What happened to civility?
Thank you Theo Wierdsma, for your thoughtful opinion piece that was published in the Pajaronian on Oct. 22 about the growing polarization in our political country. I am worried as well, about the future of our democracy.
More specifically, I was saddened to see the local polarization over George Washington’s bust removal. I have good friends on both sides of the issue, and I was dismayed to see that they could not talk to each other. Worse, some people reported threats to their safety.
This is not the Watsonville I have known for the last 50 years. As this polarization increases, national violence is inevitable. What are our local leaders doing to bring people together so that Watsonville will remain a friendly, tolerant town?
Don Eggleston, Aptos
A futuristic ride
I was lucky enough to ride Santa Cruz County’s Coast Futura electric transit vehicle twice. Once from the Watsonville train station on Walker Street out to the slough area before returning, and again from the Santa Cruz Boardwalk to Capitola and return.
On both journeys, the vehicle was smooth, quiet and filled to capacity with 27 excited passengers. Powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, this rail vehicle is the future. No overhead wiring is needed and its steel wheels won’t wear down.
The scenery was spectacular. Well–kept farm fields in the Watsonville area and ‘new’ perspectives of the Santa Cruz River, the city’s Small Craft Harbor and the busy 41st Avenue shops.
More than 100 volunteers helped make this environmentally-friendly transit a huge success. Coast Futura staged 90 round trips over six days, allowing many hundreds of local citizens to experience future rail transit.
Grace Voss, Live Oak
It’s time to say enough to traffic
Most of us who have traveled on Highway 1 between Santa Cruz and Watsonville often have had to endure frustrating bumper-to-bumper traffic. And, there are increasingly fewer times of the day when traffic moves at the speed limit at all. Wouldn’t it be great if at least some of that traffic was reduced?
Half of Santa Cruz County’s population, 92 parks and 44 schools are located within one mile of the existing train tracks where a Light Electric Rail could run. Also, the existing rail corridor runs by many businesses as well as close to the downtowns of Santa Cruz and Watsonville. This, as well as coordination with our METRO bus system, and individuals who like to ride their bikes or walk, guarantees a healthy ridership and trains that can run frequently and affordably.
It’s time to say enough to traffic congestion and look at environmentally sound and equitable options like an electric light rail. People going to work and students going to school can save money that otherwise would go to maintaining a car. Differently-abled people and seniors would have another option to the bus.
Imagine taking a train across the county to go out to dinner or to the beach. There is money from the state to implement a light rail system. If we don’t utilize those funds, it will go to other communities and we’ll still be stuck in traffic wondering the impossible. Our population is growing and it is obvious that it is time to use the resources we already have, our train tracks, to improve our county’s mobility.
Sarah Ringler, Watsonville
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