News, music, movies & restaurants from the editors of the Silicon Valley's #1 weekly newspaper.
Serving San Jose, Palo Alto, Los Gatos, Campbell, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Fremont & nearby cities.

August 12-19, 2009

home | metro santa cruz index | letters to the editor

Letters to the Editor

That's Capitalism, Folks

I HAVE very mixed emotions about the plight of both the residents of the Surf and Sand Mobile Home Park as well as the owner, Mr. Ronald Reed ("Mobile Homeless," Currents, Aug. 5). On one hand, the residents may be unable to afford to relocate, or will lose substantial amounts on money invested in their mobile homes in the form of landscaping, decks, or upgrades to the mobile homes. It will be very difficult for these people to find similar accommodations in terms of cost and quality of life. One easily empathizes with the residents when considering what it would be like to be evicted from a beloved home for the sake of someone else's monetary gain.

On the other hand, these people have known all along that they are simply renting plots of land where they keep their mobile homes. Just because they have become accustomed to, and had expectations of living in, their current location in no way obligates Mr. Reed to continue renting his land to them. What is the point of owning land if people who don't own it can dictate what you do with it for their own interests? While not quite as egregious as, say, the invocation of eminent domain, it still seems to contradict what anyone would expect a property owner's rights to be. One also easily empathizes with Mr. Reed when considering what it would be like to have people telling you what you can or must do with property that you own.

Sandy Williams, vice president of the Surf and Sand residents association, cites Mr. Reed's desire to sell his property for maximum profit as a major stumbling block to simply selling the property to the residents. While selling to them would seem like the compassionate, Christian thing to do, we're talking about business, where compassion and Christianity are given no quarter. The very foundation of our society demands that Mr. Reed be allowed to receive as much profit as the market will allow for the sale of his property. As distasteful as it may seem when we consider the heartbreak and hardship this is bound to cause the residents of the park, that's capitalism, folks.

The "right" thing to do would be to have the residents buy the park at fair market value. For some reason not addressed in the article, this doesn't appear to be an option. Presumably, property law or the financial inability of the residents is the problem. The city can't afford to buy it and, even if it could, why would the taxpaying citizens want our tax dollars go to purchase land for someone else? The people of Capitola as private citizens, in a huge outpouring of unity and compassion, could collectively chip in and help provide funding that provides an equitable solution for residents and Mr. Reed alike. That seems extremely unlikely. I, personally, would prefer to donate that money to help cancer-stricken and/or starving children. Or save that money for my retirement.

What is going to happen is that, on Dec. 31, the park will be vacated by heartbroken residents. At around that same time, Mr. Reed will sell the property for an appropriate profit, the city will reap the tax benefit, and life will go on for most of us as if nothing had ever happened.

Jason Nelson,

Blackmail on Golf Club Drive

I REALLY felt a strong desire to respond to "Open Space Upset" (Currents, Aug. 5). I have lived here in Santa Cruz County (Felton area) for 39 years. I really feel for that family, who have owned that property for 100 years. It almost feels like blackmail to me: "I will give you the toilet if you let us build 100 homes." Gee, that's a real winner deal! Not!

People who have no great family heritage ties don't have a clue what that woman feels.

I would hate to see Pogonip developed. This town has been massacred with development. Even the article stated we are almost at capacity. Then what? Take that development and stick it somewhere else. Especially when that land is stated as having the best soil. How stupid is that?

My hope for her and her family is that some rich person(s) or foundation gives her the money to buy the permits to fix her house and tell that so-and-so on the top of the hill to shove off!!

Cara Lipp,

First Poem A Success

MANY THANKS! "Local Poets, Local Inspiration" (Streetsigns, Aug. 5) looks great and, judging from the feedback I'm getting, we're off to a good start. Congratulations, Santa Cruz Weekly, for taking the chance.

Robert Sward,
Poetry Editor

The Newsmag of Choice

I WANTED to thank the Santa Cruz Weekly for the "15 minutes" of fame ("Beach Ball," Cover Story, July 22) and the very professional journalist/photographer Curtis Cartier. Also too, that the Metro/Santa Cruz Weekly is reflecting some of the "core" things that make Santa Cruz "charmed." We are all here just soaking it up, but the Santa Cruz Weekly, through photos and text, is capturing what charms us humans and pets about this Magical Place.

I expect to see the Santa Cruz Weekly become the newsmag of choice for the residents here. All of your advertisers will be sought after for their goods and services, and we will all bask in the wonder of "it." Lots of love to your staff and "shapers."

Marty Mechanic,
Santa Cruz

Send letters to the editor here.