By Erik Chalhoub, Managing Editor

I am relieved to say that we finally got through a Monday without reports of child abuse popping up from somewhere in Santa Cruz County.

On Monday, May 8, we learned that a 19-year-old after-school program worker was arrested on charges that he was in possession of child pornography.

The following Monday, news broke that a Santa Cruz neurosurgeon and two nurses were facing multiple charges that include lewd acts on a child. This trio’s crimes had been brought to light thanks to an unnamed witness who reported it to the Watsonville Police Department.

I’ve read the court documents on both cases, and they are beyond disturbing. Disgusting, even. It’s infuriating that those alleged of these crimes had operated as long as they did.

If these allegations turn out to be true, I look forward to these individuals being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Police are encouraging anyone with information about possible other victims to step forward. They can call the anonymous tip line at 768-3544 or the non-emergency dispatch number at 471-1151.


Last week, the Porter Gulch Review at Cabrillo College celebrated its 30th anniversary. Congratulations to instructor David Sullivan, the students and everyone else who put in the many hours and hard work to get the magazine to press.

I was an editor of PGR for its 2007 edition. Going into my second semester of college, the large volume of submissions I had to read and edit was a daunting task. Here I was, barely out of high school, having to critique work by authors who had been writing longer than I had been alive.

There was also a lot of planning that went into the launch event at the end of the semester. But it was certainly satisfying to see it all come together after a few long months.

Although, the story I submitted for the next year’s edition didn’t make the final cut. I never found out why, but perhaps it’s better that way.


Lately, I’ve been listening to Watsonville musician Michael Gaither’s new album, “Hey Karma.” When I talked to Michael a few weeks ago, he told me he focuses on three things in his songwriting: sarcasm, nostalgia and gratitude. There’s certainly a lot of that on the album.

I find myself laughing out loud when Michael gets into “corporate-speak” in some of the songs, mainly because I’ve seen a lot of it while on the job and can relate.

The launch party for “Hey Karma” has been rescheduled to June 17 at Jansen Music, 7960J Soquel Drive in Aptos, so make sure you stop by and pick up a copy of the album.

Be warned, though: The chorus of “It’s Nothing Personal (The Layoff Song)” will be stuck in your head for a day or two. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.


Erik Chalhoub can be reached at 761-7353 or [email protected].

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