Thursday, December 3, 1998
I would like to thank you and the staff at Coast Weekly for a job well done during the general election of Nov 3. You covered the campaigns and the candidates very well and kept the public informed with matters that other papers wouldn't find newsworthy. I have been involved in politics for the past 20 years and I know how important it is for a newspaper such as Coast Weekly to bring a strong balance to the political process by keeping the general public informed. That's what makes America and our great state of California and Monterey County such a wonderful place to live in.
ANGEL GARCIA, JR.
PRESIDENT OF BEAR ASSOCIATES CONSULTING
"Honor" to Read
It was an honor to read the words of and the article about Margaret Owings >(CW, Nov. 19). She stands out among those who are truly dedicated and persistent in the pursuit of saving the natural world. May her book motivate those of us who call ourselves environmentalists, conservationists and preservationists to work even harder to protect the wild places that are left. We need them to protect our wildlife, our biological diversity and for their inspirational beauty.
The task is a daunting one. There are many that would destroy the natural world in the name of jobs and profit right now without looking at the long term. And even though we make progress through technology, we add around 80 million people a year to this planet. Somehow we must provide food, shelter, clothing, education and meaningful work for these masses.
With people like Margaret Owings to motivate us, we can balance our human population and protect our natural world.
With all due respect to Margaret Owings, I couldn't help but smirk at this paragraph from your profile and book excerpt "Pioneer in Paradise" on Nov. 19: "An artist by training, Owings moved to Big Sur with her architect husband in the '50s. The house he designed for them, 'Wild Bird,' was built right into the Big Sur rock, with the beach just below. It provided not only a spectacular view but also a vantage point to observe Pacific sea life, and Owings quickly developed a reverential appreciation for the majesty of the sea lions that fed, frolicked and were fed upon outside her window."
Gee, wouldn't it be great if everybody had a house built right into the rocks overlooking the Pacific? Isn't that what we are all fighting to prevent? Isn't it what Owings and other "environmentalists" like her pretend to abhor? Or is it just that she got hers first, which makes it most convenient to "reflect on wildlife and wilderness." Sorry, but there's a hypocrite hiding in that sweet old lady.
A Few Details
First of all I want to thank you for the excellent article "Big Money for Small Businesses" (Nov. 19). You've done a great job in explaining the history behind the Contractors Revolving Loan Fund Program (CRLP)! We at the Economic Development Corporation of Monterey County, Inc. are proud to be a part of this and other economic development efforts throughout Monterey County.
I'd also like to clarify a few details regarding this program which we administer on behalf of Monterey County. This program is specifically for local contractors seeking to perform work on the former Fort Ord who do not yet qualify for sufficient commercial financing. You must be appropriately licensed and determined to have adequate credit, collateral and the ability to complete the contract and repay the loan. Loans may be up to $100,000 for up to six months, generally requiring only monthly interest payments with the balance due upon completion of the contract.
In addition to the Contractors Revolving Loan Program, we also administer two general business loan programs for Monterey County, a Countywide Revolving Loan Fund (which as the name implies is available countywide) and a Rural Revolving Loan fund (available to businesses located in the northern and southern portions of the county). Both revolving loan funds provide access to capital for businesses who do not yet qualify for sufficient commercial financing and will result in the creation and/or retention of job opportunities within the county, specifically to the long-term unemployed and under-employed, women, minorities and other socially and/or economically disadvantaged groups. Depending on the loan fund and loan purpose, financing can be arranged for up to $250,000, fully amortized over up to 25 years.
Anyone interested in information on any of our Revolving Loan Programs should contact the EDC by phone at 384-0295 or fax 384-0386.
RLF LOAN MANAGER
Caltrans is the Bully
Hey kids! Did you hear the story of the big bully called Caltrans that swallowed up the rare coastal wetlands called the Hatton Canyon?
Yes, the tale begins with the bully ignoring the recommendation of the California Transportation Commission (plus three local cities) and blatantly laying siege to the pristine canyon.
"There's enough trees around here!" yelled the bully's supporters.
And even though a safe option exists (known as Alternative 4U, proposed by the Hatton Canyon Coalition), the brutish Caltrans would rather carve up one of the Peninsula's magical spots. The story ends sadly with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issuing a 404 permit allowing the bully to take the wetlands, as mandated by legislature designed to protect our habitat. Only by this time in the tale there's very little wetlands left! The big bully has already eaten it up! And the sleeping populace of the lovely Monterey Peninsula is left wondering where all of our once-bountiful beauty has disappeared.
"Farewell, Hickman's Onion!" cried the preservationists.
Not to be Put Up With
A story about Winston Churchill, whose writing is a model for many writers, is that a copy of a speech he had written came back from one of his speech writers with this single criticism: "Do not end a sentence with a preposition." Churchill replied with, "This is something up with which I will not put."
That speech writer had about as much business telling Churchill how to handle his prepositions as the principal of Salinas High School has telling the school's yearbook and newspaper staffs how to spell and use grammar. Yet, her superintendent has ordered her to do just that. This is an order up with which she should not put.
It is also an order up with which those staff members should not put. Superintendent Fernando Elizondo originally ordered the principal to remove anything from the yearbook (the first book for which John Steinbeck ever wrote) that she deemed inappropriate. After it was pointed out to him that this order violates the First Amendment and the California Education Code, he modified the order to apply to grammar and spelling for both the yearbook and the newspaper.
How does the principal handle a statement critical of the superintendent without censoring? A staff member could write this (with errors): "Superintendent Elizondo hasn't no more rite to correct are newspaper's grammar and spelling than Richard Nixon had to prevent the New York Times from printing the Pentagon papers."
Is she going to correct the grammar and spelling while ignoring the content?
Like me, an SHS newspaper staffer from 1948-50, any past staff members of either SHS publication should speak up to the superintendent at 431 W. Alisal St., Salinas, 93901, writing that this is something up with which they will not put.
Steinbeck already spoke up on the subject--in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech with these words: "The ancient commission of the writer has not changed. He is charged with exposing many of our grievous faults and failures, with dredging up to the light our dark and dangerous dreams for the purpose of improvement."
Controlling the efforts of the SHS writers to expose faults or to dredge up reality to the light is something up with Steinbeck would not put.
RETIRED HARTNELL JOURNALISM INSTRUCTOR
Shrink to Fit
Now that the media is strumming the Kennedy guitar, let us make the comparison thorough. John Kennedy was a large man in a big office. His lies were grand. JFK's standoffs were huge and wrought with danger. Jack's peccadilloes were to some degree enviable. This president's demise was public and mourned. It seems the Office of the Presidency is "shrink to fit". We should not allow it to get any smaller.
JOSEPH C. GOULARTE JR.