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Letters to the Editor

Confused Idiots, Not Anarchists

I am an anarchist. I certainly did not participate in the idiot brigade on Saturday night, nor do I believe the people involved were actually anarchists. The parties involved were the same types who "riot" after football games and break stuff up out of pure idiocy. For cryin' out loud, they destroyed small local businesses. Come on.  Let's blame the "anarchists." Anarchism is loosely described as autopoetic, self-organized, small groups creating an alternative parallel to a system that doesn't work for them.  To smash up the "system" and not have a better idea is just the same old BS we have heard over and over and is just pure violence aimed at nothing. Go plant a garden in a vacant lot, clean up after yourself on the street, help your neighbor build a garage, do something to better this world. Do something with your mind, body and resources, create a parallel system that works before you try and take down the existing one. I will reiterate that the people involved in this were not anarchist, just a bunch of confused idiots. Go do something. 

Eric Thompson, Santa Cruz

Rail Line A Respectable Place

CURTIS CARTIER'S article "Ridin' That Train" (Currents, May 5) was both comprehensive and balanced. He was off the mark, however, when he described the line as "a major pedestrian highway for county drunks." From my vantage point between Capitola and the San Lorenzo River, the line gets regular use by a wide variety of people from mothers with kids to bikers and hikers. Because Union Pacific did not enforce its ownership interests as regards trespassers, the public will likely consider it a public place after purchase. Nor does it appear that the Regional Transportation Commission would act differently, proposing to direct its prospective contractor to take minimal action re public safety.

Bill Delaney, Capitola

Mathematics of Murder

I THOUGHT Lois Van Buren's "America's Kids" (Currents, April 28) was a well-written piece about the 40th anniversary of the Kent State Riots. She was there and her description of the incident gave it life again. Her overall sentiment, however, was the same after 40 years in that the four students shot was far more tragic than the 140 body bags of U.S. soldiers coming home per week.

Four young people who were part of a hostile mob using missiles and weapons against the National Guard—four who somehow sidestepped the draft and were enjoying the privilege and opportunity of being in a prestigious university attacking the young men who were serving in the military: goading the Guard to use lethal force. These fallen students got celebrity and fame while the same 140 body bags a week continued trickling in from the Nam—with about as much celebrity as luggage.

Van Buren, like so many other reporters and journalists, keeps up that delusion that a death on a U.S. campus is more significant than a death on a rice paddy in Vietnam. The campus kids had alternatives to forcing the Guard's hand: the soldiers in Nam serving their country had no alternatives. After 40 years I would have hoped Van Buren might see that bigger picture about the Kent State riots. All deaths are equally tragic.

Theodore F. Meyer III, Santa Cruz

You Forgot Watsonville

I ENJOYED and appreciated the cover story on farmers markets in the April 28 issue ("Market Share"). We are participating farmers and have been part of the Santa Cruz Farmers' Market since its inception in 1990. In your list of farmers markets in the Monterey Bay, however, you left out one of the lovely little markets, the Watsonville Certified Farmers Market. This market has been held every Friday afternoon, 3–7pm, at the downtown Plaza since 2000, and this year celebrates its tenth year.

I know that some folks in Santa Cruz tend to be a little myopic when it comes to the South County, but your readers may be interested to know that the majority of the farmers, organic and conventional, sell their produce at the Santa Cruz Farmers' Market farm in the Pajaro (pronounced PAH-ha-ro) Valley, which is where Watsonville is the major town. For example, Melody Ranch, Nagamine Farm, Blue Heron, Live Earth, Happy Boy, Four Sisters, Dirty Girl, Thomas Farm, to name a few, all farm in South County. In addition, some of the best prepared food vendors had their start at the Watsonville Certified Farmers' Market: Comida Mexicana Garcia, Uncle Ro's Pizza, Nina's Kitchen, India's Clay Oven.

So how about a nod to South County and to the Watsonville Certified Farmers' Market?

Every Friday afternoon at the Downtown Plaza, 3–7pm.

Nancy Gammons, Four Sisters Farm and Watsonville, Certified Farmers' Market

Sorry for the omission. We were experiencing a flare-up of coastal myopia. —Editor

Another Citizen for Amnesty

HERE IS the obvious solution to the "illegal immigrant" problem. Bring home the National Guard troops from Afghanistan and Iraq and station them along the border between Mexico and the United States. Instead of searching for terrorists abroad, they would be able to stop Mexican drug smugglers who are our real enemies. The drug trade fills our prisons and terrorizes our cities with gang members. If we deployed the National Guard at home instead of abroad, we'd save enough money to provide drug treatment and rehabilitation for drug addicts. The demand for drugs would decline.

The downside of all of this would be that without illegal immigrants coming into our county, the crops would rot in the fields with no one to harvest them. Maybe it's time to free the slaves, as Lincoln did during the Civil War. Pay a decent wage and provide medical benefits for farm workers. Provide amnesty and citizenship for all "illegals."

Joyce Keller, Santa Cruz

Whale of A Disappointment

I WAS CERTAIN that Obama, once elected, would overturn and undo most of Bush's disastrous environmental policies. However, the Obama administration's environmental record has been very uneven.

On Earth Day, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) announced that it would permit a return to commercial whaling. Commercial whaling was banned in 1986. Now whales from previously protected species, such as the humpback, will be slaughtered.

The delegation that Obama is sending to the IWC meeting next month supports the resumption of commercial whaling. That's the last straw for me. I hope that other disappointed environmentalists vote for the Green Party candidate, not Obama, in 2012. 

Philip Ratcliff, Cloverdale

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