Thursday, May 26, 2011
Two articles caught my attention in the Monterey County Weekly during our visit to beautiful Monterey County. The first concerned the “feeding frenzy” over funding for the proposed desalination project in your area (“Nonprofits’ experts tap into the desal project’s cash flow,” May 5-11). The second article concerned the “layoffs, payoffs” at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital (“Unemployment spikes, while the boss rakes in millions,” May 5-11). In my mind, these articles exemplify two major problems in American life and politics at all levels; way too much government money spent on innumerable studies and lawyers before even one shovelful of dirt is turned for any project, and that the rich will always take care of themselves and their friends, at the expense of the rest of us. - Tony Boyd | Fort Bragg
Ralph Rubio’s claim that low-income Latino hospitality workers will be most affected by denying the desal project seems like spinning at its finest (“Squid Fry,” May 19-25). The implication that hotel jobs will be lost if the project is denied is ridiculous. I don’t know if Rubio has bothered to take a look around lately, but if he did he would notice that even the top hotels in our area have been at minimum capacity for ages. If you want to blame lost hospitality jobs on something, try playing tourist in your own backyard. For the same price visitors spend on a dumpy hotel room in Monterey County, they could get a luxury room in other parts of the state. And forget about trying to get a room during high-profile events. Hotels in Monterey make no bones about tripling and quadrupling their rates during events just because they can. I have had many out-of-town friends come to visit only to proclaim that they would not return for another visit simply because of the ludicrous rates for everything from rooms to food. And to assume that prevailing-wage construction won’t factor into water rates is just ignorant. Our area has simply outgrown itself faster than we can manage our resources. - Sue Braum | Seaside
Rescind the Raise
We, the staff of Foothill Elementary School, believe the members of the Board of Education acted inappropriately by voting for a pay raise for five administrators (“MPUSD Board, Superintendent face increasing discontent from school staff,” April 28-May 4). The quality of education has suffered in recent years due to budget cuts, and all employees feel the pinch. We are all working longer hours and are expected to do more with less.
A raise in salary is not justified for any public servant at this time because we are in the midst of an economic crisis. All employees put in extra time on the job; none of us expect to be paid for it. We feel grateful to have a job. Classroom size has increased by as much as 50 percent in some cases, increasing our workload. Support staff has been cut drastically and library aides may be cut next year.
Rewarding only five administrators diminishes the work of all other employees. The financial burden needs to be shared by all employees. It’s just not right to pay those making the most even more, and it’s a decision that has negatively impacted employee morale and the public perception of MPUSD.
We are asking that the salary increases for the positions held by Marilyn Shepherd, Dan Albert, Judy Durand, Kari Yeater and Leslie Codianne be rescinded. - Staff of Foothill Elementary School | Monterey
(Note: The May 23 letter included signatures from 21 staff members, including teachers and instructional aides, of the school.)
I cannot believe Jim Lauderdale made such a racist statement when he said [When PG&E files bankruptcy] “12 white men don’t just sit around the table and weep.” (“One out of every 150 Monterey County residents has filed bankruptcy. For many, this last resort has become the best resort to get out from under crushing debt,” April 28-May 4). Not only did the newspaper not question his statement, they quoted it in large caps. Does Lauderdale know the race of everyone on PG&E’s board? Even if they were all white, is it really an issue? Why did the newspaper think this was OK? Would they have done the same thing if he said “12 black men?” - OU812 | via Web