.Opinion: Jan. 22, 2020


When you tune into KPIG, Keith Greeninger’s new song “Hey Old Man” is what you want to hear. With shimmering touches of blues and soul built around a raw, driving roots-rock core, it’s the kind of song that makes you fall in love with Americana all over again. A fun salute to his father and uncle, it was the first song that grabbed me on Greeninger’s new album Human Citizen—which he’ll release at a show at the Rio on Jan. 31 (with Fred Eaglesmith co-headlining). So it was also the reason I was initially excited to talk to Greeninger about his new album for the cover story this week.

The funny thing is that after spending several hours talking with Greeninger up at his studio for this story, my perspective on the album totally changed. So much so that I just noticed I didn’t even end up mentioning “Hey Old Man” in my story. That’s pretty funny, but it’s also a testament to how much Greeninger has going on in the new record. He’s such a complex and fascinating songwriter, and he takes on so many deep, discussion-sparking issues on Human Citizen that I could have filled a couple of cover stories trying to get it all in. I still love “Hey Old Man” though! And I kind of hope KPIG does pick it to play, just because I want to be driving Highway 1 sometime, flip on the radio, and hear that coming out of my speakers.


Read the latest letters to the editor here.

Hardly Historical

As someone who has lived in the Circles neighborhood for the past 12+ years, I was very interested to read Todd Guild’s piece on the controversy over the fate of the Errett Circle church property (GT, 1/8). The social and cultural benefits of having a community center seem self-evident. The benefits, in a city with a pressing need for affordable housing, of a co-housing project like the one proposed also seem quite self-evident. If the supporters of a community center had acted when the church first put the property on the market to raise public and private funding for purchase and renovation, I would certainly have contributed to their effort. But instead, the Circle of Friends invested considerable money in buying the land, designing their co-housing, and submitting various options to the city. Now, belatedly, the community center supporters have brought forward what, to me at least, seems like a specious claim to historical status for this very unremarkable church building. And if they do succeed in blocking the co-housing are they prepared to buy out Circle of Friends for a fair price, and then invest the considerable sums that maintenance and repairs would entail? Is there even a fund-raising effort underway to accomplish this? If not, all that thwarting Circle of Friends will achieve is a much less neighborhood-friendly housing development sometime in the future.

Mordecai Shapiro | Santa Cruz


Re: Circle Church

Did the Circle Women’s Coalition offer a reasonable return compared to the planned use of the property?

I’d avoid the dog whistles and microaggressions, rash value judgments, against the owners and “privileged” people. What do any of us really know about them? Being rich or poor does not automatically make a person good or bad. Nor does being a nonprofit or community group. We can’t lift some people up financially by tearing other people down financially. It just backfires and makes a mess of everything.

Welcome to housing. Housing is critical for stability and well-being, but it is a mess price-wise, because neighborhood groups fight it tooth and nail. Their choice. Result: impossible prices for everyone else. This logical and to-be-expected outcome does not mean free license to appropriate other people’s property, especially when it is the same I-got-mine hypocrites doing the appropriation.

— Mike Cox


Re: Recall

Justin Cummings statement here is back to front, misinformation was not distributed by the recall campaign, neither did canvassers engage into altercation with the public. The truth of the matter is that anti-recall campaigner have sought to discredit by implying that justification was not properly laid out. They had also deliberately harassed volunteers tabling and obstructed those seeking to sign the petition. In one incident, a woman was pepper sprayed by anti-recall proponents.

— Amalie H. Sinclair


secure document shredding

Re: Cabrillo Bond

LOL Cabrillo put another vague FAQ that hardly tells us what this bond covers. But it most emphatically states. “Additionally, no funds can be used for any administrator salaries or pensions.” Um, does that mean that the funds will be used for salaries and pensions for staff, instructors, and others? I mean, you would have said otherwise, right?

— Don Honda



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The county Elections Department needs civic-minded people to work in the polls on Election Day, Tuesday, March 3. Each poll worker must be a legal resident. High school students may serve in the polls if they are age 16 or over, with at least a 2.5 grade point average. Students need approval from a teacher and a parent. Polling places open at 7am and close at 8pm. Workers are paid $110-$150 for the day, depending on their position—plus a little more for their training.



The Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) launched five years ago, bringing together regional leaders from all sectors to work together toward common solutions. MBEP has spent the last half-decade focusing on housing advocacy, technology and workforce development. For instance, employers and students across the region reap the benefits of the Monterey Bay Internships website, a resource that aggregates internship opportunities. Since its launch in 2016, the site has garnered 4,700 registered users. The partnership counts 87 member organizations, representing health care, ag, technology, nonprofits, local governments, and education.


“I don’t force it. If you don’t have an idea and you don’t hear anything going over and over in your head, don’t sit down and try to write a song. You know, go mow the lawn.”

-Neil Young


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