Opinion July 12, 2017

Plus letters to the editor

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

A couple of weeks ago, I was stuck in an elevator for an hour here at the GT building, and being stuck in an elevator really makes you think, you know? Stuff like, “Why am I stuck in this elevator?” and “How long will I be stuck in this elevator?”

OK, so I didn’t think about much at the time. But after reading this week’s cover stories by Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld and Stett Holbrook, I realize that hour in the elevator would have been a great time to catch up on my summer reading. And I could have really used a drink. So I can personally vouch for Wendy’s hypothesis that books and booze are a natural match. It’s science, people!

Anyway, this tipsy take on the summer reading guide tradition was inspired by Bookshop Santa Cruz’s “Books and Brews” series of events. We paired a few of the lit events this summer with what we felt were appropriate refreshers on our own, but I was genuinely surprised at how many were already organized around a boozy theme. Considering the intertwined history of literature and libations that Wendy writes about, I shouldn’t have been.

I hope her guide inspires you to find some great summer reading and events, but before you get too deep into a book—or the tank—also check out Stett’s story about surfing metaphysicist Jaimal Yogis, who comes to Santa Cruz this week. Happy summer reading! This roundup is on us.



Letters to the Editor

Ride the Bus With Us

Re: Green Issue (GT, 7/5): Fascinating to read about our four local heroes of the alternative-energy movement—thank you. Your article left me wondering what us ordinary folk could do in aid of preserving the livability of our beautiful planet. Large and small, the possibilities are numerous, but this is my number one: a major source of air pollution (and aggravation) in Santa Cruz County has got to be our overcrowded streets and roads. Luckily, a partial solution is ready, right on the corner or just down the street. It’s called Santa Cruz Metro—yes, the bus!

I’m a regular user of our fine bus system. Its routes take me almost anywhere I want to go, from Davenport to Watsonville, from the seashore to the mountaintop. As a senior, I pay a dollar a ride, or three dollars for a day pass. Other fares are comparably reasonable, often cheaper than taking your car. So neighbors, why not take the bus when you can, save money, and give the planet your small bit of help?

Patricia Hogan


Shift Yourself

Re: Green Issue (GT, 7/5): It’s frustrating that our president has withdrawn the U.S. from the Paris Agreement. But our community may be in a bit of climate change denial, too.

Solar power is readily available and usually cheaper than PG&E. Yet our solar adoption is still low.

Electric vehicles contribute one-third the carbon of their gas counterparts (less with solar). Yet, even with reasonably priced, long-range EVs available, most of us drive gas cars that fuel climate change, terrorism, and Middle East conflict.

Yes, a shift is happening. There are more bicyclists, EV drivers, and solar installations. But it’s happening too slowly, considering the urgency of the problem. How can we legitimately criticize our leaders when we fail to act ourselves?

If climate change is real, then let’s do something! Explore solar power for your home (see Switch to a less polluting form of transportation (see or Try consuming lower on the food chain. In other words, don’t just talk the talk, but walk the … well, yes, walking is good too!

Ron Goodman

Santa Cruz

Flow Charting

Re: “Pipe Scheme” (GT, 6/21): It’s interesting to read statements from members of the Klamath and Yurok tribes talking about protecting the Klamath River from threats. Each of those tribes has rights to flows in the Klamath that are critical to the health of the river and its salmon. And both tribal governments recently signed agreements indicating they are willing to make a deal that would render those rights secondary to federal irrigation water withdrawal from the River.

There seems to be a disconnect. Are the tribal leaders quoted herein going to also fight to make sure their tribal governments don’t sell the river out in backroom deals? And why are the pipeline issue and the flow issues kept separate? Aren’t they part of the same issue? Is it wrong for the Trump administration to sell out the river, but OK if tribal governments do it? I’d like Will Parrish to ask those questions and report so that we can find out what these indigenous leaders think about all the water issues and the linkages among them.


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