Letters to the Editor
Bullies and Bigots
A FEW YEARS AGO DeCinzo explained to Metro Santa Cruz reporter Sarah Phelan that "it's the job of a political cartoonist to ridicule people." No, it's not. Sorry, pal. Insight and irony are what make worthwhile commentators of all persuasions, cartoonists included. Ridicule has always been the sole province of bullies and bigots, fools and phobes. His self-description does, however, make it easier for us to understand where DeCinzo is coming from and, hopefully, to avoid stepping in it ourselves.
Ryan Coonerty, on the other hand, has shown the kind of integrity, vision and courage that many hope will displace the hate- and fearmongering that has for so long reigned in both Washington, D.C., and Santa Cruz. DeCinzo's very personal attack on Ryan (DeCinzo, Sept. 10) certainly qualifies as ridicule. He's done his job once again. I'm just not sure what that says about the mission or the motives of a paper like Metro Santa Cruz.
A Real Leading Man
BEING AN AVID FAN of the films Saving Private Ryan, Godfather I and II, Star Wars and Casablanca, I was mildly amused by last week's DeCinzo cartoon's fictional miscasting of Mayor Ryan Coonerty. Having known and worked with Ryan since he ran the successful 1998 school bond measure, I can tell you he more resembles leading characters in those films who take risks, have fun and keep their sense of humor. Of course, one can see the cartoon itself as an object of humor, in its own fumbling sort of way.
Measure T and UCSC
I THINK the Santa Cruz City Council and Nu_z missed the real reasons for Measure T's narrow defeat ("Postmortem, Measure T," Nu_z, Sept. 10). First, the cost is more than a latte at Lulu's. For a family with one ground line and two cells, the cost is $125 a year. This could strain budgets already impacted by rising food and gas prices.Second, placing the measure on November's ballot would have led to comparison with the county's rate for 911 services, one-third the city's rate. The August mail-in ballot avoided the comparison. Opponents pointed out that the revenue would go to the city's general fund and could be used for any reason beyond the cost of providing emergency services.
Third concerns UCSC. With 15,000 students and more than half registered to vote in the city, this bloc has kept the anti-growth politics in power for three decades, providing pluralities in at-large elections. The council strongly opposes district elections, which would dilute the power of the campus vote.
The campus vote strongly supports bond measures, which are paid through the property tax. They even supported the 0.25 percent sales tax which only costs $1 for every $400 of purchases. They might support the $3.49 monthly tax, but I suspect most cell phone bills are paid at their parents' homes, thus not subject to the Santa Cruz tax.
Finally, the ballots were mailed during the summer when most students are out of town. Delivery of the ballots was to the voting address and returned to the post office if undeliverable. Thus, without the campus vote and with a rate higher than needed for the emergency services, the only surprise is that it came close to passing.
Give Us A Break
THANK YOU to Stephen Kessler for his excellent, well-worded article about the unfortunate changes at KUSP ("When Music Was News to Me," Arts, Aug. 27). Radio is where we can hear music we otherwise wouldn't know about, and noncommerical radio provides an essential variety of genres and cultural style. Whether people know it or not, we do need mental rest; we do need a break from news (usually stress-inducing) and excess verbiage. We do need the inspiring, calming, interest-sparking, health-enhancing, beauty-expanding, energizing qualities of music.
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