.Opinion February 8, 2017


It’s a tradition around here to do something special for Valentine’s Day. A lot of times it’s a story about something snarky, like a really terrible worst date (oh, junk trunk, we remember you) or a rundown of hilarious Valentine’s-related crimes. I know, I know, we have serious issues, but in our defense we did let Lily Stoicheff do that really sweet defense of Valentine’s Day one time.

Anyway, nobody on staff seemed to in the mood for silliness this time around. Except Jacob Pierce—he’s kind of always in the mood for a little silliness, which makes his interview with UCSC grad (and star of this week’s KPIG Valentine’s Day show) John Craigie about all things romantic a lot of fun.

A theme of how love and art intersect snakes through the whole issue. In the cover story, Maria Grusauskas profiles Helen and Newton Harrison, a couple who have dedicated their lives to each other, and to the ecology-themed art and philosophy that made them famous. Famous outside of Santa Cruz, that is. I always like when we highlight locals who are known nationally and internationally, but somehow not right here at home, and the story of the Harrisons’ partnership is a remarkable one.

I also interviewed an internationally renowned Santa Cruz figure this week, Frans Lanting. Anyone who knows Lanting knows that his relationship with Chris Eckstrom is fundamental to his life and work. Since I’ve written specifically about their close bond in the past, I didn’t focus on it in this week’s story. Instead, a different kind of love seemed to rise to the fore as I wrote about their two shows this week at the Rio—like the Harrisons, their passion for the natural world and dedication to preserving it is a relationship model we can all be inspired by this Valentine’s Day.



Read the latest letters to the editor here.

Save the ACA

Re: “State of Mind” (GT, 2/1): What a clear, wonderfully written article with such good interviews of Hugh McCormick and Erik Riera.

I really hope that the ACA is not destroyed. So many people needed good care for mental health and substance abuse issues and the ACA finally brought about so many positive changes. A very good article.

Sarah Leonard | Aptos

Reprisals Legal?

Sanctuary reprisals may not be legal, according to Bill Ong Hing, a professor of law at USF and founder of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center: “Ironically, the Republican assault on Obamacare may prove to be the basis that courts use to reject efforts to defund sanctuary cities.” The Supreme Court “struck down one provision of the health reform law that is relevant to whether blocking federal funds to sanctuary cities is legal … Threatening to cut off federal funds to sanctuary cities for not cooperating with federal immigration enforcement runs into the same problem of coercing states to adopt federal regulations as their own.”

I’ve sent this information to our local electeds and gotten some thanks in reply. So let’s hope that our sanctuaries will remain safe, the cities and county not penalized—and let’s have their backs just in case!

Randa Solick | Sanctuary Santa Cruz

Haunted Aptos

Re: “Haunted Santa Cruz” (GT, 10/26): Here is a late tidbit about how the spirits of the past make themselves known:

Mr. and Mrs. Martin Jongeneel were original owners of a small Aptos home built in 1927 where Ma Maison and other restaurants have resided. A newspaper article written in 1948 states in part, “The house, like its mistress, is a gracious place. Here, either singly or by the dozen, Mrs. Jongeneel’s friends drop in for musical evenings, some of her famous soup, or just to absorb a little of her happy spirit.”

When asked if she herself had felt that spirit, Ma Maison owner Janet Le Morvan said, “Sometimes at night when I am closing the restaurant and turning the lights off I feel a presence … I can’t really explain.”

June Smith | Capitola

secure document shredding

Online Comments

Re: ‘State of Mind

People who experience mood swings, fear, voices and visions will still be available to each other even if federal insurance fails. The peer-led Client Action Network (mhcan.org) has been a county resource for 20 years. Instead of being 98-percent dependent on federal funding for behavioral health services, let’s continue to diversify our strategies and our income streams.

Thank you for highlighting these important issues.

— Sylvia Caras

Don’t forget the impact on local Marriage and Family Therapists who have a very similar set of skills as Licensed Clinical Social Workers. We can accept Medi-Cal in our private practices and are a crucial part of the new mental health system. I shudder to think of my clients losing their therapist due to repeal of the ACA, and my ability to make a living as a therapist is threatened severely.

— Val Byrne


The Jan. 25 news story “Designated Drivers” mistakenly reported that San Vicente Road could be an entrance to the Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument. The Bureau of Land Management uses the road, but it’s not being considered for public access.


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.


As congressional leaders show more interest in paying a billion dollars for a wall in the middle of nowhere than protecting women’s health, Santa Cruz activists are springing into action. In response to nationwide Defund Planned Parenthood rallies, supporters of Planned Parenthood are holding a rally of their own. Organizers are asking participants to show up to the wall along New Leaf by Soquel Avenue at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11, wearing pink.


All this rain means nothing without some place to put it. The City of Santa Cruz’s reservoir has been full for weeks, and for agencies relying on groundwater, basins can only fill up so fast. That’s why the Scotts Valley Water District used grant funding to install a rain catchment system at the bus station this past fall, and final touches are still being completed. The water is allowed to percolate down into the Santa Margarita Aquifer below.


“The best thing to hold on to in life is each other.”

-Audrey Hepburn


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Good Times E-edition Good Times E-edition