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Dec 20th
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GT Columns

Astrology

Sealed in the Book of Life

Sealed in the Book of LifeWe’re coming closer to Halloween. Who or what energies will each of us personify? Saturday is Yom Kippur (In the “Days of Awe” the Day of Atonement, Forgiveness, the holiest day of the Jewish year). On Yom Kippur, we seek and offer forgiveness. At the end of Yom Kippur our “fate is sealed” in the Book of Life. Let us offer forgiveness.
Sunday Venus enters Scorpio. We give ourselves away for one breathless moment. We surrender to mystery, bliss and eternity. Then the Nine Tests of Scorpio intervene. Monday, Columbus (or Indigenous) Day, is full of parades (5th Avenue; the Bronx; Chicago, New Jersey, etc.). The new world was seen by Columbus for the first time in 1492. It was magnificent.
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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the EditorPlus Letters to the Editor

Well ... what is there to say in nine words? (That was nine words by the way.) The winners of our Nine-Word Novel Contest have plenty to say, in fact. Back in August, as part of our ongoing “Contest Mania,” we put out a call to readers to submit their nine-word creations and the response was massive. This week, the winners of the contest bask in the spotlight. How many winners are there? Nine—naturally. Take a peek and let us know your thoughts. (You can use more than nine words.)
Onward ... This week also marks the unveiling of our annual Fall Home & Garden Issue. We illuminate the things that will enhance both your home and garden this fall. Take note of what some locals are doing to spruce up their lawns—and, really, reinvent them altogether. There are also some real estate tips for home owners and home buyers. Speaking of ... be sure to turn to our Real Estate section.
Home. What does it mean to you? When I was growing up on Altgeld Street in Chicago, I remember home equating to comfort. My Polish mother told me stories that mirrored that. Apparently, I was so comfortable with my surroundings that, at the age of 5 or 6, I would sit on the front steps of our porch and inform everybody that passed by what was happening in our house. “Hello ... my mother is making Polish dumplings inside;”  “Hi, my name is Greg and there’s freshly washed underwear hanging on the clothes line in our backyard;” “Did you know that my mother is giving up smoking but my father can’t stop?” I suppose, even back then, I liked reporting the “news.” Either that, or I was really into babbling on. (There’s a good indication I’m doing that now.)
But back to the idea of “home.” Ponder it this week. Where are you most “at home.”
Until next time ...


Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief

Letters to the Editor

More On That Land Issue ...
While I’m glad to hear KB Homes has declined to build directly on an apparent burial ground, what strikes me the most about this issue is the reminder that our entire society is built on stolen land that was once sacred to those who lived here before us, just as all land was sacred in every corner of the world to people who lived on it as hunter-gatherers or primitive agriculturalists. In effect we are just setting aside a tiny patch of grass amidst a huge area long-ago stolen, razed, and built over.
My hope is that the discovery of Native people’s remains will inspire us to think about not only the dysfunctional relationship our society has with the Earth that supports us, but also the persistence of racism from our history into the present day. Once enslaved and conquered, black and brown people today are still the poorest, most-polluted, and most highly imprisoned populations in our society. I hope the movement to stop a house from going up over the bones of indigenous people will spill over into solidarity with the living indigenous populations in our county struggling against anti-immigrant programs like “Secure Communities,” and to protect themselves from dangerous pesticides like methyl iodide.
Steve Schnaar
Santa Cruz

Transformational?
Having lived as a trans person for 14 years now, I can't help but feel collectively "used" when members of the cis-community promote themselves as the "voice of the transgender community.” (See GT 9/22, “Transfiguraitons.”)
Artists such as Jana Marcus must be aware that those of us who struggle daily with job, housing, and accommodations discrimination, not to mention violent attacks, will find her work patronizing, arrogant, and commercially opportunistic.
When I spoke with Marcus at a recent event at Camouflage and she explained she was the "voice" for people who have no voice, I made a point to assure her that we have a voice, many voices: Jan Morris, Leslie Feinberg, Kate Bornstein, Jennifer Finney Boylan, and Julia Serano to name just a few.
Imagine how members of any marginalized community must feel when others who are not so oppressed presume to speak for them—and capitalize on their identities. I'll tell you how it feels: it's insulting and it hurts.
Incidentally, you used the term transgenders (sic) in your editorial. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) media guide points out that this term is considered problematic. Transgender is not a noun but an adjective.  The correct term is transgender people. Yours in the struggle for equality ...
Alyson Bloom
Santa Cruz

Best Online Comments

On ‘Bonfire Stories’ ...
What a brave and compassionate person Heidi Boynton is, and what an inspiration. Thank you for sharing her remarkable story.
—Jean Walter

On ‘Looking At What’s Sacred’ ...
You can contact Indian Canyon and Ms. Sayers at indiancanyon.org [for more information.), but to naysayers, the real story here is the myth building, from dehumanizing Indians to Weapons of Mass Destruction lies, mainstream society has in its DNA. This concerns all of us one way or another: we all live here on this planet right now. California Indians know this particularly well. After all, slavery, genocide and ethnic cleansing happened "right here in River City." No: son.
—Russ

I hope more of us will listen to what she and our mother are telling us. I believe we are all endowed with one half million or more years of hard-won intelligence, buried in our cells. Most of us have just forgotten to listen.
—Dan Bjerk
Local Talk

They say the recession is over. Is it?

They say the recession is over. Is it?
I've definitely seen a pick up in spending in the store and I think people are less careful with their disposable income, and there seems to be a general feeling of optimism. We're up in our sales.
Suna Lock
Santa Cruz | Business Owner
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Astrology

L’shanah Tovah (A Sweet Year to All)

L’shanah Tovah (A Sweet Year to All)We have several religions festivals this week, reflecting Autumn and the balancing sign of Libra. Festivals anchor and stabilize us during our long sojourn on Earth. Thursday is Michaelmas, feast day of Michael the Archangel. Earth’s protector, he stands with a sword throughout all of Autumn. In these transition times, we, too, must stand with a sword. Thursday (sundown) is Rosh Hashanah (Jewish new year). Apples and challah are dipped in honey to ensure a sweet new year. We hear the greeting “L’shanah tovah,” May you (be inscribed) have a good (sweet) year.” By participating in all religious festivals, we learn humanity’s religious history and are prepared for the Aquarian new world religion (based on astrology).
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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the EditorPlus Letters to the Editor

Santa Cruz County enjoys the fall season. Often, it feels as if there are too many events you just can’t pass up. Last weekend, it was the 8th Annual Gourmet Grazing on the Green, as well as the Santa Cruz County Fair. This weekend, it’s the Ethnic Dance Festival and FashionArt Santa Cruz. In other words, load up on carbs and have plenty of water on hand—it’s best to have sustenance before embarking out this weekend. Learn more about the Ethnic Dance Festival, as well as other dance-related matters, including the new things unraveling at Motion Pacific/Motion at the Mill. And, like many others eager to witness living, breathing, catwalk-walking art, take note of FashionArt Santa Cruz on Saturday, Sept. 24.
From dance and fashion, we move to photography, and the mindbending journey local photographer Jana Marcus found herself on more than seven years ago, when she decided to embark on a creative mission to shed more light on transgenders and their journeys. The result was the award-winning photography show, “Transfigurations.” Now, the show has been made into book form, and Marcus is set to speak at several local booksignings in the coming weeks, including a Capitola Book Café talk on Thursday, Sept. 29. Dive into this week’s cover story to learn more about Marcus’ journey and the evolution of her work.
In the meantime, in News this week, News Editor Elizabeth Limbach caught up with PETA president Ingrid Newkirk for an insightful conversation. It’s illuminating, to say the least. Also in News, learn how one local woman is surprising all by living (well) with a debilitating blood disorder that has some baffled.
Speaking of health ... October—arriving sooner than you can blink—is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Find out more about that and other issues at womencaresantacruz.org.
Thanks for reading. Have a
healthy week ...

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Letters to the Editor

Sovereignty After All?
After reading the Raw Food Sovereignty article (GT 9/8) I was in agreement with Mr. Coonerty. If you have a family and the land, why should the government have the right to tell you if you can have animals or grow a garden? As a child my family needed the garden to feed us in the winter when my parents were unable to get to work due to weather. And large families need all the help they can get. More now than in the ’60s and ’70s.
Seems to me that the government has to have their fingers into everything, even our private lives. Where is our freedom of choice in what we do if we are told we can't have herd shares for those who want them?
If the government is so good at planning, why are we at such a high employment rate and the cost of everything is so high that some of us have to do without, or choose between food, shelter, or clothing? These are my private feelings. I use a system at the libaray because I live on less than $800 per month. Can you?
S. Empson
Santa Cruz

Missiles and More ...
Thank you for allowing Debra Ellis to correct what she claims was a misquote (GT 5/15). The bottom line though is that more than 10,000 rockets and missiles have been fired at Israeli civilians from Gaza. Some are homemade from material that could be used for construction and some are imported from Iran and elsewhere. Ms. Ellis must know that if there was no naval blockade, even more weapons would reach the hands of Hamas terrorists. Subsequent to her misadventure, the United Nations Palmer Report concluded that the blockade is legal under international law because of the attacks from Gaza. She might not be aware of a claim that weapons are being sent by sea but that just might confirm the effectiveness of the blockade. After all. she must be aware of Iranian promises to arm Hamas with missiles, or perhaps the human rights agencies neglected to tell her.
Gil Stein
Aptos

Best Online Comments

On ‘Undoing Racism ...
America offers opportunity to make dreams come true. Why some people get lost in the process many times is their own fault.  I know a Mexican woman who is 35 years old and going on child number seven as we speak. Why someone has to procreate so much is beyond my comprehension—not in these times, not with this economy, it doesn't make sense. If you ask her opinion about life, she ether gives you some divine excuse for what she is doing or she blames others for not “helping her enough.” It doesn't matter how much taxes we pay, there isn't going to be enough at this rate. The list goes on. They just think of the moment but never see the big picture to see the future of these kids they are bringing [into the world]. Are they going to become good or bad people? Are they going to become bitter and resentful or will they be able to grow and learn and be successful? People don't want to change their ways, they just want others to change for them.
—Vivariva


Everyone talks about this race problem and says that this “race” problem will be over when the Third World pours into every white country and only into white countries. Everyone says the final solution to this race problem is for every white country and only white countries to “assimilate,” that is, inter-marry, with all those non-whites. According to the UN, this is genocide. They claim they are anti-racist, but what they are is anti-white. Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.
—Tom Leggett

On  the Ohlones and ‘Looking at What’s Sacred’ ...
This is all so Santa Cruzish typically hypocritical. Find one body and it's sacred? Oh please. Talk to any contractor who has built for years in the county, they can tell you stories. Seven bodies were taken out of Capitola Vacatican court. The knoll is about as sacred as Cache Creek.
—Realist
Local Talk

If you found out that you had one year to live, what would you do?

If you found out that you had one year to live, what would you do?
I would go to Paris, buy my mom a
house, go skydiving. What else is on my bucket list? Have a baby, adopt three, and meet Obama.
Rosalie Castro
Santa Cruz | Front Desk Manager
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Astrology

Autumn Equinox & the Dark Half of the Year

Autumn Equinox & the Dark Half of the YearFriday early morning, accompanied by morning stars Mars & Jupiter, the Sun enters Libra. Autumn, the Soul half of the year, begins.
We are in the “dark half of the year.” From now on  the amount of available light each day lessens, the days become shorter and darker. The part of us that longs for rituals (Ray 7) to protect and anchor us on Earth (Spirits in matter), looks toward the Festivals of Lights soon to begin. Autumn Equinox, a moment (day and night) in time when there is balance of light and dark, expansion and contraction, between summer and winter, is bittersweet. It holds a different sort of promise. That hidden within darkness is Light—the significance of the Soul Year … that light (Soul) is hidden within the darkness of matter (the personality as its vehicle).
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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to the Editor

When you think of fall and the change of seasons, no doubt images of lively festivals come to mind. The brightest of the bunch has to be the Santa Cruz County Fair, which runs through Sept. 18. The theme this year: Dancing With the Steers. (Good one.) There’s so much unfolding at this bold event this year, it’s challenging to list it all effectively—everything from talent competitions to good ol’ traditional county fair fun. Check out santacruzcountyfair.com for more information.

In other “events”-related news, it’s hard to pass up FashionArt Santa Cruz. What a curious creative beast this is. Now in its sixth year, the engaging “art as fashion” event continues to bloom. This week’s cover story (page 14) highlights some of the people behind the scenes. But mark your calendar: The night to remember is Sept. 24 at the Civic. See fashionartsantacruz.com for more details and pick up GT next week for even more details.

There are insightful bons mots in this week’s guest column, penned by Tom Honig (page 6). Is the past ... in the past? Or do we continue to drag into the present? Those are a few of the thoughts Honig reflects on, and heads into political waters a bit, noting that, “Republicans are fixated on Ronald Reagan and the ‘80s—which itself was a period of nostalgia. Democrats are harkening back to FDR and JFK and LBJ.” Read on and send us your thoughts at [email protected]

In the meantime, it’s the middle of September—yes, already!—so brace yourself: the season of “reflection” is afoot. Relax. This doesn’t have to be turbo-therapy—although sometimes it’s good to buckle up and get over things quickly. But it never hurts to take time to reflect upon the state of one’s life and the world, for that matter. So, as you look back over what has already unraveled in 2011, what stands out thus far? This week, take some time to ponder it all.

Until next time ...

 

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


Letters to the Editor

Some Clarity About ‘Hope’
As a passenger on the Audacity of Hope I was appreciative of Good Times publishing an article about the International Flotilla II— Stay Human. It is critical to raise awareness about the crisis in Gaza, so thank you for having done so. There was one critical error in the article, however. I will share with you the correction as I noted it on my website: The article did an excellent job of capturing part of my experience aboard the Audacity of Hope, with the exception of one significant error. A misquote was printed, leaving the opposite impression from what was reported. I was incorrectly quoted as saying, “When asked about Israel’s claim that the sea blockade is necessary to keep weapons out of the hands of Hamas, Ellis says she is not aware of evidence that weapons are reaching Hamas, but is aware of evidence cited by numerous human rights agencies that the blockade is punishing a civilian population.”
What I did state is, “I am not aware of evidence supporting a claim of weapons being sent to Gaza by sea, but I am aware of evidence, cited by numerous human rights agencies, that the blockade is punishing a civilian population.” In appreciation,
Debra Ellis
Santa Cruz


Getting Clear About La Bahia
The statements in Local Talk (8/25) reveal a lack of understanding of the role of the Coastal Commission regarding the proposed La Bahia hotel. In this case, the Commission's Central Coast Staff concluded that (1) the existing foundation does not meet current building codes, is vulnerable to damage from a significant earthquake, and denies access to the disabled; (2) demolition of the old building is consistent with the land-use-plan amendment; (3) public views from the wharf, West Cliff Drive and other points will be maintained; and (4) the new hotel will enhance public access to the coast for both locals and visitors.
These are the facts and they do matter. Read the Staff Report on the Coastal Commission's web site. Two votes stood in the way of this project, which was overwhelmingly supported in our community after years of a thorough, open public process, including hundreds of hours of public hearings. Mark Stone and one other commissioner could have chosen to embrace rather than to ignore the report of its own staff. Apparently they do not trust our community to decide what's best for the majority of its citizens.
Robert deFreitas
Santa Cruz

Best Online Comments

On the Miki Dora cover story...
The early memories you describe are both vivid and real. I do remember him coming to Santa Cruz and the stir he caused ... I also followed Dora and the dream I saw him in France in the later years and yes he was trouble ... An icon yes and memories to last a life time good or bad.
—Steve Plant

On Nina Simon and MAH ...
As another non-artist art activist I read the interview with the whole of the allied arts in mind. How to make art relevant to a whole community. If art segregates there is a problem, not the least of which is its sustainability. Is anyone familiar with a think tank on the issue of democratizing art? I should like to compare notes and develop something fresh. The line between formal and informal art is not a healthy one.
—Stephen Scanlon

On Food Justice and FoodWhat?! ...
I am just appalled by how much information the produce farms are putting on their product! I only eat organic foods from Trader Joe’s, Staff of Life and Whole Foods when we need to go shopping. My dad is always picky about the chicken he buys from these places, now I know why. Help keep our farms chemical free!
—sonofthesungodApollo

This is such a great resource for people interested in organic farming, or even for someone who is just moving from home and wanting to start growing there own food. I think it is such a blessing that students have acess to something as productive and green-promoting as this program.
—Shoshana Carver


Local Talk

What’s the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter?

What’s the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter? I'm not sure there is a difference between the two. I think they're both fighting for what they think is right for their people, tribe, culture, or whatever it is they're fighting for. It's the marketing. Terrorist versus the freedom fighters, which sounds better to you?
Tracy Spears
Santa Cruz | Marketing

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Opinion

Time to Forget the Past?

Time to Forget the Past?

My grandmother had so little interest in the past that it used to frustrate me beyond belief. Here was a woman who was born in the era of horse-drawn carriages and she lived long enough to witness man’s landing on the moon.

I longed to hear her stories about horses delivering ice in San Francisco, or even what it was like to prevent her son—my father—from an early death in the influenza epidemic of 1919. Or anything at all from her rich background

But she had no interest in the “good old days.” Instead, she preferred to talk about how she didn’t trust Richard Nixon, or even more—why I wasn’t getting better grades in college.

Read more...
 
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Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
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Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire