Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Apr 16th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Town Hall with Rep. Sam Farr

sam farr2Your 20th anniversary of being elected to congress is coming up. What have been your proudest accomplishments and your biggest regrets or mistakes from your tenure?

First off, let me say thank you to the entire Central Coast for allowing me to serve them for nearly 40 years in elected office, the last 20 in Congress. [My wife] Shary and I will be forever grateful for this amazing opportunity and I have truly enjoyed my time in Congress working for you.

As I look back over the past 20 years, I am proud of what we have accomplished. My office is the direct link between our community and the federal government. Every day, my staff and I work to improve the lives of everyone on the Central Coast. That can range from finding solutions for the traffic problems in Santa Cruz to looking at ways to decrease crime in our neighborhoods. It can mean helping a senior obtain their Social Security benefits or fighting for a family facing foreclosure. While many of those things go unnoticed to the broader public, they mean so much to the individuals involved. It’s those things that make this job so rewarding.

However, I am also extremely proud of the higher profile work we have done. In particular, every time I look out on to the Monterey Bay, it amazes me what we have accomplished as a community. From the 1994 White House Oceans Conference with President Clinton to the groundbreaking of the National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center, our corner of the world’s ocean has been the shining example of how to best manage our greatest natural resource.  We have left a real treasure for future generations to enjoy and I am grateful for the role I was able to play in making all of that happen.

It would be cliché to say I have no regrets but I truly have few. I know that real change happens when a community comes together and pushes for action. So yes, there is still much work to be done and I plan to keep on plugging away in Washington for you.  But even if we do not finish it all tomorrow, I know that the entire Central Coast will keep fighting for our values and will create the change we want to see happen. As your Congressman, that is a pretty awesome thing to know.

What have been the most significant changes you’ve observed in congress over the last 20 years, for the better or for the worse? 

The biggest change I have seen in the last 20 years is the breakdown of the legislative process. There has always been partisan fighting in Congress but at least both sides were looking to get results. I am not sure that is the case anymore.

When I first came to Washington in 1993, the Republicans challenged President Clinton and the Democrats on every issue. But all of that debate was worth it because when the fighting was over, Washington still achieved something for the American people. Now it seems all we do is fight.

I blame this current brand of the Republican Party because it seems more interested in just opposing President [Barack] Obama at every turn, rather than offering up real solutions. There is a growing gulf between the two parties fueled by partisan anger. The aisle has become increasingly wider and few members on the right are willing to reach across it anymore. The few that do often find themselves on the losing end of a Tea Party primary challenge.

With the parties unable to communicate, the end result has been nothing but partisan gridlock. However, the American people are too smart to let this go on forever. They know that real leadership is about getting results and are demanding more from their elected officials.

Throughout history, our country has experienced previous periods of extreme partisan divide. Fortunately, they came to an end and this too shall pass. My hope is that we do not delay too long because there are serious issues that need attention now. 


A 20th anniversary event will be held to celebrate Farr’s election to congress in 1993 starting at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 8, at Asilmoar State Beach and Conference Grounds. Call 373-4607 for more information.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.