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October 11-18, 2006

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Letters to the Editor


I WAS HAPPY TO READ that Dallas has a new home! ("KPIG's Dallas Dobro Joins KZSC," Nūz, Oct. 4). I was a loyal listener to KPIG for years but was devastated when the station went down to corporate control. That's not what the pig was about, and obviously not was Dallas was about, either.

I've known Dallas for many years, through the radio and also because he has been the MC at the renowned Strawberry Music Festival, an event I've enjoyed as both a fan and a performing artist. He is dedicated to the music and to the people who make it and enjoy it. It is hard to find anyone in the world today with that kind of passion.

Sadly, I quit the pig, too. My guess is many other pig listeners will jump over once they discover KZSC. If I can get an Internet stream on the university's station, I'll start listening to them to catch Dallas and Sleepy John. Get this: the best music programming these days is on university/public channels. KZSQ in Northern California has an excellent blues show on Saturday, and now Santa Cruz wins big in the Americana category.

David Chesnut, Vallecito


IN THE LETTER titled "Positive Vibes and Open Spirit" from the Sept. 27 issue of Metro Santa Cruz, P. Morgan wrote, "Has anyone else noticed that the Garden Mall belongs to the students, the Latinos, the street people and freaks?' I can agree that occasionally walking certain parts of the Pacific Garden Mall can be a bit difficult, but I find it unacceptable to group "the Latinos" in with "the street people and freaks" as the source of the problem. Morgan decries a lack of "conscious" people. In a town that is thoroughly white, being conscious of racism will help everyone to be safer.

J. Beckett, Santa Cruz


WHEN RECENTLY SOLICITING support for opposing Measure G, a friend declined, citing the lack of a "dog in the fight." This evening, as I write this letter and reflect on my friend's comment, I take issue with his quick conclusion and encourage everyone to realize the true potential impact of this measure.

Every day we patronize businesses in the city owned and operated by our very neighbors. To many of us, the unique character of these locally owned businesses contributes significantly to how we define Santa Cruz. It's what makes Santa Cruz different from 41st Avenue.

Measure G unfairly burdens locally owned businesses in favor of large chains that can absorb the additional expense. Unlike the statewide minimum wage increase which is widely supported by locally owned businesses, Measure G applies only to businesses within the city limits and is indexed annually to inflation.

The next time you visit your favorite locally owned business, be it a bookstore, cafe or restaurant, take the time to speak with the owner and get their perspective. Ask what measures they will be forced to take should it pass. They will tell you about reduced hour of operation, staff reductions, increased prices, benefit reductions and even relocation or closure.

Measure G isn't about wages; it's about retaining the unique, eclectic character we all cherish about Santa Cruz. Contrary to my friend's short-sighted opinion, we all have a dog in this fight.

Richard Hansen, Java Bob's Coffee Roasting, Santa Cruz


I'M TIRED OF HEARING politicians and individuals use rationality and law together as an end-all justification for enforcing harsher punishments on illegal immigrants. As if rational justifications are irrevocably linked with laws. But, if we're to use rationality as it is intended, to stretch our mental capacities with strict reverence for validity, than we must look far beyond mass deportations, longer walls, larger guards, and stricter government security tactics which only exacerbate the problem and never resolve it. We must begin by viewing humans as greater than capital. This will happen with the dissolution of free trade laws (particularly NAFTA) that give greater freedom to capital/corporations than humans. They directly hurt Mexico's locally competing subsistence farmers as they fail to compete with our U.S. taxpayer-paid $14 billion annual subsidies for mega agribusiness corporations. NAFTA removed Mexico's previously used trade protection barriers unfairly, leaving the country vulnerable to free moving U.S. corporations who could outsource jobs disregarding U.S. labor policies, manufacture commodities with far less taxes, export goods much cheaper than local Mexican competitors and increase environmental degradation without any restrictions across the border. It's obvious why real wages decreased, inequality increased, poverty is rising and illegal immigration increased exponentially since the implementation of free trade (especially after signing NAFTA in 1994) policies in Mexico. Making rational opinions without the impression of laws allows humane understanding of our neighbor's situation and the privilege to abolish/disregard laws that drastically hurt individual's opportunities. If we want to respect humans greater than capital we must stop the devaluing of lives by halting free trade policies that give greater freedom to unrestrained capital than the humans it gravely and uncontrollably affects.

Jesse Jacovini, Santa Cruz

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