April 28, 2021 – Monterey Herald

April 28, 2021 – Monterey Herald

Spend money wisely

In 2018 voters within the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District approved a $213 million bond measure that, according to MPUSD, was needed to fix the “crumbling infrastructure of our schools.” MPUSD stated at the time that even with this bond money there would still be $3 in facility needs for every $1 of available funding.

So what did MPUSD do?  Did they carefully consider all the needs of each school and fund the needs with the highest priority?  Of course not!  Enter the Bond Project Managers who saw $213 million as a way to line their pockets for years to come.  After all, why mess around with “boring” maintenance and repairs when millions can be spent on designing new projects?

The District’s Project Managers are receiving millions of our tax dollars every year, working rent-free out of the District Office.  In addition, taxpayers are paying for their sparkling water, coffee, internet and office supplies.  Why is this, when teachers regularly dig into their own pockets for supplies for their classrooms?

I urge the MPUSD Board to regain control of the limited available funds and wisely direct them toward the safe reopening of our schools for students, teachers and staff.

— Steve Pondick, Monterey

The cannabis business

Most of you know that cannabis is legal in California, though how it is managed is up to each county.

In our county, indoor grows in greenhouses are legal.  There is a process, which is being discussed at various levels, for applying for a  revised permit to grow cannabis in the outdoors. The permit, as it is, is extremely prohibitive, both in requirements and cost of applying.

We have all read of outdoor grows where streams are polluted, trash tossed around, etc.  Those, however, are results of cartels, who have no interest in preserving anything, but rather, making as much money as possible and then getting out.  Big Sur, in particular, has a long-standing history of growing appellation-quality cannabis.  The local people, who are trying to get the permits to grow legally, have a buy-in to the area, to preserve the environment, to have inspections, to do it right. These are families who are part of our community.

I hope you will listen to and weigh in to the upcoming Planning Commission meeting, and also to the Board of Supervisors. Cannabis growers deserve the opportunity to be part of our business communities.

— Mary C. Masten, Carmel

Appreciates coverage

I applaud The Herald for their reporting of the peaceful gathering April 24 in support of the Asian American community.   Dennis Taylor‘s announcement of the event as a “Rally for Asian Love Scheduled Saturday” and as a “Gathering of Support, ” not a “political protest,” were words well chosen.  Sometimes words and messages of speakers can instill fear or incite.  Others can bring calm, defuse violence, reduce trauma, and encourage support of a peaceful resolution.

Speakers shared stories of their family’s contributions to our Peninsula.   They spoke of the need for all in our nation, of all colors, races, and genders, to be protected and safe.  Some shared heart-wrenching stories of being citizens for years, now fearing for their own safety.   The audience showed support.

Lisa Watson’s story about PG’s Alka Joshi described her new novel of fascinating characters and insights into Indian culture.  Kudos for stories about the great diversity of cultures in our city, stories of a remarkable life, the local solutions some businesses have devised to keep afloat during these difficult times, and the stories that involve solutions, however small, to the larger issues we face as a city and a nation.

— Nancy Soulé, Monterey

Protest laws

One wonders what alternative American history text many Republicans were reading when they recently introduced legislation in numerous states not only clamping down on the First Amendment right to assemble and to protest but to grant immunity from prosecution to motorists who drive their vehicles into demonstrators, even if they cause injury or death?  Presumably, these same Republicans would have sided with the British when American colonists protested against the Stamp Act, the Townshend Acts, the quartering of British soldiers in colonial homes, and other policies seen as tyrannical.  I guess if the Founding Fathers had been present-day Republicans, we’d all still be drinking tea.

— Glenn Nolte, Carmel Valley

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