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Dec 18th
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GT Columns

Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to Good Times
Sustainability Now
Hand Over the Money, Honey
Dollar Dazed

Last week we read that several parking lots in Santa Cruz will suddenly be affecting your pocketbook—come March 1, it’s going to cost. Judging by all the comments we received online about last week’s “Pay to Park” story (see Letters), it seems, not surprisingly, that the news didn’t go over too well. Well, on some level, I suppose it makes sense. The City is always looking for ways to boost revenue. But, for some, it’s a bit headscratching. For as inventive and creative as Santa Cruz considers itself to be, I’d be curious to know what other ideas may have floated around City Council chambers. Were there any? And bless the councilmembers. I cannot think of a worse fate than to sit there and maneuver oneself through the often painstaking tasks of sifting through agendas and dilemmas and, of course, all of Santa Cruz’s more colorful personalities. (Or, not so colorful.) Oh. the patience it must require. Still, I wonder if the folks on the council are really having fun? Do they greet the day feeling invigorated and excited? Are they thrilled to serve? Does their excitement spill out into the community, creating a fascinating ripple effect of enthusiasm? Questions—I am forever asking them. (And no, I didn’t just write this after watching an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show.)  Well, I suppose we could ask these same questions of oursevles. Are we happy, excited and thrilled to be planted right where we are? Not a bad thing to ask actually.

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Local Talk

What’s your take on localism?

What’s your take on localism?

Localism is about having pride in your community and being proud of where you live. When we were young we tended to take it a little too far with the Westside vs. Eastside vs. Valleys ... but most of us grew out of that. Santa Cruz is a great town. Now I'm committed to improving my neighborhood and making Santa Cruz cleaner and safer.
Jeremy Matthews
Santa Cruz | Sales Operations

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Opinion

Corporate Speak and the World of Politics

Corporate Speak and the World of Politics

“Let’s say what we mean; mean what we say and let’s get it done.” —Gubernatorial Candidate Meg Whitman

We the electorate have been attacked by Silicon Valley business-speak. The above quote has been tacked on to former eBay CEO Meg Whitman’s many television commercials as she gears up for a run for governor.

I feel like hiding. Both the business world and the political world have been overtaken by soundbites and messaging.

It used to be in the business world that the damage stopped with vacuous but inoffensive mission statements like “We (fill in the organization) are the leading providers of (fill in the product) as we provide our customers with the best products and services on the market.”

What was good about mission statements is that they went into the drawer and nobody ever saw them again, except for maybe on the bulletin board where you can also find the phone number for OSHA.

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Astrology

Understanding Pisces

Understanding Pisces

Spring’s almost here, daylight’s increasing, trees are abloom, and we’re beginning to bloom and increase in light, too. Esotericists worldwide are preparing for the Three Spring Full Moon Festivals (Aries, Taurus and Gemini), many since Winter Solstice. Sunday morning (8:20 a.m. Pacific time) is the full moon/solar festival (10 degrees Pisces/Virgo). It’s also the noisy, joyful, liberating Jewish festival of Purim. (See the Book of Esther.) The Soul’s seed thought for Pisces is “I leave the Father’s house and turning back, I save.” Observant readers recognize similarities between Pisces and Capricorn seed thoughts. For both the disciple/Initiate “turns their back” on ”heaven” choosing a return to Earth to “serve” (Aquarius) and to “save” (Pisces) suffering humanity. The Pisces seed thought is a message of willingness. It knows a supreme sacrifice was made when we left the “place where the Will of God is known,” the “Father’s house,” our original spiritual home prior to successive lives on Earth. We (our Souls) know we left the harmony and unity of the Spiritual world in order to serve the Plan for Humanity (potential world disciple). When we realize these things we understand who we are, why we live on this planet of deep suffering, and what we are to do from this moment forward. As all signs reveal the Path of Light of the Soul, Pisces is the “Light of the world,” which reveals the Light of Life itself ending forever the darkness of matter.” Pisces, the last zodiacal sign, holds all gifts, abilities and seeds of the preceding signs. Pisces also holds the sufferings of humanity as well. These words also explain in depth the person born in Pisces (Sun, moon, rising).

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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to Good Times
Housing Sucks
Pack of (Light) Travellers
Solutions, Solutions


Who’s the best in your book? Maybe it’s time you tell us. Yes, it’s that time of year again—where you, the reader, have an opportunity to vote for your favorite people, places, businesses and more. It’s all at your fingertips—literally—in the Best Of Santa Cruz County Readers Poll online. It’s already our biggest voter turnout to date, so be sure to log on and get voting. There is something in it for you, of course—other than cheering on your favorites. GT is giving away some prizes in the process too. A handful of online voters will be picked from a random draw and to win movie tickets or dinners-for-two at a local restaurant. Have fun with it all. And thanks for your votes.

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Opinion

Remembering to Forget

Remembering to Forget

For the past year I’ve watched my grandmother succumb to dementia.  In truth she has full-blown Alzheimer's disease, but there’s no doubt in my mind she’d prefer the term dementia if she indeed knew what was eating her brain from the inside. She’s proper, after all, hailing from a generation that says “intestinal fortitude” instead of “guts.” Pushing well into 90 years on this good earth, my grandmother is ox-like from the neck down. Her brain, however, has lost all of its capacity to remember what happened five seconds ago.

Though it sounds cruel, I’m trying my best to forget how she is now, trying to forget how last Christmas, she asked me, “is your mummy still alive?” while my mother and I sat on either side of her. Thus, I’ve found I prefer to pull up the more pearly memories.

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Local Talk

What is the next step in human evolution?

What is the next step in  human evolution?

Cybernetics. The merging of brain capacity with electronics.
Brij Lunine
Santa Cruz | Lecturer

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Opinion

Why Giving Back Helps Keep You Healthy

Why Giving Back Helps Keep You Healthy

Most people are satisfied with their contributions to their community, but there may be a bigger reason those that volunteer do so with such fervor. Studies indicate people that volunteer in their communities experience longer lives, better relationships with their families and a stronger sense of social connection. Veritable nutrition ingestion for the soul.

The human soul (to quote C.S. Lewis “You don’t have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body”) cannot be disputed; it’s only what happens in death that becomes discussion. Nonetheless, people require balance between body and soul in order to sustain and live happy lives. The human soul craves connections with other souls. Interacting and supporting another human is nourishment for the soul.

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Astrology

Pisces – The Will(ingness) to Love

Pisces – The Will(ingness) to Love

As Aquarius, sign of service, comes to a close, and we begin the influence of Pisces, sign that Saves the World, here are two quotes invaluable for understanding our world situation and maintaining balance through unceasing personal and global chaos (Ray 4). ‘Conflict is the essential core of a free and open society,’ (Saul Alinsky) and ‘Do what you can with what you have, where you are’ (Theodore Roosevelt). Quotes are from "Taking On The System: "Rules For a Radical Change In A Digital Era," a book by Markos Moulitsas, founder of "Daily Kos," (daily weblog, political analysis on U.S. current events from a liberal perspective).

Happy Birthday, Pisces. The compassionate (Neptune) yet powerful (Pluto) Pisces (water) influences begin Thursday, 10:36 a.m. (Pacific time). We must be careful with Pisces (the fishes). They can feel threatened by social limitations, criticisms, censure and judgments. They must swim away to safety.

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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to Good Times
Oh ... Some Hope
Put it in Park

Love is all around. But how much of it are you getting? Or giving, for that matter. I came across some old notes of mine that documented some interesting readings I found over the years. Love—loving—actually promotes good health. More on that next week, but for now, it’s great to see some love emerging in the form of the many benefits for Haiti taking place around the county. Motiv in Downtown Santa Cruz had one last week, and The Red has plans to host one. On Friday, Feb. 12, First Congregational Church in Santa Cruz welcomes Franklin Marshall for an event. Now that one news cycle has rolled out, much has been reported on Haiti, but it shouldn’t stop there. More attention can be drawn to the events unfolding there as Haiti rebuilds. One organization I found intriguing, which News Editor Elizabeth Limbach wrote about in our “Fresh Dirt” blog, is Save the Children. It’s an entity on a mission to generate lasting change in the lives of children in need around the globe. Presently, Save the Children is offering assistance in Port au Prince— food, water, shelter and more. Consider making a donation to Save the Children at savethechildren.org. Learn more about other ways to contribute to this cause by logging onto our website. Just click on the ‘Fresh Dirt” blogs and you’ll find updates on Haiti and what locals can do to assist.

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Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
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Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire