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Apr 27th
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Crime Time: Why Field Sobriety Tests Are Unreliable

If you get pulled over by an officer and he or she suspects that you’ve been drinking, you will be asked to perform a series of field sobriety tests (FSTs). The purpose of the FST is to judge whether or not your mental and physical abilities are too impaired by alcohol for you to drive safely. There are many different kinds of FSTs, but the three main ones are the horizontal gaze nystagmus (AKA the eye test), the one-leg stand, and the walk and turn. These three FSTs were deemed the most reliable by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). The problem is that they are not reliable. In fact, many people have been falsely accused and/or convicted of DUIs based on their poor performance during a field sobriety test.

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Astrology

Chinese New Year, 2014 - Green Wood Horse (馬 午)

Chinese New Year, 2014 - Green Wood Horse (馬 午)

Chinese New Year is China’s Spring Festival. Last week in the California woodlands, I saw the first blooms of quince - traditional on Chinese New Year altars. Chinese New Year begins at new moon, ends at the full moon Lantern Festival. This year the full moon Lantern Festival is also Valentine’s Day. A confluence of celebrations.

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Editors Note

From The Editor

From The Editor

Plus Letters To the Editor


That proposed Hyatt Hotel in Santa Cruz is still generating buzz. As reported last week, the 106-room enterprise is forcing many locals to consider the traffic and safety implications it might have in the Lower Ocean Street neighborhood of Santa Cruz. Ponder this week’s letters and send us your thoughts—and let’s see where the dialogue takes us.

 

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Local Talk

What do you think the role of public art is, or could be, in our community?

What do you think the role of public art is, or could be, in our community?

The art in this community that we have, [like] Tom Scribner's statue, is a gathering place—as is a lot of the fine sculpture. I think it’s a part of the community that brings us all together, and I hope that we have a lot more of it.

John Sandidge
Santa Cruz | DJ

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Sponsored Columns

What the New Mortgage Guidelines Mean for You

What the New Mortgage Guidelines Mean for You

By Suzy Rodoni

There’s been a lot of discussion about the new mortgage guidelines that came into effect earlier this year. The new guidelines are part of the Dodd-Frank Act, which passed in 2010 in response to the financial crisis, and have been put into place in order to make sure that borrowers can afford to repay mortgages. The question most people have is whether or not the new guidelines will make it more difficult to acquire a mortgage. Having spent over twenty years as a lender, I follow guideline changes very closely, and, although I think it’s important for buyers to understand the new guidelines, I don’t believe the guidelines will make it harder to qualify for a mortgage.

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Astrology

Aquarius, Waters of Life

Aquarius, Waters of Life

The Sun is in Aquarius. The new Age is the Age of Aquarius. Humanity is Aquarius. The New Group of World Servers, at the threshold of each morning, stands together calling humanity’s Soul forth. Aquarius, the Water Bearer, “waters of life poured forth for thirsty humanity,” expresses the Soul of Humanity. The characteristics, qualities and nature of Aquarius (the Age of) leading humanity toward its collective purpose the next 2,000 years. Aquarius will color and impulse all activities, directing humanity to the Path of Return.

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Local Talk

What is your advice, or hope, for the new City of Santa Cruz Water Director Rosemary Menard?

What is your advice, or hope, for the new City of Santa Cruz Water Director Rosemary Menard?

I hope that she, when thinking about it, thinks long term.

Allison Harre
Santa Cruz | Psychotherapist

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Editors Note

From The Editor

From The Editor

Plus Letters To the Editor


A 106-room hotel, business, traffic, safety issues and more seem to have collided recently as plans to erect the Hyatt Place Hotel in the Lower Ocean Street neighborhood of Santa Cruz move forward. It’s all captured in this week’s main news story, beginnning on page 6. A number of locals claim that they were not given enough say in the matter when the planning of the hotel was discussed in a recent community meeting. On the flipside, the project would usher in the first Hyatt hotel in Santa Cruz. Read on—there’s more to absorb. And send us your thoughts to [email protected]

 

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Astrology

White Magic, David Spangler & More

White Magic, David Spangler & More

Event! Our Esoteric Astrological Institute will participate in Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History’s Third Friday Event (Magic!) between 4-8 p.m. Jan. 17. Our Theme is “White Magic.” Come see us!
Now turning our attention to the waters of the world. There’s been a controversy concerning the safety of the Fukushima radiation pouring into the Pacific, affecting the West Coast, the fish, all life forms and the jet stream. As the Fukushima (pro/con) discussions continued, a quiet and very unusual message appeared last week on Facebook from author, spiritual teacher, Findhorn Fellow David Spangler, (davidspangler.com).

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Editors Note

From The Editor

From The Editor

Plus Letters To the Editor


Bigger, they often say, is better. There’s Big Mac, Big Money and a gaggle of other bigs out there (Big Trouble?). But what about Big Data? It may be challenging to wrap one’s mind around the concept, but as the world heads deeper into the the higher realms of technology,  large and complex quantities of digitally stored information is suddenly capturing some attention. But how does it all get harnessed? It is one of the things that Staff Writer Joel Hersch explores in this week’s cover. Timely—after all, data is so quickly produced and stored these days. But take note that the article also asks: At what point does Big Data become too big? Read on ...

 

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We Can Rebuild You

A look back at how downtown Santa Cruz recovered from the 1989 earthquake

 

International Earth Day—Mother Earth Day

Every April 22, humanity celebrates International Mother Earth Day and Earth Day. As more than a billion people participate in Earth Day activities every year, Earth Day has become the world’s largest civic observance. The massive concern to build right relations between humanity and the living being we call Earth is evidence of humanity’s love of the Mother. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 22 International Mother Earth Day, with a significant resolution affirming “the interdependence existing among human beings, other living species (the kingdoms—mineral, plant, animal and human) and the planet itself, the Earth which we all inhabit.” The Earth is our home. Celebrating Earth Day helps us define new emerging processes (economic, social, political) focused on the well-being of the kingdoms. Through these, humanity seeks to raise the quality of life, foster equality and begin to establish right relations with the Earth. We dedicate ourselves to bringing forth balance and a relationship of harmony with all of nature. Learn about planting a billion trees (the Canopy Project); participate in 1.5 billion acts of green. Disassociation (toward Earth) is no longer viable. We lose our connection to life itself. Participation is viable—an anchor, refuge and service for all of life on Earth. Visit earthday.org; harmonywithnatureun.org; and un.org/en/events/motherearthday for more information. From Farmers Almanac, “On Earth Day, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, contact with the soil, companionship with nature! Go barefooted. Walk through woods, find wildflowers and green moss. Remain outside, no matter the weather!” Nature, Earth’s most balanced kingdom, heals us. The New Group of World Servers is preparing for the May 3 Wesak Buddha Taurus solar festival. We prepare through asking for and offering forgiveness. Forgiveness purifies and like nature, heals.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Mission Critical

How reading Lisa Jensen’s reviews taught me to love film
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Oral Fixations

Blown away by a Tuesday night dinner at Oswald

 

What would you like to see a TED talk about?

Hydrogen-gas cars that are coming this summer. Scott Oliver, Santa Cruz, Professor

 

Sarah’s Vineyard

Sarah’s Vineyard of Gilroy is known for crafting fine wines—and one of my all-time favorites is its Chardonnay. But this time, its Viognier has my vote.

 

Munch

East Coast meets West Coast in new meat lover’s paradise