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Opinion: September 19, 2018

Plus letters to the editor

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

The unfortunate truth is that some pioneers don’t get the recognition they deserve until they’re gone. That’s because it’s not until then that we realize how truly unique and significant they were. Especially in the arts, something that’s there year after year can make a big splash initially, and then start to be taken for granted over time—even though what it’s doing, and what it stands for, remains as important as ever.

I’ve felt that way about a lot of music venues Santa Cruz has lost over the years, from Palookaville to Live Soup to What is Art? and on and on. And I certainly felt that way when we lost the Pacific Rim Film Festival. And I’m feeling it yet again with the end of the FashionArt show, a one-of-a-kind Santa Cruz event that regularly blew me away with its outrageous re-invention of the runway fashion show.

Luckily, you sometimes get a second chance to enjoy a one-of-a-kind phenomenon, and that’s what happening at Pivot’s Hall of Fashion runway show this weekend. Take a look at Wallace Baine’s cover story about the show, and you’ll see Rose Sellery and Tina Brown, who had both partnered with Angelo Grova on FashionArt for years, are carrying on its tradition.

And speaking of second acts on the local arts scene, most Santa Cruz music fans probably know that former Palookaville founder Michael Horne continues to bring music here. His big music festival Mountain Sol is back Sept. 21-23 up at Roaring Camp (see page 34). Here’s to Santa Cruz’s artistic spirit—it can’t be kept down.

STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Letters to the Editor

TALE OF TWO TRACKS

Last week’s letter (GT, 9/12) bemoaning the loss of the Santa Cruz-San Jose rail corridor has little relevance to the current rail vs. trail controversy. The over-the-hill route, once discontinued, did fall into private hands, but that fate will never befall the Watsonville-Davenport line. It will always be a transportation corridor. Sensible people want to see the tracks paved over and put to use as a wide, multi-use trail now, making it available for state-of-the-art, innovative e-travel and solar modes of transportation, thus removing gas- and diesel-powered vehicles from the highway and surface streets. If, in the coming decades, a train is determined to be the best viable option, then the county voters (not the RTC), can decide to build a modern, low emission, light-rail system. Railbanking does work. Let’s move forward with that model.

Jennifer Harris-Anderson  | Santa Cruz

TRAINS OF FUTURE/PAST

In his letter urging the preservation of the existing Santa Cruz-Watsonville rail line, Richard Hallett seems to be mistaking the future for the past. The only train using the current tracks that his great-grandson is likely to ride would be a nostalgic tourist attraction, not a viable passenger line. The future of mass transit is mostly modular, ride-sharing and self-driving vehicles. Any trains included in that picture (light rail, high-speed rail, maglevs, perhaps even hyperloops) will use a far different technology, calling for entirely different tracks than the ones we use today.

Mordecai Shapiro | Santa Cruz

SMACKS OF ENTITLEMENT

Re: “Control Groups” (GT, 9/5): My wife and I own two homes in Santa Cruz. She took out student loans and put herself through college and then law school. She then worked 60-70 hours a week for 10 years at a law firm in Santa Clara. I did a five-year apprenticeship in the electrician’s union and drove to work in Santa Clara getting up at 5 a.m. for 17 years. We saved and bought our homes on our own. We pay $23,000 a year in property taxes. Our rental house costs $3,500 a month, we rent it for $2,600 a month. A loss of $900 a month. To think that we can’t raise that rent or use that property as we wish smacks of entitlement and frankly is communist. If someone wants to buy and live in a house in Santa Cruz, all they have to do is put in the years of hard work to make it happen.

Jonathan Guy | Santa Cruz

Re: Second Story Closure

As sad as the closing of this place is, what’s even more sad—pathetic even—is the why. Sounds like the number-one reason is that Medi-Cal won’t reimburse for peer-run beds. That’s a state government problem. And the county doesn’t want a long-term commitment to fund? Are we to assume they are not also paying $$$ for that locked inpatient psych ward? Looks to me more like the Big Boys want to shut down the better-results competition, in favor of the fascist, coerced, forced-drugging psychiatric model. And Riera needs to decide if he’s the director of “mental health” or “behavioral health.”

— Bill Bradford

Re: Santa Cruz Indivisible

Why don’t people deal with who they have to elect rather than traveling to other districts? We know how much they would like outsiders coming here to try to sway our elections. But, being typical hypocrites, they will go and try to “convert” people who don’t live here.

— Robyn Marx

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