Letters to the Editor, Oct. 26


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

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Get to the polls on Nov. 6

To the Editor,

The Kavanaugh confirmation has divided the country according to words of people on both sides of the divide. It certainly has, and while I am not happy about that, I do not care whether the divide is healed or not if there is no apology from the Right Wing. The behavior of Congressional Republicans, with one exception only, during this fiasco has been beyond belief.

Getting to the truth requires a comprehensive investigation, but did not happen in this case. Limitations placed on the scope of the FBI investigation rendered it impossible to uncover the truth, yet another unforgivable act by the criminal in the Oval Office.

I believe there are at least two ways to arrive at the truth. Should Democrats gain control of the House of Representatives in the Nov. 6 election, they would have the means to investigate Kavanaugh in January 2019, which could lead to impeachment. Dr. Blasey Ford could file suit against Kavanaugh, but she has been through enough.

I have heard there is a group of judges who intend to conduct an investigation of Kavanaugh. If they were to find evidence confirming the testimony of Dr. Ford and exposing the lies of now Justice Kavanaugh, he would certainly be removed from the Supreme Court. Seating him on the court was another shameful act by our crooked president and his dutiful Republican followers in Congress.

Get to the polls on Nov. 6. It appears this election has the earmark of being an extraordinary event including the possibility of curbing the nefarious ambitions of our Republican friends.

Thomas Stumbaugh

Aptos

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Protect our local road repair budgets — vote ‘no’ on Proposition 6

To the Editor,

Last year the State Legislature passed Senate Bill 1 (SB1), a gas tax that doubles state funding for road maintenance projects. This critical funding is allowing our communities to catch up on years of deferred road maintenance projects that have gone unfunded in the past.

Proposition 6 threatens to repeal SB1, which would cut state funding for road repair projects in half. It costs $4 million to reconstruct just one mile of roadway, and losing this funding would have severe impacts on our community. Without the funding provided by SB1, the annual state funding for local road improvements in Watsonville is only about $750,000. This is not nearly enough for our city to maintain the 85 miles of heavily-used roadways in Watsonville.

On a state-wide level, more than $5 billion in road maintenance funding would be lost, impacting our state highway system and reducing grant funding that provides additional sources of funding for our local road projects.

I urge you to vote “No on 6” to protect these types of projects:

• Filling potholes and re-paving roads

• Traffic safety improvements

• Pedestrian and bicycle safety projects

• Highway 1 improvements to reduce congestion

• Public transit/METRO improvements

• Miles of repairs to local Watsonville streets, including Freedom Boulevard and Green Valley Road

Without adequate funding, these critical projects will be delayed for years, and some may not happen at all. This November, vote “no” on Proposition 6. Let’s all do our part to keep our streets safe and the street improvements coming!

Lowell Hurst

Mayor, City of Watsonville

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Trump as determiner of your gender, like it or not

To the Editor,

What is next? Trump as determiner of how many kids you can have? Where you can live? Who you can love? Whether you are sufficiently propertied enough to vote?

As a former history teacher, I never dreamed our nation would imitate a fascist failure of the past. I was wrong. 

This outrageous violation of the First Amendment will be challenged endlessly in court. Thank you, ACLU!

As bad as this is, I am fighting back, and have done so for years. And what I say above is what I believe. I do not speak here as the representative for the organization I speak of below. They do a great job speaking for themselves. 

I am proud to belong to a great organization: 60+. It works to help GLBT seniors who feel isolated from the community. There is a steering committee of 10 people. I am the only member from Watsonville. It is one branch of the Diversity Center. 

On Oct. 24, the Santa Cruz County Volunteer Center and Channel 46 honored us with the Be the Difference Award at a luncheon at the Cocoanut Grove in Santa Cruz. 

We need to establish a center for our LGBT population in downtown Watsonville. A major focus would be the protection and safety in our community for the transgender population. When one group in a society is threatened, none of us can simply say: “Well, they are not threatening me. Why should I care?”

Again, this is a quality of life issue. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all residents. 

What a revolutionary concept!

Steve Trujillo  

Watsonville

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Vote Lou Tuosto for Cabrillo College Board

To the Editor,

As outgoing 24-year Cabrillo District 6 Trustee, I strongly urge all voters to vote for Lou Tuosto to succeed me on the board.

Lou is a private businessman with abundant common sense, energy and a passion for public education. Lou is active in the community at Twin Lakes, Community Television, Soquel Elementary, Soquel Oversight, Cabrillo College Oversight, Bethany College PAMF Philanthropy, Relational Resources Counseling, Latino Chamber, and Capitola/Soquel Chamber of Commerce, Soquel H.S. Parents Advisory, Second Harvest Food Bank, Soquel Creek Water District Rate Advisory, Bethany University Finance, City of Capitola Finance, and Santa Cruz County Senior Commission. Every member of his family, he and his wife included, have attended Cabrillo.

This is an important position. Vote for someone who is fair, unbiased with no conflicts of interest. Vote for Lou. You will be glad you did.

Alan Smith

Watsonville

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Dutra will assure Watsonville gets fair share

To the Editor,

I urge my fellow Fourth District residents to join me in voting for Jimmy Dutra for Santa Cruz County Fourth District Supervisor.

We have seen the past eight years go by without any real benefits brought to Watsonville by the current supervisor. It is time for fresh vision and energy. Fourth District residents need a representative who will be taken seriously at the Board of Supervisors. A representative that will be a powerful voice for our community.

Jimmy Dutra has proven, through his tenure as a Watsonville City Council member, that he is not afraid to work hard to reach a goal. Jimmy Dutra is willing to work just as hard to assure that the Fourth District has equal sitting at the Board of Supervisors’ table. Jimmy Dutra will work just as hard to assure that Watsonville has equal access to county funds and services; that Watsonville is not left out of its fair share of county resources.

For too long Watsonville has not been represented as it should. For too long Watsonville has been a vacant seat at the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors. Let this be the election where we end that.

For a change, we can have an effective advocate for Watsonville. Join me. Vote Jimmy Dutra for Fourth District Supervisor on Nov. 6.

Celia Organista

Watsonville

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Appreciate archive photos

To the Editor,

I feel really appreciative of the “From Our Archives” photos, printed weekly in the R-P. I am passionate about, really, anything having to do with nostalgia and “the good old days.” Yeah, just stuff my old body into a “time capsule” and send me back to 1962.

Mike Bobeda

Watsonville

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Make Santa Cruz County affordable — Vote yes on Props 1 and 2 and Measure H

To the Editor,

Meeting demand for housing has grown increasingly difficult in Santa Cruz County, where housing costs have skyrocketed to become among the steepest in the nation. We know our local residents are struggling and our communities are suffering. Our employers, and especially our farmers, are struggling to keep workers, owing to our high housing costs.

We all understand how devastating our housing crisis has become for the community members who help make our region thrive — from our local teachers and healthcare workers to the farmworkers who pick the food we eat. In fact, a recent survey of farmworkers in the Monterey Bay region revealed most farmworkers live in places that are often unaffordable, substandard and critically overcrowded. Although our region has a significant number of housing facilities designated for farmworkers, it is not nearly enough to meet demand.

Fortunately, we have a real opportunity this November to take bold action for our Santa Cruz County friends, families and neighbors. With statewide Propositions 1 and 2, and the local Measure H, Santa Cruz County can re-invest in our communities and create affordable housing opportunities for hardworking families, as well as seniors, veterans and others in need.

Prop. 1, The Veterans and Affordable Housing Act, will help build affordable homes for veterans, working families, people with disabilities, Californians experiencing homelessness and others struggling to find a safe place to call home.

Prop. 2, No Place Like Home, will provide permanent supportive housing linked to treatment and services to help people with serious mental illness who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless.

And Santa Cruz County’s Measure H will re-invest in our local community by creating more affordable housing options, offering down payment assistance for local first-time homebuyers, and helping our employers recruit and retain talent by making sure people can afford to live near where they work. With Measure H, we can ensure that Santa Cruz County gets our fair share of statewide funds raised to combat California’s housing and homelessness crisis.

We all benefit when vulnerable community members have access to affordable housing. Let’s come together for solutions that address our crisis, and strengthen our community and economy. The choice is simple. This Election Day, support our communities by voting yes on Prop. 1, Prop. 2 and Measure H.

Zach Friend

Santa Cruz County Supervisor

Tom Broz

Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau

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Vote for Dodge, Dutra

To the Editor,

In an earlier letter I recommended Ari Parker as successor to Nancy Bilicich as Seventh District city council member. This time, I’m endorsing both Daniel Dodge Jr. to replace incumbent (too long) at 28 years Willie Yahiro as PVUSD Area 4 trustee; and the “new blood” of Jimmy Dutra, to replace our Fourth District County Supervisor Greg Caput, who after two four-year terms has done little to fight for our South County’s fair share of money and influence with the Board of Supervisors in Santa Cruz.

Yes, Yahiro did teach and coach at WHS for 12 years, before learning to earn a better living selling insurance. Unfortunately, challenger Dodge Jr. did not include a paid statement in our voters’ guide. However, in Yahiro’s mailed flyer, he appears to take personal credit for every new school, higher test scores, and all else, as if himself (not the board) is responsible for all these improvements. Vote him out! Vote Dodge.

Both Greg Caput (a “house painter”) and challenger Dutra should tell voters in these pages, how they have earned wages during their working lives, or inheritances (Caput magically returns thousands of dollars each year of his supervisor’s salary to charities). Besides Dutra’s “Jimmy’s Pumpkin Patch,” I believe he has been a successful realtor. As a city councilman, he has improved the lives in District 4, with new parks, Harkins Slough cleanups, removed graffiti, etc. Also, he has put forth the idea for a much-needed South County newsletter. So let’s elect him and get a monthly newsletter started (which could grow), so our South County concerns can be aired and our voices heard. Go, Jimmy! Vote Dutra in!

Richard Lynde

Watsonville

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The Trump Effect on the Measure H campaign

To the Editor,

I’m sad to note the Trump Effect on at least one local campaign. It’s difficult to question its success, but I was hoping for greater resistance here. We are urged to vote for Measure H to “Make Santa Cruz Affordable.” I think “Again” just wouldn’t fit on the signs. I’m relatively certain that few proponents of Measure H actually believe it will Make Santa Cruz Affordable. Again. It won’t. No local measure will. Of course, the promise is missing on the ballot statement, but there it is on all those signs and public materials.

I think locals may be trusted to vote based on the merits (or the lack of merits) of the measure without the campaign promise to Make Santa Cruz Affordable. Again. I might be wrong, but the voters deserve some respect. And so does the truth, even in a campaign slogan.

Dennis Osmer

Watsonville

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Why I am voting no on Measure H

To the Editor,

Taxing housing isn’t the solution to creating affordable housing.

Measure H would make housing even more expensive for everyone, including renters, because of increased property taxes. 

Measure H violates state law because ballot language fails to disclose the 35-year duration of the debt.

With an estimated 35-year financing cost burden, Measure H would cost all residential and commercial property owners nearly $274,000,000. Interest rates on the debt could be as high as 12 percent.

Measure H does not exempt anyone from paying. The State Property Tax Postponement Program mentioned by proponents as relief from Measure H debt burden is merely a postponement, not an exemption, and charges 7 percent interest to those who are actually lucky to be approved on a yearly basis. The legislature suspended the program in 2009-2013 and may do so again at any time.

Santa Cruz County already offers a first-time homebuyer program and forgivable loans for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) with 20-year affordable housing deed restrictions. Most local financial lending institutions also already offer first-time homebuyer programs for teachers, firemen, veterans and other workers via existing State and Federal housing programs.

Developers should have been building 15 percent affordable housing inclusive in projects, as required by Measure J, passed by voters in 1978 in response to an affordable housing crisis. However, since 2015 the county has allowed developers to choose whether to build the affordable housing or instead pay the County Planning Department an in lieu fee. Most developers have chosen not to build affordable housing because market rate housing units bring greater profits.

Measure H would benefit a very limited number of people in the county. It would be left up to each of the four cities as to how their share of the money would be spent. Administrative charges are not disclosed but are certain to be expensive.

Measure H, the countywide affordable housing bond initiative, is well-intended but misguided because it is just too vague. Taxing housing is not an effective solution to any affordable housing problem. Please vote no on Measure H and help keep struggling seniors in their homes.

Becky Steinbruner

Aptos

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Yes on Prop. 6

To the Editor,

The gas tax repeal proposition should get a resounding “yes.” There is actually money pouring in to pay for road repairs right now. Every time we pump gas we are paying for road repairs.

So why are our roads in such bad shape? It’s because the politicians in Sacramento decided to take the tax money from the roads to fund their other pet projects. Let’s give them the message that we will not tolerate this bait and switch, that we want the money already coming in to be spent on what it was originally meant for, namely fixing our roads, not for other stuff. Also, in Watsonville especially, there are many people who simply cannot afford taxes added onto taxes.

Vote yes on Prop. 6 to repeal the latest gas tax.

Karol Delmar

Santa Cruz

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