Corridor study damages Watsonville
To the Editor,
There are no refineries in Santa Cruz County. Why, then, are there more than 100 fossil fuel tank cars blocking the rails north of Watsonville? With the seven-mile Progressive Rail contract extension there could be 400 more. The reason: the United States is at record-breaking fossil fuel extraction, and the Branch Line is being used to absorb, by storage and logistics, that glut. In the carbon-neutral world to which many voters aspire, this will be the elected Regional Transportation Commissioners’ legacy.
As for Watsonville, the RTC’s Unified Corridor Investment Study identifies it as a low income, impoverished minority community. How do the tank cars benefit this community? Does cutting off access to the city by active transportation accomplish this? Anyone who has ridden or walked Beach Road, which UCIS identifies as the “alternate trail alignments,” knows that the lack of shoulder and drainage ditches on both sides make it unsuitable for bike or foot. Shame on whomever would call Beach Road a trail alignment.
The access to the natural wonders on the trail sections excluded by the tank cars, the farm fields, forests and wetlands on the part of the track most delightfully remote from car traffic, kills a recreational outlet for South County residents and the continued development of Watsonville as a birding and cultural destination. The option of a visitor center at the UP terminal and access to the transit center are obviated. The UCIS impact on Watsonville and South County goes beyond neutral, to profoundly biased and negative.
The use of the word “equity” in the UCIS is cynical and inaccurate. The environmental damage it imposes on the least among us is unconscionable.
Vote Jimmy Dutra for supervisor
To the Editor,
As a retired public school teacher for more than 30 years, I have learned and taught critical thinking and investigative research. I have applied those skills in reviewing the candidates in our upcoming Watsonville election. It is apparent that most qualified for the position of supervisor is Jimmy Dutra.
Jimmy’s leadership and experience includes: Watsonville Mayor Pro Tem, chairman of Santa Cruz Metro Board, president of the Pajaro Valley Shelter Services Board and a small business owner. He holds a master’s degree in executive leadership and a degree in political science. He has long been involved in multiple community service organizations which has given him a wide of understanding of our city’s needs.
Concerning our infrastructure, his background as chairman of the Board for Santa Cruz Metro and represented the City of Watsonville as a commissioner on the Santa Cruz Regional Transportation Commission. He has worked to replace, repair and rebuild our roads, bridges, sidewalks and levees and has determined that outside the city limits the county has been neglected. With our support, Jimmy will change the lack of attention to the infrastructure in our valley. Also, he will bring attention and focus again on Holohan Road sidewalks for the safety of all pedestrians, including school children who walk it daily.
As a city leader, Jimmy has participated with community partners in city clean up campaigns to clean up our streets and take down graffiti and put up murals. He is a Watsonville native son and will work toward the betterment of our city and all its residents.
Jimmy’s background, leadership, experience, integrity and positive (can do = will do) attitude will serve the citizens of Watsonville with pride
Jimmy Dutra for supervisor!
A slice of paradise
Dawn’s amber light descends as Watsonville sleeps
As crisp autumn air gently settles and keeps
For God’s good purposes on the violet Monterey Bay
Our lush green valley from day to day
My life began here, many moons ago
When culture was mello and taking it slow
I remember the ‘50s and happy days as a boy
Rolling laughter with Red Skelton and our dog named Toy
Elvis was rocking and Pat Boone songs made us smile
And for a Camel cigarette, smokers walked a mile
As Watsonville was beaming like diamonds on to the bay
And we all thought good times were here to stay
Though my youthful brown hair is now smokey gray
My years are golden as the grandeur of heaven’s rays
And our mountain framed valley so rich in gainful scenes
A slice of pure paradise and beautiful dreams