Opinion May 10, 2017

Plus Letters to the Editor

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

I’ve long puzzled over the dampening effect Santa Cruz seems to have on the success of our biggest artistic talents. It’s ridiculous how many great bands have reached a pinnacle of popularity locally, and then struggled to get any recognition at a national level. And music is only the most obvious example—I’ve seen the same troubles dog local dancers, writers, actors, directors and everything else. It’s hard to “make it” anywhere, no doubt, but there’s something weird about this phenomenon. It’s like the geography of Santa Cruz somehow cuts off our biggest fish from finding a larger pond.

It’s an entirely different problem, however, when success is there for the taking, and the artist in question flat out doesn’t want it. That’s what happened when Soquel publisher Steve Kettmann approached local poet Peter McLaughlin about releasing a book of his poetry. For many poets, that would be a dream come true. But at the last minute, McLaughlin backed out, saying he didn’t feel like he could handle it.

Last month, McLaughlin took his own life. As Kettmann writes in our cover story this week, he was devastated, both from the loss of someone for whom he cared, and the knowledge that McLaughlin’s incredible talent had gone unheralded outside of the following he had built performing at open mics locally.

This story can only right one of those wrongs, but I’m glad to have this opportunity to publish the work of “Pete the Poet,” and Kettmann’s tribute to him. I also had the great fortune to meet McLaughlin’s good friend Ulli Wagner, who asked me to let readers know that there will be a memorial for him at 3 p.m. on June 3, at 452 Palm St. in Santa Cruz. I hope to see you there.


Letters to the Editor


Another fascinating look at the Santa Cruz-Hawaii connection by our fine local historian Geoffrey Dunn. It’s also important for Americans to remember that Hawaii was annexed (i.e., stolen) from the indigenous Hawaiians in 1898 by a joint resolution of Congress—no treaty, no compensation for the theft of their land, their culture, and their human rights. Just another instance of U.S. domination stemming from the greed of the bankers and corporations, aka the 1 percent.

Gigo deSilvas

Santa Cruz


Melvin, replace the words “pets/dog” in your letter of 4/26 with the words “kids/child.” That is what my pets are, my kids. I have no human children and I vote and pay taxes for the places mentioned in your letter. Would you confine your kids to your house/yard and not allow them to socialize with other kids? I find your comments regarding my kids to be both offensive and selfish. Just as there are irresponsible parents with human children, there are also irresponsible pet owners. The answer to your concerns is to hold these irresponsible parents accountable. Not to confine their children. Shame on you!

Kevin C. Flavia | Boulder Creek


Re: Dogs and Parks

Being a frequent visitor to your area, I have enjoyed your Good Times publication for many years. I agree with Melvin’s letter from the 4-26-17 edition: A pet’s place is in your yard or in your home. I just returned home after a wonderful visit to Aptos and feel the need to share a warning to beachgoing folks. While walking on the beach I was rammed behind the knee by a golden retriever running full force. I stumbled to save myself from a fall (I am 63 years old) and am fortunate enough not to have sustained an injury. The next day I was lying on the beach and was run over, ending up with sandy dog prints on my back, sand in my face  and sand all over my towel. Both dog owners did say “sorry” in passing, with no great concern. During a previous visit, I was sitting on driftwood on the beach and a dog ran up and lifted his leg—I ran! I have always loved the beach and have enjoyed being a tourist in this area, however I would appreciate it if pet owners would please keep their dogs on a leash.


Re: Community Choice Energy

I manage the Clean Power Exchange (CPX) program for the Center for Climate Protection. The CPX program tracks Community Choice development throughout California.

On the CPX site, you will find an interactive map that shows the 26 out of the 58 counties and more than 300 cities that are either operational or pursuing Community Choice. There are now seven, soon to be eight, operational agencies in the state.

I am interested in knowing if you have a citation or source for the assertion that MBCP will be enrolling customers this summer: “Starting this summer, MBCP will automatically enroll residents.”

My understanding is that the JPA is still being formed and the IP has not been completed or certified by the CPUC. The full formation of the JPA and a certified IP are required in order to begin automatic enrollment, so I am scratching my head here.

Thanks in advance for any light you can shed.

— Woody Hastings


Ardy Raghian responds: Thank you for your question, and for the work you do to help protect our planet. I received the enrollment information from Virginia Johnson, the project manager for MBCP. She told me via phone call that they’re going to start enrolling customers late summer 2017, into the fall and winter.

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