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Apr 24th
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GT Columns

Opinion

If It’s Midnight,This Must Be A Manger

If It’s Midnight,This Must Be A Manger

It’s here again, that special time of year, which at this point in my life doesn’t feel all that special anymore. It feels like shopping. Shopping and lists of things to do, buy, wrap, ship, light, hang on a tree, cook in a casserole, write in a card, dress in a Santa suit, steal while the villagers hold hands and sing “Fah who for-aze! Fah who for-aze!” (And adding to my anxiety, due to the marketing schedule of major corporations, is my craving for a Shamrock Shake right about now. Color me confused.)

Regardless of your winter celebration of choice, there is bound to be some amount of obligation and stress attached. If not, you’re doing it wrong, and nobody’s had the nerve to tell you. Now try harder, fail bigger and get in the spirit of things.

My extended family celebrates Christmas. Personally, I belong to that special group of individuals who celebrates the social aspect of just about any celebration you throw our way, as long as there’s dip and music. You may recognize us: the Lazy Catholics, the Lazy Jews, the Lazy Pagans. We light trees, eat latkes and burn Yule logs only to retire to our normally scheduled program without so much as a spiritual hiccup. Things were probably different when we were young.

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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to the Editor

This time of year we often hear about the great efforts locals are doing to galvanize the community, strengthen bonds and raise the level of awareness about those in need, and those who are also doing great work. We had that in mind when we were crafting the idea behind this week’s cover story. Beyond spotlighting on locals who do good, we wanted to focus on one group in particular: teenagers. Were there local teens doing noteworthy work? There sure were. Beginning on page 16, take note of the five Koffman discovered. But there are plenty more. Just the other day, in fact, I came across more news of Lightfoot Industries, which is dubbed a “social enterprise” solution in that if offers entrepreneurial training for teens. Some of the teens involved in that network are making strides in impressive curriculums. Learn more at lightfootind.com. In the meantime, note those featured in this issue and keep us apprised of others doing great work by emailing [email protected]

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Local Talk

Oprah? President?

Oprah? President?
No. I don't want any more celebrity presidents. I want a president with the political knowledge and background to help us get out of this mess.
Aubrey DeRush
Zayante | Self Employed Painter

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Opinion

What Does Sustainable Actually Mean?

What Does Sustainable Actually Mean?

Sustainable. Wikipedia describes it as “the capacity to endure.” While the definition is convenient, clean and nice, how it translates into reality is highly subjective. What you think of sustainable living might be quite different from what I think. Furthermore, I find it a common capitalistic affliction to know what sustainable living is and consciously not live that way.

All the submarine and terrestrial volcanoes in the world produce roughly 200 million tons of CO2 annually and humans, through the burning of fossil fuels, production of cement and gas flaring produce 30 billion tons annually. According to the United States Geological Survey, it's equivalent to adding 8,000 medium-sized active volcanoes like Mt. Kilauea, Hawaii, to the planet. As a marine and environmental scientist, I see daily how the natural world is viewed and used as an infinitely forgiving resource or a place where you can dump or trash. I have to work in my own life to develop myself out of old habits and into more ‘sustainable’ ones. From a global perspective, I have a very high carbon footprint and from a national perspective, it’s low. It’s easy to get lost in the computations of carbon footprints and to justify consuming with responses like, “I try to be a locavore,” “I buy organic,” or “I conserve,” but we are still left with the questions: is it sustainable? And, am I doing enough?

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Astrology

Signs and Gifts, Angels and Light

Signs and Gifts, Angels and LightMercury is retrograde until the 30th. In this last week before Christmas, as many are shopping for gifts, our minds could shift quickly into overload. When considering gifts, we could dither about, concerned with what to buy, having either no clue or too many choices, or we could simply collapse into doing nothing. These are common occurrences during seasonal holidays, exacerbated this year by the Mercury retro (the mind wants to sleep) in Capricorn (while trying to be practical, orderly, disciplined). The week begins Thursday with a Taurus moon. Regarding gifts, buy the very best quality, the most beautiful and substantial.
Friday is a good day to shop. Saturday, retrograde Mercury re-enters Sag. There’s rebellion along with a v/c, afternoon through dinner. Shopping is best in the morning and through lunch. Along with quality (Taurus) add things adventurous (Sag = travel, artisinal foods, music, culture). The moon shifts to Gemini Saturday evening (through Monday). Gemini = gifts for the hands, mind, better thinking and communicating.
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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus letters to the Editor


Most of us would agree: Being a police officer is not easy work. The time and effort it takes to become an officer is one thing. Stepping into those shoes and serving the local community—and keeping it safe— on an ongoing basis is quite another. It’s just one of the reasons why our reporter wanted to go behind the scenes and explore what life was like for Santa Cruz Police. In a revealing cover story, Tom Honig unravels a tale that found him riding along with local police, sitting in on meetings and learning more about the inner workings of the department and the people that make it up. He also asks: Is Santa Cruz being well served by its police?

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Local Talk

What do you have the most faith in? Why?

What do you have the most faith in? Why?

I have the most faith in gravity, because it keeps me on my feet and grounded.

DJ Gill

Santa Cruz | ICE Agent

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Opinion

Lost in a Sea of Information

Lost in a Sea of Information

Oscar Wilde once averred, “I am not young enough to know everything.” Imagine if he tried living in this modern era of too much information. It’s impossible to keep up.

I think it’s my iPad that finally made me hit the wall. It’s an incredible device—offering more information at one sitting than anyone could have ever imagined in those days of yore where we’d sit with maybe a newspaper, a magazine or even a book.

Years ago, I went to a journalism seminar and the media expert there asked the crowd of reporters and editors whether their business was news or information. More than half said they wanted to give information to their readers—go well beyond the news and really inform the public.

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Astrology

Mercury in Cap. Plus: A Retrograde

Mercury in Cap. Plus: A Retrograde

Mercury entered Capricorn the last day of November. With Mercury in Cap our communication becomes bare bones, essentially informational. Those born with (and during transits of) natal Mercury in Cap can sound harsh, unsympathetic, insensitive, unforgiving, strict, stringent, austere and authoritarian. That is not their intention, however strict their communication sounds. Capricorn, Saturn ruled, is concerned with and thus simply goes to the "heart" (core) of all matters. Mercury in Cap speech is purposeful, methodical, resourceful, exacting and rigorous. Don't push them to speak quickly. Allow them time to gather their thoughts. Mercury in Cap has crystal clear judgment, a special authority.

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Opinion

Friend Without a Facebook

Friend Without a Facebook

Did you see The Social Network? Jesse Eisenberg plays Harvard undergrad Mark Zuckerberg, on the brink of founding the Facebook phenomenon, as a snarky, sarcastic, and rude narcissist, peering out a the world with cold-eyed disdain. When his girlfriend dumps him, all he can think of is rushing back to the dorm to go online and have his revenge. Nowadays, we call this online bullying. In 2003, it was the birth of a $41 billion empire.

I have no idea whether this portrait of Mark Zuckerberg is in any way true or accurate. But I've always found something a little creepy about the Borg-like stealth of Facebook and the way everyone needs to plug in, hook up, and drop out of real life. Resistance is futile, all right; every time I delete one invitation to join FB out of my inbox, six more pop up in its place.

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Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.

 

Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

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Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management