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May 27-June 3, 2009

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Trounstine's Rant

I WAS dismayed to see that you apparently feel it necessary to emulate your competing local weekly by carrying a right-wing opinion column. I am, of course, referring to Phil Trounstine's rant about progressives not supporting (blindly) large development projects ("It's High Time for Progressives to Support Some Progress," Bullhorn, May 20). Do you really believe this political slant represents more than a small fraction of the local populace, let alone your readership?

Mr. Trounstine's article contains statements such as "they begin by saying over my dead body" and "they oppose, obstruct and delay virtually every project that comes along." Strangely, he then changes direction and states, "Of course they have a right to advocate for their constituencies." Well, which one is it? Reminds me of Tom Honig's (former Sentinel editor) typical waffling back and forth before suddenly jumping to the obviously pre-determined conclusion. Trounstine is unfortunately ignorant of the full facts in the matters of which he writes. In reality, many good-faith suggestions have been offered by concerned members of the public to help make such projects (which, by the way, have all violated the regulations applicable to them) more palatable yet still cost effective. For example, merely using a concrete frame construction, as opposed to steel, would have enabled the proposed La Bahia project to be about 20 percent lower while having no impact on revenue or construction cost. The approved plan is wildly above allowed height limits and may cause it to be rejected by the Coastal Commission.

Unfortunately, the long-term history with our city council regarding developments reminds me of a yokel walking into a car dealership and believing the first price offered as the best possible deal. The developers go on about the project "penciling out" only if as presented and the council, desperate for revenue, buys the pitch. In the case of the 2120 Delaware project, the developer was even allowed to hire a staff person to work on their project, thus having a "salesperson" inside the city bureaucracy. Don't we deserve a bit more from our electeds? Unfortunately the burden of analysis and potentially constructive criticism falls on the public since the council routinely abdicates this responsibility.

As to your newspaper, wouldn't proper journalistic practices require you to include a column from the opposite viewpoint, not just a chance to write a blog in a little box on your website? I am hoping to see the needed changes appearing soon in the Santa Cruz Weekly.

 Fred J. Geiger,
Santa Cruz


Men Getting the Shaft

IN RESPONSE to Kim Tyler's letter ("Typical Maleness," Posts, May 6). Santa Cruz is the most sexist place I have ever encountered. The media, government, business organizations, medical community, schools, are incredibly biased in the favor of women.

Read any weekly--there are neverending ads and articles offering services to and praising woman, and none for men or boys. In our schools from pre to college, woman are favored and encouraged. There are nonprofits raising funds for scholarships for women, and exclude men. But nothing similar for men.

Medical services for woman only are everywhere, none for men. Funds for breast cancer outweigh funds for men's prostate cancer by 10 to 1, even though the death from both diseases are almost equal.

Boys are being discarded by our schools; girls now greatly outnumber boys in all college majors including science and math, girls are continuing to be encouraged to succeed. Not so for boys.

There are no business organizations such as the Rotary (which was a men's group), but now there are hundreds of women's groups which exclude men.

Boys drop out of school and wind up in jail at a much greater rate than women because there is so little support for them at any level and because they are not being encouraged to succeed or being given facilities where they can learn or experience what is necessary for them to develop.

R. Briton,

The Drivelator

MANY TIMES I've felt so annoyed with your so-called film reviewer, SP (Steve Palopoli). I've never received any useful information from him about a film. It seems he's mostly satisfying his own obscure sense of humor. Does he even see the movies he's supposed to comment on? It doesn't seem like it. Frankly, his so-called comments are a thorough waste of time.

Now that you seem to be renewing yourselves, please find us a film editor who has something meaningful to say or just leave the job to von Busack. I'd rather not read anything about a movie than SP's drivel. I'd be curious to see what responses you would get from your readers, if you asked around.

Andrea van de Loo,
Santa Cruz

A Bogus Debate

TORTURE has many purposes unrelated to intelligence gathering. You humiliate, terrorize, blackmail, coerce and demoralize your victims and their communities. You create bogus "intelligence" by getting your victim to say what you want, with a few hints ("Yes, Saddam Hussein is in league with Al Qaeda"). You also dehumanize and debase yourself and your own people. This purpose has now been successfully achieved in America. We are actually having a national debate on torture. How naive I must be! I didn't think there was anything to debate.

What's next, a national debate on rape? ("Rape: Bad Policy or Necessary Evil?"). And slavery? ("The Middle Passage: Injustice or Voyage to Prosperity"?). We can't forget crucifixion. ("Crucifixion: Barbarism or Enhanced Penalty Option?") And by the way, nobody went back and punished Pontius Pilate, so why should we prosecute our own torturers?

Oh, wait a minute ...

Josh Reilly,
Ben Lomond

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