On Feb. 8, Assemblymember Bill Monning proposed a bill to protect the California public from potentially hazardous pesticides. Monning proposed the bill partly as response to chemical sprayed in the Santa Cruz area two years ago to eradicate the Light Brown Apple Moth. “The lack of information about the inert ingredients used in the aerial spray program caused a great deal of fear and mistrust among the public,” says Monning in a press release. “I believe that people have a right to know what they are eating, drinking, and breathing and should be allowed to make informed decisions based upon full disclosure.” California Senator Mark Leno proposed the same legislation to the state senate.
Rawlings imports an element of surprise at Dawes’ recent concert in Santa Cruz
Remember when an encore was something a band had to earn? Most likely, you probably can’t. That’s because a standing ovation or a crowd calling for more, waiting in front of a stage while the rock star at hand walks off to the wings—oh so momentarily, has become a mundane ritual rather than a sign of rare, high regard. I often feel a sense of disappointment at the contrived nature of how show endings go off these days, wondering why bands end a set at all when they (and the rest of us) know that, whether or not anyone asks for it, they’ll pick up the mic and power through their amps for an additional few songs in straightforward form. Why bother walking offstage in the first place?
Out of all of the fury and concern over the Golden State’s budget failures this past year, perhaps one of the issues Californians took most to heart was the threat of budget cuts to its precious state parks. As a result, the November 2010 ballot will include The State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act of 2010, a statewide measure that would provide free day use access for Californians, require wildlife conservation and “create a stable, reliable and adequate source of funding for the state park system,” according to Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks. The local group has collected more than 2,000 signatures in Santa Cruz County so far.
I traveled the windy road up to SF, thrilled with the cityscape, after these lonely hills, to the Yoga Journal’s 7th Annual SF Conference, and to an enveloped world of yoga. The faces I deem “famous” for my world were talking nonchalantly with each other and with students. Very exciting.
My schedule the first day was aggressive: David Swenson’s Primary Series, Shadow Yoga, with Scott Blossom, and James Higgins. These classes were top notch and helped me to explore new streams of my yoga practice. It was Sunday morning’s class with Rod Stryker that really did it for me. It was a pranayama class and I learned the depth of breath and its meaning. The benefits? Improved health, concentration and mental focus – increased vitality, manifestation of desires and intentions - self-realization. Watching my partner as she practiced pranayama, her lungs expanded and something wonderful seemed to happen. Incorporating this practice into my regular practice this week has been the goal and the benefits are already apparent, with my week in full bloom. *overheard at the conference
Defense Officials, Local Congressman Speak Out Against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
The top two defense officials in the nation announced their desire to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in a Feb. 2 hearing. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday that they support repealing the 1993 law that prohibits openly gay men and women from serving in the military, but they need more time to review the impact and how to carry out the change in policy. Gates testified that he has appointed a "high-level working group" to do the review, which will take about a year. In the meantime, the military is moving toward enforcing the existing policy "in a fairer manner," according to Gates.
Santa Cruz Superior Court Judge Michael Barton has announced he will be hanging up his robe and retiring. Watsonville attorney Rebecca Connolly hopes to step into his shoes, having recently filed for the upcoming election for his seat. Connolly has experience in federal law and as an assistant Santa Cruz District Attorney. “It’s a tremendous honor to run for Superior Court Judge in Santa Cruz County,” Connolly stated in a Feb. 1 press release. The filing period for candidates to declare intention to run ends Feb. 10. The election will be held June 8, 2010.
Hotel Kabuki brings Japanese splendor to the Bay
I recently pulled off a visit to Japan—minus the 13-hour flight, minus the jetlag and minus the wallet-busting cost. Well, sort of. Feeling the urge to have an exotic vacation but lacking the means and time to really reach Tokyo, I sought out a hotel in the Bay Area that might be able to satiate my travel bug.
A getaway to the Orient at the 218-room Hotel Kabuki, part of the Joie de Vivre chain of boutique hotels, turned out to be a worthy alternative to jet-setting during these economic times, and it’s a quick jaunt from Santa Cruz.
Great deals can be found online at joieoflife.com; standard rooms range from $99 during weekdays to $119 during weekends, and a Deluxe View King Room at $99 is a steal if you catch the right price at the right time. If you reserve your stay online, you even get a complimentary pass to the nearby (and well-known) Kabuki Springs and Spa communal baths (a $20 value). A special offer until June 15, you can now get a third night free when you book a minimum three-night stay (enter “JOIE” promo code).
Robert Steffen, featured in the Jan. 21 issue of Good Times for his recent interest in city politics and a seat on the city council, has announced his plans to withdraw from the Santa Cruz City Council race in November. For other candidates such as Councilmember Lynn Robinson, who plans to run again, and David Terazzas, who is strongly considering it, the race is just getting started. In an email to GT, Steffen cited health concerns for his decision to drop out. “I am sorry to disappoint those among your readers who are my supporters, but, as I am certain they will understand, one's health must come first,” he writes. “Perhaps another time.”