Opinion: Feb. 12, 2020

Plus letters to the editor

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

Though it’s gone almost unnoticed everywhere except here in the pages of GT, Santa Cruz has played a major part in the podcast revolution. The producers and stars of such blockbuster podcasts as Serial, Bullseye, Undisclosed and more got their start up at KZSC on the UCSC campus, or at local radio stations like KSCO and the gone-but-not-forgotten KUSP.

This week, Jacob Pierce takes a look at two more Santa Cruz connections to the podcast world. The subject of his cover story, Ezra Klein, hosts a couple of popular podcasts, and now the former UCSC student and co-founder of Vox Media has a new book about the intense political polarization in our country. Pierce profiles Klein, and explores in a sidebar story how that same polarization has trickled down to local politics, as well.

In the news section, he also has a Q&A with KUSP alum Sean Rameswaram, whose podcast Today, Explained has risen to rival NPR’s Up First and the New York TimesThe Daily as America’s daily-news podcast of choice. We plan to stay plugged in to the rapidly evolving podcast industry and this area’s surprisingly strong connection to it.

Letters to the Editor


Re: “Berner Accounts” (GT. 1/29): The DCC does actively listen and encourage everyone to vote in our community. The DCC has over a decade of accumulated fundraising dollars earned by hard-working volunteers that is utilized for staffing offices in Santa Cruz and Watsonville during election seasons. The DCC races have appeared on the last two presidential primary ballots because there were more candidates than seats. The number of seats is determined by Santa Cruz County Elections Department based on voter registration. The DCC’s agenda for the monthly meetings include an informative report on Affordable Housing. The DCC have members that support the Green New Deal and the DCC provides Green New Deal yard signs. Did you read about the DCC’s role in the incredible 2nd Civics Summit giving high school students the opportunity to meet and talk to our electeds? Yes, it’s true, Democrats have a big tent. The DCC members are a diverse group that support our local unions, support Swing Left and support the five active members that are local Sanders supporters. We invite the public to the monthly meetings and to help with flipping districts to blue.

Carolyn Livingston, Treasurer, Democratic Party of Santa Cruz County


Manu Up

Re: “Jet Plane Wrong” (Letters, GT, 2/5): I’ve lived in Soquel more than 40 years. My Supervisor is John Leopold. I voted for him three times but I can’t vote for him again. I no longer believe he represents the best future for my community. 

Leopold has been thoughtless in regards to development in the mid-county; ignoring the voices of his constituents, favoring wealthy out-of-town developers. He supports a billion-dollar train to Davenport without having the money to pay for it. Likely to be funded by increased parcel and sales taxes, used largely for transporting freight through our neighborhoods and offering little relief to traffic congestion.

Manu Koenig’s candidacy feels fresh and has a vision for the future. While he supports policies to mitigate traffic and encourage alternative means of transportation, Leopold just voted (ignoring community opposition) to build a car dealership at the busiest intersection in the mid-county, irrevocably changing the nature of the mid-county community. He disregarded years of planning by Sustainable Soquel for building a walkable, livable community. He betrayed our community.

Honestly, do we need more cars in Santa Cruz? 

We are choking in traffic. 

While Manu Koenig is creatively and progressively planning a better future, John Leopold has tied himself to the old, worn out values that no longer work and no longer serve us. Manu is willing to listen and learn. Leopold has demonstrated that he will not and does not.

If John Leopold was able to solve our problems, he’d have done so by now.

It’s time for a change.

I’m voting for Manu Koenig

Michele D’Amico | Soquel



Is it just goodwill on the part of Melissa Etheridge, recipient of the first non-retail cannabis license approved by the county supervisors, for giving a concert and meet-and-greet in support of John Leopold’s campaign? Surely the value of Melissa’s “contribution” to John’s campaign must exceed the state Fair Political Practices limit of $500? Or is this just a “thank you” in the bank in case her business needs other county supervisory approvals?

Nadene Thorne | Santa Cruz



Last week’s music story (“Queue the Music,” 2/5) misreported the day of the week of the band Hawktail’s upcoming show at Michael’s on Main. The show is Saturday, Feb. 15.

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