Letters: Farms are alive and well

Dear Editor,
I’ve been telling friends about my new job with the Santa Clara
County Farm Bureau and have been amazed by the reactions. They are
along the lines of,

What? There’s still farming in the valley?

Farms are alive and well here in Santa Clara County

Dear Editor,

I’ve been telling friends about my new job with the Santa Clara County Farm Bureau and have been amazed by the reactions. They are along the lines of, “What? There’s still farming in the valley?” Even with the growing popularity of farmers’ market shopping, I guess many people don’t realize how much fresh produce comes from Silicon Valley farms, not to mention wines of worldwide distinction.

Farmers and ranchers in Santa Clara County grow 100 different crops and contribute $250 million to the local economy each year.

Along with boosting the economy, other benefits of our local farms include healthier eating and less strain on the environment. The idea of “eating local” is a growing movement, and we are fortunate to live in an area where we can take advantage of u-pick farms and stands that offer everything from corn to cherries.

Taking your family out to a farm can be a good way for kids to experience new foods, and add some color to the menu at home. They will even learn a little about what it takes to get all that delicious food to the store and into their family’s grocery cart.

If you would like to pick fresh fruit and vegetables yourself, visit a corn maze or pumpkin patch, or check out a chicken ranch, pick up a copy of this year’s Country Crossroads map. It details more than 100 places to visit and experience the modern twist on this valley’s rich heritage. For a copy, call the Farm Bureau office at (408) 776-1684, or send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Santa Clara County Farm Bureau, 605 Tennant Avenue, Suite H, Morgan Hill, CA  95037. You can also view the map online.

Kirsten Chiala, Morgan Hill

People have the right to build mosque, but they should not

Dear Editor,

I read Lisa Pampuch’s column in today’s publication of the Gilroy Dispatch. While I agree with you that we are a nation of laws, insomuch, giving you the freedom to express your opinions.  To be fair, I think the United States does a good job at protecting the religious freedoms of it’s citizenry, perhaps even to a fault when it comes to matters involving separation of church and state, but that’s another subject matter altogether. 

We, as a country, find ourselves bending over backwards in an effort to be politically correct regarding this matter of religious freedom.  There are more than 100 mosques in New York, which speaks adequately to my point.

I, like most Americans, share the view that the people who seek to build the mosque and Islamic community center in lower Manhattan (very near the location of the former World Trade Center – commonly referred to as “Ground Zero”) have the right to do so, but that they ought not to. 

It is my hope that the outpouring of opposition to the proposal will change the decision of the majority of the Muslim populous who claim to be peaceable. Certainly, not all Muslims are terrorists; however, all terrorists are Muslims. 

Robert Paterson, San Martin

Columnist was right on with her views on freedom

Dear Editor,

Lisa Pampuch, your article on Tuesday, Aug. 24 in the Gilroy Dispatch was, well … let’s just say chills were running up and down my spine, goosebumps all over me and tears welled up in my eyes. Some people forget what this great nation stands for, and you said it eloquently. I salute you!

Hank Provost, A Vietnam veteran

President no longer blames Bush

Dear Editor,

President Obama is now blaming the Republicans in congress for blocking recovery legislation.  The Democrats have a commanding filibuster proof majority.  The Republicans are powerless to do anything.  How can they be responsible?

Maybe it is time to stop the blame game? Maybe it is time to find ways to encourage employers to hire people?

Keith C. De Filippis, San Jose

Should Christians build churches near Ground Zero?

Dear Editor,

Should Christians build churches near Ground Zero after the horrible act of terrorism of blowing up a building? I’m not talking about 9/11 but rather the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City that was blown up by Christian terrorist Tim McVeigh. Since it was blown up by a Christian, shouldn’t we ban all Christian churches near Ground Zero?

This is of course ridiculous but it is no more ridiculous than prohibiting Muslims from building a mosque a few blocks away from Ground Zero in New York. It’s really not that complicated to understand that not all Muslims are alike and that American Muslims do not have a history of violence. I think it’s time for the news media to stop fanning the flames of hatred just to make a buck in the ratings.

Marc Perkel, Gilroy

Please, list the accomplishments administration has made

Dear Editor,

According to the Aug. 24 Dispatch, the liberals led by Lisa Pampuch, Marc Perkel and Michael Nesbit were out in force. Let’s start with Lisa.

The very same Lisa who called those celebrating Christmas religious zealots, opposed the cross on an obscure part of the Mojave Desert, joined a group known as Freedom From Religion, called anyone in favor of Proposition 8 bigots, is now taking a stance in support of the mosque near New York’s ground zero.

She listed those who opposed a mosque in San Martin, guess they are bigots as well. Listing the Catholic Church as an example of religion gone bad is horrible.

There’s no comparison. From what I have seen and read, the opposition is to the location of the mosque and the outrage is from those who lost loved ones and relatives in the brutal cowardly attack of 9/11.

Some even think this is an attempt by Muslims to “mark their territory.” I do remember being glued to my television for two days watching the unbelievable transpire and CNN showing millions of Muslims in the streets of various Muslim countries cheering and denigrating the American flag.

I did not see one Imam irate over the Muslim attack. Please do not call them al-Qaida, they were Muslim and those in the streets cheering, Muslim.

Why not take a trip to Saudi Arabia, maybe rent a car, take a tour of the various churches of other faiths? Can’t happen, can it?

As for Marc Perkel, what you will see on TV during the upcoming election is Obama’s history of false promises, such as an open CSPAN debate on heathcare, our economy in free fall with the ongoing message, it’s all George’s fault.

Please write in next week and list all the accomplishments of this Congress and president.

By the way, my insurance premium just went up. What a surprise. It is amazing to me how many people not working in the private sector are quick to criticize those who spent their lives trying to grow businesses, make payroll, make insurance payments to employees, FICA, state disability insurance, OSHA compliance, EOC mandates, etc., can just demonize businesses, suggest more government involvement and then when complaints are voiced suggest we move to Somalia.

Who will then create jobs for the fellow Americans who are not on some government payroll?

Of course, with the new Obama-care taking place in 2014, there will be openings for 80,000 more IRS agents to administer healthcare. Maybe you can join Marc and list all the positives you see coming in 2011 and 2012 attributable to this administration.

Fred Oliveri, Morgan Hill

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