Incidents of convenience
Please realize that there are more guns in our country than there are people. That came to light again in one of the latest senseless shootings in Santa Clarita.
The shooter’s late father had six guns. While reports aren’t clear on the impact that this had, the recently turned 16-year-old shooter had access to other guns and one was convenient enough to grab in his brief killing spree before he killed himself.
Why do we allow this? Why do we have a “leader” who keeps brushing off these senseless tragedies, spouting half-truths in order to not lose his powerful NRA support?
Doesn’t the convenience of grabbing a readily available gun, factor into the equation?
When will we ever learn?
Bob Fifield, Aptos
Response to Symons ad
I write this letter in response to your full-page open letter from Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Ari Symons. I counted approximately 500 community endorsements. Are these endorsements made prior to her being censured by the commission on judicial performance for four separate violations of judicial ethics? Mind you, not one, not two, not three but four separate violations. In the legal world, it’s three strikes you’re out. This lady got four.
I find it troubling because she brags that she has never lost a criminal case in Santa Cruz County as a district attorney. I can only wonder if her conduct as D.A. was as good as her conduct as a judge.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been pro-per in many criminal cases in my life. We have some of the wisest judges present and past: honorable Rollie Hall, honorable Judge Black, honorable Heather Morse, honorable Jeff Almquist, honorable Judge Kelsay, honorable Judge Marigonda. Most of these judges sentenced me to state prison. I don’t think you can find four separate violations of judicial ethics between all of them.
I’m pretty sure the censures are public record. If not, she should let the public know the specifics. I also feel that your newspaper has a responsibility to the local community to get the details. I personally have never tried a case before this judge, but if I had, and I was found guilty, I would want to know more.
Let’s get this straight, the powers that be removed her from felony court to dependency court, meaning she is dealing with our kids now—foster kids, abused kids, etc. Stats have it that 80 percent of the dependency cases come from the South County-Watsonville area. In my opinion, if you’re going to allow her to be a judge, then “traffic court” might be the ideal spot. Not with our local kids and issues.
In closing, the only bright side is in counting the 500 community endorsements there were only 25 Mexican surnames on the list. Goes to show that the South County may beg to differ.
Vincent Soto Marquez, Soledad State prison
Troubles with headlights
In a response to an article in the Nov. 8-14 Pajaronian, “Why brighter headlights are better” I have been thinking I ought to write a critique about the brilliant headlights on most late model cars, so brilliant that they are blinding and particularly annoying in various circumstances.
I learned to drive in high school safe driving class in Washington state where your headlights had to pass an adjustment inspection each year to renew the license. It would appear that there is no such concern about headlights in California today. I also remember when it was illegal to drive with the parking lights on; headlights only. Nowadays there are cars with so many lights glaring at on-coming traffic that one cannot count them. And without concern for adjustment, one of the other, or both, headlights are, at time, pointed directly into one’s eyes. It would be interesting to know how many accidents this might be causing.
Another curiosity is the variety of colored headlights on some later models. What’s with the colors? I stopped into a Highway Patrol Office to inquire about my concerns. The officer with whom I spoke assured me that all the matters I questions were perfectly legal except for one: I do not remember which of the colors I mentioned was illegal. The issue of headlight adjustment did not come up. Are these new ones ever adjustable?
And, as if this weren’t enough, here come the motorcycles scaring one half to death has they roar past you from the rear or nearly blinding you with the most ridiculously brilliant headlights of all, way brighter than any on the automobiles, coming at you in front, the majority of them in excess of limits. Something really begs to be done about this.
Thomas Stumbaugh, Aptos
Public opinion zero impact
A few years ago, Princeton University did a study of political influence that concluded:
“The results highlight deep problems in our electoral system which concentrates effective power in the hands of a precious few. Individual voters hold no sway in the eventual decisions made by politicians. Instead, politicians are controlled by key figures such as business owners and union representatives. The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”
“The only thing that has an influence? Money. While the opinions of the bottom 90 percent of income earners have zero influence on policy, the top 10 percent of earners, business interests, and people who can afford lobbyists are all able to exert influence despite representing an incredibly small part of the electorate.”
This is why we got Trump. We must get big money out of politics and take back our democracy.
Don Eggleston, Aptos
Thanks to Symons
As a pastor of a local church, I have had the blessing of seeing retiring judge Ari Symons champion a cause few knew or cared about until her involvement: “Project Pajamas”. This organization collects new pajamas and other necessities for children who must leave their homes, often quite suddenly and with little to call their own. Ari saw these innocent victims, and she cared. Judge Symons spoke at countless events and met thousands of people, casting vision for this neglected population. To date, she has helped collect an astounding 11,000 sets of pajamas. As a Project Pajamas supporter, I want to express my gratitude. I know Ari will continue to have a powerful impact on our community after her retirement from the bench.
Rene Schlaepfer, Senior Pastor Twin Lakes Church
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