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Letters to the Editor, Sept. 13, 2019

To the Editor,

The editor of the newspaper has described the National 9 Motel, which is slated for demolition, as “a longtime eyesore in the heart of the city…” Let me ask Mr. Editor, do your eyes sore up and hurt when you drive by it? Is it an “eyesore” just because it is old? Did you ever even give the motel a second thought before taking it on as a news story?

I have been walking by the National 9 Motel on an almost daily basis for several years, and have formed my own thoughts about it. The foremost being this motel could be fixed up and re-energized. It is a charming pool motel with a classic retro look. Refurbishing is never cheap, but in the end there would be quality rooms where competitive rates could be charged. Instead, a four-story structure, also with a pool will take over the space. Now we are talking “eyesore.” Yes, there will be more rooms and more money to be made, which in the end is the bottom line for the business owner and City.

Aesthetically, a four-story modern box-like (blah) structure will not enhance the area, especially with century-old St. Patricks Church across the way. And would the new hotel guarantee less crime in the area? Would it really be any different? The new hotel means more well-heeled undesirables would frequent it, with prostitution and drug use (both with costs associated) taking place. You can bet once the four-story hotel begins operation, the Watsonville Police Department will be making trips there 24/7.

Charles Birimisa, Watsonville

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How exciting to read in the paper about the brand new Hilton Hotel that will be built at the intersection of Freedom Boulevard and Main Street. The old National 9 Motel will be demolished and a stylish four-story, 80-room Hilton Home2 Suites will be built at the site. I think this new ritzy hotel, situated at this prime location, will shine as the mother pearl of Watsonville. Yeah, it all stacks up to be like a peachy time in Margaritaville. Anyway, please fill my glass with a cold one.

Mike Bobeda, Watsonville

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I was sad to read today in The Pajaronian that Watsonville Hospital will not be purchased by a nonprofit — whose goal is good health care for everyone in our community — but will instead devolve once more into a business corporation — whose main goal is profit.

This is but another example of the existential fight in our culture today: big money versus people. The very rich and their mega-corporations are privatizing our public schools, encouraging even more wars, denying the climate catastrophe, selling more AK-47s, and poisoning our communities with hydrocodone, all made possible by our “owned” elected officials.

Private insurance charges about 15 percent overhead, and Medicare charges 2 percent. Seems that private insurance makes 13 percent profit on every dollar you spend to stay healthy. There are apparently no local solutions for humane inexpensive health care, so I suggest voting for a presidential candidate that supports Medicare for All.

Don Eggleston, Aptos

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At Thursday’s Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) meeting, TIG/m, offered to bring a demonstration of their clean transit technology to Santa Cruz County. Their use of rechargeable batteries and hydrogen fuel cells means that, when operating, these vehicles are silent and emit only water vapor.   The presentation was received enthusiastically by the public who commended the trams’ wheelchair accessibility and their ability to accept bicycles on board.  

We applaud the RTC’s willingness to bring this demonstration to our county so everyone can experience what modern, carbon-free, rail service could be. The Friends of the Rail & Trail hope the RTC will bring several demonstrations to our community as we consider what type of high-capacity public transit will best serve our needs. We need transportation that will cut our commute times, help us fight global warming and create a more equitable, economically vibrant community for everyone.

Sally Arnold, Board Chair Friends of the Rail & Trail

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The Pajaronian welcomes letters. Letters and columns may 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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