Helping Our Peninsula's Environment


"Carmel*" Pine Cone Censored Letters, Commentaries & Op-Eds

Send us your Censored or Refused Letter to the Pine Cone Editor, Commentary or Op-Ed so we can post it here.

Pine Cone Refuses to publish HOPE's rebuttal
- Letter to the Editor, June 28, 2007

Pine Cone turns American Dream Upside Down

Hello Editor:

Thank you for highlighting HOPE's extraordinary efforts to protect our community's environment and democracy when local government takes action (June 15, 2007).

However, we were startled that your editorial turns the American Dream upside down. Most of us grew up as Americans rooting for the underdog and fairplay, but the Pine Cone's professed ideal is to give the rich and powerful, like Mr. Eastwood, anything they want - even when it violates our laws.

HOPE's experience is that the little guy can make a big difference and make ours a better world. We find it satisfying that a whole bunch of little guys and gals (some without college degrees, big bank accounts or directorial credits) helped protect a magnificent imperiled forest from a Goliath corporation's insatiably greedy demand for yet another golf course while our community endures a water supply emergency.

Because Pine Cone unsigned editorials on public interest issues are more flat earth than fact, the following corrects some of the silliest errors.

HOPE received its (difficult to achieve) non-profit status from the IRS in 2002. Mr. Dilworth is indeed HOPE's Executive Director and has been since 2002 when we hired him. To protect our members privacy, our membership list is private, just, as we suspect, is the Pine Cone's subscription list.

One reason so many media contact HOPE is because HOPE and Mr. Dilworth are experts on many current environment and democracy issues. Some topics you mentioned include Monterey pine forest ecosystems (see, our peninsula water crisis (, and the County General Plan (

Sadly, the Pine Cone's editor seems bothered by HOPE’s and Mr. Dilworth’s public interest successes. Well, fasten your seat belt because HOPE typically succeeds with 50 - 100 issues a year. Some projects, like Pebble Beach forest protection and the Hatton Canyon Park take decades to achieve.

Mr. Dilworth's many accomplishments include spending 15 years helping lead the effort to protect our native Monterey pine forest from Pebble Beach Company's chainsaws.

HOPE trustees are proud of that success and appreciate his courteous manners while representing our public interests.

(348 words, even when counting the editorial reference date and the web address references.)

with all due respect,

Terrence Zito,

Chairman of the Board

Pine Cone Refuses to publish HOPE's rebuttal Letter "Our Constitution Does Protect our Environment" – June 2006

Pine Cone Editor:

Last week you recklessly wrote "...the document on which our nation was founded doesn't include a single word about protecting the environment, which wasn't an issue in 1787."

As usual, when it comes to protecting our environment, it is easy to show how mistaken you are with your unsigned editorials.

America's European forefathers have been concerned about human harm to our environment over problems including air and water pollution far before 1787; at least as far back as the days of the Romans.

Encyclopedia Britannica tells us --

"Pollution was associated with the spread of epidemic disease in Europe between the late 14th century and the mid 16th century, and soil conservation was practiced in China, India, and Peru as early as 2,000 years ago."

Indeed, the Constitutional Law Foundation (online) provides a thoughtful and eloquent argument that in order to protect our "blessings" (which include a healthy environment) for "posterity" our Constitution, in its preamble, did and does intend to protect our environment for future generations.

Because, you see, it is OUR environment, not "THE environment" as you wrote. Our environment is not something separate from, or independent of humans - it is Our Life Support System - which we allow a moneyed few to harm – at the peril to our community at large.

David Dilworth

Executive Director, Helping Our Peninsula's Environment

Constitutional Law Foundation

Encyclopedia Britannica

Pine Cone Refuses to publish HOPE's April 7, 2004 letter explaining how important publication of Environmental Impacts is and thanking Pine Cone for their "tongue in cheek" article having fun with HOPE's 391 pages of comments on the Pebble Beach Project.


Thank you for Environmental Impact Education

Hello Pine Cone Editor:

Thank you for your tongue-in-cheek article about HOPE's comments on the Pebble Beach Company forest destruction proposal.

HOPE appreciates such environmental impact public education which so rarely surfaces in our local media.

Related to this, the April 5, 2004 issue of TIME has an excellent article on how harmful noise can be.

We note that leaf blowers were only invented in the 1970's and the invention of chainsaws was only about a decade earlier. So as recently as the early 1960s we used quiet brooms and hand saws instead of noisy leaf blowers and chainsaws.

Thank you again for providing public education on environmental impacts.

David Dilworth, Executive Director, HOPE

In the Pine Cone's defense they did print a letter from a woman applauding HOPE's interesting efforts and suggesting the Pine Cone have us write a regular column. For some reason the Pine Cone hasn't called us yet...


The Pine Cone published an editorial on March 19, 2004 that could not have been more wrong – arguing the Monterey pine is not endangered (precisely the same argument Pebble Beach Company used with the Coastal Commission - but they deny any financial connection). The editorial had so many factual errors it is hard to know where to start. Here are a few rebuttals.

1. The Local Coastal Plan for Pebble Beach was certified in 1984 - not 1988. This was before Pitch Canker was discovered in California.

2. Our native Monterey pine forest is Imperiled and is legally already Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas (ESHA) in at least three different ways. It was officially recognized as such in 1986 by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Division. This was before we knew about Pine Pitch Canker, and before the first Pebble Beach project application in 1992.

3. The Coastal Commission does not zone land. They may recommend zoning but only cities, counties and the voters can zone property.

4. Pebble Beach Company (PBC) has no right, zoning or approval for 890 or 1,000 sites for mansions. This is a fantasy so PBC can try to claim "It could be worse if we were greedy developers."

Perhaps the biggest question is - Why does the Pine Cone advocate for yet another golf course and fighting against protection of our beautiful and rare Monterey pine forest?


* After some 70(?) years the Pine Cone is no longer published in Carmel, with little if any public notice, owner Paul Miller moved their offices to Pacific Grove in 2006.

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This Page Last Updated October 3, 2007

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