Rail and trail

Ira Davis’ letter of April 10, 2018, gave us the best explanation so far why a train is the worst possible choice for public transit on the Union Pacific corridor. The key word is STATIONS! Trains need stations which in turn need space between them, space to get up to speed, then space to stop, lots of it. Take a ride on Cal Train and you will get the idea. This space requirement means that in the part of the county where the ridership potential will be the greatest, there is only enough space for two or three stations at the most. Stations also need loading platforms and parking lots, big bucks up front. Okay. Now compare all that to a self-propelled electric trolley car. No stations required; can take on and drop off passengers anywhere along the route; can make many more such stops to increase ridership exponentially; with small e-powered shuttle buses plying the side streets that intersect the tracks making public transit easily accessible to far more Santa Cruz County residents; with safety (unlike the train or bus, safety is not a problem with trolley cars). And, because trolleys weigh so much less than locomotives pulling passenger cars, the road bed, bridges, and trestles will need less maintenance. The SCCRTC should announce officially that a train will not be used for public transit. This will generate considerable relief among many people. Trolleys on the tracks with passenger-gathering shuttles on the side streets will make modern public mass transit available to far more people than the train ever could, and we can have it more readily using off-the-shelf rolling stock, on a lease basis to avoid heavy capital outlay. Rail and trail can coexist happily and safely on the same pathway. All we need is for some community leader to take the reins and make it happen.
Howard F. Sosbee 1400 Weston Ridge Road Scotts Valley CA, 95066 831, 335, 8401 hfs@sosbee.com <mailto:hfs@sosbee.com>

War monger

[Note to ed: this is a re-submission of a letter submitted on March 25, 2018. The placing of John Bolton in a position of influence is something that should send shivers up the back of all peace loving citizens.]
A recent headline on the Opinion page of this newspaper announced that Pres.Trump finally had his war cabinet. War. Whether a trade war or a real shooting war aimed at “regime change”, is something to be avoided like the plague. In a real war, there are no winners, only losers. Too many human beings lose their lives. Too many others lose their livelihoods, their occupations, their way to earn a living. Sovereign treasuries get emptied. Arms merchants get rich while misery gets spread around with plenty for everyone. There should be one, universal, goal and that mission should be to relegate the notion of a shooting war, not only to “last resort” status but to that of NO WAY NO HOW! Congress should make that clear to Mr. Bolton.
Howard F. Sosbee 1400 Weston Ridge Road Scotts Valley CA, 95066 831, 335, 8401 hfs@sosbee.com <mailto:hfs@sosbee.com>

War talk

War. Whether a trade war or a real shooting war aimed at “regime change”, is something to be avoided like the plague. In a real war, there are no winners, only losers. Too many human beings lose their lives. Too many others lose their livelihoods, their occupations, their way to earn a living. Sovereign treasuries get emptied. Arms merchants get rich while misery gets spread around with plenty for everyone. There should be one, universal, goal and that mission should be to relegate the notion of a shooting war, not only to “last resort” status but to that of NO WAY, NO HOW! Congress should make that clear to Mr. Bolton.
Howard F. Sosbee 1400 Weston Ridge Road Scotts Valley CA, 95066 831, 335, 8401 hfs@sosbee.com <mailto:hfs@sosbee.com>

A serious threat

Four-star general Barry McCafray has finally put into words a short description of our current president. It is what so many of us have feared so deeply ever since he was selected. The general described Donald Trump as: “a serious threat to United States national security.”. Put that together with the Stormy Daniels case and everything else swirling around the White House since Donald Trump arrived and it makes one wonder: how bad can it get?! And what must we do to protect our country?
Howard F. Sosbee 1400 Weston Ridge Road Scotts Valley CA, 95066 831, 335, 8401 hfs@sosbee.com <mailto:hfs@sosbee.com>

Revolutionary stuff

When Bernie Sanders was first describing what he termed his “revolution”, he naturally became the target of the most virulent right wing ranting. But, if Tom Hayden were around today, he could offer a quote from a statement he, himself, made back in 1962: “If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable.” Unimaginable pretty well sums up the Trump agenda, doesn’t it?
Howard F. Sosbee 1400 Weston Ridge Road Scotts Valley CA, 95066 831, 335, 8401 hfs@sosbee.com <mailto:hfs@sosbee.com>

Thiessen

How often do you plan to run commentary by Marc “NRA as the real Americans” Thiessen? Once a year would be more than enough, but you published two of them in close succession recently, and a little bit of Thiessen goes a long way. However, we should be grateful to him for telling us how to distinguish “real Americans” from the rest of the us slobs who live in this part of the world.
Howard F. Sosbee 1400 Weston Ridge Road Scotts Valley CA, 95066 831, 335, 8401 hfs@sosbee.com <mailto:hfs@sosbee.com>

Let us outlaw military weapons

On page 8 of your March 19/26, 2018, issue is a political cartoon so powerful, it should be offered for sale in an enlarged, suitable-for-framing format. It shows a celestial hand reaching down from the storm clouds, offering to Uncle Sam a delete sign over an assault rifle and the caption, apparently Uncle Sam asking: “what’s your point”? Please reserve a copy for me if you decide to publish it in a larger format.

Not what we voted for

It seems that whatever scandal erupts in “Washingtin” is soon replaced by another, and then another, so that the principal product of that place is not government, but scandal. Surely, there are other noteworthy things happening; Paul Ryan must have the House of Representatives working on something, isn’t he? And Mitch McConnell should be over his reluctance to do anything for which Obama might get credit. Lord knows, he’s had over a year now to get the hatred of Obama out of his system. Republicans were able to ride the Trump wave all the way to total control of everything, but apparently the obligation to govern didn’t come along with all that power. Congress took the very worst feature of American society (that is: the disgusting inequality of wealth and income) and made it worse with a tax law that directs enormous monetary benefits to the wealthiest. The American voting public should probably be demanding some sort of a do over.
Howard F. Sosbee 1400 Weston Ridge Road Scotts Valley CA, 95066 831, 335, 8401 hfs@sosbee.com <mailto:hfs@sosbee.com>

Why can’t we just say it?

The entire law enforcement leadership of Santa Cruz County signed on to an op ed the by Santa Cruz chief of police Andrew Mills, dated February 26, 2018, listing five specific steps they all feel would “make a difference” in the current gun violence situation. All the ideas were good and well-intended, but, unfortunately, not one would have any effect at all on the number of murder weapons already floating around America by the millions, or the number of crazies already running loose in our neighborhoods. Will no one ever say it? Until we get rid of the guns we will continue to experience the tragedies. We can’t round up all the crazies, (you can’t pick them out of a crowd) but we can outlaw the murder weapons, and provide serious jail time for anyone who flouts a law preventing their ownership or possession. Is there no one of influence in the United States who can get this done? We can debate and debate until we are all blue in the face, but it will not eliminate a single murder weapon.
Howard F. Sosbee 1400 Weston Ridge Road Scotts Valley CA, 95066 831, 335, 8401 hfs@sosbee.com <mailto:hfs@sosbee.com>

talk,alone, will not do the job

A recent writer to “ As You See It” made a statement that pretty well describes the gun-control situation, he wrote: “no symbolic anti-gun bill is going to protect our children, and it’s time we do something that does.” He is 100% right. As long as the country is awash in guns of all kinds, there will always be some crazy who will use one to kill people. If Congress could only gin up enough backbone to pass a simple law outlawing ALL guns designed specifically to kill people (hand guns and military style rifles) we could leave it to the individual states to devise their process for collecting and destroying them. Anyone caught hoarding a murder weapon should be liable for serious jail time. We can keep marching, talking, and debating background checks and pump stocks until the cows come home. But until we remove the guns, we’ll continue to suffer the misery of their use on people.
Howard F. Sosbee 1400 Weston Ridge Road Scotts Valley CA, 95066 831, 335, 8401 hfs@sosbee.com <mailto:hfs@sosbee.com>