The popular history of Santa Cruz in the 1970s is that it was some kind of progressive utopia, a safe haven for countercultural ideals. But when you talk to the people who helped to establish those ideals, you learn the secret history underneath them: it was a struggle every step of the way. Certainly an SCPD bust of a midwife birth center doesn’t fit neatly into the romanticized image of this city’s history. And yet, that’s exactly what happened in 1974, and Santa Cruz didn’t have an alternative birth center for the next four decades—another fact that will blow the minds of those who consider our progressive credentials bulletproof.
Now the Full Moon Birth and Family Wellness Center on Mission Street is picking up where the Santa Cruz Birth Center raid left off, which is an excellent opportunity to take a look at a tradition that was forced underground, in many way, for years. Laws around midwifery in California have changed, and so have attitudes about the birth experience. In his cover story this week, Mat Weir talks to women from two generations of Santa Cruz midwives to take a closer look at how the secret history paved the way for the popular history. Will midwife Kate Bowland, who was arrested in the Santa Cruz Birth Center raid and has gone on to deliver hundreds of babies as a midwife, be your new Santa Cruz hero? She’s definitely mine.
STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Letters to the Editor
RAINY DAYS AND PLUMBING CODES
Great article on the potential for rural residents to contribute to a sustainable water future through rainwater reuse and groundwater recharge (GT, 3/1)! Kudos to individuals like Mr. Haskins, Mr. Schultz and to UCSC, our proactive local water districts and nonprofits like the RCD for forwarding these multi-benefit solutions.
If urban residents and businesses are wondering what they can do, the good news is that California plumbing code changed in 2016 to allow urban residents and businesses to use rainwater for indoor non-potable uses such as toilet flushing, laundry and dishwashing machines.
What’s exciting about that is it allows us to use the water during the rainy season when we get it, filling and emptying the storage tank(s) several times, which decreases the cost/gallon over the lifetime of the system. This is especially beneficial in areas like South County, which has overdrafted aquifers, as it allows the aquifers to rest in winter. In all cases it is great to reuse the water and reduce stormwater runoff in urban areas, which reduces pollutant transfer to our creeks and ocean.
Ecology Action recently completed a grant-funded installation and research project on eight such systems in the region, from homes to commercial spaces like UCSC’s East Fieldhouse and the Live Oak Grange. Case studies including a ROI and water quality study can be seen at centralcoastgreywater.org/rainwater-case-studies. And how-tos and more info on setting up your systems are available at green-gardener.org.
KIRSTEN LISKE | ECOLOGY ACTION
Re: Letters: Don Honda wrote (GT, 2/15) a typically uninformed, attention seeking (vis-a-vis “except mine”) male take on the Women’s March. To edify what might be others’ takes on that event, the only anger the women had was directed at our pussy-grabbing orange president. His image is so antithetic to any woman, even the anti-choicers, that all males-in-the-know and women of any genetic predisposition are horrified to be thought as his subjects!
We marched in greater numbers than ever had gathered before worldwide, to give notice that we do not identify with his ways, attitude, opinion, paternalism, etc.
It was in answer to the mood of tolerance of such despicable mindsets, and was permanently on the women’s and most intelligent men’s side of favoring equal education, equal pay, and no subservience or prejudice on any level. The attitude was congenial, positive and not resembling the angst of the founders of early feminists. I’m old enough (almost 80) to have been in what for me was an eye-opening consciousness-raising group.
Until then, I reassured myself that my marriage would survive if I could just cook to my hard-to-please husband’s satisfaction, and get dinner on the table by exactly 6 p.m.
After attending a few sessions of consciousness-raising, my husband complained that very thinly sliced radishes were not in his obligatory assortment of at least a dozen things in his salad. My answer—and first indication of marital displeasure—was to upend the salad bowl on his head.
Our now-middle-aged children refer to their young years as “our parents always had food fights.”
Re: ICE Raids
Thank you to SCPD and to Sheriff Hart for defending our communities. This is a terrible betrayal of trust between our law enforcement agencies and agents of the federal government.