Plus Letters to the Editor
I appreciate the quote of the week from Dan Savage (below). It’s so very “no matter where you go, there you are”and another reminder, perhaps, of the beauty of self-awareness—and the responsibilities that often come along with it.
Or, is it the proverbial double-edged sword in that … “The more you know, the more you know?” And doesn’t what you do with what you know create the possibility of making those indelible imprints? This week, we know that Santa Cruz Pride will once again make an impact, as it has for many decades. The annual event, which takes place on Sunday, June 3, boasts some changes this year. A bit scaled down but nonetheless inviting, look for Pride festivities to grace Pacific Avenue in Downtown Santa Cruz rather than its usual stomping grounds of San Lorenzo Park. This week, we look into the impetus behind the shift, the good things that are expected to unfold and why the Diversity Center, which organizes the event, knows the change in venue will be a good fit. Turn to page 46 for the full report.
Also on our radar are the continued efforts, fierce as they are, of the winner of this year’s Best Mover & Shaker in GT’s annual Best Of Santa Cruz Readers’ Poll: Danny Keith of Grind Out Hunger. And so enthralled was the musical group Suicidal Tendencies with GOH’s local hunger-fighting campaign, that it wanted to get on board in some way—the group hits The Catalyst May 31. Turn to page 35 and learn more about what unfolded.
And the rest … well, I may not be alone in saying this, but I am happy to see the month of May pass. (Even though it was rife with life lessons.) With the sudden deaths of two locals—first, Camouflage co-owner Shannon Collins, and then designer Gary Garcia (within the same week)—May has been an emotionally charged month filled with a great deal of time to pause and reflect on just how valuable life (living) is. As I review the events that followed both deaths, I’m reminded of just how much community support is actually available to all of us; that we’re never “alone” … and that there always seems to be some kind miraculous form of connection waiting to happen, often from the most surprising sources. That might be a good thing to remember as we head into June, when themes of pride, acceptance and, well, love, all ask us for their attention. Have a good week.
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Letters to the Editor
Greater Awareness Needed For Bullying
Regarding bullying in the news, these past many months, while substitute teaching in this county, I have heard middle schoolers and high schoolers commonly use the words “gay” and “faggot” derogatorily. Despite a curriculum including anti-bullying and civil rights, my impression is that most regular school staff rarely speak out against such word usage (I am aware of public school teachers’ free speech having been threatened regarding the subject of homosexuality). Some people say to not be so concerned because the words are used as slang, not slander. I tell those people that kids committing suicide as victims of anti-gay bullying don’t realize the difference. Especially when they hear “gay” and “faggot” used derisively in threatening hate speech.
If you hear your peer, child, student, etc. use these words derogatorily, please correct them. Explain the original meaning of gay was “happy,” and faggot meant “bundle of sticks.” And (if you agree with me) explain how there is nothing wrong with being gay, but religious intolerance that leads to violence and oppression is wrong, or at least unconstitutional.
Examine The Facts on La Bahia
The formulation of public policy relies on factual information—not on emotional noise. So, when Mr. Monkerud of Aptos (GT, 5/10) wildly states that Mark Stone saved “the environment,” we need to examine the facts.
La Bahia apartments on Beach Street is located in an urban environment surrounded on four sides by pavement. The only “environmental” issue consisted of “public views.” The local Coastal Commission staff stated in its official report to the commissioners that the proposed replacement would not have adversely affected views from West Cliff Drive, the Municipal Wharf, or other public places. Mr. Stone’s vote was an affront to a very thorough seven-year public process by the environmentally conscious people of Santa Cruz to further the interests of our community—to help fund social services, to protect the jobs of city workers, and to clean up the beach area. Mark Stone put his selfish interests ahead of those of the citizens of Santa Cruz. Now, in his run for state assembly, he talks about his respect for local government! I urge voters to support another candidate in the primary election. Stone’s hypocrisy should not be rewarded.
Online Comments On
The premise of this article is absurd, the idea that a group of self serving activists would decide the future of housing lending is ridiculous. When we look back at the history of our housing loan market it is clear that we (the consumer) has been well served by the mortgage loan system. Now we will fiddle with this successful system in the name of fairness and in all likelihood that the result will be to sink the ship.
I’m confused as to where the fraud is. Can anyone point to cases in Santa Cruz where folks who are actually making their mortgage payments are being foreclosed on? I get that banks loaned money to people who couldn’t repay, but is the Board of Supervisors suggesting that those homeowners now get to stay in their homes forever without paying? That seems as unethical and illegal as what the banks did.
On ‘Shannon Collins/ The Aftermath’ …
Every murder is tragic. These tragedies connect us to our fragility, how easily our lives can unravel. Instead of dividing us—housed people against homeless or whites against Latinos—these tragedies should bring us together. We should reach out toward neighbors, working together for safer neighborhoods.
Our fragility should be fertile ground for compassion, not for hate and anger. Let’s come together in determination to make our community safer by being more connected, by watching out for one another, but not to target scapegoats. Our community can be safe without scapegoats.