Having last written about the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter in the fall when they were part of our Santa Cruz Gives campaign, I found myself wondering recently how the organization was coping with the Covid-19 pandemic, and how it was affecting its ability to help local animals. In this week’s Pet Issue, I got a chance to check in, and what I found about the work the SCCAS has been doing during the quarantine—and what the community has done to help them with it—made me feel a little better about life. The story is in this week’s cover package, and I encourage you to read it for yourself.
Among our other cover stories, Wallace Baine looks into how our family pets may be affected by quarantine, and what we can do to help them de-stress. (Is there any kind of creature, human or otherwise, who isn’t stressed right now?) Also, Hugh McCormick writes about the precarious but rewarding process of raising his dog as an emotional support animal, in a relationship where the emotional support clearly goes both ways.
Admittedly, this Pet Issue got rather dog-heavy, though it wasn’t entirely planned that way. My promise to other cat people out there is that our favorite furballs will get more room to shine next time.
Also in these pages is a story on last week’s Juneteenth march in Santa Cruz from Susan Landry, and moving tributes to two members of the Santa Cruz community whose losses hit hard, Sara Wilbourne and Allison Endert. Stay safe, everyone.
STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Letters to the Editor
Right Call on Library
I am president of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries (FSCPL). I also served as a member of the Santa Cruz Downtown Library Advisory Committee (DLAC).
Next week, the Santa Cruz City Council will consider a recommendation from the Council’s Library Subcommittee about the future of the Downtown Branch Library. The Friends urge the City Council to approve the DLAC recommendation to build a new Downtown Library as part of the proposed multi-use facility.
Opponents of DLAC’s recommendation have often used inaccurate information as part of their argument. A recent article in the local paper by Ross Eric Gibson inaccurately states that DLAC recommended the elimination of research collections and a “play yard for children to run and scream out back.” Totally wrong.
DLAC’s recommendation came after months of study and community input that included over 2,000 individual responses to a survey about a vision for a post Measure S Downtown library.
In order to keep up with the changing reading environment, meet the challenges of information literacy for students in the age of social media, and fulfill community expectations for safe places for public gatherings, traditional library design has to change with the times.
DLAC made the right call: relocating the library was not only the most cost-efficient solution, it was also a way for the city to have a library that we can be proud of.
Martín J. Gómez, President | Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries
Stay Safe, Stay Home
Before the COVID-19 spread was a pandemic, people everywhere were struggling to have their basic needs met. Now, more than ever, food and housing insecurity looms over many, especially students who do not have additional support outside of their campus. Amidst shelter-in-place orders and university shutdowns, access to a stable food resource has become more difficult.
That is one reason why governments and officials are asking everyone who can to stay home. Not only to protect the health of yourself and others, but so those who now struggle even more can access resources safely and securely. There is hardship in this situation for everyone across the globe, but there are neighbors nearby that might have to work and expose themselves to the virus just to afford basic needs. We can fight for workers rights, food justice, and equitable solutions. But right now the most we can do is stay home.
Thanks for your time and consideration! Stay safe!
Julia Hyatt | Santa Cruz
Cost of Newsom’s Cuts
Governor Newsom’s proposed May budget revision sent chills throughout California with the elimination of Community Based Adult Services (CBAS) like Elderday, a program of Community Bridges. He posed a similar fate for Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) programs, which also help seniors remain in their homes and out of skilled nursing facilities (SNF) and respite care homes. I urge you to reach out to our local representatives in Sacramento and ensure they not only show support for these programs, but that they roll up their sleeves and actively advocate for their existence. These proposed cuts will only serve to increase costs to taxpayers with SNF costing three times more per person than CBAS, and result in displacement of Santa Cruz seniors who cannot find an appropriate care facility in their home county. Balancing the budget is not just about a financial cost, but contains a human cost that is too great to bear.
Raymon Cancino | Chief Executive Officer, Community Bridges