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Opinion June 8, 2016

Including Letters to the Editor

PHOTO: BILL LOVEJOY

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

What is Juneteenth? That’s what most everyone I talked to about this week’s cover story asked me. It’s not like no one has heard the word before, there’s definitely a glimmer of recognition that a lot of people get when they hear it, but the fact that most can’t quite put their finger on it illustrates the need for Geoffrey Dunn’s cover story. Juneteenth, after all, has been a celebration in our community for 25 years now.

But even though, for that reason, I knew the general facts about Juneteenth, I have to admit that it wasn’t until reading Dunn’s story that I realized how much I hadn’t known. There’s a lot of myth and legend surrounding this celebration of African-Americans—what has become, as he writes in his story, commonly thought of as the “Black Fourth of July.” The real story, as Dunn reveals it, is fascinating.

Dunn also illuminates quite a bit about a local figure most of us also probably think we know pretty well: London “Louden” Nelson. But his story, too, has been altered and garbled in the historical repression of African-American rights—even the rights to one’s name. Here’s to setting the record straight.

STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Letters to the Editor

Widening Implications

Re: “Driving the Issue” (GT, 6/1): The job engine of Silicon Valley results in a nearly insatiable demand for housing. Extraordinary housing prices inspire the SV workforce to travel long distances to find housing. It’s going to get worse. Jobs in Santa Clara County are projected to grow by 90,000 in 2015-2020. Silicon Valley employees (average wage 53 percent higher than Santa Cruz County) are able to outbid local residents for housing.

One factor that discourages Silicon Valley commuters from locating in Santa Cruz County is traffic on Highway 1 and 17.  If our county’s Regional Transportation Commission’s plan to widen Highway 1 comes to fruition, any congestion relief could inspire more commuters from over the hill to reside here. That will put more cars on the highway, cancelling out the congestion relief.

Even the Caltrans Draft EIR concluded that the Highway 1 widening project “would result in a very slight improvement in traffic congestion.”  It’s a no-win project: negligible congestion relief, but more cars, more greenhouse gases, and higher housing costs.

To sign the online petition to Support Sustainable Transportation—Not Highway Widening, go to sensibletransportation.org.

Rick Longinotti

Santa Cruz

Keep Trump Out

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of registered voters shows Clinton with a 3 percent lead over Trump, within the margin of error of the poll. The same poll shows Sanders with a 15 percent lead over Trump. The poll also reveals that both Clinton and Trump are viewed unfavorably by a majority of voters (-20 percent for Clinton and -29 percent for Trump), while Sanders is viewed favorably by a majority of voters (+7 percent).  Moreover, among Democrats, 38 percent of Sanders supporters view Clinton favorably, while 54 percent of Clinton supporters view Sanders favorably. This is not the first poll to show these results. I think that all Democrats and progressive independents can agree that keeping Trump out of the White House is by far the most important task of the coming election. If so, Sanders is clearly the right choice.

Peter Gelblum

Boulder Creek

Online Comments

Re: Take Back Santa Cruz

Elerick, without a doubt, has a personal vendetta against TBSC. One need look no further than “Take Back Santa Cruz from TBSC,” a page she authored. It’s fine if she doesn’t like them, but both she and the author of this article should take a bit of responsibility.

— Gern Blanston

I think Santa Cruz is waking up to what Take Back Santa Cruz really is: a hate group. You can’t walk around this small community acting like a jerk as long as they have and not expect to get some blowback. I suspect that the Sentinel, KION and other news outlets are intimidated by this group of community bullies, and that’s why you rarely see any counterpoint to the group’s rhetoric. It’s refreshing to see opposition to the censored and manufactured discussions on their closed Facebook page where the level of discussion rarely reaches a junior high-school level. Thank you Good Times! Please look into TBSC more.

— Albert Chron

Correction

In last week’s news story, “Driving the Issue,” GT reported that Bike Santa Cruz County has endorsed a possible ballot measure from the Regional Transportation Commission. Bike Santa Cruz County has not made an endorsement, although director Amelia Conlen has spoken positively about aspects of it. The group plans to vote on it this month. We regret the error.

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