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As you see it

There must be a better way to address the city council

Mark Primack lays out an accurate characterization of the process and how much of the general public is treated when addressing the city council. It’s not pleasant or inviting or encouraging. There must be a better way. He knows of what he speaks, being no different when he was a council member. This is a case of the pot calling the kettle black and he does it again asserting being vainglorious is grounds for a recall. This is a rather specious argument and could certainly be reason for most of the council to be recalled. The reality is whoever is in power allows their ideological allies and voting base additional privilege and access. What’s different with the current Progressive majority is that developer and business interests are on a shorter leash while marginalized, students, and working class have more of the council ear. That’s what the recall is all about.

— Ron Pomerantz, Santa Cruz

Support access to quality hospice care

As a hospice advocate, I find it troubling that patients at Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers must leave their trusted RHC/FQHC physician when they transition to hospice. Because of a billing issue, these vulnerable patients are forced to seek a different physician, sometimes having to travel miles and hours to find an office accepting new patients and willing to accompany them to hospice. Most RHC/FQHC physicians would prefer to remain with their patients, but are prevented from doing so by a quirk in the law. Thankfully, legislators in Washington, D.C. have taken up this issue and introduced the Rural Access to Hospice Act, which would fix the billing issue and allow patients at RHCs and FQHCs to keep their physician. I call on all our members of Congress to cosponsor the Rural Access to Hospice Act and ensure that all Americans are able to access quality hospice care with the physician of their choice.

— Cortland Young, Salinas

Mutual respect is the only path to peace

After 9/11 we had two mandates, we needed to deliver justice to those responsible and to alter the terrorist incubators in the Middle East. We have failed at both of these mandates. While we eventually brought justice to Osama bin Laden and a few al-Qaida leaders, that effort took years and cost the lives of thousands of brave soldiers.

The breeding grounds for terrorist, continue to graduate young people filled with hatred and a desire to martyr themselves in the name of a subverted religion. Our drones and our bombs have stoked the fires of that hatred. Self serving mullahs have been quick to induct young impressionable, hate filled, people into being the tools of their personal jihad.

We must engage mainstream leaders (secular and religious) in countries where terror groups are breeding. We must work toward a world of mutual respect as the only path to lasting peace.

— Ben Gregg, Santa Cruz

A line drawn between housing crisis and open borders

Just some facts about the housing crisis According to the Wall Street Journal, “With 129,972 homeless in 2018, California is ranked No. 1 in the U.S.’ According to the Public Policy Institute of California, the state is home to between 2.35 and 2.6 million illegal immigrants with nearly a quarter of the nations illegal immigrants living in California.

Logic dictates that we cannot solve the housing crisis in one hand and open our borders with the other. Yet it does dictate that we can solve the housing crisis very quickly by stopping illegal immigration and deporting less than 10% of whom are here.

At some point no-mater how much we want to take care of everyone we will be forced to draw the proverbial line in the sand. — Chelsea Wagner, Santa Cruz

The question no one asks

I feel a deep sadness whenever I read about yet another mass shooting - most times, family and friends say that they had no idea their loved one could ever do such a horrible thing. How can this be so?

How is it possible that a person can be so deeply troubled that they would purchase an assault rifle and begin killing - with no one in their immediate circle of community having any awareness of their distress.

I look around and see people looking at tiny screens instead of into each others’ eyes. I see people struggling to find housing, pay bills, working multiple jobs. And, far too often, I see and hear only division, sides being taken, judgments being made.

It’s not just Trump. It’s not just guns. It’s all of us - our distractions - our own pain - and turning away from kindness.

— Satya Orion, Felton

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