Opinion: Tracking Preservation Efforts in Santa Cruz County

Watsonville’s Measure U has social and political repercussions for all of us

Field workers tend to a field of raised strawberry rows along Beach Road in Watsonville. PHOTO: Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

I don’t think there’s anyone more qualified to write about Watsonville’s open-space issues than Tony Nuñez. He’s been reporting on them for years; in fact, he got his start in news covering land-use policy as it applied to alcohol licenses in Watsonville. The state of Watsonville’s green space—its ag land, its parks, its unique landscape—has been a focus for him ever since.

So when you read this week’s cover story and feel like the author knows absolutely all of the social and political context around Measure U—well, it’s because he does. This is pretty much a definitive story on the subject, and I urge you to read it not just for what it explains about development and conservation in Watsonville, but also how that fits into the larger picture of development and conservation in Santa Cruz County as a whole.

I also wanted to put in a quick plug here for the Santa Cruz Comedy Festival, which wraps up with its final show at Laurel Park on Saturday. I went to last week’s, which featured hilarious sets from headliner Jackie Kashian, Phil Griffiths, Dave Nihil and more. It’s great to get the live comedy experience again, outside in a setting that feels spacious and safe. This last show features one of the biggest names in Bay Area comedy, headliner Emily Van Dyke (replacing Chris Estrada, who had to drop out due to a family emergency), as well as Andrew Orolfo and Emma Arnold. Go to and click on “Events” to get tickets.

Lastly, you have gotten your recall ballot by now. Don’t forget to vote! Our apathy is what a lot of unqualified (and, frankly, scary) people are counting on—don’t let them win.



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