Opinion April 19, 2017

Plus Letters to the Editor

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

Recently a conversation came up in the GT office about the state of relations between UCSC and the larger Santa Cruz community. The Great Town-Gown Cold War that stretched into the 2000s seems to have thawed somewhat, with incidents like the student shutdown of Highway 1 in 2015 occasionally setting diplomacy back decades. Ironically, considering the longtime divide, UCSC produces a lot of graduates who go on to lead the political and social movements championed by Santa Cruz community members. If one person most symbolizes how the goals of students and progressive locals are in sync, it’s probably Carmen Perez, a UCSC graduate and national co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington that inspired so many in the city of Santa Cruz in January. Perez is returning to Santa Cruz on April 28 to speak at the Cocoanut Grove as part of UCSC’s Alumni Weekend—and my guess is there will be far more than just students there to hear her speak. Maria Grusauskas talked to her in this issue about how the march charted a new direction for political activism, and what’s next.

Meanwhile, I talked to another UCSC grad, Amelia McDonell-Parry, about her work on the new season of the social justice podcast Undisclosed, which is reaching more than a million listeners each week with its investigation into “The Killing of Freddie Gray.” What I like most about her story—besides the excellent journalism she is doing on the podcast about a subject that most of us thought we knew, but are now discovering we didn’t—is that after a lot of searching she seems to have found her true calling putting to use what she learned at UCSC. Here’s to shared values and understanding between the city and the hill.


Letters to the Editor


I always thought that politicians, scientists or some collection of experts were going to save us all from climate change catastrophe. A few years ago, I came across Naomi Klein’s book: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. What spoke to me was Klein’s admission that she, too, had been sitting back, assuming that others would save the day.

She began to research and quickly figured out that no one had the answer to our climate dilemma. No one was leading the way to a clean, renewable future.

The book had a powerful punch, and highlighted the immediate need for America to abandon its love affair with burning fossil fuels. I knew I had to get involved to educate others, spread the word about the need to act, and impact local and federal policy.

I searched online for local volunteer opportunities and found the Santa Cruz Climate Action Network. At my first meeting, I learned that each member had read Klein’s book. It had drawn them together and drove them to form SCCAN. Many of the members were former schoolteachers. They had already created a speaker’s bureau and had held more than a few meetings at the Live Oak Grange (on the first Thursday of every month at 6:15 p.m.) featuring speakers and documentaries about the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

One of the big SCCAN events was a Climate Change march on Nov. 22, 2015. At the rally, then-Mayor Don Lane declared November 22 Climate Action Day in Santa Cruz. The following month, SCCAN organized a well-attended, day-long workshop in Santa Cruz, focusing on various aspects of climate impact—rising sea levels, transportation, denialism, and clean energy. Every month since, SCCAN has focused on various projects, such as advocating for Measure Z (Monterey fracking ban), partaking in “Lightning Talks” at the MAH and working closely with Citizens for Sensible Transportation.

This year, with the help of my fellow SCCAN members, I’m coordinating the Peoples Climate Movement march and rally in Santa Cruz, in conjunction with the big march in Washington, D.C. and smaller ones nationwide. We are honored to have great speakers, including Assemblymember Mark Stone, former County treasurer Fred Keeley, UCSC Professor T.J. Demos, and Dr. Susi Moser. There will be tabling by a variety of environmental nonprofit groups, lots of energy and music. Please join us to learn more about what you can do to combat climate change! The march and rally take place on April 29 at 1:30 p.m. in San Lorenzo Park bench lands.

Tamyra Rice | Santa Cruz


I immensely enjoyed your story (GT, 3/29) about the many years of shopping enjoyment at Mr Goodie’s. Kurt and Kit gave the Santa Cruz community a place to find unique treasures for more than three decades.

As the owner of Modern Life Home and Garden, now located in the Pleasure Point section of Santa Cruz, it was wonderful to relive the origins of Modern Life while reading the article. Thank you for highlighting a special part of Santa Cruz’s history.

Jill Sollitto | SANTA CRUZ


Last week’s Good Idea incorrectly stated the location of Atlantis Fantasyworld. It is on Front Street. We regret the error.

To Top