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As You See It

Newspapers must be protected from AB 5

The Sentinel is the local Fourth Estate of our community and government, our civil watchdog. And AB 5 is threatening to remove the Sentinel’s ability to be our community watchdog. Today, governments that claim to act in the public interest must face daily scrutiny of their actions. They must be called to account when overstepping the bounds of what citizens will support, or when taking actions that are clearly not in our interests. We rely on journalists and the news media to do this job on our behalf. It is very important that, as citizens of this unique community, we contact our state representatives and party leaders to urge the AB 5 sponsor, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (San Diego)to add the CNPA (California Newspaper Publishers Association) amendment protecting the right of newspaper drivers and freelancers to work as independent contractors. For most (students, retired people) it’s very needed supplemental income, without which, they would not be able to meet their living expenses.

One of our local Representatives is Mark Stone. Also, you can contact Gov. Gavin Newsom. Please take action ASAP to safeguard the many California “local community” newspapers and independent drivers who are in need of your support. “Civilization is a movement and not a condition, a voyage and not a harbor.”

Arnold J. Toynbee. Act now!

Thank you.

— Maria Nesheim, Aptos

Mayer Watkins is just pounding the table

Black men in the early 20th Century were brutalized and often hung because of perceptions of malfeasance, yet Mayor Watkins, daughter of a black man, hurls this invective at Councilman Glover, a black man, and Chris Krohn.

The mayor does not even own up to her feelings to say “I feel bullied.” She does as Carl Sandberg wrote: “If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell” The hysteria created at City Hall by this charge has resulted in female city employees and Councilwoman Meyers suddenly discovering gender discrimination as a refuge from arguing the facts.

Frankly, City Hall, as managed by Martín Bernal, stirred up by Mayor Watkins, under the approving gaze of the most experienced member of the council, Ms. Mathews, reminds me of “The Lord of the Flies.”

“Kill the Beastie.”

— Lee Brokaw, Santa Cruz

Blaming cyclists doesn’t help make roads safer

Let me get this straight. In her letter regarding bicycle safety, Jeanne Jelcick places the blame for bicycle accidents squarely on the backs of riders. Riders who she says disregard the rules (riding two abreast, with no hands, etc).

Really? Last time I checked, the majority of bicycle/car accidents are caused by drivers who are distracted, speeding, or sadly, don’t care enough to be more cautious. On my bike ride today, I put Ms. Jelcick’s theory to the test. I followed all of the rules. I stayed in my lane, stopped at all the lights and stop signs, kept my hands on the handlebars, and I wore bright clothing. Yet twice I was nearly hit by cars whose drivers clearly disregarded my safety. Bicycle riding is inherently dangerous, but blaming the bicyclist does nothing to make the roads safer.

— Todd Riddick, Aptos

If guns make us safe, we should be safest country

The real slippery slope.

Anti-gun control advocates claim that restrictions on gun ownership is the beginning of the slippery slope resulting in the death of the second amendment and the seizure of people’s guns. Any law on background checks for potential owners is seen as an attack on the right to buy and own guns by Second Amendment zealots. The real slippery slope is the increasing number of guns legally available for purchase, the number of places guns can be carried openly. Texas just broadened gun rights for carrying guns in churches, schools and emergencies. From rifles and handguns, owners can now purchase semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles, silencers, and magazines capable of killing in seconds. If the slope becomes any slipperier Second Amendment folks will be buying bazookas and ballistic missiles. If the number of guns makes America safe, it should be the safest country in the world. Not!

— Christine DeLapp, Aptos

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