.From The Editor

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As I walked around downtown Santa Cruz on Monday, I saw the awareness of Madyson Middleton, who had been reporting missing the day before, growing in front of my eyes. People were walking down Pacific Avenue with fliers about her in their hands; not long after that, one had been taped to the glass door of the University Town Center, below GT’s office. I was heartened to know that people were organizing so quickly—lightning fast, it seemed—around the case of this 8-year-old girl. After all, I told myself, the odds of finding a missing child alive are said to be twice as good within the first 48 hours.

But by Monday night, all of that hope had come crashing down, for all of us. As we were preparing this issue for print, a friend called to tell me Middleton’s body had been found at the Tannery. He also said something I can’t get out of my head: “This is the worst thing to happen to Santa Cruz since the police officers were shot.”

It’s incredible how quickly those deep wounds reopen, and how quickly the community can go from feeling safe again to shattered. The tragedies of the last few years, beginning with the murder of Shannon Kathleen Collins, only appear to have fully healed, at best they’ve barely healed over.

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This latest one brings it all to the surface again. Jake Pierce reports in this issue on the details that have emerged so far, and they are heartbreaking. Unfortunately, there will be more, and they will be heartbreaking, too. I’m going to try holding on to that memory of Monday afternoon. Be good to each other.






Rock History

The caption for the July 8 Photo Contest could have been much better. The boat that “passes beyond a break as surfers catch waves off of West Cliff” is the S/V Mayan. It belonged to David Crosby for 34 years and inspired the rock classic “Wooden Ships.” She was built in South America in 1947, and was recently purchased from Crosby by a Santa Cruz Yacht Club member. Mayan was always loved and well taken care of by David Crosby, who spent $750,000 on her in 2012 in a full re-fit at a boatyard in Wilmington. Many GT readers probably had the 1977 Crosby, Stills and Nash album where they are hanging out near the deckhouse of a sailboat. That is Mayan. She spent many years in the Caribbean and in Santa Barbara.

Niels Kisling, Capitola

Center of Town

While it was great to read last week’s letter adding the Pajaro Valley Arts Council/Gallery to the downtown treasures of Watsonville, how could both your feature article “Overdue South” (GT, 7/15) and Kirby Scudder’s map of the city’s treasures fail to include the world class 1994 Henry Mello Performing Arts Center in the rebuilt high school’s Centennial Building? This auditorium is named for an outstanding alumni and civic leader, and it’s the site of Santa Cruz Symphony’s Sunday afternoon “Encore Performances,” as well as other hugely attended (800+ seats) events. And just now our diligent local rep in Sacramento, Luis Alejo, has gotten the new Salinas Road Overpass and several miles of Highway 1 named for Henry Mello, our late, greatest modern civic leader of the Pajaro Valley.

Richard Lynde, Watsonville 


Re: Bernie Sanders

In our times of record income inequality, homelessness, and social services cuts, Bernie Sanders is the only presidential candidate talking about these issues, and has an economic plan to address them. Bernie cannot be bought by corporate interests, and brings a level of authenticity to politics that is a rare commodity. I hope everyone takes a good look at him—politicians like this don’t come around very often.

— David Balsamo

Anyone who says they like him but he will not win, so they are going to work for the Clinton camp, is fooling themselves. Bernie has a better chance of winning the general than Clinton. As a matter of fact I bet Clinton will not win. Why? First of all, how often do you see when a party is in the White House for eight years that they get back in? Second, Clinton has so much baggage that would be thrown up in the general, and third there are a lot of Democrats who do not like her and will not vote for her in the general no matter what. Not saying Bernie will win, but he is not an established Democrat so that sidetracks the notion of the same party getting in, and there are so many out there so tired of the established politicians that are brought by big money that they have stopped voting. Clinton represents big money, Wall Street and big corporations. Bernie is what this country needs, he is not in bed with the big money, people want real change. Do they want it enough to have enough guts to go to the polls and vote for it?

— Sandra Vanamburgh

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photo contest


DEEP ROOTS A majestic tree at Schwan Lake Park. Photograph by Mark Loring.


good work


Santa Cruz’s San Lorenzo River got some tender loving care this summer when the Coastal Watershed Council received a $1,000 gift from Santa Cruz Core Fitness + Rehab. The center had a sixth anniversary party to benefit the group in support of its work to revitalize the river. Also, in the spirit of summer, the council is promoting Sundays in San Lorenzo Park events for the next month. Visit www.coastal-watershed.org for more information.


good idea



le have until Friday, July 31 to take a survey about rail transit and leave comments for the Regional Transportation Commission, which is analyzing the feasibility of passenger service running parallel to the coast and Highway 1. The survey lets respondents note their preferences for different kinds of rail service, frequency of trains and other factors. Take the survey at www.sccrtc.org.




“We don’t even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward.” — Isabel Allende



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