Letters to the Editor, Dec. 14, 2018

The Register-Pajaronian welcomes letters. Letters and columns may be dropped off or mailed to the Register-Pajaronian, 100 Westridge Drive, Watsonville, CA 95076.

Letters should be 400 words or less, and columns are no more than 800 words.

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Unions need to provide options for members

To the Editor,

I would like to thank Steve DeCinzo for his humorous cartoon of my recent election defeat (Register-Pajaronian, Dec. 7-13). He has compared me with Maximus, the great Roman General and Gladiator. Like Maximus, it is not about me; it is about raising academic performance and providing teachers with compensation choices.

Thanks for showing that I am still alive, fighting the fight that PVFT deplores. For the 11 years that I have been attending board meetings, not once has PVFT responded to my questions on what it and the teachers can do to improve academic performance, where some of the blame lies. PVFT should use some of the $1.3 million-plus that it collects for training the struggling teachers.

Teachers need to have options on health care and wages. PVFT has blocked me from presenting ideas in the Benefit Committee meetings. Why? Unions are not dead, but they need to be relevant to improving performance, and providing options for their members. They need to move away from threats and intimidation. It is time for new union leadership with a vision for academic excellence.

Bill Beecher



George Herbert Walker Bush: Not as civil and decent as it seemed

To the Editor,

In the days after President George Herbert Walker Bush’s passing, the media has been bombarded with how decent and civil he was at his job, unlike our present oval office occupier. Granted, Bush was a success in life, attaining the most ballyhooed job this nation has to offer. Bush did what he had to do. He made it to the top, and got a sendoff worthy of a king. That said, I cannot agree with the media’s portrayal of Bush.

In 1980, Bush became Ronald Reagan’s vice president. Bush was a heavy player in the Iran hostage crisis, where a deal was made to spring the hostages in exchange for weapons to Iran, all behind closed doors. All this led to the Iran/Contra scandal that plagued President Reagan’s second term.

During the 1988 election, the Bush Campaign accused Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis of being soft on crime with an ad that ran on television. To Bush’s credit his debate performance against Dukakis was exemplary, as he showed himself folksy, down to earth, and up on the issues. All that resulted in a resounding Bush victory.

Yet, almost immediately after attaining office Bush sent our military into action. To Panama to unseat drug runner (who he had supported) Manuel Noriega, and then in early 1991 launching Desert Storm, the largest movement of military personnel and hardware the world has ever seen. All in reaction to Iraq attacking Bush’s oil crony, Kuwait, a nation the size of Los Angeles.

These military attacks were undoubtedly done to help Bush win reelection. But it didn’t. The economy sagged and the American voter voted in Bill Clinton, leaving Bush a one-termer.

When Bush’s son, George W. Bush, became president, Bush Sr. was his senior unofficial advisor, and sure enough the son adopted dad’s modus operandi, and on a rationalization based on untruths and downright lies regarding alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction, the United States invaded and bombed Iraq, which had achieved some stability since Desert Storm.

What can be said as fact is that George Herbert Walker Bush’s actions sparked the debacle in Iraq and was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis as well as thousands of Americans. Added to this are casualties in millions.

George Herbert Walker Bush may have been “civil” and “decent” to those he met personally, but he certainly was not to those who were affected by his policies that in effect ended or destroyed their lives.

Charles Birimisa



Highway 1 relief at our fingertips

To the Editor,

Rather than investing in an endless money pit for years for something that is extremely unlikely to ever happen, better use of the now obsolete 32-mile freight train corridor through Santa Cruz County will bring about immediate benefits. Common sense says that the following simple solution will provide relatively inexpensive Highway 1 relief ASOG (at the speed of government). It also will provide a trail across Santa Cruz County to allow full usage for bicyclists and those on foot.

Phase I (briefly):

• Cover the existing obsolete single railroad track with a surface that is drivable by existing buses.

• During morning commutes, buses depart the Watsonville bus terminal to pick-up this single lane corridor (only accessible by buses, bicycles, people on foot and emergency vehicles) at the most convenient spot and travel westward unimpeded through the corridor to the Santa Cruz bus terminal and then return via the free-moving (at this time) eastbound Highway 1, back to the Watsonville terminal to repeat the process for hours.

• During evening commutes, the flow reverses.

• Bus stops could strategically be placed to help remedy non-full express buses. The number of buses on this route (or abbreviations of it) and frequency of pickups can increase with demand. Without bus activity on weekends, family activities could safely take place.

Note: Bicyclists and those on foot could access this corridor at any time. On weekdays (when there is bus activity), they have to realize that they have to share the “trail” with higher priority buses (until a more expensive Phase II may be phased in).

This initial phase can be upgraded, but in the meantime, aspects of all promises can be enjoyed. Flexibility allows adjustments to be made easier and sooner. Millions upon millions can be saved and schedules significantly expedited by making use of existing buses and infrastructures.

The advantages of this concept are numerous. Of major note is that to save hours of commute time, people will be drawn from driving Highway 1 during congested commute times, to safely riding (and relaxing) on public transportation for less than they could be wasting on gas. Those who aren’t interested in public transportation and prefer to drive their own cars, would still gain significantly from the resulting less cars traveling on the roadways.

Please convince your local government representative to help implement such common sense benefits for those who desire to travel safely and efficiently in Santa Cruz County.

Bob Fifield



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