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April 4-10, 2007

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Letters to the Editor


WHAT'S WRONG?

"Klein Responds" (Letters, March 21) mentions "inaccuracies" but no actual instance of wrong information in"Iraq and Dianne" (Cover, Jan. 31) or "Daddy Kleinbucks" (News & Views, Feb. 28).

Michael Klein, in the middle of a long letter, claims only that Dianne's senatorial support didn't, to her knowledge, "specifically" benefit either of her husband's defense-contracting firms.

If attorney Klein had found an inaccuracy, he wouldn't have written a letter to the editor. He'd have demanded a retraction.

Dave Canfield, San Jose

FAMILY AFFAIR

I just picked up the most recent Metro Santa Cruz Goldie 2007 edition and was very disappointed with some of the winners. As a disclaimer, I should say that the band Extra Large is led by my dad, Russ, and my mom, Valerie. They are a phenomenally popular local band that plays two, sometimes three times per weekend. Their music is positive and funky and they pack every gig to the gills.

Not to be all sour grapes, but don't you think a band that actually PLAYS regularly in (and out) of Santa Cruz should get the "Best Local Rock Band?" Granted, Extra Large isn't considered "rock," but since they consistently lose to a band that seemingly never plays locally or otherwise, it seems a little silly.

I just had to say my peace, being that I see Extra Large as not just my family, but Santa Cruz family. They represent what is "gold" about Santa Cruz. I just thought the recipient should actually reflect the award given.

Naima M. Leal, Santa Cruz

STRIPPED FOR CASH

Read your article about the guy who had been strip-searched at our local county jail ("Stripped: Unpardonable abuse or vital safety measure?" Cover, March 7). Well, I'd like to put my name down for some of those millions he's hoping to get, because believe me, as I'm to understand it, this is his first violation of the law, and let me say that if one strip search was worth that much, then I'm owed millions. Give his lawyer my name. Unfortunately, my strip searches were not with my permission and yes, there have been way too many for me to give an account, but I was in the wrong, broke the law. I can't see how this guy can be any different than I or any others who have found themselves in the hands of the authorities. I'm not proud of it, my past that is. You take your lumps when you do wrong, break the law, you do as they say. It's for their safety and the safety of the facility. I'll just wait in line and see how it turns out. You go to jail, they have the right to search you, naked or not.

Juan A. Cuellar, Santa Cruz

Fight with Your Fork

Finally, the conversation on global warming has advanced from debate and question to the scientific reality that human activity is warming the planet. As we look for personal solutions to our everyday impact, most think of driving less or turning off the lights more, but what we don't realize is that we have a far greater impact every time we eat.

The United Nations recently released a report (Livestock's Long Shadow) revealing that factory farming has a greater impact on global warming than all the world's transportation combined! Raising not only the 1.5 billion cows worldwide but pigs, poultry, goats and other species is putting tremendous strain on our atmosphere.

Animal agriculture emits a combination of greenhouse gasses. Methane, which affects global warming 23 times faster than carbon dioxide, is produced in the cow's digestion and released into the atmosphere through flatulence. Nitrous oxide, found to be 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide, is emitted from the mountains of excrement on the factory farm. Excessive energy is wasted with automated milking machines, feeders, lighting and the intensively mechanized slaughterhouse. Add to that the destruction of the rainforest for grazing and growing feed for animals and you have a recipe for catastrophic damage to the atmosphere.

It is extremely important that we bring this information into the conversation. Eating meat is the equivalent of driving an SUV. A vegetarian diet is like driving a mid-size car and a completely plant-based diet (vegan) is like riding a bike. Can't afford a Prius? Grab a veggie burger with soy cheese instead.

Hope Bohanec


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