It’s easy to complain about our favorite bands “selling out,” because we believe there’s a value in the meaning of music that goes beyond crass commercialism. But how many of us would actually be able to turn down a multi-million-dollar check to let one of our own songs be used in what might suddenly seem like just one harmless little commercial?
That’s one of the reasons John Densmore makes such a fascinating profile subject in Wallace Baine’s cover story this week. (The others, of course, include the fact that he played in the Doors, one of the most important rock bands on the ’60s counterculture movement, and that he just wrote a book about his bandmate Jim Morrison). As you read the piece, I wonder if you’ll start over-analyzing Densmore’s words the way I did, as if they held some secret clues to what makes this guy able to stand up to that kind of temptation for the sake of artistic integrity. The funny thing is, I’m not sure there is such a mystery. The answers are pretty much right there in what he says. Give it a read and see if you agree.
I also wanted to mention that comedian Shane Mauss returns to Santa Cruz next week, bringing his Stand Up Science! show back to DNA’s Comedy Lab on Tuesday, Aug. 27. I mention this because not only did Mauss himself make a great cover-story subject for us last time he was here, but both of the UCSC scientists he brought to speak at the show were so great we immediately wanted to do cover stories on them, too. (One of them was Barry Sinervo, who we did a cover story on in July). I don’t know who his guests are this time, but you can bet I’ll be there to find out. Oh yeah, and Shane is really funny, too!
STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Letters to the Editor
No More Knit Picking
As a senior, I was interested in Hugh McCormick’s article about staying active (GT, 8/14), and turned to it first.
I was very disappointed. I am not a high-income senior who can afford Dominican Oaks. Nor can I pay for the classes offered by PEP through Dignity Health. I live in low-income senior housing. We don’t have a van to take us anywhere.
We do have opportunities to stay active in Santa Cruz, and I am sorry Mr. McCormick didn’t care to include some of them in his one-sided article. Louden Nelson Center offers several classes for active seniors, and my own exercise choice, Toadal Fitness, has very reduced rates for seniors.
There was a quote by Ms. Routly, executive director of Dominican Oaks, in which she says, “Our seniors aren’t just sitting around knitting.” I am a longtime knitter and member of the Knitting Guild of Santa Cruz. This group has many seniors as members and is active in the community knitting and donating many items such as chemo caps and various sweaters, scarves, shawls, etc. to the Homeless Garden Project store. Many of us knit complicated patterns. Ms. Routly might want to plan a trip to the county fair and visit our booth. We are a vibrant group, and we knit.
I expect GT to publish well-rounded articles, which represent the diverse population residing in our county. This article did not.
Repair Our Roads
Last week’s article in GT stated that 20 years of deferred maintenance (and storm damage) on our 1,764 miles of county roads has resulted in a $453 million backlog of repairs needed to make them safe and passable. The RTC has allocated a mere $2.8 million annually in funding for repairs, not even enough to keep up with yearly costs. As pointed out in the article, there are many rural roads that have been relegated to a single lane. The RTC’s priorities need to become more focused on the roads we have, not on continual, expensive rail corridor studies and a dubious contract with Progressive Rail that will suck away untold millions of taxpayer dollars in order to bring the tracks up to Class I certification. Please, no more money for a train that will never be. Let’s put our resources into more practical necessities.
Re: District Elections
An interesting situation for the city of Santa Cruz. But Ebenstein seems confused—or he is distorting the
law—when he says, “The California Voting Rights Act is pretty specific about districts as the remedy.” ln
fact, the law, as revised in 2015-2016, clearly states, “District-based elections shall not be imposed or
applied in a manner that impairs the ability of a protected class to elect candidates of its choice as a
result of the dilution or the abridgment of the rights of voters who are members of a protected class.” That is, if district elections don’t solve the problem, they can’t be imposed.
— John Hall
Election districts would be wonderful, then the entire city wouldn’t be run by those from the city up on the hill.
— Robyn Marx
If Hernandez is right, ranked-choice voting is the only solution that can work without some ridiculously shaped districts. It’s time to amend the Voting Rights Act to accept it as an alternative solution to districts.
— June Genis