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What Would You Improve in Santa Cruz County in 2013?

If you could make a New Year's resolution for Santa Cruz County, what would it be?

More than 45 percent of Americans make a resolution every year, according to statisticbrain.com. Some people vow to live a healthier lifestyle, others promise to spend more time with family, and many say they will try to save money.

As millions of Americans make resolutions to improve their lives, what could we do right here in Santa Cruz County to make it an even better place to live?

What is on your wish list? What is one thing you would improve in 2013?

Tell us comments or blog about why you love living here!

Susan O'Day December 29, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Carol, you also have great suggestions...
Rich Buckley December 29, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Total fantasy on my part I realize and probably only I would like it: the development of a meandering walking, jogging, biking, horse-back riding, skating landscaped continuous beach-front trail system up on the bluff and down near the water, lighted, safe, well cared for and heavily used all tied in commercial and residential and recreational stops from one end of Santa Cruz to the other. I know, it's a ridiculous thought but that's just me.
David H. Perez December 29, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Randy, I am so with you on this! Imagine, Watsonville being run by competent people and requiring City Council members to actually have some qualifications! Mayor at large is coming back, just give us some time. I had not heard the "BB" are moving to Salinas - at least that's some good news for a change.
Lucas December 29, 2012 at 06:10 PM
1. Rescind the "Sanctuary City" status of Santa Cruz and Watsonville. Prosecute the city council members who initially voted it in. 2. Revamp the Planning Commission and Code Compliance. It's an embarrassment to the whole county. 3. Instruct the police to drive the vagrants to the county line and encourage them not to return. 4. Get rid of the liberal arts university and replace it with up-scale Golf Courses and Country Clubs.
Susan O'Day December 29, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Someone clue me in to what BB stands for??
Susan O'Day December 29, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Wow, everyone has such good comments.........Have to giggle a little on the "Watsonville being run by competent people"..like that's gonna happen.. We need stricter laws too...Every time I see the arrests of people in our area, it's the same people all the time!!!! They keep them overnight and release them and they keep committing the same crimes...whether it's drug dealing, stealing, etc... I know, I know, the jails are full..
Adrian December 29, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Get ride of every single illegal and make this city safe for us good white folks
Russell Rickman December 29, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Great dreams. Until we can get most of the voters to 1st to get those who can to run for council & to have the knowledge to do it right. Listen to the voters ,but to be creative & able to bring to the voters ideas that will make this city a great place to work & live. Stop the attitude that I know what is best for you & don't need your input or even permission. we all need to have a voice in what is going on in our city and we all need to be involved.
Butch Cole December 29, 2012 at 08:44 PM
You going to harvest the billions of dollars in crops? Not sure, Adrian, but you sound like you might be a little (lot) racist.
Troll Buster 12292012 December 29, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Butch, if you look into it you will find that 'Adrian's' real name is Dvera and is one of the major sh*t stirrer's from the Brown Berets. As a whole they try to bait comments so that they can point at them and say what a bunch of raciest there are in Watsonville. Why you ask? Well it seems Dvera is receiving grant monies for her work in fighting racism against farm workers here in the Pajaro Valley as part of her Phd. The more stuff she stirs up the longer it takes her to do her task and the more money she gets. You may also want to look at their supreme leader and see what's in it for him.
Adrian December 30, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Butch hole put a sock in your pie hole...we need minute men and ice down here to take care of business.we need to run these illlegals and shitberets out of this great nation of ours so us taxpaying lawabiding citizens will be a lot safer.
Adrian December 30, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Troll u r a troll you imbecil....im male an American citizen and served two tours in Vietnam and proud ofit .
randy December 30, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Susan .. I could say Big Bullies but that is putting bullies down. The Brown Berets was started years ago .. Alejo and councilmember Hernandez decided to start a Brown Beret here. They do not believe in the military, except their OWN. They do not salute the flag, etc. They are a militant group that is nothing more than an organized GANG. They feel they are above the law. They make their own laws. Just an anti american anti military anti anti group that should be squashed like a bad bug. Randy... can you guess I don't like the BB
randy December 30, 2012 at 01:40 AM
TROLL.. If you look up the definition of Racist (see below) you will see it fits the BB and their code of conduct. They are the racist and feel their "race" is superior. " rac·ist [rey-sist] Show IPA noun 1. a person who believes in racism, the doctrine that a certain human race is superior to any or all others"
Troll Buster 12292012a December 30, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Sorry but we have met. You were not born till well after the Vietnam war. If your a male then you could pass as a chick any day. LOL.
Troll Buster 12292012a December 30, 2012 at 02:12 AM
LOL, I guess they would have to pick you up to.
Adrian December 30, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Haha dumbass. Your a moron troll
Troll Buster 12292013b December 30, 2012 at 04:24 AM
No, I'm Baptist. But you, young lady, when's the last time you had a 'date'?
Richard Hallett December 30, 2012 at 04:42 AM
Ah, come on. Fix the traffic situation. Building a wider road will NOT lead to population growth, the county's making sure of that. BTW---the county----it steps into everything and is most unhelpful and overstaffed. Ever try to get into the planning department after 3:30? By making this town a little more tourist-friendly, we could go a long way. Look at how Tahoe treats its tourists---wide separated bike paths, welcoming shops instead of places like Pacific Avenue. Get real Santa Cruz.
Mary Kinkster December 30, 2012 at 04:47 AM
Well my thoughts are a little more basic in nature. No lofty goals of ridding the State of illegals, or inciting a bloodless coup on the Watsonville City Council. No my suggestion is about a basic human need and human dignity. I know homeless folks aren't popular among forum posters, just barely rising above the scourge of illegals pouring over the border and dismantling our State, but at this time of year perhaps we could put aside the usual rhetoric and look at ways to improve or entire community by providing one unpopular segment a little dignity. There are two sets of public restrooms in Downtown Santa Cruz. They are open between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 pm. with two plumbing fixtures (toilets and/or urinals) each. Unless you are a customer most downtown businesses don't allow folks to use their restrooms. If you don't look homeless they won't question whether you are a customer or not. Now I can't blame anyone for not wanting to allow a horde of homeless people to camp out in their restroom, shooting up drugs, urinating on the floors and walls, leaving smeared blood and fecal matter in their wake. I mean there are very few businesses whose clientele would find following these folks in the use of a toilet a pleasant experience. So I can understand their unwillingness to welcome with open arms this problem into their place of business. At the same time this seriously limits the availability of facilities for these folks to relieve themselves in a legal and dignified manner.
Mary Kinkster December 30, 2012 at 04:52 AM
At night there are none. Like it or not there are a large number of human beings that frequent and reside in this area and one thing is certain they will excrete waste. Given nowhere to go, every halfway hidden spot, under any bush, in every dark corner, wherever they can steal a little cover and a moment of privacy you'll find human feces and the stench of urine. The downtown landscaping strips have all become human litter boxes that no one empties. It's unsanitary for them and for every passer by regardless of whether they have a home to go to. The police have better things to do than be the potty trainers for this community, and we should want our taxes spent on more serious issues than catching, prosecuting, and housing these folks in already overcrowded facilities. The cost of creating a facility to service this need would be insignificant in the long term in comparison to the cost to City services, to downtown business, and to the quality of life for our entire community of continuing the status quo approach. These folks would much prefer to use a clean facility over a public flower bed but given no option they will come to accept the indignity afforded them. People begin to accept the unacceptable when they are forced to live within it. If you want these folks to respect their town and community don't forced them to use it as a toilet. Happy New Year.
Doc December 30, 2012 at 05:00 AM
@Susan O'Day and Randy - The Brown Berets are a Communist, racist, anti-government, anti-American, anti-police, anti-military gang who, in my opinion, are more dangerous to our whole American system than other militant and terrorist groups that get all of the media attention. They are spreading like a cancer that has now metasticized to the state level. You can check out some of their stuff on the Internet, though they have sanitized what is readily available. Some of us have a vast collection of their archives - like videos of their members telling people of European descent that they should go back to Plymouth Rock. Makes me wonder why they are allowed to spew their hatred and threats while the rest of us have to take off our shoes at the airport.
Mary Kinkster December 30, 2012 at 10:18 AM
Are you suggesting, by your liking them you are somehow improving our little corner of the Earth?
Chuck December 30, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Mary, you have some solid points and I agree with most of it; but there is one unfortunate flaw. These same public restrooms that you propose to be open 24 hours to hopefully alleviate the problems with human waste in public areas-- these same restrooms will also be overrrun, smeared and vandalized just as the bathrooms in the businesses were, so that no one from the general public would dare use them either. The costs of maintaining them might turn out to be much more than you realize. Unless there is a paid attendant/security to maintain and watch this facility continuously (which could be $$$ in the long run) you can anticipate more of the same antics from the same folks, over and over again. I have no idea what compels some folks to poop on the floor or onto the toilet seat instead of the intended target; and make a mess of a bathroom so no one else can use it, but we've all seen it time and again. My only guess is that some of the downtrodden few, the have nots, use this as a way of lashing back at "The Man" and society as well, for whatever reasons. And we seem to have plenty of those in this community.
Carrie Haber December 30, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Yay! Beverly! These should be top of the list of priorities for all decisions made by city council or anyone else in Santa Cruz...
Mary Kinkster December 30, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Chuck I've worked in the design and construction of educational and institutional facilities for over 25 years. Vandalism is a legitimate concern but can be overcome to a large extent through proper design and materials selection, in concert with supervisable spaces. The restrooms on Soquel in the parking garage is a good example. A person's feet are always visible from the sidewalk out front. The use of security cameras are a serious deterrent within this community as most are known on sight by the police. I also belluececut is time to begin a serious dialog with these folks about their role in our community and how they want to impact it and how it will impact them. I think honest an frank divisions about the issues that effect is both could lead to better understanding and an opportunity to begin formal creation of a kind of self policing program for conflict resolution and relmduction of vandalism. Give them a role and some responsibility and you may be surprised. They may become part of the community. Treat them as outcast and they'll treat it as something they have been cast out of. As far as popping on the floor and so on, the is a great deal of mental illness among this group and that can't be forgotten. The sea a lot of different types of people in this group some more antisocial than others but there are a lot of good people who are struggling for various reasons. We need to find intelligent solutions our entire community's health.
Lewis December 31, 2012 at 05:16 AM
I'd vote for you no problem --I don't see Capitola having a homeless problem now do I
Lewis December 31, 2012 at 05:25 AM
I personally liked it better when the Italians ran this town versus the liberal arts department. How long will it take before they realize their methods just don't work. It has been 20 years and are we any better off with Wrigley leaving town/Honewell/Lipton/ need I go on how they distroyed business in this town. And don't even get me going on the Homeless and Drugs
Chuck December 31, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Well, good luck with that. Once we get into such things as "having a serious dialogue with 'these folks' ", and empowering them as some kind of community leaders in lieu of continued vandalism and bad behavior, I think a lot of us well behaved taxpayers are off that train. Some of us might see that as rewarding bad behavior, or being held hostage to it to some degree. I don't think much of 'self policing' programs either, sadly. Witness the amount of dog poop in parks and beaches that people don't pick up, as an example. Or litter, as another. I admire your desire to do this, I just think the reality overpowers the idea.
Mary Kinkster December 31, 2012 at 10:24 PM
I'm sorry, I had tried to keep my response brief. That and my phone's T9 inspired typos likely obscured my point. There are those within the homeless community that are respected by the others, that are reasonable and find the antisocial behavior of some to be damaging to their interests. There is a strict set of rules amongst these folks, that they already police themselves. It's a short set of rules but they all know them and what they can expect from the others if they violate them. Having an ongoing dialog with these folks may be beneficial to curbing the poor behavior of the others. The self policing I was suggesting would be in providing the attendant/security to identify vandals. Reporting major vandalism and banning lesser offenders use of the facility for some period of time. Most are aware of the recent murder of the homeless man on the tracks near depot hill, from what I've been told by those who know is that it was in retribution for the harassment and beating of a young homeless woman. Apparently some seriously doubt the validity of her claim as she showed no sign of this supposed beating. A more formalized opportunity for conflict resolution in lieu of meting out street justice may have saved his life as well as avoiding long jail sentences for the five or six involved. Programs such as these have been created in a number of settings and have been shown to be beneficial. I don't think anyone would argue that what we've been doing works. Not even Steve Z below.

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