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February 28-March 7, 2007

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Letters to the Editor


CAULDRON OF COOL

NICE TRY WITH the Metro Santa Cruz feature story ("Parking Hell," Cover Story, Feb. 14) about bringing parking enforcement commandos into the warm, fuzzy cauldron of Santa Cruz cool. It's going to be so much better now when I find the pink citation on my windshield: it was written by one of my brothers or sisters under the great sun god. The parking officers are but angels in our midst, gently reminding us to pay the tithing for parking our buggies. Indeed.

There is no way in hell to be "cool" and be an effective parking officer: these parking jocks get a good wage to be dorks, so don't try to portray them as part of the "cool" scene. Frankly, it's kind of nauseating. They are not cool, they are not reasonable--if they are they are not doing their job.

Look at these people who soar around like vultures for prey--they had a nasty, bitter attitude anyway when they got the parking job--they have a disability or inadequacy and they can exact revenge by sniping at society with parking tickets. Just like the CHP when they pull over vehicles--they want you to think they are cool while they nail you for a huge fine. I know, everyone here wants that cosmic, deep-thinking Santa Cruz identity: Well, you can't play that role and do an enforcement job correctly.

Theodore F. Meyer, Santa Cruz

BITTER AND BEJEWELED

I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY to attend what ought to have been a fantastic show at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium last Saturday. Two of my favorite groups, Los Lobos and the Taj Mahal Trio, were playing. What a pairing! Some of the most soulful, move-your-feet music that one could imagine ... one with a pulse, that is. I was sourly disappointed when I saw a sea of fold-up chairs in what ought to have been a place for music lovers to give back to the performers in the form of excited, jubilant movement.

During Los Lobos' set, the floor was as still as the floor of the Senate. After a few songs, Los Lobos pled with the audience to "get out of your seats." Apparently a live concert event is more participatory than, say, an academic lecture. Finally, there was some life in the crowd and it showed in the music. Taj came out and joined them in a version of "Guantanamera" and they had pulled a number of people onto the stage to dance and generally enjoy themselves. Then came intermission.

I took this departure from the academic presence of the beginning of the show as a sign that Santa Cruz was going to treat Taj Mahal with the respect due such an amazing artist, so I made my way to the stage to do my part. I was approached by a bitter, bejewelled baby-boomer bothered by my (and my adjacent music lovers') intentions to give back, in as much as we were able in the 8-foot strip of open floor between the front row and the stage. She expressed, with fierce indignation, that she had paid $65 to be able to sit down and watch Taj Mahal perform for her; not to look at my back. My offer to make room for her to join me at the stage was met with threats of physical violence, which were punctuated by the red wine stains on her lips and tongue. Apparently, she (and, ostensibly a host of other patrons) saw this as an academic endeavor in ethnomusicology, not a concert. Security and KPIG radio (shame on you, KPIG) took to her cause and the stage was cleared, order was restored!

AARP standards and stoicism reigned supreme.

I feel that it is important to note that after the one encore that the trio played, Taj Mahal shook his head in the fashion generally regarded to convey disapproval and the group left the venue. So did I, disgusted.

I am not sure who the promoter was, but I encourage you, if you love music, to not see any of their events. KPIG, you broke my heart, again, SHAME ON YOU; wine-soaked bitter woman, I'm sure you enjoyed your tragic "show" where you sat in the presence of greatness; and last but not least, Taj Mahal and Los Lobos, THANK YOU!

A lot of us love you and wish that we could have given back, in kind fashion, the joy that your music has given us all over the years.

Matt Bucholz, San Francisco

ETHICS AND VALUES

IN LIGHT OF THE RECENT ELECTION of November 2006, Americans let it be known that they were tired of an administration that suffered from one bad decision after another, congressional bickering, lack of congressional oversight and accountability, and most serious, criminal and unethical behavior on the part of some representatives.

Americans were also tired of Congress' self-serving nature and that representatives had forgotten who their employers were. Last election was another way of the public reminding Congress of its tendency to quickly forget those responsible for electing them.

Peter Byrne's recent story ("Iraq & Dianne," Cover Story, Jan. 31) on Senator Dianne Feinstein and her husband Richard Blum raises serious ethical questions. If she had any notion that her participation on the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee (MILCON) might in any way have a positive impact on Mr. Blum's financial interests, it would have been most appropriate for her to resign from the committee to avoid the slightest appearance of a conflict of interest. Despite this potential conflict of interest, she chose to continue as a MILCON committee member.

One wonders if Senator Feinstein would have been re-elected if the facts cited in Mr. Byrne's story were made public prior to the 2006 election. It is likely that questions would have been raised about her ethics and the decisions she made as chairperson of the MILCON committee.

Senator Dianne Feinstein needs to respect the fact that there are many in addition to this writer who are questioning her ethics and values.

John Pizzuti, Soquel

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