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Letters to the Editor

Forum Fabulous

I WANT TO thank you, Santa Cruz Weekly, for having been one of the sponsors for the four-person political debate at Cabrillo College on Aug. 12.

This was the only local opportunity to hear the candidates for the 15th senatorial district before the special election on Aug. 17. Thank you for making it possible.

Margaret Metzinger,

Santa Cruz

The Other Gulf Disaster

REPORTS from the Gulf of Mexico tell us that the oil-spouting BP well has finally been sealed, and that the devastating impacts of the massive oil spill on beaches, wildlife habitats and marine ecosystem are gradually abating. However, there is a more clear and present danger lurking in the Gulf, yet there are no immediate plans to abate this much larger, deadlier, and continuing spill smothering life in the Gulf.

According to Wikipedia, there is an 8,500-square-mile "dead zone" (roughly three times the size of the BP oil slick) resulting from the Mississippi River dumping into the Gulf of Mexico. Chief contributor is American agriculture, spewing billions of tons of factory-farm animal waste, overloaded with nitrogen and other potentially damaging nutrients from petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides, producing vast algal blooms that suck up oxygen from the water, killing all marine life.

We react dramatically to unanticipated threats like the BP oil spill and accidental deaths. Yet we tend to accept and tolerate the much more damaging, but routine, threats from animal waste discharges and deaths from killer diseases linked to meat and dairy-laden diets.

Larry Rogawitz,

Santa Rosa

Sorry, Haters

In the latest chapter of the battle over same-sex marriage in California, faced with Judge Vaughn Walker's fact-based and eminently logical decision, opponents continue to froth at the mouth with the same tired catchphrases bandied about since the issue first ignited. These phrases—for example, "thwart the will of the people," "preserve the sanctity of marriage," "protect the children," "will lead to polygamy and incest"—are carefully designed to sugar-coat or, by using fear or anger, to divert attention from what is truly at the heart of their objection: hate.

Defined by Merriam-Webster as "intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury" and "extreme dislike or antipathy," hate is clearly the reason behind the multi-million-dollar effort to prevent gay men and lesbians from marrying the one they love. Protest all they want about being labeled haters, their actions bespeak their true nature.

Although those of us who are the target of such hate are used to it, we are nevertheless sick and tired of it being enshrined in the laws of our country and state. Judge Walker's annulment of Prop. 8 is a triumph for that most cherished of American values: freedom.

Dean Harpster,

San Jose

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