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The new Monterey cross comes down

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Cross and sunsetThe metal cross overlooking Monterey’s Del Monte Beach was taken down by city crews Tuesday morning and within minutes angry messages started appearing on social media.

On Facebook and Twitter, the chief complaint was that the minority was trampling the rights of the majority. As one woman put it on Facebook, “Why can’t people tolerate views different than others?” Which leads naturally to the question “Why can’t people tolerate views different than others?”

The metal cross was erected sometime over the weekend in the same spot that a redwood cross had stood before it was mysteriously toppled in 2009. That cross purportedly was meant to memorialize the planting of a wooden cross by Don Gaspar de Portola in 1979 as a shipping marker. Historians quibbled over the accuracy of that account and critics of the cross, including the ACLU, argued that it was a poor excuse to accommodate a religious icon on public property.

In a news release, city officials said the new cross was removed out of concern that it could signal that the city was sanctioning Christianity over other religions.

My suggestion for those upset about the cross coming down is simply this: Put as many crosses as you would like on your own property or join with others and buy some property and make it a garden of crosses. If you need help, give me a shout. I’d be glad to lend a hand.

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Open-water water polo

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Members of the Otter Bay Water Polo Club braved the open ocean at Del Monte Beach to demonstrate increasingly popular open-water polo. Monterey Herald photog David Royal went all out by donning his wetsuit so he could get some shots from within the action.

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