opinions that other people don’t like or might even find abhorrent. Monning and Stone understand that. Apparently, no one else in the entire State Legislature does. Or perhaps the other legislators are simply too terrified of being smeared as anti-Semites by the Israel lobby to defend the constitutional rights of Californians. The anti-Semitism charge is a tactic often used by those who realize they can’t win an argument based on facts and must rely on character assassination instead. As for the BDS movement, it has been described by Archbishop Desmond Tutu as a principled, morally consistent and nonviolent method to oppose the abuses suffered by Palestinians.Phillip Crawford | Monterey

Raving About Ramen

Amen, finally! (“Alvarado Ramen officially opens in downtown Monterey,” posted Sept. 14.) And they are open late too! Can’t wait to try the hearty goodness! Artemis Milani | via Facebook

We were so excited we went for an early dinner. Sold out before 5pm! Goes to show how excited the ramen fans have been about the opening! Cindi Scarlett | via Facebook

NEED to try. Krystal Gutierrez | via Facebook

Chowing Down

I strongly disagree with your comments about The Mediterranean (“Carmel’s Mediterranean restaurant hits and misses,” Sept. 8-14). I am from Turkey, and I definitely know Mediterranean food very well. I have always been impressed by The Mediterranean from the moment I walked in. I love the rich décor and family atmosphere. The staff is professional and hospitable. The food is fantastic, flavorful, hearty and fresh. The pricing is reasonable. Amazing food, amazing ambience and amazing service! The restaurant hits everything on the checklist of providing an absolute perfect dining experience. Ozden Matsu | Seaside

I have dined at Mediterranean in Carmel several times and left very satisfied every time. In my experience they deserve no criticism at all, only praise for providing excellent meals and making such enjoyable memories for their guests! First of all, like its sister restaurant Dametra, everybody at Mediterranean is so friendly and nice, I feel right at home. I’ve heard many landlords in Carmel are raising rents and labor costs are going up, yet Mediterranean’s prices remain very reasonable. Sarah Evans | Seaside

Pay Up

Happy to pay a little extra for produce if it means fair pay (“Strawberry farmer ordered to pay millions in back wages, penalties,” posted Sept. 12). Adam Wachtel | via Facebook

Thank you for working legally and standing up for your rights. Shirley Graham | via Facebook

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Z for Zingers

Squid opined that the League of Women Voters of Monterey County is “a non-partisan organization that seeks to inspire greater engagement in government” (“Squid Fry,” Sept. 15-21). I also shared that opinion and had accepted their invitation to send a representative of the No on Z campaign to their Sept. 14 forum until we learned the League had voted to take a position on Measure Z before the forum!

That prompted the following email: “Monterey County for Energy Independence respectfully declines participating in the forum since the League has already taken a position on Measure Z. It is disappointing to know that the League, touted for being independent, objective and thoughtful on issues, could not wait until the pro and con sides of the initiative could be presented. “In our absence I would encourage you to share this message with your audience so there is no doubt MCEI was prepared to participate.” Apparently the League decided it was not necessary to share the truth and our email with their membership on why we withdrew from the forum. David Armanasco | Monterey

Editor’s note: Armanasco represents Monterey County for Energy Independence.

The League has two primary functions: voter service and action. The former includes candidate forums and pros and cons on ballot measures. The latter includes legislative action and recommendations on ballot measures. Some members of the community find it difficult to understand or believe the League can undertake both functions fairly and objectively. It was for this reason the opponents of Measure Z declined to participate at the last minute in our [forum] on Measure Z. Fortunately, because we can do both functions fairly, the League board decided to prepare and present arguments against the measure. Janet Brennan | Carmel Valley

Editor’s note: Brennan is president of the League of Women Voters of Monterey County.

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