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January 14-21, 2009

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Letters to the Editor

Fishy Business

THANK YOU for the timely article concerning the plight of the bluefin tuna ("Maguro Madness," Cover Story, Jan. 7). As a former domestic fisheries observer, I particularly enjoyed the subject matter concerning quotas, voodoo science and the mistaken belief that livelihoods are more important than species. Quotas must be based upon as much data as possible, should include relative number and importance of targeted and bycatch species, as well as importance to the ecosystem of all species affected. Furthermore, all data should be made transparent to all citizens so they may ask questions and voice concerns. Government and industry cannot be trusted to look after our resources alone but will be better at the job with public scrutiny.

Internationally, displaced fishers can be trained to perform other equally important jobs, such as cleaning the North Pacific Gyre. How I do not know but am convinced that it is possible. What I do know is the commercial exploitation of bluefin tuna is yet another example of an over-capitalized industry which cannot be sustained at current levels. Simple. 

 Daniel Bjerk,
by email


Weren't You a Supervisor?

I LIKE the Tom Tomorrow cartoon, but it's no substitute for DeCinzo. Mr. DeCinzo is one of the most talented caricaturists ever, and it's been a privilege to see his locally focused work in Metro Santa Cruz. I am extremely disappointed to learn that you've terminated his weekly cartoon, and I join the other readers who have written in with a similar thought. I urge you to restore DeCinzo!

Gary Patton,
Santa Cruz

A Call for Solidarity with Gaza

I HAVE NO idea what the general mood of Santa Cruz is concerning the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, but, considering that we tend to be more left than center, a wide portion of readers might be interested in action that could be taken here. While it seems there are very few things that we can do, other than going up to San Francisco to take part in a protest, I am writing to suggest that perhaps readers could write to the City Council representatives to ask that Santa Cruz issue some sort of statement of solidarity with the Gazans. Perhaps we could push for a community meeting and the drafting of a statement if that's what those who show up for the meeting would like. I'm not sure if this is a possibility, but I'd like to see some level of engagement from the city I live in with this world affair.

Mark Paschal,
Santa Cruz

A Carnivore Speaks

I WAS a vegetarian then vegan for a combined five years for "health" reasons. I became anemic, ruined my digestion and wreaked havoc with my metabolism. I lost 75 percent of my muscle mass and had no energy. I am now on the slow road to recovery by eating properly for me by including spare amounts of lean meats and fish with lots of veggies, some fruit, and very little grain, beans and legumes.

Here is some counter-information to the letter published Dec. 31 ("Chocolate: It's What's for Dinner"). Did you know that 46 percent of the world's population needs to consume meat and fish as a major diet staple to maintain a healthy body? This same percentage produces antigens (allergic reactions) to carbohydrates found in most grains, beans and legumes. Another combined 14 percent needs to partake occasionally of flesh foods while enjoying whatever else nature has to offer. Only 40 percent of the world's population can thrive on a strictly vegan diet.

I'm not going to give you websites for this information. That would be too easy. Everyone needs to take responsibility for their own health. You need to work for the information so that you will be convinced and find what works for you (OK, a hint: Diet for Your Blood Type). Consulting a professional dietician/nutritionist would be helpful (I am neither). You can still act humanely by consuming well-managed food sources while maintaining health.

Mike Speviak,
Santa Cruz

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