From The Editor

Editor's Note

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Letters to the Editor

ednote stevePlus Letters To the Editor

We have a wise and gentle banana slug for a local sports mascot, but that doesn’t mean Santa Cruzans aren’t tough. There are those in our midst who are compelled to say, “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass … and I’m all out of bubblegum.” This issue is about them.

Any issue about local badasses has to start with the Santa Cruz Derby Girls, of course, and Anne-Marie Harrison’s story about them this week captures the visceral experience of what they do better than any piece I’ve read. Whatever you think you know about what these women put themselves through to compete, this article is likely to be eye-opening, and possibly wince-inducing. But beyond the bone-crunching realism, it also explains how the sport of roller derby is evolving, and why these athletes are finally being taken seriously by the mainstream.

Meanwhile, Brad Kava profiles another Santa Cruz thrill-seeker, motorcyclist Yuri Barrigan, who is headed for the most dangerous street race in the world. If you’ve never heard of the Isle of Man TT Races, well, Kava’s explanation of its unrelenting lethality isn’t likely to make you want to suit up any time soon. Frankly, it’s fascinating that anyone would want to do this, let alone in the unorthodox way that Barrigan is attempting it. So buckle up, hold on tight, and enjoy the ride.






Race Issues

I recently was sickened by the awful murder of Maddy Middleton and now I am sickened by the Good Times and the sick audacity you have to publish a piece this week about your disapproval that the 15-year-old shouldn’t be tried as an adult! You have to have your heads up your asses to publish this racist fear-mongering crap. There are too many Hispanics who are tried as adults? What the hell difference does it make what race the murderer is? If a person of 15 commits a heinous crime, like the one that was waylaid upon poor Maddy, they should be locked up forever … at least. This was serial killer type stuff. The Good Times should be ashamed. Don’t use Maddy’s case as an example of the plight of the Hispanics, and that they are incarcerated too much, that is just sick and wrong.

David Brumfield, Aptos

The article in question, last week’s “Trying Times,” expressed no such opinion about whether Adrian Gonzalez should be tried as an adult. — Editor

After Shocks

Big thanks to Alekz in going to Nepal to help after the earthquake!

In reading that the rape kit alert whistles were used as mostly welcome toys for kids, I was also reminded that worldwide, rape increases greatly following natural disasters.

My friend in Nepal wrote this to me: “When I visited in many shelters, what I have noticed are the issues of violence against women during these times have increased. There have been cases of rape in places where quake victims have been seeking shelter; e.g., even in the shelter camps at Tundikhel and Lainchour, two populated camps in the capital city, such incidents of sexual violence have been reported. This suggests that there are even more incidents that may have occurred in the rural areas.”

I will also add that after the Loma Prieta earthquake in Santa Cruz, rape and domestic violence skyrocketed. The UN appeal on Nepal cautions that 40,000 women are at immediate risk of sexual and gender-based violence. Efforts are being made to address this. More always needs to be done so that Nepal can truly recover.

Thanks again to Alekz and also to Good Times.

Patricia S. Nell, Santa Cruz

Coast Dairies

I’ve been an environmentalist for 40 years (both privately and professionally).  I have worked for 30 years to restore sand bars in Grand Canyon National Park. At the USGS, I helped design the Colorado River experimental floods that were designed to try to restore river habitats impacted by Glen Canyon Dam.

Despite being an environmentalist, I’m opposed to making Coast Dairies a National Monument.  Here’s why:

1. The lands are already permanently protected from development. They were transferred to BLM with deed restrictions, so that the property can only be used for agriculture, recreation, and open space.

2. Monument status will bring no additional protection and no guarantee of additional funding.

3. Monument status will bring additional hikers and bikers, and potential overuse; without additional funds to manage the expected hundreds of thousands of visitors, overuse is likely to have an adverse impact on the unique and fragile ecosystem and wildlife.

For the reasons listed above, I fear that converting the Coast Dairies lands to a National Monument will have an adverse impact.  I think that the campaign for a Coast Dairies National Monument is a well-intentioned but misguided effort that is more likely to damage than protect public lands. Instead of trying to protect lands that are already protected, why not try to save lands that are threatened?  For example, the Red Rock wilderness is actively under attack by the State of Utah, which is trying to take control of federal lands and make them available for mining, oil and gas, and other damaging activities.

David M. Rubin, Santa Cruz

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 website-related queries, including corrections, should be directed to [email protected]


photo contest


WHAT’S UP, DOCKS? The Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor on the edge of light. Photograph by Alison Gamel.


good work


School is starting, and this is the first year that students at Westlake Elementary School will be able to enjoy pedestrian improvements, including ADA-compliant sidewalks, curb ramps and upgraded sidewalk crossings. The improvements in the upper Westside were finished last May at various intersections on or around Meder Street, High Street and Nobel Drive.


good idea



Timothy Olimpio, who will be teaching audio engineering at Santa Cruz High School this year, is taking strides to make sure the experience is as real as it can be. Olympio has partnered with the nonprofit Barrios Unidos, which already has a studio. But they are raising $2,000 for more equipment, including studio-grade headphones and microphones. To donate visit the page for Santa Cruz Youth Recording Studio at




“I both made the knife-fighting team, and I got cut.” — Jarod Kintz



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