Readers write-in about fine dining, facial hair and tap water.

DIY Dining
Re: “Bottom Line of Local Restaurants” (Letters, Jan. 23): I agree that Santa Cruz lacks the 324-day-a-year transitory high-end tourist industry that supports the plethora of gourmet restaurants in Napa or Paso Robles. We also don’t have the millions of affluent time-crunched upper middle class workers of SF or [Silicon] Valley. But I disagree that the sufferings of local restaurants are because we are all “bottom feeders” who can’t or won’t spend money. The fact is that many of us are “lifestyle-ists” who choose to live in Cruz for the nature, the slower pace and the abundant organic farming; and quite frankly, we can cook. There is a farmers market almost every day of the week, and multiple great commercial market choices that are actually more expensive than most of what you find over the hill (if you can find it). We put our money where our mouth is when it comes to paying for quality and supporting growers, and we know what to do with the product.
Charley Lochtefeld

Santa Cruz


‘Cradle’ Robbing

It made me smile seeing Kurt Vonnegut’s “granfaloon” referenced in your “Hair Ye, Hair Ye” brief (Jan. 23) simply as “the term meaning…” Kurt left us several years ago and perhaps it’s a nice homage that his created words can carry on with no mention of him.

But couldn’t the layout person have landed the brief article about the whimsical beard and mustache organization on the page opposite the photo of food activist Sandor Katz on page 20? I thought you newsprint people lived for that kind of fun.

Rich Apple

Santa Cruz

Whimsical? Fun? These words are foreign to us, Rich Apple. With ‘granfaloon’ now in common usage, it seemed perhaps a little pedantic on our part to credit Vonnegut’s ‘Cat’s Cradle.’ However, we know what you mean about Sandor’s facial hair. Absolutely mesmerizing. — Editor

Deeper Problem

Re: “Tap Secret” (Cover, Jan. 23): Even exposés of huge companies’ use of well water and/or tap water for their supposedly “purer” bottled water do not address even more egregious matters—namely the extraordinary waste of resources for extracting petroleum from the earth and making it into plastic, the manufacturing of plastic bottles, the transportation of massive quantities of said bottles to water sources, the transportation of massive amounts of plastic bottle to consumers near and far—and, of course, the sickening waste of said water when consumers do not finish drinking it. Does anyone remember that, “progress” or not, the bottled-water industry did not exist in this nation in such massive presence until around the late 1980s? Think about it.

John Anderson

San Jose


Twice Chai

Re: “The Crash of the Flying Cigar” (Cover, Jan. 16): Thanks for this great article, Steve! India Joze was making waves here since the 1970s (sans restaurant from 2002-2010). And two national chai companies began in SC in the 70’s, using variations of Joze fresh-ground chai concentrate. 

Those companies have fallen by the wayside, in the past few years, but Joze still offers his incredible chai concentrate—for a song!

Grant Wilson

Santa Cruz