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April 23-30, 2008

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Letters to the Editor

Nice "Welcome"

LAST WEEK'S article on the day labor center issue ("Working It Out," News&Views, April 16) contained a surprising quote from David Foster, head of the day labor center task force. Previously, at the April 8 Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Neal Coonerty asked Mr. Foster if he and his group would welcome the input of Soquel neighbors and businesses concerning the feasibility of the 41st Avenue site for a day labor center, and he answered in the affirmative. In the article, however, Mr. Foster describes the Soquel neighbors and their concerns (mainly traffic and environmental issues with the 41st Avenue corridor site in Soquel) as "... a knee-jerk reaction by people who don't understand what they're talking about." It's quite unusual for a leader involved in a political process like this to go out of his or her way to insult and disrespect someone, even an opponent, so I don't quite understand what he's trying to accomplish by saying this. But I would like to thank David Foster for "welcoming" Soquel businesses and neighbors to the day labor center process.

Steve Kennedy,
Soquel Neighbors Alliance

A Happy Place

THE REPORTER who wrote the critical article about the El Rio Cooperative "Trouble in Rio City," Cover Story, April 9) did not mention a larger truth about El Rio, a truth he had experienced himself. Your reporter was invited to our cooperative's 20th anniversary party in February, where he joined Assemblyman Laird, the mayor and City Council members, many local friends and almost all of El Rio's residents in a joyful celebration. We had historical photo displays, live music and a feast. Proclamations passed by the California State Assembly and our City Council were presented, praising "the important role El Rio has played in enhancing the quality of life in Santa Cruz by providing affordable housing." The reporter met and talked with many wonderful people, young and old, who are very grateful indeed to be members of the El Rio Cooperative. I wish he had described this extraordinary event, which revealed far more about El Rio than the complaints in the article.

As to the handful of people the reporter focuses on: in our last annual Board election, the angry member on your cover ran for a seat, as she has done before. She campaigned vigorously. And she got seven votes out of more than 70 cast. If your reporter wants to write an evenhanded article about harassment in El Rio, he might talk to this person's neighbors, past and present.

John Carter,
El Rio member, Santa Cruz

Stop The Madness

THE CALIFORNIA Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is acting like a rabid dog out of control. CDFA is planning on spraying us with a dangerous pesticide there is no need for.

CDFA claims there is an emergency. This is completely false. In Hawaii, where the light brown apple moth (LBAM) has been an introduced insect for more than 100 years, no damage to crops has been published that could be found.

New Zealand experts report little crop damage due to LBAM and little need to treat for LBAM. In most cases control measures provide almost complete control over LBAM.

CDFA has never successfully eradicated a species. Since 1982, it has implemented 274 eradication programs against 12 species of pests. Eradication programs for every one of these pests have continued until 2006.

So ask yourselves: why are we being sprayed against our will with a pesticide, untested for human health dangers? It's time to stop the madness.

Ed Oberweiser,
Santa Cruz


In the article 'Sneak Peaks' (Arts, April 9), we forgot to include a credit for the photograph of Jack Kerouac. The photographer is Carolyn Cassady; the photo was taken in the living room of her Monte Sereno home.

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