.NUZ: Recycling Redo, Coonerty vs. Friend

In the era of debates over a Green New Deal, environmentally friendly California is due for an overhaul on reducing, reusing and recycling.

The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors joined a call last month to support the creation of a statewide recycling commission that would make recommendations on addressing the cratering market for recyclable materials. And on Thursday, March 7, the local Integrated Waste Management Local Task Force will consider an ambitious agenda for tackling a range of plastic pollution problems—cigarette butts, plastic water bottles, microfibers—at the Watsonville City Council Chambers.

On a larger scale, California’s city and county governments have officially gotten word that they have less than three years to implement curbside pick-up programs for compostable food scraps in order to meet the state’s greenhouse gas reduction targets. Government leaders around the state don’t have much of an idea how they’re going to implement that on the current timeline.

Meanwhile, piles of compostable cutlery and take-out containers are going to the dump everyday, due to the lack of any local curbside organics collection—as GT reported last year—and the amount of trash that Santa Cruz County residents are sending to the landfill is trending upward. In a liberal community where environmentalists fight over every yard of road widening, there has been relative silence on compostable scraps off-gassing methane and carbon dioxide as local dumps fill up ahead of schedule.

While Santa Cruz may be ahead of what many other California governments are doing, the county’s task force nonetheless has its work cut out for it. Godspeed, guys.

secure document shredding

It would be cliché to say that talk is cheap, but idle chit chat in this department is worth about as much as a used to-go container at a regional recycling facility.

So yeah, absolutely worthless.


County Supervisor Zach Friend is participating in the third Saving Democracy event, which is happening Thursday, March 21 at Cabrillo College, to talk bipartisanship and smart governance.

This is, of course, the same Zach Friend who makes frequent appearances on Fox News—and occasionally on other cable news networks—chiming in as a former Obama campaign spokesperson, serving up inoffensive sound bites and defending liberal values.

Not to be outdone, Ryan Coonerty, one of Friend’s fellow supervisors, launched a podcast this past September. His show, “An Honorable Profession,” is going strong, with the supervisor interviewing politicians from around the country about running for office and government issues. Coonerty has interviewed everyone from Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf to South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, now a presidential candidate. What a clever way to learn the tricks of the trade!

Nuz is not here to judge political climbers. We just want to state that it’s steadily gotten more obvious that these two ambitious rising stars are raising their profiles while they think hard about running for higher office—something that those who know the two of them personally will tell you in conversation, anyway.

However, according to Nuz’s super-speculative crystal ball, the next rung on the political ladder may not open up for several years.

Congress doesn’t have term limits, and U.S. Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel) is only a couple of years into his legislative career.

State Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel) is about to get termed out, although the popular former Resources Secretary John Laird is running for that spot. We hate to make anyone sound like a shoo-in, but it would be difficult for any Democrat on the planet (literally, any Dem not named Barack Obama) to give Laird a run for his money in this district. And Laird could hypothetically hold the seat through 2028. If nothing changes, the next opening might not come up until 2024, when Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley) would term out. That’s still five years away, which could amount to a lot of podcast episodes and cable news interviews in the meantime.

Of course, many things could happen between now and then. More would-be candidates will emerge over the next half-decade, including some from Monterey County, but the new media landscape is already getting awfully crowded for any of you other strapping young hopefuls out there looking to carve out a niche.

Maybe try Snapchat?


  1. I was told at the landfill/recycling center in Ben Lomond today (3/19/19) that all recycling will end there effective 6/30/19… paper, glass, whatever. I’ve been searching the internet but can find nothing that mentions this. Any info you can provide? Thanks.


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