Thursday, May 31, 2001
No Confusion HereThe recent article about Bob Dylan written by Stephen Kessler ("Things Have Changed," May 17) was, on the whole, a great thought about one of the 20th century's greatest songwriters. However, I have to disagree with Mr. Kessler when he compares Bob Dylan's singing to Billie Holliday's singing. Most people have a hard time getting by Dylan's voice at first, but once you do, you begin to realize what a genius he is. Bob Dylan is a poet that writes music. Billie Holliday is a singer's singer. Lady Day could bring tears to your eyes with her soul exposed as she sang a blues song. Dylan makes you think with the lyrics, not his voice. To compare these two as singers is like comparing a rooster crowing to a riff by John Coltrane. They don't compare. Bob Dylan was and is a great songwriter, poet, and communicator, but I can't call him a great singer.
--LARRY MCCOY, MARINA
Just Wait a Few YearsUpon re-reading the "35mm Triage" note ("Some Respect?" Letters, May 24), I find nothing tacky or demeaning in Chuck Thurman's column against Dan Keen, Seaside City Manager. It seemed an amusing anecdote. After the little informative and costly city survey, may I remind that two council elections' worth of "slow turning of the wheels" is hardly an overnight jaunt. Perhaps the worthy new commissioner doth protest too soon?
We now have, in writing, that the postcards will start those wheels into overdrive. We longtime Seasiders recall and do hope so.
--MARGARET OSBORNE, SEASIDE
Check Editor's TemperatureIt is incomprehensible that an outstanding writer with an outstanding knowledge of music in every venue has been dropped from your paper. Ironic, given what other readers have also said, which is that he should be writing for the New Yorker: Scott MacClelland, of course. These readers are now past tense.
--BRADFORD MORGAN, CARMEL
Save the NativesAmy Stewart's essay on gardening for birds, bees and bugs ("Sex in the Garden," April 19) adds a whole new dimension to gardening with nature. I would like to add a few comments on natural gardening.
Our treasured Monterey pine forest is unique, beautiful, and somewhat threatened. Preserving the forest character has challenges, such as dealing with large dangerous pines on small properties and deadly pine pitch canker.
Our coast live oaks, also beautiful and important in the landscape, are sometimes plagued with oak worms (unsightly but not serious), and oak root fungus, which can kill trees that are subjected to regular summer irrigation. Now we face Sudden Oak Death Syndrome, a frightening new disease with no answers.
Beautiful landscapes can be created and maintained with almost no supplemental water using native and other drought-resistant plants from Mediterranean climates that have rainy winters and dry summers.
Planting natives in private gardens and public projects helps preserve the natural forest landscape, coastal bluffs and dunes. For information on native plants, attend wildflower shows every April at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, and the California Native Plant Society's plant sales in October.
Doing battle with pampas grass, broom, aciacias, large ice plant and other invasive aliens and weeds that threaten natural habitats and destroy their beauty is essential to protect the environment. This means eradicating them--especially pampas grass, which sheds seeds far and wide--from private properties as well as greenbelts. Preserving our natural landscape is up to everyone.
--BRUCE COWAN, PACIFIC GROVE
Funny Business in PGWell, in our little hometown of Pacific Grove, the seagulls have come home to roost, and some of the police department's dirty linen has been strung out, culminating in local front-page news.
But this should not come as a surprise to anyone who knows anything about politics in Pacific Grove. It is my opinion that for years this town has tolerated a system of cronyism, favoritism, nepotism and patronizing a "good old boy" system of government.
That doesn't mean there are no city officials with integrity. Councilmember Dan Davis and Police Chief Scott Miller are sincerely trying to rid the city's political system of its old self-serving ways, but they can't do it alone. The Rhonda Ramey case sets an example of political favoritism that has undermined public confidence and support of our police department and elected officials who set this up.
Furthermore, how can any personnel board sit in fair and unbiased judgment when its credibility has been publicly compromised? The chairman of the hearing panel previously spoke openly in favor of Ramey, and another member was a close neighbor. This whole public spectacle was a total debacle and reflects on Pacific Grove as a city that gives special strokes to special folks.
Pacific Grove lost its chance in November for new leadership with Susan Goldbeck as a mayor who would have represented the public interest. We also lost our hometown newspaper of truth and honesty, which was P.G.'s only "Beacon" of light.
--JACKIE SPJUTE, PACIFIC GROVE
Maybe It's Something in the WaterEvery year around July 4th it happens. Yet why is it that only Marina and Seaside participate in supplying this flimsy, annoying nuisance? These damn fireworks!
And what worthwhile, positive, rational purpose does peddling these weapons serve? Firecracker peddlers may claim it's for fundraising or it's for the Girl Scouts or the Rotary Club. Then why is it that Marina and Seaside are the only cities on the Peninsula that allow public firework sales? The problems caused by these dangerous devices far outweigh any possible benefit if-there ever was one!
The senseless noise fireworks produce traumatizes neighborhood dogs and cats and terrorizes local wildlife. These fireworks cause wildfires and private home fires, especially in the dry brush season of summer. These fireworks can, and have, caused flesh burns and eye injuries to children and adults. So why does Marina continue to permit sales of fireworks?
We have more than enough free of charge county and city public firework performances on the 4th of July to entertain and titillate any and all fans of fire- works. Let's ban all firework sales to the public here in Monterey County. Or are the folks in Monterey, Carmel and Pebble Beach so much more reasonable, educated and sane than Marina's city officials?
--JON NOGGLE, MARINA
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