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Sep 18th
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GT Columns

Astrology

Lights That Make Us Holy

Lights That Make Us Holy

During this season of gift giving and seeking light in the darkness, very few of us need any more material gifts. Nor do we need another column prophesying the coming weeks (Mercury retrograde, Dec. 26-Jan. 15, 2010). A different and illuminating gift for each of us would be the ability to understand our true identity. For 18 million years (true number), as spirits in matter, we have lived within, experienced and uncovered the secrets of form and matter. Removed for so long from our spiritual origins, we became more and more unable to remember our true identity. There comes a lifetime or a moment, a teacher, a word, a phrase, a picture or a beam of unexpected light that allows us a fleeting glimpse into our true identity—at this moment we realize we are composed of light. Each of us, living under a certain pattern of stars (constellation), imprinted upon us at birth, is quite like a star, a beam of light carrying information into the world, influencing and affecting all that we contact. Through eons of life on the dark Earth we have awaited the light of the seasons, the new light at winter solstice, the light in the dark, the many festivals of light, the miracle of light at Chanukah, the Holy Child of light born on Christmas morning. This year, let us think differently. Let us recognize and identify that we are in fact a rainbow of light, and that within our light are specific tasks, purposes, behaviors, abilities and gifts we unconsciously radiate upon each other and all we contact. During this season of giving let us realize we are the gifts of holy light and spiritual anchors offered to each other during our temporary (and very long) lifetimes on Earth (a cosmic school). This realization is the thinking and identity of the Initiate, the spiritual attainment in Capricorn, sign and signature of God, sign of Light supernal, of the mountaintop experience, where we, the crocodile/goat turns into the unicorn. Capricorn captures (absorbs) the light of the Sun and brings it down to Earth to serve in Aquarius. Let us understand our light and what our lights radiate that makes us so holy to one another. (Excerpts from the Tibetan’s book “Esoteric Astrology”)

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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to Good Times...
That Health Care Bill
If The Shoe Fits
WEW Revisited
Holiday Deadlines


It’s the giving season, but I’d be remiss in not pointing out some things we could give our attention to in 2010, particularly climate change. As you may know, the United Nations Climate Change Conference is taking place in Copenhagen through Dec. 18. Representatives from 170 countries are expected to be in attendance, and it’s estimated that about 8,000 people—from journalists to activists to government reps—will attend.

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Local Talk

Are any wars justified?

Are any wars justified?

I think the only wars that are justified are wars that are actually done to save lives. Under a violent genocidal government such as Sudan I believe a war to save the people, if genocide is occuring, would be justified. Wars over resources, material goods and wars to spread so-called Democracy are not justified.
Brenda Barnhart
Santa Cruz | Unemployed

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Opinion

12 Memories of Christmas

12 Memories of Christmas

It was a damp, frigid, twilit afternoon in Wilmette, Illinois, where we were spending Thanksgiving with Art Boy's 91-year-old mom, Helen. Art Boy and I were out walking with his brother, David, when we ducked into the Wilmette Historical Society Museum to dodge a passing rainshower. The curator was about to close up for the evening, but he was thrilled to meet members of a family who'd lived in town for generations, fishing hopefully for any stray family artifacts that might be lying around.

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Astrology

Mars Retrograde, Winter Solstice

Mars Retrograde, Winter Solstice

The important astrological news this week is Mars (Ray 6) retrograde (19.42 degrees Leo) early Sunday morning (Dec. 20) and winter solstice (Monday, Dec. 21) as Sun enters Capricorn (9:47 a.m. Pacific time). Mars is retrograde until March 10, 2010 (74 days). Mars has been slowing down since mid October, so many have wondered at the increasing dawdling about in areas where we must take action. Mars is the definitive sign of “action” and energy. Mars only retrogrades every 2.2 years. So humanity isn’t as familiar with Mars retrogrades as with Mercury retrogrades (occurring Dec. 26). Mars signifies energy and will, devotion and desire, anger, wars and all outward actions. Mars retrograde shifts these outward behaviors inward so we can review and reorient (Scorpio work, Mars rules Scorpio) and make things new again when Mars is direct. With Mars retrograde in Leo (especially Leo Sun/rising/moon, Aquarius and the remaining fixed signs Taurus and Scorpio) the entire world becomes introspective in order to review beliefs and attitudes concerning life itself. The life force Mars exhibits becomes subdued, it’s warring energy softened. Leo is very independent, exuberant and dramatic. With Mars in Leo retrograde we will see dependence, shyness, inner reflections. It will be interesting to see what films and Broadway shows (theater) emerge during Mars retro in Leo.  It’s important to be aware that anger, wars, violence, the dark side of Mars, may be somewhat hidden during these two months. It doesn’t disappear, it becomes aggravated. Because of the Leo, it’s not a good time to gamble or take risks of any type. Our hearts (physical, throbbing), arteries, blood need special care, as do children and loved ones. How will the Leo Mars retro affect us?

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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to Good Times...
High Time
BEST OF THE ONLINE COMMENTS
Holiday Deadlines

Nothing really says “It’s Holiday Time!” like a kid so excited about all the bells and whistles the season can offer. The Downtown Association pulled out all the stops this year. The parade, while always festive, seemed more upbeat than usual. (It may have just been me and a good mood swing—who knows?) Regardless, what a treat to see downtown filled with so many people. GTv colleague (camera shy) Jeff Dinnell and Derby Girl maven Kim Luke cheerfully broadcasted the event for Community Television.  Food barrels were also on hand for Second Harvest Food Bank. (See the great decorations for SHFB) at the Rittenhouse Building downtown.) The presence of SHFB and other nonprofits in the parade was a welcome reminder that, of course, we’re all being asked to give a little, perhaps a lot, this year.

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Local Talk

What’s your pet peeve?

What’s your pet peeve?

It bothers me when people swear in public, especially at restaurants. There is a time and place for swearing, and it's definitely not every fifth word. I'd say it's a sign of having limited intelligence. Let's bring it up people. People with the least class seem to swear the most.
Andy Gross
Santa Cruz | Carpenter

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Opinion

Digging Deep into the Old Pockets

Digging Deep into the Old Pockets

Crooner Andy Williams used to preach to us all on television that December “is the most wonderful time of the year,” so here we are. Does it feel wonderful?

To me, it’s mostly just confusing. Because December is also the time of the year that most of us are asked to dig … and dig … and dig deeper into our wallets to share with those who need help.

And that’s what’s confusing. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to figure out what charities are worth giving to. The bigger problem, at least for me, is to decide which need is worth filling—hunger, homelessness, despondency. Then there are those less dramatic needs—the arts, culture, education.

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Astrology

Sign of Silence

Sign of Silence

Let’s discover a bit more about Sagittarius … a sign often hidden in the preparations of Hanukkah, winter solstice and Christmas. Sagittarius is associated with vision, aspiration and a one-pointed direction toward the goals of service and saviorship (Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces). Sagittarius learns the “right use of the arrows of thought (Sag’s great test), restraint of speech, and consequent harmlessness resulting in liberation. Sag is esoterically one of the “signs of silence.” Sagittarius is a potent sign due to its one-pointed focus on goals, silence and that it is the time and sign immediately preceding the new light at winter solstice representing the birth of the Holy Child. Sagittarius seeks the “spirit of truth, emerging from individual revelation.” Three constellations make up Sa —Lyra, the seven-stringed harp; Ara, the altar; and Draco serpent of wisdom. Two other constellations surround these three—Aquila, the eagle (Spirit) and Cygnus, the swan (Soul). Sag is known for its extraordinary ability with music (from Lyra) and its photographic eye (from Aquila).

Saturday is the first day of Hanukkah and feast days of Santa Lucia and Our Lady of Guadalupe. Wednesday is the last new moon, 25 degrees Sag, of the year. Astrology news alert! Mercury’s in Capricorn, Mars retro begins next week followed by retro Mercury! Click Read More to see Horoscopes >

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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the EditorPlus Letters to Good Times...
Climate Action Days
Go Jimmy
Giving Times

My trip last week to visit a former Cruzan, now living in Denver, proved one thing: I can’t eat for another month. Who knew they can pack it in in the Mile High City? It was Thanksgiving weekend, after all, so I suppose it’s not out of the norm to keep putting food into your mouth. Of course, this got me thinking about what’s unfolding locally about food, and, in particular, those who actually are in short supply of it. This would be the part of the column where I expound upon the amazing virtues of Second Harvest Food Bank and why it’s important for everybody to know a little bit more about this vital county resource. I could go on to tell you that you ought to log onto SHFB’s website, and discover how just one of your own dollars can actually feed a family of five. (Talk about holiday miracles.) I also could tell you that there are 60,000 working poor families, children and seniors in need of food each month. Let that sink in—60,000. That’s an increase of 20-30 percent from previous reports. Half of those served are children. I bring this up because there are many of us—actually, most of us— who have the resources to contribute and give back. Take some time to learn more at thefoodbank.org. Or, at the very least, bring a can a food (or money) to Snow Night (5-8 pm.) in Downtown Santa Cruz on Thursday, Dec. 10 at Cooper Street and Pacific Avenue. (More details available at downtownsantacruz.com.)
Meanwhile, there are other things people want to put in their mouths—actually, between their lips—and that’s marijuana. Legalizing pot is the subject of this week’s cover story. See the full report by Laurel Chesky.
Also, take note of the article about Mountain Community Resources. Due to a production glitch, the article on this wonderful organization was omitted from last week’s cover story on the Community Fund.
As the year and the decade reach their final curtain call, I send out a note of gratitude to GT readers for picking us up every week and for allowing us to share your incredibly unique stories—weekly, monthly, annually. Let’s end the year and the decade on a positive note. One thought: Give something back to your community.

Greg Archer
Editor

Letters to Good Times Editor

Climate Action Days
Regarding some of the recent environmental stories and the comments on GTv (above) about the upcoming—and major— Global Climate Change Conference occurring in Copenhagen, Denmark in December, the United States is one of the principle emitters of global greenhouse gases and must sign on to the framework treaty that will radically reduce our collective carbon footprint as a nation.
Copenhagen represents an opportunity for human civilization to make a radical energy shift away from fossil fuels and towards clean, non-polluting
renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and anti-gravity.
The threat of Global Climate Change is the No. 1 international security issue
on Earth in 2009/2010. All other issues such as health care, the iraq/afghanistan/pakistan war and
increased student funding at the University of California (as bad as it is) are at best, secondary and tertiary issues.
Contact the media, your congressmen and women, and all concerned members of your community and urge them to support and endorse the ratification of Copenhagen with strong, binding agreements to limit and eventually eliminate all carbon emissions into our atmosphere.
If global warming is not stopped immediately, expect a seven to 10 degree Fahrenheit increase in average global temperatures this century. By all accounts, this is a fatal blow to human civilization. Do you really want your children to inherit such a world?
Steve Jonah
Santa Cruz

Go Jimmy
Kudos for the nice column about Jimmy Carter by Bruce Willey (GT 11/25). I think the man was a visionary. Had we listened to what he was professing back then—about the environment—maybe things would be much different today.
Jane Anderson
Aptos

Giving Times
There are so many nonprofits in this county that need even more exposure. I am referring to last week’s cover story, where several nonprofits were featured. Times are grim and we need to focus more about how the heck we can help our own communities and keep them afloat. I think people should give a little volunteer time this season. People should give that more than buying tons of presents for family members they only see once a year and can barely stand to be with. We really need to get it together people.
Sandy Wilson
Santa Cruz

Clarification
GT’s  Gift Guide has hit the streets. But we’re slapping our forehead. Readers may have noticed that pictures of items listed as being available at Twist, were actually from the store Stripe (stripedesigngroup.com) in downtown Santa Cruz. We regret the error. Also, Palace Arts may no longer have digital photo frames in stock, but they have plenty of picture frames—beginning at $3.99.
 
Page 84 of 91

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Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Feeding Frenzy

Culinary journey ‘The Trip to Italy’ isn’t the foodie film you’d expect 

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past
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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

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.