A Working World

And yet, the Wall Street fat cats who produce nothing and can’t fix a flat tire have all the money (“Community college education is evolving – along with the jobs it’s training students for,” Aug. 29-Sept. 4.) James Tarhalla | via Facebook

I have to agree (“Technology has made being a human consumer convenient, without much human involvement necessary,” Aug. 29-Sept. 4). There is a time and place for automation of services, but it should be an occasional occurrence, offered as a choice to people in high-volume stores only. Part of what gets me out of bed in the morning is knowing I can stop by my local Chevron station in Salinas, get my cup of coffee, and chat for a moment with the excellent employees who work there. They start my day with a smile that a vending machine simply cannot ever provide. If I wanted a “faceless” transaction, I could just brew my coffee at home!Stef Helbock Pummell | via Facebook

Record low unemployment is not exactly a “turbulent time.” When I graduated, unemployment, interest rates and inflation rates were all in the double digits (“Local labor unions evolve during a turbulent time for workers in the U.S.,” Aug. 29-Sept. 4). Scott Cunningham | via Facebook

Union fees go up, but the people they represent hardly ever see any benefit from it. Carlos Novoa | via Facebook

The release the SEIU sent out announcing victory for the union in its contract negotiations with Monterey County was stunning (“Strike averted: SEIU Local 521 and Monterey County reach a tentative agreement,” posted Aug. 29). That the union got a 2-percent raise this year and 3-percent in year three is fine, so long as everyone is comfortable that each percentage point equals about $3 million across the county workforce. Pretty soon that’s real money.

What is stunning is while county employee health care costs are projected to rise during the contract period, union members will see zero effect­ – they will continue to pay nothing toward their insurance. “The county would assume all increases in health care costs, meaning the workers would continue to pay their current monthly rate,” the press release boasts.

Question for the union: Who exactly is “the county?” It’s you and me and every property owner and private-sector employee… regular people subsidizing the union members who work at the county. Nils Erickson | Seaside

Justice Delayed

The legal system in this state is broken. They will probably let him walk (“Trial for man accused of murdering Christina Williams put off to 2020 amid issue of missing documents,” posted Sept. 3). Jim Beck | via Facebook

A shame and travesty for her family. Annette Hoff | via Facebook

Too bad that everyone’s governor got rid of California death penalty. Fernando Andrade | via Facebook

What FORA?

A giant money suck of federal, state, and local funds to cronies and sleazy cohorts (“Squid looks at FORA looking at its end, after a bill to extend the agency dies,” posted Sept. 3). The base closure mitigation occurred through local efforts despite FORA’s obstruction, and their promised benefits never materialized. FORA is the worst example of redevelopment agencies and why [former Gov. Jerry] Brown shut them down. Luana Conley | via Facebook

Lights On

I love Monterey because we are a community that supports our youth. We showed our support in 2018, with the overwhelming passage of Measure I, and again this week, when over 100 students, teachers, coaches and neighbors attended the MPUSD board meeting to advocate for improvements to MHS’s Dan Albert Stadium (“Squid Fry,” Sept. 5-11).

I was moved to hear speakers from the Class of 1949 to the Class of 2023 call for the board not to waver in their commitment to creating world-class schools. In addition to a state-of-the-art STEM building (currently in construction), the stadium renovation will positively impact 1,350 students, and countless more for generations to come. We must hold true to what has always been a core value: doing what’s best for our kids.

Please contact Board President Tom Jennings at tjennings@mpusd.net to express support. We have the opportunity. We must act. Tom Newton | East Garrison

Editor’s note: Newton is principal of Monterey High School, was the head football coach from 2009-14, and is a member of the MHS class of 2001.

Political Powers

I know our Congressman [Jimmy Panetta] to be more about action and less about words. His calling for impeachment won’t make it so – and as long as the Senate is in Republican hands, Trump won’t be convicted (“Letters,” Aug. 29-Sept. 4). That is why both he and Nancy Pelosi have focused their energy on surfacing the facts about the misdeeds of this administration rather than on verbal grandstanding. In the meantime, they are fully in support of an impeachment inquiry, which is already underway. The rest is in our hands: We need to fire both Trump and McConnell. Then we can all emerge from this long national nightmare. Vinz Koller | Carmel

All’s Fair

Tribute bands are the best you can do, Monterey County Fair?!? (“Rock tributes, country music and local acts promise a solid Monterey County Fair,” Aug. 29-Sept. 4.) Instead of spending all those bucks to take my family to the fair this year, I think we’ll just stay home and pretend like we went to the fair. We’ll do a Tribute Fair… Ed Heffelfinger | Moss Landing

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