.Letter to the Editor: For the Survivors

A letter to the editor of Good Times

Re: “Lived to Tell” (GT, 8/3): Yesterday afternoon (Aug. 7), along with about 50 other interested parties, I watched the 90-minute film documenting the CZU fire as told by rescue people and the victims of the amazing, frightening fire.

My heart was heavy and full of awe for the victims of this tragedy. Families told of losing everything, their shock, sadness and anger. Anger at the insurance companies’ many lies and, of course, the Santa Cruz County office’s many barriers to people getting rebuilding permits.

We heard from many victims who had left the area in sadness—a grief that I have never felt.

My heart went out to the families who after years of living in this lovely paradise in the woods had lost everything. Losing their beloved home after a lifetime of hard work making it a happy place of welcome, a place their family and friends loved.

Families endured the empty county promises to help those who lost everything and make it “reasonable” to rebuild—all lies. The county put these people through hell. Victim’s identities, their lives, their families and community—all abused by bureaucracy, red tape, egos and a sense of bullying.

secure document shredding

My prayer is that someday people working in insurance companies and the county of Santa Cruz will realize what they have cost these poor victims; the lives they have destroyed by being so heartless and not doing the “right thing” as promised.

I left right after the film, stumbling to my car in tears!

Pearl Mendes

Ben Lomond

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