Plus Letters To the Editor
Here’s a Halloween anecdote that also ties into this week’s cover story: Director Wes Craven, who created the original Nightmare on Elm Street, told me in an interview once that while dreaming up the now-iconic character of Freddy Krueger, he recognized that mankind’s most primal fears were teeth and claws. Since it would have been impossible to top what Steven Spielberg did with teeth in Jaws, he went for claws.
Indeed, Spielberg—and before him, Peter Benchley, in the 1974 novel on which Jaws was based—created what has become the definitive cultural vision of sharks around the world. And shark experts wish he hadn’t, as they’ve spent the last 40 years trying to battle the misconception of bloodthirsty man-eating sharks that Jaws and its dozens of rip-offs created (even Benchley has said he would never write Jaws now, knowing what he knows about the true nature of sharks).
So sharks have become the creatures onto which we project our fears about nature’s merciless destructive power, but, as Maria Grusauskas’ story explores this week, they are so much more. There’s so much that we’re still learning about these incredible creatures, and the role that our coastal waters play in that research is the center around which this shark tale swims.
Getting back to Halloween for a minute, Anne-Marie Harrison has written a guide to the top events for All Hallows’ Eve locally. And it’s election week, too, so check out our news section for a run-down of candidates around the county (there’s even more online at gtweekly.com), and get out and vote!
Steve Palopoli | Editor-in-Chief
It’s troubling to see, for the first time in over 40 years that I’ve lived here, dirty politics being unleashed on a local political level. A KSBW TV story last week featured Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark falsely condemning a City Council candidate whom he has never met. Ironically, this candidate, Leonie Sherman, has worked closely with the SC Police Dept., on personal safety classes for our local school children.
What’s disturbing is not that this Deputy Chief has a political opinion, but that he chose to express it on city property, and is using his role as Deputy Chief to gain publicity. Is this legal, or in violation of city policies? It certainly seems inappropriate, and indicative that this individual lacks the moral judgment to be in a leadership position in our police department. It also taints the free elections we will all participate in Nov. 4.
Hopefully the decent citizens of Santa Cruz will reject these disturbing attempts to influence the outcome of this election.
Fred J. Geiger
Santa Cruz Biased Report
Wow, what is up with KSBW News?
OK, they prefer one or another of the other Santa Cruz City Council candidates, but when they decided that it was time to report that Leonie Sherman participated in demonstrations 15 years ago, they opened with footage of violence committed by the black bloc at Seattle’s World Trade Organization protests. They were tossing trash cans and crashing around with their faces masked and … wait, did KSBW claim that Ms. Sherman was violent?
No, of course not. Check the text of the broadcast, no one could accuse them of speaking the lie outright. Conservative estimates are that 40,000 people attended those rallies and marches and the group that acted to disrupt the demonstrations and the meetings were a very small fraction of that whole. No one believes that Ms. Sherman was among them. Did KSBW intend that we might connect the violent images they showed with the peaceful person that they were talking about? Duh!
It wouldn’t have been fair if they’d shown equally violent images when “reporting” on Neal Coonerty’s Berkeley protest days, or if they’d tried to smear Cynthia Mathews in a similar vein, and it isn’t fair this time.
Some people will be swayed by this tactic, they know that. If you were considering staying home … this might be reason enough to step up and cast your vote against this outsider’s cynical approach to our community’s election.
Tom Noddy, Santa Cruz
Bruce Van Allen was a great Santa Cruz City Councilmember and mayor back in the early 1980s, and he has now become an outstanding candidate for a return to office.
His unending integrity, his decades of experience and leadership in effective teamwork projects like the River Restoration Project and Alternatives to Desalination, his deep respect for all people and willingness to struggle for effective, compassionate solutions to social problems, his willingness to speak out on difficult moral issues like racial profiling by law enforcement agencies, his proven track record of helping to provide affordable housing in Santa Cruz, his strong support for workers, renters, the LGBT community, immigrants, and so much more—added to his deep sincerity and willingness to speak the truth, even in the most challenging of situations: this is the kind of awesome representative we need on the Santa Cruz City Council!!
Sherry Conable, Santa Cruz
Letters should not exceed 300 words and may be edited for length, clarity, grammar and spelling. They should include city of residence to be considered for publication. Please direct letters to the editor, query letters and employment queries to [email protected]” All classified and display advertising queries should be directed to [email protected]” All website-related queries, including corrections, should be directed to [email protected]“
SPOOKY SUN This ghostly image was actually snapped during daylight hours in a Felton forest; a thermograph (recording heat) of last Thursday’s solar eclipse, taken with an 87C infrared filter on a Nikon D-610. Photo by Jeffrey Luhn.
We tip our helmets to Chris Schneiter, the Santa Cruz civil engineer who won a People Power’s Sustainable Transportation Staff Award for all his hard work on the Arana Gulch Multi-use Trail project, which will be open soon to cyclists and pedestrians. Lynn Gallagher and John Daugherty shared the Community Member Award for their support of the trail, and for articulating what it will mean to the mobility-impaired community.
A new exhibit at the Museum of Art & History (MAH) will be open on First Friday, Nov. 7, featuring the work of California prison inmates. “The incarcerated artists in this exhibition are on a unique path of self-discovery, exploring an artistic set of tools that they can use to become someone new who can reconnect with the outside,” MAH marketing coordinator Elise Granata explains. It will be on display through February.
“This is Halloween, everybody make a scene.”
— Danny Elfman, ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’