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Jul 27th
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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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Astrology

The Moon’s Influence

The Moon’s InfluenceAs the Sun moves through the last half of Aries, it’s best to begin projects this week (not next) because on Sunday, April 18th, Mercury retrogrades (looking back, past review) in Taurus. Things initiated now (before the retro) will enter into a reflective stage during the retro, then manifest into form and matter after the retro (May 11th with Aries moon). Thursday and Friday are Aquarius moon days. We could feel rebellion, seek personal freedom, everything’s a bit sideways, unusual and tradition has no place as we build toward the future. Saturday and Sunday are Pisces moon. We seek retreat, tranquility, peacefulness. We’re sensitive, spiritual or drug and alcohol induced. Veils between worlds are thin, delicate, and translucent.
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The Binding of Edmund McMillen

How a Santa Cruz designer created one of the most unlikely hits in video game history

 

Sun in Leo, Rosy Star, Venus and Uranus Retrograde

Three major celestial events occur this week. Wednesday, the Sun enters Leo, highlighting the heart center of everyone. Leo is a sign of deep sensitivity (along with Cancer). Wednesday is also the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene, one of the most misunderstood women in the Bible. Saturday, July 25, Venus turns stationary retrograde at 0 Virgo (progressed Regulus, the Law, Hall of Records). Venus retrogrades for 44 days and nights, forming one petal of a five-pointed rosy star (pentagram) in the sky (five retrogrades over eight years = star). Venus retrograde turns values upside down. Our usual sense of beauty, values, the real price of things, relationships—all turn into a bundle of confusion. We don’t seem to know anything. Luxury goods are mispriced, values are jumbled, we wonder who that person is we’re in relationship with. We don’t know where our money is or where it’s gone. Venus, in daily life, represents values (resources, money, possessions and quality of relationships). Venus retrograde asks, “What do I value?” Venus retrograde puts us in touch with what has changed and what is truly of value in our lives. Venus retrogrades from 0 Virgo to 14 degrees Leo (July 25-Sept. 6). Leo is about the self and our creativity, which is how we come to know and value ourselves. We “know ourselves through what we create.” In Venus (values) retrograde (inner focus) we will ask, “What are values (not just money and finances)? What are my values? What do I create? How do I value my creations? Do I value myself?” Sunday, Uranus—planet of all things new, revelatory and revolutionary—also retrogrades (from 20 to 16 degrees Aries) until the full moon of Christmas Day. Five months of Uranus retrograde. In July and continuing on through the following months we have many planets retrograding. Things therefore slow down. Everyone’s focus becomes subjective, hidden by veils and curtains. A time when inner reserves of strength are available. A time of protection.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 24

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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AJ’s Market

Local cult fave keeps getting bigger and better

 

What do you think of Bernie Sanders?

He’s what we need, more hardcore Democrats. Old-school, ’70s-style Democrats. Tony Dolan, Santa Cruz, Freelancer

 

Hunter Hill Vineyards & Winery

Calling all Merlot lovers—Hunter Hill has released its 2013 estate Merlot ($25)—and a superb one it is, too.

 

Turn Up the Beet

Golden beets with buffalo mozzarella, plus single-malt whiskies and award-winning local Chardonnays