Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Sep 21st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Local Values

blog_dirt_LadakhiFilm and Local Living Expo stress community, local economy as solution to global problems and unhappiness
Santa Cruz is a town with a strong sense of local pride. Every other car seems to sport a Santa Cruz bumper sticker and every other person seems to own a Santa Cruz sweatshirt, so it’s a natural fit that Santa Cruz is hosting a Local Living Expo this Friday to bring attention to the role our local community can play in addressing global problems.

The Local Living Expo features the Santa Cruz premier of “The Economics of Happiness,” a new documentary that explores how a focus on local community can help solve the problems of the economic crisis, climate change and rising levels of unhappiness in the United States. After the film, a group of local authors and experts will discuss the ways in which the Santa Cruz community is coming together to address these problems.

One of these experts is Michel Levy, the co-founder of Transition Santa Cruz, an organization whose mission is to prepare Santa Cruz for a future in which cheap fuel is no longer abundant and our community will need to be more self-sufficient. Levy describes the fundamental issue the film raises. “We have all this incredible material wealth and resources,” he says, “but we’re polluting our environment, and we have really serious social problems, and a lot of people aren’t happy.”

The first half of the film explores some of the negative impacts caused by the forces of globalization: erosion of culture, loss of sustainability, and increases in pollution, crime and homelessness. The second half of the film, Levy says, “looks at ways that people are starting to respond to this positively by making different kinds of choices and revitalizing their local communities and economies, which is exactly what we are trying to do with the Transitions Movement.” This movement includes a focus on farmers markets, local agriculture, local economic systems, local currencies and local control over business.

Proponents of globalization argue that the forces of international free trade have helped to create a more efficient marketplace and bring millions out of poverty, but Levy is skeptical. “If you reduce things to what’s most efficient monetarily or the most efficient for capital,” he says, “then that doesn’t automatically translate to what’s best for human beings.”

Despite the negative effects of globalization, Levy thinks Santa Cruz is doing a good job of bringing focus back to the local economy. He credits a lot of this interest to the Santa Cruz nonprofit Think Local First, which is a co-sponsor of the Local Living Expo. “We have quite an interest here in shopping locally, and the whole idea of buying local has become a widely accepted idea,” Levy says. “All of this is a great opportunity to have better lives.”

 


The Local Living Expo takes place Friday, March 18 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. The film will be screened from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with speakers to follow. Tickets are $5/adv, $7/door. More information at theeconomicsofhappiness.eventbrite.com
Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past

 

The Peace Equation

Sunday is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, a global peace-building day when nations, leaders, governments, communities and individuals are invited to end conflict, cease hostilities, creat 24 hours of non-violence and promote goodwill. Monday is Autumn equinox as the Sun enters Libra (right relations with all of life). The Soul Year now begins. We work in the dark part of the year (Persephone underground) preparing for the new light of winter solstice. Tuesday to Wednesday is the Virgo new moon festival. We know two things about peace. “The absence of war does not signify peace.” And “Peace is an ongoing process.” In its peace-building emphasis, the UNIDP, through education, attempts to create a “culture of peace, understanding and tolerance”. Esoterically we are reminded of the peace equation: “Intentions for goodwill (and acting upon this intention) create right relations with all earth’s kingdoms which create (the ongoing process of) peace on earth.” At noon on Sunday, in all time zones, millions of participating groups will observe a moment of silence for peace on earth. Bells will ring, candles will be lit, and doves released as the New Group of World Servers recite the Great Invocation (humanity’s mantram of direction). To connect with others around the world see www.cultureofpeace.org    Let us join together with the mother (Virgo). Goodwill to all, let peace prevail on earth. The dove is the symbol for the day.
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.