Opinion: July 3, 2019

Plus letters to the editor

Lizard hatchlings at the UCSC lab overseen by this week's cover subject Barry Sinervo. PHOTO: LAUREN HEPLER

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

The big news this week is that Good Times has purchased the Register-Pajaronian and its sister publication Aptos Life. You can read the details in the story on page 12, but on a personal note, I want to say that I’m really proud to see GT taking over stewardship of one of the oldest and most storied papers in this area. The R-P was the first place to give me a job as a professional journalist, back in 1995, when then-Features-Editor Stacey Vreeken took a chance on hiring me as her assistant and music writer—because, she claimed, I knew what the punk band X was. James O’Brien, who was so completely identified by his nickname Bud that I didn’t even know he had another name until he passed away in 2009 and I read it in his obit, was in his last year before he retired as the Pajaronian’s editor. He was the very model of a Golden Age newspaperman, and in general the R-P (then owned by Scripps, it was bought by News Media Corp. while I was there) was the ideal place to learn the beats and the business of journalism. No one who worked there ever forgot the paper had once won a Pulitzer Prize, and there was a standard of excellence we strove for. Obviously times have changed, and the industry is almost unrecognizable now compared to what it was then, but even after the R-P went from a daily paper to a weekly paper last year, I felt like the crew there was striving for that same standard. Welcome to the family, guys, keep up the good work.

Did I mention this is our Green Issue? You’ll definitely want to read Lauren Hepler’s cover story on UCSC’s Barry Sinervo, and how his work to create a universal formula that predicts extinctions could transform the way we think about climate change. And Mat Weir takes a look in our news section at how much waste the new legal cannabis industry is producing, plus what’s being done to make the industry more sustainable.

Letters to the Editor

Do You Recall?

I consider myself passionate about politics; opinionated, and outspoken, watching City Council meetings with a keen fascination. But uncharacteristically, I’m writing not to express opinions or sway allegiance, but to share some facts about recalls in general and the proposed recall in particular (Nuz, June 19).

Recall elections are expensive, distracting, and divisive, and our city is making hard choices due to a very large budget deficit. The fact that the recall petitions are directed at one council member elected six months ago and another up for re-election in a year and a half, causes me to question the wisdom and intent of pursuing a costly special election at this time. 

In terms of what qualifies as a recall petition, I learned, incredulously, that any statement of justification—accurate or not—with 20 signatures, qualifies as a petition to recall, and can be circulated for signatures! I’m also all-too-aware that when there is money backing a recall, signature gatherers are hired on a pay by signature basis to attain the required 20% of registered voters’ signatures.

Examining the statements in the current petitions, I found false, unsubstantiated and misleading accusations. For example, one petition states that Drew Glover said that there was “no health and safety risk” involved in keeping Ross Camp open. What he actually said was the risks were not imminent and unmanageable, and could be corrected without the camp closure, which he felt would displace many back into our doorways and bushes. I live near downtown and have seen evidence of this having occurred.

Another claim is that the councilperson “demonstrated through actions and temperament that he is not fit to serve as a city council member”—clearly an unverifiable judgment. Past council meetings can be watched on Community TV, and I encourage our city voters to watch them in their entirety. I personally have never seen anything of the gravity to merit a special election—essentially an invalidation of our election results.

I urge City residents to refuse to sign, rejecting this assault on democracy.

Sheila Carrillo
Santa Cruz

Policy and Priorities

Thank you Good Times for spot-on coverage regarding all things cannabis and healthy food!

Also you published a very well-written editorial on our homeless brothers and sisters recently (Nuz, May 1). Thank you for keeping them on our radar; we need to remember that it is not only a public health issue; homelessness measures our effectiveness in local government, our level of compassion as a citizen and our priorities as human beings.

Please keep the dialogue alive.

A. Anderson

Nevada City, Ca.

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