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January 9-16, 2008

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Letters to the Editor

Close the Border!

THE ARTICLE ON organic farmers' response to the pheromone spraying of thousands of Santa Cruzans ("Ways and Means," News&Views, Dec. 26) drew a peculiar response from some of the organics folks. I noted that Mark Lipson of the Organic Farming Research Foundation commented that pheromones were better than pesticides. That's obviously true, as is his contention that there are better ways of handling the LBAM (light brown apple moth) problem such as twist ties and releasing natural predators. The problem, however, is that the consequences to a sizeable number of residents of the county who got sprayed are essentially unknown. There may be no consequences but the initial reaction of some people indicates that they were experiencing some difficulties.Whether we will ever learn how profound were the local effects, one thing should be clear: the government agricultural apparatus prefers to spray urban populations rather than getting to the roots of the problem. In our case, this involved spraying us with the pheromone rather than embargoing the transmission of infected plant material from Southern California nurseries.

This has been a consistent policy of the state. Whenever a pest problem is discovered, the "solution" is to spray, and not just the location where the nasty bugs were found but urban populations by the thousands, whether they like it or not. In this latest example, the bug was found on a plant shipped to the local nursery by a nursery down south. Unsurprisingly, since this has been the case in a number of previous incidents, the agricultural apparatus of the State of California refuses to embargo plant material from the south and sprays us instead. And then the Secretary of Agriculture expresses surprise that people don't trust him.

I would have thought that the local organics people would be raising a hue and cry for such an embargo. Sure, ties and other such approaches would help, but there has been a consistent shipping of plant material north, discovering bad bugs, and then spraying northern populations.

How about some tougher response from the organics people?

Bill Friedland, Santa Cruz

We're Local Too!

I WANTED TO COMPLIMENT you on the great article about shopping and banking locally ("The Buck Stops Here," Cover Story, Dec. 19). However, just for clarification, Coast Commercial was purchased first by Greater Bay Bank (not Bay Federal). Bay Federal, however, is a local financial institution and has been local for over 50 years. We only serve local people and live by the philosophy of "people helping people." We recently starting offering business accounts as well, and we are honored and proud to be the largest "local" financial institution in Santa Cruz County. Please consider including our Credit Union in your articles about financial institutions in the future.

 Tonee Picard
Senior Vice President,
Bay Federal Credit Union

Not Like in the Movies

I WENT TO SEE Juno this week. I enjoyed the smart young woman's ability to figure out her future and then follow through with her decision. But this Disney version of adoption made me want to remind people that there are thousands of us who gave our children up for adoption and there was zero joy or family and friends to support or understand us. People now live in a world where you can walk into a store and buy a pregnancy test! They live in a world where there is a choice. For me there was no sex education, no birth control, no chance even to consider an abortion, and no happy understanding family who would say, "Keep the baby." The only choice was adoption.

It has been 37 long painful years, I would suggest that every person who is the least bit inquisitive about the reality of adoption read Ann Fessler's book The Girls Who Went Away and be glad that now young women and young men have a choice.

Anonymous, Santa Cruz

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