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September 22, 2023

Letters to the Editor, Oct. 23

Our history is coming back to haunt us

I attended the town hall meeting that discussed the future of the George Washington bust in the plaza. 

I was the only one who presented a compromise proposal. 

Both Mr. Manny Solano’s group and the Revolunas need to understand reality:  

1. Washington was our nation’s first president and first commander of the continental army. But that does not give him a free pass on the fact that his actions led to the genocide of countless numbers of indigenous people on this continent.

2. The bust was a gift from the Alaga family. It was not commissioned by the City of Watsonville.  The wishes of the family must be taken into account regarding the statue. 

3. The City has the right to move it where it seems appropriate. It is on City property.

4. A plaque placed in front of the bust, in both Spanish and English, must reflect both the good and bad of Washington.

5. The City Plaza should be reserved for hometown heroes. We have our public library and city hall to place the bust of Washington. I suggested city hall as Washington was our first elected president. 

7. I suggest a citywide contest for local artists, with the Parks and Recreation Commission as judges as to which interpretive artworks will stand around the cement circle in front of the bandstand.

8. The more dug in the two groups are about this issue, the more likely extremism will result in further discord.

9. The Proud Boys and Boogaloo Boys exist in Watsonville. They have nothing to be proud of regarding their racist, homophobic, misogynist, xenophobic and bigoted behavior. Watsonville must emphatically Reject their behavior, and arrest those who use violence to promote their views

10. Sometimes it takes someone who is a relatively new resident, like me, to see both sides objectively and propose a plan. A third way. That is called leadership. 

I propose that both groups meet in a neutral location and share their feelings, calmly. 

We need to get beyond this. Watsonville has many more issues to address that need public involvement.

Steve Trujillo, Watsonville

PV Magazine cover gets it right

The classic cover photo of a man wearing a face mask and serving up an icy-cold mug of beer, in the Pajaro Valley section of the Pajaronian, really nailed it. In these difficult Covid days, what a groovy idea, to kick back with a tall glass of tantalizing cold brew and daydream of 1950s TV beer commercials. Bottoms up, and here’s to our health.

Mike Bobeda, Watsonville

Daniels and LaHue are the leaders we need

I heartily endorse doctors Bruce Daniels and Tom LaHue. Both have proven to have our best interest in mind by continually and effectively taking actions toward saving our groundwater supply, and providing Soquel Creek Water District customers like me with safe, reliable drinking water, all while being fiscally responsible.

Seawater contamination of our Mid-County groundwater basin and the designation by the state as “critically overdrafted,” is the primary driver of regional efforts to provide a long-term, sustainable, and safe drinking water supply. This issue is complex. LaHue and Daniels understand the complexities.

I have attended nearly every board meeting since September 2015 and followed the evolution of what is now known as Pure Water Soquel (PWS). I paid attention to the facts presented by numerous independent experts. Surface water transfer, and aquifer recharge from rainfall-runoff will be more costly, and cannot reliably provide the amount of water needed.

PWS uses proven safe technology and is the most sustainable, reliable, productive, and cost-effective option. The District secured $135 million in grants and low-interest loans. This substantially reduces the cost of the project, ensuring that customers get the most cost-effective source of clean water. The project is underway.

Some erroneously profess that our water problems can be solved simply by taking river water through a new City of Santa Cruz water right. The City of Santa Cruz disagrees. While we might get some water at some point, it won’t be nearly enough, reliable enough or soon enough. If we don’t take timely and effective action locally, by law, the state will take over the management of our groundwater basin. The state will likely require water rationing, thus reducing available water while driving up the cost of that water.

We need Bruce Daniels and Tom LaHue to continue to drive PWS forward. 

Larry Freeman, Capitola

Dutra—A leader for all

Jimmy Dutra, currently running for our City Council in District 6, has a strong track record of civic engagement which includes his time both as a public official and private citizen. He has been a tireless advocate for Watsonville residents and has championed the best that our town has to offer. He brings both experience and love of community, both hallmarks of effective local leadership.

As an educator, I appreciate Jimmy’s commitment to the youth of Watsonville, and am heartened that someone who is working to shape our community’s future leaders is willing to take on the responsibility of leadership himself, for residents of his district and for Watsonville at large.

Small-town politics should not mean leadership growing out of a small-town mentality and small-town ideas. A vote for Jimmy is a vote for a proven track record, bold ideas for a community that deserves bold action, and a willingness to work on behalf of all of us. Watsonville is a wonderful place, a song I learned in preschool here many years ago. With Jimmy on our City Council, the wonderful place we call home can only get better.

Vote for Jimmy Dutra.

Lisa Martin, Watsonville

I support Gomez for City Council 

Tony is well known for his integrity, his determination, and his ability to bring different perspectives together to work on solutions. He is honest and will be there during these challenging times the City faces to get through this pandemic. Watsonville would be blessed to have Tony as part of their leadership team.

I have personally worked with him at Watsonville High School’s sober gradnite event he and his wife help put together, as well as through events that included our veterans and the American Legion where he works with the Boy Scouts to honor our veterans each year with setting our nation’s flags out on Freedom Boulevard.

Tony’s family values, service to the country as a military veteran and civic community engagement will be what is important for your representation on the City Council. Tony has walked his district to meet families to listen to their concerns and provide them with help when they are asking for neighborhood services.

Our values align when it comes to our public’s safety, wanting a healthy vibrant community and being genuine when out listening and talking with families asking for services. He is rooted in this community and has your interest at heart when it comes to prioritizing what we need our City to focus on.

I have the utmost respect for Tony and can entrust that he will be there for his constituents and would encourage you to place your vote for Tony Gomez for City Council.

Greg Caput, Santa Cruz County Supervisor

400,000 and counting

We’re already over halfway there. If our current president gets re-elected, the 400,000-dead milestone will probably be reached in no time. It is critical to put the brakes on that momentum by following the science and recommendations of infectious disease experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Unfortunately, our current president’s reputation as a dictator of a questionable empire where no one else’s voice was of concern, was exposed in his immature behavior of not even listening to others during the presidential debate on Sept. 29.

After over 200,000 deaths in only months during his watch, our “leader” has yet to take leadership on this matter. While he made the past four years “interesting” (on Dec. 3, 2016, the Pajaronian printed my letter, “The Next Four Years Will Be Interesting”), he didn’t create coronavirus. However, he should be held responsible for making it much worse than it should have been. Whatever happened to “The Buck Stops Here” made famous by a past leader who realized it was the responsibility of a president to accept ownership and genuinely lead the country.

Our present “leader” has repeatedly distorted half-truths to suit his self-interests. One of the latest deceptions was a campaign ad where Dr. Fauci seemingly praised the president. Fauci criticized the ad’s intent, noting that his praise was for the task force, not the president specifically and maintained his strong advocation for social distancing and the use of masks, contrary to our president’s reckless behavior.

Our current president won’t even listen to others, so he will never appropriately represent the people of this country. Let’s listen and work with words of wisdom to undo our growing unhealthy world. Let’s elect Joe Biden.

Bob Fifield, Aptos

The worst-ever president of these United States

Trump, in recent criticism of Joe Biden, accused him of always using the teleprompter when delivering his speeches and claimed that he does not use them. Wow. Perhaps this is true, but watch Trump as he speaks. One cannot see his eyes because he is looking down at the podium and reading the vast majority of what he says, which, I strongly suspect, someone else has written for him.

The latest idea put forth by Trump is this thing called “herd immunity,” which means allow the virus to run free and see who lives and who dies. This shows that he cares little or nothing for anyone’s life but his own. He thinks that the survivors, like himself, will be immune, but immunity remains very much unproven, including his own.

So, this guy, if he should have his way on this, is now threatening my life as well. I cannot know at this point whether I will be alive when he leaves the White House or is carried out. I am an older person who would likely die if I contracted the virus. My hope is that I will be, as I want to see him in prison, for life, having been convicted of the mass murder of thousands of American people that he is responsible for, along with any number of his followers.

Their crimes are too numerous to cover in this letter, but among the worst is the separation and incarceration of children from their parents, mainly along the Mexican border. Any number of these youngsters has died in their makeshift prisons, some of them less than a year old. Things are very bad in this country, but this is one of the worst in my lifetime.

Thomas Stumbaugh, Aptos

The Pajaronian welcomes letters. Letters and columns may be dropped off or mailed to The Pajaronian, 21 Brennan St, Suite 14, 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.

Staff Report
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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