12 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY february 29-march 6, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com What a Nightmare Hats off to David Schmalz for his excellent article exposing the iron fist handling of HOA affairs in East Garrison (“For some residents of East Garrison, their dream home has become a nightmare,” Feb. 22-28). A nightmare indeed! It is unfortunate that for the greater majority of homeowners to gain relief there are but two options. Either rally the majority and vote the bullies off the board, or take legal action against them. Doing so, however, means suing yourself. The board will use HOA funds to defend themselves, money paid in dues by the hardworking homeowners being harmed and seeking legal relief. This story reminds me of the proverbial tail wagging the dog. Cecil Reece | Marina One of East Garrison’s regulations is that residents can’t string a laundry line where it’s visible by the neighbors. Your article certainly took care of that for us, hanging our wash where everyone in the county can get a good look at it. So many tasks strung out on the line: before you hire a company, look into their record; really read the rules and learn how to change them; demand transparency; if you don’t like the direction your local government is going, vote and run for office if you can; hold developers and the county responsible for promises made. It was pretty embarrassing to be subjected to a public white-glove inspection. Hopefully, good reporting inspires everyone to clean house, not just peek at the neighbor’s laundry. Helen Shamble | East Garrison This article is reflective of the issues that have arisen over the past 18 months. Prior to the three members being elected to the HOA board, East Garrison’s homeowners enjoyed peace and harmony throughout our neighborhoods. This will change in September when we elect three new board members. John Ferrari | East Garrison I had an HOA from hell story that lasted several years when I bought a unit in the Pacific Heights development in Seaside in 1989. There was nothing in state law to monitor these self-proclaimed board emperors. I truly didn’t do anything wrong, not even a flowerpot. After a three-way lawsuit, I decided to sell below original value to stick it to the board. I couldn’t deal with the stress anymore. I would not buy into an HOA like that again. Jasmine Andrews | via email that’s politics It is embarrassing how thin-skinned and petty County Supervisor Luis Alejo is (“Letters,” Feb. 22-28). He should just be thankful that you all bothered to endorse him considering he is literally the only option. But instead he takes the time to criticize you for leveling any critique of him. Damian Maldonado | Salinas I agree with Barbara Moore: The Weekly should reconsider and promptly publish a dual endorsement for [County Board of Supervisors District 5]. Alan Haffa is a far stronger and more experienced candidate than Kate Daniels. His 12 years on the Monterey City Council have proven his commitment to a progressive agenda, from practical housing solutions for unhoused and lower-income residents, to environmental protections, including prohibiting fracking in South Monterey County and continued support for public ownership of our Monterey Peninsula water. Sidney Ramsden Scott | Pebble Beach I’m writing to comment on how awful that photograph of Kate Daniels was on the cover (“Endorsements: Candidates and measures on the March 5 primary ballot offer their vision to chart the future,” Feb. 8-14). The lighting is atrocious and would make anyone look bad! As a professional photographer for over 40 years I speak from authority on the subject. Your photographer, Daniel Dreifuss, clearly doesn’t know how to photograph people. It’s not just the cover photo, it’s also the inside photos. Those are the types of photos National Enquirer might use with the intention of making the person look bad. I have come to expect better from your publication. Gregg Wutke | via email Clear the Air The public deserves to know more about the health hazards associated with asbestos exposure (“Project Censored takes a look at the top 10 stories the mainstream media missed last year,” Feb. 15-21). Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, has microscopic needle-like fibers that were used extensively in various materials to enhance product durability, insulation and fire resistance properties. Once these asbestos-containing materials are disturbed, these fibers can be released into the air we breathe. Once breathed in, these fibers can become embedded in body tissues where they can’t be eliminated. Adverse health impacts, including asbestosis and mesothelioma, can occur. Asbestos is everywhere. Here are a few suggested steps we can urge our state leaders to take: • California should mandate materials disturbed in construction projects are thoroughly surveyed for the presence of asbestos. • Evaluate whether any asbestos-containing products are manufactured in the state and then ban the use of asbestos in manufacturing. • Ban the sale of all asbestos-containing products such as building materials, talc, makeup and brake pads. Shawn Boyle | via email Note: Boyle is Planning & Air Monitoring Supervisor at Monterey Bay Air Resources District. olive branch Sara Rubin states that, “...no olive branch is long enough to cross the gulf of Monterey Peninsula water politics” (“Peninsula water politics create a wedge on Salinas City Council,” Feb. 15-21). That has been historically true for decades so one may forgive her if she holds this divide across the “lettuce curtain,” aka “cypress curtain,” as inevitable. But for me it is cynical and divisive to reinforce these historical patterns, particularly around water. Now that FORA has been retired, M1W is the regional agency most disposed to resolving cross-county water battles. M1W is the venue to change the pattern. Let’s hope Anthony Rocha can bring a new sense of cooperation. Michael Baer | San Jose 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.