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Apr 16th
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Astrology

Chinese New Year: White Metal Tiger

Chinese New Year: White Metal Tiger

I  noticed the acacia, plum and quince blooming so it must be time for the centuries old Chinese Lunar, Spring & New Year (year 4707 in the Chinese lunar-solar calendar) Festivals. The Year of the White Metal Tiger (yin branch) begins on Valentine’s (Sunday, Feb. 14), the day after the second new moon (25.18 degrees Aquarius) of the year. The festival ends at the Lantern Festival and full moon (9 degrees Pisces/Virgo). Like Christmas in the west, Chinese New Year is the most important celebration in China and consists of family celebrations, gift-giving, and special foods.

This Year of the Tiger “wearing metal” signifies a non-peaceful year. “This tiger jumps around attempting to shed the metal around its body.” However, Tiger is considered most caring and thoughtful, protecting loved ones and friends against injustices. The Tiger, symbolizing power and leadership, can also at times be inflexible and have difficulty with Right Relations. Tiger is “learning.”

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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to Good Times
Embrace Real Celebs
Totally Taxing
Time for the Heart


How often do you use your car, even if it’s just to go down the block to get a last-minute grocery item? There’s a strong chance that many of us use our automobiles far more than necessary, which brings us to this week’s cover story and an interesting question: Are you addicted to using your car as your only means of transportation? I admit it. I may be an addict. (Hi, my name is Greg and I’m a car-aholic ... it’s a convertible—it’s too low to the damn ground and God knows why I still have it—but yes, yes, I think I’m addicted to using it, and only it, as my single method of getting around!) We may all be in the same boat, so peruse this week’s cover story by Elizabeth Limbach, and dive into our pullout (“Commute Solutions”) to learn the myriad ways you can be making a difference environmentally by using sustainable transportation. And it’s not just about being “green”—although, isn’t “blue” the new green? It’s about making better choices all around—for your own health and the health of the planet we live on.

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Local Talk

Is the economy on the road to recovery or ruin?

Is the economy on the road to recovery or ruin?

I'm hopeful that it's on its way to recovery. I see an increase in business in the service industry, so I'm hopeful.
Tonja Scofield
Santa Cruz | Bartender

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Opinion

It's About Time

It's About Time

The idea of time-travel has been beloved by sci-fi writers and readers for centuries. In last summer's retooled Star Trek movie, Mr. Spock literally meets himself coming and going on the continuum of time.

Time is one of the most potent of human concepts. Think of all the axioms we've devised to groom and shape the unruly thing into something we can grasp: it flies, it crawls, it marches on. It heals all wounds but waits for no man. It's on our side, it's on our hands, it's of the essence, but where does it go? But all the language we assign to time amounts to the same conclusion: it's progress is inexorable. And inevitable. It's not like we can hop off at any stop for a breathing spell, then catch the next available car. Wherever it may be headed, we ride this train to the end of the line.

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Astrology

The Law of Ancient Dominating Good

The Law of Ancient Dominating Good

Esoteric Astrology as News for the week of February 4–10, 2010 For Sun and Rising Signs
Throughout 2009 Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune maintained a close proximity or conjunction in Aquarius, sign of world service and the new culture. It continues to produce noise, messiness, confusion, dissolving away, wounds, chaos and conflict impacting and affecting humanity. Each of the moving planets and their interactions are conveying to Earth a continuous tale of the old ways (Ray 6) dissolving so the new (age, time, cycle, dispensation, Laws & Principles, Ray 7, etc.) can emerge. Daily new realities impel us to change. Eventually as all things break down, we begin to imagine the unimaginable. The Jupiter-Chiron-Neptune in Aquarius—impacting our consciousness, how we live, relate and the future to be—is helping us do just that.  Humanity is turning away from material things and embracing spiritual materialism (sharing). Humanity is learning to radiate Goodwill in order to create Right Relations. These are the promises of Aquarius. From “Esoteric Healing” (p. 29) we read, “… some day the new Law of Ancient Dominating Good which lies behind all that God made will be brought into activity by the spiritual will of man” (humanity, the thinking ones).

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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to Good Times
Something To Talk About
Take Two

Remember Prop 8? Yes, it’s been more than a year since California voters banned same-sex couples from marrying in the state, but this month, things have heated up politically once again as the issue of gay marriage went back into court. Earlier this week, all eyes turned toward two same-sex couples and the city of San Francisco who are seeking to overturn Prop. 8. The issue before Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker is whether gays and lesbians are a “persecuted minority” and if they are entitled to the same sort of legal protection as, say, racial or religious minorities. The answer to that question could, in fact, require the judge to overturn Prop. 8. Meanwhile, Hollywood has chimed in. While the trials cannot be broadcast, Tinseltown has found a way to work around it. Now, there’s a reenactment on YouTube. Producers and actors are actually staging an impressive redux, which includes the actual trial transcripts of the proceedings. Alyssa Weisberg, who’s at the helm of casting TV’s Lost is overseeing most of this. Watch for some "A-list” actors to come on board. In the meantime, catch it all youtube.com/user/MarriageTrial.

When all is said and done, I think most would agree that loving somebody is a natural human act. Imagine a world where the marriage issue were reversed? No champagne toasts or marriages for millions of heterosexuals? Talk about buzzkill. Don’t we all strive to live in a world where basic human rights are honored? I don’t know about you, but I Do.

Greg Archer | Editor


Letters to Good Times Editor

Take Two
I am most disappointed with Lisa Jensen's “review” of Sherlock Holmes. I realize there's limited space in the film section and your staff really does cover quite a bit of road in those few pages. It's not that. It's the off-hand dismissal of the particular film that saddens me. I'm also saddened to see the Canon referred to in lower case, not to mention a seeming lack of intimacy with the work in general. It's true Mary Morstan hasn't much to do ... she's never had much to do. The wonderful thing about this film is that she's given so much more to do than usual.
I'd just like your reviewer to know what she's talking about before she relegates a film to the bottom draw and frankly, I really don't think she's as familiar with the Canon as she'd like her readers to believe. I base this only on what I read in her dashed off... consideration.
Jessie Lilley
Mondo Cult Magazine

Something To Talk About
Regarding your recent “Local Talk” question about whether the wealthy have an obligation to help the poor, I’m almost amazed that anyone living in the “Free-World” would ask such a question, although I suppose now-a-days the term “Free-World” doesn’t exist anymore. I’m not so young that I don’t remember a time when the very mention of a question like this one would quickly illicit a response loaded with expletives like commie, pink-o, and not necessarily in that order. 
Let’s talk taxes for a few minutes shall we?  Taxes—something we all pay, one of those necessary evils to keep the economic wheel of our country turning. If you doubt this then I suggest you look to the tens of billions in tax payer dollars given to the banking industry. The IRS shows that the richest 1 percent of Americans pays 39 percent of the country’s total income tax bill, and the top 10 percent of filers pay approximately 71 percent of the tab. Hold on a sec I’m not done yet. The bottom 50 percent of earners now make up 13 percent of the of the country’s total income yet pay less than 3 percent of the income taxes. This means this, people in the top 50 percent of pay in this country pay 97 percent of the country’s total income tax bill. I think it would be safe to say that the rich do at least one thing for the poor. I know, I know, some of you are probably saying, “Good!  They should pay the bill. They have all the money!” 
Requiring one person to help another person for no other reason than one of the two people has more money than the other is ludicrous if not borderline criminal. This concept is no different than a person with a median income owning a house, two cars, and a boat being told to give the poorer person some of their possessions because they can’t afford things of their own.
It seems to me that the guiding principal of freedom that our founding fathers rallied behind during the creation of our nation has been lost somewhere through the years. Forcing or obligating the rich to help the poor goes against the very notion of freedom.
More and more I keep hearing the Communists—sorry I mean the Progressives—of the world demanding that everyone deserves the same sized piece of the proverbial pie. Whether it be the rich helping the poor or everyone should have free healthcare. There is a certain sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when you accomplish a self imposed goal that you will never have if someone just hands it to you. However the Progressive movement going on in this country seems to dictate that the way I think is out dated, and that the foundations that our country was built on is an old way of thinking and that we need to evolve with an ever changing world. But my argument to this rhetoric is and will continue to be, that every time you strip away someone’s rights gifted to us by our constitution (even the rights of the awful rich people), you destroy the adage that used to be taught to us in school, that the United States of America is the land of the free and the home of the brave.
By the way I only make about $40,000.
Jason Loring
Santa Cruz

Local Talk

If you could have personally witnessed one event in history, what would you have wanted to see?

If you could have personally  witnessed one event in history, what would you have wanted to see?

I would have liked to have been on the  moon with Neil Armstrong. Being able to see Earth from space, what more can you say?
Doug Engfer
Santa Cruz | CEO

 

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Opinion

Why Special Interests Trump the Public Good

Why Special Interests Trump the Public Good

It recently became clear to me that the wrong people are in charge of health-care reform. Who you need are people who aren’t worried about re-election and who don’t give a whit about special interests.

Don’t worry: this isn’t one of those angry-man screeds that are popping up around the country. It’s too easy to look around, see what isn’t working and then do a fist pump thing where you yell: “Throw the bums out.”

Because that hasn’t worked either. Take a look at California, where term limits have helped make an ungovernable state even worse.

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Astrology

Saturn Square Pluto, Transformation Continues

Saturn Square Pluto, Transformation ContinuesAfter Saturday’s first full moon of 2010, (10 degrees Aquarius/Leo) the second Saturn square Pluto occurs, Sunday, Jan. 31. This transit creates a continual series of changes and transformations that, by the 2012 winter solstice, ends materialism as we have known it. Materialism (the involutionary cycle, Spirit into matter) has been a purposeful and needed developmental stage for humanity since our first protoplasmic presence on Earth 21 million years ago. This end of materialism the indigenous people have spoken of.

Within the breakdown phase (Shiva) a new creative effort is a complete reorganization of humanity’s endeavors. The United States is particularly vulnerable because she is to “lead humanity toward the Light.” And there are powerful forces attempting to block that spiritual task. Many ask, “What must we do now? How do we prepare?” First we must begin to ponder upon how to build new communities and life foundations, not based upon the past. For all of us the first step is the intention for purification (of purpose, actions, thinking, relating, etc.) leading to revelation leading to understanding leading to revolution. Eventually we understand that, together, we are the ones who must build the new civilization. The changes we are experiencing are the evolutionary forces within us (humanity and the Earth) being activated.The destruction phase continues till 2012. The realized creation phase begins 2012, winter solstice.

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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to Good Times
Medication Time?
Farr Makes A Point
Farr Makes A Point

There’s help for Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that hit last week. And Santa Cruz County—an area that knows all too well how heartbreaking it can be surviving a 7.0 quake—can contribute in a number of ways. You can make a donation to the International Response Fund online or by phone—try texting "Haiti" to 90999. You can automatically send a $10 donation to the Red Cross that way and the charge will appear on your cell phone bill. Learn more about how you can offer support through the Red Cross relief efforts by contacting the local American Red Cross at 831-462-2881 or sccredcross.org. You can find more information about Haiti relief efforts on our own website, goodtimessantacruz.com. Simply log on and scroll down to the appropriate blog. As many of us here all know, when something as devastating as this happens, it somehow unites people, forcing everybody to realize we’re occupying the same big boat together—humanity’s. It’s time to give.

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Aries Solar Festival

Sunday is Palm Sunday. Symbolizing victory and triumph, paradise, sacrifice and martyrdom, the Pisces World Teacher entered Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (signifying humility).

 

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.

 

Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.

 

Printer's Devil

Iconic editor Buz Bezore, who died last month at the age of 68, left a huge mark on Santa Cruz journalism   Eventually, it’s all a blur. You live long enough, and maybe a little too hard at times, so that when you hit the rewind button of faded memory, it moves so fast that you can hardly sort and gather the details. One scene skips to the next, and to the next, without proper editing or sequencing. Chronologies get distorted. Which came first: stealing the chickens or coloring the eggs?
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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

 

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

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.