Plus Letters to the Editor
Last week, the town was buzzing about the failed La Bahia project. But let’s not allow that fallen dream to fester. It’s best to move ahead and focus on new possibilities. If the city of Santa Cruz wants a hotel that could both boost the economy and be a brilliant travel hub, I go back to the idea that I had last year: The El Palomar Hotel in Downtown Santa Cruz. Imagine the possibilities that that could usher in. Think about what it might feel like to walk down the boulevard that is Pacific Avenue and have, right in the middle of it, a boutique hotel. Imagine what that building could look like if it didn’t look as if somebody, well, urinated all over it. Please don’t write in and suggest I’m foul. It’s just that I appreciate fine structures that are taken care of; that are afforded the love and attention they deserve.
And, since it seems the fate of La Bahia has been decided for us by a curious posse on the Coastal Commission—some members of which may crave further advances politically (good luck with that]—I see nothing wrong with exploring a new opportunity, right in the heart of Downtown Santa Cruz. What would it take to make the El Palomar a unique portal? Let the discussions begin …
In the meantime, there’s already somebody in the heart of Downtown Santa Cruz doing wonders. Her name is Nina Simon and she’s the spunky new executive director at the Museum of Art & History. In the short time since Simon has come on board, the museum has been infused with new energy and new visions. This week, longtime local writer/author and generally stellar human, Geoffrey Dunn, takes a deeper look at Simon and all the creative things in store for MAH—and for the public.
Elsewhere, be sure to note the online guest column available at goodtimessantacruz.com in which Santa Cruz County Treasurer Fred Keeley further expounds on the La Bahia matter, offering significant and thought-provoking insights. Continue sending us your thoughts, too, to letters[email protected]
Have a great week. And thanks for reading …
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Letters to the Editor
Food Justice—and Injustices
Thanks for your focus on food justice (GT 8/11). Our county faces a major food injustice with respects to methyl iodide, the pesticide approved to replace the ozone-depleting fumigant methyl bromide. Although methyl iodide will probably help a great deal to sustain profits for the owners of vast mono-crop strawberry operations and chemical companies, it would be through sacrificing the health of farmworkers, as well as rural residents and schoolchildren spending time near the fields.
According to a letter signed by 50 prominent scientists (including dozens of chemists and biochemists in the National Academy of Scientists, and four Nobel laureates), methyl iodide “is one of the more toxic chemicals used in manufacturing,” and it’s “astonishing” that anyone would consider releasing it widely as a pesticide. In an opinion piece you published last year, Bill Monning similarly railed against the state for approving methyl iodide against the conclusions of its own scientists, and stated that, “the only means to protect public health and the environment is to prohibit the use of methyl iodide in California.”
It’s time we stand up against this system of injustice which takes giant mono-crops using exploited workers as a given, with cancers and other health problems for poor and/or brown people as acceptable trade-offs. Our county is a flashpoint in an important battle; join the movement to stop methyl iodide.
Time to Pay Your Dues
Regarding the recent comment, “corporations are people”—no. Corporations are business, now what I call 19th century capitalism. Ironically, this comes from the same party that says government should be run like a business. I served on our local transit board, when other board members proposed eliminating the ads on our buses, in the name of creating invective. I knew we needed that income and fought them, thus honoring the oath I swore. Unfortunately the only income our government has is taxes. It’s time for the people who have had all the tax breaks since 1980 to pay their fair share. Anyone in business knows if you’re not creating income or growing, just cutting, you’re going to be in Chapter 13, especially in the name of 10 to one. It’s time for Tea Party/Republicans to honor the oath they swore when they took office, not the Grover Nordquist contract they signed to get elected.
Bruce M. Gabriel
Best Online Comments
On Food Justice …
Great article about great folks. I’m living in Southern Califiornia now, and haven’t found anything as vibrant and connected as “Food, What?!” Although I bet there’s something like it coming to fruition down here too because it’s such a happening concept! Good work, all.
Beth Marie Benjamin
On La Bahia’s Defeat …
Man … now someone is just going to build a stupid Motel 6 there someday. Boring.
Shame on you Mark Stone. Thank you for keeping Santa Cruz in the Dark Ages, for all the lost jobs and revenue, and for a loss of city pride this project would have created. Booo!
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