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Unsafe Beaches

kelpFRESH DIRT > Warning issued by county’s health services department
Last week county health officials posted warning signs at three Santa Cruz beaches notifying people to stay out of the water. The water at the three beaches, which is tested for bacteria levels each week, is unsafe to swim in due to the high levels of bacteria. Cowell Beach, Main Beach, and Rio del Mar Beach received the warning signs, which were mainly ignored by beach-goers.
Currently, County of Santa Cruz Health Services says the advisory has been lifted and the signs have been removed at Main and Rio del Mar Beaches. As of Tuesday, Aug. 16, the advisory is still in effect for Cowell Beach west of the wharf to Collin’s Cove and 100 yards east of the wharf to Lifeguard Tower Two. The county’s Health Services website says that the area is “considered unsafe for body contact.”
The high levels of bacteria are caused by the rotting kelp that lines the shores of the beaches. The kelp, which cannot be removed between Memorial Day and Labor Day because of a California Coastal Commission regulation established in 2005, provides food for flies, sand fleas, and the dangerous bacteria that has caused health officials to issue the warning. The Coastal Commission’s regulation is meant to protect those species that rely on the rotting kelp as their main food source.
This summer, researchers from Stanford University are leading a study at Cowell Beach to find out more about the poor water quality. Heal the Bay, which has also studied Santa Cruz beaches, put Cowell Beach on its “Beach Bummer” list for the second year in a row because of the high bacteria levels. In the organizations 2010-2011 “Beach Report Card,” Cowell Beach made the number one spot “as the beach with the poorest dry weather water quality in California.”
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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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