Opinion: Oct. 14, 2020

Plus letters to the editor

Gov. Gavin Newsom backed Prop. 15 last month, saying it represents ‘California’s progressive fiscal values.’

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

We typically publish our Voter Guide the week before the November election, so readers can have it handy when they go to the polls. That doesn’t make sense this year (then again, what does?) since many if not most people will be mailing in their ballots. I’ve talked to a lot of people who want to get theirs in as quickly as possible, so with that in mind we’ve moved the bulk of our election coverage to this week. We’ve done some coverage of the election already—like last week’s rundown of the local education races and state propositions—and we’ll be writing about issues relevant to the ballot right up until Nov. 4, both in these pages and on our website In this issue, you’ll find a look at the candidates in the Santa Cruz, Capitola and Scotts Valley city council races, as well as the District 1 supervisor race, and a look at whether Prop. 15 can deliver the property-tax change that proponents promise.

Just a reminder to send me your questions about the science of wildfires for our UCSC Science Communication grad students to answer. We’ve gotten some good ones, but I’d still love for you to send yours to [email protected] with the subject line “Fire Question.”

Lastly, don’t forget the “Love You Madly” campaign! There are some heavy Santa Cruz hitters in this week’s releases, including Santa Cruz legends Snail, along with Toby Gray, Michael Gaither and more. And if you missed last week’s videos with Good Riddance and Lacy J. Dalton, go to to watch them and donate.


Letters to the Editor

The Joy of Killing Wildlife

So the opening of Cotoni-Coast National Monument is poised to bring the joy of killing wildlife to Santa Cruz County (GT, 10/7)! This despite numerous pleas to the contrary from residents and conservation/landtrust organizations.

Phase one begins with children armed with bows and arrows learning firsthand that shooting animals with a camera is for suckers who have to stick to the trails, while those with weapons and intent to kill are welcome to wander at will. After all, trying to find wounded animals so you can continue shooting arrows into them until they die could take you anywhere … including within shooting range of hiking trails.

Everyone agrees this property is not large enough to safely allow hunting, but it’s being pushed through regardless.

Providing animals raised in cages for hunters to shoot at usually guarantees better kill rates since they’re confused upon release and don’t know which way to run. Yes, that’s one of the plans.

It’s just chilling, and a slap in the face. We spend decades and millions of dollars preserving intact habitat, protecting our wildlife, teaching respect for the natural world and we get canned hunts in our backyard while Santa Cruz becomes a destination spot for the locked-n-loaded community.

BLM has a final 30-day complaint period. Otherwise, plan on wearing orange if you venture out there.

Clare Richards | Santa Cruz


Right Choices for Water District

I hope that voters in the service area of the Soquel Creek Water District (SqCWD) will cast their votes to return Bruce Daniels and Tom LaHue to the SqCWD Board of Directors. Daniels and LaHue bring integrity, unique expertise and dedication to Board service. They are driven to develop and apply practical solutions to serious water supply and quality challenges, in collaboration with district staff and stakeholders. These challenges are real and require comprehensive and thoughtful action. Daniels and LaHue have proven that they are dedicated to making good decisions about difficult topics. Securing water supplies is especially challenging given demand, changes in land use and a shifting climate. Daniels and LaHue have essential knowledge and are ready to work hard for the region. Please support them.

Andrew Fisher | Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences (Hydrogeology), UCSC




In the print version of a news story last week (“Bank Shot,” 10/7), Councilmember Renée Golder’s quote was cut off. The full quote should have read, “Consistently, what I’ve seen, living in Santa Cruz, is that projects come forward. People say they are for affordable housing or for housing, but it’s always ‘not here.’”

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