Plus Letters To the Editor
Before reading Geoffrey Dunn and Kim Stoner’s cover story this week, what I knew about the history of surfing in Santa Cruz pretty much began with its spread up the coast of California in the early 20th century. I’d read a little bit five or six years ago about the visit of three Hawaiian princes—David Kawananakoa, Edward Keliiahonui and Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole—to Santa Cruz in 1885, but it was entirely in the context of whether their boarding activity gave us a better claim to the “Surf City” title than those poseurs in Huntington Beach. What I didn’t know until reading this week’s story was that Santa Cruz was already widely known as Surf City throughout California by the 1890s. Nor had I ever heard of “surf swimming,” or the Santa Cruz Daily Surf newspaper. That’s the thing about this story: though it’s centered around the princes’ visit, it’s full of interesting little details about what beach culture was like in Santa Cruz more than a hundred years ago, and provides the context necessary to really understand how and why surfing flourished here.
In conjunction with the 130th anniversary of the princes’ introduction of surfing to the city, the MAH’s new exhibit will showcase two of the three boards they crafted themselves and rode here. There are several events connected to the exhibit, starting this Friday, so check out the story for details on how to celebrate our own Surfing Independence Day.
STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
I am super disappointed at the recent June 24 article attacking Deputy Chief Steve Clark, published in GT Weekly, if even one could call it an “article.” It is not an article. It is not an editorial. I can tell you what it is: trashy tabloid fodder found in a deep dark hole under the editor’s desk on a particularly slow week, that GT Weekly floated up as a coherent piece of journalism, after what I can only assume was a night of heavy drinking. A revenge hit piece with the ramblings of an irrelevant washed-up political activist/self-described anarchist (oh, the irony!) that contribute nothing more than letters on a page of an already compromised, distrusted, and, dare I say, crumbling publication.
The editorial board should be ashamed. This limp excuse of an opinion barely passes muster for a junior high literature class and would certainly garner the student remedial courses in basic fact checking. Readership is down, and I can see why. My only advice to the board is that they enlist the help of my daughter’s second-grade English class the next time they decide they pretend to do something useful for the community other than supplying materials for washing our windows.
In the great words of Billy Madison, “I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”
-Chris Culligan, Santa Cruz
Thanks much for publishing the article by John Malkin “Blurred Blue Lines,” revealing the many serious instances of inappropriate behavior by SCPD Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark. I can’t believe that after slandering a city council candidate, attempting to intimidate several former and present mayors and council members, and flaunting city regulations on acquisitions and grants—in the recent “BearCat” matter—Clark still remains in the employment of us, the citizens of Santa Cruz. Even worse, he’s in a management role in our Police Department.
On the other hand, given the direction of city politics in recent years, having an apparent bully in such a prominent position is not surprising. As Franklin said, “people get the democracy they deserve.” Congratulations to the majority of voters in Santa Cruz.
P.S. Feel free, Mr. Clark, to add our names to your surveillance files. We and many others are watching you, too.
-Fred J. Geiger and Susan Martinez, Santa Cruz
The removal of Deputy Clark as SCPD spokesman was a good first step. However, is Deputy Clark’s escalation of conflict rhetoric indicative of a larger problem in the department? The communication responses from our police force should primarily be slanted toward conflict resolution, and specifically a de-escalation of the poor communication responses of Deputy Clark.
This process would skillfully facilitate dialogue where needed, as it would also engage in public truth telling, which includes responsibility for wrongdoing. It should also rely on seeing those of differing political persuasions as an honest opposition, something that Deputy Clark has shown he is, so far and from his own words, incapable of always recognizing. And although the accusations of intimidation from Deputy Clark may be a “he said, she said,” suffice that the citizenry is now alerted to this possibility and can respond accordingly, as should our public officials, both elected and appointed. And it’s sad that it has come to this, as situations like this can and do undermine public confidence in our police force. If Deputy Clark is indeed “one of the finest and most dedicated officers on our local department,” as stated by Analicia Cube of TBSC, then let’s hope his actions from here on, toward all of our citizenry, become a justification of this recommendation.
-John Balawejder, 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 website-related queries, including corrections, should be directed to [email protected]
UPON REFLECTION Shoreline homes in Capitola get the funhouse mirror effect. Photography by Kasia Palermo.
Snow to Surf
The dry winter and lack of snow has apparently been good for Santa Cruz, driving hotel occupancy up 15 percent this year. (Statewide occupancy is up only 3.5 percent.) The Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council att
ributes some of the rise to the lack of snow in the mountains driving people from snowboards to surfboards, and they’ve stepped up their marketing to capitalize on it.
Park it Forward
We want to say thanks to the Taqueria Vallarta employee who gave one GT staffer his ticket for a parking spot this week. He’d paid for the whole day, but had to leave midway, and wanted someone else to be able to take the spot. Right on, dude. We’re going to do the same for someone else. Let’s start a movement.