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Letters to the Editor

Pique Over A Parking Lot

LAST WEEK'S Bullhorn column ("Walk the Talk on Tolerance") featured an opinion questioning the location of the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem and one of its officials, Rabbi Cooper, who gave a speech in Aptos. I was at the lecture and I did not hear any of the opinion writers ask the rabbi about the construction site. The public was welcome and the three could have asked Cooper. Why didn't they? They didn't ask because they don't like to hear the answer. Rabbi Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center has explained, "The Museum of Tolerance is not being built on the Mamilla Cemetery. It is being built on Jerusalem's former municipal car park, where every day for nearly half a century, thousands of Muslims, Christians and Jews parked their cars without any protest without any protest from the Muslim community." The last burials in the cemetery were before World War II and all remains have been reinterred at a nearby Muslim cemetery. 

When the parking lot was built, there were no objections filed. I'm sure that if Rabbi Cooper been asked he would have provided a detailed analyis of the situation. Scott Kennedy, Sami Abed and Sallye Boyer could have presented a balanced discussion of the issue had they desired instead of defaming an institution dedicated to fighting bigotry and terrorism. Perhaps it is because they do not share the goals of fighting anti-Semitism and global terror.

Gilbert Stein,


Evenhanded Approach Needed

THANK YOU for publishing "Walk the Talk on Tolerance." The Palestinian side of the story has been ignored by U.S. mainstream media for more than 60 years. The general public is entirely ill-informed on the history of the region. One-sided news coverage makes it impossible to attain a fair settlement—for both sides—because public opinion is biased. If your readers agree that an evenhanded approach to the conflict is the best way forward, I recommend reading The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Israeli scholar and historian Ilan Pappe. This well-documented book describes in detail what happened in 1948, how it was planned and executed, and why it resulted in the refugee camps that exist today in Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon. The author simply lays out the facts and lets readers judge for themselves. Solving this issue will make it harder for our foes to recruit extremists in the Middle East, and ultimately will make our country safer.

Gigo de Silvas,

Santa Cruz

Irresponsible Journalism

THE FEB. 10 Weekly printed a letter from Wilt Whatman, an obvious alias, in which Gary Young's poetry form is criticized ("Poetry in Emotion," Posts). It is an uneducated letter; prose poetry is an old form, and the form advocated in the letter, that which engages the "skill and effort" of rhyme, was not a favorite of Walt Whitman himself. But each has his or her right to be heard. What I object to most is that you printed an anonymous letter. That is irresponsible journalism.

Killarney Clary,

By email

You're right, Killarney. The jig is up on masked lit crit. —Editor

Meat Story Got Her Goat

WHEN TRACI HUKILL contacted us (TLC Ranch) for information and photos for an article she was doing on the revival of butchering, we were skeptical at first but still allowed the Santa Cruz Weekly photographer to come out and take photos of our latest chicken harvesting workshop. But the Feb. 3 cover story "The Carnivore's Agenda" disappoints in many ways and reminds us of why we were skeptical in the first place. We thought the article was going to be about how everyday people are seeking to relearn the lost arts of killing and butchering the animals they intend to eat. Instead, "Meat the Maker" was about out-of-touch urbanites participating in voyeuristic "meat watching." 

What TLC Ranch offers has nothing to do with standing by the sidelines, sipping bacon whiskey, and whispering to your friends about the hot butcher standing over the goat carcass. Instead, we are teaching classes for people to participate in the entire process of slaughter and butcher and to build their hands-on experience in butchering animals themselves. There are no wine glasses in hand, only sharp knives. We also show participants how the animals are raised, as the provenance of the animal is as paramount as its sacrifice. Many of these '"meat watching" parties don't even give credit to the farmer who raised the animal nor talk about the way in which the animal was raised. So instead, these events are about seeing and being seen rather than anything to do with sustainability. The other article on Chris La Veque's new enterprise is interesting, but including a quote about a gentleman who took one of our butchering classes has nothing to do with what Chris is doing. It should have appeared in the other article, which should have been more about people re-learning the craft of harvesting and cutting up their own meat rather than the short-lived fad of "meat watching."

Rebecca Thistlethwaite,

TLC Ranch

Who Decides on Pesticides?

IT IS TRUE what Dick Andre says in "Goo Fighters" (Currents, Feb. 10), the CDFA is hatching more plans to rain poison on our land. Not only do they intend to resume their LBAM spray program, but they have 20 other "invasive pests" in their sights for treatment as well. In the article, Santa Cruz City Councilmember Don Lane says that the real answer to stopping these pesticide programs is to get the state Legislature to change their pesticide preemption law. This unjust law basically says that we "locals" cannot interfere with what the state wants to do to our bodies! Only the state gets to decide if we are to be targets of their spray programs. But what are the chances of that change happening at the state level, where lobbyists "rule?"

The only way we are going to get the pesticide preemption law changed is to start by challenging it at the grassroots level. The proposed City of Santa Cruz Local Control, Pesticide and Chemical Trespass Ordinance does just that.

In the words of Howard Zinn, Legality is not morality." We are counting on the Santa Cruz City Council to protect its residents and come down on the side of morality by passing this ordinance—instead of caving in and endorsing an unjust state pesticide law. If we can't take action to protect the bodies of our children from forced application of poisons, then what else might we ever stand up for?  This ordinance can bring real results. Doing nothing will also bring real results—bad ones—which will go on and on until we say "No!"

Mary Graydon-Fontana,

Santa Cruz

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