.Opinion January 17, 2018


For so many of us, January is a month of reckoning. It’s the one month of the year we’ve all decided is the time to look our health and fitness goals dead on and say, “You! That’s right, you! I’m coming for you!”

I understand how wrong this can go. By the end of December, I’d run almost 800 miles for the year, and on New Year’s Eve I was laying plans for running 1,000 miles in 2018, imagining just how great that New Year’s Day run was going to feel and what a great start it was going to be to January. Then I woke up the next morning with the worst flu I’ve had maybe ever, and couldn’t get out of bed for days. I lost two weeks of my grand plan to recovery time—so much for 1000 miles, probably. Reckonings are not always easy.

In our Health and Fitness Issue, it’s a reckoning for health science and technology, too. Andrew Steingrube explores the most impressive and promising breakthroughs of the last year, and what they could mean for human wellness in the future. Hugh McCormick reveals the fitness trend that is taking over Santa Cruz, one court at a time: pickleball. And Deborah McArthur looks at why contra dancing has become one of this community’s favorite ways to stay healthy and fit with rhythm. Here’s hoping you have better luck than me with your health and fitness goals in 2018!



Read the latest letters to the editor here.

Build the Trail Now

Barry Scott (GT, 1/3) seems to think that the RTC’s adding a trail-only scenario to the options for the rail corridor is some kind of subterfuge to undermine the will of Santa Cruz County residents, when in fact the addition of this scenario was made as an expression of the growing support for a wide, safe bicycle and pedestrian throughway that wasn’t an option when Measure D was passed.

The study he references, the Unified Corridor Investment Study, is merely the RTC’s intelligent examination into the facts of each of these alternatives so that citizens and our representatives will be able to fairly evaluate the cost/benefit of each.

Fact: the 1.3-mile disconnected piece of trail we’re getting ready to build now is necessarily narrow in order to protect the rail corridor tracks, and is already over its original budget by 100 percent due to removing trees and installing retaining walls and train signaling equipment—for a prospective train that is as yet unapproved and unfunded.

As for CalTrans’ 2018 State Rail Plan, if we’ve railbanked the corridor, after seeing how we like a wide, safe, protected bicycle and pedestrian trail from Davenport to Monterey County, and then the county voters want to pay for the proposed train service through town operating at speeds of “up to 125 miles per hour” (quoted from the CalTrans 2040 plan), then I’m all for it.

But in the meantime, let’s use our Measure D funds to continue the study and improve Highway 1 and our METRO service, and build a wide, scenic, protected trail now, with money we already have and which falls within the parameters of what the voters have already approved.

Nadene Thorne | Santa Cruz


Re: Black in Santa Cruz

As the parent of an adopted Black teen (who happens to know Ebony and her daughter Deshaun) and an adopted Latina teen, I can say that at least from my family’s experience, being Black is more challenging. There have been many times I cried with my daughter because, starting at 4 years old, she was bitten (is she made out of chocolate) or scrubbed (dirty) by peers and more recently, yelled insults, including the “n” word, when she and I were at the gas station by a passing by driver. I am Latina, but look white, and people do not realize I am her mother. The sad thing is that parents, school teachers and administrators often react to these offenses as “kids will be kids,” “it’s only one person in Santa Cruz,” “it can’t be me because I have Black friends,” “I’m not a racist.” We are all prejudiced in some way, but being Black in Santa Cruz (and other places which see themselves as liberal, accepting, or “I am not racist, classist, sexist, whatever,” is challenging and once we own up to this, we can move forward. This is not to demean other people of color with complicated histories and experiences. Just to honor and respect the authors of this article, the people who were profiled in it, and everyone who works for a more accepting and safe Santa Cruz.

— Margarita Azmitia


I appreciate this article and the people who participated in it! Lovely idea, so important. Here’s my question, what would it mean, white folks, if we let go of the argument and accepted the existence of racism? How does it change our world, our view of ourselves? Do you think it allows people of color to be irresponsible or unaccountable in some way? What way? Wouldn’t it be better to address the possibility to everyone than to fight it? Wouldn’t that just make the world better for everyone?

—    Sage Smiley


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“Imagine No Waste,” a recent Santa Cruz County advertising supplement, ran in Good Times and Santa Cruz Sentinel. Janice Bisgaard, the spokesperson for the City of Santa Cruz Public Works Department, lauded the general information in the pull-out. But she also pointed out that the guide is inconsistent with the policies in the city—especially on the topics of batteries, glass, oil, wax cartons, Christmas lights, and yard waste. Santa Cruz city residents may learn more at cityofsantacruz.com/recycleright.


Complex problems will always demand complex solutions. Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) and Envision Housing have partnered to draft a new document called This White Paper that has nine housing-related recommendations for 17 local communities designed to make housing more affordable. The detailed 16-page report calls for a diverse mix of housing and encourages more regional discussions. It also calls for fee changes, increased construction, density bonuses, funding for affordable housing, and changes to parking requirements.


“Nothing will work unless you do.”

-Maya Angelou


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