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Letters:

CARMEL’S BIG (AND BUSY) ENOUGH

It sure appears that Squid’s ink impeded not only his/her vision but also obstructed the cephalopod’s listening skills [“Not in Carmel’s Backyard,” April 19-25]. Fortunately, Carmel’s Planning Commission heard over 30 city and county residents speak about the impacts of plopping high density multi-family dwellings into a single-family residential neighborhood.

Speakers pointed out over and over that an Environmental Impact Report should be required for a 500 percent increase in zoning. Residents spoke of noise, water, city service and traffic impacts. Valley Way will be the only entrance to the convalescent hospital development. Already beleaguered Carpenter Street will be backed up to the signal on Highway 1. Our neighborhood realizes that the increase in drivers will filter down Guadalupe, Junipero and Serra Streets to find a way out of the backlog. This high-density development will affect all of the neighborhoods northeast of Ocean Avenue.

The annexation and rezoning creates a very dangerous precedent for the rest of the Peninsula’s communities. What is to keep this from happening to other neighborhoods?  The whole motive for an increase in density is megabucks profit.

The developer wants to highjack a neighborhood by a 500 percent rezoning for his own personal benefit. Talk about affordable housing is cheap when you haven’t offered to guarantee it; there is no guarantee by the developer for workforce housing. It is just bait for high-density rezoning and huge profit. Many of the folks who live in this particular neighborhood do work in Carmel.

Squid fell for the speculative developer’s elusive plan, hook, line and sinker. —Myrna Hampton | Carmel

KNOW THE ROW

On the Contents page of the current issue of >>Monterey County Weekly, you have written a caption for a photograph of people walking in front of the 807 Cannery Row building with a picture of Steinbeck in the window [“Etc.,” May 3]. You have also written that “Steinbeck makes himself felt here from the former Kalisa’s La Ida Cafe.” The La Ida Cafe was at 851 Cannery Row. —Herb Behrens | Monterey

ROUNDUP’S BETTER THAN RIPGUT

Nearly all products we depend on are toxic if used improperly. Should gasoline be banned? Obviously our society and our economy could not presently function without it.

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Roundup (Glyphosate) is currently a point of contention because, like gasoline, it is capable of having unintended consequences if used improperly [“Rift Over Roundup,” March 8-14]. Actually, if used carefully and according to the label it is probably the safest and most effective herbicide available because it acts to prevent the formation of cellulose in plants, which is necessary to make the cell walls and aid in photosynthesis. It works on plants when they are actively photosynthesizing. Animals and humans do not make cellulose or have cellulose in their tissue structure, and do not photosynthesize. Glyphosate soon breaks down in the soil into ammonia, water and other harmless products. Agent Orange it is not.

I have used Roundup on dune restoration and similar projects, and could not have been successful without it. An hour’s use of Roundup is perhaps more effective than a hundred hours of manual labor, especially in eliminating large weeds such as jubata or pampas grass, thickets of French broom, acres of ice plant, and weeds that essentially cannot be controlled without it such as Kikuyu grass and yellow oxalis.

Rather than spray Roundup to kill deep-rooted Kikuyu grass, a former neighbor of ours hired crews to dig it out. They filled a huge dumpster with oak roots along with Kikuyu grass. The oak has never recovered. The Kikuyu grass reappeared and had to be sprayed.

Experts on invasive plants have stated that non-native weeds are second only to outright developments in threatening the biodiversity of our natural areas. Without the use of Roundup, the giant Ecuadorian pampas or jubata grass would have taken over most of our Monterey pine forest by now, becoming the dominant understory plant, and would eventually begin replacing the pines.

Roundup used on ice plant and ripgut grass has allowed the recovery of endangered plant and animal species in coastal sand dunes. Used carefully, there has been no damage to untargeted vegetation, no drift to the ocean.

Roundup has been a valuable tool in controlling unwanted weeds, reducing fire danger and preserving habitat on the Monterey Peninsula, and I support its continued and careful use. —Bruce Cowan | Pacific Grove

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