Plus Letters To the Editor
As Santa Cruz County continues to find its emotional footing after the tragic deaths of Sergeant Loran “Butch” Baker and Det. Elizabeth Butler, the best course of action may be twofold: Turn to one another for support when needed, and keep the conversation about crime alive. The more the community dialogues about the issue, the better chance many people have of not only moving through the seemingly daunting task of recovery, but also strengthening ties that could produce a powerful ripple effect down the road. Here’s to that.
In the meantime, there are a number of events designed to honor the fallen officers (see Good Idea this week). Onward ...
This week’s issue shines the spotlight on another community-building entity: The Derby Girls. How can a spirited group of gals bring the community together so passionately? Turn to page 12 to learn more about that, and also why this enterprising bunch is so effective at what it does.
In News, there’s an interesting Town Hall Q&A with Assemblymember Mark Stone who, in the wake of the area’s recent challenges, notes that “at the Capitol, reducing violent crime is a top priority, and legislators are proposing more than a dozen new laws aimed at keeping guns out of criminals’ hands.” Stay tuned for more updates on that.
Elsewhere, Lisa Jensen gives readers the lowdown on Oz The Great and Powerful, which opened last weekend and nabbed $80 million, making it one of the highest grossing film openings in history. See page 34 for all of the details.
What’s left? Plenty. In between continuing to send support and well wishes to the Baker and Butler families, we move forward into the first week of spring, which, by its very nature, typically ushers in change of some kind. So, what kind of change would you like to create—in your own life or in the community? Those may be good things to ponder in the coming weeks. Thanks for reading.
More soon ...
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
A Broken System?
Last year a homeless man was arrested, handcuffed and put in jail for attempting to sleep on a public bench as a form of protest in front of the County Court House. Being unable to post bail, he spent a considerable time in jail while waiting for the system of due process to run its course. The estimated cost the Justice System spent on his prosecution: thousands of our tax dollars.
Earlier this year, another man with a criminal record and two rape charges was arrested on charges of drunk and disorderly conduct after entering a co-worker's house uninvited and climbing into her roommate's bed and making sexual advances. The justice system however didn't keep this man in jail but released him instead. The next week he murdered two of our finest police officers. The point I am making here is that the policy of the Justice and Law Enforcement System is badly broken. It is being used as a political tool to stifle dissent, and criminalize and punish people for being poor and homeless instead of protecting our community. If the homeless man was released on his on recognizance and the repeated sex offender with a criminal record and several guns was instead kept in jail or at least given the same scrutiny as the homeless man our two fallen police officers would probably be alive today.
Thanks For The ‘Good’
I love hearing about the good things that are happening in the world. (GT 3/7 “Project WOO.”) The mainstream media seems to focus only on the bad stuff: whatever is upsetting for people. I'm sure there is actually more good stuff happening, but it just gets less attention. Your article by Jenna Brogan, about a brilliantly planned project being carried out by young men who are dedicated to helping, is a welcome counterpoint. Much appreciated.
Life in the Bay can be tough. This group of seals takes a break and naps
peacefully below the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf. photo/Ed Garner.
Last week locals came out in full force to honor Santa Cruz police detectives Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker and Elizabeth Butler. During the March 7 memorial procession to HP Pavillion in San Jose, hundreds of locals descended upon Ocean Street, many with signs in tow. Meanwhile, thousands filled the pavillion for the emotional service. Here in Santa Cruz, The Del Mar Theatre was near capacity and the Kaiser Permanente Arena also had a big crowd. The next line of business: Healing.
Spin For A Cause
The Bike Dojo joins the efforts to help the families of the officers killed in the line of duty on Feb. 26. “Spin for a Cause” takes place from 5-8 p.m. Friday, March 15 at The Bike Dojo in Downtown Santa Cruz. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to the Baker/Butler Scholarship Fund, benefiting the officers’ children. Cost: $25 an hour ($75 for the full three hours). Food and drinks will be provided by Mamma Lucia Pizzeria, Pacific Cookie Co. and New Leaf. There will also be a raffle and you do not need to spin to participate. Visit thebikedojo.com.
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
On ‘Project WOO’ ...
I take my hat off to these young fellows. It is good to know that the young are giving. Keep up the good work.
On ‘PTSD’ ...
There's a website, ptsdstress.com that has an anonymous interactive computer program that reduces the symptoms of PTSD for the user. Developed in part by an NIH PTSD researcher/ doctor, the site uses eye movement. It's confidential, costs $10 per session and accepts credit cards but does not require a cardholder name adding further confidentiality. It has been used by military and non-military for more than four years.
We've been successfully helping vets for years, with PTSD and (m)TBI, up until recently for free. Panic attacks and explosive anger disappear almost immediately. If you are a veteran, listen to your loved ones if they tell you that you need help! Often those with PTSD can't see the problem. Seek out a local homeopath that knows about PTSD, or please ask for a referral.
On ‘Walnut Commons’ ...
The fact I'm married to one of the sources quoted in no way influences my opinion, but we all at Walnut Commons appreciate the great local coverage. We expect many future group dinners where we'll discuss the latest reading in GT!
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