I was scheduled to be on KZSC’s Talkabout show last Wednesday night, and I knew we would be talking to our district’s congressmember Jimmy Panetta. Occasionally I get letters to the editor questioning Panetta’s stance on a particular issue, so I decided to take those letters with me to the show, so I could ask Panetta directly about these reader concerns. While we were doing the show, I thought “Wow, this is pretty much as direct as democracy gets.”
I’ve been on KZSC many times over the years, usually on Talkabout, and not only is it wonderful to be able to talk directly with listeners about the issues in our community, but every single time I also walk away with a new story idea for GT, thanks to something that someone has brought up on the show. There’s a real element of democracy to that, too—a free, immediate exchange of ideas you can’t really get in any other form of media.
All that said, my favorite memory of KZSC might be the day in 1995 I was driving down East Cliff Drive with KZSC on when the DJ played Helium’s “Superball.” I had to know what that song was, so I drove straight home and called the station. The DJ answered the phone, and we ended up having a long conversation about music, during which I was madly scribbling down the names of bands—some of which are still among my favorites. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of that show, or the DJ, but that experience crystallized in my mind why I’m grateful for KZSC.
Check out Georgia Johnson’s cover story about the station’s 50th anniversary, and you might just find a mention of a show or host that’s made you feel the same way—and a hilarious story about one show that almost certainly did not. Happy half-centennial, KZSC!
STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Letters to the Editor
Support for Benchlands Camp
I was disappointed to read ex-chief Kevin Vogel’s criticism of the legal and well-supervised homeless encampment at the Benchlands (GT, 11/22), because it did not include a suggestion about where Santa Cruz citizens without homes can sleep. Absent that critical information, his criticism just replicates decades of useless, self-defeating and cruel treatment of people without homes. Much appreciation is due to the fresh and constructive approach of our current police chief, Andy Mills. He is supervising a real solution while freeing up police time to fight actual crimes.
Micah Posner | Santa Cruz
Making Ends Meet
I have concerns about the proposed ordinance the Santa Cruz Supervisors are considering regarding short-term hosted rentals.
I’m retired and on a fixed income; renting my open room has allowed me to stay in my home and cover some—certainly not all—of the increased costs of living here in the home I’ve lived in for 30 years.
The current ordinance under consideration, limiting the number of days to rent short-term, singles out us seniors just trying to make ends meet. Why us? And why are the supervisors focused on limiting hosted rentals when vacation homes can rent unlimited days every year?
I hope others see through this misguided attempt to fix the long-term housing crisis in Santa Cruz County. Overly regulating long-term resident seniors who only want to make ends meet is not the way to fix a problem ignored and festering in the community for years. Don’t take it out on us!
Mark L. | Santa Cruz
No to Density
I am opposed to more density in Santa Cruz, and particularly the addition of multi-storied units on the East Side. Recently the platitude of “everyone who wants to live in Santa Cruz should be able to” has been sounded and printed into flyers. This statement is simply not true. When my husband and I were looking to buy a home in Northern California, we looked at Sausalito. Though we liked it, we found it was financially out of reach for us, and so … we moved on and searched elsewhere. Santa Cruz has been our home for 45 years, and we adore living here—and always have from the very start. What we see proposed to happen now within our precious community would alter the footprint and personality of Santa Cruz irreparably, making our hometown less than it is.
No, everyone who wants to live in Santa Cruz cannot live here. Just who is spreading this falsehood and attempting to implement it through unrealistic growth and building within our small 12-square-mile footprint? What is the source of this platitude of “total entitlement?”
What is needed is for our governing board and public services to tend to the needs of our current and often longtime residents, and enhance the quality of living here with improved traffic and parking, less crime, etc. There are many issues here which are being totally ignored in lieu of trying to squeeze more and more housing into our small community—which in turn increases the problems we already have here. The “vision” touted for our hometown is so short-sighted and without true insight—as if our officials have been lured or hypnotized by some fantasy of “more and bigger is better.”
I urge you to “get real”—think about repercussions, think of our future, and please do not move ahead and get caught up with this unrealistic plan for Santa Cruz.
Nada J. Misunas | Santa Cruz