More on ‘Gianna’s Gift’ and a salute to Hilary Bryant.

Earth Angel

Re: “Gianna’s Gift” (Cover, Dec. 4): Our niece was a beautiful angel on earth. She was amazing, and spread joy to everyone around her. Gianna was the strongest young lady that I ever had the pleasure of knowing. She also has two amazing parents and a beautiful sister that we love dearly.

Lynn Altano

 

Bearing Witness

Re: “Gianna’s Gift”: Thanks, Geoffrey.  Your beautifully written piece bears witness and honors a truly extraordinary young woman.

Jim Hobbs

 

Issues with ‘Issues with Issues’

Re: “Issues With Issues” (Letters, Nov. 6): When I wrote my letter to Santa Cruz Weekly (Oct 23), it was I who was ignorant, and I hope my statement [about] Ms. Cube was wrong. I now understand I committed the same error as “Name Withheld By Request”(Nov 6) has done, passed judgment without proper information. My letter stating “…then we have an issue” was not because I have “a chip on my shoulder,” nor was it about just me personally, it was about standing up for our Constitutional rights.

Issues with ‘Issues with Issues’

Re: “Issues With Issues” (Letters, Nov. 6): When I wrote my letter to Santa Cruz Weekly (Oct 23), it was I who was ignorant, and I hope my statement [about] Ms. Cube was wrong. I now understand I committed the same error as “Name Withheld By Request”(Nov 6) has done, passed judgment without proper information. My letter stating “…then we have an issue” was not because I have “a chip on my shoulder,” nor was it about just me personally, it was about standing up for our Constitutional rights.

The 11th U.S. Court of Appeals has stated (Pottinger v. City of Miami, 810 F.Supp.1551 [S.D.Fla. 1992]) that when homeless are arrested, ticketed or their property is “confiscated or destroyed,” this violates the 5th, 8th and 14th Amendments. If we stop trying to chase the homeless off the streets, as it is their only legal place to be, we may discover they are not always those who are committing many of the things we find offensive. It is the people who are drug addicts, petty criminals, alcoholics and, of course, worse that are “hiding” among the homeless. Of course, many homeless are mentally ill, need help and contribute to the ugliness, but many of those drinking, drugging, boosting, etc. have homes, yet choose to be in the streets or voluntarily be “homeless” to maintain their vices. In many other places there are Homeless Outreach Teams that speak with homeless and help, but getting them out of the woods or from along the levee is not easy when there is fear of police or community actions against the homeless. Of course, this is no panacea, but if homeless need not hide and can perform the necessities of life—eating, sitting, sleeping and hygiene tasks—on public property, as is their Constitutional right, there is some possibility that those we observe lurking, littering, defecating, drugging and trespassing on private property are not truly homeless.

Russ Campbell

 

Salute to A Friend

I had the great privilege of spending some considerable amount of time with Mayor Bryant during the city council campaign in 2010. I found Hilary to be both serious on issues of crime and gang prevention, and sensitive on social issues. But I did not know then, as I know now, that she possessed the kind of courage and strength of will that she has demonstrated during her time as our mayor. When our community needed that courage and strength most, she was there to console, to support, to encourage and to reassure us that the darkness would inevitably and surely be followed by the light. So I salute my friend and thank her for giving us not only her service, but also her full self. Thank you, my friend.

Steve Pleich