New holiday train a nuisance
We wish to object to the presence of the new holiday train traveling through Santa Cruz, and the degradation of our quality of life and community ambience created by this nuisance.
The new holiday train has a serious problem that was probably unforeseen. As it moves slowly through Santa Cruz, it blasts a warning repeatedly. This loud disturbance can be heard persistently over such a prolonged period as the train moves in each direction that it is unpleasant to be anywhere near the train line while this is going on. It creates a serious disturbance for residents and businesses. It disrupted our weekly meeting at Kelly's Bakery and seems likely to have a negative effect on the businesses of the Swift Street complex. We realize there is a romantic association with train whistles, but the sound of this train is an alarm.
Please stop this noise pollution. It diminishes the quality of life in Santa Cruz.
Frank Galuszka, UCSC professor; Ralph Abraham, UCSC professor emeritus; Ray Gwyn Smith, artist; Christina Waters, PhD
Cal Fire fee politically delayed?
I just wrote the $150 check for the Cal Fire fee as is now required by law. I also filed the petition to convey my disgust at being blind-sided by this back-door tax. What I don't understand is the period of service for which I am being billed. This fee is being levied for the period July 1, 2011, thru June 30, 2012 -- a period that ended six months ago! The property tax bill which I am also now paying is for the current year, so are they doing us a favor by billing in arrears for the fire prevention fee? Or, is this more political rhetoric to justify the fee vs. tax argument -- i.e. fees billed in arrears, taxes in advance. Either way, the timing seems to have benefited Jerry Brown's Prop. 30 passage.
JD Demeter, Soquel
Not helping the buy local movement
I went downtown this morning to buy something at a store on the mall, and realized I did not have change for the meter. I went to the change machine outside of the store and it would not work. I stepped into the store and asked the clerk if I could have change. She said she could not open the cash register unless I purchased something, and no one in the store knew where another change machine was located. Great customer service, don't you think? Why would I risk an expensive ticket to purchase from a company with a policy like that?
Jeff Bays Gabrio, Santa Cruz
Library isn't a shelter
In response to the library board trustees who are worried about the homeless not having a place to sleep and thereby rejecting the library staff's plea to implement a sleeping ban, they should open up their own offices and homes to the homeless, not our public libraries. It is completely unfair to push the homeless problem onto our public libraries and ask that the staff become an extension of the homeless shelter. These trustees' action will not only make the homeless problem, which is currently out of control, worse, but eventually lead to the library being littered with hypodermic needles much like our beaches.
These trustees need to resign immediately since they are out of touch with the safety and interests of the general public. Or, they need to deal with the homeless problem head on and not hide it behind bookshelves.
Greg Julien, Santa Cruz