Plus Letters to Good Times
Desal: Another Look
Not Worth the Trip?
Death, deadlines and desire. It sounds like the title of a summer read, but, no, the three Ds have been alive and kicking—at least in my circles—lately. Let’s work our way in from the back. Desire. One of the more memorable outings I had in college (ASU) was playing a drunk sailor, as well as being in the chorus of “Cabaret.” I also played a Nazi guard in another scene, to which my concerned Polish mother, having been through a bit of drama during WW II herself, moaned: “Oh, do you have to wear that damn uniform?” Well, at the time I had to. The play’s the thing, right, and if you know anything about the musical, “Cabaret,” then you already know how well it mixes the emotional intensities and desires of its characters with the haunting political changes happening in Germany in the ’30s.
Cabrillo Stage opens the show this week in the plush Crocker Theater. Deadlines. The newspaper business is rife with them, but I doubt that I am the only human in Santa Cruz that has to abide by them, which brings me to that particular D’s symbolic cousin, Death. The recent passing of a dear family member made me ponder, naturally, the ultimate deadline in our lives and the time we spend, the people we see, the ways we are being, the relationships we have and the love we experience during the journey that ultimately stops there. Most of us, here in America, don’t really know, or haven’t learned, how to respond/relate to death, especially if it’s a loved one who passed. Inevitably, during our emotional time of loss, death serves as a reminder to appreciate what we have, love those around us more and strive to be a better human. I’m sure we can find other reminders to do all that, but death seems to jolt us into pondering our existence more. The events of the recent weeks have also reminded me that each of us, individually, makes a difference in the lives of those around us and, for the most part, we’re oblivious to the extent of how deeply we really impact others. So, this week, as we celebrate summer health, consider doing two good things for yourself: 1. Pause. 2. Look around and value the great life you’ve built for yourself. You may not get to do that after deadline.
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Letters to Good Times Editor
Desal: Another Look
Amy Coombs’ informative “Water Ways” article noted that a Santa Cruz County Water District desalination energy report and two environmental reports are pending and/or past due. Why not pause and develop a water plan more cost effective for hard working consumers, and more positive for our environment?
Why settle for a complicated desalination system that is going to raise hard- working folks’ water rates, is very energy intensive, thus not helpful to better control greenhouse gas emissions, presents challenges for insuring that marine life is not trapped or injured by seawater pipes and that the marine environment is not damaged by the release of salt concentrate?
Per Brock Dolman of the Occidental, Calif., Water Institute: “Conservation Hydrology utilizes the disciplines of ecology, population biology, biogeography, economics, anthropology, philosophy, planning, and history to guide community-based watershed literacy, planning and action. The Water Institute advocates a new paradigm of stormwater management based on waterspread restoration, with a call to slow it, spread it, sink it. Slow the water down. Spread the water out. Sink the water into the land.”
Check out the percolation ponds that are visible on the left as you drive north on Highway 17 past the Highway 85 interchange. Better yet, park your vehicle at/near 1250 Dell Avenue, Campbell and walk around the five ponds. Rain runoff is diverted via gravity to the ponds and then the water is pumped underground to recharge the groundwater system or aquifers. Thus the flow to the bay and then pull back out of the bay desalination steps are eliminated.
Santa Cruz County generally receives more rain than Santa Clara County. Create percolation ponds or infiltration basins in select Santa Cruz County locations. Divert needed stormwater via gravity to percolation ponds or infiltration basins where it can permeate through the soil. Meanwhile encourage increased conservation, including the use of graywater and rain harvesting systems.
“Just as water is the foundation of life it must also be the foundation of design of the built environment.” (Betsy Damon, founder of Keepers of the Waters)
Not Worth the Trip?
Regarding last week’s news story, David Grishaw-Jones and Paula Marcus have embarked on a trip to the Middle-East at a time when over 80 percent of Palestinians say that they would not accept a Palestinian State unless Israel allowed all Palestinians around the world to live in Israel, thus destroying demographically what they cannot destroy militarily. Another poll several weeks ago showed similar sentiment regarding Israel ceding Eastern Jerusalem for a Palestinian capital. They don’t want to share Jerusalem. They want it all. The overwhelming majority of Palestinians and their leaders are not interested in a Palestinian state alongside Israel. They want a Palestinian state instead of Israel. This is why they won’t accept Israel as a Jewish state, and they won’t let go of the so-called right of return, which does not refer to the right of return to a Palestinian state, but to the state of Israel.
For either of these members of the clergy to believe that American pressure on either side will bring peace is folly. Until now their focus has been on trying to force Israel to compromise her security while essentially ignoring the refusal of Palestinians to accept Israel as a Jewish state and their incitement of violence against Jews and Israelis. Based on their previous statements about the Hamas regime in Gaza it is unlikely that anything constructive will come from this group of local “peacemakers.”