Plus Letters To the Editor
In 25 years of driving from or to Santa Cruz, I have stopped on the Summit exactly one time, when my car overheated. Despite the fact that tens of thousands of us drive the hill every day, many Santa Cruz residents have never stopped there at all. In Brad Kava’s cover story this week, he quotes the owner of the Summit House Beer Garden as saying she hears from at least five customers a day that it’s their first time stopping, even if they’ve been driving by for decades, and that they never knew how much was up there.
And man, is there some trippy stuff up there. One thing we like to do here at GT is write about Santa Cruz County’s neighborhoods, digging a little deeper into the history and personality of each area than even longtime locals may be familiar with. But I have to say, the Summit “neighborhood,” if we can think of it like that for a minute, is possibly the most bizarre one we’ve ever covered, with a twisty history, a frontier-like mentality and a cast of characters for whom the description “colorful” is a massive understatement. Give it a read, and next time you drive by the Summit, you may give it a second look.
STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
I think your article on People Power changing its name to Bike Santa Cruz County (GT, 4/1) missed an important point.
When People Power formed in 1991, many labeled it a radical organization, and the name helped foster that image. It promoted the idea that driving was creating dependence on foreign oil that would lead to Middle East instability, was filling our atmosphere with climate-changing carbon dioxide and was contributing to many other societal problems.
These “radical” ideas are now pretty mainstream, and changing the name makes a lot of sense. But there’s obviously little joy in having People Power’s core concerns be validated.
Yet, the most “radical” idea People Power had is, unfortunately, one that remains radical. That is that we as individuals have the responsibility to do something about these problems. Nearly 25 years later, the vast majority of Santa Cruzans still drive fossil-fuel-powered cars as if there’s no connection to society’s greatest challenges.
Luckily, we have groups like Bike Santa Cruz County and Ecology Action promoting the alternatives. But there is still a frighteningly long way to go in moving our community and society away from the addiction of gasoline-powered vehicles.
It’s hard to think of a group with a more important mission. Good luck Bike Santa Cruz County!
Ron Goodman, Santa Cruz
Hail John Malkin! I was impressed by the way your article (GT, 4/1) handled the complex and “emotional evening.” For a Santa Cruz moment that quickly led to histrionic slogans (I heard statements completely over the top from all sides, from “Terrorism means we must militarize!” to “This is a police state!”) I gotta say your measured presentation of the facts was refreshing to read. And thanks for choosing a quote using some of the more measured words to come out of my big mouth.
The root of concern for my crowd is the need for separation of military and police function. I particularly like your inclusion of the quote from President of the Police Officers Association Joe Hernandez as he made a case that it is too late to slow militarization, concluding that, “When we talk about militarization of the police, to some degree we’re there.”
If I was going to use Joe’s statement in a comedy context, I would read his statement and tag it with, “And how fucked up is that?”
If you’re not already familiar with civil liberties attorney Lynne Wilson, you might check out her article The Law of Posse Comitatus. Good work, Sir John.
Richard “Fossil” Stockton, Santa Cruz
Just want to share my experience at the City Council meeting March 24 regarding the BearCat police protection vehicle. What I learned there was how important the work I am doing is. It is so necessary for me to be out there as an African-American man promoting peace and compassion.
What I don’t understand is why I get so many tickets for playing “What the World Needs Now is Love” too loud. I do this in order to get people’s attention. This is how I collect donated items, food, clothes, building materials, to deliver to the reservations in the USA. I have a burning desire in my heart to give back to the Native American people because of what I saw there; dirt floors, outhouses, carrying water just like they did in the old days. Nothing has changed.
Also, my awareness is how much discrimination still exists so strongly. This is the issue I think needs to be addressed at City Council. I am trying to work with the city officials. What I am doing is working and I am feeling sad and driven because the police keep giving me tickets when all I am trying to do is promote peace, love and understanding. I am a landscaper and I plant seeds for beauty and create joy and peaceful gatherings. I respect the officer’s job, but do you have to be so rigid as to not see the community response to the work I am doing downtown? I would like to work with the authorities promoting peace and compassion. Can we be on the same side?
Curtis Reliford, Follow Your Heart Action Network (Driver of the red Peace Train)
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LA JETEE Walton Lighthouse (sometimes called Seabright Lighthouse) was built in 2002 and designed to withstand 250,000 pounds of wave energy. Photograph by Nick Trujillo.
Last year, the Homeless Services Center piloted the Recuperative Care Center (RCC), w
hich serves as a safe place for the homeless to recover after hospitalization. Their data shows that having a facility in which to recuperate can reduce costly hospital stays and emergency room visits. On April 16, the Homeless Services Center will host their sixteenth annual Soupline Supper at the Cocoanut Grove, featuring local restaurants and caterers, to directly benefit the RCC.
Everyone can benefit from slowing down, which is why the recent increase in peaceful places like the Divine Light Healing Traditions Center, which opens at Divinitree Yoga in May, is a welcome addition to the city’s growing “slowness” industry. They’ll offer massages, reiki, ayurvedic massage, counseling and a quiet tea room.
“Going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.” — John Muir