Letters to the Editor: Feb. 20, 2021

Peninsula Premier Admin

Splitting vaccine priority by ZIP code is wrong

If you are 65 and older and live in the cities of Monterey, Carmel or Pacific Grove, you have just been pushed further back in the COVID-19 vaccination line, thanks to the Monterey County Health Department and its director, Dr. Moreno. The Health Department has just decreed that those 65 and older living in certain ZIP codes, such as Salinas and Marina, are free to schedule their vaccinations now but seniors of the same age living in other ZIP codes, such as the cities of Monterey and Carmel, cannot. The Health Department attempts to justify this unequal treatment with vague generalities, but the reality seems Dr. Moreno caved in to special interest group lobbying. To many, the department’s plan is nothing short of discrimination based on address. Contrary to CDC guidance, the Health Department’s plan divides an entire vulnerable population into winners and losers. What did the officials of the “excluded” areas do to protect the rights of their citizens? It is no wonder those seniors living in the excluded ZIP codes feel outrage and resentment. Let those city officials and Dr. Moreno (covid19@co.monterey.ca.us) know that the Health Department’s new plan is unfair and wrong.

— Barbara Lovero, Monterey

Responding to letter from California American Water

Cal Am’s recent letter to ratepayers forgot a few facts. Firefighters’ use of 140,000 gallons of water is inconsequential. It’s only two households worth of water use for a year. Also, in 2020, water demand was reduced due to COVID-19 related downturns resulting in conservation.

It’s a dry year; but 66 acre-feet (AF) of water was captured in January’s storm. Hopefully, there will be more before winter’s end. The SWRCB imposed a 1,000 AF cutback, but conservation and storage will cover that. Regardless, under state order, Cal Am must reduce river intake by December 2021.

Unfortunately, Cal Am’s only water solution is their oversized, ill-conceived desal plant. Coastal Commission staff has twice recommended denial of the project.

There was no mention in the letter of the 3,500 AF from Pure Water Monterey (PWM) or the fact that along with other sources, it will allow Cal Am to meet the reduced river take by the state’s deadline. The moratorium on new water hook ups can be removed if PWM is expanded.

The fastest, most affordable and environmentally appropriate answer to Seaside Basin overpumping is the expansion of Pure Water Monterey, which could be built by 2022.

The additional 2,250 AF would replenish the basin by less pumping and more storage. According to verified studies, even with pent up building demand, expansion of PWM, along with current sources, provides sufficient water for up to 30 years.

Cal Am refuses to sign a water purchase agreement for the 2,250 AF from the PWM expansion, preferring the most expensive, environmentally damaging desal option instead.

— Susan Schiavone, Seaside

False equivalence in Capitol riot comparison

Breaking into the United States Capitol with the intent to disrupt the presidential election and do harm to members of Congress is not comparable to the many false equivalences offered up by Carol Marquart.

Donald J. Trump: “It’s freezing in New York — Where the hell is global warming?”

Same logic.

— Bob Hogue, Pacific Grove

Changing the definition of freedom of speech

You might think, at first glance, that the Republican Party’s censuring and shunning of other Republicans for criticizing Trump is hypocritical for a party that supposedly prides itself as a staunch defender of freedom of speech under the First Amendment, but you’d be wrong. It just means that the vast majority of Republicans have re-interpreted what freedom of speech means. It now means you are free to speak, so long as you constantly kiss his ring.

— Glenn Nolte, Carmel Valley

Time for Joe Biden to give Donald Trump credit

Joe Biden got his vaccine thanks to President Trump. Amazing that the current administration just can’t give credit where credit is due.

— Patricia Nervino, Carmel Valley

Contributed by local news sources

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