Letters

Opinion pieces submitted by our readers and our community of citizen-journalists. Views and opinions expressed on BenitoLink.com are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of BenitoLink, its sponsors, partners, staff, donors, affiliates or other contributors to this site.

On Saturday, October 6, 2018, local Amateur Radio operators in Hollister participated in a Simulated Emergency Training (SET).  Sixteen participants checked into a radio frequency and stated their readiness to help if needed.

When we have an emergency, Amateur Radio Operators, sometimes called Hams, use their radio skills to help individuals and agencies (e.g. American Red Cross) with communications

If you would like more information on becoming an Amateur Radio Operator or would like to participate in these events, check out the San Benito County Amateur Radio Association (SBC ARA) website at sbcara.org or their Facebook page at facebook.com/sbcara.  

The family of Guadalupe "Lupe" Cordova would like to thank friends, family and community members for the many acts of kindness and sympathy following her passing.

We are grateful for the food, flowers, cards, calls, visits and prayers during this most difficult time. Words hardly express our sincere appreciation to all who demonstrated support and love. 

We want to express special appreciation to Pastor Kevin Townsend of Sunnyslope Christian Center for the beautiful eulogy and to the church members who provided music, food, refreshments, and other support that made the Celebration of Lupe's Life so very special.

Lupe Cordova will be remembered as a joyful and loving woman who was devoted to her family and friends. Lupe loved the Lord with all of her heart, and although she will be greatly missed, we are sustained with the knowledge that she is at peace with God in heaven.

Blessings to you all,

The Cordova Family

Dear Dawn and Elizabeth,

It was a pleasure meeting both of you and visiting while we competed for the open Council seat. You made it fun. I felt like both of you were there for the right reasons....a love of your city.  Thank you for helping me be less nervous. I have no doubt, with a little experience, you could be leaders of our community. Just the fact that you stepped out of your comfort zone to apply for the seat is outstanding. I was proud to be a part of your experience and I strongly recommend your continued interests in serving the public. As I stated I would jump at the chance to work with both of you. I think whatever you do you would bring a lot of heart. My door is open to you both if you have any questions regarding my open seat on the Planning Commission. I hope I see you serving soon. 

Warm regards,

Carol A. Lenoir

 

Dennis Lalor, 20-year CEO of South County Housing, died peacefully at home on August 31 at age 71. Under hospice care and with family and friends with him, he died after a long illness caused by an incurable brain tumor first discovered in November 2017.

Mr. Lalor’s loss is huge for many who knew of his effective advocacy and leadership in the field of affordable housing, a subject still very much in the news as California’s housing costs skyrocket more than ever. It is one of the major issues facing voters in some of the four counties where his many projects were built, Santa Clara, San Benito, Monterey, and Santa Cruz.

Dennis is remembered with great respect and appreciation both by people who worked for him, as well as those in city and county governments who approved his projects. He was also well respected and known by many local, state and federal officials, including Congressman Sam Farr. Farr found Mr. Lalor’s ideas and commitment persuasive, supporting many South County Housing projects over the years.

It was no small task to build quality low income housing, sometimes with other amenities like child care centers as well. Under Mr. Lalor’s leadership, South County Housing created several thousand affordable housing units, including apartments and subdivisions of single family homes, some with market priced houses included. Dennis was a visionary and a trailblazer, with these large mix-income projects being the first of their kind in the country. This was especially challenging in the high cost counties where Dennis lived and worked. He received awards and recognition throughout the United States and served as a board member and leader of groups like the National Rural Housing Coalition and Neighborhood Capital Corporation.

A gathering celebrating Dennis Lalor’s life will be held at the Aromas Grange on Saturday, October 6th at 1:30 p.m.

 

 

I recently shopped at Worth Saving Thrift Store, 101 5th Street and found it to be a very good store and a great place to go to revive your spirit, as well as to buy things at a great price, and the profit all goes to Charity. We all need to support places like this for the good of the community, also a great place to donate stuff you don't need no more. It's at the site of the previous Pat's Place.

Hello,

I have noticed the streets between 4th St. and the light at Country Rose restaurant are filthy from all the eating and spilling onto the pavement. If the city is giving them the privilege of sitting and dining in the street, the city should authorize having the streets washed down after the event is over. Thanks for listening.

The family of Nazario Martinez Sr. would like to extend a special “Thank You” to our family members, church family, friends and neighbors for all the acts of kindness and sympathy. Thank you for the food, flowers, cards, calls, visits and kind words spoken to our family during this most difficult time. Words cannot express our deep appreciation and gratitude to everyone who demonstrated so much love to us.

We want to express a special appreciation to Pastor Kevin Townsend of Sunnyslope Christian Center for the beautiful eulogy and Pastor Jose Martinez (Naz’s son) for sharing your beautiful memories of your father and to our Sunnyslope Christian Center family who made Naz’s Celebration of Life complete and beautiful.

Naz Sr. will always be remembered for his service and dedication to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, love of golf, the Cowboys but most importantly the love he has for his wife Florence, his two boys Naz and Jose and his seven grandsons and four great-grandchildren. We will miss you but we can rejoice because we know we will see you again in heaven.

May God bless you all,

The Martinez Family

On July 21, from 10:00-12:00 a.m., there will be a workshop on writing and publishing for those wanting to write books from the point of view of the Mission cat, Sula,  or anyone interested in writing and publishing a spiritual memoir, personal memoir, or pet memoir. To register for the seminar, contact Betty Lou Leaver, Leaver@aol.com, 831-578-0290.

Though relatively new to us in the "west", Tai Chi has been around for a very long time.  More and more people all over the world continue to practice it, and you may know someone who does.  So what's it all about?  Why are people paying attention?

We might first wonder about the name itself.  If it appears to be from another part of the world, that's because Tai Chi ("tie chee") was created in China hundreds of years ago for self defense.  Not only was it very effective for fighting, but it also brought balance to the mind and body for those who practiced it.  Better health?  Better life?  Interesting...Why did this happen?

It turns out that when the smooth circular movements of Tai Chi combine with the calm breathing, focused mind and relaxed body, powerful benefits are experienced by the practitioner.  Too good to be true?  Studies support these results, and science can now explain why.

Tai Chi programs are being endorsed by Harvard Medical School, Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Centers for Disease Control, Arthritis Foundation, Veterans Administration, and more.  Doctors are recommending it to their patients.  Why?  Tai Chi and Qigong can be considered a form of disease prevention, as they promote healing and strengthen the immune system, maximizing the body's natural ability to heal itself.

Sounds good, but wait a minute; what's Qigong?  You guessed it - another Chinese word.  Qigong ("chee gung") is an exercise system that can be considered the grandmother of Tai Chi.  The principles of Qigong were developed thousands of years ago to improve all aspects of health.  Eventually, these principles were used as the foundation of a martial art.  That's right, Tai Chi is a form of Qigong.

So what's the difference?  Tai Chi uses arm movements that have martial application, and it gets more serious about low body technique and control, which develops balance and stability.  Tai Chi classes often include Qigong for added benefit.  Both practices enhance the flow of chi, or life energy, in the body.

The practice of these energy arts can open a whole world of possibility for health, vitality, and peace of mind.  They can help us step into a new version of ourselves, greater than we may have dreamed possible.  If you are interested in creating balance in your body and in your life by learning these methods, contact me about classes:  Elaine Frey - 805-709-0512, ekfrey52@yahoo.com

4H Enrollments

4H is a hands on learning program for kids from kindergarten all the way through high school. Boys and girls in 4H get to be involved in a variety of projects. Each 4-H club has projects that kids can sign up for annually. This 4-H program is great for kids of many ages! Enroll today! The process is simple! Just go to 4-H Online or San Benito County 4-H website. For more information email the 4-H office at jkatawicz@ucanr.edu. Enrollments start July 1st! Sign up today!

"It is the policy of the University of California (UC) and the UC Division of Agriculture & Natural Resources not to engage in discrimination against or harassment of any person in any of its programs or activities (Complete nondiscrimination policy statement can be found at http://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/files/215244.pdf ) Inquiries regarding ANR’s nondiscrimination policies may be directed to John I. Sims, Affirmative Action Compliance Officer/Title IX Officer, University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources, 2801 Second Street, Davis, CA 95618, (530) 750- 1397"

May 6, 2018

Hello Board President McAlister,

I am writing this email urging you to reconsider the reassignment of Charlene McKowen.

My name is Dr. Marty Krovetz. I have been a friend to Aromas-San Juan Unified School District since its inception and a friend to Anzar High School since before its inception. I am Professor Emeritus, Educational Leadership, San Jose State University, where I served for 15 years. I was a high school principal in Santa Cruz for 14 years before that.

Rationale for you to reconsider your position:
• On your Board agenda for this week is the Strategic Plan. Three of the five focus areas are relevant to this conversation. (1) Provide excellent 21st Century Instruction, (3) Recruit and retain excellent staff, (5) Enable greater engagement for students and family. Anzar is an exceptional school. This is demonstrated by the passionate voices of past and current students, parents and Board members. Anzar is recognized nationally through the Coalition of Essential School for its commitment to equity, exhibitions, advisory, shared decision-making, community service, and community engagement. No one is saying that Anzar could not improve in the three areas above, but lots of people are saying that Anzar is doing a much better job than the vast majority of high schools in this region and nationally.
• When a leader is as exceptional as Charlene McKowen, one should celebrate her contributions and upcoming retirement. As you know, she is one of the original teachers at Anzar. She has served as principal since the principalship was established. Anzar characterizes all three of the focus areas for your strategic plan, not meaning it cannot do better, but it is an exceptional school. Charlene is a primary reason for this excellence.
• Strong leaders work with and develop relationships with other strong leaders. They do not allow themselves to be intimidated by strong leaders. Clearly the superintendent does not like Charlene. Instead of championing Charlene’s leadership strengths, she has asked the Board to dismiss Charlene. The Board should be questioning the leadership quality of your superintendent, who has no background in public schools as a teacher or administrator. This email is not about the superintendent, but her leadership ability must be questioned. Hiring and evaluating a superintendent is one of the most important responsibilities the Board has.
• Can the school district really afford two principals? As I understand it from the meeting at Anzar last Tuesday night, the intent is to have two principals in the Fall and reassign Charlene in the Spring. Given the amount of effort many Anzar parents give to raising money for the school, and given the increasing larger class sizes, opposition to this reassignment can be justified simply on financial grounds. School Boards were initially designed to assure financial stability of schools. Your duty is still primarily, above all else, to do that well.
• Many of the school administrators in the four counties that San Jose State University serves received their administrative credential in the program I chaired for many years. I cannot imagine a high quality, current school leader applying for the principalship as the Board has currently defined it. This is not about the revised job description which is on the agenda this week. It is about the treatment of a recognized outstanding and long serving principal. A current principal or assistant principal should do her/his homework and will not see this as a healthy career choice.
• When Anzar was founded, the staff and parents developed a list of “Givens”, essential practices to guide the school. They were known by the Board and reviewed annually. They have been the guiding principles for Anzar for 24 years. Whatever you do, please assure that the Board knows these and that Anzar continues using them as the guiding principles.
• I have an option for you to consider, and perhaps to bring to the Board. Allow Charlene to serve as principal for 2018-19. In the Fall advertise for the principalship. Hire someone to serve as the assistant principal/principal designee for Spring semester, working along side Charlene. Honor and celebrate Charlene and allow her to truly mentor the new principal. Several strong school leaders whom I know and could recommend for this position might consider applying under these circumstances.

Drew, I have heard only good things about you. I hope you will consider what I write here. I cannot attend the Board meeting on Wednesday night, or I would attend and say all of this. I would be honored if you would call me to talk about this – 831-239-9612.

I want to remind you that public education is a public good, one of the most important public goods.

I am also sending a similar email to Board member Flores.

Sincerely,
ML Krovetz
Dr. Martin L. Krovetz

May 6, 2018

Hello Board President McAlister,

I am writing this email urging you to reconsider the reassignment of Charlene McKowen.

My name is Dr. Marty Krovetz. I have been a friend to Aromas-San Juan Unified School District since its inception and a friend to Anzar High School since before its inception. I am Professor Emeritus, Educational Leadership, San Jose State University, where I served for 15 years. I was a high school principal in Santa Cruz for 14 years before that.

Rationale for you to reconsider your position:
• On your Board agenda for this week is the Strategic Plan. Three of the five focus areas are relevant to this conversation. (1) Provide excellent 21st Century Instruction, (3) Recruit and retain excellent staff, (5) Enable greater engagement for students and family. Anzar is an exceptional school. This is demonstrated by the passionate voices of past and current students, parents and Board members. Anzar is recognized nationally through the Coalition of Essential School for its commitment to equity, exhibitions, advisory, shared decision-making, community service, and community engagement. No one is saying that Anzar could not improve in the three areas above, but lots of people are saying that Anzar is doing a much better job than the vast majority of high schools in this region and nationally.
• When a leader is as exceptional as Charlene McKowen, one should celebrate her contributions and upcoming retirement. As you know, she is one of the original teachers at Anzar. She has served as principal since the principalship was established. Anzar characterizes all three of the focus areas for your strategic plan, not meaning it cannot do better, but it is an exceptional school. Charlene is a primary reason for this excellence.
• Strong leaders work with and develop relationships with other strong leaders. They do not allow themselves to be intimidated by strong leaders. Clearly the superintendent does not like Charlene. Instead of championing Charlene’s leadership strengths, she has asked the Board to dismiss Charlene. The Board should be questioning the leadership quality of your superintendent, who has no background in public schools as a teacher or administrator. This email is not about the superintendent, but her leadership ability must be questioned. Hiring and evaluating a superintendent is one of the most important responsibilities the Board has.
• Can the school district really afford two principals? As I understand it from the meeting at Anzar last Tuesday night, the intent is to have two principals in the Fall and reassign Charlene in the Spring. Given the amount of effort many Anzar parents give to raising money for the school, and given the increasing larger class sizes, opposition to this reassignment can be justified simply on financial grounds. School Boards were initially designed to assure financial stability of schools. Your duty is still primarily, above all else, to do that well.
• Many of the school administrators in the four counties that San Jose State University serves received their administrative credential in the program I chaired for many years. I cannot imagine a high quality, current school leader applying for the principalship as the Board has currently defined it. This is not about the revised job description which is on the agenda this week. It is about the treatment of a recognized outstanding and long serving principal. A current principal or assistant principal should do her/his homework and will not see this as a healthy career choice.
• When Anzar was founded, the staff and parents developed a list of “Givens”, essential practices to guide the school. They were known by the Board and reviewed annually. They have been the guiding principles for Anzar for 24 years. Whatever you do, please assure that the Board knows these and that Anzar continues using them as the guiding principles.
• I have an option for you to consider, and perhaps to bring to the Board. Allow Charlene to serve as principal for 2018-19. In the Fall advertise for the principalship. Hire someone to serve as the assistant principal/principal designee for Spring semester, working along side Charlene. Honor and celebrate Charlene and allow her to truly mentor the new principal. Several strong school leaders whom I know and could recommend for this position might consider applying under these circumstances.

Drew, I have heard only good things about you. I hope you will consider what I write here. I cannot attend the Board meeting on Wednesday night, or I would attend and say all of this. I would be honored if you would call me to talk about this – 831-239-9612.

I want to remind you that public education is a public good, one of the most important public goods.

I am also sending a similar email to Board member Flores.

Sincerely,
ML Krovetz
Dr. Martin L. Krovetz

I am still in shock after reading the comment by Neil Kitchens at the candidate forum held last week, He said that "the state of california releases rapists and arrests people who give you a plastic straw". These are dog whistle messages in my opinion, that remind us of Trump's remarks about refugees coming from the south who are mainly rapists, murderers and drug dealers. The plastic straw remark was a dig at the brave scientists and ordinary citizens who are doing their best to educate us about the present dangers of plastic in the ocean(a gyre the size of Texas) and the air (where recent studies show 90% of the world population are affected by air pollution) and a study citing the presence of billions of minute plastic particles in the air that are poisoning us now. He is obviously in agreement with Trump that our global climate crises is a hoax Even more dismaying to me was the response of the public listening to the forum. The newspaper reported that Neil Kitchens' remarks were met with boisterous laughter and approval from many of our residents at the forum. When the biggest challenges to human life on earth are made the butt of sarcastic, "jokes" and met with public approval, we are finished folks and maybe deserve what's coming!

natasha wist

hollister

Editor:

It’s no surprise some politicians fudge their credentials during a campaign, but I was still surprised to see one candidate for the open Assembly District 30 seat hide behind a badge, as though he’s some crime fighter.  For the past few weeks, I have been noticing signs for Mr. Leroe pop up around the region, with a symbol intended to portray an official law enforcement badge.   

Peter Leroe did serve a short stint as a rookie assistant district attorney in San Benito County, but that role apparently didn’t suit him. Instead, he spent the bulk of his career as a corporate attorney in Silicon Valley, promoting the interests of large corporations outside of our community and out of the district he claims to represent.  In fact, that is his current job – he is a corporate attorney based in San Jose.  

After doing some research online, I learned that his ballot designation for the 2018 June Primary Election is that of “Legal Officer.”  Why is this important?  A candidate’s ballot designation is used to describe their current profession. It is what voters will see when making their final decision.  The correct and honest description for Mr. Leroe would be “corporate Lawyer,” but I assume that term did not test well in polling, so Mr. Leroe decided to try to make himself a cop – or an officer of some sort.  

What he is trying to do is mislead the public and that’s the last thing we want in an elected official. 

A badge is earned and represents the hard work, the time, and the commitment to protecting and serving our community. It shouldn’t be a prop used to fool voters. The hardworking men and women who have earned the right to wear the badge deserve to be represented by elected officials who are committed to public service and will fight for adequate resources so they can do their jobs and keep our streets safe. 

This is what turns people off to politics.  

I encourage voters to do their research, and vote for the candidate who is honest and displays integrity. 

Sincerely,
Jon Wizard

Retired Deputy Sheriff
San Benito County Sheriff’s Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monterey Bay Aging and Disability Resource Coalition (MBADRC) to host Assembly District 30 Forum in May

Salinas, CA – Are you concerned with issues facing older adults or persons with disabilities? Come, listen, and participate in this special Assembly District 30 Candidate Forum to hear the candidates share their vision for meeting the needs of California’s fastest growing age group, including issues of housing, long-term care, transportation, and services needed as we age and/or are disabled. The Forum, sponsored by the Monterey Bay Aging and Disability Resource Coalition (MBADRC) is Thursday, May 10th from 9:00 -11:30 A.M. at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas. The event is open to the public, and will feature District 30 candidates Bill Lipe, Neil G. Kitchens, Robert Rivas, Peter Leroe-Munoz and Trina Coffman-Gomez. The community will have the opportunity to have questions answered and concerns addressed related to the disability and older adult population. We need elected officials who will be leaders and champions for disability and aging issues.

Lead MBADRC leaders are the Central Coast Center for Independent Living (CCCIL), Seniors Council of Santa Cruz/San Benito counties, and the Monterey County Area Agency on Aging. Some members of the MBADRC include the Alliance on Aging, Health Projects, Central California Alliance for Health to name a few.

This Candidate Forum follows the nonpartisan, unbiased and impartial format established by the MBADRC. For this reason, we ask that no campaign material is disseminated before, during or after the forum.
• Thursday, May 10, 2018
• Time: 9:00 am to 11:30 am
• Location: National Steinbeck Center – 1 Main Street, Salinas, CA 93901
• Limited Space: 100 Seats Available

For more information about upcoming events and/or to submit your questions contact Maria Magaña at mmagana@cccil.org , visit CCCIL’s Facebook event page at www.facebook.com/CCCILPAGE/ or call (831) 757-2968 Ext. 25. To RSVP, please register at https://senior-disabled-district30assemblycandidateforum.eventbrite.com.

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