Plus Letters To the Editor
Support for Proposition 37, the 2012 initiative that would have required a special label for products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), was huge in Santa Cruz. When it was defeated at the polls by a ridiculously narrow margin, supporters pointed to the huge scare campaign by Monsanto and other corporations, which outspent the tiny “Yes on 37” campaign by tens of millions of dollars, hammering home the notion that GMO labeling was going to make food costs skyrocket.
When I read Christina Waters’ cover story this week, I see the legacy of that expensive disinformation campaign. Quite simply, people don’t know what to believe about food labeling anymore, and there hasn’t been enough of an education effort by the agencies creating the labels to help consumers understand the difference between a product labeled “GMO-free,” “USDA Certified Organic,” “Made With Organic Products,” or anything else. Waters’ examination of this confusion not only makes the differences easy to understand, it shows how the lack of consumer comprehension is hurting the organic movement.
What I like about cover stories such as this one is that they can inspire small changes that have a big impact, once the difference between labels is explained, and the implications for organic farmers is clear. In an area like this that cares deeply about where its food comes from and how it’s produced, a little knowledge goes a long way.
STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
I recently attended Metro bus meetings to ask for route 68 to include service to Frederick and Gault and Broadway to Frederick. A concern is the hazards of traffic for pedestrians, especially those with handicaps and those who must move slowly. Another major problem is the condition of the sidewalks. People with walkers or wheelchairs must negotiate narrow places. Occasionally a person with a wheelchair will risk going out on the street to get around an obstacle.
The conclusion of the Metro planners was not to change bus route 68. Also, route 6, which was never adequate and therefore did not get sufficient ridership, was canceled.
We were advised by Metro to contact the City Council and tell them to get the sidewalks fixed. But where is the money for either increased bus service or smooth adequate sidewalks?
You on the City Council have now been offered a gift of a Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck to protect the Boardwalk, UCSC, and Lockheed. It goes by the team mascot name of “BearCat.”
Accept the gift. Sell it to a theme park, where people dressed as “BearCats” can entertain children. Use the money to fix the sidewalks and extend service to bus riders.
The never-ending war which the United States has become stuck in requires many boots on the ground. Many of the wounded warriors will come home needing public transportation. They will not need BearCats.
Patricia R. Miller, Santa Cruz
Re: ‘Daily Pressed’
Having lived in Santa Cruz for 20-plus years and having written hundreds of articles for the Santa Cruz Sentinel as a freelance journalist, I am fond of the paper and sad to see it shrinking. I don’t blame the paper itself, since it is controlled by corporate investors, but consider it a victim of the overall decline of readership and shift of ad dollars in the journalism industry. Thanks for this illuminating article.
— Karen Kefauver
Re: ‘Reclaiming Anita’
Great conversation, great piece! And I appreciated the reminder of a time before the Internet, and how different the news was spread. Anita Hill is an amazingly strong woman and a great role model for my daughter!
— Tina Brown
Re: ‘Paws for Alarm’
The free open space of the beach doesn’t belong to one group or the other. [The] anti-off-leash group must grow up and learn to share. People and birds do much more damage to beaches than dogs do. Let’s live in peace with the birds and the dogs.
— Michaela Scott
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AFTER-SCHOOL SPECIAL A little afternoon surf practice is always a good idea, especially in the Lane. Photograph by Scott Clark.
Who would have thought all those hours streaming Netflix and not talking to anyone would have been good for Santa Cruz? Well, they might not have paid off per se, but Santa Cruz sure has more clout, now that Forbes has named resident Reed Hastings a billionaire on its latest list. There were a record 290 newcomers to the list—another one being Michael Jordan.
After someone threw a puppy and mother dog out a car window last week, shocked locals raised $6,000 to pay for tips leading to an arrest. The dogs had been sealed in sandbags, and the puppy was killed. More fundraising, mostly from an anonymous donor, increased the fund to $25,000. Anyone with information can call the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter (SCCAS) at 831-454-7303 Ext. 1.
“If you have to wear a hazmat suit to raise crops, why would you ever eat them?”— Steve Bivans