Plus Letters to the Editor
Like Thanksgiving, these last few weeks of the year seem to center around a few common themes: food, family, friends, bloating. (It happens.) But let’s focus on what’s sandwiched between food and bloating—family and friends. No matter what your religious and/or non-religious ties are during the month of December, for most of us, we pay more attention to family and friends during this time and then, perhaps eventually wonder why we lose track of these bonds during the year. When I was growing up in Chicago—chubby Polish kid, hand always reaching for a dumpling (more or less)—I sat in amazement in the living room parlors of my aunts, uncles and my parents’ homes, eating up the emotional ties that bond us together.
These were hearty, strong Poles who’d survived Stalin’s wrath, after all. They were tough. (Yet fragile elsewhere.) They travelled several continents, endured harsh labor if not an occasional raised hand from their mother whose motto seemed to be: Don’t Mess With Me, I’m on Survival Mode—And I Want to Keep You Safe. The interactions of my family fascinated me. In them, I spotted something incredible: Their ability to find joy and be happy—a triumph considering all they’d endured during World War II. So, every year, I seem to have to remind myself—and I suppose others here, too—of how damn lucky we are. Sometimes it takes months for me to survive a mood swing but the fact that there are people out there—some you may know—that have overcome harsh, sometimes life-threatening circumstances and walk away filled with some hope and spirit—to me, that’s the best gift and a great reminder to refocus. Those kinds of gifts are all around us. Stop moving. Look around. You’ll spot them. They’re wrapped in invisible bows.
In the meantime, take note of the Downtown Santa Cruz holiday window decorating contest winner—voted by you, the GT readers: It’s a tie! Congratulations Palace Arts and Twist. Your window displays garnered the most votes! A random GT voter, who won out of hundreds of possible winners, will be notified by email and will receive 100 Downtown Dollars.
Happy Holidays! And thanks for reading.
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Letters to the Editor
What An Eyesore
Regarding city council news, at West Cliff, it was bad enough when they dug those rusty old trolley wheels out of the dump and decided that the Woodrow / West Cliff corner needed a historical exhibit. But now our city council has decided that what this corner really needed was a big ugly metallic sculpture obstructing our view of the real art that is the Monterey Bay. Have you folks seen this piece of crap? Supposedly it is a wave. Now, I’m out in the waves down at the Lane pretty much every day and I’ve yet to see one that even closely resembles this monstrosity. No wonder the artist donated it to the city—who would buy it? It’s like the folks who are too lazy to take their junky old sofa to the dump so they put it out by the curb with a “free” sign on it.
We pay a lot of money to live in this town and one of the reasons we are willing to do so is to enjoy the natural beauty that exists only here. The house on Woodrow right next to this thing recently sold—of course this thing wasn’t present when the new owners bought the place. I bet they were just thrilled to find out that their high priced view now includes a piece a junk art between them and the ocean.
Please, city council, stop imposing these eyesores on us. If we want to see “art” we can go to a gallery—if we want to see junk we can go to the dump. We don’t want to see this at all. I would ask all readers who are offended by this affront to beauty to bombard the council with emails demanding that they take it down.
Yes To Hunger-free Kids
Regarding Sam Farr’s column last week, I totally agree that the political people have paid “little attention to The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.” Farr says that the bill that is “long overdue.” What is it going to take for people in Washington to get behind it? I agree with Farr, too, in that having this passed can only help America in the future in terms of good health. Hello—it wouldn’t be so bad to reduce my health care costs.
It’s shocking to me that we live in a country that seems to be forgetting about its children. This issue is one thing, but when I heard the news earlier this week of what’s coming down for California teachers, I struggle to keep the faith. We need to really get a clue here.
Mary Beth Littlewood
GT offices will be closed Thursday, Dec. 23 through Friday, Dec. 31 in observance of Christmas and New Year’s.
Best of The Online Comments
On ‘SCPD Blue’
More than 100 police to capture one man that was let out of jail! Did all 100 police get to put that on their time cards? What about the 25 that stayed home? DEA ICE, Guardian Angles—do you think they came to Santa Cruz because SCPD had purged all crime from town? Naaaaaaaaaa …
On ‘Parent Education Nursery Schools’
Both my children attended WPENS. It was a wonderful lifetime experience that we continue to thrive from. We are still connected with the WPENS community of families. My children still have lasting friendships with the other students. I will cherish those moments forever. I pray this program stays in our community. It is well worth it.
On ‘California’s Green Facelift’
As a Home Performance Contractor who has already fulfilled the rigorous requirements necessary to participate in the Energy Upgrade California program, I have first hand knowledge of it’s workings. One of the primary goals of the program is to implement solutions that actually work, rather than what common sense and good salespeople would lead us to believe. If we’re really going to have an impact, we have to quit allowing contractors to do their own form of energy upgrades, and start prioritizing measures that are based on good building science and a holistic approach to the building.
For example, adding insulation is NEVER cost effective unless we first air seal the enclosure, and we would NEVER air seal the building without first understanding ventilation requirements. Windows can have a huge energy savings and comfort benefit but in any climate, much less mild mannered Monterey, we would NEVER recommend they be done first and would have a difficult time EVER justifying their expense strictly as a return on investment. As for window tinting, I’ve only recommended it once in five years.
As the man said, it all comes down to economics. Wouldn’t it make more sense to implement prioritized, effective measures rather than feel-good, half-hazard attempts?