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June 17-24, 2009

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Shameful and Senseless

CUTTING SERVICES for the most disabled and the least able to care for themselves is not only shameful, it does not make financial sense ("The Adult Day Health Care Domino Effect," Bullhorn, June 10). Adult Day Health services were created as a cost savings alternative to nursing homes, and guess what. It works. Nursing home care costs Californians $59,000 per patient per year versus $15,000 for Adult Day Health. In addition, for every dollar spent on Adult Day Health, we receive $1.64 in matching funds from the federal government.

Yes, on paper, eliminating ADHC will save the state $117 million, but we lose over $190 million. Add to this the loss of productivity and absenteeism as employees struggle to work and care for their elderly family members, and these cuts don't make sense.  

 Kim Gilgenberg,
San Francisco


Thing Are Tough All Over

MS. CLARENBACH (Bullhorn, June 10), please go to CafeMom to find out how to have a baby in California without paying a penny. Medi-Cal picks up the tab. One of these young never-married women is in my health club doing yoga and pilates. What I don't understand is the "Salud Para La Gente." Is the same "Health for the People" available for me in Mexico? I am so tired of whining and an entitlement attitude; everyone in this state knows we are bankrupt. I am an emigrant and have provided for myself; Ms. Clarenbach, teachers, park rangers, firefighters, police personnel etc., etc., are losing their jobs. Get real.

Helga Wiench,
By email

Pass The Rum

PROPOSITION 13 passed in 1978 and took 30 years to bankrupt the state of California. At the present time there are insufficient funds to run the schools and prisons, maintain roads and provide a minimum of health care for SSI recipients. Filing for unemployment from pink slip to first check takes four to six weeks. The failure in our social welfare system is a consequence of Proposition 13. This inhumanity results in a decline of our public schools, increase in crime, potholes galore while license and plate fees increase. People, we are all bearing witness to the richest state in America falling into a banana republic.

Emanuel Marquis,
Santa Cruz

Thinly Disguised Attacks

THANKS for covering the successful resolution of a local human rights controversy at Jack's ("After the Sh*tstorm," Currents, June 10).

Even more thanks to HUFF workers Rick, Valerie and Bernard; to mediator Brent Adams; to Jack's co-owner, Connie Hutchinson; and to Shiney, Gabe, Christina, Aaron, Daniel, and all the other street activists who helped bring the issues into public view.

These folks made possible the swift and peaceful resolution of homeless discrimination concerns that now need to be addressed more broadly in Santa Cruz.

I also thank Ronee, Tanya, Rev. Joel Miller and the many volunteers at Calvary Episcopal who make their Monday coffeehouse and ministry a truly valuable experience.

It's too bad that their enlightened policy has been now significantly marred by a standing trespass order against homeless-looking people sitting innocently on their lawns. The fact that Mayor Mathews led this anti-homeless campaign is an even darker reality. Removing large swaths of public space from use in order to "disappear" homeless people is a bad practice.

In 2007, the Mathews Council, under the leadership of Ryan Coonerty, removed 10 square blocks (all the public parking lots and garages) from public use.

Further criminalization of the poor has followed through the constriction of public space on the sidewalks for such harmless behaviors as sitting, peaceful spare-changing, political tabling and street performing.

The latest chapter in this thinly disguised attack on the visible poor is the "No Sleeping" Injunction against two homeless musicians downtown.

I encourage the business community to reject the citywide Sleeping Ban law, which other larger conservative cities (Los Angeles, San Diego, Fresno) have overturned.

Thanks to those stores that have signed the Non-discrimination Pledge. Visitors and residents should ask some hard questions of those that refuse before they spend their money there.

Robert Norse,
Santa Cruz

Good People

REGARDING Dave Grishaw-Jones ("Pyramids of Callousness," Bullhorn, June 3), what a wonderful man. It makes me want to go back to church.

Gerald Pleasant,
Santa Cruz

New Frontiers in Bad Driving

WHILE I'M all for scientific progress, I must admit that the idea of a Hovercar 3000 as envisioned by your Sebastopol correspondent ("Science Won't Save Us," Letters, June 10) scares the daylights out of me. Being a pessimist, I cannot help but think that all the irksome goings-on that currently occur out there on our roads and freeways on a daily basis would be exacerbated in the extreme with the added dimension of having them occur 100 feet in the air at 80 miles an hour. Darwin help us, most drivers out there can't even work up enough spatial awareness to handle four directions (front, back, right and left), let alone six (add up and down). Hovercars? Thanks, but no thanks.

Rich Jones,
Monte Rio

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