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News and Features
September 6-13, 2006

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Letters to the Editor

Job well done

YOUR COVERAGE OF "Charge of the Light Brigade" (News&Views, Aug. 30) not only failed to capture the essence of Kirby Scudder's Night Light project on Sept. 21, but it was written in a tactless and inappropriate manner. If the intention of the article was to be negative, sarcastic and condescending--it was a job well done. Kirby Scudder has undeniably changed the landscape of how we regard the arts in Santa Cruz. Despite it being a task fraught with difficulties and seemingly insurmountable hurdles, he has been successful. It is my strong feeling that his persistence and commitment to this city's cultural scene should not be minimized, which is exactly what the article did. To be clear, this project is about connection, community, relations, and thoughtfulness. To say it is where friends and neighbors will gather and "shoot-the-shit about peace" is disrespectful to the vision and undermines the positive spirit in which the project was conceived. One "shoots the shit" over a poker game or a cup of coffee. Not something of this magnitude.

Five hundred volunteers are needed to step up on Sept. 21. That should have been the main point of the article. Night Light will be a momentous occasion. It will be a spectacle of beauty and majesty with the quiet power to influence people around the globe. Let's prove that as a community we actually do care about the world and each other. Volunteer to lend a hand so everything and everyone can be kept safe. Anything short of the aforementioned will detract from the ultimate goal: Peace. Sept. 21 is history in the making and you can make a difference. You only need to show up. Lights on 9pm!

Rebecca Kovan, Ph.D., Co-Director, The Peoples Art Gallery

The human condition

RE "A CITY DIVIDED ... Tension in Santa Cruz" (News&Views, Aug. 9): I was in high school when the United Nations was formed. It seemed then that humanity might find a way to live in peace. As a young adult I was encouraged by my society to believe in ever increasing social and economic progress in America and the world. But during my lifetime there have been continuing conflicts all over the world. Now in my old age I'm seeing news of violent events, anti-social attitudes, and betrayals of trust that are repetitions of those I deplored as a young adult. It's not that history repeats itself. It's more like we are born into a human condition that does not basically change. Presently it is: stupid religious and ideological excuses for terrorism and war; real wars for oil and coming wars for water and other limited or depleted resources; glorifying warriors and suicidal murderers.

Lack of comprehension about the necessity for poor people to leave their places of birth and try, often illegally and desperately, to get to more economically sustaining places. The stubbornness of ignoring effects of ever increasing human population and consumption on the planetary environment. Trying to make public education deny evolution and adhere to a biblical cosmology; continuing bigotry about sexual preferences and a narrow definition of what makes a family; refusal to acknowledge that humans are animals.

And people, including me, have always been bewailing and complaining and ranting and raging, and suggesting what ought to be done to create a peaceful and sustainable planetary society. I continue to do my small part to push for what I believe to be the correct way for humanity and my grandchildren to go. My only hope is the unpredictability of chance. Good things might happen.

Patricia Rayne, Aptos

The talented Mr. Quigly

THANK YOU, DECINZO, for your wonderful cartoon in the Aug. 23 Metro Santa Cruz (print edition) regarding the helmet law. I've had questions about Richard Quigly's cause against the helmet law for some time now. Occasionally he has been afforded a forum on a local radio station. One day on his program, while slamming the helmet law, the local police and attorneys, he went on and on about what an honorable person he prides himself to be. I figured if he was that honorable, surely he would not expect us taxpayers to pick up the tab should he crash his motorcycle and splatter his brains (hmmm) all over the highway. I thought he would be capable of having a discussion about it, but I was wrong! I first asked him if he had health insurance and you would think I had asked him if he abused small animals. He would not answer the question and tried to change the subject, so I calmly asked it again. He got extremely angry and told me it was none of my business if he had health insurance. Wow, at that point I kind of took that to be a "no."

So Mr. Quigly will tie up the courts because it's all about him and his unwillingness to follow the law. (Don't want to, don't have to and you can't make me.) After all, why should he pay for something that he can squeeze out of other people? And who would those people be? They would be among others, Mr. Quigly's friends, neighbors, maybe some of the guys and gals at the Harley Shop, those awful police, terrible attorneys, doctors, nurses, and oh yes, the firemen and the paramedics that may have to scrape him off the pavement someday. He must be so proud to be such an honorable person. What a hypocrite.

Judie Ajeska White, Corralitos

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