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May 24th
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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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Local Talk

What's the craziest thing you've ever done for love?

What's the craziest thing you've ever done for love?

The craziest thing that I ever did for love was to move to Germany. I met the guy and we spent three crazy weeks together and then I moved to Germany for him. We’re married now.
Jasmine Wiest
Santa Cruz | Waitress

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Opinion

Could Boomers Still be the ‘Greatest Generation?’

Could Boomers Still be the ‘Greatest Generation?’

As the 1960s ended and the ’70s began, the baby boomers stood tall and arrogantly proclaimed that the previous generation had made a mess of things, and this generational bulge of humanity was going to set things right.

Now it’s 40 years later and what do we boomers have to say for ourselves? Look at the Wall Street bankers who almost brought down the entire world economy. Look at a broken political leadership in Washington (and in Sacramento). Look at Santa Cruz County with 12 percent unemployment, gridlocked traffic and not enough water.

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Astrology

Chinese New Year: White Metal Tiger

Chinese New Year: White Metal Tiger

I  noticed the acacia, plum and quince blooming so it must be time for the centuries old Chinese Lunar, Spring & New Year (year 4707 in the Chinese lunar-solar calendar) Festivals. The Year of the White Metal Tiger (yin branch) begins on Valentine’s (Sunday, Feb. 14), the day after the second new moon (25.18 degrees Aquarius) of the year. The festival ends at the Lantern Festival and full moon (9 degrees Pisces/Virgo). Like Christmas in the west, Chinese New Year is the most important celebration in China and consists of family celebrations, gift-giving, and special foods.

This Year of the Tiger “wearing metal” signifies a non-peaceful year. “This tiger jumps around attempting to shed the metal around its body.” However, Tiger is considered most caring and thoughtful, protecting loved ones and friends against injustices. The Tiger, symbolizing power and leadership, can also at times be inflexible and have difficulty with Right Relations. Tiger is “learning.”

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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to Good Times
Embrace Real Celebs
Totally Taxing
Time for the Heart


How often do you use your car, even if it’s just to go down the block to get a last-minute grocery item? There’s a strong chance that many of us use our automobiles far more than necessary, which brings us to this week’s cover story and an interesting question: Are you addicted to using your car as your only means of transportation? I admit it. I may be an addict. (Hi, my name is Greg and I’m a car-aholic ... it’s a convertible—it’s too low to the damn ground and God knows why I still have it—but yes, yes, I think I’m addicted to using it, and only it, as my single method of getting around!) We may all be in the same boat, so peruse this week’s cover story by Elizabeth Limbach, and dive into our pullout (“Commute Solutions”) to learn the myriad ways you can be making a difference environmentally by using sustainable transportation. And it’s not just about being “green”—although, isn’t “blue” the new green? It’s about making better choices all around—for your own health and the health of the planet we live on.

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Local Talk

Is the economy on the road to recovery or ruin?

Is the economy on the road to recovery or ruin?

I'm hopeful that it's on its way to recovery. I see an increase in business in the service industry, so I'm hopeful.
Tonja Scofield
Santa Cruz | Bartender

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Opinion

It's About Time

It's About Time

The idea of time-travel has been beloved by sci-fi writers and readers for centuries. In last summer's retooled Star Trek movie, Mr. Spock literally meets himself coming and going on the continuum of time.

Time is one of the most potent of human concepts. Think of all the axioms we've devised to groom and shape the unruly thing into something we can grasp: it flies, it crawls, it marches on. It heals all wounds but waits for no man. It's on our side, it's on our hands, it's of the essence, but where does it go? But all the language we assign to time amounts to the same conclusion: it's progress is inexorable. And inevitable. It's not like we can hop off at any stop for a breathing spell, then catch the next available car. Wherever it may be headed, we ride this train to the end of the line.

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Astrology

The Law of Ancient Dominating Good

The Law of Ancient Dominating Good

Esoteric Astrology as News for the week of February 4–10, 2010 For Sun and Rising Signs
Throughout 2009 Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune maintained a close proximity or conjunction in Aquarius, sign of world service and the new culture. It continues to produce noise, messiness, confusion, dissolving away, wounds, chaos and conflict impacting and affecting humanity. Each of the moving planets and their interactions are conveying to Earth a continuous tale of the old ways (Ray 6) dissolving so the new (age, time, cycle, dispensation, Laws & Principles, Ray 7, etc.) can emerge. Daily new realities impel us to change. Eventually as all things break down, we begin to imagine the unimaginable. The Jupiter-Chiron-Neptune in Aquarius—impacting our consciousness, how we live, relate and the future to be—is helping us do just that.  Humanity is turning away from material things and embracing spiritual materialism (sharing). Humanity is learning to radiate Goodwill in order to create Right Relations. These are the promises of Aquarius. From “Esoteric Healing” (p. 29) we read, “… some day the new Law of Ancient Dominating Good which lies behind all that God made will be brought into activity by the spiritual will of man” (humanity, the thinking ones).

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Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Off Her Meds

Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’
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Flats Bistro

Pizza with an artisan twist comes to Aptos Beach

 

What’s your take on Santa Cruz locals?

Santa Cruz locals are really friendly once you know them. I think a lot of them have a hard time leaving, and I would too. Ryan Carle, Santa Cruz, Biologist

 

Soquel Vineyards

If Soquel Vineyards partners Peter and Paul Bargetto and Jon Morgan were walking down the street wearing their winning wine competition medals, you’d hear them coming from a mile away. This year was particularly rewarding for the Bargettos and Morgan—they won two Double Gold Medals and five Gold Medals at January’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

 

Enlightened Flavors

Squash & Blossom’s artisanal alternative-flour delights, beet kvass from Cafe Ivéta, and the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival