I’m proud of GT’s coverage of the San Lorenzo River over the last few years. We’ve done award-winning reporting on the decline of its ecosystem and the radical ideas for revitalizing it, and followed the movement to reclaim the river from its earliest days. We’ve followed every narrative thread from the state of the San Lorenzo’s sea life to the ups and downs of its water levels to controversy around the levees.
And yet, Georgia Johnson’s cover story this week is different than anything we’ve written about the river before. To me, it combines a sort of watchdog role we’ve stepped into—now that our office is basically on the banks of the San Lorenzo, we feel even more protective of it—with our classic alt-weekly affection for writing about interesting and offbeat local subcultures.
I mean, I know I’ve seen people fishing in the San Lorenzo, but I never really thought about who they were, why they were doing it, or even if it was legal. But Johnson jumps right into the river’s fishing culture, and it’s as entertaining to follow her misadventures as it is informative.
STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Letters to the Editor
Let UCSC Grow
Stop corridor development! Stop UCSC expansion! Save Santa Cruz! Do it in Merced! Do it in Redding! Those that don’t immediately acquiesce agreement are self-righteously and summarily pariahed as naysayers opposed to lock-step groupie “progressive” visionary thought.
“Do it to Julia” style politics is alive and well in Santa Cruz in the guise of “Big Sister” progressives and their camp of followers. “Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don’t care what you do to her,” said Winston Smith, betraying girlfriend Julia to end being tortured, his final submission to the all-powerful forces of “Big Brother” in George Orwell’s 1984.
Why shouldn’t land-grant chartered UCSC reasonably expand, particularly if done responsibly on its 2,000-acre campus, less than one-quarter of which is presently developed? It should be no secret to “Old Santa Cruz” that since 1963 UCSC planned for 28,000 students by 2040, about 400 more students a year when spread out over the next 22 years.
Growth is inevitable here, however vociferously rejected, given our proximity to economic engine Silicon Valley adding to those generated by UCSC with or without its expansion. A San Francisco Chronicle February 22, 2018 article “Latest Silicon Valley Trend: People Leaving” cites that “Employment in the region grew by 29 percent, and the supply of housing increased by 4 percent between 2010 and 2016.” Much of California is in similar straits with housing, hence mid-rise corridor planning is encouraged in Santa Cruz as is urging more subsidized, sponsored nonprofit low-income housing.
Santa Cruz becomes tonier by the real estate transaction. Mid-rise density along major transit corridors is highly appropriate given demographic pressures. UCSC should indeed expand if done responsibly, which no doubt it would being the good-neighbor local cultural and global scientific asset it continues to be. “Stop the world” anti-development may be PC, but it’s not honest, and in fact is counterproductive, in Santa Cruz as elsewhere.
Bob Lamonica | Santa Cruz
Joy of Googling
I am disappointed at the inadequate representation of Karen Joy Fowler’s literary work in Christina Waters’ article (“Ode to Joy,” 3/14). Just googling her name has produced the following remarkable accolades: Shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize and winner of the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award for her book We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves; one of the New York Times Book Review’s 100 Notable Books of 2013; named by The Christian Science Monitor as one of the top 15 works of fiction; and New York Times bestselling book Jane Austen Book Club. We are lucky to have such a celebrated author and a wonderful person among us, and we should give her the proper acknowledgement and respect.
Avra Pirkle | Soquel
In our profiles, we generally try to avoid long lists of awards that can be easily found in any online bio, and get into deeper issues of personality and process. But her many accolades are definitely part of why we chose to write about her. Thanks for writing! — Editor