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September 22, 2023

Letters to the Editor, Dec. 2

Name change decision defies wishes of majority

I read with regret Todd Guild’s article in your Nov. 18 edition, “Cabrillo College trustees vote for name change.” According to the article, 76% of our community did not want to change the name of our excellent community college, an issue which should have been on the ballot of our recent election.

I know of no friends, family, Cabrillo students or faculty who favored such action, or of wasting $200,000 to $800,000 to do so.

Cabrillo College is a local gem, a resource for citizens of all ages. I remember the day it opened in 1959, when classes were first held at Watsonville High School and in local churches. One family member was there to attend the first day of classes.

It’s unfortunate that a small group can dictate to the wishes of Santa Cruz County citizens. My family will continue to support our jewel of a community college and the Cabrillo College Foundation, which has helped so many local students achieve their educational goals.

Dave Miller, Watsonville

Autocrats threaten democracy 

Once again, kudos to Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman for her outstanding article, “Revolutions in Russia and Iran” (Pajaronian, Nov. 23-Dec. 1). She spoke of the inevitable end of dictatorships in Romania and (hopefully) Russia and Iran. Yet while their populations are challenging Shia law and lack of human rights, the United States is now passing its own restrictive laws.  

We are rewriting history to whitewash our amazing but nasty history. Florida is now firing college professors and teachers who dare to teach history as it actually unfolded. Books are being banned across the country—every dictatorship begins with book burning. Dictators need to stop knowledge, critical thinking and actual history. The rights of women and their doctors to control their own health, life and bodies are being struck down. The very backbone of democracy, the right to vote, is being challenged by autocrats like Trump and Kari Lake who refuse to accept the choice of the voters.

Let’s rejoice over the possible fall of two of the world’s dictators, but we must also remain alert over the frightening trend to imitate the horrific crimes of those very dictators we condemn. 

Julie A Hanks, Ph.D, Watsonville


  1. Julie, last I checked both Trump and Kari aren’t in office right now so how can they wield power if they aren’t in a position to do so?

    You want to talk about autocrats well let’s talk about the trustees who chose to change the cabrillo name regardless of what the community wants? Is that what you mean by autocrats?

    • Julie is correct, Monique. I applaud Julie’s letter.
      I , like my other trustees of the college, are NOT AUTOCRATS. all of us were elected by a free and fair election that we have every even numbered year, and serve 4 year terms. This decision took us through a 2 year process, and it was the recommendation by the renaming subcommittee made up of trustees Cortez and Spickler. you had EVERY opportunity to express your feelings about the name change since the end of 2020. apparently, you chose not to do so. the name change was a featured topic of discussion in the : Patch, Santa Cruz Sentinel, Pajaronian, Good Times, Nextdoor.com, and on many Facebook posts from people throughout the area, including mine.
      Trump is a known white nationalist , and invites them to Mar a Lago. so is Kanye. so is Nick Fuentes. they have no place in rational political discourse. they practice HATRED of Jews, people of color, LGBTQ people , people who were not born is the USA, and people who are not white males .
      Trumpty Dumpty is under 6 investigations, and his income tax returns will soon be made public. he is a fascist, wannabe dictator.
      I am proud of the action that I and 5 of my fellow trustees, by a vote of 6-1, took at the board meeting on Monday, Nov. 14.
      you have said that I am “woke”, in previous posts. I say to you: “Better WOKE than COMATOSE.”
      and you need to know that numerous groups of people, including both student groups and employee groups indicated that they were in favor of the college name change. the opposition rate of 76% is not accurate. I looked at the statistics of the various surveys myself. I have enough knowledge of statistics, having taken it in college , and having worked with statistical data both as a counselor and teacher , to understand them. and i studied and used statistical data while i served on the Santa Cruz city school board from 2010-14
      please help us select a new name for our community college. you can send it to me , here, or send it to all (or any) of the trustees on our Cabrillo website.

  2. Dave, I completely agree that Cabrillo College is a local gem that has offered so much to our local community AND I support the name change. If you don’t have any friends or family who support it, I strongly recommend listening with an open heart to those supporting it, particularly indigenous voices. Please note that the online survey results cited were not representative of our local population; the in-person, live comments made at various meetings weighed mostly in favor of the name change. If you haven’t already, check out the video recordings of the different sessions the Exploration Committee organized; there’s a lot to digest there, and I hope everyone who cares about the college will check them out. You can find them at https://www.cabrillo.edu/governing-board/name-exploration-subcommittee/


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