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September 30-October 7, 2009

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Letters to the Editor


Tennis Courts For The Children

WELL, 10 people in a two-bedroom is not going to help Beach Flat children get ahead ("La Nueva Generacion," Cover Story, Sept. 16). Why give the Latino neighborhoods only soccer and skateboard courts, knowing only forward players get a chance to score, rarely, and mostly boys skate--so girls and young adults lose out.

The Westside gets tennis courts, so the city must in all fairness restore the tennis court at Mike Fox Park. Allow the opportunity for that neighborhood to discover a more challenging sport, one that rewards individual excellence and provides more career opportunities for the player(s). Then people of all ages will have a sport to play at that park. I'd ask the city to build tennis courts adjacent to the soccer field also if they could do it without spending a million dollars.

You can email the city at citycouncil@ci.santa-cruz.ca.us.

Billy Quealy,
Santa Cruz

Stupid, Ugly, Wasteful

ALTHOUGH my aggravation peaked months ago when they were first installed, I still find both my aesthetic and my common senses offended by the new railings on West Cliff. The latter were insulted when I first noticed that the railings were being replaced: I wondered, why in this economic climate, when all financial resources seem strained to breaking point, would the city or state (I'm not sure which, but my point would be the same for either) undertake this project? It seemed redundant to replace them when the existing railings were perfectly fine, and the new ones must have cost tens of thousands of dollars. Replacing them seemed unnecessary, but even more inexplicable was replacing them with uglier, taller and more rectilinear railings, reminiscent of prison bars. The old ones had a certain grace with their curved top, and fit in with the landscape, echoing the shape of the waves behind them.

What I'm wondering is: (1) Is anyone else as affronted as I am by this superfluous expenditure of limited resources and by the unsightliness of the outcome? (2) Can anyone explain why the city or state felt it was necessary to replace the existing railings? (3) How can we prevent the few remaining curved railings and wooden fences on West Cliff from being replaced by these increasingly jail-like eyesores?

Annalisa Riva,
Santa Cruz

Elitism Overrated

SOME OF our most brilliant, courageous people have historically come from "plebe" if not "culturally deprived" society, i.e., Lincoln, and currently the President and First Lady and Justice Sotomayor. Genius does not reside only in the ranks of the elite. That is why I quit reading Ayn Rand. Ayn Rand's society of the best and the brightest is somewhat similar to members of writer P. Joseph Potocki's superclass of "global elites" with its "top-flight national, corporate and independent laboratories" ("New Bohemia," Cover Story, Sept. 9).

Potocki does issue warnings about this elite "contado," and that is much to his favor. I found his article fascinating and I read it three times.

Kathy Cheer,
Santa Cruz

Note to Drivers

AS A cyclist, I willingly take on the task of trying to anticipate each car driver's every move. After being hit by cars and having innumerable close calls with car doors, I have learned that I must be obsessively vigilant about my own safety, seeing as how car drivers seem very unaware of my presence on the road. Cyclists are given, at best, about three feet of the road to occupy and this space should be their safety corridor.

I am writing you because I am tired of car drivers' hideous sense of entitlement to all paved surfaces and would like people on the road to hear that cyclists deserve some respect. Today, after barely missing the swing of a few car doors, enduring a steady onslaught of cat-calls, and being cut off by car drivers occupying the bike lane to make right turns or to merge into traffic from driveways or parking lots, I reached the last straw when someone in a white truck hurled their collection of garbage at me. Luckily, the bag of garbage only hit my body and did not knock me off my bike or get stuck in one of my wheels. The fact that this act was degrading is not as upsetting as the fact that it was very dangerous. Throwing things at cyclists can seriously injure them, seeing as how we are in motion and very vulnerable to crashing into the pavement. I honestly believe that getting on my bike should not feel like I am taking my life and dignity into my own hands. I understand that transporting bodies at high speeds is risky, but wouldn't be nice if collective safety and respect for life was everyone's main focus when on the road? To achieve this we'd have to share the road space, communicate, look, slow down and recognize that everyone in traffic probably has an important place to go and would like to arrive there safely. As far as hurling objects and obscene comments at cyclists, there is simply no room for such things at all.

Erin Copp,
Santa Cruz

Eduardian Style

I LOOK forward to visiting an old friend next month and partaking of Eduardo Carrillo's work again after an absence of too many years ("In Living Color," Cover Story, Aug. 26). As one of his students and then a friend, Ed helped me work through some of the vagaries of the '70s and '80s as a fellow midcounty men's group member and as a committee member for my independent major. As an artist and human being, Ed never failed to astonish. His painted-over mural in the Palomar Arcade deserves to be resurrected. It would/should/could be a fitting addition to the museum's permanent collection as it is, in effect, their next door neighbor and could be cared for by the museum. There is an old pirate-style chest drawn askew on that magnificent mural. One day hanging out there I asked him what was inside the chest. He answered in typical Eduardian style, "high school." Go see the show. You won't soon forget it.

Jef Schultz,
Gualala


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