Thursday, June 17, 2010
My name is Jennifer Skeen and my family resides in Pacific Grove. I’m writing regarding the U.S. Open shuttle service offered by the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce this week.
For many years, my family members and I have made a point of walking through our downtown area numerous times each week in order to support local businesses. While it was often less expensive to shop elsewhere, our priority was to help our local community, business owners, and therefore the Chamber of Commerce.
You can imagine our surprise when we walked four blocks to board the shuttle for the U.S. Open and learned that for my husband, myself, and our two children to ride, the total cost would be $80 – PER DAY. That’s nearly as much as our ticket price for the actual event! How is this possible? The cost to travel approximately seven miles could not be remotely close to this excessive amount. While there’s no doubt a cost associated with this trip, the markup is extravagant and insulting – and for Pacific Grove residents no less. Not even a courtesy discount? The Chamber of Commerce encourages locals to be considerate of local business owners, yet they insult locals with this excessive charge for a simple bus ride.
While locals should be provided with a discounted, if not free, shuttle to this event, they are not the only ones targeted for a quick buck this week. During the U.S. Open, tourists provide a great financial benefit to local cities through their hotel stays, visits to local restaurants and shops, and the taxes these venues provide to our local government. Now we’re going to gouge them for a shuttle service as well? If Marina can provide free parking and free shuttle service, surely Pacific Grove can as well.
We expect these tourists to visit us again? If they’ve heard of Marina’s free shuttle service, I certainly hope they will take their business – and money – there in the future. I certainly noticed the new shopping center adjacent to Marina’s shuttle area when we drove there for the free bus trip, and we plan to take our business there in the future. Pacific Grove’s Chamber of Commerce made that decision easy.Jennifer Skeen | Pacific Grove
John Laird is running for the open State Senate seat that will be filled at the June 22 election. I cannot think of a better advocate for coastal protection than Laird, who fought against offshore drilling when he was on the Santa Cruz City Council and in the state assembly. His opponent, Republican Sam Blakeslee, tried to force open our coastline. If he succeeded, the damage we see on the Gulf Coast could be happening right here at home. John Laird will oppose new offshore drilling and keep our beaches clean, our oceans healthy and our tourist economy strong.Lorita Fisher | Monterey
LEFT WING CENSORSHIP
When folks like Tea Partiers write rebuttals to items like Tom Tomorrow’s cartoons, you folks won’t print those letters to the editor. I know, I write enough. It is the time of the emergence of the right – you lefties will be left standing by the roadside trying to bum a ride.Gary Black | Marina