Robert Jones' column ("Salton Sea--Victim of Salt and Apathy," May 23) on the Salton Sea correctly describes the deteriorating condition of the sea, but, I feel that his statements on recreational activities, visitors and local residents are misleading and distorted.
Recent increases in boating and fishing activities have been dramatic, as I have observed personally on almost daily visits to Johnson's landing in Salton City (on the west shore), where fresh water is available for those wishing to clean their boats after outings on the sea. In addition to boaters we have many visitors from as far as Michigan, Illinois and the Pacific Northwest who winter in Salton City. For years large numbers of recreational vehicle enthusiasts have been flocking to our area. These visitors are not poor.
So far, in 1989, seven homes have been--or are being--constructed in Salton City, capping several years of increasing housing construction. Most local residents bought property along the sea because they love open spaces, desert sunshine and the seascape. They also had faith that the state would not allow the sea to die.
Among our residents are a retired professional golfer, a former movie executive, a retired journalist, a former owner-manager of the American visitors' bureau of Madrid, Spain, several active and retired contractors and many military retirees.
Salton City also houses the headquarters of the largest--or at least the most advertised--roofing contractor of the Coachella Valley and a recently established and already profitable branch office of Borrego Springs State Bank (recently listed as one of a number of the best-operated banks in the state of California).
We do not complain about the 1930s time warp in which we are said to live and in which neighbors--in the best American tradition--come to the aid of others in distress.
We also welcome members of ethnic groups who come to us as visitors or residents, and we believe it is wonderful that so many people of modest means have a large recreational area in which to disport themselves.
We do not believe "gentrification" of the area will occur, as the sea and surrounding area are far too large. At most this process might affect the north shore area, but we would be delighted to see even this happen if it would save the sea.
L.E. DYE JR.