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June 4-11, 2008

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Letters to the Editor

Rotkin's Folly

AS REPORTED IN Nu_z ("Hard Cell," May 21), Councilman Rotkin is using the Planning Commission to limit additional cell tower construction based superficially on esthetic and zoning considerations. His true motivation, as noted in the article, is concern over potential health risks. He just can't let the federal government know that, due to its banning cell tower restrictions based on health risks. I certainly hope nobody connected with the federal government read that article, or his artful scheme might be exposed.

Councilman Rotkin claimed reading hundreds of articles on the subject, but I'm wondering if he read any regarding the inverse square law's effect on radiation. Due to it, unless you're practically leaning against a cell tower, the radiation from your cell phone when being used is much stronger. Also, more towers means each can transmit with a weaker signal, lowering the risk of being near them. Finally, here's a quote from an environmental website: "The farther you are from a cell tower, the weaker the signal and the more your cell phone has to 'power up,' which causes more EMF and EMR-induced cellular damage."

So if Councilman Rotkin succeeds in his tilting against cell towers, he will probably only increase the health risks to cell phone users. Perhaps his time would be better spent in passing a city council resolution calling for a global ban on cell phone use altogether.

Steve Bankhead,


IN RESPONSE to Jane Baer's interesting take on human relations (Letters, May 28), I am perplexed by her explanations and mind-set, and frankly her sanity. Where does she get her definition of an "ideal couple"? Seems to me, the "ideal couple" is two people, no matter their gender, who come together and agree to form a bond for life with each other. "Their mate might have passed away or lacked affection, or some people might lack the basic understanding of the basic ideal male/female couple." What the $%#& does that actually mean? No mate of mine has passed away or lacked affection, and being a male, I'm perfectly happy to continue my search for my male mate to create our own ideal couple, and I'll marry him when the time comes. Jane needs her head checked.

Brent Donovan,
Santa Cruz

Outlaw Cheap Hires

LAST WEEKEND was my mother's 50th birthday party. I used it as an excuse to take an extended weekend from my job to come home and see my friends and family. Since I moved to Los Angeles nearly two years ago, I've found more and more time passes between each trip back to the town where I grew up (Soquel High) and attended college (UCSC). I would love nothing more than to be able to move back to Santa Cruz, buy a house and live a contented, fulfilled life. My friends ask me every time I return if I ever think about moving back. Sure, I think about it, but not long down the viability checklist do I come across the box for job prospects.

What happened to the industry in Santa Cruz? What lucrative professions are there in this town? It seems the only sectors left are: service (restaurant, retail and tourism), real estate (pfff), medical (au revoir, Skyview Drive-In), and construction. Down, down, up, and down, respectively.

The last industry is the one that hits closest to home. My whole family spent their lives building the family contracting business and can now hardly find any stable work. Yet there is in reality no shortage of work across the county. My friend, an architect, said quite succinctly, "Why spend $25 an hour for labor when you can go to Home Depot and pick someone up who is willing to do it for $15?" Or $12? Or $10. Now therein lies the problem.

Don't get me wrong, I am not against immigration by any means. But the basic economic problem needs to be addressed or the situation will only spiral further out of control. The two simple options are:

(a) Traditional contractors need to lower prices to stay competitive--I don't see this happening with people already unable to afford their mortgages; or

(b) Find a way to run the undercutters (day laborers) out of business.

Can a proposition be passed that would allow the hiring of unlicensed day laborers punishable by fine? Before the angry mail comes in, please understand I'm thinking more along the lines of a union than any sort of anti-immigration policy. Surely, there are enough veteran contractors in the city who have lawyer friends able to draft up such a proposal.

A proposal like this would eventually bring more money home to people who are willing and able to perpetuate the cycle and feed the money back into the community.

Are my economics completely wrong here?

Joe Rose,
Los Angeles

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