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Jan 26th
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Editor's Note & Letters

Columns - Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to the Editor


Steve Jobs. Dead. No doubt the co-founder of Apple is biting into fruit of another kind, wherever he may be. News of Jobs’ death last week quickly captured headlines in print and television. If you’re an “Apple person”—and even if you’re not—no doubt you’ve thought of the man that helped profoundly shift the way we interact with our computers and communications equipment. The man made a dent, that is for certain. I can recall being lured into the Mac world back in the ’80s. I was interning for the Lyric Opera Theater at Arizona State University and that small Mac, boxed as it was, with a floppy disk drive to boot, was where my journey began. Today, many of us are feeling the ripple of effect of Jobs’ enterprising visions—whether it be on our smart- phones or personal computer devices. R.I.P Steve. Here’s to jobs well done.

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Columns - Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to the Editor


They keep telling me—and not the voices in my head, thank you—that “thoughts are things.” What do you think about that? Careful ...  If it’s true and thoughts are, indeed, “things,” meaning, depending on the intensity—OK, we’re in Santa Cruz, so I’ll just say it: vibration—of your thoughts, you—yes, that would be you and, well, me, if we’re talking about the collective “you,” which we are, so ...—have a definite say in the creation of your reality. Just by how you think. All of this just makes me think: What are you thinking? (Other people have asked me this—Hi Mom—countless times and not in esoteric conversation.) A local “thought” guide once proposed to me, and others, that it was healthy to observe your thoughts—just notice them and not attach to them. It’s an interesting exercise. I did that for quite a while but always kept getting sidetracked by my—wait for it—emotions, to which the local guide chuckled and said: “Just notice your emotions—don’t become too attached to them.” I felt exhausted at this point and thought of one thing: Chocolate. I felt better after that.

Why am I telling you this? Thoughts, emotions, evolution and unity are part of the work of Sahara Devi. The spiritual leader hits Santa Cruz next week and will host a gathering on Thursday, Oct. 13. Check out saharadevi.com to learn more about how this individual promotes elevated consciousness on the planet.

For more information on the event, call (323) 829-1054.

In the meantime, three writers are feeling good and thinking great thoughts this week—the winners of GT’s “Take One” screenwriting contest. Discover who came out on top, and how their films will be produced by Impact Productions and will later be screened at the 2012 Santa Cruz Film Festival. Sometimes, drama really pays off. (Oh, and be sure to check out the winners of our Pet Photo Contest. )

More next time ...

 

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


Letters to the Editor


Yeah, About The Economy ...

Regarding last week’s story in News, today’s economic recovery in Santa Cruz is not, I repeat, is not on an upward slope. According to Executive Vice President and chief development officer of Bay Federal Credit Union, Tonee Picard’s statements, “Economic conditions are also on the upward slope—we’re seeing a stabilization of the economy,  just based on a few key indicators. She says: “People are starting to  borrow again, there has been an uptick in our loans, auto loans and  refinancing homes due to all time low interest rates, [and] we’ve been meeting our lending goals. We are noting that credit scores are improving and the saving rates are still very high.”

People are saving money in prevention of further economic needs (i.e.  food, shelter and clothing), people are refinancing their homes to  save more money for these basic needs. People are borrowing again  because they have to. And the banks are willing to let them. Credit  scores are improving because people are paying down their debt. Inflation is looming over America like a freight train. with interest rates at all time lows, they can only rise. Homes at lower prices, must go up. The rental market is saturated due to forclosures, causing more inflation, even more lay-offs in the government and bringing home troops and releasing criminals from prison, will only  increase unemployment.

I do appreciate Tonee’s outlook, but it was, after all, the banking industry that caused this mess, so with a grain of salt ( it’s all I have left) and reading between the lines of her comments, I gracefully decline to interpret.

Homelessly submitted,

A former contractor,

Mark Becknerz


Street Beat

Regarding the article by Daniel Woo, I am a professional drummer who has played and studied music for the past 38 years. As a child, I watched Tom Scribner play his musical saw on Pacific Avenue. Recently I myself have performed on the mall, with the hope of inspiring children to take up a musical instrument. I have found the many restrictions on performing downtown to be even more difficult to manage than carting a (muffled!) drum set to and from my vehicle.

The Great Morgani is a professional street performer. I take my cues from him. I do not appreciate street performers with limited training and talent. I believe that Santa Cruz should encourage, even subsidize, professional street performers, or "buskers." Without them, Pacific Avenue is colorless, at best.

Jay Wilson

Santa Cruz


Best Online Comments


On  GTv’s  Charlie Sheen Roast’ coverage ...

Bravo. The balances of men, and ladies’ opinions finally sway his way. Vengeance sweet and all Divine. Bless.

—CS


Whether you like Charlie or not, he's entertaining—just like watching a Train Wreck.

—Lupin


On the dining story “Au Midi” ...

This place ROCKS! By far my favorite restaurant in Santa Cruz. If you haven't already gone, you must, and if you have I hope you're not as addicted as I am.

—Foodie


On  ‘Risa’s Stars’ ...

This my second Age of Aquarius. I am happy to be living clean and sober this time around. In my 60 years of this life I have never experienced an Astrologer and Teacher as powerful and knowledgeable as Risa. I thank you Risa. I have traveled many different roads. Simplicity, Kindness, and Love are incredibly difficult paths for me. I appreciate Risa's strong and powerful readings of my Leo Journey. Thank you for your dedication and love for us all.

—William M. Sweet


Clarification                Regarding last week’s music blurb, Austin Wilhoit is the bassist for The Devil Himself.


Columns - Editors Note

From the Editor

From the EditorPlus Letters to the Editor

Well ... what is there to say in nine words? (That was nine words by the way.) The winners of our Nine-Word Novel Contest have plenty to say, in fact. Back in August, as part of our ongoing “Contest Mania,” we put out a call to readers to submit their nine-word creations and the response was massive. This week, the winners of the contest bask in the spotlight. How many winners are there? Nine—naturally. Take a peek and let us know your thoughts. (You can use more than nine words.)
Onward ... This week also marks the unveiling of our annual Fall Home & Garden Issue. We illuminate the things that will enhance both your home and garden this fall. Take note of what some locals are doing to spruce up their lawns—and, really, reinvent them altogether. There are also some real estate tips for home owners and home buyers. Speaking of ... be sure to turn to our Real Estate section.
Home. What does it mean to you? When I was growing up on Altgeld Street in Chicago, I remember home equating to comfort. My Polish mother told me stories that mirrored that. Apparently, I was so comfortable with my surroundings that, at the age of 5 or 6, I would sit on the front steps of our porch and inform everybody that passed by what was happening in our house. “Hello ... my mother is making Polish dumplings inside;”  “Hi, my name is Greg and there’s freshly washed underwear hanging on the clothes line in our backyard;” “Did you know that my mother is giving up smoking but my father can’t stop?” I suppose, even back then, I liked reporting the “news.” Either that, or I was really into babbling on. (There’s a good indication I’m doing that now.)
But back to the idea of “home.” Ponder it this week. Where are you most “at home.”
Until next time ...


Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief

Letters to the Editor

More On That Land Issue ...
While I’m glad to hear KB Homes has declined to build directly on an apparent burial ground, what strikes me the most about this issue is the reminder that our entire society is built on stolen land that was once sacred to those who lived here before us, just as all land was sacred in every corner of the world to people who lived on it as hunter-gatherers or primitive agriculturalists. In effect we are just setting aside a tiny patch of grass amidst a huge area long-ago stolen, razed, and built over.
My hope is that the discovery of Native people’s remains will inspire us to think about not only the dysfunctional relationship our society has with the Earth that supports us, but also the persistence of racism from our history into the present day. Once enslaved and conquered, black and brown people today are still the poorest, most-polluted, and most highly imprisoned populations in our society. I hope the movement to stop a house from going up over the bones of indigenous people will spill over into solidarity with the living indigenous populations in our county struggling against anti-immigrant programs like “Secure Communities,” and to protect themselves from dangerous pesticides like methyl iodide.
Steve Schnaar
Santa Cruz

Transformational?
Having lived as a trans person for 14 years now, I can't help but feel collectively "used" when members of the cis-community promote themselves as the "voice of the transgender community.” (See GT 9/22, “Transfiguraitons.”)
Artists such as Jana Marcus must be aware that those of us who struggle daily with job, housing, and accommodations discrimination, not to mention violent attacks, will find her work patronizing, arrogant, and commercially opportunistic.
When I spoke with Marcus at a recent event at Camouflage and she explained she was the "voice" for people who have no voice, I made a point to assure her that we have a voice, many voices: Jan Morris, Leslie Feinberg, Kate Bornstein, Jennifer Finney Boylan, and Julia Serano to name just a few.
Imagine how members of any marginalized community must feel when others who are not so oppressed presume to speak for them—and capitalize on their identities. I'll tell you how it feels: it's insulting and it hurts.
Incidentally, you used the term transgenders (sic) in your editorial. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) media guide points out that this term is considered problematic. Transgender is not a noun but an adjective.  The correct term is transgender people. Yours in the struggle for equality ...
Alyson Bloom
Santa Cruz

Best Online Comments

On ‘Bonfire Stories’ ...
What a brave and compassionate person Heidi Boynton is, and what an inspiration. Thank you for sharing her remarkable story.
—Jean Walter

On ‘Looking At What’s Sacred’ ...
You can contact Indian Canyon and Ms. Sayers at indiancanyon.org [for more information.), but to naysayers, the real story here is the myth building, from dehumanizing Indians to Weapons of Mass Destruction lies, mainstream society has in its DNA. This concerns all of us one way or another: we all live here on this planet right now. California Indians know this particularly well. After all, slavery, genocide and ethnic cleansing happened "right here in River City." No: son.
—Russ

I hope more of us will listen to what she and our mother are telling us. I believe we are all endowed with one half million or more years of hard-won intelligence, buried in our cells. Most of us have just forgotten to listen.
—Dan Bjerk
 
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Force of Nature

Santa Cruz’s Carlie Statsky brings her love of the natural world to the hyper-personal art of wedding photography

 

Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius

The magical time of Mercury’s retrograde cycle is here once again, until Feb. 11, and then some. The Mercury retro cycle actually lasts eight weeks when we consider its retrograde shadow, giving us six months a year for review. We know the rules of Mercury retro: Be careful with everything; cars, driving, money, resources, friends, friendships, groups, interactions, thinking, talking, communications. Avoid big purchases, important meetings and important repairs. Mercury retrograde times are for review, reassessment and rest. Our minds are overloaded from the last Mercury retro. Our minds need to assess what we’ve done since October—eliminating what is not needed, keeping what’s important, preparing for new information in the next three months (till mid-May). Mercury in Aquarius retrograde … we reinvent ourselves, seek the unusual, we don’t hide, we’re just careful. We live in two worlds; outer appearances and inner reckonings, with both sides of our brain activated. Yet, like the light of the Gemini twins, one light waxes (inner world), the other (outer realities) wanes. Like Virgo, we see what’s been overlooked—assessing, ordering and organizing information. It’s an entirely inner process. When speaking we may utter only half of the sentence. We’re in the underworld, closer to Spirit, eyes unseeing, senses alerted, re-doing things over and over till we sometimes collapse. Because we’re in other realms, we’re wobbly, make mistakes, and don’t really know what we want. It’s not a time for decisions. Not yet. It’s a time of review. And completing things. Mercury retro: integration, slowing down, resolution, rapprochement.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of January 23

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Bye Bye Benten!

Benten closing, plus Award-winning gin, a massive burrito and chocolate review

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Scanning the shelves of Deluxe Foods of Aptos, which carries an impressive selection of local and imported wines, I picked up a bottle of Trout Gulch Vineyards Chardonnay 2012, described as “a local favorite” by the busy market.

 

Cremer House

What’s old is cutting-edge again in Felton

 

How are you going to make a tangible difference in your community this year?

Spread more kindness and compassion.