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.
Letters and columns may also be sent via email to [email protected]
All letters and columns must be signed and have an address and phone number for confirmation purposes. We reserve the right to edit and condense all submissions.
New sales tax supports pension deficit
To the Editor,
It is interesting to note that on the sample ballot for Measure G (county sales tax increase) it did not mention that Measure G funds would be used to “Weather the storm of the statewide pension crisis in coming years” as stated in the Sentinel. In fact, the voter pamphlet stated the funds were for, to name but a few: “911 emergency response, local street repairs, mental health services, homelessness, parks and general county services, etc. and would be subject to an independent citizens oversight committee.”
In fact, we now have a new sales tax to support the pension deficit. I guess “truth in advertising” doesn’t apply to “truth in politics.” It is time to make a change to the current unsustainable growth in public pensions. As stated in the Sentinel, the current unfunded liability in the state public employee retirement system is $168 billion! How many more taxes can we come up with to continue to fund this boondoggle?
Ignore anti-rail propaganda
To the Editor,
I totally disagree with the opinion of Bob Fifield that the Santa Cruz Branch rail right of way should be paved over to allow transit buses to use it instead of trains (Register-Pajaronian, Dec. 14-20). This would be the worst possible scenario and definitely a waste of taxpayer money! The rails are already in place. Not only that, it is not environmentally sound and/or safe in the bus-only configuration. The bus should connect with the train, not replace it.
Preferable to a bus, the train will reduce traffic congestion on Highway 1 and is kinder to the environment between Watsonville and Santa Cruz. Also, the train will offer a viable intercity transportation connection for passengers, commuters and freight via Watsonville Junction in Pajaro.
Never mind the erroneous anti-rail propaganda! Please support the S.C.C.R.T’s plan “B” Rail with Trail. It is the best use for our historic and scenic Santa Cruz Branch rail line.
Gary V. Plomp
Police training questionable
To the Editor,
Sean Arlt, a 32-year-old mentally challenged man armed with a rake, was faced by four police officers who couldn’t figure out how to subdue him short of shooting him to death, a pretty sad state of affairs. Was there nothing in their training programs that ought to have given them an idea of how to deal with the situation short of killing Sean, who was reported to be 10 feet from the officer who shot him.
There is something terribly wrong here; difficult to explain or understand. Police in the United States are killing us at the rate of plus or minus, 1,000 per year. Folks in Canada are armed as well as we are, yet the last time I checked, Canadian cops killed only 12 people that year. The same year in China, 10, Great Britain, 1, and Germany, 0.
So Sean Arlt died that day, reportedly 10 feet from the officer who, perhaps a bit quick on the trigger, shot him and has gotten off scott-free. All four of those cops could have outran him. Sean would not have touched one of them with the rake had they been doing what they should have. And if Ronald Reagan had not closed most of the mental institutions while governor of California, Sean might have been in one of them, still alive.
PVUSD board’s reported Brown Act violation troubling
To the Editor,
As reported in the R-P by Todd Guild (Dec. 14-20 edition), an illegal gathering of five trustees was held prior to the first PVUSD Board meeting after the election, a clear violation of the Brown Act. After spending an estimated $60,000 to elect candidates, is this the change to the board that the teachers’ union, PVFT, intended? I hope not.
From the reporting it appears that Trustee Acosta invited Trustee Osmundson to a one-on-one breakfast meeting, not mentioning that the three new trustees would be there. This appears to be a case of entrapment.
Only Trustees Osmundson, Holm and Dodge agreed to be interviewed by reporter Guild and their stories seemed to change. Trustee Dodge seems to have amnesia. Were they coached and if so, by whom? Trustee Holm ran on the need for transparency. Now is the time for all five to divulge what transpired. I would urge that Trustees Acosta and Schacher make themselves available to Guild to get a full accounting of the gathering and its purpose.
Several people have approached me on what should be done; some wanted all five to be removed, others thought something should be done, and others felt that nothing should be done. I have major issues with the last one. I also have trouble with the first; it would leave the board without a quorum and stop the business of the board.
Something needs to be done and I ask Trustee Acosta to resign before the next board meeting and save the district and the other four trustees the embarrassment of a Brown Act violation being brought against the district with the possible consequence of losing five trustees.