Letters to the Editor: Feb. 28, 2021 – Monterey Herald

Fukushima disaster 10th anniversary

On March 11, 2011, a powerful earthquake shut down power to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The backup generators failed. Reactor cores overheated, exploded and melted through. Airborne radiation hit the West Coast in three days, registering in rainwater, kelp and plants. Cesium monitors near Pinnacles showed significant levels. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory reported radiation equivalent to a 1-megaton atomic bomb here. The Kuroshio ocean current also transported massive radioactivity here.

Results: plummeting populations of plankton, sardines, anchovies, squid, sharks, and other species, starfish wasting disease, stressed algae producing domoic acid, chitin damage, a broken food chain. Starving and diseased whales, seals, sea lions, birds. Plummeting births and abandoned babies. Whales forced to hunt for food near shore entangle in fishing gear.

Hundreds of tons of radioactive water flow into the ocean daily from Fukushima. Fissioning nuclear fuel in the ground constantly pollute the air. Japan plans to dump 1 million tons of stored contaminated water into the ocean despite protests from fishermen.

The nuclear industry and governments created this never-ending disaster. If the Ridgecrest earthquakes had hit Diablo Canyon, Monterey County, Central California, and the Pacific Ocean would have faced more catastrophe. Mourn and demand accountability.

– Nina Beety, Monterey

Take a closer look at ATC hotel project

Moe Ammar’s job, as president of Pacific Grove chamber of commerce, is to promote, no matter how destructive a project may be, the development of hotels and businesses.  As such, he blames the challenges this massive (American Tin Cannery hotel) project is facing, in its present form, on the neighbors enjoying the “peace and quiet since the outlets departed.”  He fails to mention the destruction of 79 mature and protected trees, the underground parking blasting through layers of solid granite bedrock, the disturbance to our harbor seal pupping beaches, the loss of public viewsheds at the entrance to Pacific Grove, the massive traffic problems it will create for the whole town along with our neighbors in New Monterey, the demolishment of historical assets, the loads of debris removal hauled off to a dump-site entailing over 47,000 cubic yards of materials in heavy trucks, the lack of affordable accommodations (a Coastal Commission requirement) … the list goes on and on.  If this “decent team” of developers cared anything about Pacific Grove, our natural beauty, and our way of life and values, they would never have proposed this project to our city.

— Inge Lorentzen Daumer, Pacific Grove

High-paying jobs

In the last days of his administration, Trump claimed he created 10.6 million new jobs which was a record in four months. He was only partially correct. Here is a morose viewpoint on the new jobs. (Because of the morbid nature of this observation, I am somewhat reluctant to write these comments.)

The number of deaths in the US due to the virus now exceeds 500,000. Trump can rightly claim he created thousands of new jobs for gravediggers, casket makers, mortuaries, mortuary transport, florists, receptionists, funeral directors, and cemetery managers.

— Allen Fuhs, Carmel

Thinking about vaccines

Not everyone who is eligible for vaccinations will get one, for various reasons.  Maybe the person is an anti-vaxer, or doesn’t trust its safety.  If I go to a medical clinic or send my child to school, do I have the right to know which providers did not get the vaccine? Maybe I won’t go to a non-vaxer. Or does my safety choice conflict with provider’s “right to choose” and “right to work?”

— Byron Chong  Salinas

With coronavirus cases declining to less than half now compared to a month ago, I must compel Gov. Newsom to explain why the map of infected counties is purple.  Purple stands for widespread infection or the worst-coded color on the map.  Has the state changed what the status colors mean?

— Bill Graham, Salinas

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