Thursday, January 4, 2001
Anne Muraski's letter, "Animals are People, Too" (12/21-27), hit the mark with regard to criticizing "Boomer the Critter Man" (12/14-20) and informing citizens on their options in dealing with urban wildlife neighbors. It is refreshing to come across people like Anne Muraski. Her statement "...animals are sentient beings who want to live out their lives just as much as we do" is a statement of fact that every human being on this earth should know and understand.
Peter Quentin Brown,
Miracle of Hanukkah
Many thanks to Ruth Pennington Paget for "The Here and There of Hanukkah" (12/21-27). As I read it, I kept thinking, "Yes, these are our customs and these are the reasons behind them."
Thirty years ago, when I came to Monterey County, there were few Jews. Now, there is enough of a community to form two congregations, as well as a reasonable number of "secular" Jews who often participate in cultural customs even if they are not religious. Yet, I still often find that non-Jews wrongly assume that Hanukkah is a kind of Jewish Christmas, or they confuse it with the High Holy Days, which fall in September.
Yes, Ruth Pennington Paget is right when she says that "the true miracle of Hanukkah...is that a minority of people can survive in and contribute to the more populous culture that surrounds it..."
In response to "Ghostbusters" (12/14-20), I feel compelled to make the following points:
1. I believe the Board of Supervisors gave this "ghostwriting" their tacit approval. How many Monterey County Grand Jury investigations does it take for them to wake up?! It is my belief that management staff in the Planning Department, who are well known for riding the fence until they see which way the supervisors are leaning, were tacitly encouraged to "go along to get along."
2. Equally frustrating as the "ghostwriting" business has been the County of Monterey's lack of effort in following up on subdivisions after they are approved. The conditions put on them seem to be often just so much eyewash, i.e., not enforced and blatantly ignored.
It is a very sad state of affairs. CAO Sally Reed tells us to have patience. However, I find it difficult, if not impossible, to have patience when our county has been nose-diving into the sewer for the past 10 years.