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Opinion: November 7, 2018

Plus letters to the editor

Melania Trump, one of cover subject Charles Harder's celebrity legal clients.

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

One of the things we like to do is follow some of the notable graduates who come out of UCSC. But I have to say that this is maybe the strangest story of that type that we’ve ever run. It’s certainly the most unexpected.

That’s not just because Charles Harder went on to be Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and represent a number of famous conservative figures. Sure, there’s a certain amount of irony there already, as Trump is one of the most passionately hated figures at UCSC, and in Santa Cruz in general. But it’s not like there are no Republicans in Santa Cruz, or conservative graduates from UCSC—of course, there are plenty of both.

What makes Harder’s story so intriguing is that he was very active in progressive causes while he was at UCSC, and that he doesn’t really seem to disavow them now. I don’t want to spoil too much of Jacob Pierce’s fascinating cover story, but I will say I think he did a fantastic job of reporting in it—both in his interviews with Harder, and in how he tracked down people who knew and worked with him while he was in Santa Cruz. It’s a complex and often surprising profile, and the kind of story that will draw a wide range of reactions from readers, I’m sure. Enjoy!

STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Letters to the Editor

We Are Not Alone

Re: “Closer to Encounters”: Great article on Frank Drake (GT, 10/31). I would like to add that we are “closer to encounters.”

There is another interesting organization, ECETI (Enlightened Contact with Extraterrestrial Intelligence) in Mt. Adams, Washington, studying the skies. ECETI was founded by James Gililland over 30 years ago, and has more footage and documentation of flying craft than anyone on the planet. It is quite impressive.

Mt. Adams is sacred Yakima Indian land, with hundreds of flying craft sightings recorded in their history. ECETI has attracted people from all over the world, including Boeing engineers, astrophysicists, and NASA scientists to witness the overwhelming evidence that Drake’s Equation is correct. We are not alone!

I personally have had several mind-blowing experiences at ECETI that are, quite frankly, out of this world. Great news that Mr. Drake and SETI can continue this important study in solving mankind’s greatest mystery. I believe!

Fiona Fairchild
Santa Barbara

Don’t Be Fooled

Re: “Up in Smoke” (GT, 10/3): Santa Cruz can do something about the single most preventable cause of death in California—tobacco use. The city should join San Francisco and two dozen other cities and counties in California in restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products. Menthol and candy-flavored tobacco products are a key part of the tobacco industry’s strategy to bait new users, especially youth, into becoming tomorrow’s addicts.

Ending the sale of these flavored tobacco products is an issue of both health and social justice. Young people who use flavored tobacco products, including menthol, are often African American, Asian American, LGBTQ and from low-income communities already significantly impacted by tobacco-related disease. All the while, local taxpayers continue to foot the bill for tobacco-related illnesses.

According to a government study, 81 percent of kids who have tried tobacco started with a flavored product. The American Cancer Society (ACS) says while e-cigarettes may be less harmful than smoking cigarettes, the health effects of long-term use are not known. Don’t let anyone tell you e-cigarettes are not tobacco products, either. The nicotine found in e-cigarettes is derived from tobacco. FDA regulates e-cigarettes as tobacco products.

ACS also recommends FDA-approved cessation treatment as the preferred means to quit smoking and ACS states every effort should be made to prevent youth from using e-cigarettes. The use of products containing nicotine in any form among youth is unsafe and can harm brain development.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the advocacy affiliate of ACS, recently supported San Francisco as it enacted the most comprehensive flavored tobacco sales restrictions in the country after a lengthy and brutal battle against Big Tobacco, which poured nearly $12 million into fighting the historic new law.

Put public health above business profits and put flavored tobacco sales restrictions in place—for our kids and for our future!

Jim Knox 
| American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

Re: New WAMM Garden

My heart rejoices at this news my beloved Valerie and my beloved family at WAMM, I am so happy that this has come about. We have persevered. Well done. And to the benevolent providers of this gift I will be eternally grateful. I think of my friends my beloveds who have gone before the hard work of so many.

In our garden, the sign “love grows here”—no truer words are spoken. A true gift of love is just working in the garden, having the camaraderie and the support in a non-judgmental environment helps ease suffering. Those who can providing for those who can not. Nature heals, love heals, our life-saving natural plant medicine heals. Blessings.

— Diana Dodson

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