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May 28th
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GT Columns

Opinion

Spirit of Christmas Presence

Spirit of Christmas Presence

The most important person at our Thanksgiving feast this year wasn't even at the table. Before the first morsel of turkey was gobbled, my cousin Megan proposed that we raise our glasses to my mom, who passed away in February, one month shy of her 89th birthday.

Art Boy and I had spent the day in the car, driving from Santa Cruz all the way down to Hermosa Beach. We much prefer to stay firmly rooted to hearth and home—our home—for the holidays, if at all possible. But this was going to be the first big holiday without Mumsie, and I thought it was important to be there to share it with my brothers, Mike and Steve, who lived with Mom in the house we all grew up in at the end of her life. It was a bittersweet time for us; we felt my mom's fun-loving spirit everywhere in the house she lived in for 56 years, but we were so sorry we hadn't organized one last, big family feast like this a couple of years earlier, before my mom's last series of strokes, when she could have still been with us in person, alert and mobile, to enjoy it.

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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to the Editor

Like Thanksgiving,  these last few weeks of the year seem to center around a few common themes: food, family, friends, bloating. (It happens.) But let’s focus on what’s sandwiched between food and bloating—family and friends. No matter what your religious and/or non-religious ties are during the month of December, for most of us, we pay more attention to family and friends during this time and then, perhaps eventually wonder why we lose track of these bonds during the year. When I was growing up in Chicago—chubby Polish kid, hand always reaching for a dumpling (more or less)—I sat in amazement in the living room parlors of my aunts, uncles and my parents’ homes, eating up the emotional ties that bond us together.

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Local Talk

What’s the best thing that happened in Santa Cruz County this year? And the worst?

What’s the best thing that  happened in Santa Cruz County this year? And the worst?

 

Definitely the worst thing that has happened over the last year in Santa Cruz has been the rise in gang violence. The best thing would have to be the increase in community activities and involvement.

Alice Lenox-Burke

Santa Cruz | Hospitality Coordinator

 

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Astrology

Goodwill on Earth, Peace To All

Goodwill on Earth, Peace To All

Christmas is Saturday, with a Virgo (let us not be critical, let us be grateful) moon (with matter, mother, the past). Let us, as an antidote, have the purposeful intentions for Gratitude, for Goodwill, which, through the establishment of Right Relations, brings Peace to the world ... which “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.” Christmas Day is a good day, with planets in trine which bring about harmony. There is actually a “depth” of Goodwill all around.

And so, we are now at the very end (the last week) of 2010. To honor with gratitude our lives lived out in time and space for the past year, let us review (it’s still Mercury retrograde in Sag) what our goals, hopes, wishes and dreams (personal, social, global, financial, spiritual, material, etc.) were.

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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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Ocean Odyssey

Sailing the high seas from Santa Cruz to French Polynesia, Sally-Christine Rodgers documents the trials, tribulations and joys of exploring the world by boat

 

Gemini Festival of Goodwill, World Invocation Day

This entire week is a preparation by the New Group of World Servers (NGWS) for the June full moon (Tuesday) and to welcome the Forces of Reconstruction, great outer planetary forces streaming into the Earth at the Gemini Solar Festival. The Gemini Festival at the June full moon is called the Festival of Goodwill and World Invocation Day (recitation of the Great Invocation, the mantram of direction for humanity, hourly around the world). During the (12 degrees) Gemini festival, the Wesak blessing of the will-to-good is released and radiated (Gemini distributes) to humanity. When the will-to-good is received, humanity is then able to radiate goodwill to each other and to the kingdoms. The Gemini Festival is the third of the Three Spring Festivals (triangle of Force), setting the spiritual template and resources for Earth for the rest of the year (‘til next spring). This festival recognizes the true spirit of humanity—aspiring toward and seeking the will of God, dedicated to right human relation. At the full moon, the Divine nature of humanity is recognized. Christ stands with humanity, leader of his people, “the Eldest in a great family of brothers” (Romans VIII, 29.) Each year at the Gemini festival, Christ preaches the last sermon of Buddha, His brother, a sermon calling forth human and spiritual unity, represented by an outflow of love (work of the Christ) and wisdom (work of the Buddha). The forces of reconstruction stream in during the Festival, ushering in an era of pronounced creative activity, rebuilding the tangible world on new creative lines. This necessitates the total destruction of the old forms no longer useful for the new world era. Everyone is invited. Join us everyone for this Festival of Goodwill by reciting the Great Invocation.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of May 29

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Jozseph Schultz caters New Music Works’ 35th annual Avant Garden Party, plus brews for a cause

 

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