A response to Frank Anderson
I was appalled upon reading Mr. Frank Anderson’s letter in the Pajaronian.
He erroneously states that the Watsonville-Santa Cruz rail corridor has not been used in “decades.” Not so. As recently as 2016, Iowa Pacific trains were traversing the Santa Cruz Branch rail line, and previous to that were trains operated by the Sierra and Union Pacific Railroads all within the last 20 years. Today, the St. Paul & Pacific Railroad uses the line in Watsonville, and the Santa Cruz and Big Trees Railroad operates on it from the Santa Cruz Boardwalk to points north.
In a statement that has racial overtones, he goes on to state that “middle and upper class people ride trains.” How ridiculous is that. This fellow should take a trip from Gilroy/San Jose to San Francisco on Caltrain or the popular Amtrak Capitol and San Joaquin trains and see true social equity. People from all walks of life, ethnicity and income ride trains in countries all over the world. Mr. Anderson obviously needs a history lesson on rail transportation in the United States. Passenger rail in all forms was and still is the preferred mode of ground transit in Europe and the U.S.
A train or light rail vehicle is more efficient than a bus. As a devout member of the bus lobby, he definitely has an agenda and perhaps, an axe to grind. In his closing paragraph, Anderson states that an “unfunded billion dollar train system would serve a privileged few.” Not only is this offensive, but an exaggeration and he has visions of High Speed Rail. Keep in mind this is not High Speed Rail, but an environmentally sound alternative to ease traffic congestion and use a very scenic, attractive and historic rail infrastructure already in place which will benefit all.
Gary V. Plomp, Gilroy
Justice needed in attacks of Asian-Americans
The savage attacks on Asian-Americans over this past year is nothing less than mean-spirited, criminal behavior. Even elderly Asians are being targeted. Just recently, a 75-year-old Asian man was brutally attacked in Oakland. If possible, I hope these dangerous attackers will be found, arrested, convicted and put behind bars in prison. They better get used to wearing jailhouse orange and living in cramped quarters with the other jailbirds.
Mike Bobeda, Watsonville
Keep cuts away from teachers
Thanks for your recent stories about the PVUSD Administration’s cuts to vital programs at Pajaro Valley High School and Ohlone Elementary. As a PVUSD parent and alum, it is absolutely disgraceful for this administration led by Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez to push out quality teachers like Lorenzo Holquin, who has touched the lives of hundreds of students in our community. Mr. Holquin’s class is the only hands-on shop class at Pajaro Valley High, yet he has been told he can’t return because he isn’t adequately teaching entrepreneurship. This is ridiculous and comes after the administration tried to cut the class a year ago.
Mr. Holquin has won awards for his efforts for our community and has a unique ability to connect with low-income youth, many of whom benefit from hands-on learning and may want to pursue a vocational career. At a time when the district is facing a shortage of full-time teachers, our students do not deserve to lose Mr. Holquin. It is very disappointing to see that Superintendent Rodriguez, who was recently fired and rehired, now pushing the dismissal of such a successful teacher who now teaches over 150 students.
Moreover, as a volunteer at Ohlone Elementary, I’m disgusted to see PVUSD gutting their special education program, which will undoubtedly come at the expense of farmworker families. Perhaps it is this type of irresponsible management which led the board of trustees to fire the superintendent in the first place. Our community deserves way better leadership from the PVUSD superintendent and the board.
Providence Alaniz, Watsonville
Don’t alter special education programs
As a parent and person that lives within the Pajaro community, I am shocked by the news of cutting special education services in the schools that are in my area. I am concerned about how much it is going to take for kids to be assessed with less staff, budget and help. As it is, it already takes so long for kids to be assessed. I am not just writing to you as a parent, but as someone that has already gone through the process, and it concerns me because I just currently started the process for one of my children. For my first child to get assessed it took about almost two years. That is so much time wasted. She was not given the help she needed. I cannot imagine how much longer it is going to take for kids to be assessed. We need to let the community know about the changes they want to make not only in English, but mainly in Spanish so everyone is aware about the situation. Not a lot of parents know how much power we have to advocate for our children. When concerns are made in regard to child learning development, they should be addressed in a timely manner so the kids can succeed.
It is wrong to eliminate the resource specialist positions in the Pajaro area. They have the best resource specialist in the area that helps parents and the children advocate for their needs. They explain the process and help you learn how to help your child.
Our community deserves better leadership from the PVUSD superintendent and Board of Trustees. I urge the superintendent and board to do what is right and reverse these transfers that will hurt our community.
Luz Giron, Pajaro
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.