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Feb 12th
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FEMA Relief Denial Hits Close To Home

floodblogThe damages suffered by Santa Cruz County as a result of the heavy storming and flooding this past March have yet to be funded and alleviated. A lack of reserve funds and a whopping $1.5 million in damages for Capitola alone and upwards of $17 million countywide have left our region, and other affected areas in California, seeking federal aid.

However, Gov. Jerry Brown’s request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a major disaster declaration (and the relief funds along with it) was denied on Tuesday, June 21. According to Veronica Verde of FEMA’s external affairs, “The denial was based on the weather reports demonstrating that there were three separate storms in different areas at different times, not continuous or severe enough to necessitate assistance. Also, the situation wasn’t beyond the capacity of the state and local governments.”

The City of Capitola has already spent almost $1 million in flood repairs to public property, exhausted the city’s emergency reserves and has also tapped into their contingency reserve. City officials felt that FEMA assistance was the only option left. Had the request been accepted, the federal government (generally) would have taken on 75 percent of the damages “and in most cases, more than that,” Verde says. That relief would have been distributed to counties based on specific need. A disaster declaration to the federal government must come with at least $44 million in damages. Altogether, the 17 California districts impacted by the storm damage racked up a $44.5 million price tag—just making the cut.

Assemblymember Bill Monning (D-27th District) says he is dissapointed with the denial and intends to work with the governor’s office to push for an appeal of FEMA’s decision. Monning has seen the storm damage first hand and says he is taking it upon himself to work on the people’s behalf.

“See, someone sitting in a desk in Washington D.C. has no idea what’s really going on and it is my job to relay that message to those who don’t understand,” Monning tells GT.

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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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