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Aug 27th
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GT Columns

Opinion

Gay Santa Cruz: Then and Now

Gay Santa Cruz: Then and Now

As we prepare to celebrate this year’s Gay Pride, now the largest annual political gathering in Santa Cruz County, it’s hard to believe that the first marches in the mid-1970s required security to protect the gutsy few out Santa Cruzans who walked down Pacific Avenue.

It was a different time locally and nationally.  Locally in the late 1970s, the university enrollment was at just over 5,000, Downtown Santa Cruz was dead after six, the Miss California Pageant would still call Santa Cruz home for another few years, and the board of supervisors and city council had conservative majorities.

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Astrology

Gemini—Directing the Wind

Gemini—Directing the Wind Thursday and Friday are the last days of Taurus—Light that transforms and uplifts. Saturday morning Sun enters Gemini—the light of interplay, expressing duality (personality level), later, synthesis (Soul level).
Each month a different light (and different task) plays upon Earth. The New Group of World Servers, studying the Ancient Wisdom teachings, using Esoteric Astrology, understands the different lights and tasks to be accomplished. While the task of Taurus is to enlighten and illuminate the mind (Buddha’s Work), Gemini’s work is, by displaying duality, to bring forth the noble wisdom of the Buddha and the Love anchored on Earth 2,000 years ago by the Great World Teacher.
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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor Plus Letters to the Editor &

American Idol: The Durb Watch

James Durbin. We can’t get you off our minds. Durbin Fever is high, especially this week, as American Idol voters whittle down the competion to the Top Three. More answers will be unveiled Thursday night so read this week’s Durb Watch (below). And stay tuned ... and tune into GTv on goodtimessantacruz.com for our special coverage of a fun outing at Pizza My Heart, where Durbin fans came out to show their support for the popular 22-year-old local singing sensation. (Keep on keeping on, James ... we’re rooting for you.)
From music, we move to ... more music. This week’s cover is a kick. Music Editor Jenna Brogan takes us inside local singing organizations—think Glee and stir—and the result proves to be very compelling. For starters, the local talent here never ceases to amaze, but the groups Brogan highlights each have their own unique style and backstory that you may find even more intriguing. Dive into the fun beginning on page 14.
And from Music, we head right into some film business. The Santa Cruz Film Festival comes to a close this weekend and the excitement is still high. The closing night film by director Rocky Romano, Ruffo, plays at 7:30 p.m. at The Rio. We garnered quite a bit of online response from last week’s cover story on Romano’s doc, which chronicles local surf icon Anthony Ruffo’s life challenges. (See Letters.) Join the convertsation online at goodtimessantacruz.com. And check out all the other film fest details at santacruzfilmfestival.org.
There’s more movie madness, particularly an upcoming film event at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19 at the Del Mar  Theatre in Downtown Santa Cruz, where there will be a screening of the new documentary The Big Uneasy. The best news? There will be a Q&A with director Harry Shearer afterward. See you there.
Thanks for reading. More soon ...


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

Major Metro Issues
Your article on Bus System Blues (GT 5/5) struck a nerve. Driving past Cabrillo College any day during the week, students are waiting for a bus, but now Metro is considering cutting more bus routes to make up for a $3 million shortfall. Meanwhile, our Regional Transportation Commission has authorized spending $22 million to widen Highway 1 for less that’s a mile between Morrissey and Soquel exits that will move rush-hour traffic exactly that far before it jams again.  Use that $22 million to keep the buses running for seven years!
Also, we should be concerned about combining a Regional Transportation Commission, whose majority has stated their number one priority is widening the highway, with a Metro Transit District who is fighting to keep public transit functioning. Some of these RTC commissioners would love to get their hands on the Metro District’s half-cent sales tax for their highway widening project that was turned down by the voters in 2004.
Paul Elerick
Co-Chair, Campaign
for Sensible Transportation
Aptos

Ruffo’s ‘Wild Ride’
Regarding last week’s cover story on Anthony Ruffo and the film about him in the Santa Cruz Film Festival, those of us succeeding in recovery all love to hear about someone else doing it. Being an old surfer who'd had a brief, pleasant encounter with Anthony at Huntington, at the pier years ago, I was sad to hear he'd gotten in trouble. Reading this great article gives me just a little more hope for the future of those in similar situations. Addiction to anything is unfortunate. Good on you, Anthony, and good luck with the legal system. You'll survive. Never fear.
Hair Brainman
Santa Cruz

Ruffo Is Inspiring
The Anthony Ruffo story is an inspiration. I remember Anthony on Cowell's beach 30 years ago and always looked up to him—he was kind of fascinating. I have the utmost respect for anyone who has the balls to confront the power of addiction, admit it and then heal it. It's a very long and painful process. Right on, Anthony. You keep on ... keepin on.
J. Poth
Santa Cruz

Jump On That Durbin Train
Regarding the Best of Santa Cruz issue and James Durbin getting the Best Singer/Performer picture in the Critics’ Picks (GT 4/28), I've been following James for the past two years and I agree with GT that, without a doubt, James is the best of Santa Cruz. I'm very happy for his success and it's fantastic that he can showcase his amazing talent, passion and love for singing on a national stage with American Idol. Remember, everyone, it's up to us to vote every Wednesday night to help James and his family achieve his dream. Go James, go.
Lawrence Rachleff
Santa Cruz

Memorial Day Deadlines
Good Times offices will be closed Monday, May 30, in observance of Memorial Day.   Offices will reopen 9 a.m. Tuesday. The following holiday deadlines will be in effect for the June 2 issue:
Display and Class Display advertising deadlines will be 4 p.m., Thursday, May 26.
Classified advertising deadline will be 11 a.m., Friday, May 27.
Editorial Calendar, Music and Events deadlines will be noon, Tuesday, May 24.



Emotions ran high last week when James sang a heartfelt rendition of “Without You,” but they ought to be even higher this week: If Durbin isn’t voted off, and makes the Top Three, then our home boy will come home this weekend for special events on Saturday, May  14. (Check out our updates online.) GTv will be on hand if the events happen, so stay tuned ... In the meantime, seeing that we think he’ll be here and that things will move forward, join us at one of the Idol viewing parties, (Wednesday nights) where we root James on: Pizza My Heart (2180 41st Ave., Capitola). Ideal Bar & Grill (106 Beach St.], Carmona’s Barbecue and Deli (1040 East Lake Ave., Watsonville) and Green Valley Grill (40 Penny Lane, Watsonville). Read our updates online every Thursday and Friday at goodtimessantacruz.com.
Opinion

A Town With No Pity

A Town With No Pity

This past winter was a big one for the flu; lots of people seemed to get hit who are usually resistant, including me. Fever, aching, fatigue, a cough ... it sucked, and I went through two rounds of it. Then a co-worker said she was starting to feel kind of sick, I started telling her what she should expect, and how much she should rest, and what she should take for it, and ... and then I recognized the look on her face, because it was one I’d been sporting myself.

What she wanted, and what I wanted when I was sick, was a little sympathy. But you don’t get that in this town, you get advice. In much of the world, it's accepted that bad things just happen sometimes, and we should give comfort to one another through the hard times and hope for better. But we're a problem-solving people. And in Santa Cruz, we’ve got more solutions to choose from than anywhere else.

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Local Talk

Is it easy to get around Santa Cruz by car? What would make it better?

Is it easy to get around Santa Cruz by car? What would make it better?

No, it's not easy to get around Santa Cruz by car and one of the major issues living on the Westside is Mission Street. People always want to make left-hand turns and there's no turn lanes for a lot of it. Also, I'd have to say the way traffic is fed onto Highway 1 at the fishhook is absolutely horrendous. I don’t have a response to that but it's diabolical.

Michael Olson

Santa Cruz | Technology Specialist

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Astrology

The Wesak Taurus Buddha Full Moon Festival

The Wesak Taurus Buddha Full Moon FestivalThe week is filled with expectation; a great festival is being prepared. Worldwide, aspirants, disciples, Initiates, holy ones, pilgrims are traveling to the Wesak Valley in the Himalayas for the yearly blessing from the Buddha, who enters our earth plane for eight minutes to distribute the Will and Love of the Father. Many of us will be there, by intention, during the night of the festival when the moon is full—Tuesday morning, May 17, 4 a.m. 
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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to the Editor &

American Idol: The Durb Watch


Capturing the world's most notorious criminal. Where do you go from there? At the moment, I'm not sure that's a real issue. After a stunning announcement Sunday night by President Barack Obama that Osama bin Laden was found and killed in Pakistan, confidence in the President has shot high (to say the least) but the emotional ripple effects of a bin Laden-less world are still playing out.

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Local Talk

If you were going to make a film, what would it be titled, and what would it be about?

If you were going to make a film, what would it be titled, and what would it be about?

 

The Shift's Going to Hit the Fan. It would be about mass global consciousness awakening on the planet.
Christine Thyden
Santa Cruz | Hair Stylist/Makeup Artist

 

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Astrology

Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Preparation

Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Preparation

Thursday is Cinco de Mayo, Gemini moon, a perfect day for festivities. Sunday is Mother’s Day. The Cancer moon calls us to nurture and nourish our mothers in ways they need and understand (not necessarily our ways and needs).
I remember one Mother’s Day my brothers took mother (a Leo) to a Lobster Hut. It was (is) also a biker (motorcycle) hangout. There were no tables inside. Set amidst boulders and teetering on a hillside were picnic tables. The winds were almost gale force. A good time was not had by mother! My three brothers wondered why. They loved it.
Wednesday, a highly charged, multi-planetary-aspected day, Mars enters Taurus in the early morning. We are serious about preserving our lives, bringing the art of living into our world as it all crashes down around us.

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Opinion

A Thriving Downtown Santa Cruz

A Thriving Downtown Santa Cruz

When I was in grade school, my classmates came up with a game that we turned into a writing assigment: “The good news is ... (fill in the blank) and the bad news is .... (fill in the blank).” And it would go on like that for, oh, 500 words or so.

That seems a good model to follow when writing about Downtown Santa Cruz. Because the bad news is that a number of stores are closing or have closed on Pacific Avenue: the Vault, Borders, Velvet Underground, Bugaboo.

But the good news is that times are changing. Changing times mean new opportunities, and already there are a few new faces showing up along the avenue: Betty Burgers’ sit-down restaurant, Legs, Verve and Stripe.

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Entering Virgo

Sun entering Virgo brings a sign and element change, from Leo’s fire to Virgo’s practical earth. Food, health, grains, service and small animals are in the news and on our minds. It’s one month till autumn. Pumpkins and persimmons are ripening. Venus is in Leo. We radiate warmth; we’re generous, playful and affectionate. Everyone shows off in an ardent, passionate, warm-hearted, romantic and over-dramatic way, reflecting Leo’s fiery nature. Think of life as Shakespeare wrote: life is a play, we are its actors on the same stage together.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of August 22

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Back to Silicon Beach

With a new wave of startups, the future of Santa Cruz tech looks more promising than ever
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Outdoor Feasts

The next Mole and Mariachi Festival, Grazing on the Green and a review of Route 1 Farms last dinner

 

How should Santa Cruz develop downtown around the San Lorenzo River?

Santa Cruz | Artist/Show Promoter

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

A Cab To Be Coveted

I first tasted Villa del Monte’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at a Fourth of July party, where the hosts had bought a case of it because they love it and didn’t want to run out. It’s one of those wines that will grab you—in the best way—with its full body and rich fruit characteristics.