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October 8-15, 2008

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Letters to the Editor

Look Down

IN RELATION to "Dirty Water" (Nu_z, Oct. 1), Nu_z and all of the ecology-minded folks seem to have overlooked what might be the major source of pollution into our waterways: the asphalt-tar which is being put down over our roadways en masse. What do you think the main ingredient is, rosemary oil?

I assume there has been no analysis of this petroleum-based goo before it is laid out to be subsequently washed into our creeks, streams, rivers and ocean in parts-per-million way above what is allowed for other petro-based pollutants.

 Clay Olson,
Santa Cruz


Jacobs Paid Dearly

WHILE DECINZO'S cartoon in your Oct. 1 issue depicting Jacobs Farm as run by a wealthy master class farmer was cute, it turned the truth upside down.

True, Jacobs Farm was awarded $1 million by a Santa Cruz jury for damages caused by pesticides that drifted onto its organic herbs at Wilder Ranch. But your readers should know that Jacobs Farm incurred well over $2 million in losses as a result of the drifting pesticides. Furthermore, Jacobs Farm spent over $200,000 and two years on a difficult and time-consuming legal battle against a tenacious well-funded legal team that pulled every legal trick in the book to dodge responsibility for spraying organophosphates on Wilder Ranch. This legal effort posed a huge risk to Jacobs as there was no certainty of winning any reward, and a loss in the case would have caused Jacobs Farm to pay the defendants' legal tab, another $200,000.

Larry Jacobs and his wife, Sandra Belin, pursued this case as a matter of principle when the county ag commissioner found there was no one at fault for these pesticides moving onto Wilder Ranch. As a result of Larry and Sandra following their convictions chemical companies will now have to think twice before spraying pesticides in our environment.

As for the farmworkers, since 1981, Larry and Sandra have lived alongside their workers in the same housing they provide at significant expense. In Del Cabo, Mexico, Larry and Sandra also choose the same housing conditions and minimalist lifestyle as the local people. Larry and Sandra's efforts to help the farmers in Del Cabo build their own co-operative has raised income and living standards tenfold.

Mr. DeCinzo and your readers are invited to tour Jacobs Farm and Del Cabo any time to see for themselves.

Rob Jacobs (Larry's brother),
Santa Cruz

Repeat, Repeat: Learn to Spell!

I LOVE DeCinzo--most of the time. But he should learn how to spell. My neighbors, whose name is Jacobs, do not have an apostrophe, not to mention any kind of singular possessive, in their name.

There is no chauffeur, no Rolls Royce, no beard, no parasol and no James in the family. Also no chauffeur.

Maybe you could afford to send DeCinzo to school.

Wolfgang Rosenberg,
Santa Cruz

Ocean Policy Wonks for Joe

CENTRAL COAST residents are lucky to have Sen. Joe Simitian representing us in Sacramento. Over the past few years, Joe has been an outstanding leader on ocean protection--helping to keep our beaches clean and safe and our Monterey Bay Sanctuary healthy. He has authored landmark laws to prevent pollutants such as cruise ship sewage, pharmaceutical drugs and toxic pesticides from contaminating our waters and authored California's model law regulating the offshore aquaculture industry. Thank you, Senator Simitian!

Kaitilin Gaffney,
Santa Cruz

Great Wisdom

I CONGRATULATE Andrew Gilbert on his understanding of Romany culture and history and Kal, and on his writing skill ("Serbia Calling," Arts, Sept. 17). I congratulate you on having the wisdom to hire such a fine writer. This is probably the best article on Roma music I have found in 10 years of active interest.

Suzanne Ahmed Leonora,
Los Angeles

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