Letters to the Editor, June 22

Kudos to the Watsonville Police Department

To the Editor,

On a recent walk along the trails of the beautiful Watsonville Sloughs, an elderly member of our walking group became separated from the group and was nowhere to be found. Watsonville Police officers promptly and compassionately located and reunited her with our group at Ramsay Park. Thank you Watsonville Police officers for a job well done.

Jan Karwin

Santa Cruz


Decision a step backward in ending gender-based violence

To the Editor,

Monarch Services stands with immigrant survivors seeking refuge from domestic violence.

The Attorney General’s recent decision to remove domestic violence as grounds for seeking asylum here is a death sentence for many women, children and LGBTQ community members in Central American countries and is a step backwards in the movement to end gender-based violence.

This decision attacks longstanding protections for domestic violence survivors and those who look to the U.S. for protection and refuge, taking us back to an era when domestic violence was considered a “private” matter; not meriting government intervention.

We urge Santa Cruz County residents to contact their congressional representatives and ask for protections for domestic violence survivors seeking refuge in the U.S. as well as more humane immigration policies that keep families intact. We need immigration policies that reflect the values of our country and our communities.

Laura Segura

Executive Director, Monarch Services


Empty tank cars on rail line will be removed

To the Editor,

A point of contention in the ongoing debate regarding the Santa Cruz Branch rail line are the chemical tank cars that are spotted in and around Watsonville in a photo depicted in the Register-Pajaronian accompanying a recent article about the Santa Cruz Regional Transportation Commission approving a contract with Progressive Rail.   

Many people in the area have voiced their concerns about these cars carrying flammable “propane.” Rest assured this is not the case! The Iowa Pacific Railroad put these empty cars in storage on the rail line as a way to gain revenue from those entities that own them. Keep in mind, there is no industry on the Santa Cruz Branch that has use for tank cars except the biofuel plant in Watsonville and they do not go north. When Progressive Rail takes over operations, those in storage will be gone.

Granted, a couple of years ago the Iowa Pacific Railroad shot itself in the foot by pulling a train with several empty and inert tank cars to Santa Cruz in the course of training crews. This was perceived by many residents that this would be a regular thing and has unfortunately become fodder for the anti-rail groups Greenway and Trail Now.

Thank you for allowing me to clarify this issue!

Gary V. Plomp



Why are the churches silent?

To the Editor,

Where are the church ladies? You know, the ones who actually run the local churches in every community in the U.S. You know who they are. Why are they silent?

We have just rejoined the concentration camps for kids phase. We hysterically did it in WWII.  

Now is the time to stop this nonsense.

Why aren’t they busy getting buses loaded with moms … headed for the first two facilities holding almost 2,000 kids? What in the heck is the matter with our churches that they will not stand for protecting “our” children? This is no longer a political thing — this is the face of fascism exposed.

So I muse. Wonder if a thousand buses were to unload church ladies from across our country and simply blockaded the places with their bodies and refused to move until “our” kids are released.

You did notice how quietly all this was done in less than two months.

William R. Di Berto



Come to downtown Watsonville

To the Editor,

Some people are avoiding downtown Watsonville for various reasons. Come down and have a look. There are some pretty neat places there. I list just a small sample:

Van’s Shoe Shop at 14 East Lake has a shoe repairman who is a consummate craftsman. And Van’s is the place to go when one needs work boots as they carry name brands. Jorge at Jorge’s Shoe Repair also does outstanding shoe repairing. Javier Enrique of Hensley’s Joyeria at 629 Main St. is an expert at repairing jewelry, watches and clocks. Then there is the unique Cut N’Style Unisex Salon at 119 East Lake whose hairdressers are artisans in cutting hair. For Hensley’s and the Cut N’Style Unisex Salon, don’t go before 11 a.m. Mary El Coiffures located at 604 East Lake Ave. is also an excellent beauty salon with lots of parking where you will run into many locals. All these establishments charge moderate prices below what one pays in North County.

The big, airy, full-service post office is located on Main Street. It has lots of easy parking. And right next door is the modern Watsonville Public Library. The Farmers’ Market is held on Friday afternoons in the middle of downtown at the Plaza. The market has vendors who sell a superb variety of fresh produce and flowers in season. A big plus are the food trucks that line up and sell refreshments and freshly-cooked delicious specialty foods from different regions of Mexico. One can buy one’s favorite food and eat it hot right there in the park — an instant picnic.

I am a senior citizen, and I feel perfectly safe going downtown alone. I frequently encounter old world courtesy. Sorry #MeToo movement, but I enjoy having a gentleman open the door for me.

Come to downtown Watsonville.

Amelia Koenig



Make all roadways ‘computer friendly’

To the Editor,

Rather than relying upon the forever challenge of adapting self-driving vehicles to the real-world, modify its environment to be “computer friendly.” Computers behind self-driving vehicles lack the common sense of even simple animals, thus every scenario that may be encountered needs to be factored into algorithms. This is a very dangerous position to be in!

Assuring standards that every roadway has reasonably contiguous lane markers (which most roadways already have), in conjunction with basic recognition methods would then guarantee safe self-driving vehicles under virtually all conditions. In situations where markers may be deemed unsightly, this can be implemented outside the visible range of human detection.

Also, at a minimum, GPS mapping needs to be taken to the next level of detail. Routes need to pin-point the location of every stop sign (traffic lights optional but helps failsafe). Traffic lights need to communicate their state (probably wirelessly) to self-driving vehicles.

Local governments can do this now, or wait until after more lives are impacted.

Bob Fifield



Policy is creating traumatized people

To the Editor,

For 20 years I worked in high school dropout “continuation” programs in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. Most of the students in these programs have one thing in common: childhood trauma. Thankfully, the latest wave of training for teachers is called “Trauma-Informed Education.”

Our president’s policy of separating young children from their parents is creating traumatized people. Might as well give ICE baseball bats to break their tiny knees!

Don Eggleston



Childhood trauma can last a lifetime

To the Editor,

We’ve all had frightening things happen in our lives. As you read that sentence, I bet something from your own experience comes to mind. Hopefully you were old enough to have had enough life experience to tell yourself that you would be OK.

A child relies on their parent to provide that reassurance. If that parent is unavailable, the child’s nervous system is flooded with chemicals and impressions that tell the child that the world is a dangerous place and they are not safe. That understanding of the world and themselves in it can last a lifetime and even affect future generations.

As a therapist who has been working for 30 years with adult survivors of childhood trauma, I can tell you for certain that it can take a moment to condition a child to live in fear and distrust and it can take years to heal the wounds.

Holly Heath, LMFT

Certified Sensorimotor Psychotherapist



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