I met Jack Gordon about 20 years ago when we were both helping Jeff Almquist (later Judge Almquist) with his re-election to the County Board of Supervisors. Jack is now running for County Superior Court Judge here in Santa Cruz County, and I'm really glad! Here's why:

First and foremost he is a person with enormous integrity. And not only has he had a successful career as a defense attorney representing people's rights to a fair trial, he started his career as a law enforcement officer here in the County. The fact that he went from being an officer to returning to school and working his way through a law degree and then becoming a well-respected defense attorney gives him a valuable perspective not many have.

And as just a regular human being: he’s a great dad and family man, a good friend to many and has continued to care about and be involved in his community.

To all my friends here in Santa Cruz County, I encourage you to support Jack in his bid to serve us. He will bring his broader perspective, great integrity and caring concern to our courts!

Suzy Hunt, Scotts Valley

County Fire Tax Increase

Dear Supervisor Coonerty, et. al.:

So, the COUNTY FIRE CSA#48 FIRE TAX INCREASE was adopted by the voters.

…and yet...

1) We are not any safer from summer and fall wildland fires. No surprise here.

2) People are still having their fire insurance cancelled. No surprise here.

3) Every property owner will pay more on their property tax bill, including governmental agencies. (The county will have to pay County Fire $38K per year for all of their properties located within CSA#48. How ironic is that, given that the County allocates no Prop 172 funds nor Measure G funds to County Fire? Bonny Doon School will have to pay $2400 per year! How sad is that?)

4) Only Cal Fire wins, with more administrative funds and more employees paid for by County Fire (we taxpayers), but ONLY during the non-fire season.

5) Let us see if Cal Fire follows through on other promises, like more frequent fire engine replacement.

6) Let us see if Cal Fire continues to make it more and more difficult to become a volunteer firefighter, or whether training becomes more convenient and the number of volunteers goes up.

7) Let us see if Cal Fire returns to making property inspections.

8) There is still no commitment by the county for a management audit or forensic audit of Cal Fire’s operation of County Fire.

9) Because of several significant errors in the engineer’s report that is the basis of this election, many many appeals are likely, and legal action is likely, as well.

10) The County and Cal Fire spent $158,000 of County Fire taxpayer funds, funds supposedly for firefighting, to shove this measure down our throats. The County and Cal Fire should return these funds to the County Fire budget.

Lesson:  Lies work; fear works; conflating wildland firefighting with local volunteer firefighting works, expensive consultants work.

I am both disappointed and disgusted.

Steve Homan

Bonny Doon Resident 43 Years

Give a HOOT!

I walk every day. I walk to do errands but mostly I walk around various neighborhoods, enjoying all the different styles of houses. I am appalled, however, at the amount of garbage I see strewn all over. I know that on garbage day crows will take advantage of overfilled garbage cans and make a mess rummaging through them. But, seeing fast food wrappers, cups, liquor bottles (I counted 13 of them along about a two block length on Bean Creek Road!) is quite disturbing. After the 4th of July last year I walked around the corner on Skypark to see that someone had dumped a trash bag full of garbage (including diapers!) Whatever happened to the Woodsy Owl campaign ("Give a hoot - don't pollute!") from ages ago or just gentle reminders to have a little respect for our beautiful little planet?

Jann Smart, Scotts Valley

Jack Gordon for Judge

Jack Gordon has been deeply embedded in our community for over 40 years. Starting out as a Santa Cruz County Deputy Sheriff, Jack has a profound understanding of public safety for all. After his time as a deputy, he switched from police uniform to suit, becoming a criminal defense attorney in private practice. After decades’ experience as an attorney, Jack has defended people from all walks of life and ages; his case history includes civil, family, labor, immigration and criminal defense.

As an active member of the community, I hold general public safety and human rights for the whole community in the highest regard. I want a Judge with superior knowledge of the law, respect for human rights and who demands dignity for every person in their courtroom. I believe Jack Gordon is that individual and I support him becoming be Superior Court Judge for our community.  

Amy Sheppard, Santa Cruz

Stopping the Slaughter

January 24, 2020

Dear Editor,

On January 27th, the world will observe the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The date marks 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Hitler's largest death camp. It's an opportune occasion to reflect on how each of us can help end oppression.

A key question facing historians is how could an enlightened society that produced our civilization’s greatest philosophers, poets, and composers also produce its most notorious mass murderers? How could it get millions of ordinary citizens to go along? Was the Holocaust a peculiarly German phenomenon, or are other enlightened societies capable? And, is it just about killing humans, or does it extend to other sentient beings?

Jewish Nobel laureate, Isaac Bashevis Singer provided a clear answer when he wrote: “To the animals, all people are Nazis.” His message was that, even in our own country, we are willing to subjugate our own compassion and affection for animals to those of our society. We have allowed social norms to supersede our own.

It follows that the only way to end our own participation in oppression is for each of us to reclaim our own moral values. Our very first step should be to drop animals from our menus.


Solomon Levine

Santa Cruz

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