Longtime locals may be getting déjà vu at recent Santa Cruz City Council meetings. Tensions are running high, and divisiveness is approaching peak levels—in other words, it’s how the political climate gets around here every time homeless issues rise to the top of the agenda. It’s been that way for at least as long as I’ve been in Santa Cruz. Things got particularly nasty in the mid-’90s, in the wake of the Loma Prieta earthquake, and again in 2000, then again in 2002 … actually, I can remember more years it was bad than years it wasn’t.
The discourse has often gotten extremely uncivil. So is there any difference now, as the Ross Camp and overnight parking on Delaware Avenue become only the most high-profile issues splintering the current debate? Perhaps, as we have just witnessed the city’s mayor call out other councilmembers for what’s been called sexist and inappropriate behavior, bringing what was once mainly backroom scuffling into the light of public debate.
In this week’s cover story, Jacob Pierce takes a closer look at that debate, bringing in perspectives from everyone involved to examine the question of where the lines of acceptable behavior should be drawn in our city government. We can only hope the push to take such issues seriously will improve the situation not only now, while #MeToo and bullying are trending issues, but also every year this comes up again in the future.
Letters to the Editor
Re: “Spin Vogue” (GT, 2/27):
Offshore wind in the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary? We don’t have to destroy the environment to “save” it if we emulate Sweden, France and Finland—countries that decarbonized decades ago, thanks to nuclear power. Instead, we emulate Germany, which—after spending hundreds of billions on wind and solar while closing nuclear plants—has failed to reduce CO2 emissions for 10 years straight.
Contrary to popular belief, civilian nuclear power and its waste have hurt no one in the United States. Worldwide, civilian nuclear power accidents have killed less people than are killed every single day by pollution from burning coal.
We need nuclear power and renewables. Read, for example, the new book A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow. Our existence depends on everyone understanding what it really takes to decarbonize.
I must respond to the absurd comments of Marji Schoeneman (Letters, 2/27).
I also live in Watsonville, Marji. I live in the retirement community of Pajaro Village. One might think that older folks just love Trump and all his behaviors. Think again!
There is little respect left in my community for Trump. His disgusting, racist, misogynist, xenophobic behaviors were well outlined by our former secretary of state Madeleine Albright.
No, there was not one miniscule amount of respect for Trump in the article. And if you watched the Michael Cohen hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 27, you know why.
As I went door to door when I ran for city council in District 7, many voters wanted to know if I was a Democrat, and if I would help remove Donald Trump if elected.
I replied every time in the affirmative.
Fortunately, my two opponents were Democrats and have similar views to mine regarding Trump. Even though I did not win, I was struck by the anger, outrage and disgust with this POTUS. It reinforced my faith in the people of Watsonville. I resolved to do all that I can to remove him legally from office.
Thank you, Good Times, for your timely article regarding a true feminist leader from my generation. God bless Madeleine Albright. You go, girl!
Speak Up For Green New Deal
The UN’s latest climate report claims we have 12 years to dramatically transform our economy and lifestyles to preserve the stable climate human civilization has depended on for millenia.
We need a massive mobilization of every sector of society on par with what science and justice demand. Local activist groups have already taken the initiative, but we need more people across a wider spectrum of backgrounds to speak up.
We need the parents of young children too young to speak for themselves and local high school and college students to demand action. These are the futures most jeopardized.
A Green New Deal will keep Americans safe from climate change and create millions of green jobs. It is common sense policy that is overwhelmingly popular with American people, regardless of political party or where they live.
In last week’s news story “Spin Vogue,” GT reported the incorrect name for the proposed Castle Wind project in Morro Bay. We regret the error.Spe