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Apr 23rd
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GT Columns

Opinion

Empty Nest, Lined with Cash

Empty Nest, Lined with Cash

When I was 12, I told my friends that I didn’t intend to have kids. “Yeah right,” they said. “You’re totally the type.”

“Wanna bet?”

After long negotiations held during a Wiffle Ball game, we settled on a two-stage wager: If I’m childless by 30, they owe me $5,000. At 50, it’s $30,000. Each.

Today, the warm feeling I get looking into the soft dark eyes of the fussy baby girl in my lap is surpassed only by the relief of handing her back to her mother. Kids are interesting, but I don’t need to own one any more than I do a Rototiller. In both cases, I can always borrow one. If I want to blend in at a Pixar or teen vampire movie, consider me a free babysitter for a few hours. And when it’s time to turn the garden soil, I’ll trade you a case of beer for the loan of your machine. If it’s busted, just send over your kid with a shovel. Work builds character.

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Opinion

The Campaign Commercial You'll Never See

The Campaign Commercial You'll Never See

Two-time Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson refused to appear in televised commercial during his campaigns in 1952 and 1956, saying that doing so was beneath his dignity.

Too bad that Adlai's not on the ballot today. He'd get my vote.

Election season once was the political junkie's most exciting time of year. It was like draft day for the fantasy football fanatic.

Alas, no more. The barrage of television commercials is as depressing as it is offensive, with messaging and negativity aimed squarely at manipulating the least informed voters. Attack ads do two things: they make anyone running for office look greedy and/or crooked; they also effectively win elections. Alas, that's the problem. No one—winners or losers—emerge unscathed.

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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to Good Times

The elections are Nov. 2. Vote. In our ongoing election coverage, this week be sure to turn to News and learn more about the Santa Cruz City Council candidates, and others. It doesn’t stop there, though—we have more exclusive election coverage online, specifically a guide to candidates for the following offices at: 14th and 17th congressional districts, 27th and 28th state assembly districts, fourth district county supervisor, and Watsonville and Capitola city council candidates. Visit goodtimessantacruz.com today and learn more. Check back online after Tuesday for more post-election coverage. Onward ...

In between mulling over political candidates, eat. And to discover what foods and wines captured our interest this fall, peruse our seasonal Food & Wine issue. Turning heads at the moment: Cheryl Marquez of Tortilla Flats and Brad Briske at Main Street Garden & Cafe. They’re two local culinary gems we spotlight this week (page 18), along with several wineries and our hot list for pizzas, deals for under $11 and desserts. If you walk away from this issue without a clue where to find something good to savor, well, read it again. Enjoy.

Elsewhere, funny guys Cheech and Chong hit Santa Cruz and writer Damon Orion has an exclusive interview with the comedic duo whose films and live shows always generate laughs.

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Local Talk

What’s the most scared you've ever been?

What’s the most scared  you've ever been?

When I was little my uncle used to go outside of our bedroom window when we were going to sleep and he would start to scratch on the window. We'd think that somebody was trying to get in. I literally connot remember being more scared, it was petrifying. And then after a while we realized it was him.

Jennifer Eckert Bernau

Santa Cruz | Preschool Teacher

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Astrology

Scorpio, Voting, Nine Tests

Scorpio, Voting, Nine Tests

In Libra, we’re made aware of two polarized realities (backward or forward, past/future) so we can later make informed choice. In Scorpio we act upon our choice. Which brings us to the subject of voting (choice to vote, what we vote for). I voted early this year, making a conscious choice so the opposition wouldn’t assume power by default - by my not voting. I urge everyone to vote.  Not voting is a choice allowing the “other side” to win. Voting is part of responsible “discipleship” (Scorpio task).

Scorpio Sun initiates the autumn festivals of light in the “dark half of the year” (Halloween, All Souls, All Saints). Halloween or El Dia de los Muertos, begins the three-day festival of ghosts, goblins and spirits, good and bad, allowed to pierce the veils separating worlds (planes of consciousness). We honor the spirits, especially relatives and little ones (angels) with altars of food, marigolds, candles, copal (incense) and prayers of greeting and hope. Skeletons glide by, appear as cookies while in dark places things go “bump in the night”.
Sun and Mercury are in Scorpio. Hermes (Mercury), the messenger, sends information to humanity via the Sun. It’s a Scorpionic message, concerning Scorpio’s Nine Tests of the personality, given each year at this time, preparing us for discipleship (Scorpio & Sag), service (Capricorn & Aquarius) and saving the world (Pisces). Mars provides the tests as Pluto transforms us. With Mercury in Scorpio, communication (ours/others) can be unconsciously unkind, merciless and heartless, leading us to choose a formal study of Non-violent Communication or Compassionate Communication techniques. So we’re no longer unconsciously cruel.
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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to Good Times

The view from above is good. I had another chance to experience just that, as did many Cruzans, last weekend at a successful bash celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Santa Cruz Downtown Association—tossed atop the Rittenhouse Building. Strolling the balcony there while filming coverage of the event for GTv, it was hard not to marvel at how unique our Downtown actually is. It’s also a reminder of how much it’s endured and how the city has proven itself to be filled with inventive, determined souls committed to making some good happen here—especially after the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. A good event, all around, with Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers on hand. Plus: Stellar food and cocktails. Before heading to a fundraiser for the Derby Girls, I secretly—maybe not so secretly—wished for a Banana Republic to materialize in the vacant quarters of the Ritt. Some day, perhaps.

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Local Talk

What are the three ‘nevers’ of your life?

What are the three ‘nevers’ of your life?

 

Never take your health for granted. Never check your boyfriend’s Facebook. Never flip off lousy drivers, they might chase you.
Shannon Johnston
Santa Cruz | Restaurant Manager





 

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Opinion

Halloween

Halloween

How Many Times Can I Say ‘Sexy’?
I feel it in the air, sense it in local thrift stores and smell it on the breath of every remotely hip person in town. No, not curry—Halloween is almost upon us. Although it’s often hard to tell here, what with “keeping it weird,” “doing your own thing,” and “year-round Burning Man,” I found proof at Target: Christmas decorations side-by-side with candy corn. Trick and treat.

This won’t be a nostalgic comparison with Halloweens of my youth. And it won’t be a rant about our fabled downtown antics, either; as a fan of public outdoor gatherings, cross-dressing and martial law, it’s sort of a perfect night for me.

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Astrology

Money Standard, Values & Principles, Scorpio & United Nations Day

Money Standard, Values & Principles,  Scorpio & United Nations Day

What were the results of Santa Cruz’s meeting on alternative currency? During Venus (money) retrograde in Scorpio (everyone’s), money is at the forefront. Therefore we need to follow the worldwide economy, learn about the different currency wars. The dollar’s losing ground daily. The G20 meets November in Korea. There’s talk of a new money standard, no longer the dollar, the creation of one world currency. These are exciting times, with revolution a probability. Even if we don’t understand economics and finances, we must try and follow as best we can. Revolution only comes after everyone’s truthfully informed. Two Scorpio events this week—Full moon (Friday) Scorpio/Taurus, and Sun entering Scorpio (Saturday).

Thursday we seriously tend to tasks while experiencing a  certain sadness, choosing time and energy efficiency lest we fall down into a narrow state of discouragement. At first we’re lifted up only to plummet earthward with a practical jolt. Let’s focus these unpredictable energies by consciously preparing for Friday evening’s full moon, (last degree, 29:33 Scorpio/Libra, 6:38 p.m., Pacific time).

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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to Good Times

Are we there yet? Are we ready for 2011?  Almost? Maybe? It’s been a full year, so when somebody recently asked me what the best thing about 2010 has been so far, I just laughed. I think I needed a week to figure that one out. The best thing? Well, good things have unfolded this year, that’s for sure. I entered my 11th year here at GT and the paper celebrated year 35. So, we’re both getting up there but, hopefully, not letting anything get us down (for long). That said, after filming several festive events, flying over the area in a Cessna and really getting a profound “Big Picture” view, as well as recently emcee-ing two local events in town, I was once again reminded of how abundant the spirt of Santa Cruz, and the county it sits in, actually is—from its agriculture to the amazing array of creative souls walking around here. I’m really not trying to sound like a keynote speaker at a pro-Santa Cruz rally, I’m simply feeling compelled to count my blessings.

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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