Letters to the Editor: Jan. 24, 2020

Peninsula Premier Admin

Limit size of PG hotel

Remember your happy moments at Lovers Point beach, the wind-protected warmer cove where small children dig, run, jump and squeal as the cold ocean water runs over their little feet?

A perfect new home for frightened, fleeing harbor seals and pups threatened by extreme pounding, vibrating machinery breaking granite deep down a pit to build underground parking for the proposed ATC hotel.

Everyone wants the pups safe, but maybe not taking over our sweet beach or San Carlos Beach in New Monterey, if the seals broke in the other direction.

Federally protected, the harbor seals and pups cannot be relocated.

There is an easy solution – no underground parking at the proposed ATC hotel site.

Will it cut the size of the hotel and the city income garnered from 225 rooms to maybe half?

Possibly, but in addition to saving our beloved beaches and harbor seals, some protection from traffic gridlock, vital in an emergency, would be also gained.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is the simple times we share that are most keenly missed.

— Janet Cohen, Pacific Grove

Jury duty during the pandemic

What is wrong with this picture?  Our great nation is in the midst of an unprecedented major medical pandemic emergency.   We are under a stay-at-home order and are urged not to associate with anyone outside of our immediate household.  Businesses and restaurants are closed, some permanently. Our inept state government struggles to get vaccines into the arms of the elderly and vulnerable, as well as our first responders and medical personnel.   And yet, our judicial system continues to issue jury summons to the public at large.  Oh yes, it is stressed that there will be social distancing, masks will be required, barriers have been installed, temperatures will be checked, and all potential jurors should bring small bottles of hand sanitizer.

Sadly, this belies the fact that a large number of strangers will attend the “cattle call,” summoned to a fetid, poorly ventilated jury holding room, with limited facilities, and required to remain in relative proximity to others for an extended period of time.

Yes, the wheels of justice must turn, and turn they will, fairly and with complete respect for the law, and for those innocent until proven guilty.  But, has full consideration been given to the prospective jurors and the conditions they will experience once they have been summoned for duty?  Even our respected judges have no control over the pandemic and those it will impact.  Why not postpone jury trials until juror selection can be made from those who have received the vaccine?

Options?  Yes, a postponement can be requested, but what if nothing is heard.  Not show?  Yes, and you receive a visit from a very professional Sheriff’s Deputy and possibly a nice ride to the jail in Salinas.  Show up and join the “cattle call” seems to be the only available path.

Most of us take our duty as citizens quite seriously.  Why can we not expect that those who run our legal system to take their obligations to public health and our personal safety just as seriously?  Any response to this question will likely be replete with a host of “reasons,” yet the end-result will be the same.  The “cattle call” will occur as scheduled, and peoples’ lives will be unnecessarily put at risk.  We all need to pull together to defeat COVID-19; that includes our courts.  What is wrong with this picture?

— Harry Robins, Monterey

Preserve the two-party system

California is coming dangerously close to being a one-party state. This has brought us seriously flawed institutions such as the EDD, DMV and VAX debacles. Our democracy is built upon a robust two-party system providing checks and balances. The extreme radicals on the left and right feed on each other and hasten the ruin of compromise. The future of our Republic depends on realizing the history and current value of a strong two-party system willing to bring issues from the fringes back to the middle.

— Russell L. Hatch, Carmel Valley 

Contributed by local news sources

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