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Feb 10th
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Taxi Driver Goes Green

blog_dirtMeet Santa Cruz County’s first hybrid taxi driver
About eight weeks ago, Santa Cruz cabbie Michael Williams decided to follow the lead of major cities like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. He purchased a used Ford Escape Hybrid for use as the first hybrid taxi in Santa Cruz County. The investment, he says, is a step towards saving the environment, making taxi driving more efficient, and setting a positive example for major cab companies  like his employer, Yellow Cab. An independent cab company, Green Cab, already provides the town with eco-friendly biodiesel taxis, but Williams’ cab is unique in that it’s a hybrid.

After intensive research, Williams is certain that his initial investment of $14,000 will pay off. Compared to his old SUV, which got 12 to 18 miles per gallon, the hybrid gets up to twice as much and will save him about $5,000 per year on gas. Hybrid cars get this lower gas mileage because of the additional electric motor that operates whenever the driving speed is below 30 miles per hour. Due to the low gas usage, Williams’ taxi leaves an extremely low carbon footprint and is also, he adds, probably the most economic vehicle for a cabbie. Besides saving on gas, Williams is able to drive around downtown to look for costumers rather than having to wait for them, which is especially advantageous on slow days.

The 58 year-old, who loves driving in Santa Cruz because of the scenery and the people, notes that, “as a cabbie you wear many hats.” He recalls a night where he had to deliver food from McDonalds; the time a young man took a drive for the sole purpose of talking about his breakup; and an incident in which he had to chase a group of drunks into a bar because they wouldn’t pay the fare. Now, as the first hybrid taxi driver, he has also become a role model for other drivers and cab companies, who might invest in hybrid cars in the future.

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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