.Opinion: A Call for Civil Discourse on D

No matter your opinion on the ballot measure, there’s a bigger picture


Steve Palopoli editor good times santa cruz california

We’ve logged tens of thousands of words about the rail-trail issue, but these next couple of hundred are the ones I wish I didn’t have to write.

In the last several years, the debate over rail-and-trail versus trail-only has evolved from a niche discussion to a trending topic to the most contentious political issue I’ve seen in Santa Cruz County since the post-earthquake arguments over rebuilding and homelessness. That would be fine—you have to respect the passion that locals on both sides bring to it.

Except it’s gotten way too personal, and way too out of hand. The stories I’ve heard in just the last couple of months about both sides’ political snipes—including denigrating and even sabotaging those who don’t agree with them on Measure D—are disturbing. And the shortsightedness and lack of perspective at play are unbelievable.

Is the question of what kind of trail this county has along the rail corridor, and whether or not it might possibly include rail transportation in the future, really worth destroying the alliances that we depend on for any and all progress in this county? We’re in the midst of a historic water emergency, have no meaningful policy to fix our homelessness issues, can’t meet even our meager goals for affordable housing, and face the possibility of another wildfire disaster on the scale of CZU or worse—and we’re blowing up our political and personal relationships for this?

The aftermath of those 2020 fires is the time I point to when speaking about what we’re capable of doing when we work together. It was a massive effort by a huge group of people united for one purpose—to help those who needed it—with no regard for political disagreements. I wish we didn’t need a natural disaster to inspire that, and I hope that no single issue can break that community bond.

secure document shredding

This issue contains everything you need to know when considering how to vote on Measure D, from the nuts and bolts to the arguments for and against to the possible futures after the votes have been counted. Many people have asked me if GT is going to endorse one side or the other. I’ve only got one endorsement to make: civility.




It was useless during the hunt for murderer Carillo two years ago, when it comically scooted down the street to where a lone private citizen marital artist has already deftly (and barehanded) disarmed the shooter.

Policing by Consent. All this militarization overwhelms any concept of consent. It polarizes and divides, fearful and feared. And it really hasn’t justified its gas bill. Look at that gun turret. It’s disgusting.

— Aname


It would appear that these ”traffickers” have no conscience. That being the case, does not that put this in the realm of serious evil? I know it’s not politically correct to use such terms, but that’s what it is. It is important to identify the enemy, otherwise run the risk being broadsided by this kind of thing again and again, ad infinitum.

— Rand Girard

Read the latest letters to the editor here.


HOOTENANNY Locals have been gathering daily to watch the owlets at Natural Bridges. Take care not to disturb them! Photograph by Sharon Hall.

Submit to ph****@go*******.sc. Include information (location, etc.) and your name. Photos may be cropped. Preferably, photos should be 4 inches by 4 inches and minimum 250dpi.



This Saturday, take a tour of six private, spectacular gardens in Scotts Valley. The event is the Enchanting Gardens in Scotts Valley, and visitors will see large estate gardens, an iris farm of over a thousand plants, Japanese maple tree collections, and other colorful and unique surprises. All proceeds go to Valley Churches’ food pantry. Tickets are $30. For more information, call 831-336-8258, ext. 229.


WHEEL HELPMeals On Wheels (MOW), which gives out 180,000+ meals annually to seniors, is looking for a new home. MOW has been operating out of its Live Oak location, which is leased by the Live Oak School District, for 45 years—but on May 4, the group was served an eviction notice. As it looks for a permanent location, MOW is asking the community to send a letter to Live Oak School District’s Board of Directors, sharing the importance of its services. Learn more at: actionnetwork.org/groups/community-bridges.


“The hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning.”

— Adlai Stevenson I


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