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Dec 27th
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DurbWatch: Another One Bites the Dust

james-durbin_freakWell, it turns out the voting public still respected James Durbin in the morning, after his haunting, yet driving rendition of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" the night before. Out of the six remaining contestants on American Idol at the beginning of last night's elimination round, only James and Haley Reinhart got an immediate pass to come back and sing again as soon as they were called up to hear the results.
That left Jacob Lusk, Lauren Alaina, Casey Abrams, and Scotty McCreery cooling their heels in limbo during the relentless parade of filler and fluff (guest performers, backstage interviews, a trip to the British Consulate in L. A. to celebrate the royal wedding, the inevitable weekly Ford commercial) with which Idol producers pad the Thursday night show like so much video Hamburger Helper to extend five minutes of actual content into an hour of prime time. With so few contestants left, they've given up the idea of the "bottom three" low scorers. Now they just choose random contestants to twist slowly in the wind for dramatic effect until Ryan Seacrest announces which one is going home.

Last night, it was Casey, and I can't say I'm surprised. As much as the judges adore him, and as original and entertaining as he often is, his lackluster performance of "Hi De Ho" Wednesday night (not exactly a showcase tune to begin with) signaled the end of the line for Casey's love affair with the voters. (Or vice versa.) Still, his was an admirable run from a highly unorthodox and therefore always interesting performer. And he went out with a bang, prowling around the stage and audience with a high-octane farewell song, "I Put A Spell On You," only to finish up face-to face with (rumored backstage sweetie) Haley for the last line: "Because you're mine!"

Interestingly, after Ryan let Jacob, then Lauren off the hook, only Casey and Scotty were left onstage for the final verdict. (Yeah, right, as if Scotty could be going home. Only in my dreams.) That's what I meant about dramatic effect. But the point is, nobody even considered toying with James in that way, not even to generate faux suspense. James in danger of going home? Nobody would ever believe it.

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Dancing In the Rain

District Attorney Bob Lee’s death in October stunned the Santa Cruz community, but he had battled cancer fiercely—and privately—for more than a decade. Now one of his closest friends reveals the remarkable inside story

 

Our Gifts - Fiery Sacrificial Lights to One Another

Wednesday is Christmas Eve, Hanukkah ends and the Moon is in Aquarius, calling for the new world to take shape at midnight. Thursday morning, the sun, at the Tropic of Capricorn, begins moving northward. The desire currents are stilled. A great benediction of spiritual force (Capricorn’s Rays 1, 3, 7) streams into Earth. Temple bells ring out. The heavens bend low; the Earth is lifted up to the Light. Angels and Archangels chant, “On Earth, peace, goodwill to all.” As these forces stream into the Earth they assume long swirling lines of light, in the likeness of the Madonna and Child. The holy child is born. Let our hearts be “impressed” with and hold this picture, especially because Christmas may be difficult this year. Christmas Day is void of course moon (v/c moon), which means we may feel somewhat disconnected from one another. It’s difficult to connect in a v/c moon. Try anyway. Mercury joins Pluto in Capricorn. Uh oh … we don’t bring up the past containing any dark and difficult issues. We are to attempt new ways of communicating—expressing aspirations and love for one another, replacing wounding, sadness, lostness, and hurts of the past. Play soothing music, pray together, have the intention for peace, harmony and goodwill. Don’t be surprised if things feel out of control and/or arguments arise. We remember, before a new harmony emerges, chaos and crisis come first to clear the air. We are to be the harmonizers. Christmas evening is more harmonious, less difficult, more of what Christmas should be— radiations of love, sharing, kindness, compassion and care. Sunday, Feast Day of the Holy Family, is surprising. Wednesday is New Year’s Eve, the last day of 2014. Taurus moon, a stabilizing energy, ushers in the New Year. Happy New Year, everyone! Peace to everyone. Let us realize we are gifts radiating diamond light to one another. Living sacrificial flames!

 

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

 

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The Homeless Garden Project store. Because it is a community effort and has really useful and beautiful things, and allows you to connect with a lot of folks who are doing great work in Santa Cruz. Miriam Greenberg, Santa Cruz, UCSC Professor

 

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