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Opinion: December 19, 2018

Plus letters to the editor

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

Sure, Hanukkah (all done), Christmas (this week!) and Kwanzaa (takin’ us into the new year) are all great, but one of the best presents we get at the GT office in December is the chance to roast everything about this year that bummed us out, killed our buzz, harshed our mellow, pissed us off, made us laugh, made us cry or made us laugh-cry. If you didn’t hear about some of the local news stories we not-so-fondly reminisce about in this week’s cover story, take a moment to cherish these last precious seconds of blissful ignorance, ’cause you’re about to experience just how ridiculous Santa Cruz can be. But there was some weird and good stuff, too, and we didn’t leave that out. (I won’t spoil who comes out the winner of deer vs. shark.) It’s all part of a “year in review” tradition that’s always cathartic—and, OK, pretty fun—for us. Hopefully it is for you, too.

Also, I really hope you’ll take a look at Hugh McCormick’s story this week on the Conflict Resolution Center, one of the groups you can donate to through Santa Cruz Gives. I think it’s a great example how many Santa Cruz Gives participants are doing things that are truly “outside the box” of what we typically expect from local nonprofits. They’re doing great work, and you can help by going to santacruzgives.org and donating.

Lastly, just a quick reminder that the ballot for the 2019 Best of Santa Cruz Awards is up. Go to goodtimes.sc now to pick your favorites!

STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Letters to the Editor

Re: “Push Track” (GT, 11/21):

This letter is to thank and congratulate the Watsonville City Council for their public support for the Unified Corridor Study’s “Scenario B,” the rail and trail option with some adjustments to address Watsonville’s specific interests. It was a long and late council meeting that went from Tuesday into Wednesday. Council members surfaced reasonable and diverse questions and points of view. But in the end, they all came together—Hurst, Hernandez, Gonzalez, Dutra, Garcia, Coffman-Gomez, and Bilicich—to vote unanimously in support of rail and trail.

The Council-supported adjustments included allowing freight service on the rail line, reallocating funding from certain Mission Street improvements to areas with greater need and, adding HOV lanes to sections of Highway 1.

While the Watsonville City Council doesn’t make the final decision, they’ve taken an admirable step to weigh in on what will be best for their constituents. Thank you, Watsonville!

David van Brink
Santa Cruz

Cultural Dark Side

I would like to respond to the letter from “Gary” (Letters, Nov. 28) that incorrectly described the reason Santa Cruz attracts homeless people more than other local cities. What he cited is incorrect. I corrected him when he posted in the Facebook group “The Santa Cruz Community,” and I will correct him again so people know facts from fiction.  

Many homeless folks who come from other areas don’t come for services, because they are a non-existent myth. They come to Santa Cruz for the easy score of drugs that you can get on almost every corner. This why we attract certain tourists as well: drugs, prostitution, sex trafficking, swinger sex rings, etc. Santa Cruz after dark, especially around downtown bars like Red Room, goes unchecked by SCPD. The horrendous drug/surf culture (dealing, using) that is destroying Santa Cruz is neither an unhoused or housed problem. It crosses all classes, races and social standing. We have many rich citizens who live double lives. Why do you think the Google executive died in the Santa Cruz Harbor? Until Santa Cruz leaders/police attack the real crime problems plaguing the city, SC will continue to spiral into a deeper cesspool attracting unsavory characters. Demand the police stop protecting and making confidential informants out of the criminal white majority.

Pat Colby
Santa Cruz

Re: Jonathan Franzen

Why are his peers only men? “…his literary peers such as George Saunders, Michael Chabon, Dave Eggers and the late David Foster Wallace.” Just noticing…

— Shannon

Re: CEQA

As a local design and land-use professional, congratulations on a very well-written article. A dispute like this, CEQA lawsuit and all, is not easy to understand or understand. Your article is one of the best I’ve read at explaining this process for regular folks.

— Wm. C. Casey

Re: RTC’s Gary Preston

I’m very hopeful that Mr. Preston will not stake our future on antiquated rail technology. As he said, “Have the routes going to where the trips are going to be generated.” A 19th-century abandoned rail line does not go to education, government or employment centers in Santa Cruz County. Put the transportation solution right in the line of sight of the congestion, and that is with Bus Rapid Transit/bus on shoulder. Commuters will be able to easily see the busses passing them, and they are easy to adjust based on where people want to go. Rail simply cannot do that, and will be a huge mistake for Santa Cruz.

— Jack Brown

Sure, Hanukkah (all done), Christmas (this week!) and Kwanzaa (takin’ us into the new year) are all great, but one of the best presents we get at the GT office in December is the chance to roast everything about this year that bummed us out, killed our buzz, harshed our mellow, pissed us off, made us laugh, made us cry or made us laugh-cry. If you didn’t hear about some of the local news stories we not-so-fondly reminisce about in this week’s cover story, take a moment to cherish these last precious seconds of blissful ignorance, ’cause you’re about to experience just how ridiculous Santa Cruz can be. But there was some weird and good stuff, too, and we didn’t leave that out. (I won’t spoil who comes out the winner of deer vs. shark.) It’s all part of a “year in review” tradition that’s always cathartic—and, OK, pretty fun—for us. Hopefully it is for you, too.

Also, I really hope you’ll take a look at Hugh McCormick’s story this week on the Conflict Resolution Center, one of the groups you can donate to through Santa Cruz Gives. I think it’s a great example how many Santa Cruz Gives participants are doing things that are truly “outside the box” of what we typically expect from local nonprofits. They’re doing great work, and you can help by going to santacruzgives.org and donating.

Lastly, just a quick reminder that the ballot for the 2019 Best of Santa Cruz Awards is up. Go to goodtimes.sc now to pick your favorites!

STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

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