.Opinion: Jan. 15, 2020


At this point, many of us have been asked by law enforcement to turn over security footage as part of an investigation. We certainly have here at the GT office, thanks to the crazy things that go on regularly around the river. And who doesn’t want to help, if it means making our streets safer?

But as this week’s cover story reveals, there are deeper questions in the ever-escalating world of surveillance. For instance, would you feel as happy to help if law enforcement was able to access your personal footage without your permission? When do privacy issues begin to trump public safety concerns? Nicholas Chan takes a deep dive into these and other issues in a story that may make you rethink home security.

In other news, I saw “Night B” of 8 Tens @ 8 last weekend, and this year’s selection of 10-minute plays are as thought-provoking and funny as ever. I hope to still catch “Night A,” but I’m told most of the remaining weekends are already sold out or selling out, so those of us who still want tickets had better be quick about it.

Also, check out this week’s news section for the final results of Santa Cruz Gives. And time is running short on Best of Santa Cruz balloting, so go to goodtimes.sc and get your votes in now!


Read the latest letters to the editor here.

Circle Back

I was very interested to read Todd Guild’s article, “As the Church’s Downtown Brewpub Fails, A Fight Over Its Old Home” (GT, 1/8). I appreciate that the Good Times is publicizing this issue, but the article paints an incorrect picture of the true beauty of the Circle Church and the significance of its history.

The current owners have abandoned landscape maintenance and have let the buildings fall into disrepair. This formerly vibrant and lively property has become neglected and underutilized. Neighbors and friends of the Circle Church want to protect the Church from demolition and support revitalization. We want to see the Circle Church return to its full glory as a thriving spiritual and community Center, the heart of the Circles Neighborhood, and a hub for classes, gatherings, and events. We have been active for over a year and have more than 1050 petition signatures and a large email list.

We were especially concerned about the developers’ first historic report for the property. Guild’s article has incorrect information about the historic report. The developers’ historic report uses the California State document number of DPR523. The State did not prepare this report—the developers paid a consultant to prepare it. This first historic report was critiqued by members of the Santa Cruz City’s Historic Preservation Commission and found to be inadequate, incomplete, and full of errors. The developers were required to submit a second historic report.

The Santa Cruz City Council voted on December 10th to ask the HPC to review the second historic report at a Public Hearing on Thursday, January 30, 7pm, at the City Council Chambers (note re-scheduled date). The City Council has also asked the HPC to provide a recommendation as to whether the property merits designation as a Local Historic Landmark.

We are convinced that the property will receive historic designation and will be spared from demolition.

Sue Powell | Circles Neighborhood


Getting to Yes

Re: “Walk This Way” (GT, 12/4): As Jimmy Panetta began his run for Congress in November 2015, impeaching President Trump had to have been the furthest thing from his mind, mainly because the very idea of Trump as president was the furthest thing from any of our minds.

Then, two months ago, when he knew he would be called upon to cast a vote for or against the initial impeachment inquiry, Congressman Panetta approached his decision with the same careful thought and determination that he learned to apply as a U.S. Navy intelligence officer in Afghanistan and as a deputy district attorney in Monterey County.

The executive board of the Santa Cruz County Democratic Party asked to meet with him as he was considering his position. For us, the sooner Trump is gone, the better. Nevertheless, we were altogether impressed and pleased with Jimmy’s logical and legally sound approach, culminating with his vote to approve the Articles of Impeachment against Donald Trump.

Thank you, Congressman Panetta.

Coco Raner-Walter | Chairperson, SCCDCC


Online Comments

Re: Circle Church

As a member of the Circle Women’s Coalition, a group that has come together to preserve and develop this property as a community center, I am aware that a very purchasing offer was made to the Circle of Friends. And they refused. Also of significance is the fact that a huge L.A. developer, Alex Hakakian is the major shareholder of this development. And that’s being buried in the greenwashing of this project. We all agree housing is an issue. But hitting a community for the financial benefit of a few very privileged people isn’t folksy. And neither is this project.

We want to think of the good of the many and true social equity of a place that provides culture, connection, and confluence to our children and the future, in perpetuity.

— Jennifer Smith 

secure document shredding


Birds at the Hook. Photograph by Aurore Sibley.

Submit to [email protected]. Include information (location, etc.) and your name. Photos may be cropped. Preferably, photos should be 4 inches by 4 inches and minimum 250dpi.



Many young romantics have their ideal wedding planned out in their heads. For some, that’s a ceremony at a coastal resort, while others dream of tying the knot in a fancy cathedral. But some couples would prefer to save thousands of dollars by getting hitched at the County Government Center! Sign-ups are now available for weddings on Valentine’s Day, Friday, Feb. 14. Ceremonies cost $100, last 30 minutes and can accommodate 20 guests. For scheduling, visit sccoclerk.com or call 454-2060.



The Santa Cruz County Office of Education will be hosting two free upcoming community events titled Delivering on Our Promise: The Santa Cruz COE’s Strategic Plan for Education. The events will mark the release of a new strategic plan. Speakers will include 2020 Senate candidate John Laird. The first event will be at Watsonville Civic Plaza Building on Tuesday, Jan. 21, at 5pm. The second will be at the Museum of Art and History on Tuesday, Jan. 28.


“No one likes to see a government folder with his name on it.”

-Stephen King


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