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Briefs: Hold the Fries, Capsule of Health

Hold the Fries

It looks like a new McDonald’s, which the Watsonville City Council approved 6-0, won’t be coming to downtown Watsonville without a fight.
Mayor Karina Cervantez, who was out of town for the meeting, has cited concerns about its conflict with downtown’s historic character and the city’s efforts to curb obesity. She isn’t the only one worried about the plan. Council candidate Jimmy Dutra has been sounding off against the plan—as has Digital NEST founder Jacob Martinez, who started a Facebook event called “Say No to Downtown McDonalds.”
“We have a different vision of what downtown should be, and that is definitely not more fast food,” Martinez says. “We’re finally on this path of changing people’s perceptions about the community.”

More than 175 people are listed as attending for the Oct. 14 city council meeting, where opponents want to grill the Council on its recent vote. It’s unclear how many will show and how many are “attending” only in solidarity, but a petition against the plan has more than 500 signatures.

Martinez is upset partly because the City Council talked big about health in 2010, when it passed the Healthy Eating Options Ordinance. The system it created requires that a restaurant have six health points on a city scoring system to get a building permit.

McDonald’s, city planner Keith Boyle explained at a September meeting, has at least eight points for its fruit and vegetable selection, low-fat salad dressing, skim milk, staff training, calorie information, and free water. JACOB PIERCE

Capsule of Health

An important piece of history will be sealed away for future generations on Oct. 11, when the Santa Cruz Community Health Center, formerly known as the Santa Cruz Women’s Health Clinic, buries a time capsule in their newly opened East Cliff Family Health Center.

The Health Center has unique roots. In 1974, 14 UC Santa Cruz students founded the Health Center’s first iteration, called the Women’s Health Collective. The Collective was founded on feminist healthcare principals, meaning “equality, providing healthcare for anyone and everyone,” says board member Joan Burns.

The Collective then grew into the Women’s Health Clinic, which treated women and children in their downtown location. A few years ago, with the Affordable Care Act on the horizon, the clinic saw the need to expand. They now see all genders, changed their name to Santa Cruz Community Health Center and opened up their new site in East Cliff Village.

“Feminism has really changed since the ’60s and ’70s, and it’s a much broader-based concept now,” says Burns.

That unique history will be placed into the time capsule, via items such as documents from the past four decades, T-shirts, and a copy of the Affordable Care Act. The time capsule will be opened in 35 years, on the Clinic’s 75th anniversary.

Putting the capsule’s contents together has offered a chance to reflect on where women’s health care used to be. “[I have learned] how much women really had to negotiate to get the kind of care that they needed,” says Burns. SALLY NEAS

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