A letter about recidivism in Santa Cruz that just can’t wait

Just Like Steven

Zirnkilton Said

Sorry, but I can't wait for part 2 of your “Recidivism and Public Safety in Santa Cruz” (Jan. 29.html). The first one was horrendous.

What does Mr. Roubal hope to accomplish, short of demonizing people who are arrested? Doesn't he understand that there is a very good reason why we have two levels of action against “criminals”—the police and the courts? Each has a very important job to do. (Hasn't he ever watched Law and Order?The police respond to what they consider to be threats to public safety. Sometimes they're right, sometimes they're wrong. That is the function of the judge: to (ideally) patiently and fully examine the “crime,” the accused, the circumstances, the options, etc. And then to determine, to the best of her ability, whether there's a “there” there—whether there is enough of a threat to public safety to warrant locking someone up, at great public expense, for a period of time.

Does Mr. Roubal seriously expect local merchants to post his photos? And then what? Call the police every time one of his “perps” walks into a store? Or down the street? Or (heaven forbid) sits on a bench for 61 minutes?

I think we can do better than posting pictures of people who happen to get arrested more than once.

Robert Rottenberg

Santa Cruz

Oh, you should definitely read part two, Robert.  — Editor


Bike Facts?

Re: “Never Forget Josh Alper” (Cover, Jan. 8.html): While I am sad about the death and I welcome the infrastructure, I thought that the tone of this article was highly misleading otherwise.

If I read this, I would be afraid of cycling because cyclists are “vulnerable.” This is proven by the fact that over 30,000 people die in motor-vehicle related collisions.

Oops, I’m sorry, about 30,000 people die, a year, in motor vehicles. Many of them are sober and are children.

Only around 700 or so cyclists die each year in the U.S. If this were on a list, it would not be among the top 10 killers in the United States.

In contrast, motor vehicles are the #1 killer of younger people (I mean they are INSIDE the car).

Thus, motorists are also highly vulnerable.

But if more people cycled, then there would be more cycling deaths.

No, if more people cycled there would be [fewer] cycling deaths and [fewer] motoring deaths.

Let’s stick to the facts and stop spouting anti-cycling fear mongering.

Fred Ollinger



In Response to

‘Bike Facts’?

Let’s stick to the facts:

Approximately 60,000 cyclists are hit by motorists per year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Board.

A cyclist is no match for a car, weighing on average about 3500 pounds.

Let’s be logical: when 60,000 Americans are being struck by something 15 times their size, we have a problem.

We have a problem, Fred. Parse the words as you wish. Surrender to the facts or the anecdotes… but the gist of the article rings true: cyclists are vulnerable and need infrastructure change. No fear mongering needed nor applied.

Cyclists are vulnerable. And we all know it.

Jim K.