Thursday, February 23, 2012
Stamping Out Hunger
Your cover story highlighted the barriers faced by those who struggle with food insecurity (“Hunger Games,” Feb. 16-22). However, other than outlining the economic benefits of food stamps, there seemed too indirect of an attempt to dispel the stigma that is continually reinforced by the likes of Faux News. Progressive media must be at the forefront of promoting the essence of public benefits as virtuous if ever we are to overcome the impedance of anti-government and anti-tax cynics.
And in a preemptive rebuttal to any letter bemoaning President Obama as the food stamp president, I offer the following. The number of food stamp beneficiaries increased steadily under George W. Bush because of his aggressive efforts to get those eligible to apply for benefits, and because of his changes in the rules that had the effect of broadening eligibility. Food stamp participation increased in seven non-recessionary years under Bush. The number of food stamp beneficiaries increased by a cumulative 63 percent during Bush’s eight-year presidency. - Sean Gallagher | Salinas
Heartening to read about the fighters in the trenches, and glad they are cagey. Sad problem, good people on the mend. I work with many low-income youth who extract a lot of calories from the “Food Bank,” despite the diabetes and obesity trends in their populations. That crap should be fed to fast food animals, or used as power plant fuel. For those trying to feed, as well as improve the diets of the poor, may you be blessed. - Shmoops | via Web
Oh, That’s Rich
Kristy Downing is in dire need of remedial education (“Letters,” Feb. 16-22 regarding “Rich Pepe for mayor, or at least my favorite restaurateur for mayor,” posted Feb. 9). The video for reality TV is scripted and, yes, Rich Pépe is in the video and some may be offended by some of his lines in the scripted video. But where is the outrage from Ms. Downing when it comes to the current mayor and her enabler council members showing disrespect and contempt for city employees, three of whom were women, when the city settled their claims of sexual harassment, employment discrimination and retaliation for over $1 million? Where was Kristy Downing when it was revealed that the mayor and council had a policy of getting rid of older city employees whom the mayor disliked? Where was Kristy Downing when the employee enablers Christie Miller and Heidi Burch of then-City Administrator Rich Guillen were getting taxpayer funded pay raises, benefits and promotions based on favoritism and not merit? Carmel has had 12 years of Mayor Sue McCloud; a mayor who has sanctioned sexism, discrimination and retaliation and shown no respect for city employees and 100 percent of the population, men and women alike. Rich Pépe was in a scripted video whereas Sue McCloud and her council were for real for years. WAKE UP Carmelites! - Observer | via Web
After reading the article, I’m concerned that although it presents an accurate depiction of what took place on the Monterey Peninsula during this time period, it fails to mention a very different and more positive environment that many of us experienced during this same era (“Seaside’s Civil Rights Past,” Jan. 26-Feb. 1). I was born in Fort Ord in the early ’60s and attended Ord Terrace elementary, King Jr. High and Seaside High School. The picture painted in the article was not my experience at all, and I am not alone. This article and the book that Ms. McKibben wrote for some reason seems to be intent on focusing on the negative experiences and omits many important facts that would shine an entirely different light on this important subject. I am delighted that my home is receiving such attention but it does all Seaside and Monterey Peninsula natives a great disservice if the story that’s being told is incomplete. - Yvont | via Web
The Local Spin on Feb. 16 regarding the resolution telling Gov. Jerry Brown and the state Department of Pesticide Regulation to suspend the permit for methyl iodide wasn’t an empty gesture, as stated. Yes, a county has no power to change state-approved permit processes but it can stand up for the safety and health of its residents when they are imperiled by the most toxic of all pesticides approved without regard for multiple warnings from multiple scientists.
And yes, the supervisors were temporarily derailed by the blandishments and bogeymen of declining profits and death of all strawberries. But most of them found their way back when their constituents made it clear that the dangers, costs to the county for the health damage inflicted on fieldworkers, families, school children and school/residential occupants for life-long care, lost income and devastation to families would be the consequences of this fumigant.
And yes, it’s an election year, so the possibility of losing votes may have tempered any “assistance” from the deep pockets of Big Ag. Thank you, supervisors. There’s more like this coming your way. - Carole Erickson | Carmel
(Editor’s note: Ms. Erickson is a member of the Safe Strawberry-Monterey County Working Group.)
If it’s proven to cause cancer, what’s to talk about? Don’t use it! - Cathy Anaya | via Facebook
Or the Courts, Maybe?
Pedophiles SHOULD be thrown under moving buses. Probably those who protect them too (“Diocese pays $500k to settle child abuse case, priest sues diocese,” posted Feb. 17). - Miguel Banda | via Facebook
To save money, we cut from the most vulnerable. K-8 Education. Junior Colleges. UCs. Senior programs (“Gov. Jerry Brown to repeal euthanasia law,” posted Feb. 13). Programs that assist the mentally challenged – it goes on and on. Now the animals. What next? - Denise Mello | via Facebook
People should start opening up their own shelters and rescues. Doing fundraisers, getting active, taking care of their animal brothers and sisters. The populations are too huge at the government level. They will be forced to do things like this. Diversification can help more awareness and, hopefully, more adoptions. That’s my quick attempt at a solution anyway :) any other ideas? - Peter Hustedt | via Facebook
If you take on the responsibility of owning a pet, you need to be responsible and that includes spaying/neutering and know that owning a pet is, or should be, like an addition to your family. - Janis Spencer | via Facebook