.Opinion May 30, 2018


I think sometimes when people see that someone has been named “artist of the year,” they gloss right over it. Especially if they don’t recognize the name, and even more so if they’re not particularly familiar with the art form.

That could certainly happen with this year’s Santa Cruz Artist of the Year winner Cheryl Anderson. Though she’s been a part of the Cabrillo community for nearly three decades, she has made her mark in choral music—which is way, way off the radar of most people.

What I love about this week’s cover story by Christina Waters is that it reminds us of the meaning of an award like Artist of the Year, and reveals the incredible story of the person whose name many of us might have otherwise glossed over. Believe me, once you meet Anderson in this story, and hear how she’s impacted and uplifted the lives of the people who have had the good fortune to sing with her and learn from her, you will absolutely understand why she is Artist of the Year, and why it matters. I think this is a huge part of GT’s mission as a part of the alternative press: to uncover and explain how people we may have never heard of, or whose work we may not have previously understood, are impacting our community. In a very positive way, in this case. Congratulations to Cheryl Anderson, and thanks for reading!


Read the latest letters to the editor here.

We Are Your Neighbors

Contrary to Robert Arko’s (GT, Letters, 5/22) unsupported assertion, those who support the quicker, cheaper, safer bike and pedestrian option for the railroad right-of-way are not “a small group of folks.” Rather, we are thousands of your neighbors and community members. Even the RTC admits that a passenger rail service will cost millions of tax dollars in subsidies that could be used for more sensible transit solutions, and will not significantly impact our current traffic problems. If there’s a small group of folks involved in this issue, it’s the transportation bureaucrats, construction execs, and nostalgia buffs who are pushing the expensive RailTrail boondoggle. I urge your readers to visit trailnow.org/rail-trail-questions to get a look at a reasonable proposal. Let’s start building our Santa Cruz Greenway now!

Mordecai Shapiro | Santa Cruz

Re: Rent Control

My rents have historically been under market. It has been better to keep tenants at reasonable rent rather than deal with turnover costs.

Unfortunately rent control is a game changer. I now need to “price in” the additional risk and costs associated. As my units vacate I need to increase rents significantly to cover additional tenant regulatory costs.

Most people don’t realize that rental units in a beach town work on a 2-3 percent rate of return. Think about that for a second. Would you be willing to deal with tenants, legal risks, potential catastrophes, city permitting bureaucracy and everything else for 3 percent? Just something to think about.

— Santa Cruz Resident and Rental Owner

Jacob, your articles are always well done. Your rail trail articles were excellent and this continues your good work.

On this subject we all have opinions, and I don’t live in the city limits, so I am not going to be affected by the Santa Cruz rent control. I am a empty-nester with a four-bedroom three-bath house. My wife and I have been doing work on our house to split it into a two-unit duplex. We have stopped all work on our project until we see if this will affect the rest of Santa Cruz County. We are a future rental already taken off the market, and we won’t be the last. This is a really bad idea for renters. It will shrink supplies and drive up costs for landlords which will have negative effects for anyone renting. I have four sons living in the area, and this will not help them as renters.

— Paul

Re: Trees on Ocean St. Extension

This is an excellent article. Our neighborhood (in Newark) is going through the same issues with PG&E and every point you make is a duplicate of what is going on here. Their supply line is less than 15 feet from our homes and they insist it is safe. But we think differently. We get different answers, or nonsensical answers, or no answers at all to our questions. Their reimbursements are pitifully inadequate. They are destroying our property and home values for no good reason that any of us can see except perhaps for PR and CYA purposes. They are refusing to meet with us as a group, rather insidiously approaching each individually. They use lies and threats and coercion to get their way. Is there some way for us to connect with people at your end so we can join forces and try to stem this nonsense?

— Lynne Mercer

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Big Pete’s Treats, a trailblazer in the world of California’s cannabis-infused cookie industry, is expanding its annual beach cleanups far beyond its Santa Cruz home. This year’s summer of environmental events is a tour starting in San Diego on Saturday, June 2, with five stops along California’s coast. This year’s effort, which won an environmental award from the San Francisco Chronicle, will culminate with a cleanup in Santa Cruz on Oct. 13 in honor of founder Pete Feurtado’s birthday.



The California Fertilizer Foundation (CFF) is a real group that apparently gives out grants, and it isn’t as crappy as it sounds! The CFF is hosting a presentation at noon on Wednesday, May 30, at Happy Valley Elementary School. The CFF School Garden Grant will fund improved soil quality for the school’s edible garden and help perennial plants attract pollinators. The school garden uses a Life Lab curriculum from UCSC to educate students about healthy food and nature through garden-based education.


“To be an artist is to believe in life.”

-Henry Moore


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