June 3-10, 2009

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Zipline To Her Heart

I WAS immediately captured by the photo of the skydivers on the cover of the May 27 issue, having had my very own first dive four years ago for my 70th birthday. I compared feelings and experiences as I read Curtis Cartier's narrative ("Freefalling," Cover Story). Our greatest difference was in the planning--mine was my surprise BD party--hence not a lot of time for nervousness and those "dreadful flutters."

I had watched divers and yearned for that soaring feeling for years. There were 40 of my best friends there to witness, share and celebrate with me. I wrote them after the party to share my feelings and assure them that there was never one second of fear or apprehension, just an overwhelming feeling of pure joy that I was, in fact, getting to do this!

I was also enthralled with your articles on ziplining ("The Air Up There," Cover Story) and the Sea Swings ride ("Cheap Thrill," Cover Story)! Guess what I'll be doing next!

I enjoy the Santa Cruz Weekly.

 Opal McAllister,


Kudos on Teen Sex Story

I WAS REALLY impressed by the depth of the reporting for "Inside the Pornocopia" (Cover Story, May 20). This was comparable with The New York Times or any paper! Wow! Kudos to you and Ms. Lussenhop.

Although I was reading until the end, hoping for answer--yay or nay, what is good, what is bad? But I guess there are no easy answers in life, and the data is not there yet.

Sophia Yen,

But Who's Counting?

IN YOUR article "Billion" (Breakdown, May 20) it says a million seconds is 11.8 days, a billion seconds is 31.7 years and a billion dollars stacked "on top of one another, would stretch all the way to the moon and back."

The average distance to the moon is 238,857 miles. Twice that distance in inches (5,280*12*2) is 30,267,959,040. A stack of money is between 200-233 an inch. You would need about 6 trillion paper currency to measure to the moon and back.

The measure in seconds is close to the truth. A million seconds is 11.57 days and a billion seconds is 31.69 years.

Not trying to pick. I used to hunt pyramid schemes on the Internet and report them. Making fun of their claims gave me practice noticing when things don't scale.

John Pilge,

No Mystery Here

COMPUTERS are not the sole contributors changing the way our kids view sex. All one has to do is flip to the back cover of the Santa Cruz Weekly for the featured ads from American Apparel. Easy!

Cynthia Martino,
By email

Dump Prop. 13

MANY voted no in the special election not to protest more taxes but to reject confusing shell games with state funds and demand a real fix to California budget problems. First, let's revisit property taxes. Prop. 13, designed to keep homeowners from losing their homes as property taxes rose beyond their means to pay, was forecast as a disaster for education and local services. We're in the midst of that disaster. Writing a bill that keeps a safety provision for primary residences but allows counties to tax commercial and corporate property at its actual value would provide a steady revenue stream to schools and local services.

Next, change drug laws and super-punitive sentencing laws that result in millions going to keep people who are dangerous only to themselves behind bars for years. The criminal justice budget is higher than the social services budget. Let's put the pressure on our state officials to stop holding us hostage to their political bickering and show some real leadership. I do believe my students at the Santa Rosa Junior College could work together more constructively and creatively to design a budget that provides the services we need without taxing the people who can't afford more taxes.

Judy Helfand,

'Progress' Belongs in 'Progressive'

I WOULD BET that Phil Trounstine ("It's High Time for Progressives to Support Progress," Bullhorn, May 20) is not a Republican, just a frustrated citizen of Santa Cruz County, as am I. And I couldn't have agreed with him more. Glad to hear I am not the only one.

As a proud member of the bleeding heart liberals and a progressive, let's remember the "progress" and keep moving forward, find solutions, Get things done. One glaring example is Highway 1/Fishhook. It took so long to come to a decision, and the beautiful work completed only resulted in moving the logjam up a few exits.

Maybe the widening of Highway 1 to Soquel will help somewhat, but traveling 1 at commute time is still a grave concern when it comes to emergency vehicles, pollution creation, gas consumption and livability. Progressive equals PROGRESS, end of debate!

Pat Lasich,

Gonna Go Down Chewin'

ARI LEVAUX's article, "Fun with Factory Farm Bills" (Dining, April 15) had me sympathizing. Who doesn't like small family farms, backyard gardens, farmers markets, "your flock of backyard chickens," etc.? After all, writes LeVaux, our right to grow our own food is "as inalienable as the right to bear arms." Those evil lawmakers better not screw with that right. I'm gonna stand guard in my back yard. They'll take my homegrown turnips when they pry my cold, dead, fingers from them!

Philip Ratcliff,

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