Here's an example of progressive recycling in society. We have a recycling program: We do not allow Styrofoam. We do not allow plastic bags. We separate our cans, bottles, paper and cardboard. We protect out waterways. We are so helpful that we allow and tolerate "long-term camping communities" to reside under our bridges, public lands and anywhere else they choose, so we can volunteer and recycle their syringes, needles and other hazardous wastes, as well as truck loads of their trash. We clear human waste from their sites and waterways. Shall we continue to let campers move from one place to another and just keep "recycling" their discards? Santa Cruz has become gritty, dirty and in many ways unsafe!
Jo Ellen Smith, Scotts Valley
Free help for tech-impaired
If using your new computer, iPad or smartphone is challenging, I recommend a visit to Louden Nelson Community Center on Saturday, Feb. 23, March 9 or March 23 for expert help. YouthSERVE, a wonderful and talented group of young people, will be there from noon until 3 p.m. to assist those of us seniors who are technologically challenged. They can answer any question and make it all seem easy and intuitive. Plus, it is a free service. A small donation to their pizza fund is requested.
Barbara Parker, Santa Cruz
Paper bag fee working well
A December letter from Mr. Haddix calls for an abolishment of fees for paper bags. The point of the fee is to change behavior and reduce the overall number of single-use bags used. Paper bags have an environmental impact as well -- and the plastic bag manufacturers have been suing counties if they don't charge a fee. In Santa Cruz County we prefer to protect our environment from all single-use bag litter and we prefer to avoid a lawsuit where possible, so we have a fee and it is working! SOS stood outside stores before the ban and counted 90 percent of shoppers were using single-use bags. Since the ban, that number dropped to 20 percent. People like Mr. Haddix, who don't want to have to be inconvenienced, have the option of paying the fee and getting a bag. We are just glad that Mr. Haddix does not represent the majority in Santa Cruz.
Laura Kasa, Santa Cruz
Is Santa Cruz again fighting for its heavyweight title as "The Murder Capital of the World?"
Tina Owen, Santa Cruz
Less CEQA is a good idea
Gary Patton says "watch out" for changes to California Environmental Quality Act, but "watch out" should have been heard when that law was passed. EIR requirements have wasted billions. A $100,000 environmental impact report was ordered when Anna Jean Cummings Park in Soquel was proposed. It pointed out what we already knew, that the main intersection in Soquel was one of the worst in the county. The report called for connecting Old San Jose Road to the north end of 41st Avenue. The "antis," led by then-Supervisor Patton, were opposed to anything that hinted of more housing. They refused to accept that EIR and ordered another one at $125,000. The new EIR author knew what not to say in his report. The bad intersection is now even worse. There are three schools within a half-mile radius of this intersection. Come have a look at school starting times!
Don Burklo, Soquel
Yes to reopening Natural Bridges
What a great solution to our elementary schools overcrowding! Reopen the neighborhood school, Natural Bridges. I believe every child is worthy of learning in a real classroom setting, not a temporary building. This would alleviate the overcrowding at other campuses and reduce the need for the temporary buildings. Reopening the neighborhood school would alleviate traffic congestion at the many other campuses as parents are now shuttling kids to and from school to other neighborhoods. This would also allow children to have friends living nearby and maybe able to go to the school and play, like we did. I support the reopening of Natural Bridges Elementary.
Peggy Overbeck, Santa Cruz
Thankful to have Farhat-Holzman
Thank you for bringing Laina Farhat-Holzman columns back on your website for your online readers.
Sheree Roth, Palo Alto
One Billion Rising story sought
I am sad the Sentinel carried no coverage on Valentine's Day for the worldwide event One Billion Rising -- people in almost 200 countries around the world stood up, sang and danced to take a stand against violence against women. In our little community, there was a gathering at the Town Clock, a walk to the MAH and a jam-packed gathering where there were speeches (by Santa Cruz Mayor Hilary Bryant and Councilman David Terrazas among others), music and dance. The Sentinel missed an opportunity to cover a positive, joy-filled event, and that is a pity. It is the kind of news we need more of!
Stephen Spitalny, Soquel