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September 3-10, 2008

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Letters to the Editor

Tom-Tom Club

THIS MODERN WORLD comic seals the deal for me. I'll go out of my way (a little, anyway) to pick up a Metro Santa Cruz so I can read this strip. From there I'll enjoy the rest of the paper. Please keep This Modern World.

Tom Tomorrow and Sparky rock!

Steven Stewart,
Santa Cruz


A Shameful Blight

REGARDING "No Monkey Business at UCSC" (Letters, Aug. 13): Humans causing suffering to other species (whether mouse or monkey) in the name of so-called medical advances is nothing but wrong and sick. I look forward to a time when humanity will be looking back upon animal experimentation as a shameful blight on humanity's gradual and painful evolution.

For those not persuaded simply by the profoundly uneasy feeling in their heart when reflecting upon animal experimentation, please read Dr. Ray Greek's book What Will We Do If We Don't Experiment on Animals: Medical Research for the 21st Century. This book exposes the invalidity and fallacy of the animal model in medical research in depth and explains true alternatives.

As far as animal experimentation being "humane"--there is nothing "compassionate" about the strong inflicting suffering on the weak. Most of society is completely ignorant of what happens in labs as well as completely ignorant of the fact that animal experimentation, as many of our shameful habits, is tightly controlled by big business and all the ethics which that entails.

Agatha Kenar,

Put Public Good First

THANKS TO YOU for covering the new La Bahia Hotel (News&Views, Aug. 13) and to Curtis Cartier for quoting me at the city Planning Commission's public hearing, where the project was conditionally approved on Aug. 7. I strongly feel that each generation must leave the next one better off. Santa Cruz has an expansive greenbelt, which needs to be maintained for public enjoyment. We also have social services to support and roads to repair. The city is running a huge deficit--with no end in sight. The new La Bahia, unlike the proposed Coast Hotel, requires not one dime of public funds, yet will generate at least $1 million a year for our city, not to mention tourist spending in our struggling local businesses. A few people directly behind the new La Bahia will partially lose their views. But I have always thought that progressive politics puts public good--the majority--first. And leaving debt to our younger citizens isn't right. Citizens of all viewpoints should contact our City Council.

Robert deFreitas,
Santa Cruz

Gone But Not Forgotten

LONG AGO, when I first moved to Santa Cruz, my political activist parents, Bill and Bernice Belton, took me to the Poet and Patriot. The event was a fundraiser for the striking Watsonville Cannery workers and the event's host and headliner was Chris Matthews. He sang, spoke, read poetry and rallied us all to care about and contribute to a fund to keep those strikers going on with their struggle for justice.I went on to become a union organizer, thanks to Chris' business partner and comrade Tim McCormick. Chris and the Poet were always the touchstone of all things labor and political in my community.

Monday, I'll again attend the Central Labor Council's Labor Day picnic, for my 25th consecutive year. It will be the first time that Brother Matthews won't be with us, with his great booming voice, warm hugs, "hello darlin'" and his constant presence reminding us all that the struggle for justice is a lifetime endeavor.

This Labor Day, I'll celebrate the various labors of Chris Matthews: poet and playwright, business owner, political activist, friend.

In the words of my father, "the struggle is everything." Chris lived that and for that, I am deeply grateful and admiring.

Nora Hochman,
Santa Cruz

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