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April 30 - May 7, 2008

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Letters to the Editor

Meet the NIMENs

I AM A resident of Soquel and a supporter of a Day Laborer Center on 41st Avenue in the Home Depot/Safeway complex. I can't for the life of me understand the intense opposition to supporting the efforts of hardworking people who actually want to work ("Working It Out," News&Views, April 16). These human beings show up daily in any weather, in hopes of being so lucky as to have someone hire them to toil for a few hours for below-market wages.I personally believe that opposition to the humane treatment of people often is fear-based and has little to do with actual threats to the safety and well-being of the community at large. I actually think that providing social services is not only kind and humane, but makes practical sense. Human beings who are treated with respect make better members of society. It's just common sense.

How many of the objectors would show up in a parking lot in inclement weather looking for work, any kind of work? It's easy to sit up in some ivory tower saying we don't want "those people" "dumped" in our neighborhood.

The truth is that most people live here by accident of birth, not because of innate superiority to "those people." We who are privileged to being born in the U.S. should count ourselves lucky not to have beg for work, and at the same time we should reach out to help our fellow human beings in ways that we can, and this is one way that would not take the skin off of any one of our backs. Any "diverted funds" are a small price to pay for contributing to human dignity.

I think concerns about increased traffic are just a smoke screen for less honorable concerns. As far as the argument that we should not support "illegals," our government is obviously very conflicted on this issue. We all benefit from cheap labor. I don't see anyone objecting to cheap labor being willing to go without fresh fruits and vegetables, or complaining about paying too little for any cheap labor they may personally benefit from. I wonder how many of these objectors employ gardeners or house cleaners at below-market rates?

To me, the objectors are suffering from "not in my elitist neighborhood."

Deborah Ryman,

More Transparency at El Rio

AS A RESIDENT (but not a member) of the El Rio Mobile Home Park, I am particularly concerned about the lack of transparency and direction by the board and the committees that determine our park policies. We are going through growing pains in the park and desperately need clarification of the procedures that will govern the park in the future. The lot line issue ("Trouble in Rio City," Cover story, April 9) is just the most obvious example. The time and effort of these volunteers is very much appreciated by those of us in the park. At the same time, however, it is apparent that there is a need for more diversity of opinion in the standing committees. Currently these committees are closed to new participants, at a time when the park needs to be more open to a diversity of opinion. Many people who have been excluded would really like to contribute towards this effort. I'm concerned that this lack of openness threatens to doom the future of the co-op.

Chris Boman,
Santa Cruz

Little Squishes of Crap

YOUR ARTICLE "Rise of the Demise" (Arts, March 26) missed the elephant in the room of the whole Vinyl LPs vs. CDs issue. If LPs are a "10," CDs are surely a close second at "9." Downloads, however, are way down the food chain at somewhere between "4" and "7" in terms of sound quality. Stuff the compressed files they sell (at full, uncompressed prices) on iTunes, Amazon, or anywhere else, into an iPod with the little ear buds, and sure, they sound about as good as anything is going to. But actually burn that data to a true audio CD or even hook up the MP3 player to a good stereo, and it will sound noticeably worse than the CD version. So as groovy as the free download card with the vinyl purchase might sound (see what I did there with "groovy"? kind of a pun with the whole vinyl thing?), buyers should know they aren't actually getting both the vinyl version and the equivalent of the CD version. They're getting the vinyl along with the little squished-down crap compromise between file size and quality that is the download business. It saddens me that today so many of the kids are settling for the little squishes of crap.

Arthur G. Padlock,
Santa Cruz

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