.From The Editor

ednote stevePlus Letters To the Editor

I know I’m not the only one with fond memories of the KPIG Fat Frys at Aptos Village Park in the ’90s. Like the station itself, which at the time was busy defining the Americana genre for the radio industry under Laura Ellen Hopper, those festivals were the height of rootsy eclecticism—on any given day, you might see Taj Mahal, Los Lobos, Robert Earl Keen, Emmylou Harris, etc.

When the Fat Frys dried up, the Santa Cruz Blues Festival picked up a lot of the slack. You could see Dave Alvin there regularly, for instance, despite the fact that he’s only a blues artist in the sense that all American music is basically blues. The expanded musical range of the festival coincided with a similarly widening scope at Moe’s Alley, the club owned by Blues Festival co-founder Bill Welch which has been a proving ground for many acts that ended up in Aptos Village Park.

So in some ways, the Blues Festival’s re-invention as the Santa Cruz American Music Festival this year is more symbolic, an embrace of genre cross-pollination that has been part of the underlying philosophy for a long time. On the other hand, there is definitely some westward expansion in the lineup, with Sunday featuring more trad-country than the park has ever seen. With a mix of the familiar and the unexpected—and, of course, Bonnie Raitt—this seems like a promising way to kick off a new era.

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On WAMM   

I want to set the record straight concerning my involvement with WAMM, my divorce and other what I call misunderstandings.

First, I remain and always will be a WAMMie. I co-founded the organization and it is my dearest wish that it continue to be the exemplary MM [Medical Marijuana] organization that it was created to be, whether I am directly involved or not.

The clarifications I am addressing are about my personal life and the perceptions in the article (GT, 5/13).

The article stated that Valerie and I are divorcing. This is incorrect. Our divorce was final a year ago, and she and I have been separated for 14 years. I am currently in an ongoing relationship, and have been for six years.

The divorce is not the reason for the sale of the land. The reason is because of finances. I never made much money working as Ag Director and can no longer afford to pay for property that I have not lived on since 2006.

Last December, I made WAMM an offer to buy my half ownership, and that is what this is about. It is not to “ divvy it up,” as the Sentinel misstated, but to try to allow WAMM a way to stay and keep growing and eventually when we are both dead to have full ownership. Also, this will help Valerie have her dream and stay living on the land. This is my ultimate goal and legacy.

I have not “moved on” from WAMM, as the article implies but from my relationship with Valerie. Our relationship made it through many hurdles over the years, but one came in 1995 that eventually brought the end to our marriage. Nobody was bad, but unexpected things happen. I left because the ongoing tension between Valerie and I was hurting WAMM. I have never really spoken of these things before, because this has always been private for me.

I sincerely hope that the Indiegogo campaign works, and WAMM can maintain the status and place in history that it has earned. npnOther than these points, the GT article was very good.

WAMM has always been a good story and it is nice to see that it continues to be.

Thank you for your time.

Mike Corral, WAMM Co-Founder

Care Package

Thank you for publishing the article regarding “Unliving Wages” (GT, 5/13) for childcare workers. We appreciate your calling attention to this timely issue.

We wanted to clarify the information regarding our grant requests with the city and county. We are not asking the city or the county to “up their support of the center by $45,000,” but are seeking a total of 45,000 from all of our funders, which would indeed raise all of our staff to a minimum of $15 per hour. This group of funders includes the city and county, but also includes private donors, parents, and our own fundraising events as well. We are actually asking for approximately $8,900 in additional funds from each of the local jurisdictions, which is incidentally about 25 percent of the amount of funding we’ve lost from them since the great recession of 2008.

There’s been a lot of attention paid to raising the minimum wage of fast food or retail workers to $15. The plight of childcare workers, and those of the Toddler Center specifically, is in many ways quite different. Whereas minimum wage jobs are often entry level and low-skilled, our teachers are college educated and have years, some decades, of experience working with young children. Furthermore, we are a nonprofit organization, with 85 percent of our budget going toward personnel costs. There simply are not enough funds generated by the “business” of childcare to pay its workers a worthy wage, without subsidy.

Santa Cruz families have been fortunate enough to benefit from the generosity of the city and county for the past many years. Families have enjoyed exceptionally high quality care, with a sliding fee scale, by exceptionally gifted teachers and aides partly thanks to the local government, and private subsidies. The time has come for childcare workers to receive worthy wages for their extraordinarily important work.

Contributions to the cause may be made by going to either our Facebook page and clicking “donate” on the Razoo icon, or by going to Razoo.com and searching for Santa Cruz Toddler Care Center.

Nora Caruso and Sandy Davie | SCTCC

Letters Policy

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 le*****@gt******.com. All website-related queries, including corrections, should be directed to we*******@gt******.com.


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HAWK EYED Bird in flight photographed on the Westside. Photograph by Paige Stone.


good work


The Downtown Accountability Program followed 70 repeat offenders in Santa Cruz last year and by helping them get services has shown a 70 percent decrease in arrests and citations. Ambulance runs for those 70 also decreased 80 percent, thanks to connecting them with the treatment they need.


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The best way to keep unwanted items away from the landfill is to have other people pay for them. The City of Santa Cruz will hold its annual citywide garage sale May 30 and 31; call 420-5593 for a garage sale kit and list your sale on the city’s map at cityofsantacruz.com/garagesales.





“There’s a sadness to all kinds of music, if you want to hear it. There’s also happiness to it, if you want to hear it.” — B.B. King



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