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Oct 24th
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GT Columns

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.
Local Talk

What are the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana?

What are the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana?

The pros would be stopping the growing of marijuana in national parks and to deminish the Mexican mafia trafficking of marijuana, and also it would be beneficial for medical marijuana. The negative may be that the people not paying taxes would now have to.
Bevin Bischoff

Santa Cruz | Student

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Astrology

A Beam of Focused Light

A Beam of Focused Light

There are many events this week following last week’s Full moon festival of Sag/Gemini (goals brought forth for humanity and Earth’s well-being). The Parliament of World Religions & Women at the Parliament in Melbourne, Australia, Dec. 3-9; Copenhagen Climate Change Conference Dec. 7-18; Santa Cruz UNA (United Nations Association) Human Rights Fair (after downtown parade), Saturday, Dec. 5, noon to 9 p.m. at Louden Nelson. Sunday is the second Sunday of Advent (“something’s coming”) and feast day of St. Nicholas (the real Santa Claus).

We’re in Sag now, sign of food, music, the photographer, adventurer, professor and philosopher. In the Bhagavad-Gita Krishna (divine driver of warrior Arjuna’s chariot) says, “I am the month of Sagittarius.” Artemis/Diana are the female Sagittarian deities. Sag’s center of attention, when not seeking the arrows of intuition scattered everywhere, is always upon the Capricorn mountaintop. Sagittarius nobly holds high aspirations (aspiration of the Soul) to return to the Father, humanity’s origins (we are starlight). Sag is energetically a “beam of focused light.” No wonder Sag is the photographer. Sag’s focus brings forth expanded awareness and consciousness through Jupiter, planet of great generosity and love (Ray 2) leading to wisdom. The Tibetan says, “Jupiter brings together and binds in friendliness.” Thus, in the season of giving (through Jan. 6, Feast of the Three Kings), let us be generous with our light, our money, our gifts, our love, our goodness and our wisdom.

 

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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to Good Times...
H1N1 Debates
Beyond Paper and Plastic
HOLIDAY DEADLINES

Leave it to good old Bookshop Santa Cruz to offer some levity as we speed closer to a new decade and, perhaps, a brand new era. The revered Downtown Santa Cruz bookseller, known for its long history of commenting on politics and political books, is now offering an "essential" item as a companion to Sarah Palin's new book, “Going Rogue.” For every book sold, the bookstore will give the buyer a free bag of walnuts dubbed: "Sarah Palin's Just Plain Nutz." The bag is also available solo for just under $4 for those, the bookshop says, "who can stomach a 1-ounce bag of walnuts, but can't stomach 432 pages of Sarah Palin's writing."

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Local Talk

How do you feel about kissing a smoker?

How do you feel about kissing a smoker?

I think it's disgusting but wonderful.
I want more.
Anna Baker
Santa Cruz | Caterer

 

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Opinion

‘Unfriending’ in an increasingly social world

‘Unfriending’ in an increasingly social world

Maybe it doesn’t get noticed as much as Time magazine’s “Person of the Year,” but for my money, the best yearly honor comes out in November from the New Oxford American Dictionary. It’s the lexicographers’ “word of the year.”

Of course 2009 is the year of social media, so it stands to reason that it would come from there. And it does. The word? “Unfriend.”

How beautiful. An antisocial term in a world of social media. Here’s the explanation  from the dictionary’s blog: “UNFRIEND – verb – To remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social site such as Facebook. As in – “I decided to unfriend my roommate on Facebook after we had a fight.”

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Astrology

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

We begin the week Thursday with Thanksgiving. Unfortunately the entire day is v/c, which means making contact can be difficult unless there is an earnest intention to do so. Holidays that fall on v/c (moon making no contact with planets, therefore we don’t make contact with each other, events, feelings, food, etc.) days can be stressful unless we are aware of the withdrawn energies of the moon, which rules our emotions, family, contact and comfort. Therefore, during this Thanksgiving let us have the conscious intention to make contact with each other, aware that we must work a bit harder for that contact to occur. We remember, “making contact releases love.” And in this solar system (the second of three) “love is all there is.”

To assist us with that contact and with giving thanks for everything small to large and everything in between, here’s some music from David Lowe’s Dreamcatcher album, track title “Seventh Heaven”. The accompanying film on the animal kingdom is beautiful and especially good for children. Playing this music over and over elevates the heart and frees the mind.

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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to Good Times...
Sounding Off About H1N1
Fire in ‘Flex’
HOLIDAY DEADLINES

Crime is on everybody’s mind lately, especially in Santa Cruz, which has seen a curious wave of short-lived criminal activity. But overall, is crime up—or down? It’s one of the things discussed in this week’s main news story. Here, writer Anna Merlan reports on a recent Santa Cruz City Council meeting where the issue of crime was the main agenda. Actually, it may have been more of a empowering session of healthy venting. Locals weighed in on their concerns and new actions were taken to increase crime watch locally.

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Santa Cruz Restaurant Week

A huge part of Santa Cruz Restaurant Week has always been about offering a great dining experience for an affordable price. For some locals, the $25 flat-rate cost has provided the opportunity (or the excuse!) to try new spots, and indulge in Santa Cruz fine dining in a way they might have thought too pricey before.

 

Scorpio Sun, New Moon Eclipse, Mercury Direct

The Sun enters Scorpio’s mysteries Thursday under a new moon and partial solar eclipse (something essential has come to an end, its purpose completed). In Scorpio we harbor secrets, are devoted to something deep, dark and hidden. Sometimes it’s ourselves. We can bring great suspect to our assessment of others. Scorpio is the scorpion, the serpent and the eagle—three levels of development. As the serpent we take shelter in our beliefs. Sometimes we bite (or sting). The eagle vanquishes old beliefs through its sharp intellect, soaring high in the air, seeking to understand through perspective. Understanding releases us from the bondage of fear. The eagle is like the mother soothing feelings of mistrust, offering protection. Knowledge does this, too.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Light Humor

College comedy questions a post-racial America in ‘Dear White People’
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Back Porch

Austin Kaye on backyard dinners and why it’s his favorite time of year to be a chef

 

What’s the most outrageous situation you ever saw at a restaurant?

Damani Thomas, Santa Cruz, Chef/Owner

 

Wine Lust

The Spanish Godello grape, plus arancinis, tender butter lettuce and pork schnitzel at Soif

 

What artist or artists participating in the encore weekend of Open Studios should not be missed?

Santa Cruz | Teacher