Thursday, December 1, 2011
Cities by the Sea
I was amused to read Squid’s review of my presentation to the Carmel Residents Association comparing Seaside to Carmel, written and published before the event, with erroneous assumptions as to the subject of the talk (“Squid Fry,” Nov. 11-Nov. 17). If Squid had bothered to attend, he/she would have learned of the similar beginnings of the two cities (resort developments), then examined planning events, geographic constraints, and at least three major turning points in Seaside’s history (depression, military presence, military departure) that have formed the fabric of what Seaside is today. But playing the race card? I think the only “race card” was that inappropriately played by Squid. - Brian Congleton | Carmel
Did you emerge from your depths of ignorance long enough to listen to Brian Congleton talk about the architecture of Seaside vs. Carmel? His first version, last April, or his revised version last week? After the April show, I challenged his elitist comparison (avoiding your racial slur approach) and he pleaded guilty through ignorance; this he remedied with a couple of discussions and a photo tour of both the oldest part of Seaside (between Del Monte/NPS and Roberts Lake, stolen by Monterey in 1954) and the newer, 1910-30’s neighborhoods of cute little cottages that surround the gross Weekly building.
This commission is working to put in place a strong historic resources preservation program in the City of Seaside, and Congleton offered to help. Can we expect help from the Weekly in making sure the historical buildings and cultures of our city are not destroyed? - Michael Wildgoose | Seaside
(Editor’s note: Mr. Wildgoose is chair of the Seaside Art & History Commission. Gross, meanwhile, is in the eye of the beholder.)
Wow, the Carmel Residents Association and their so-called exploding membership of 700 members exposed by Squid. Carmel is the city which has gone wrong and it may be heavy on charm – err, magic – but also heavy on fantasy and self-delusion. CRA Board members like to say they “love” Carmel, but how do they show it? For years and years, they knew about Mayor Sue McCloud’s and City Council’s policy of harassment/discrimination/retaliation and hush money payments to city employee victims. Did they stand up and say, “Not in our village?” No. They aided and abetted the mayor and City Council by going along, business as usual. Why? Because they valued insider information from the mayor, preferential treatment and the illusion of special-interest influence over doing the right thing. At least that explains the situation now with Rich Guillen, the scapegoat, out, and all the co-conspirators still in city government, and no outrage from the Carmel citizenry. - Observer | via Web
For all of you who are against the ZipTrek ziplines at Jacks Peak, please keep an open mind (“Public wary of proposed zipline at Jacks Peak,” posted Nov. 23). If you think it is just for the thrill you are wrong; it is for nature observation. Some of the first ziplines were used by ecologist to study the flora and fauna in the most unobtrusive way possible. Just read some of the comments on Yelp from the Mt. Hermon visitors in Santa Cruz – almost all mention the trees. If you want to protect the trees, people have to know about them and see them up close. Remember, nature can be observed, appreciated and enjoyed in many different ways. - GWinfrey | via Web
Oh for Pete’s sake, they reuse the treated sewage on Salinas agriculture from March to October, non-rainy months (“The shit list: food recalls, beach closures and what it all means,” posted Nov. 18). I believe this has something to do with those E. coli recalls. But of course they say the water is “safe.” During the rainy months, 22 million gallons per day is sent into the Pacific Ocean two miles north of Marina. Happy surfing!
After 30 years of AIDS, people who weren’t born when AIDS first emerged are now most at risk – an alarming development that underscores how essential awareness is as we approach World AIDS Day Dec 1. From 2006 to 2009, the CDC reported that the HIV incidence rate for Americans between 13 and 29 years old increased by about 21 percent. In fact, most of the new HIV infections reported in this country involve people under 30. Americans under 30 have never known a world without AIDS. At the same time, they’ve never really known a time when effective treatment for HIV and AIDS wasn’t available. We’ve come a long way. Better prescription drugs, long-term care plans and more innovative treatments are helping Americans with AIDS live longer and stronger lives. It’s no longer viewed as a sudden death sentence when people contract the virus that causes AIDS. But many challenges remain. AIDS awareness is a big part of the problem. To learn more or to find a place near you to get tested, visit www.actagainstaids.org. - Sam Ho, M.D. | Cypress
(Editor’s note: Dr. Ho is chief medical officer at UnitedHealthcare.)
Much appreciation for Jessica Lyons Hardcastle’s article (“The Lure of Local,” Nov. 23-30). I prefer and support local businesses, though occasionally I do shop at Staples, Target, and other chain stores. As a longtime local, I remember when the family-run Palace Stationery and Office Supply store on Alvarado Street went out of business when McWhorter’s moved in down the street. Then, a few years later McWhorter’s closed, due to the national chain’s financial problems. Lentner’s Kitchen Shop and Mervyn’s in the Del Monte Center also closed when their national companies were faced with bankruptcy/financial woes. Employees at McWhorter’s and Lentner’s told me their stores were making a profit, but their stores elsewhere weren’t. (Mervyn’s was one of the top retail outlets providing tax revenues to the city.) Often national chains expand operations and can’t cover costs – that was the case back then, I believe. Stores without franchises are at the mercy of the head company.
I’m grateful for our farmers’ markets and local small businesses, especially the local bookstores that remain open. The cost of commercial real estate can make it a challenge to stay in business. Looking at the larger picture – the “corporate footprint” and corporations’ influence on communities and culture – I recommend the film The Economics of Happiness (www.theeconomicsofhappiness.org), which has been screened here several times recently. The worldwide movement for economic localization is alive and well. - Judy Karas | Monterey