Hindsight 2019

Nov. 22

A lose-lose situation

The biggest losers of the two-week soap opera are the citizens of Hollister, who deserve better from their elected and appointed representatives. The opportunities for redemption for all five council members are narrowing, and their remaining abilities to agree on another city manager pick as a unifying force will be tested in the remaining weeks of 2019. At year’s end, it’s up to them to choose to be winners or losers.

Oct. 23

Time to say ‘Thank you’

Quietly, organically and without delay, local communities demonstrated by their selflessness and their gift-giving that humanity and compassion have the capacity to build bridges, join hands, make alliances, find common ground and share a common sense of purpose: to come to the aid of victims of unspeakable violence. If we build on that, the real legacy of this outpouring of assistance could be realized: Finding common ground may be attainable neighbor to neighbor, city to city, to tackle the challenges that lie ahead of us. Next time you visit Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy, remember that while pain and scars linger, communities have the capacity to comfort and heal. We must never forget the July 28 victims.

Aug. 9

Mental illness doesn’t explain gun violence

If the federal government is serious about addressing this facet of the issue, then it should commit real resources toward healing minds and psyches rather than calling for more laws. Fund mental health programs. Enact sensible gun laws. Tone down rhetoric against the “others.” And promote antiterrorism initiatives to combat the rise of white supremacist violence. We know what we have to do. Let’s do it before the next flurry of headlines hits.

July 31

Reclaim our public spaces

A gun-free society isn’t in the cards, but Second Amendment advocates must begin to promote responsible ownership so that weapons don’t get into the wrong hands. Sensible laws that provide for background checks and waiting periods, restrict high-capacity magazines and semi-automatic rifles and raise minimum ages for ownership of certain classes of weapons should be applied in states that make it too easy to buy weapons without proper safeguards. We must reclaim our schools and churches, mosques and synagogues, music concerts and nightclubs, movie theaters, waffle houses and food festivals.

June 7

Build this block right

Perhaps Hollister is ready for some exciting architecture or a destination draw. Communities such as Mountain View and Escondido have gone from backwaters to regional magnets by building arts centers in their downtowns. Hollister can do better than a handful of run-of-the-mill apartments or condos and some vanilla office and retail space. Let’s dare to do something better and make a difference. Whatever is built will be here for a long time and set the tone for the future. Create a crown jewel for downtown’s next century. It’s time to go big or go home. It’s time to lead, not settle.

March 29

Avera’s departure overdue

The city has a unique opportunity to leap forward with new leadership, a new perspective, new professionalism and a new vision. The council has a chance to write a new job description for its top administrator, and a chance to reach far and wide for the best candidate who can shake off cobwebs, rattle some cages and encourage new transparency and accountability to give Hollister the leadership it deserves.

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