Thursday, July 21, 2011
My husband and I would like to thank Brett Melone for his leadership at ALBA (“Farming incubator ALBA loses its director during its best season yet,” July 7-13). We would also like to thank his amazing staff. As farm students and farmers, we were able to be the beneficiaries of the ALBA dream team. As observers, we could see Brett was a graceful negotiator. He empowered future organic farmers from diverse backgrounds representing various regions of Mexico, Latin America and the U.S.
We came to understand that Brett was tackling local, national and international issues—food security, employment and the environment, to name a few. I also participated in the Farm to School program, in which elementary school children from Salinas came to ALBA to learn about the importance of pesticide-free food, the environment and the farmer as entrepreneur. He was instrumental to ALBA’s success. I am sure ALBA and Brett Melone will cross paths in the future. - Carlyle and Alfred Seccombe | Carmel Valley
So, Republicans pledge allegiance, above all else, to an ideologue with a goal of dragging government to a bathroom and drowning it in a bathtub (“Balanced budget amendment will require radical shifts in government, a fact nobody seems to get,” July 14-20). How Tony Soprano-ish. How violent video game-esque. Those kind of statements used to be considered treasonous; now they’re marketed ostensibly as patriotism.
Corporations are sitting on $2 trillion in cash reserves and refuse to hire. Profits have increased 80 percent since 2000, but employee compensation has increased only 8 percent and median family income actually has decreased 5 percent. With this in mind, what’s so patriotic about branding remedies from the public sector as diabolically socialist? Considering the Great Recession was caused by Wall Street and big banking, what’s so patriotic about insisting that unregulated capitalism provides the best opportunity for broad prosperity? What’s so patriotic about defending tax breaks for the very few who have greatly benefited at the devastating expense of the vast majority?
Hard-line fiscal conservatives are like prohibitionists working as bartenders: they deprive the public of the product they are supposed to promote. - Sean Gallagher | Salinas
I have to take issue with artist Aleks Raskin’s comment that, “Art without a statement is a hobby” (“Aleks Raskin finds inspiration for his unique photos in an aborted biochem career, and meditation,” July 14-20). First, define statement. To imply that artists who don’t meet Mr. Raskin’s idea of what that statement is are mere hobbyists further separates artists from one another. It does nothing to promote the true meaning of art, which is to celebrate the enigma of seeing. - Jane Flury | Pacific Grove
Whispering Oaks, Furious Commenters
It’s a deplorable and shameful decision! (“Supervisors approve Whispering Oaks project,” July 7-13). There’s plenty of room at Fort Ord for buses without removing any of those beautiful trees. I’m disgusted with anyone who’d vote to remove the old oaks. - Katharina Harlow | via Facebook
This is bull. They just wanted easy-to-develop flat space. Toxics aside, there’s acres of old company buildings adjacent that would do just as well if the Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA) simply fulfilled its mission instead of being in the thrall of other interests. - Matt Wall | via Facebook
Just another place that’s named for what was removed to build it. - Mike Lew Lamar | via Facebook
Since there isn’t anywhere else on Fort Ord to put it, like in place of any number of abandoned decrepit buildings. - Kaycee Matulac | via Facebook
And a Retort…
It’s a former landfill (“Supervisors approve Whispering Oaks project,” July 7-13). The activists consistently and conveniently forget to mention that. They forget that former Fort Ord wasn’t “Public Lands” until not so long ago. And they ignore the economic and financial benefit that will be brought to the area. - lacarids | via Web