Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 07th
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GT Columns

Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to the Editor

Do you ever have the feeling that Santa Cruz is just one big elementary school and the Santa Cruz Civic is its multi-purpose room? A colleague joked about that the other day but then I got to thinking: Yes, there are times when, in fact, I do feel exactly that way. For years, I’ve wondered why Santa Cruz could not create a viable performing arts complex. (Or a charming boutique hotel right in the heart of Downtown—The El Palomar?) Sure, there’s the wonderful Crocker Theater over at Cabrillo College, and a terrific theater space up at UC Santa Cruz, where Shakespeare Santa Cruz and many other shows unfold over the course of the year.

Local Talk

What are three great summer meals you've had recently?

What are three great summer meals you've had recently? Pork chops with barbecued peaches and creamy polenta, my wife made that. Local salmon barbecued at home for a birthday dinner. And a miso halibut over mango fried rice. Again, the wife. Loving it!
Will Kahn
Santa Cruz | Recording Engineer


From Water to Fire— Mercury Retro & Leo New Moon

From Water to Fire— Mercury Retro & Leo New MoonWe’ve left the waters of Cancer and find ourselves in the heated sign of kings and queens, of Lions, the Sphinx, Sirius, and the giant star, Regulus, at the heart of Leo.  Leo is the “heart of matter” from which our life force emanates. Knowing this about Leo, we begin to understand the depth, breadth and dramatic life force of Leo (Sun, Rising, Moon, Mars).
Leo is fixed, steady pulsating fire. Leo, on the personality-building level, creates dictators not in touch with love or Divine Will, commanding others from their undeveloped self. Let us see them as in
training. These are their words, “I rule as a right of my presence in any situation. Let other forms exist. I rule because I am!”
When directed by the Soul (consciousness, the Sun (the Father) streams into the heart creating Divine Inspiration, uniting Will with Love Leos and leaders. Great leaders rule with Will and Love.
Editors Note

From the Editor

From the EditorPlus Letters to the Editor

There was a time during the fourth grade when I played hooky. (Yeah, I was going through something.) I’d like to say that I used the time off from classes productively—you know, as in catching up reading “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” or something like that—but I think I caught up on reruns of Love American Style and, sadly, eating too many cheese sandwiches and leftover meatloaf. Occasionally, I’d escape into a fantasy world and act out many of the wonderful scripts playing out in my young mind. There were many afternoons where I re-enacted a gripping story about an unlikely hero in a far-off land that would soon be forced to save the day. Years later, when Star Wars came out, I couldn’t help draw (minor) comparisons.
Local Talk

What businesses would you like to see come to Downtown Santa Cruz?

What businesses would you  like to see come to Downtown Santa Cruz?

I [would] like to see a lot of independent stores around here—to keep it local and not have as many chain stores in Downtown Santa Cruz. They have a better feel to them. More record stores and book stores.

Alex Valdez

Watsonville | Greeter/Usher


The Strange Journey of La Bahia

The Strange Journey of La Bahia

If you want to understand the politics of coastal California, look no further than the proposed La Bahia Hotel project in Santa Cruz.

You’ll be hearing a lot about the proposal as it heads to the state Coastal Commission for approval next month during the commission’s August meeting in Watsonville on Aug. 11, 12 and 13.

The La Bahia project has been much debated, and it’s a big deal in Santa Cruz. But beyond that, it’s an instructive tale about how awkward California’s political institutions really are.


Economic Intelligence, the Holy Spirit & Liberation

Economic Intelligence,  the Holy Spirit & Liberation


As of this writing severe weather (heat, sink holes, flash floods, droughts, etc) is occurring in many places around the country while our U.S. government is deadlocked about the state (debts, taxes, etc.) of our economy (Ray 3). During Cancer’s full moon meditation Thursday night, those participating in the Kalachakra Initiation and full moon meditation in Washington DC saw the president’s helicopter take off and fly over the city. He flew into the Light of the Cancer full moon. We hope this gave him the strength and courage to decide what is for the greatest good. We call forth the Law of Ancient Dominating Good and the Forces of Light to flow into and influence the U.S. government.
The financial disarray (achieving a harmony through Conflict, Ray 4) is not surprising. Saturn in Libra (both Ray 3 of Economic Intelligence) is squaring the U.S. Sun in Cancer in the second house of finances and values. Squares challenge us into a new direction. Saturn, Dweller on the Threshold, highlights obstacles to intelligent success. Saturn, exalted in Libra, calls for balance. Opportunity is given if we make responsible decisions.

Editors Note

From the Editor

From the EditorPlus Letters to the Editor

Face it, your face was perfectly designed so that you can laugh. Try this at home—totally safe. In the meantime, it never hurts to laugh at others. (Relax, I mean, in a the good way.) GT writer Kim Luke explores that and much more in this week’s cover story, in which she asks: “What’s So Funny?” Like ... really? What is? Where’s the “funny” in Santa Cruz? Is there any? Or do we, as a collective, take things far too seriously? (Snap out it.) Experience Luke’s journey beginning.
As for me, I’ve been amused by several things lately. My mood swings notwithstanding—I am a walking miracle having taken no prescription meds in my entire life, although this may be the season to start—I found myself dropping off some mail to somebody the other day. The man that answered the door looked like he goes to the gym seven times a week. “Huh—you look like you go to the gym seven times a week,” I joked. He shot me a look. “I do,” he said, with all seriousness and invited me in to exchange our swapped mail. I took one look inside the man’s home and was taken aback. Gym man was a hoarder. Everything was unkempt. Clothes everywhere, boxes stacked to the ceilings. Old newspapers and a Windex bottle here—I’m sure it wasn’t touched in three years—a bunch of dirty laundry there. Old magazines strewn about. How, I wondered, could a person who is so exact and particular about their own body, somebody who goes to great lengths to keep it in order, be so disordly, so sloppy in his home? All this to say, psychologically, I found it funny. I find us—that’s right, we humans—to be funny. Funniest of all? Look in the mirror. If you can’t laugh at yourself, well, the time has come.
Don’t freak out. Just get over yourself.
In the meantime, find yourself some “funny” this week ...

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

You Say Potato ...
Regarding the mountain biking story, while I rode in those hills as a kid, we used to ride up from Santa Cruz through UCSC and then down the hill. This was back when bikes were heavier than now so that is not an issue. What we have now are truckloads (just drive Hwy 9 and check out the parking lots) rallying up Glengarry (where my family lives) like it's a free "bike lift." Some neighbors think that there’s an underground taxi truck scenario happening, but it doesn't matter. What does matter is the amount of destruction that is happening to private and state land. The other excuse, "there are no signs" is moot because everybody knows that it's illegal to ride up there. Ripping signs out and playing stupid is vandalism and perpetuates the problem.
Many of us in the neighborhood didn't even know there was a meeting about this problem, and if we did there would have been more land owners that would have described an abuse that needs to stop. This is not Squaw Valley, this is San Lorenzo Valley - respect the locals and the environment.
John Hardy
Santa Cruz

Best Online Comments

On Kyer Wiltshire/’Nice Shot, Man’ by J.D. Ramey
Thanks for this interesting article. Wiltshire’s book makes me smile every time I pick it up. What is his secret? The answer perhaps lies in this quote I came across a while ago: "I think the best pictures are often on the edges of any situation, I don't find photographing the situation nearly as interesting as photographing the edges. ~William Albert Allard, "The Photographic Essay”
Kyer, keep up the good work!
Peter Cornelius

Boobie fetish yes, art no. Shame on you Good Times. What’s next—Thomas Kinkade? This is not good photography and his web site is lots of just tits or just an ass in a thong. No face or body. Art erects the mind, porn erects the d*ck.
John Cunningham

On ‘Migration Destinations’ by Amy Coombs
Wow what wonderful research you’re doing to protect our marine mammals. We understand that knowledge is power. And we need power to conserve and protect our ocean life that depends on sciencetists to educate the public and big businesses.
How many endangered and extinct species have been saved by researchers and marine biologists?
Keep up the great work and thanks for educating the public on your findings. It's because of knowledge like this, we can make new policies that protect our oceans and keep them clean and healthy.
Sabrina and Paris

Why don't you guys just leave these poor creatures alone and don’t put any stuff on them to try to know where they are. What if somebody put a thing on you so they know where you are at all times—wouldn't you hate that? because I now I would. Thank you for listening and hopefully you listen to my advise.
Sam Kim

On ‘Wines, Vines and Our Economic Times’ by Jessi Hamel
I started taking Sue's wine classes (at Cabrillo) in 2006, and haven't stopped. I really did get sucked in. They were awesome! And hard. As a result, I sold my business in 2009 and changed careers. Now I work full time at MJA Vineyards doing all the PR, marketing, events and wine club management. There's no way I'd have this job without taking the wine classes. The business relationships and friends I have now are all because of my love for wine.
I'm in a winemaking group that started as a result of the winemaking class that Sue helped create. We started making our own wines during the 2009 vintage and have increased our production each year. We'll enter our wines into the County Fair this year in the amateur category.
To say that wine classes is frivolous is ridiculous. Ask any of us.
Go to Facebook: "Save Wine Education at Cabrillo" to post comments and help support the wine classes.
Cathy Bentley-Smith
Local Talk

What do you think about patchouli?

What do you think  about patchouli? It's easy to get mixed up with B.O.,
therefore I have a negative response to it. But to each their own.
Lisette Cooper
Santa Cruz | Student/Mother


Full Moon and a Teleconference

Full Moon and a TeleconferenceTwo important events are occurring this week: Full moon Cancer, solar festival (22 degrees), Thursday night close to midnight (11:40 p.m., PST). Read about it Thursday on my Facebook page— Risa’s Esoteric Astrology.
The second event, Monday, July 18, is the live teleconference of A Conversation with Rob Hopkins. Rob is teacher, writer, permaculturist, author of Transition Handbook, co-founder of Transition Town Initiative. Richard Heinberg (author of 10 books including “The Party’s Over,” Peak Everything and soon “The End of Growth”) will host. To be part of the Conversation, presented by Transition United States, go to
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Making a Scene

As it celebrates its 30th year, Santa Cruz County’s Open Studios is one of the most successful in the country—and a make-or-break event for many local artists


The New Tech Nexus

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


At Clothes Range

FashionART’s 10th anniversary show introduces a new generation of designers on the edge


A Ritual & Initiation

The Pope has come and gone, but his loving presence ignited new hope and goodness in many. While he was in NYC, China’s ruler arrived in Washington D.C. East (China) and West (Rome), meeting in the middle, under Libra, balancing sign of Right Relations. The Pope arrived at Fall Equinox. Things initiated at Fall Equinox are birthed at Winter Solstice. The Pope’s presence was a ritual, an initiation rite—like the Dalai Lama’s visits—offering prayers, teachings and blessings. Rituals anchor God’s plan into the world, initiating us to new realities, new rules. The Pope’s presence brings forth the Soul of the United States, its light piercing the veils of materialism. The Pope’s visit changed things. New questions arise, new reasons for living. A new wave of emerging life fills the air. Like a cocoon shifting, wings becoming visible. The winds are different now. Calling us to higher vision, moral values, virtues that reaffirm and offer hope for humanity. A changing of the guard has occurred. Appropriately, this is the week of the Jewish Festival of Sukkoth (’til Oct. 4), when we build temporary homes (little huts in nature), entering into a harvest of prayer and thanksgiving, understanding our fragile and impermanent existences. We are summoned to reflect upon our lives, our humanity, our nature, our spirit and each other. Offering gratitude, becoming a magnet for others. We observe. We see the needs. We love more.
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Latest Comments


What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When people say they’re “going down” somewhere, and they’re actually traveling north. Julia Ragen, Santa Cruz, Psychologist


Downhill Cellars

An easy-drinking Chardonnay from Downhill Cellars


If whales have a message for humans, what might it be?

“Do not come in the water and join us.” Howard Hall, Santa Cruz, Retired


Wargin Wines

The wine world is buzzing about this Pinot Gris