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Showing posts from 2008

It's garbage, man!

I walked outside a little while ago to place some additional garbage into our cans at the curb. I discovered that some delinquent individuals had dumped two of our neighbors' garbage cans into the street. I don't know why ours were not dumped, too, but I'm grateful for small favors. I didn't want the neighbors to discover the mess as they were rushing off to work in the morning, so I went out with some gloves and proceeded to put the garbage back in the cans. Interestingly, the offenders only dumped the recycling cans and not the ones containing garbage. Perhaps someone was looking for aluminum cans to cash in, but usually such people are more discreet. One thing I learned about our two neighbors, neither of them have a clue about what is recyclable and what isn't. What is: Tin cans Aluminum cans Glass bottles and containers Plastic bottles and containers Paper including magazines Cardboard What isn't: Plastic bags Used Q-Tips Video tapes So in addition t

Let the Herald do its job

On December 13th the Monterey Herald ran two contrasting stories. One was about a local family facing hard times and living in a motel. The other was about a lady in Southern California who spent $20,000 to build a mini Victorian mansion in her back yard for her doggies Chelsea and Coco Puff. The clear lines between need and excess prompted four local women to write letters to the Herald expressing their justified dismay about the dog house. All well and good, so far. However, two of these women went as far as to say that the Herald shouldn't have even printed the dog house story. One called the article a "slap in the face" to local residents and asked "Did you have a purpose in printing the article or did you just not think?" The other was even more direct and simply said the article shouldn't have been printed in the Herald. Why not? Is it the job of the Herald to only print politically correct stories? Or is it the paper's job to tell people what

No more Love

Less than half a day after I wrote my last entry, praising our Chevrolet Impala, our local dealership, Love Chevrolet, shut down. I am both sad and angry. From what I've gathered from news reports, it wasn't so much a lack of willing buyers as the inability for buyers to obtain credit from financial institutions. Those same financial institutions were given billions in bailout money which was supposed to allow them to keep making loans. Your tax dollars are not at work. I guess I won't get to test drive an HHR anytime soon. This comes on top of losing our Volkswagen and Dodge dealers when the Wester family retired last year. Who will be next?

Speaking of Cars

Whatever you may think about the competency of US automobile executives, please don't tell me their companies are failing because they're putting out bad products. My favorite cars of the last 20 years have all been GM products. Right now I drive a 20 year old Buick. While it is showing inevitable signs of wear and tear, it still gets me where I want to go just fine. Five years ago we bought Mrs. Toy a 2003 Chevy Impala. It is the best car we've ever owned. Prior to that she had a 1995 Mazda 626. The Mazda's transmission failed and had to be replaced before it got to 30,000 miles (still under warranty, thank goodness). We wanted to avoid the next failure and decided to trade it in before it reached 60,000, and thus the Impala came into our lives. The 6-cylinder Impala is roomier, more comfortable, bigger, safer, and more powerful than the 4-cylinder Mazda. But best of all, the Impala actually gets better gas mileage than the Mazda. Our Impala gets 32 MPG on the highw

Cars & Conservatives

Ya gotta love the thought processes of modern conservatives. It wasn't long ago when they were saying that Ford, GM and Chrysler were selling big gas hogging SUVs because that's what people wanted. It fit in so neatly with their confidence in market forces to keep the economy humming along. Their beliefs were accompanied by firm opposition to tougher fuel economy standards, saying it would stifle the free market and force people to drive cars they don't want. Now that the Big Three are failing, largely due to their reliance on SUV sales which went SPLAT on the pavement when gas prices went through the roof, these same conservatives are saying that American automakers were too stupid to realize that people wanted fuel efficient cars. This obvious contradiction has its own internal logic. It allows conservatives to maintain their ideological purity without admitting to any lapses in logic. This tactic will work as long as they can maintain the illusion that they never sup

Beauty Takes a Beating

There were two (so far) letters to the editor of the Herald this week complaining about the cover photo on Sunday's TV Week insert. What was it they found so offensive? I'm offended by the ever increasing popularity of violent "reality" programming showing video of actual plane crashes and police chases; crime dramas which depict grisly killings in horrific detail, that sort of thing. I'm offended by so-called "news" commentators on both the right (Mostly FOX) and the left (mostly MSNBC) who belittle anyone they disagree with by shouting and getting angry on the air. I'm offended by people like Nancy (Dis)Grace (a CNN product) who blows every sensational small-town crime into a national calamity. I'm offended by programs that turn everything from dating to cooking into spectator sports that humiliate the losers. But nobody complains about those. Instead they complain about beauty. Those two letter writers (one of whom is a friend of m

Not Very Bright

I don't worry about media bias, but I see a lot of media stupidity. There was an article in the Monterey Herald of Saturday November 16th which was a perfect example. The article was about compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), and was written by Mary-Liz Shaw of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. I have since discovered that the article has appeared in dozens of papers all across the country, spreading misinformation far and wide. The gist of the rather lengthy article was that people, even those with strong environmentalist tendencies, are shunning CFLs because they make “your living room look like a morgue” among other potential horrors. Elsewhere she described the light of CFLs as “dull,” “harsh,” “ghastly,” and adds that they can “turn even the most environmentally conscious a sickly green.” Now the Toy household has been using CFLs for fifteen years, in every room of the house, and we have experienced none of these problems. Our living room looks cozy and inviting

"We've gotta protect our children!"

It's a line from The Music Man . "We've gotta protect our children!" In the movie version Buddy Hackett shouts the line at a town hall meeting, after Professor Harold Hill gets the townsfolk all riled up about the pool table that came into town. What's wrong with a pool table? Nothing. But the little town in Iowa had never seen one before, so its residents were easily duped into believing it was evil because it was different. Professor Harold Hill exploited their ignorance to sell his band instruments to protect the kids. A variation of this tactic is now being used to support Proposition 8. Oh-My-God if men can marry men and women can marry women they'll be telling our kids about it in school! And that would be HARMFUL!!!! Well, they don't actually say it'll be harmful. There's absolutely no evidence to suggest that it would be. So they can only imply it by screaming some variation of the alarm "We've gotta protect our children!&q

Anti Prop 2 arguments are ridiculous

The arguments against Proposition 2 don't pass my ridiculous test. If something sounds ridiculous it probably isn't true. Do Proposition 2 opponents really expect me to believe that allowing chickens to turn around and stretch their wings will force grocers to import toxic eggs from Mexico? Clearly, they're trying to scare us away from doing the right thing because it will cost them some money to comply. But hey, if Prop. 2 passes they'll have a generous six years to make the necessary arrangements before it takes effect. I think they can manage that. I certainly don't expect that anyone will risk their business by importing bad eggs.

Why I'm voting against Measure Z

For those of you who just crawled out from under a log, Measure Z is the proposed half-cent sales tax increase to pay for roads, plus a few bus routes, in Monterey County. While there may be some good reasons to support it, I'm not jumping on the pro-Z bandwagon for three reasons. First, Measure Z is not the original version of the proposal as envisioned by the Transportation Agency for Monterey County. The original plan included a small percentage for much needed intercity passenger rail projects which have already been delayed several years for lack of funds. Unfortunately, county agriculture and tourism interests, the two largest industries in the county, said they wouldn't support the tax increase if rail was included. They didn't feel rail would do anything for them. TAMC caved in and now the measure is primarily directed towards roads. Big business has no business dictating transportation policy for the rest of us. Second, roads have traditionally been funded wi

Yes on Proposition 1A

After four years of delays, we finally have a chance to vote for California's high speed rail program. Please don't be put off by naysayers who say we can't afford it. We can't afford not to connect California's largest cities with the latest, cleanest, most energy efficient, and most comfortable form of transportation known to man. It should be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, people with no brains say we shouldn't be spending money on trains when we have roads to fix and more to build. But that's the whole point. High speed rail is expensive, but building more roads or airports to carry the same growing number of travelers between California's northern and southern cities would cost two to three times as much! Critics call it a boondoggle. They said the same thing about BART 35 years ago, but nobody says that about BART today, because it has proven to be an indispensable part of the San Francisco bay area transportation system. Modernizing California

Vote Felix for Seaside City Council

I have known Felix Bachofner for more years than I can remember, and I am happy to report that my good friend is running for a seat on the Seaside City Council this November 4th. Felix will bring a breath of fresh air to Seaside politics. For too long we have suffered through mediocre city councils with little or no vision for our city's future. Several generations of mayors and councils have talked about redevelopment, but we still have little to show for it. Opportunities have been squandered by setting our sights too low. Take the new development at Fremont and Broadway. That property was ideal for a major anchor tenant, such as a department store, to form the foundation of a new downtown which the city has long sought to develop on Broadway. That property needed something that would draw customers from all over the peninsula. Instead, our city council sold it below market value to a developer who gave us yet another Starbucks, a Kinkos, and a failed bank. Other spaces in th

I'm glad I moved

I'm glad I moved my website and Mental Notes when I did. For eleven years the Monterey Peninsula Toy Box was hosted at no cost to me on AOL's Hometown service. I was notified today that AOL Hometown will be shutting down on October 31st, along with AOL Journals, which hosted these Mental Notes since 2004. I had a lot of time on my hands this summer when I decided to move the Toy Box to a real hosting service. It took several weeks and many long hours of work to move everything, but it was worth it. If I had to do it now, during the busiest time of the year at work, I might not have been able to do it and the whole thing might have shut down for many weeks if not permanently. My AOL Mental Notes archives may be saved. AOL states they will provide a way to transfer one's entries to another blogging service yet to be announced. Meanwhile, I went back and saved some of the more important entries just in case they get lost.

Duty, Bound

I got the notice in the mail about a month ago. I was instructed to report for jury duty at 8:15am on September 2, 2008. Being a night owl, and a late sleeper, I was relieved to learn, when I made the required phone call the weekend before, that I didn't actually need to report until 12:30pm. I arrived in the cattle yard of the Monterey courthouse on time, but had the devil of a time trying to find a place to park. Me and a good 80-100 other potential jurors. I checked in with the clerk then waited with the crowd for another hour with nothing to do except use the rest room. The one I was directed to required an airport-style security check, which seemed to be more trouble than it was worth, so I decided to grin and bear it. Shortly thereafter I discovered a more easily acessible facility just steps away at the county health office. At 1:30 names were called and the herd was run through the metal detector, then prodded upstairs into a courtroom so crowded that many potential juror

The Latest Addition

I have corrected a twelve year old sin of omission. The Monterey Peninsula Toy Box Visitors Guide finally has a page describing the many opportunities to enjoy sports & recreation in our beautiful area. Why has it taken so long to include such basic information in my website? Well, sports and recreation just aren't high priorities with me. I was the nerdy kid who was always picked last for the elementary school softball games. As for other sports, I had no interest whatsoever most of my life. But, hey, this website isn't just about me . Its about the community, and I realized , having lived three fourths of my life here, that I actually have picked up a decent amount of knowledge on the subject, even though I've participated in just a few these activities only a handful of times. So the page was launched earlier this week. I also performed a minor remodel of the visitors guide pages by adding a marbleized backdrop outside the text margins, similar to the dark blu

Carmel Whine Cone

Mrs. Toy and I have noticed that the Carmel Pine Cone's editorials have grown more whiney over the last few years. Their August 15th editorial entitled The Front Page confirms that and then some. Their subject of the week was media bias, which, apparently, they felt was important enough to justify a half page editorial. They began with a primer defining what media bias is and why it is inescapable. As proof that media bias is rampant and unavoidable, they offered as an example the fact that very little press attention was ever given to 9/11 conspiracy theories. Reporters who report from the "American perspective" can't help but assume that anything so silly as the American government master minding the 9/11 attacks is just that, silly. So I suppose that, technically speaking, American reporters are biased against anything that is ridiculous on its face. But the Pine Cone extrapolated that sort of bias into proof that all reporting is biased in some way, that such

Paris Hilton's Energy Policy

I've never been a fan of Paris Hilton. Until I saw this. McCain ran an ad comparing Obama to certain mindless celebrities. Here is how one of those celebrities responded. See more funny videos at Funny or Die I'm actually inclined to agree with her. At best more drilling will only postpone the inevitable, but it could buy us some breathing room, a little more time for technological innovation before the oil runs out. Ultimately, though, dwindling supplies and increasing energy demand will force us to get off our oil habit. We had our first warning 35 years ago, but after Reagan took office we pretty much ignored it. Every day we delay is a day wasted.

A realistic article on Amtrak

Thoughtful articles about my favorite political subject, passenger trains, are hard to come by. This one, Train in Vain is a notable exception. The author, Ben Jervey, makes a cross country trip on Amtrak and reports his findings. Jervey seems genuinely concerned that this country hasn't made a commitment to passenger rail, and he shows why Amtrak isn't all it could be. He gently, but realistically distributes responsibility for the problem to all parties involved, including Amtrak itself. In all, I am in agreement with him that Amtrak should be more than it is, and that economic conditions will likely force the matter sooner or later. Which brings me to something I heard last night. Leon Panetta gave a talk to a group at my workplace. He expressed frustration with American political tendencies to govern by crisis. Our leaders habitually wait until a problem becomes so incredibly bad that it can't be ignored before working on solutions. Transportation in general, and Amt

Our new store!

The upgrades to the Monterey Peninsula Toy Box continued this week with the addition of our new store! For lack of a better name, it is called the Monterey Peninsula Toy Box Store . It is stocked with guidebooks, maps, history books, art and photography books, literature and cartoons by local writers, locally made music, and our favorite subject, movies made on the Monterey Peninsula. Our little shop is "powered" by Amazon.com, that megasized on-line retailer where you can get just about anything. Mind you, all I had to do was electronically gather a listing of Amazon's offerings of local interest and put them into an attractive home-grown package. Amazon does the rest. For this I'll make a little something off of each sale to help pay the Toy Box's bills. I hope you'll drop in and see if anything tickles your interest. Regular Toy Box visitors may have noticed that I've also started adding those ubiquitous Google ads, both in this journal and in vario

iWANT

The Business section of Saturday's Herald showed a crowd of people gathered outside the AT&T store in Del Monte Center. The headline read " SOLD OUT, THEN NOTHING." What was all the fuss about? A new phone. Not just any phone. Only the sleek lines of the latest Apple iPHONE can draw such crowds. This thing does everything. No, wait. The first iPHONE did everything. This one can do more than everything. It can do anything ! Even things that nobody has thought of yet! Hence the crowd gathering outside the store to be the first to do anything with a phone. Unfortunately, when people tried to actually use them, the sheer numbers of new subscribers overwhelmed the system and nobody could get them working. Why the rush to get something that will still be there tomorrow? Why not wait until the bugs are worked out? Because Apple has everyone hypnotized into believing their sleek products are the best because they look the best. Hence they must be obtained immediately , be

The move is complete!

First of all, as noted in my previous entry, the Monterey Peninsula Toy Box has moved from AOL's free service to one that costs just pennies a day. The new address is www.montereypeninsula.info . This is also to be my last Mental Notes entry in the AOL Journals service. When I learned that Google's free Blogger offered so many better formatting options I felt it was time to move this journal as well. AOL's service works just fine, but the format is just darned UGLY!!! Sorry AOL, but you aren't keeping up with the Joneses. So my new Mental Notes journal can be found at mrtoysmentalnotes.blogspot.com I'll see you there! Addendum, October 10, 2008: This entry was originally posted on AOL Journals. The old AOL archives have since been merged with the new Mental Notes on Blogger.

I have moved!

Well, folks, as I noted in my old Mental Notes page on AOL Journals, big changes have occurred at the Toy Box. A few days ago I moved the Monterey Peninsula Toy Box away from the free AOL Hometown hosting service to a more formal service that costs just pennies a day to maintain. The service I chose is InMotion Hosting , which from extensive research indicated reliable customer service. And with their 90 day money back guarantee I don't feel I'm taking too big a gamble on the move. If you've gotten this far you may have noticed I have started placing banner ads in the Toy Box. AOL was doing this anyway, so I figured I should get a piece of the pie and have more control over the ad content. Most of the banners thus far are in my visitors guide . I have become an affiliate with Expedia, Best Western and the National Geographic Store, which I feel would be of interest to my readers. If you click those banners and make a purchase you will help support the Toy Box and all

Changes are coming!

Big changes are coming to the Monterey Peninsula Toy Box. Our old AOL address, with the hard to remember URL of http://hometown.aol.com/toylandmry will soon be giving way to an easy to remember address. Actually, we have an official domain name but it hasn't been publicized much. I am the proud owner of www.montereypeninsula.info , which has pointed to the AOL servers for a couple of years. AOL's free hosting has served me well for eleven years, but it's time to grow up. Or at least enter puberty (hey, I'm only 11!) The Toy Box will soon be moving to a "real" hosting service. Your old bookmarks to the AOL addresses will no longer be valid. I'm doing this in the hopes that this labor of love might provide some modest financial reward. AOL has always placed banner ads across the top of my pages. I figure if there's gonna be ads, I should get a piece of the revenue. So it's time to move. So I'm going commercial. It is my intention to present ad c

98 vs 99

On the ballot for the upcoming election are two competing propositions, 98 and 99. Both deal with eminent domain, the power of government to take private property for "public use." As many of you may already know, in what was probably the least popular U.S. Supreme Court decision of all time, the term public use was defined as any use a government thinks will work better than what is there now. This gave local governments the right to force homeowners to sell their homes so someone else could build shopping centers in their place. Prior to this decision, it was assumed that public use was limited to things like roads, parks, and other, well, publicly owned things. Propositions 98 and 99 are the latest attempts to fix this injustice, at least within California. Earlier attempts failed because they tried to do more than this one thing. Their authors decided to use the public outrage against the Supreme Court decision as an excuse to have eminent domain redefined their way, by

Tax Relief Stupidity

Have you heard how John McCain and Hillary Clinton are pandering to voters this week? They want to eliminate federal gasoline taxes for the summer to give us a break from high gas prices. With gas pushing $4.00 a gallon, who wouldn't think this is a great idea? Not me! Gasoline taxes are the primary source of funding for our roads and highways, which, if you hadn't noticed, are falling apart. The highway trust fund already has a deficit of more than $3 billion. The gas tax holiday would add another $9 billion to that hole! That's $9 billion that wouldn't be employing construction workers who keep our roads in shape. Clinton says she'll make up the difference by increasing taxes on oil companies. So oil companies would subsidize roads we all use. McCain says he'll cover the costs by eliminating pork in them transportation budget. Fat chance. There is pork, but nowhere near $9 billion worth. Eliminating a good 25% of the year's road money would cost collec

How do you say Jaguar?

I turned on the radio this morning and heard a commercial for the Monterey Jaguar auto dealership. I always liked the look of Jaguars, ever since I was a kid. And we always called the car "JAG-waar" My three dictionaries say this is correct. In recent years Jaguars have been advertised by gentlemen with English accents who pronounce it JAG-you-ar. That rattled my ears a bit, but two of my dictionaries still say it is correct, albeit as a secondary pronunciation.  That said, JAG-you-ar always sounded pretentious to me, as if the user thought the dictionary's first pronunciation was lowbrow. But on the radio this morning, I realized the local Jaguar dealer has no idea how to pronounce the name of their car. The lady with the voice selling cars said "JAG-wire." She's probably a "real-uh-tur" who supports "nuc-u-lar" power. Tags:

LBAM Mania

Last year when the California Department of Food and Agriculture started spraying pheromones to keep these alien light brown apple moths from breeding, I was cautiously concerned about the effects of the program, but not particularly alarmed by it. But lately, every time agriculture secretary A.G. Kawamura opens his mouth to reassure us the more worried I get. In a March 30th commentary in the Monterey Herald, Kawamura used an entire column from top to bottom to tell us that the moth was a "bona fide threat" but he never bothered to point to any actual damage done by the moth, nor did he show that the moth has no natural enemies to keep it in check. He completely failed to address concerns about the pheromone spray, particularly the so-called "inert" ingredients that people are worried about. His chief concern seemed not to be so much with the moth itself, nor with public health, but with Canada and Mexico's reluctance to buy California produce unless it is

antiPOD

I've never been one to jump on a bandwagon. I find that in going along with the crowd a lot of good things get passed over unnoticed. Take the iPOD bandwagon. Apple makes a great product here, to be sure, and they revolutionized portable music with an easy interface and attractive device. However, while Apple's products are very good, if I was a grade school teacher I would put this note on Apple's report card: Does not play well with others. If you're content to limit yourself to Apple products, you'll be fine with an iPOD. But if you are like me, and don't want to become dependent on one company, there are many alternatives. Recently, I thought it would be fun to get a portable music player. I'd been working hard and wanted a new toy. Doing chores to music makes the task much more enjoyable, like a spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. I've played with other people's iPODs, and found them interesting, but they have shortcomin

California vs the EPA

Sing to the tune of Super-cali-fragi-listic-expi-ali-docious: Excess-Cali-fornia-green-house-gasses-gonna-toast-us, Cuz the EPA won't let us regulate themostest, Arnold Schwarzenegger's gonna sue theman who hosed us, Excess-Cali-fornia-green-house-gasses-gonna-toast-us. Dumb is the little minded Johnson guy, Dumb is the little minded Johnson guy. The EPA administrator says that we're apest, For doing something that we're sure isreally for the best, But Stephen Johnson's own employeesseem to side with us, To try explaining his behavior they areat a loss. OH! Excess-Cali-fornia-green-house-gasses-gonna-toast-us, Cuz the EPA won't let us regulate themostest, Arnold Schwarzenegger's gonna sue theman who hosed us, Excess-Cali-fornia-green-house-gasses-gonna-toast-us. Tags:

Farr Follies

I sent a letter to the president of Amtrak a few weeks ago. I was concerned with the way Amtrak was handling the Coast Starlight service disruption after a mudslide closed the tracks in Oregon. A couple of weeks later I received a nice, if somewhat vague reply signed by Alexander Kummant himself. Since Amtrak is a federally funded transportation system, I also sent copies of my letter to our two lady senators and to our Congressman Sam Farr. Sam Farr's staff sprang into action. They sent a copy of my letter to Amtrak's president seeking an explanation of Amtrak's actions on my behalf. Amtrak in turn sent Sam Farr a copy of Kummant's reply to me. Sam Farr's eager staff sent me a letter proudly informing me that they had investigated my complaint. They concluded that Amtrak had already replied to me and they sent me a copy of Mr. Kummant's letter which I had already received from Amtrak directly. No further action was taken by Sam Farr's office, as far as

Another illiterate homonym

In my February 14th entry I noted some homonyms posted by illiterate AOL users. One used "BAND" when he meant "banned" and another used "bread" when he meant "bred." If that wasn't bad enough, I've begun to notice the misuse of homonyms in news stories, written by people who would have had to take an English class or two to qualify for their jobs. Today this headline showed up on the KSBW website: "New State Plan To Council Ailing Homeowners." Sigh. Council: a group of people elected to govern a local district; an appointed or elected body of people with an administrative, advisory, or representative function. Counsel: advice sought from or given by somebody, especially somebody who is wise or knowledgeable Tags:

Staples vs. Office Depot

At times I have considered starting a blog of Monterey Peninsula business reviews. Sort of like restaurant reviews, but for places we shop at or call on for services. But I don't really shop at that many different places, so the thing would likely not get very far. But I would like to share my expreiences at the two most prominent ofice supply stores, Staples and Office Depot. I tend to go to Staples because its closer to home, and right along my normal route home. Office Depot is usually out of my way, if only slightly. Both shops have been in business a good long time now, and I've noticed that they go through synchronistic, but opposite phases of service quality. When one is providing good service, the other tends to go downhill. In their early years, Staples service was distinctly inferior to Office Depot. After a time, the Staples crew improved dramatically, while Office Depot's people got sloppy and lazy. Now the trend has reversed again, and I'm finding Office

Explaining McCain

I am thoroughly amused by the political pundits who seem unable to explain John McCain's success. They keep telling us that McCain isn't connecting with the Republican conservative "base" and therefore may not be a true conservative. Based on this, they question his ability to win, even while he is winning. The explanation is obvious to anyone who doesn't define the Republican party by its so-called "base." This base is assumed to be people who march in lock-step with a predefined set of "conservative" values exemplified by the Bush administration. The failed Bush administration. Of course, Bush has proven to be anything but conservative. Radical is a better word. I'm not a big fan of McCain, but he would be a much better president that the current guy. If McCain had won in 2000, we'd be in much better shape today. I think most Republicans are finally starting to realize this. Anyway, my point is that the so-called "base" of

Illiterate homonyms

I often read the news on AOL, after signing in to check my mail. The public comments that often follow the stories paint a pretty bleak picture of the thought processes of other readers. Unfortunately, there is often a lot of mindless hostility expressed. And today there was some mindless spelling. A story about Barry Bonds gave us these two comments: 1. "...strip Bonds of the Home run record and BAND him from Baseballs Hall of Fame for EVER !!!!!!!!!!!!" 2. "HE WAS BORN AND BREAD A BALLPLAYER." No further comment should be necessary on my part.     Tags: Spelling , homonyms , Barry Bonds , comments ,

Seaside, Pacific Grove, and their taxes

Seaside wants us to approve a one-cent increase in the sales tax to pay for city services. That would give us the highest sales tax rate on the peninsula, at 8.25%, beating out Sand City's 7.75%. Add in the proposal for a half-cent increase to pay for county roads, and the sales tax in Seaside would be 8.75%, which would be obscene. So I'm voting against Measure R. As a Seaside resident we need better city services to be sure. But the city hasn't been doing enough to create the kind of economic development which would bring in tax revenue without raising taxes. Seaside has been trying to develop Broadway as a new "downtown" business district. It's a great vision, but so far the execution has hardly been inspiring. Take the beautiful new shopping plaza on Fremont and Broadway. That was supposed to be the catalyst for more development in the area. But that site needs an anchor type retailer that will draw customers from all over the peninsula, which would in