14 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY april 4-10, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com That’s Politics David Schmalz has it completely wrong on the “halcyon days of professional, cordial lawmaking and oversight on both sides of the aisle” that were supposedly the good old days of American democracy and global peace before Donald Trump came along (“Leon Panetta speaks on world leadership in a time when democracy is under attack,” posted March 29). Here’s a brief list of bipartisan causes that leaders like Secretary Panetta and others of his generation joined hands across party lines to support: the invasion of Iraq, the Patriot Act, a drone warfare program that has extrajudicially executed thousands including American citizens without due process, a 20-year war in Afghanistan that ended with power returned to the Taliban, the oversight of prisons at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, and now the war in Ukraine. On these issues there was very little daylight between the Republican and Democratic parties, and all were said to be in furtherance of democracy. If “democracies are under threat,” as Schmalz argues, Americans should identify moments where the parties are in lockstep for forever-war, pause and ask hard questions. What is with all this neocon, warmongering shit lately in the Weekly? Reid Norris | Carmel Valley How amazingly brave you are and how you reflect everything in my being! Everything gets so tangled up with the lies and strategies that are being used to promote individual agendas that don’t promote common good, decency, respect and democracy for us all. Thank you. Fran Muir | Monterey I found your article on Panetta’s speech and your decision to call out Trump to be superb. I applaud your courage to put it out there so clearly and passionately. Craig Mills | Philadelphia (formerly Seaside) I am curious why you chose to put Donald Trump’s name into this discussion when Leon Panetta left it out for a reason. The war between Biden and Trump is causing a distraction from the Evil lurking in the dark. As far as politics, I don’t want to be on one side or the other. There is good and bad on both sides. It has caused Americans to turn on each other, and that is never good. You are right about one thing, politics has become a soap opera that is starting to look rehearsed and staged. I’m beginning to doubt that any of it is true. It has been proven that the event on Jan 6. was in no way an “insurrection.” Now you yourself just called it an “insurrection.” Why is that? I don’t blame you for wanting to make your story interesting but the truth would be so much more interesting, as well as what the American people long to hear. Mr. Panetta would probably appreciate that as well. Norma Ray | Salinas Thank you once again, David, for speaking up. This time about the threat that Donald Trump poses to democracy and how few people are willing to address this. The people in Gaza and Ukraine and the USA are suffering because of Trump controlling the GOP still. I know young Americans are disillusioned by all politicians, but I hope that we can persuade enough of the millennials and Gen X to vote for the best candidate to keep democracy safe: Biden. He may not be their first choice, but it is important to not give Trump any votes. Jana Young | Marina Schoolhouse Rocked Thank you also for a terrific story about the culture of silence at Carmel High School (“After years of failures to address sexual misconduct, Carmel Unified School District tries to reset amid leadership turnover,” March 28-April 3). That was top-notch reporting and analysis, and beautifully written. Elliot Ruchowitz-Roberts | Carmel Fantastic article. Thank you for covering CUSD. You attended or listened to countless meetings. Your time and attention to the issues and bringing them to light is most appreciated. Thanks for your persistence and dedication. I especially appreciate your balanced coverage. It wasn’t just a hit piece. There are good people and there are comparative positive test scores. Hopefully, now that matters are more out in the open, the issues will be addressed, students and staff will be in a safe environment. Appreciate your investigative, thorough reporting. Joseph Hertlein | Carmel Valley Land Transfer This is a wonderful treasure (“Rana Creek Ranch—a vast, majestic property in Carmel Valley—is slated to become a recreational treasure,” March 28-April 3). Every effort should be made to ensure the visiting public does not unintentionally cause harm. Adequate boardwalks, visitor information areas, etc. need to be developed. Walter Wagner | Salinas mixed use, mixed opinions Yay! More unaffordable housing! (“A complete makeover of a New Monterey building brings five new housing units,” posted March 30.) Heather O’Donnell | Salinas They should be making affordable housing for the hospitality industry! Those people are the bread and butter of the Monterey Peninsula. Rachelle Davi- Razzeca | via social media Weed Money By our estimate, licensed cannabis operators have invested over $1 billion in the county (“Growers hope to repeal 2018 tax on cannabis businesses,” March 7-13). This includes rebuilding abandoned greenhouses and warehouses, installing fencing and security systems, fire suppression systems, buying forklifts and cargo vans, soil and fertilizers and more. Over $70 million has been collected by the County in cultivation tax—plus sales taxes, property taxes, employment taxes, building permits. Time for the special fire tax to go! Please support this measure to give much-needed relief to our emerging green industry who have invested so much to operate here. Chris McGrowin | Salinas Note: McGrowin is CEO of GrowBIGogh, Inc. 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.