Watsonville City Plaza
To the Editor,
The Pajaro Valley Historical Association’s (PVHA) Board of Directors adamantly opposes the proposed changes to the historic Watsonville City Plaza. The Plaza was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 noting its Historic Significance as “Architecture/Engineering.” On Nov. 20 of 1983, then mayor, Ann Soldo unveiled the plaque with Watsonville Historian Betty Lewis and local historic preservationist Diane Porter Cooley in attendance.
The historic centrally located band stand was designed by William H. Weeks, who is well known for his historic architectural design. The “Current Function,” as noted on the National Registry is “Landscape & Plaza.” In the original documents, dedicating the Plaza to the Town of Watsonville, it is noted that the land could not be used “for any other purpose whatsoever except solely and exclusively for the purpose of a Public Town Plaza.” It should be noted that there is indeed a significant difference between a “Public Town Plaza” and a “Park,” one being a “Public Square” and the other being used for “Recreational Use.” Since the 1860’s the Plaza has been a gathering locale, with many events having taken place within its boundaries. It is an oasis in the center of town that cannot be replicated. It is imperative that our city manager, our parks and recreation staff and our current city council understand the undesirable significance of their proposal to change the character of the Plaza in opposition to the “original intent” as stated in numerous documents and articles.
Watsonville currently has 26 public parks covering 143 acres. Additionally, there are several miles of an extensive trail system with 29 points of entrance and 800 acres of fresh wetlands. The City Plaza is unique and needs to be protected and preserved, as is, for future generations.
Judy Doering Nielsen | President, PVHA Board
A unified theory of American politics: money talks
To the Editor,
If you are confused about what is going on in US politics, I think I can help. Over the last 50 years, partly through legal lobbying, huge corporations and the rich have gained control of our government, often even writing legislation. The salary we pay them is dwarfed by the donor’s money, so they don’t really work for us citizens. This accounts for our disdain and distrust of our elected leaders, and was a big factor in the election of Donald Trump.
Following are some critical issues that have 60-90 percent support in polls. Why can’t we have these policies that the vast majority of us want? The answer is: corporate big money resistance from the groups noted.
• Climate change action — Fossil Fuel Industry
• Background checks for gun purchases — NRA
• Jobs — NAFTA (written by and for international corporations)
• Medicare for all — Health Insurance Industry
• Less war — Military Industrial Complex
• Break up big banks — Wall Street
• Lower drug costs — Pharmaceutical Industry
• Free public college — Big Banks with Student Loans
• Fifteen dollar minimum wage — US Chamber of Commerce
These are just a few examples. The fact is that billionaires’ money and corporate money in the form of lobbying and other influence peddling thwarts public will. It’s big money versus people.
As an example, here is an article on the Democrats not endorsing Medicare for All and the amount of money each has taken from health corporations: https://truthout.org/articles/meet-the-health-care-industrys-favorite-democrats/
For example, Nancy Pelosi, who does not support Medicare for All, has received over $1,000,000 since 1989 from healthcare industry lobbyists.
Once you see our political mess in terms of “following the money,” Trump and our current gridlock make a lot of sense. Both benefit the 1 percent. Big money is doing just fine, and they don’t want any changes.
The solution to this coup of our government by the 1 percent is to elect representatives who are not beholden to big money, but to ordinary voters. If we want a true democracy, we must vote for candidates who do not take corporate money.