Opinion: Jan. 29, 2020

Plus letters to the editor

Mackenzie Vojvoda oversees a class in her home studio. PHOTO: tarmo hannula

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

Usually when we do a Health and Fitness Issue like this one, we do a health story and we do a fitness story. It always seemed to make sense—I certainly can’t focus on health and fitness at the same time in my actual life. I’m lucky if I can pay attention to one!

I am rethinking this whole thing, though, after reading Denize Gallardo’s story this week about Watsonville native Mackenzie Vojvoda. The yoga instructor and Raiderette is definitely all about fitness, but she brings a holistic approach that is equally about health (both mind and body).

Further south, in Corralitos, Maria Grusauskas revisits the biodynamic Blossom’s Farm, which has opened a café to further the owners’ belief that “food is medicine, and medicine is food.” This kind of brings them full circle, in a way, since Blossom’s first products (which they still make today) were digestive tonics and bitters. It’s another interesting chapter for a Santa Cruz County innovator.

From the That Reminds Me Department: This is the last week for Best of Santa Cruz County voting! All ballots must be submitted by Friday, Jan. 31! So go there now! To! To vote! Thank you!

Letters to the Editor

Historic Moment for Amah Mutsun

Re: “Sands of Dime”(GT, 1/1): On Wednesday, Jan. 15, a historic moment occurred in the Monterey Bay Area. A legislative body unanimously passed a resolution in favor of protecting an open space, with the explicit reason being (among others) to preserve the spiritual integrity of that land for the area’s Indigenous community whose family has been here for 15,000 years. This parcel of land, known by the Amah Mutsun as Juristac, is the tribe’s most sacred ceremonial village site. However, the current owners of the land aim to dig an irreversibly destructive 320-acre sand hole there. 

Although the Morgan Hill City Council has no legislative power over Juristac, their resolution sends a powerful message to the legislators of Santa Clara County who do: the cultural and spiritual rights of the original caretakers of the Bay Area ought to be given the highest level of respect. I believe that the Morgan Hill City Council’s resolution and the thousands of supportive community members mark a pivotal step for our community towards a more ethical relationship with the Indigenous people whose territory we are in. I hope that many other legislating bodies in the area will follow the extraordinary leadership of the City of Morgan Hill.

Benny Drescher | Santa Cruz


Ban the Plastics

“Today we use plastic — a material designed to last forever — for products designed to last minutes.” 

This quote can be found on the web page for Upstream, a nonprofit whose aim is to reduce single-use plastics at the source of the problem, and I like the quote because it conveys the crux of the issue in our collective subscription to a single-use mindset. 

When plastic was first made, it was a wonderful invention because it was so resistant and long-lasting, now that same durable nature of plastic has become the enemy of ocean wildlife. 

For sea turtles, dolphins, whales and other favorites of the sea, our waste is ruining their home. They become entangled in or ingest plastic debris, causing suffocation, starvation, and drowning. Nothing we use for five minutes should wreak havoc on marine ecosystems for millennia.   

Individual lifestyle changes like reusing and reducing will never be enough. They just won’t. We need systemic change. We need to create laws that stop single-use plastic production at its source. We need to pass SB-54/AB-1080 as soon as we possibly can and make California the first state to implement an all-of-the-above strategy on plastic pollution. If any state can do it, it’s us.  

Sophie Kelly | Santa Cruz


Re: Ocean St. Extension

More reporting please? Not only does the article not mention that the City violated its own ordinance in approving a permit on that property, but interesting that there is nothing at all about the fact that the particular slope in question holds up Graham Hill Road, a major artery into town!

Major slides have occurred in that area, even in the last couple years. You should publish the photos of the huge mudslide onto Graham Hill Road right above this property which took out a white pickup and closed the road. Not to mention a slide down a nearby slope that nearly wiped out the townhomes at Jewell Court. Where was the engineer in those cases? Hardly a “needless complication” as stated by the developers…

— Julie


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