From The Editor

Editor's Note

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Letters to the Editor

ednote stevePlus Letters To the Editor

Here in Santa Cruz, we pride ourselves on knowing as much as we can about what we put into our mouths. If it’s food, we want to know who grew it, and what they used to make it grow. The “fresh, local, organic” movement didn’t start here, but it’s certainly taken root, and it’s made us smarter eaters.

But though we pride ourselves just as much on our wine appellation as our foodie scene, most of us don’t understand the intricacies of winemaking in the same way. We don’t really know how Santa Cruz Mountains wine gets made, or why certain harvests produce better wines than others. It’s not like we actually think it’s all people stomping grapes in barrels anymore, but what are they doing during this so-called “crush,” anyway?

Christina Waters’ behind-the-scenes cover story this week does a great job of explaining a lot about the wine harvest that I didn’t know—the stages of the vine, for instance, as well as what vintners are looking for from their crops, and why this year was one of the earliest harvests on record. It reveals not just what these winemakers know, but also what they know they don’t know. Winemaking, it turns out, is a lot like a good magic trick: even when you know how it’s done, it doesn’t really lose its mystique. Cheers!

Steve Palopoli | Editor-in-Chief



Power Issues
Re: “Power to the People” (GT, 10/8): PG&E? The stockholders have started a lawsuit against the CEO, CB and the board. The upper end of PG&E is not there for PG&E, nor the stockholders. The group is there for themselves, both for the way they want to run the company and the money. The president and CEO gets $12.5 million plus stock. That stock is worth $125 million. The Ford Foundation gives him $2.5 million each year for four weekends. Need more?
Fifteen years ago, PG&E went bankrupt for one reason. The president/CEO would not get $125 million if he “saved” the company; if it went belly up he got everything, 10 times the stock. So did the board. And the PUC was told that information 90 days before it was let out to the Wall Street Journal. There is a word for that: insider trading. Crooks, criminals, thieves. PG&E was sued for the nuclear power plants. They lost and had to pay out of their own pockets over $30 billion. There is something wrong, very wrong, and time is running out.
— Walter K. Phivver | Santa Cruz

No Class
I was stunned and hurt by Jacob Pierce’s brief about the pushing back by one week of scheduled classes in the UC system (GT, 10/8). His insinuation that Jews are buying indulgences borders on anti-Semitism. To wit: “Three UC campuses currently have Jewish Studies Programs—the most recent addition being UCSC, which has been getting sizable grants for its program, including a recent $1.5 million endowment. We’ve all heard that money talks in education.”
Really? Classes are never scheduled on Christmas Day … is that because money talks, or does that sentiment only apply when Jews are involved?
The post wasn’t exactly kind to Muslims either, suggesting they pool their resources to fund programs at UC rather than funding Haj pilgrimages.
The UC system has many Jewish students in attendance, and many of those belong to families that observe Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the high holy days, which rank in importance to Jews alongside Christmas and Easter. Could it be that UC is attempting to be sensitive to the needs of a good chunk of its enrollment, rather than bowing to financial interests? Perhaps it’s time for some cultural sensitivity training for your staff and editors?
— Carol L. Skolnick | Santa Cruz

Re: Walnut Commons
There is so much to be learned with the cohousing model. Issues regarding affordability, sustainability, and cooperation; i.e., learning to work together. Read “Creating Cohousing” by Katie McCamant and Charles Durrett. — Chuck
In “Why Not Commons?,” the photo of Cecile Andrews and Sandy Lansdale was incorrectly captioned. Andrews is on the left (with her dog Millie), and Lansdale on the right. We regret the error.

Letters Policy
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photo contestphotocontest

BURSTING WITH PRIDE The scene on Main Beach in Santa Cruz during the
fireworks Oct. 4. Photography by Anthony Goto.

Submit to [email protected] Include information (location, etc.) and your name. Photos may be cropped. Preferably, photos should be 4 inches by 4 inches and minimum 250 dpi.

good work

Genome Sweet Genome
UCSC’s Center for Big Data in Translational Genomics recently won an $11 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The Big Data center is an organized effort aimed at sequencing human genomes to better combat disease and improve health. The grant funds revisions to the UCSC Genomics Institute’s existing infrastructure, which will soon be able to assess genomic data on a much grander scale.

good idea

Walk This Way
Anyone who walks in Santa Cruz knows how cantankerous drivers can get. But anyone who drives knows how slow and annoying pedestrians are. Can’t we get along? Maybe, now that the Regional Transportation Commission has approved a new brochure. It’s titled “What Pedestrians Want Motorists to Know/What Motorists Want Pedestrians to Know.” It will appear in English and in Spanish, in print and online, with helpful tips and explanations.


“I cook with wine. Sometimes I even  
 add it to the food.”
— W.C. Fields

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