Thursday, September 3, 1998
Being the reflective voice of Monterey County. Humanizing issues and institutions through quality writing. Creating a forum for diverse viewpoints. Pointing our light on those in need. That was our original mission, established in our early days.
Over the past 10 years we have refused to sit idly as a paper that merely records and reports facts about the community. Coast Weekly has sought to have a positive influence through thought-provoking, fair and balanced coverage. And if there is one abiding philosophy that characterizes our coverage, it is the belief that public officials and public policy should serve the needs and best interests of the community at large.
Nowhere does that philosophy stand out more directly than in our coverage of environmental and land use issues.
On the environmental front, Coast Weekly has been a steady source for comprehensive, wide-ranging coverage on the complex environmental issues facing this county: the proposed Carmel River dam and related water use issues facing both the Peninsula and the Salinas Valley including water quality and sea water intrusion; development projects including Rancho San Carlos, the Pebble Beach Lot program, Ca¤ada Woods, Chualar II, the Hatton Canyon Freeway, Fort Ord reuse; Salinas Valley agricultural and land use practices; and transportation issues.
At election time, we have continually endorsed candidates who believe in responsible management of our limited resources and who, in our best judgement, represent the public''s interest and not private ones. Coast Weekly was the only county newspaper to oppose the Carmel River Dam in the vote taken in 1995, and we advocated downsizing the Rancho San Carlos project. We are proud of our in-depth coverage of the people, politics and special interests driving many of these projects. We have provided comprehensive coverage of politics, including state and local elections and are the only paper in the county that continues to publish candidate grids outlining where the candidates stand on particular issues. Coast Weekly also continues to provide endorsements of candidates to help our readers make better informed decisions about their elected representatives.
As important as land use issues are to Monterey County''s community-at-large, Coast Weekly has also championed the need for accountability by public officials, and the rights of individuals to fair, forthright treatment by those officials and their institutions.
We exposed the lack of minority hiring at Monterey Peninsula College, and charges of sexual harassment against Seaside''s then-acting city manager Sam Head. Other major investigative pieces included the city of Salinas'' lack of oversight of local bingo operations, travel expenses by city and county officials, the rising costs of lawsuits against city and county government, and whether the Salinas Rodeo and its practices were cruel to animals.
Over the past decade, Coast Weekly has championed the rights of individuals and minorities in our stories on medical marijuana, teen moms, the elderly, AIDS and the gay community, and the emerging political influence of the county''s Latino community.
Our Public Forum and letters sections continue to provide ample space and opportunity for residents to champion their own causes, whether they are personal, local or national in scope.
In the belief that art and culture make life more worth living, Coast Weekly has provided in-depth coverage and support of the local arts, including interviews, profiles and reviews of rock, folk and classical musicians, local music festivals and organizations, theater groups, as well as local artists, arts organizations, and arts festivals.
Underlying all of Coast Weekly''s coverage of local news, arts and entertainment is the belief that serious journalism matters, that good writing and a willingness to provoke and engage is the very essence of what it means to truly be the community''s newspaper.
While we have earned both plaudits and condemnation from our readers over the past decade, keeping debate alive on the issues that matter most, and reminding individuals living in this community that they have a stake in its future, are the two issues Coast Weekly has tried to champion above all. In this regards, our mission will never be complete. And neither will yours.