Top Ten from The Top of My Head for Salinas

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children.” — Native American proverb

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Top Ten from The Top of My Head for Salinas (First draft, unedited)
by Ricardo

As a former college professor and NYC taxi driver I can probably come up with a better title than what I’ve dashed out above, but I am in a rush (once again!)… and so let’s just go with this flow of ideas/questions for Mayor Donohue’s Salinas… as is.

In no special order:

1. I’ve already written to Mayor Donohue broaching the subject of the nightly news. That local phenomenon which could easily be called “The Salinas Horror Show, Part Whatever.” I mean do I really have to elaborate on what damage such fare does to any potential for tourism in Salinas? I would be honored to lay out how the community could easily move in solidarity to transform the nightly news to suit their interests. And change the hard facts of life there… humanely.

2. Fresh from an old (Lori Woods, librarian) entry on Mayor Donohue’s “Re-election” site:

“Imagine Salinas’s future as a City of Letters, a city that engages the community in its literary legacy of Nobel laureate John Steinbeck, other writers and poets, and in a commitment to reading and literacy.”

Well, check out for starters. That’s an old biz which grew out of a number of family (international) businesses like and Excellent idea from Lori. And it would be a slam dunk deal to create interest among literary people in Europe, all else being equal.

3. I can’t help but wonder — given the above-national-average-homicide figures for Salinas — what kind of contact the Mayor’s office has had directly with gang members. Furthermore, I’m really looking forward to learning what the Mayor’s updated take is on why gangs thrive in his area. I have a lot of suggestions contingent upon answers to a number of questions.

4. What is the air quality in and around Salinas. What are the EPA figures? And… does the general population have any idea what those figures are? If so, do they care?

5. Ditto regarding the groundwater. And any cancer cluster rates that might go with that data, if available.

6. What’s the history of Mayor Donohue’s relationship with the UFW? [I just received a highly disappointing missive from their quarter which I'd like to share.] More importantly, perhaps, Mayor Donohue’s take on David Bacon’s ernative-by-david-bacon would be of interest.

7. What green businesses have shown interest in setting up shop in Salinas? Any interesting comments from those who have rejected invitations?

8. I’d love to have an educated guess regarding what proportion of the local population supports our Military Industrial Complex and its wars.

9. As a worldwide educator for about four decades, I have a collection of singular volumes to donate which could serve as a draw for many outsiders, benefit locals, and create the basis for inviting a number of high profile figures to the area… to lecture, etc. My vast ESL experience wouldn’t hurt either.

10. Has attendance at the annual rodeo event increased or declined over the last five years? By what percentage?

These are actually not necessarily my top ten to put on the table for consideration. But they should serve for the moment.

Blessings in solidarity,
Richard Martin Oxman (Ricardo)