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Opinion: February 13, 2019

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

If you only pay attention to the mainstream media, you’d think the battle over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was very far away indeed. Most recently, the status of the Dreamers—who have been without legal protection since President Trump rescinded DACA in 2017—has been discussed mainly as a bargaining chip in the Washington, D.C. government shutdown showdown. The conversation about the issue has gotten so mired in horse-race political coverage (Will Trump dangle the promise of the Dream Act to get his wall? Will Democrats offer funding in order to secure a path to citizenship for Dreamers?) that the fact this is a story about the fate of real people who are in a frightening immigration limbo often gets completely lost.

That’s what’s great about Andrea Patton’s cover story this week—it reorients the Dreamer story back to where it belongs. She focuses on Gabriela Cruz, and there’s so much we can learn about the Dream Act issue from Cruz’s personal experience. Because Cruz isn’t just some pawn in a Washington political chess game. She’s a member of our community who grew up here and is now fighting for her right to remain in this country. Make no mistake, the Dreamer story is a Santa Cruz story.

Letters to the Editor

More on Monarchs and Milkweed

Thank you, Good Times, for publishing information about Monarch butterflies and caterpillars from Priyanka Runwall of UCSC and from Santa Cruz couple David and Janell Emberson. There is currently a dilemma and a controversy illustrated by the different approaches of Runwall and the Embersons.

Runwall advised against disrupting the butterflies’ migration pattern by raising them here, whereas the Embersons pointed out that Monarchs’ numbers are rapidly plummeting, and they believe their activities raising them inside their home are beneficial. The couple check the chrysalids and caterpillars for signs of fly and wasp parasites. That is good as far as it goes, and the Embersons’ practice of cutting back their milkweed in the winter months is also standard recommended procedure to avoid possible interruption of the migration cycle.

But besides infection with fly and wasp parasites, there is another disease called OE (Ophryocystis elektroscirrha) which affects many Monarchs raised in Santa Cruz. OE can be present in a newly emerged, apparently healthy Monarch, and this parasite is visible only under a microscope from a specimen taken from the adult Monarch butterfly. Checking for this parasite after the butterfly emerges from chrysalis is the only way for those who raise Monarchs to ensure that they do not release butterflies to spread the disease in the wild.

Those who do raise Monarchs in their homes or gardens here in Santa Cruz should know that because most milkweed we have here is the non-native tropical kind, it does not shed its leaves in winter, making it more likely to harbor the OE parasite and to infect the butterflies. You can bring home-raised Monarch caterpillars or butterflies to Natural Bridges State Beach Visitor Center, where the naturalists will test them for OE. The phone number is 831-423-4609, address 2531 West Cliff.

Carol Long
Santa Cruz

Re: Divorce Dress

I have been excruciatingly grateful in my commitment to my husband for the last 18 years. Alongside my wedding dress in our hall closet are my two wedding dresses from my two ex-husbands, whom I share three children with, yet my now-husband has raised since very young ages. I have tried the dresses on a few times with my best friend during our girls’ night and had hilarious, deep, educating, eye-opening, nostalgic conversations while dancing around our living room with my children.

All five of my kids find my past history of weddings fascinating, and ask the oddest questions including, “Did you cry at your other weddings?” “Did you write your own vows?” “Which wedding did you have the best first kiss?” And other questions on and on.

It is quite fun to talk about my three weddings with our kids now that they are young adults.

—   Amy Anderson

Re: Jump Bike Backlash

I love bicycles and think they are a fantastic way to avoid driving, but the Jump Bikes have got to go or at least be regulated. Yes there was plenty of “special” bicycling happening all around SC before the JBs arrived, but I would absolutely argue there is even more horrible cycling now. Every day I drive in SC and see underage kids on Jump Bikes who are usually either riding on the sidewalk or against the flow of traffic. I see the ugly neon bikes flying in and out of Santa Cruz High School, and I really doubt all the kids I see doing this are 18 but still in high school. There are more important things than Jump Bikes, yet people are obviously more upset about the bikes than many other issues. Perhaps the outcry is because so many people are affected by them in a negative manner. Jump Bikes are a great concept that has been, so far, ruined by the people using the system. Of course there are quite a few ideas that look good on paper, but quickly fall apart when you put real people in the equation. Kinda like democracy?

— Gabe

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