Plus Letters to the Editor
Life. Lessons. Growth. I was reminded of all this recently when I read in Geneen Roth’s new book about food and money, that there’s some real “shift” potential in being willing to face that thing we think we cannot face—mostly from within. Somehow, in the actual turning toward something, rather than turning away or running away from it, an entourage of empowerment comes knocking at the door. Roth speaks at Bookshop Santa Cruz on March 28 about her new book “Lost and Found—Unexpected Revelations About Food and Money.” Speaking of Bookshop—and life lessons etc.—James Redfield, author of “The Celestine Prophecy” is slated for a discussion and book signing on March 21. Redfield’s new book, “The Tweflth Insight” just hit bookshelves. Check it out.
This week’s cover story, penned by Linda Koffman, highlights the amazing, if not awe-insipring works of surfboard shaper Doug Haut. The local is somewhat of a legend in these parts. We tell you why.
There’s also news of The Sacred Craft Expo, a huge event taking place all day Saturday and Sunday (March 19 and 20) at the Rittenhouse Building in Downtown Santa Cruz. Expect plenty of surf culture fair, and more. Learn about it at Sacredcraftexpo.com. In the meantime, find out more about Doug Haut.
And, as we move into spring, it never hurts to consider riding new waves—emotional or otherwise. Have fun with all that.
Until next week ...
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Letters to the Editor
Beyond La Bahia
Regarding the La Bahia article (GT 3/3), when I found out about the plan to raze the current La Bahia and turn it into a seasonal playground for the super-rich, I was puzzled. After all, Santa Cruz had a reputation for progressive thinking and action. There is the admirable (and easily achievable) goal of powering our little paradise via solar energy and many other initiatives to improve the lives of everyone.
What I have found, much to my disgust, is that I was sadly mistaken about the leadership of this town and its ability to thwart off poaching real estate swindlers. To paraphrase Hunter Thompson—In a Santa Cruz run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are f'd until we can put our acts together.
La Bahia is the most significant landmark in Santa Cruz, excepting the mission itself. It has been neglected, with malice, by its current ownership with the express goal of building said monstrosity. That cannot be questioned. Everything said and done over the past 15 years points to an all-too-typical tactic used by unscrupulous developers everywhere—buy the building, let it decay until it can be declared unsafe then tear it down. To the corporate mind, it's cheaper than saving something worthwhile.
Many of the issues, like parking, lower income housing, traffic congestion, and a certain queasy feeling one get's from tearing down the town's landmark, have been assuaged with cheap half solutions.
One thing is for sure: this is about profit, pure and simple. Which leads us to the actual issues and my questions:
Why tear down the most recognizable local landmark and replace it with a plastic replica that will only get used by ultra-wealthy "swine" in the summer months? Doesn't the beach area already have one high-rise eye-sore?
Why not fix the existing structure and power it via solar panels?
Why does Santa Cruz need another hotel that will be dormant most of the year at the very time that average people are suffering the most and need affordable housing?
These questions, and many more, need to be answered if Santa Cruz intends to be a compass for our troubled times and a beacon for other cities in our current climate of corporate moral turpitude and malfeasance.
If there are any questions as to the fixability of the current building I would direct viewers here: nycedc.com/ProjectsOpportunities/CurrentProjects/Brooklyn/LoewsKingsTheatre/Pages/LoewsKingsTheatre.aspx
It’s one of many examples of buildings in far worse condition than La Bahia being restored for the good of all.
‘Yes’ For A New La Bahia
Thank you for your recent article about the proposed new La Bahia Hotel. Santa Cruz needs the new La Bahia Hotel. It will provide revenue, jobs and a beautiful place to take family and friends. It will help revitalize the Main Beach area, which is desperately in need of a facelift. It will help
make Santa Cruz a safer place to work, visit and live.
Best of The Online Comments
On Taking A Stand On ‘La Bahia’ ...
My, my, my. GT is certainly growing some hair on its chest! There have been some well-written pieces lately that I could even call journalism. I'm amazed that they have taken a stand on such a controversial
matter instead of their usual siding of the hippies and the vocal minority. Thanks GT for finally representing the major segment of the community that would benefit from this project.
Thank you, Don, for the great response to the La Bahia article. Overall, the project seems as if it would be such a great benefit to Santa Cruz that we wanted to shed light on the plusses. We shall see how it all will unfold. As for always “siding with the hippies” ... one could be tempted to take that as a gross overstatement if one didn’t have hair on one’s chest. But since we do ... FYI: We actually gave up shaving our “chest” circa 2002. Since that time, we love our chest hair. In fact, GT has won numerous awards—not bragging, just reporting the facts—many of them for local news coverage. We also nabbed a General Excellence Award several years ago. All this to say: Thanks for reading. Keep doing so. And ... what the hell: Tell “hippies” about us, too. One of those “hippies,” in fact, founded the paper back in 1975. Over time, he grew up—much like Santa Cruz today.
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