Plus Letters To The EDITOR
The week ahead looks promising as we move into a new month and, perhaps, new beginnings. But sometimes, before heading into the new, it’s good to explore the old. Or, in the case of Sandy Lydon, let’s make that local history.
This week, News Editor Elizabeth Limbach connects with our area’s bona fide “History Dude” to discuss the 50th anniversary of The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park—yes, it’s been half a century—only to realize that, in addition to being a wealth of knowledge, Lydon is truly an enigmatic character. Learn more and take note of the upcoming celebration for the park. Also in News is Patrick Dwire’s report on the new video documentary on Occupy Santa Cruz, which generated headlines last fall.
This week’s cover story also delves into the past in the most unique way. It revolves around local Joe Ortiz’s passionate journey to bring his musical “Escaping Queens” to life at Cabrillo Stage this summer. But more than it, it’s a wonderful illustration of how, no matter what challenges people face, there are ways to transform them—often in the most humorous ways.
In the meantime, while we’re on the history beat this week, I’d like to put a shout out there to Santa Cruz City Tours. The relative new enterprise sounds festive. There’s a History Tour and a Ghost Tour, which walks you and/or your visiting loved ones through Santa Cruz’s early, and ”disturbed beginnings” to more recent history (which, some could argue, is just as disturbing). In any event, it all sounds like a kick. I have a feeling SCCT’s Beer and Bordellos Tour might also be a hit. Discover more at santacruzcitytours.com.
All this reviewing of the past begs the question: What are we learning? Or, what have we learned—about Santa Cruz, about ourselves, about the ways in which we have lived, live and want to live?
Maybe it’s best to shine some summer sunshine on all of that this week.
More soon …
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Letters to the Editor
Weighing in on the ‘Dark Knight’
Incident I think the makers of The Dark Knight Rises should consider pulling the film from theaters in the wake of the Aurora, Colo., killings. It does make you think that if the film hadn’t been made, or released, that the lives in this violent attack would have been spared. But if you asked the filmmakers, they probably would say that it wasn’t their fault that the people got killed, and that they have a right to show their movie.
I like sci-fi—and Batman, and Indiana Jones, Pulp Fiction—and normally, I would have wanted to see this latest Batman movie. But something about the incident, where people died from an attack in a theater, ruins the whole movie going experience for me—at least for now. If I was a director, with a lot of success and money, I wouldn’t waste one second in pulling this movie out of theaters, out of respect for the loved ones who lost so much. I guarantee the loved ones who are left behind, have some resentment toward the movie. Could you imagine the emotions of a loved one of one of the victims … if they were to watch the first 35 minutes of The Dark Knight Rises?
Another Dark Night …
Could the media please give us a break with the endless grisly accounts of the Aurora killings? I understand it was a tragedy, and our sympathies lie with the 70 innocent victims. But, we also need to appreciate that 86 Americans are killed by firearms every day, and nearly 4,000 are killed prematurely by chronic diseases linked with consumption of animal products and lack of exercise. (cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr60/nvsr60_04.pdf). So, let’s replace the vacuous hand-wringing over the Aurora tragedy with constructive personal steps to lessen the greater tragedies facing us every day.
On ‘Battleground State’ and GMOs …
Whether you agree or disagree about the safety of GMO foods, we deserve “the right to choose” to purchase GMO foods or not. Please vote to require mandatory labeling of GMO foods in California. For more information, visit justlabelit.org.
On ‘Work Permits For Undocumented Youth’ …
Many of our industries have always enjoyed near-slave labor, be it China, prisoners or black slaves. Many companies and government leaders have been happy to allow poor people into this country and make sure Mexico never developed a sizeable middle class. Blocking the borders was never a priority until the right wing drove the economy into the ground and the Tea Party started screaming “Wolf!” Our Republican duty is to find a way to live with coherence and respect—like we do with all members of our community.
On ‘Amy Sheppard and Wheelchair Accessibility’ …
Congratulations Amy. This is a very positive step toward promoting “Accessibility for All.” In Ireland, we have recently launched a certification program for businesses. In particular, we have started with the tourism industry. The program covers three specific elements: The employee—i.e. hiring a person with a disability or an employee who acquires a disability—the customer, and the built environment See abletourism.ie or our main websiteiqa.ie
A great idea. How about rating municipalities as well? In addition to rating them, make phone calls to business owners regarding access to their shops/restaurants; call the police departments to remove obsticles from sidewalks. Placing signs in a sidewalk or improved right of way is ususally illegal. If the police will not respond, chuck the sign (safely) out of the way, if you are able.