A public 'Thank You' for Caring 4 Kids Event
To the Editor,
Our third annual Caring 4 Kids Rhythm Event in Watsonville on April 28th was great fun. Thank you to the City of Watsonville for hosting such a beautiful Earth Day/Day of the Child event. Thank you to Don Davidson for leading us in making joyful music together. We served up Mission Hill Creamery’s delicious ice cream to over 900 community members. We had many engaging and meaningful conversations with parents and caregivers that came by our booth, many of whom were happy to receive our “Good Touch Bad Touch” educational coloring book for their children. Thank you to the many local businesses and faith-based groups for your great sponsorship support! We so appreciate our volunteers and for the wonderful support provided by 10 Bay Federal Credit Union helpers! We also appreciate The Register-Pajaronian’s great event coverage and many years of continued support, sponsoring our efforts to end child sexual abuse in our community. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of children in our community.
In regards to ‘Roundup Ban’
To the Editor,
Due to health and liability risks, an increasing number of municipalities in California, and around the U.S. and world, are eliminating Roundup on public property. It’s great that local restrictions on Roundup are front-page news. However, language in the headline and lede to the article announcing Watsonville City Council’s decision was misleading. The motion passed by the council did not “ban” the herbicide “city-wide,” only on parks, paths and roadways managed by the city. The council has no authority to prohibit use of Roundup or its active ingredient, glyphosate, on private property, nor was that their intention.
Parks & Rec brought a report on glyphosate use, risks and liabilities, and a proposed action plan for development of an Integrated Pest Management plan over the next fiscal year, not a completed plan. The council did not feel the action plan went far enough in eliminating Roundup, although it congratulated city staff on efforts thus far. Aside from discontinuing Roundup use as of July 1, weed removal practices already in use will continue. Both Parks & Rec and Public Works have been incorporating IPM methods such as mowing, mulching and hand-pulling for years. In areas along waterways, for example, chemical use is limited by water quality regulations. The city does lack a clear, systematic policy and plan for choosing the least harmful methods to control weeds and pests.
Suspending Roundup in a few areas with the option to resume after a year was not acceptable to the council, or to members of the public who came to speak. Before allocating funds for a consultant, council members also want to consider expertise from local organic farmers and landscapers, as well as other cities and counties who do not use Roundup for weed control.
Residents of agricultural communities like ours already have excess exposure to toxic insecticides, fumigants and herbicides. For years they have drifted from surrounding fields, been carried on vehicles and clothing, and run into our waterways. Additional exposure where we walk and drive, and on fields where children play is unnecessary. We want a greener Watsonville, with more parks, trees and community gardens. Our public places may not be weed-free, but let’s make them pesticide-free.
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