02-22-24

12 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY february 22-28, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com Board is Out of Touch Although I appreciate the endorsement the Weekly’s Editorial Board gave me for my re-election campaign (“Candidates and measures on the March 5 primary ballot offer their vision to chart the future,” Feb. 8-14), the Editorial Board just couldn’t help but add misleading comments or outof-touch commentary to it. For instance, the Editorial Board criticized me for supporting the expansion of acreage into the Soledad city limits during a LAFCO vote in December 2022 which aimed to build 2,400 units of housing. Thirty-two percent of it would be affordable, the highest of any development of that size. The Editorial Board states I should have instead supported “smart growth,” whatever that means today. The comment is just so out of touch and it’s partly why we have a housing and homelessness crisis across our county and the state. Monterey County’s new Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) numbers provided by the state requires our county and 12 cities to build 20,295 new units of housing over the next seven years by 2031 of which 3,326 are to be in the unincorporated part of the county. Achieving this enormous task will take many courageous actions by local elected leaders, and such criticisms by the Editorial Board is partly why there’s been so much inaction in getting enough housing built in our county. Meanwhile, thousands of our local working families, especially in the Salinas Valley, continue to suffer from overcrowded housing, high rents or the inability to afford buying a home in their own communities. The Editorial Board also criticized me when it claimed I “towed Big Tobacco’s line” on Modified Risk-Tobacco Products. But they completely omitted the fact that in January 2020, I was the supervisor who proposed the ban of all flavored tobacco and e-cigarettes in the first place to protect our youth, and that no such exemption for FDA-approved “harm reduced products” was ultimately approved by me or any of my colleagues. Moreover in 2019, I also successfully led the smoking ban from our county parks and buildings. I’ve been proud to be the county’s leader in protecting our youth and community-at-large from second-hand smoke, flavored-tobacco and e-cigarettes by authoring the last two major county ordinances on the subject matter. Luis Alejo | Salinas Note: Alejo is Monterey County Supervisor for District 1. I am surprised and disappointed you endorsed only Kate Daniels in the race for County Supervisor, especially because your stated reason was her assessment of her ability to “bring all voices to the table and come up with solutions.” Alan Haffa, who is running for this same seat, has a proven track record in his 12 years on the Monterey City Council of doing exactly this. Alan is exceptionally gifted at not only “bringing people to the table” but making them comfortable enough to express their thoughts, even if they were initially hesitant to speak. He studies issues. Consequently, Alan can often help forge agreements among people with diverse viewpoints. Alan is honest, ethical and a public servant in the best sense of the term. He is highly qualified to be County Supervisor. You should reconsider and promptly publish a dual endorsement. Barbara Moore | Monterey Crisis Point I am writing this because of the insurance crisis that homeowners are facing in California (“The state’s fire insurance crisis means Skyline Forest homeowners face steep rate increases,” Feb. 8-14). I find it somewhat hard to believe that insurance companies are subject to the monetary losses that they claim they are suffering. According to the Public Policy Institute, there are approximately 7 million homes that are owned in this state. For the sake of this argument, let us assume that the average homeowners policy costs $275 per month, multiply this by 7 million households times 12 months per year, this is a huge sum of money that insurance companies are raking in every year. Our insurance has gone up dramatically since Farmers dropped us because we live in a “fire zone.” Our annual insurance has risen from $4,200 per year to $22,000 per year through the “California FAIR Plan.” Let me assure you, there is nothing “fair” about the plan. The question that I have for the insurance regulators in this state, is this just a “ruse” by insurers to drive up the cost of obtaining insurance? Edward Alexandre | San Antonio/ Nacimiento Lake Slip and Slide They need to completely recut and reinforce Highway 1 around Big Sur (“Two slides in span of three days extend Highway 1 closure in Big Sur,” posted Feb. 12). That corridor simply can’t maintain the road any longer. Better to lay deep structural pylons and build bridges than trying to maintain these current roads. Joseph W Borawski | via social media Win for Kindness I appreciate your act of kindness in saving the injured seagull (“The do’s and don’ts of rescuing an injured seagull in the middle of a busy roadway,” posted Feb. 15). Everyone else drove past it, but you stopped to rescue it. Only through small steps of humanity can we achieve a better world. Stu Berman | Palo Alto Thanks for rescuing the seagull. In your list of resources, you did not list The Marine Mammal Center, which responds to stranded, injured or ill marine mammals: sea lions, seals and sea otters. The phone number is 415-289-SEAL (415-289-7325). This number is the main dispatch number; they will take the information and send it to the response team, which is dispatched from Moss Landing. Thank you for getting the seagull out of traffic, but may I add, never attempt to rescue a marine mammal. Thanks again for loving the animals. Andrea Noble | via email Correction In Hot Picks (Feb. 15-21), in an entry titled “Black Boys,” we made a typo in the organization’s website address. Black Leaders and Allies Collaborative’s website is blaac.org. Letters • CommentsOPINION Submit letters to the editor to letters@mcweekly.com. Please keep your letter to 150 words or less; subject to editing for space. Please include your full name, contact information and city you live in.

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