letter to the editor pajaronian

Save our irreplaceable farmland

Our farm, Lakeside Organic Gardens, now in our 26th year, creates hundreds of jobs and supports local businesses that rely on the strength of our local agriculture. Growing food provides employment at all skill levels, from the newest technologies to business and marketing management to the skills of working in the fields. Our farmland ranks among the best in the world and produces a wide variety of crops in our moderate coastal climate and the deep rich alluvial soils that only occur on a fraction of the planet.

We have transitioned over 700 acres in the Pajaro Valley to organic practices, many of which border schools and hospitals, and we support other farmers in that direction. The use of cover crops, compost and crop rotations reduces the need for toxic pesticides and helps with reducing greenhouse gasses. We have the unique position of owning two prime parcels on Riverside Road that have been targets of developers and we are committed to continue to farm our properties and resist the developers. I am hoping other farmers will do the same. Measure Q simply extends the timeline of the existing urban limit line, thereby protecting our prime ag land.

Paving over these lands, one small parcel at a time, gradually leads to the loss of these soils and the spread of urban development. The highest and best use of these farmlands is to feed people. Measure Q gives us the opportunity to plan for the growth of the city without losing the wealth that we have in our agricultural land. I hope that our community shares my passion for our irreplaceable prime ag lands and votes yes on Measure Q to protect them.

Dick Peixoto

Lakeside Organic Gardens

De Serpa is a proven leader

PVUSD Trustee, District 1 Trustee and Board President Kim De Serpa is up for re-election. I am voting for her because she is a proven leader, four times Board president. She was a major force on Measure L bonds, assuring that funds were included for Aptos to bring equity to electronic and computer equipment. She stood up and fought to prevent Dr. Rodriguez from being fired. She fought to bring music and performing arts back. She has also seen our academic performance go from 12 percentile to 50. Vote for competence and leadership. Re-elect Kim. 

Bill Beecher


Creative development benefits city, farmers

A recently released Downtown Specific Plan located the potential of nearly 4,000 new housing units in Watsonville’s city core. This requires clever, creative and costly redevelopment of underutilized building sites. It’s much easier and cheaper to apply the growth model that turned the “Valley of the Heart’s Delight” into the 180 square miles that we now know as San Jose.

If those 3,900-plus homes were built on Pajaro Valley farmland at the average California density of seven per acre, this would reduce gross farm receipts by roughly $41 million per year. With that income the farmer buys seeds, fertilizer, packaging, etc. from local businesses and those businesses pay their employees and those employees buy groceries, auto parts and pay rent in Watsonville. Thus, by removing 560 acres from production to build overpriced suburban homes robs our local economy of tens of millions of dollars not just once, but each and every year.

I was in Portland, Ore. last week and happened upon a 10,000-square-foot urban lot with nine brand new, three-story condos priced below $1 million each! A two-bed, 2.5-bath, 1,650 square-foot with one-car garage priced at $650,000. This kind of creative development can both preserve productive farmland and provide ownership opportunities for first-time home buyers. 

As outlined in the Downtown Specific Plan, it’s the kind of growth the city council should be encouraging within and throughout the current Urban Growth Limit. Vote yes on Measure Q.

Denesse Willey


Hernandez is dedicated to Watsonville

I have known Felipe Hernandez since he was in my kindergarten class at HA Hyde School a very long time ago. I do not live in Watsonville so I can’t vote for Felipe. However, as a member of the Board of Supervisors, he will be making decisions affecting where I live in Aptos. Felipe is dedicated and supports and attends many community events. I feel he will be a steward for Watsonville and all of Santa Cruz County and future generations. Please support and vote for Felipe Hernandez.

Mary Dixon


Hernandez deserves your vote

I wish to indicate my support for Mr. Felipe Hernandez, a candidate running for Santa Cruz County Supervisor. Though I do not reside in the county or Watsonville, I conduct business and patronize establishments there. Mr. Hernandez possesses the knowledge and experience needed to move the Pajaro Valley forward, especially in regard to transportation. He deserves your vote on Nov. 8.

Gary V. Plomp


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