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Apr 27th
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Astrology

Wesak Festival: Buddha Blesses the World

Wesak Festival: Buddha Blesses the World

Two celebrations (Earth Day on Thursday, Wesak on Wednesday) and one major transit (Saturn opposite Uranus) are the focus this week. Often Earth is not acknowledged in astrology charts. In esoteric astrology, Earth is placed opposite the Sun sign. The symbol for Earth is a cross within a circle. Earth (Ray 3) is a planet developing Divine Intelligence (Ray 3) and the activity of the Holy Spirit (Ray 3) which distributes the purpose of this solar system (2nd or 3), the Will(ingness) to Love). These are the esoteric (inner) reasons for Earth Day.

On Monday the Dweller on the Threshold (Saturn) opposes (eventual integration) the planet of revolution (Uranus) for the fourth time (fifth occurs in July). Saturn and Uranus are the rulers of Libra (Ray 3, economics). Earth (Ray 3) is presently experiencing a breakdown of past structures (Saturn) so the new culture and civilization (Uranus) can be created. Simultaneously, the Aquarian Age is about to more fully manifest (June with Uranus & Jupiter entering Aries).

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Astrology

Hermes (Mercury) Retrogrades

Hermes (Mercury) RetrogradesMercury (the wing-footed Hermes) retrogrades Sunday, April 18 (East Coast) at 12 degrees Taurus. It’s the second (of four) Mercury retro this year, all in earth signs: Capricorn (January), Taurus (April), Virgo (August) and again in December (Cap). Mercury retro in Taurus calls us to review our values, money and possessions. What and where are they? During Mercury retro all of humanity, events and earth’s kingdoms collectively retreat (except for those born with Mercury retrograde). As Mercury governs our thinking, communication, interactions, transportation, when retro, there is confusion, everything works backwards, sideways or not at all. Everyone’s driving in reverse, looking in a rear-view mirror, and concentrating on inner worlds of reality. It is actually not very safe unless we are consciously aware at all moments. We do not move forward, destination routes are obstructed and all actions must be re-thought-out, re-done, re-kindled, re-worked, re-assessed, re-envisioned and re-arranged. We’re forced into a state of respite, an interval of doing things differently, a lull in which we rest and recuperate creating weeklong retreats. What if we seriously used the three weeks of Mercury retrograde as times to hideaway, of sanctuary, havens of quietude and refuge? Businesses need to think this way. But it must begin with each individual. Mercury retrograde creates a time of mental relief alerting us that our minds are filled to capacity with information gathered (Gemini task) since the last Mercury retro. With Mercury retro we are given time to review, assess, order and organize (Virgo tasks, Mercury rules both Gemini and Virgo) what we know thus making room in our minds for the new information gathered in the next three months (till the next Mercury retro). During Mercury retro we have revelations.
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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to Good Times...
Helping the Homeless
A Wake-up Call?
And we all thought cows were so cute. Well, they are, but after reading this week’s cover story, penned by News Editor Elizabeth Limbach, you might look at that grass-hungry animal in a different way. The article addresses, among many other things, an issue often overlooked in environmental talks—that raising animals for mass food consumption is actually not good for the environment at all. There are water issues, of course, and how much greenhouse gas emissions are produced by animals raised for food. And then ... there’s a lot of crap. Livestock in the U.S. generates 130 times the amount of excrement of the human population—talk about lethal gas. There’s more, of course, so dive in on page 16. In the meantime, all this mindbending information about the environment comes at just the right time—Earth Day is April 22.

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Local Talk

What do you think about Obama announcing plans to expand off-shore oil drilling?

What do you think about Obama announcing plans to expand  off-shore oil drilling?

I think it's drastic, I'm against it. I'd like for the priority to be alternative energy sources.
Tony Armor
Santa Cruz | General Contractor

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Opinion

SC Innovation Pays Off Again

SC Innovation Pays Off Again

While the headlines often focus on the negative, what is less apparent is that this global recession has once again proven that Santa Cruz is both resilient and innovative.  All-too-real economic challenges remain, but thanks to the hard work and ingenuity of the people in this community, we will emerge from the recession with a vibrant and sustainable local economy.

Here is just some of good economic news of late: Cruzio and Ecology Action are redesigning the Sentinel Building into a hub for sustainability and data processing. Cruzio also helped the Central Coast Broadband Consortium, a collection of local governments, submit a $46 million Federal Stimulus grant to bring 310 miles of fiber to Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito Counties.  Simultaneously, the tech community is partnering with the City to lobby for Google Fiber (visit networksantacruz.org to help).

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Opinion

The Mad Tea Party

The Mad Tea Party

Regular readers of this column may recall that I was never exactly a cheerleader for George W. Bush. I did occasionally refer to him in print as the Cowboy Messiah (in regard to his reckless, faith-based warmongering), or the Weasel-in-Chief. OK, there were even times when I questioned the size, quality, or existence of his brain.

Most people understand that these are policy-based epithets aimed at a political figure whose various courses of action I find damaging in the extreme. Any public figure that represents certain policies is a target for legitimate expressions of dismay from those opposed to those policies.

But never did I ever hurl insults at George W. Bush, the man. George W. Bush, the man, wasn't the point; I saved all my invective—and believe me, there was plenty of it—for his politics of fear and deception, his criminal administration, even his smug demeanor. But never once did I ever stoop to insulting his race, his religion, or his culture.

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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to Good Times
Desal Disappointment
Look At This Way…

On Jan. 12, a 7.0 earthquake rocked Haiti leaving it in ruins. Three months later, residents and relief workers in the island’s capital, Port-au-Prince, are still picking up the pieces, emotionally and otherwise. Our country poured out massive support, and so did a creative entity here, known as Shelter Systems, created by local Bob Gillis—the man sold his first patent for a small tent design back in 1975. Gillis, and his unique 14-foot dome tents are the subject of this week’s compelling cover story, penned by Linda Koffman.

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Opinion

Surf City Meditations

Surf City Meditations

The Story of the Three Princes Comes Full Circle
One of the great conceits—and, really, deceits—of historical writing, and indeed of all journalism and literature, is that stories have nice, tidy endings that can be packaged and wrapped in a bow. In a certain sense, all story-telling requires such deception. Real life is never so easily confined to a constructed conclusion. Not even in death, of course, does a life-story end.

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Local Talk

What traditions have been passed down in your family?

What traditions have been passed down in your family?

I grew up in a religious Shinto famiy and we would visit homes of sick people and hospitals and give them healing prayers, prayers for healing. And that's been done in my family since my great great grandparents. I'm Japanese American Nisei.
Joy Takahashi
Santa Cruz | play therapist
 

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Opinion

Angry Words Don’t Help the Public Debate

Angry Words Don’t Help the Public Debate

The late New York Times columnist William Safire once predicted the end of a civil public debate by citing a key fact understood by commercial businesses – and ignored by the politicians.

What businesses understand is that there’s no percentage in disparaging the product of a competitor. If a Corn Flakes manufacturer, for example, trashes another company’s similar breakfast cereal, the prospective customer remembers only one thing — that that breakfast cereal is bad.

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We Can Rebuild You

A look back at how downtown Santa Cruz recovered from the 1989 earthquake

 

International Earth Day—Mother Earth Day

Every April 22, humanity celebrates International Mother Earth Day and Earth Day. As more than a billion people participate in Earth Day activities every year, Earth Day has become the world’s largest civic observance. The massive concern to build right relations between humanity and the living being we call Earth is evidence of humanity’s love of the Mother. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 22 International Mother Earth Day, with a significant resolution affirming “the interdependence existing among human beings, other living species (the kingdoms—mineral, plant, animal and human) and the planet itself, the Earth which we all inhabit.” The Earth is our home. Celebrating Earth Day helps us define new emerging processes (economic, social, political) focused on the well-being of the kingdoms. Through these, humanity seeks to raise the quality of life, foster equality and begin to establish right relations with the Earth. We dedicate ourselves to bringing forth balance and a relationship of harmony with all of nature. Learn about planting a billion trees (the Canopy Project); participate in 1.5 billion acts of green. Disassociation (toward Earth) is no longer viable. We lose our connection to life itself. Participation is viable—an anchor, refuge and service for all of life on Earth. Visit earthday.org; harmonywithnatureun.org; and un.org/en/events/motherearthday for more information. From Farmers Almanac, “On Earth Day, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, contact with the soil, companionship with nature! Go barefooted. Walk through woods, find wildflowers and green moss. Remain outside, no matter the weather!” Nature, Earth’s most balanced kingdom, heals us. The New Group of World Servers is preparing for the May 3 Wesak Buddha Taurus solar festival. We prepare through asking for and offering forgiveness. Forgiveness purifies and like nature, heals.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Mission Critical

How reading Lisa Jensen’s reviews taught me to love film
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Oral Fixations

Blown away by a Tuesday night dinner at Oswald

 

What would you like to see a TED talk about?

Hydrogen-gas cars that are coming this summer. Scott Oliver, Santa Cruz, Professor

 

Sarah’s Vineyard

Sarah’s Vineyard of Gilroy is known for crafting fine wines—and one of my all-time favorites is its Chardonnay. But this time, its Viognier has my vote.

 

Munch

East Coast meets West Coast in new meat lover’s paradise