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Opinion: Santa Cruz Wakes Up to Water Issues

Current drought already having a concerning effect on our ecosystem

Newell Creek Dam

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

I didn’t realize how dire things had gotten at our local reservoir until March, after we’d run an aerial photo of Loch Lomond. Reader Pamela Morgan from Ben Lomond wrote in and said, “That was not a current photo. As of March 7, this is what the Loch actually looks like—almost 20 feet low. I’ve never seen it this low, even in October.” The accompanying photo she sent was unsettling, but what was even more so was the fact that our photographer Tarmo Hannula had taken his aerial shot fairly recently, in December—certainly not long enough that the contrast between the two should be so stark. “Wake up Santa Cruz,” Morgan wrote. “This is your drinking water!”
Erin Malsbury starts her cover story this week at Loch Lomond, which is now an alarming 60% low; so depleted that the City of Santa Cruz is worried about their construction equipment getting stuck as they try to replace the pipeline. But her story is about the fact that Santa Cruz has indeed woken up—to a water nightmare. How we might be able to turn this situation around is the focus of her piece, and what makes it all the more compelling is the signs she points to that the current drought is already having a concerning effect on our ecosystem.

STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Letters to the Editor

Re: Remains at Santa Cruz High

I’m glad to hear that they are taking precautionary measures to preserve what was found, and that descendants of local tribes were consulted during the process of excavating.

— Rodney Sablan

“European occupiers?” I think you mean “immigrants,” you bigot.
— Frank
Sure, they “immigrated” and everyone had a great time /s.
— Tom

Why do people get so upset at presumed intentions of word meanings? So weird. They found old remains, pretty interesting, and now Santa Cruz sits on top of what used to be tribal lands that were taken by Europeans. It’s not conjecture, it’s a fact. Why is that bigotry? I’m confused what the issue is with the article.
— Marie

Re: Ride Out
So what, Santa Cruz was clogged for one day out of the year. Be thankful we have the kind of community turnout for these unique events. It’s what keeps the city alive.
— Josh

Re: Palace Closing
Those of us who value this store, it’s familiar shopping experience and personal service should vow to support them by bringing any and all possible sales to them, at least as an expression of our appreciation. But even moreso, as a hope for our succeeding in making the difference for their being able to stay open. Because just like when tearing down a beautiful old building, they will never come back. And if we don’t protect these things we value in life, no one else will.
— Lauren Casey

Read the latest letters to the editor here.

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