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January 31, 2023

Letters to the Editor, Sept. 24

Ethic studies bill is discriminatory 

On Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk is the ethnic studies bill. I must note that he doesn’t need to sign it. Surprise? The California State Board of Education already approved, in 2016, the Around the Horn & Inland Waterways content for teaching how maritime transportation routes determine populations.

For the first time, eighth-grade history standards are already adopted and ready for teaching diverse Pacific populations. All is ready. Teens explore geography, climate, natives, waterways for founding towns, transportation routes and diverse migration-settlement in the 19th Century. 

But here is the leadership problem: innovation is resisted by the status quo of institutions like local school districts. The bureaucratic thinking is, even if content will teach students, do not welcome the improvement.

Now the Governor faces a giant problem: people do not know about where they live. This reality of ignorance is a statewide disaster. Teachers do not know their local community history.

My solution of a scientific approach for teaching uses Senate Resolution 33 Pacific Maritime Routes (2004-CMigden) with no exclusion of Med-Latins and Europeans in local history. This shows all Pajaro ethnic groups. 

Do we need to add the mean ethnic studies bill? It will continue racist Anglo discrimination. It benefits only a few groups, excluding 85%. Include all people, Armenian, Azorean, Italian, Croatian, Basque, Greek, Russian and others.

Riccardo Guadino, Watsonville

Pesticide sprays pose danger to public

Thank you for publishing the informative op-ed by authors Kilpatrick, Rehanek and Spring about pesticide notification. It would be alarming under normal circumstances to not know what, when or where highly hazardous drift-prone pesticides will be applied in the future. Given we are in a pandemic, enduring a virus known to cause respiratory problems and which is made more deadly through comorbidities, being kept uninformed is creeping into a dereliction of duty. 

On my way to work at a public high school in Santa Cruz County, I have to pass by fields any way I go, but some ways more so than others. Without a public Notice of Intent (NOI) I cannot even begin to protect myself with simple measures like altering my travel route or driving windows up and recirculating air. I recently organized and executed a field trip. When I drive a carload of students being informed about the use of toxic materials affecting public goods is how I can better protect my students.

The office of the Santa Cruz County Agricultural Commissioner ought to be able to empower me as such so that checking NOIs could be as routine as checking the weather. I would support an increase in the cost of permits to apply hazardous materials, in order to fund the additional resources to have applications reviewed in a more timely manner that enabled the public to protect itself. 

Status quo as it is, I really feel like the “protection of the health, safety, and welfare of Santa Cruz county citizens” portion of the County Ag Commissioner mission statement is proving a hollow afterthought. The people deserve the right to the basic transparency of web postings of NOIs being made public on the Ag department website. If teachers can move their operations online, the Ag Commissioner’s office ought to be able to post a PDF. No more excuses for dereliction of duty. #BasicTransparencyNow

Chris Webb, La Selva Beach

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.


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