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May 31, 2020

Watsonville is again a safe community | Letters to the Editor

Vote Yes on Measure Y 

My family has lived and farmed in Watsonville and the Pajaro Valley since the 1900s. Forty-five years ago I started our first farm growing green beans in Watsonville. I have converted that to be organic and we now are the largest family-owned and solely organic grower/shipper in the United States of America. Our success is a direct reflection of the community support we got to grow our business. It’s also because of the support of this community that our family decided to open the California Grill in 2012. Over the years, I’ve seen Watsonville fall on good times and hard. I have always believed in this town and that’s why I supported Measure G five years ago, when Watsonville was struggling with high crime rates and gang violence. It was clear our police and fire departments needed help and more resources to get the community back on track.

Today, Watsonville is again a safe community, with some of the lowest crime rates we’ve seen in over 15 years. I know my family, friends and businesses are safer because of the investment we have all made in the safety of our community. I believe the City is moving in a positive direction. A citizen oversight committee confirmed that the City put the funding to good use, hiring more police officers and firefighters, replacing old equipment and investing in keeping our youth out of trouble. 

For these reasons, I am a strong supporter of Measure Y. Along with continuing to provide resources for the police and fire departments, the funding will also support parks and youth development programs. Let’s not lose the positive momentum we’ve built over the last five years. Please join me in voting “YES” for Measure Y. 

Dick Peixoto, Owner of Lakeside Organic Gardens 

I changed my mind about Cabrillo 

Four years ago, I was the Cabrillo professor who argued against my college’s bond. I thought it didn’t make sense, and that leadership didn’t understand the needs of our community.

But Measure R, Cabrillo’s current bond effort, is different. College President Matt Wetstein has done the work to align this bond with real, urgent needs. And he has earned the trust and support of the whole college.

Cabrillo College is a community treasure. An investment in upgraded facilities for science and technology, public safety, and a 21st learning environment is an investment in our future.

Please join me in support of Measure R

Ray Kaupp, Ben Lomand

Might makes right 

Having worked in local elementary schools for nine years, I have supervised many playgrounds, and I recognize a bully when I see one.

Our beloved country is now ruled by a vindictive bully.  He rules by coercion.  He is the enemy of justice and compassion—the major traits a yard duty supervisor encourages.  Can’t you see that his peers—members of congress and government employees–are afraid of him?

Were you ever bullied on the playground?  What would happen if the yard duty supervisor were not there to stand up for justice, peace, and compassion?

Instead of “…liberty and justice for all”, his motto now is “Might makes right!”  What in the world are his supporters thinking?  Where are they taking our democracy?

Don Eggleston, Aptos

Kudos to Watsonville Wetlands Watch

Many thanks to the organizers of the World Wetlands Day in the upper Struve Slough last week. An amazing day with hundreds of Watsonville residents of all ages. As a retired educator, I was delighted to see the multitude of families taking part in the earlier activities and later in the planting of trees and plants.

The restorations of our wetlands are so essential, and Watsonville Wetlands Watch made all of the entertaining activities a wonderful day of hands-on learning. The organization was flawless.  The activities, the planting, and the serving of the wonderful food went smoothly. 

My husband and I were pleased to see our Congressman, Jimmy Panetta and his aide out there in the muck, planting along with the rest of us. 

Thank you, Wetlands Watch for an educational and entertaining day restoring our precious wetlands.  

Julie Hanks, Watsonville

Support Democracy’s College

Robert Swenson, the founding president of Cabrillo College, once referred to community colleges as “democracy’s college.” When I think of how many members of our family, our friends’ families, employees I’ve hired, and people who live and work here got their start in affordable higher education at Cabrillo, I marvel at the foundational role Cabrillo has in our region.

We’re all part of the Cabrillo family. This community institution is over 60 years old and needs our help to bring its older buildings and functions up-to-date. Will we pay a little more on our property tax bill? Yes, $19/100K assessed value per year. This small amount is worth our collective investment to keep democracy’s college strong and resilient.

Linda Wilshusen, Live Oak

Billionaire President Trump vs. billionaire Tom Steyer

Trump’s actions as president make the wealthiest 1 percent even wealthier. In a closed system, this growing wage disparity (without adding value) shifts the remaining 99 percent toward more homelessness.

Trump continues to divide our country and use others for his own self-interests. While no one is perfect, his inconsiderate actions seem beyond just simple mistakes.

We learn from mistakes, but after three bankruptcies, everyone has to question his character (see Pajaronian, “The Next Four Years Will Be Interesting” 12/3/16). Trump went into major debt – even becoming indebted to other countries while leveraging other people’s money to repeatedly make bankruptcy work for him. Welfare should be questioned and especially billionaires declaring multiple bankruptcies in order to maintain their “billionaire” status. (Just to support Trump’s excessively extravagant lifestyle, thousands more deserving were deprived of proper compensation for their efforts.)

Not all billionaires believe “Only the little people pay taxes” while covering up improprieties. Some work tirelessly to earn an honest living and are open to helping others less fortunate (but deserving). Tom Steyer even had TV promotions in 2016 to simply communicate to all to just VOTE (i.e. let the voice of all be heard). He has spent at least the past 10 years exposing corrupt corporations and using common sense to help save the environment for future generations. 

Democracy in America should not continue to be under control of only the wealthiest and corporations. Elect Tom Steyer to allow him to continue truly draining the swamp while representing all the people.

Bob Fifield, Aptos

Vote Yes on Measure R

I teach anatomy and physiology at Cabrillo College, classes that are required for students who go on to nursing and other healthcare-related fields. Former Cabrillo students work in doctor’s offices, medical clinics and hospitals throughout the county and are central to healthcare in our area.

Unfortunately, every semester, my colleagues and I have to turn students away because Cabrillo does not have adequate lab space to meet demand. Due to this, students are left waiting 7-10 years to graduate. In addition, many of our labs are aging and inadequate for 21st century science teaching. Funds from Measure R will provide a new science building to meet the needs of these high-demand, lab-based classes. This is only one of the many critical needs at the college that will be addressed by this bond. We owe it to students and our community to pass Measure R. Please vote yes.

Robin McFarland, Ph.D., Cabrillo Faculty Senate President


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.


Watsonville Brillante

Photo: First phase of ‘Watsonville Brillante’ unveiled

Workers with Nor-Cal Scaffolding on Friday morning finish up their work for the first phase of "Watsonville Brillante," a 1,200-square-foot section of...