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Opinion: May 13, 2020

Plus letters to the editor

This humpback whale in Monterey Bay was entangled in a crab trap. Photos like these document the dangers wildlife face. PHOTO: COURTESY JODI FREDIANI, NOAA MMHSRP PERMIT #18786-2

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

I’m sure it’s no surprise that many of the stories we were planning before this pandemic—some of them in the works for months—had to be scrapped or at least indefinitely postponed as there was more and more to cover about the coronavirus’ impact on Santa Cruz County. But this week’s cover story by Alisha Green is one of the rare exceptions. She had already been working on a story about how nature photographers have become essential to the conservation movement, but what I love about her finished piece is the way she pivoted to examine how the retreat of humans into quarantine has brought our impact on nature into stark relief. I’ve seen several fairly lazy articles in the mainstream media about how the natural world has rebounded during the pandemic; this story goes deeper and asks tough questions about what happens when we are not in lockdown any longer. It also celebrates the work of some incredible photographers who call Santa Cruz home.

Many thanks to the readers who have been writing in and calling to share their appreciation for our coverage, and even just check in on how the staff is holding up. In turn, I want to express my gratitude to the readers and advertisers who have continued to support us as we try to support our community. With so many distribution spots closed, we’ve had to shift where you can find GT every week (kudos to Circulation Manager Shannen Craig for navigating this craziness), but you’ll still find us around the county each and every Wednesday, and I’m heartened to see how much the paper is getting picked up. For a full list of distribution spots, go to our website, goodtimes.sc. And of course don’t forget to also check the website for all the news coverage we can’t fit in print, including our coronavirus liveblog.

STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Letters to the Editor

If You Open It, They Will Come

Re: Letters (GT, 5/6): It’s too bad that Jay Dravidian doesn’t realize that it’s because of the beaches being closed that there are no people! If the beaches weren’t closed, throngs from over the hill would come and bring lots of people.

Jay should be given the job at the DMV.

Lucia MacLean | Ben Lomond

Pandemic Monument

Re: “Our Pandemic Past”: Hi Geoffrey Dunn, my name is Michael Dunn, and my grandfather was born in the town of Valencia, which is now part of Aptos. His father, Edward George Dunn, married Mary Bradshaw, and her father and uncle were a couple of the founders of Corralitos. Mary had four of her siblings die in the 1918 pandemic, and there was a monument made to honor them. It was published on the front page of the Santa Cruz Sentinel since there were more children that died in that family than any other at the time. The Cemetery in Corralitos was moved to the Pioneer Cemetery on Freedom Blvd, and that monument is there to this day along with the other plots for the Bradshaw family. That family history includes a John Bradshaw that was a scout for the army and he forged a trail that was called the Bradshaw Trail and it went all the way to Arizona, and later became Route 66. Anyway, I know you are a historian and that it’s doubtful that we are related, but I thought you might be interested in a bit of local history that is outside the common knowledge.

Michael Dunn | Boulder Creek

Live Through This

Dear Mr. Dunn, thank you for your great article in the GT about the 1918 pandemic (“Our Pandemic Past,” 4/29). I’m going to pray that everyone reads it, as it does sound familiar. I find your family history fascinating! I was born in Oakland in 1957, first generation American. My parents survived Nazi Germany as children, and in 1953, my dad said, “We’re outta here.” He was adventurous and they got on a ship with my then-3-year-old brother to America and with sponsors, German friends, Mormons, ultimately landed in Salt Lake City with 100 bucks. Not a word of English. They were from Hamburg, and my mom from eastern Prussia before the Russians took over? Idk. Whenever I would talk to my parents about it they always would cry, so I don’t know much. My dad was a specialty baker; he died in 2017 at 89. Long story, too. If you’ve been around the area a long time, maybe you remember the Black Forest Bakery in Boulder Creek in 1975?

I’m just an old hippie in Santa Cruz with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pretty terrified as my mother, 90, is living in a nursing home on Capitola Road. With no testing, of course.

Anyway, long story long, I just hope people are smart enough to wear masks and do the social distancing, etc. I have to live, my mom only has me left. And my daughter has three children that need their “Oma” (grandma). And I want everyone just to consider others—unlike Trump!

I’m hoping to survive this. Please continue educating the public. Thanks so much.

Judy W. Clark | Soquel

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