Thursday, November 6, 2003
Almost everyone I knew opposed the Spanish Bay Hotel and Golf Course. Now the benefits from it include 150 acres of perpetual open space, native plant restoration on 17 Mile Drive, and ongoing control of invasive broom and especially pampas grass which would have overrun the Del Monte Forest by now.
One mitigation was to preserve and stabilize the old borrow pit from which sand had been mined leaving only infertile subsoil-the proposed new site of the Equestrian Center. Trees and native shrubs were planted there, but it is far from being a natural habitat. Aside from hundreds of unhealthy planted Monterey pines and a few planted Gowen and Monterey cypress, most of the vegetation is invasive non-native French broom or genista, Australian acacias and numerous European weeds.
The upper Pescadero Canyon forest, on the other hand, which would be preserved in the new plan in lieu of building hundreds of houses, is pristine native forest with pines, oaks, manzanitas, huckleberries, native grasses and wildflowers.
The Del Monte Forest is private property, and it will never all be preserved unless some person or agency could purchase it and donate it to the Del Monte Forest Foundation which owns and manages open space in the Forest. The Measure A plan will never satisfy everyone, but other planned alternatives have been far worse.
Bruce Cowan | Pacific Grove
Pebble Beach Co. Is Not a Citizen
I'd like to thank Eric Johnson for his article "Forest of Champions" in the Oct. 30 issue of Coast Weekly. It laid out some of the complexity of the plans affecting the Del Monte Forest in a way that was also compelling to read.
While I appreciate Mr. Johnson's struggle to parse out truths and his own opinion in interviewing the very persuasive corporate players in this game, I would like to point out that in using the term "corporate citizen," he perpetuates an oxymoron that could easily be adding to his mental muck and shifting mindsets in favor of those poised to slash thousands of healthy trees. A corporation by definition is not and cannot be a citizen, i.e., a person. That is a lie. A slight of semantics. It is instead an entity-one that I believe is most often motivated by shortsighted greed. It should be regarded not as an individual voting on what he/she thinks is best, but as the multi-million dollar machine that it is, bent on surviving despite, not for the betterment of, people's lives.
The idea of cutting these trees (and, yes, I am siding with Rita Dalessio of the Sierra Club in dismissing the false comparison to "what could've been" if PBC hadn't "saved" the Forest in the first place) simply turns my stomach.
Kathryn Petruccelli | Monterey
Let Them Bleed
Street signs, social activists and our county government are all asking us to increase our sales tax with Measure Q. It's simply a bad idea. Lately I've heard its supporters arguing that "it's only a half-percent more, just pennies a day." That line gets used time and again to gain support for increased taxes. But all these "little bits" have added up over the years, leaving California with sales and income taxes that are among the highest in the nation. Further, by what right are the residents of this entire county being asked to support a hospital, a hospital which primarily serves only Salinas? I urge your readers to vote no on Measure Q.
John S. Postovit | Seaside