Thursday, November 15, 2012
Singing For Sandy
Thanks so much for this fantastic article (“Nearly a dozen local music acts unite in Salinas to raise money for Hurricane Sandy relief,” Nov. 8-14). People want to know how to help the Sandy victims who are freezing and helpless and since this concert was already in motion, our noble beneficiaries are redirecting their proceeds to the Sandy victims and invite you to come to the concert because it will help the immediate need. There is much relief needed now and this is all we know how to do to help. Music heals. Thanks for your support, I believe it will help save lives. - Kikiwow | via Web
Squid, we seem to have a slightly different memory of the important role that horses and horse racing have played on our Central Coast (“Extra helping of Squid,” emailed Nov. 5). Horses, including horse racing, have a grand history in the area. In 1872, the Sausal Park Race Track (renamed Sherwood Race Track in 1878) was built in Salinas. Today, the California Rodeo is held on these same grounds. In 1896, the Hotel Del Monte constructed a horse track and polo field, holding regular races until the mid-1920s when auto racing took over and Del Monte moved the horse facilities to Pebble Beach, now the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center. In 1919, the 11th Cavalry moved to the Presidio of Monterey, then in 1940 moved to Ft. Ord when stables for 1,400 horses were built on the base. - slenard | via Web
(Editor’s Note: In one short comment, the Weekly presents everything you never knew you wanted to know about horses and Monterey County.)
By using a pro-GMO scientist on the no-labeling side and then activists and concerned citizens to represent the pro-labeling side, the article comes across as quite biased (“Citizen campaign to label GMO foods puts industry on defense, decades after historic battle,” Nov. 1-7). Why wasn’t a scientist with knowledge of the effects and risks of GMOs interviewed, especially since the field is “crowded with scientists casing both sides of the issue?”
It’s true that by reading the ingredients in packaged/processed foods, those who are informed on what to look for can figure out if GMOs and their hidden derivatives are likely present. However, many consumers do not understand how pervasive GMOs are in our food system, and the GMO information should be clear, especially for busy parents. Perhaps labeling will even help with the tracking of food allergies that show up after consuming processed/packaged foods.
The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has endorsed GMOs as a way to help feed the world, but that doesn’t mean that GM seeds have a higher yield, especially over the long term. Many experts have found that traditional farming methods outperform GM crops, while requiring fewer chemicals, being more sustainable, and maintaining healthier seed biodiversity. When farmers start using GM seeds, they apparently have difficulty reverting back to their traditional farming methods and become dependent on buying new seeds every year from the biotech companies. The corporations end up having more control over the food production and make money selling the accompanying chemicals for these GM crops.
I’m glad the agriculture industry in this area has been resistant to using GM seeds. I am grateful to have access to the healthiest produce. I don’t want GMO crop pollen drift or errant GM seeds to affect my food supply. - KBFWA | via Web
Genetic modification through technology provides a direct route to the patenting of living things.
Companies with such patents have enormous control in matters of the production and consumption of food and drugs. The article unfortunately did not emphasize the consequences of the power conferred by law to GMO patent holding corporations. Their contractual protection of proprietary information even obstructs an adequate assessment of the risks and benefits of what they do.
GMO food labeling (as in Proposition 37) is a tiny leverage that politics in the U.S. has not seen fit to provide. It could bring greater transparency and accountability as this technology “enters the food chain” globally.
The personal and local interest stories in the article, while colorful and appealing, were in effect distracting and misleading – a bit like the packaging at the grocery store. - Robert Armstrong | via Web
(Editor’s note: The Weekly since its inception has run 20-plus stories on GMOs. And this was one of them.)
Don’t Fence Me In
If the citizens traveling Highway 68 wish to concern themselves with something more current than the dilapidated red/white fence, they might focus on the 80-foot high retaining wall proposed just west of Tarpy’s by the Monterey Airport District Board of Directors.
The Airport Board is proposing to build the retaining wall adjacent to a new two-lane roadway a half mile along the eastern boundary of the airport, reaching the 150 acres of undeveloped land next to Del Rey Oaks on the north-east corner of the airport property. Recently, the Airport Board amended the Airport Land Use Plan to delete the references to the light industrial park previously planned for that 150 acres. The new plan shows the area blank.
The Airport Board has prepared a Supplemental EIR (SEIR), after being ordered to do so by the Monterey County Superior Court, which describes the 80-foot high retaining wall and the two-lane roadway as necessary for safety. The Highway 68 Coalition believes neither is needed to provide increased runway safety, which is the goal of the project. The SEIR also says the new roadway won’t promote development of the 150 acres because the light industrial plan has been removed.
Unfortunately, at the Nov. 8 board meeting, they did not show the seven acres of oak trees to be removed for the two-lane road, and they did not show where the roadway or the retaining walls are going. - Alexander Henson | Monterey
(Editor’s note: Alexander Henson is an attorney representing the Highway 68 coalition in ongoing litigation over development at the airport.)
What’s a Word Worth?
I’m confused (“101-Word Short Story Contest ad,” Nov. 1-ongoing). It’s called the “101 word short story contest” but rule No. 1 states that “stories may contain fewer than 101 words.” Perhaps that should be “101 words or fewer.”
And does grammer count? Or should I just count the words? - Literaltranslation | via Web
(Editor’s note: Grammar does count. And so does spelling.)