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December 24-31, 2008

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Letters to the Editor


A Modest Proposal

I LIVE at the corner of Pacific Avenue and Locust Street in Santa Cruz, and most mornings have my sleep disturbed up to four to five times in the early hours by very noisy street cleaning vehicles. They even operate on holidays! I can't imagine how much that's costing the city!

In other towns one might see a sign that reads, "No parking every third Thursday of the month for street cleaning." Here we can't stop doing it! Even on rainy days, when Mother Nature is quietly doing this job for us, without charge, we received numerous passes by these vehicles. This level of noise pollution is bad for people's health, while we waste resources and promote global warming.  Human beings survived for tens of thousands of years sans these motorized street cleanings, and if we stopped using them, you'd be amazed at how clean the streets would stay.

In his column in the San Francisco Chronicle, the late Herb Caen once offered an epigrammatic tip, "The cleaner the streets, the dirtier its underwear," citing a European study which found an inverse relation between the frequency of street cleaning and the frequency with which people changed their chonies.  In comparison to France and Germany, Spain had the dirtiest streets and the cleanest underwear. Germany was at the other end of the spectrum. Where do we stand?

Santa Cruz's obsessive street cleaning makes me wonder about the personal hygiene of my fellow citizens. Keep the community center, the swimming pools and the museums open and quit cleaning the streets!

Larry Peterson,
Santa Cruz

Just Jealous

WHEN ARE you guys going to fire Richard von Busack? Alternatively, how blatantly bigoted are you going to allow him to be? His article about Seven Pounds (Jellyfish, Film, Dec. 17) includes a drooling description of Rosario Dawson. Does he believe she'd be flattered he wants to make noises about her? Also, Rosario's character in the movie, like everybody else, is allowed to look sick when she's sick. His sarcastic description of Will Smith as a "magic Negro" is just pure envy.

Anna Ramirez,
Santa Cruz

Disaster Crafter

THANKS FOR a real and humorous account of the hazards of attempting to go DIY ("Handmade Hell," Gift Guide, Nov. 26). I am still giggling over the Christmas tree "piņata."

I am a crafter and here to tell you that "craft" like this happens. Going crafty has its off days and projects to be sure. Heart and craft, the heart is willing, but the craft decides not to cooperate. I just enjoy your spirit! Speaking of spirits, I still have a bottle of my mother's homemade kahlua (yes, distilled from vodka off the shelf), a 2007 vintage by now that perhaps is gathering dust for good reason.

We are not all Martha, and perhaps even Martha isn't "Martha" some days, but it makes the happy mistakes all the sweeter. Thanks, Gretchen Giles!

Keep up the great articles! And for heaven's sake, craft some more. I like the writing that comes out of it!

Cheryl,
Petaluma

Save the Trees

CALIFORNIA'S FISH are seriously imperiled. Unfortunately, other California ecosysems are going to be reaching collapse too. Do a web search on clearcutting + california + sierra pacific industries (SPI) and you will find shocking pictures of the massive amounts of clearcutting throughout Sierra Nevada forests. SPI is in the process of clearcutting or near clearcutting nearly 1 million acres of critical forest. Most people in California are shocked to find that clearcutting is even legal in California. How can California continue to allow clearcutting after it has become a "leader" in climate change, and after our governor has stated that logging methods like this are not "sustainable" and that our forests in this and in Third World countries are critical to climate change? CAL FIRE and the forest industry keeps telling us that clearcutting is sound. Didn't our officials just recently also just tell us our economy was sound? Call your legislators and tell them to stop greenwashing. Stop clearcuttting forests in California—before it is too late.

Susan Robinson,
Arnold, Calif.

 

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