I think it is inaccurate for Squid to suggest that the Monterey County Planning Commission lacks civility in conducting its meetings or its business. (“Squid Fry,” Feb. 24-March 2). Please consider that boards and commissions do have separate and distinct cultures. As a long-time member of the PC, I am very proud of the fact that even through periods of serious disagreement and policy contention, and under rotating leadership, our particular body – as contrasted with others in the area – has remained committed to respectful communication among the commissioners, with the county staff, and with members of the public. In other words, the difficult relationships currently occurring among the Supervisors are not reflected in the behavior of sitting planning commissioners, and I had hoped perhaps people had noticed… but apparently not mollusks. Please ask Squid to check those generalities carefully before deploying them!

Martha Diehl | Monterey (Note: Ms. Diehl is the Monterey County Planning Commissioner for District 5.)


Interesting article. (“Monning floats a beverage tax as diabetes rates soar,” Feb. 24-March 2). However, I’m a 68-year-old male who enjoys a variety of foods including French fries, ribs, fast food burgers, wine, pizza and a multitude of drinks flavored with corn syrup. My wife of 46 years also enjoys the same foods.

We are both in perfect health, she weighs 120 pounds and I tip the scales at 160 pounds. How is it that we can frequently eat these high fat foods and not be overweight and plagued with diabetes? Because we have self control and take full personal responsibility for the quantity of the foods that we eat. Based on our past performance, it is obvious that we don’t need Mr. Monning’s tax scam to keep us fit as we move into our “golden years.”

I would like to know why you believe that taxing sweetened beverages will make the slightest dent in reducing the high rate of obesity in our country? Why not tax all high fat foods? How about refried beans? (Oops, Monning would never do this one because he would lose the Hispanic vote!) But he could do pepperoni, or ice cream, or chocolate chip cookies… I think you get the point.

I would suggest that you and Mr. Monning take care of your own families, and not worry about mine. My wife and I raised two healthy boys, one now a doctor and the other a successful small business owner. I know it’s hard for you to believe, but we did this without any help from Mr. Monning or the “village”!

Frank Jerant | Corral de Tierra


No single food or ingredient is the sole cause of obesity. (“Monning floats a beverage tax as diabetes rates soar,” Feb. 24-March 2). Rather, too many calories and too little exercise is a primary cause. The American Medical Association stated that, “Because the composition of high fructose corn syrup and sucrose are so similar, particularly on absorption by the body, it appears unlikely that high fructose corn syrup contributes more to obesity or other conditions than sucrose.”

According to the American Dietetic Association, “high fructose corn syrup… is nutritionally equivalent to sucrose. Once absorbed into the blood stream, the two sweeteners are indistinguishable.”

As many dietitians agree, all sugars should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced lifestyle. Consumers can see the latest research and learn more about high fructose corn syrup at

Audrae Erickson | via Web

(Note: Ms. Erickson is president of the Corn Refiners Association, a trade and lobby organization.)


Great Article on Luis (“Mr. Alejo goes to Sacramento,” Feb. 24-March 2). His background is similar to many other Chicanos who grew up in the area. Also his exposure to a Chicano Studies class that woke him up is only an indication of the need to have more classes of this kind, not only at the community college but at all high schools. We have a lot of Latino school board members in Monterey county. This should be on everyone’s agenda. It will help steer young Chicanos out of trouble and into more productive lives. Alejo is the example.

Orale | via Web

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