letter to the editor pajaronian

Have your say in downtown’s future

The Watsonville Downtown plan needs attention. Watsonville is an agricultural town. Walker Street, running through a busy industrial area, is its backbone. Please do not reimagine the Walker Street area. We do need good, safe access from the train depot to Main Street. There must be a clear passage for the many trucks that are part of our thriving industry. We want our citizens to be safe. We do not need hip beer gardens, gathering spots or single-pour coffee roasters on Walker Street. There are plenty of spaces for restaurants on Main Street. 

Our agricultural industry needs to be lauded, heralded, honored and protected. We do not need to be a Capitola, a Walnut Creek, a tourist destination, or a tech hub. Watsonville is a place with a rare culture of Agriculture. We need to develop ourselves honestly and proudly as who we are. We can be the agricultural town role model. A place that feeds the country, and houses and nurtures the people that grow the food. With dignity. 

We have a downtown area that can be vibrant. We can have an electric zero-emission train that brings us to the world and the world to us. We can attract technology here that specializes in agriculture. We can have markets that sell the amazing produce that is grown here. We can support ourselves and become a thriving influence on the nation. Please support our citizens and our culture, agriculture. 

Judy Gittelsohn, Watsonville

A deceptive countermeasure

At a special Watsonville City Council meeting on July 7, the council on a 4-3 vote decided to put a pro-sprawl initiative on the November ballot. This deceptive measure contains virtually the same language as the initiative to extend the timeline of the existing Measure U Urban Limit Line which the Committee for Planned Growth and Farmland Protection qualified for the ballot. We collected more than 3,000 signatures of people who want to see infill development and are opposed to urban sprawl. But the city’s initiative contains a provision that allows the City Council to break the Urban Limit Line for almost any reason during its forthcoming general plan update. It is an attempt to confuse voters, and must be defeated. Fifty-four cities and jurisdictions in the Bay Area and the Central Coast have done what we are proposing: renew our existing Urban Limit Line. Only our initiative will protect farmland from urban sprawl.

Sam Earnshaw, Watsonville

Our historical hubris blinds us

Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo had no respect or love for the Ohlone. He expected total obedience to help him build ships for the greater glory of the Spanish king. He was a human trafficker. He brought disease and death to countless thousands of Indigenous people. If you did not submit to Catholicism, you were beaten. He died of gangrene on a beach on the coast of San Diego County. He had nothing to do with our community college. His name is an embarrassment.

Charles Watson came to our community in the 1850s from Texas. He brought his slave with him. He wanted California to become a confederate state. He tried to take the Rodriguez land grant away from them in court and lost. He got appointed to the state legislature and was thrown out for drunkenness and fighting. He left our community in the early 1860s and went to Nevada to cash in on the silver mining boom. He died in poverty and alone a few years later. This is the disgraceful mam for whom the city is named. We can do much better. This is not about blood on our hands. This is about justice being done to right the wrongs of others. This is about the public good.

I am proud to be a resident of Watsonville. I know we need change. Our community college is about our community. Let us rename it Natural Bridges College in honor of our beautiful natural feature, as that is what a community college does: provide a link to the students’ past and their future. And how about Strawberryville for the new name of our city? It is our most famous product, and it buries Charles Watson in the disgraced Confederate grave of history where he belongs.

Steve Trujillo, Cabrillo College Board of Trustees

Dr. Farhat-Holzman is misguided

“Religion is once more threatening democracy today.” Once again, Dr. Farhat-Holzman is on another rant. She suggests that the courts are packed with Republican-nominated judges, and that is the root of U.S. troubles. I guess the last 30 odd years of the 9th Circuit having been 80% Democratic-appointed judges slipped her mind.

The overturning of Roe v. Wade is the result of those damn Christian fanatics at work … or, just possibly, it’s the flaw in the Roe ruling, that even Ruth Bater Ginsberg said was in fact a flawed decision. She suggests the founding fathers could not have seen the many changes we now endure, but would likely embrace? Do you really think Washington, Jefferson and the others would support the brutal killing of unborn human beings? The “marriage” of two men or women? The term birthing parent rather than mother? The list is too long and frankly too absurd to print here.

My biggest issue with the good doctor is this: religion has nothing to do with the killing of a human being. That beating heart is in fact not an illusion, not a blob of tissue, and not the heart of its mother, but a second person entirely.

If Dr. Farhat-Holzman is in favor of this procedure, she has the right to her own opinion, but not her right to kill the unborn. We cry for the children killed by gun violence but fight to keep killing the unborn? Religion is not threatening our democracy. The callous, uncaring and often poorly educated threaten our democracy. The Ph.d.’s like the good Doctor only throw more wood on that fire.

Dan Misko, Felton

The Pajaronian welcomes letters. Letters and columns may be dropped off or mailed to The Pajaronian, 21 Brennan St., Suite 18, Watsonville, CA 95076. Letters and columns may also be sent via email to [email protected]. Letters should be less than 300 words, and columns are no more than 700 words. All letters and columns must be signed and have an address and phone number for confirmation purposes. We reserve the right to edit and condense all submissions.

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