From The Editor

Editor's Note

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Letters to the Editor

ednote stevePlus Letters To the Editor

There’s a fair amount of cognitive dissonance going on in the way we think about recycling. For sure, the idea makes everybody feel warm and fuzzy, especially here in Santa Cruz. It’s one of those rare movements that pretty much everybody can get behind, other than corporate execs who still value selling new junk over sustainability.   

But considering the way we embrace the philosophy, it’s astounding how little we know about the reality of recycling—to the point that most of us are doing it wrong at least some of the time. Even the vague awareness that we’re screwing it up often doesn’t drive us to find the answers to the questions that come up again and again, every time we open the blue bin: Do I need to take the plastic bag out of this cereal box before I recycle it? (Yes.) Can I recycle this paper plate I just ate spaghetti off of? (No.)

The intrepid Brad Kava spent time in a local recycling facility to research this week’s cover story, and what he’s done is not just answer those questions, but also break down the recycling process in a way that finally explains why it matters if you don’t, for instance, recycle plastic correctly. Kava’s story is a fascinating look at the crazy things that happen to our trash (I’m still tripping about the giant magnets) and an invaluable resource for a community that actually cares about getting recycling right.





Selma and Santa Cruz

Selma. A current movie. Early in 1965, there was a demonstration and walk in Santa Cruz to support the civil rights movement in Selma. The activist organizers were from NAACP, Unitarian Fellowship, Quakers, some churches, WILPF, and ACLU. A demonstration was held at the city hall, and the mayor spoke in support of the civil rights movement and the walk here in Santa Cruz. The walk proceeded on the sidewalks with police assistance. There were enough people to reach from one end of a block to the other. This demonstration and walk was one of many being done in towns and cities across the United States to support the civil right to vote.    

In June 1965, the Unitarian Church in Palo Alto organized a visit to California for 37 high school students and chaperones from Selma. It was an effort to give these young people some relief from the horrors they had experienced in Selma. The young girls and boys came for an overnight to Santa Cruz. At one home where there were old-growth redwoods, a potluck lunch was held in their honor, and many activists hosted them overnight. They were given a trip to the coast. Most had never seen the ocean near Alabama. These young high school students would now be in their 60s and 70s. I hope that life has been good for them. Their parents and families who risked their lives to get the right to vote in Selma got that right.   

Patricia Rayne, Santa Cruz

Jazzercise Now!

As the owner of a successful Jazzercise program, I was surprised to see your reporter (GT, 1/14) refer to Jazzercise as if it’s something from the past (the second time in the last year or so). It’s still very popular, and why not? We give a great workout and play current music that’s great fun to exercise to. There’s nothing passé about it. In fact, I invite all GT reporters to take a free class. You’ll get what lots of locals get: Jazzercise will never go out of style. We’re the original dance party workout. And today we continue to rock it.

Abbi Hartsell, Owner, Jazzercise in Santa Cruz

Thanks to The Givers

On behalf of Community Bridges’ Board of Directors, we wish to thank all those who participated in this year’s Good Times Holiday Giving campaign, which yielded $6,000 for Community Bridges Mountain Community Resources.

It is clear from the Holiday Giving cover story that the campaign sought to meet the deepest needs in our community by making the biggest impact. We appreciate your readers’ outstanding generosity to ensure that the neediest residents received the greatest amount of support in this year’s giving campaign.

Mountain Community Resources seeks to do the most good for rural Santa Cruz Mountain residents by connecting them with the most meaningful resources in the most effective ways. Our responses are targeted to leverage the community’s support, such as the Holiday Giving campaign, to have the greatest local impact.

We are honored to have been selected for the Holiday Giving campaign, and we sincerely appreciate the care that was taken by all to facilitate such an effective community response.

Raymon Cancino & Linda Fawcett, Community Bridges

Letters Policy

Letters should not exceed 300 words and may be edited for length, clarity, grammar and spelling. They should include city of residence to be considered for publication. Please direct letters to the editor, query letters and employment queries to [email protected] All classified and display advertising queries should be directed to [email protected]. All website-related queries, including corrections, should be directed to [email protected]


photo contest


SHADOW OF THE TIDE A surfer stretches at the lighthouse. Photograph by Robert Morneau.


good work


Some Santa Cruz teenagers have started their own LED glove company. Futuristic Lights met its fundraising goal of $20,000 in less than an hour, and the team, which is led by 19-year-old Zohar Wouk, eventually raised over $60,000 earlier this month. The gloves, which could be all the rage at parties and raves, will have a variety of settings and will change strobe patterns based on hand movements.


good idea



Permaculture and community-building guru Mark Lakeman is coming to town for a series of events Feb. 5-8. For First Friday, the founder of Portland’s City Repair will speak with Museum of Art & History Executive Director Nina Simon about “placemaking” in Abbott Square. Lakeman will also speak at UCSC’s Kresge Town Hall Thursday, Feb. 5, at 2 p.m.



“[In California] they don’t throw their garbage away. They make it into television shows.” — Woody Allen


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