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Jul 29th
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GT Columns

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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Local Talk

Do the wealthy have an obligation to help the poor?

Do the wealthy have an obligation to help the poor?

No. I think everybody has an obligation to help themselves.
Sarah Elderkin
Santa Cruz | Unemployed

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Astrology

Waters of Life Poured Forth for Thirsty Humanity

Waters of Life Poured Forth for Thirsty Humanity

In the coming weeks and months following Haiti’s tragic earthquake (for shame Limbaugh and Robertson), let us continue to respond to humanity’s suffering with prayers and monetary donations sent to the Red Cross, Catholic Charities, Care, International, etc. With the Sun in Aquarius, let us consciously be servers in Aquarius, the “Waters of Life Poured Forth For Thirsty Humanity.” These words esoterically define the Aquarius. They are the inner spiritual essence of the “water bearer.” The waters are the new energies falling to Earth soothing humanity. Aquarius is the eleventh sign after Aries. It is fixed air. Fixed signs stabilize ideas (created by the Cardinal Cross signs Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) in form and matter. Air signs (Gemini, Libra & Aquarius) are mental. They think, ponder, study, research, gather and distribute information previously created and stabilized by the cardinal and fixed signs. For air signs, education and learning are most important.

Jupiter has left Aquarius and entered Pisces (till June). Jupiter is one of the rulers of Pisces. It is Ray 2 of Love/Wisdom. Jupiter in Pisces summons our compassion. In Aquarius Jupiter called us to serve humanity. In Pisces, Jupiter helps us save humanity. Note the different tasks in the two signs. In the aftermath of the Haitian tragedy, we are asked to both serve and save humanity. Each prepares us for the coming extraordinary times.

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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to Good Times
Understanding Obama
People Taking Up Space

Politics, politics, politics. It’s somewhat of the theme of this week’s News section, where News Editor Elizabeth Limbach interviews Mayor Luis Alejo, Watsonville mayor and now a contender for the 28th State Assembly District. Alejo has some intriguing things to say and it’s interesting to note that about 45 percent of Watsonville’s population is under the age of 25. Let that stat sink in a bit. Elsewhere in News, Assemblyman Bill Monning talks with GT about education, another big issue in these shifting financial times. Learn more about all this on page 8.


It was interesting to hear some comments on the recent article that revolved around the alleged hate crime that took place a few weekends ago in front of The Blue Lagoon in Santa Cruz. Somebody mentioned that the alleged attacker should have shown “more tolerance” to the gay man that was later beaten. I’m not a big fan of using the word tolerance when it comes to that kind of situation, particularly when it’s used in LGBT discussions. Have we looked it up? I found two definitions in the Merriam Webster Dictionary. 1. the capacity to endure pain or hardship: endurance, fortitude, stamina. (Is it just me, or isn’t this what those being attacked feel?) 2. sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own. It’s alarming to receive news of such a hate crime in what is perceived as a bastion of liberalness. Coming from a familly that was persecuted during World War II, I think I am, by nature, sensitive to this sort of issue. Perhaps some maturity and grace could have been exhibited from the alleged attacker. That, and some anger management.

Until next week ...

Greg Archer | Editor


Letters to Good Times Editor

People Taking Up Space
At first glance Anna Merlan's article and interview of Gage Dayton about the restoration of Younger Lagoon (GT 1/7) would seem to be a generally positive story about a dedicated young person trying to improve the environment. In many ways this is probably a correct assessment but at the root it is really about land use, conflict, competition for resources and, most importantly, over population.
You don't have to be too old to remember a time when there was no UCSC presence on the bluffs at the end of town. There were no buildings, no parking lot, no Marine Lab, no grad students or highly paid and retirement-eligible professors. There was no one to run off the occasional surfer or break up the family picnics that were popular on the beach there long before surfing was even known in Santa Cruz. Now we are expected to believe that because a group of public employees are locking out the public and making a living off of this resource that we all used to share it is somehow an improvement to our quality of life. The tone of the article suggests that these people should be admired for their efforts and for the evenhanded “mild” manner in which they exclude or control our access to what used to be a shared community resource. Blah, blah blah ...
And so another rant is written. It includes a taste of longtime localist elitism and a shot at the University and public employees in general. It is now set up like a bowling pin for the next angry letter writer to self righteously knock down like a nine pin. The cycle begins again. But that is not the point. When nearly every acre of farm land from 41st Avenue to Swift Street is gone to development and we are desalinating sea water and talking about growing algae in garbage bags in the ocean we have a bigger problem than saving a pond on the West side  of Santa Cruz. When are we going to own up to the fact that over population is at the root of almost every single environmental crisis in the world today? We need to begin to laud the pro-creatively responsible way we do the "environmental mitigators." We can endlessly debate land use issues, fairness issues, economic issues, all to some greater good but unless we acknowledge this overriding issue and begin to act the rest is all just beating around the bush.
If hard pressed I think that even Al Gore would admit that there is no such thing as a real environmentalist with four kids. Please! Can someone just mention overpopulation once in a while? It's a big issue, maybe the big issue. We need to start talking about it or at least talk about why we don't talk about it.
Michael Saunders
Ben Lomond

Understanding Obama
Regarding a recent story, a year ago, if we had read in the paper that employers were hiring again, that health care legislation was proceeding without a bump, that Afghanistan suddenly became a nice place to take your kids, we would’ve known we were being lied to. Back then, we recognized that the problems Obama inherited as president wouldn’t go away overnight.
During his campaign, Obama clearly said that an economy that took eight years to break couldn’t be fixed in a year, that Afghanistan was a graveyard of empires and would not be an easy venture for us. Candidate Obama didn’t feed us happy-talk, which is why we elected him. He never said America could solve our health care, economic and security problems without raising the deficit. Instead, he talked of hard choices, of government taking painful and contentious first steps toward fixing problems that can’t be left for another day. 
Right after Obama’s election, we seemed to grasp this. We understood that companies would be happy to squeeze more work out of frightened employees, and would be slow to hire more. We understood that the banks that had extorted billions of dollars out of us, were lying when they said they would share their recovery. We understood that a national consensus on health care would not come easily. Candidate Obama never claimed that his proposed solutions would work flawlessly right out of the box, and we respected him for that.
But today, the president is being attacked as if he were a salesman who promised us that our problems would wash off in the morning. He never made such a promise. It’s time for Americans to realize that governing is hard work, and that a president can’t just wave a magic wand and fix everything.
Ellie Light
Santa Cruz

Local Talk

What’s your focus in 2010?

What’s your focus in 2010?

To boldly go where no woman
has gone before.
Dawna Eskridge
Santa Cruz | Massage Therapist

 

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Opinion

The Succulent Taste of Slow Reading

The Succulent Taste of Slow Reading

Have you ever read something that made so much sense that you slap your hand immediately and directly to your forehead?

“Why didn’t I think of that?”

Such was my reaction to a column by a statistics expert no less, one Trevor Butterworth, who wrote a column last week in Forbes Magazine calling on the news media to adopt a kind of “slow food” philosophy as espoused by the likes of Alice Waters and her restaurant “Chez Panisse.”

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Mars Enters Scorpio: The Nine Tests

Over the years I’ve mentioned the nine tests of Mars and Scorpio. The tests are given to everyone—unawakened, beginning to awaken, and the awakened. The purpose is to test our strength, courage, ability to adapt, discriminate and have discernment. To see if we are deceived by illusion or are “warriors triumphant, emerging from the battle.”

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 25

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

The Maestra Returns

Cabrillo Festival’s Marin Alsop is back to ‘rock the boat of tradition’
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Time is Ripe

Local fruit harvests hit markets, Storrs Winery celebrates ‘Best White’, and a salt fix from heaven

 

I remember Santa Cruz when…

Santa Cruz | Librarian

 

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

 

Hunter Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Smooth with soft tannins, this velvety crimson Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is delicious and very drinkable.