Thursday, November 27, 2003
Thank you, Michelle Caldwell, for your kind article, "Bang a Gong" [831, Nov. 20-26]. My name is Randy Swanson. I am pictured playing the guitar, and identified as "Randy Swanser." I point this out because I'm so delusional I believe this is critical to my 15 nanoseconds of fame. Should years of therapy prove me wrong, however, I withdraw my request.
NOTE: We regret the error, which resulted from a miscommunication between a photographer and editor, and had nothing at all to do with writer Michelle Caldwell.
Take Their Arms; Leave Their Heads
On Meet the Press a few weeks ago, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld noted the dreadful human rights violations, cutting off arms and legs, of Saddam Hussein, and indicated what a blessing it was to the Iraqi people that we intervened. However, he took no account of the tragic loss of life our invasion has caused to the Iraqi people, with over 7,000 Iraqi people dead.
My father lost his right arm in World War I in France. He had a productive, satisfying life after that, and he was very pleased that he had escaped alive. I wonder if the Iraqi people suffered as much under Saddam Hussein who removed arms and feet as they have under our war which took so many lives.
Marjorie Atkinson | Salinas
The Del Monte Forest Park
Have read your excellent, comprehensive coverage of the issues with regard to that most precious jewel of the Monterey Peninsula, the Del Monte Forest, or what remains of it in the possession of the Pebble Beach Company ["Forest of Champions," Nov. 13-19]. There is an additional spin to the matter, however. As a business enterprise wishing to operate at a profit, PCB is saddled with an amenity to the community for which they are taxed.
This is often the case, in our economic system. Times Square and the Empire State Building bring in millions of tourist dollars to NYC, at the expense of the owners of this real estate. In Las Vegas, Steve Wynn subsidized the Strip for years with his volcano at the Mirage and the warship battle at Treasure Island. Only a few of the millions who saw it patronized his casinos.
These scenarios are duplicated many times, all over the US. How are the owners who bear the burden compensated? Well, they may get a share of the profit to the community, it is true. In the case of the Del Monte Forest, they get a lot, because a great many PBC patrons know of this amenity. But other property owners and businesses on the Peninsula [also profit] and don't have to pay for it.
Well, there is always one way out which can make everyone happy, and perhaps in the case of the 425 or more acres which may be available, this would be a winner--buy it. It would make a great public park.
Harry Rockey | Carmel
Letter Writer Should Shut Up
In response to the letter written by Lydia Hemphill of Carmel ["Weekly Should Shut Up"], that is ironically published in the same edition of the Weekly as "Labor of Love" (the Dolores Huerta article)... Doesn't Lydia sound a little racist and very uneducated? I hope she reads the Huerta article, but judging from her tone, she probably won't, and that's too bad because she might need to "shut up" (like she told the Weekly) and to quote B-Rad G, "Don't be hatin!"
Lennie Rodriguez | Marina