I called my friend Phil DiGirolamo that I have known since 2002 and asked what do you think your father would say about the escalation of cruise ships in Monterey ,CA ? First I have worked with Phil over the years at open water swim/triathlon clinics in central California also We have surfed together from Bolinas , CA to Costa Rica . He grew up in Monterey , CA .
His father Angelo was an iconic figure at Fishermans Wharf in Monterey . Angelo had restaurants and a theater on the wharf for 75 years of his life. Angelo was loved and respected by the community and this is what Phil wrote to share with the world .
Though he died in September 2014, I still carry on conversations with my dad. When I have concerns or questions, the feedback that comes to mind is always voiced the way he spoke to me when he was alive. So, if I were to frame a conversation around the presence of cruise ships in the Monterey Bay, I know without a doubt, that he would be totally opposed and he would lay out the “whys”. “ Do your homework, find out the pros and cons before you make a decision and then present the facts to the public.”
“Remember Phil, Monterey has had to re-invent itself numerous times. First and foremost was when the sardine fishery collapsed, then to a lesser extent, when Fort Ord downsized. The tourist trade has been key to the Peninsula’s survival.
When the population of tourists surpasses that of residents, whose interest should be primary? What is at stake for locals, both residents and businesses?”
“It wouldn’t make sense to put the Monterey Bay marine life at risk. Just consider how the local whale and sardine populations have rebounded since the establishment of the sanctuary. How much value, aside from just a monetary one, are the aesthetics of the Peninsula worth putting at risk? Leon Panetta delivered a gift to our children and grandchildren and beyond. Cherish it Phil.”
It is both presumptuous and arrogant that the City of Monterey be allowed to make a unilateral decision for the rest of the Peninsula! Not even offering public discourse prior to enacting these visitations is a derelict of the office each and everyone has been elected to. If there were to be an accident, who pays for it? The environment for one! No more whales, spoiled coastlines and years to recover!
What is the emergency action plan, where is the nearest tug boat? What are the effects of the noise pollution with these diesel engines running for eleven straight hours ? How about the particulate matter from the exhaust dispersed onto the agricultural fields, over the schools and into the water?
My dad’s favorite line about government reads: “Government works best for those who run government!” So my fellow citizens, remember, this is your Peninsula, USE YOUR VOICE!