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Apr 24th
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From the Editor

greg_archerS2sPlus Letters to Good Times...
Beyond 2012
Embracing ‘2012’
Wet Spots
You probably saw this coming: virtual music venues—it is the 21st century, after all—but what you may not have factored into the mix was how enterprising such a beast could be, especially when Santa Cruzans are behind the scenes creatively. That’s where Virtual Venues Network (VVN) comes in. Spearheaded by several locals, this concert-screenings business caters to a “closed-circuit network of clubs and college campuses” that participate in exclusive concert events. Think of it like Pay-Per-View with a twist. Now booming, VVN offers nightclubs, sports bars, colleges and theaters across the nation plenty of opportunities to unveil one-time virtual concerts from many prominent bands. Writer Damon Orion uncovers the unique journey the founders of VVN have taken, and what the future holds for the business model.

Elsewhere, ponder News this week, where our intrepid reporter reports on PG&E’s request for a $4.2 billion in increased revenues over the next three years. (That stings.) Learn more.

In the meantime, take note of our Community Assessment Project survey online. The information you provide will be vital in determining what needs can be met in the county in the next five years. Have at it.

Thanks for reading this week. More soon ...
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


Letters to Good Times Editor
Wet Spots
I've been thinking about the desalination article GT recently published, and energy use in general, and I'm wondering why the county doesn't use its good credit to save water and make money.
If rainwater collection and greywater systems will save money, even a small amount each month, why not guarantee loans for homeowners to install them? And why not collect payments via water bills? The loan payments could be made equal to the amount the homeowner saves. And, if this will truly save money in the long run, the water charges could even be adjusted to make this work.
Such a program could be set up to make money for the county. And, with the ability to get a lien on the house, there is no risk. Everybody wins.
This same argument could be made for solar energy installations, geothermal heating and cooling, energy conservation upgrades, and real community-run cable TV (another potentially money-making public service -- where the county actually provides all the channels and broadband.)
Save money, save the planet, make money for the county, provide free broadband to everyone, get a warmer house, and get cable TV for cheap. We can do this.
Tony Duarte, Santa Cruz

Embracing ‘2012’
Thank you for the well written and researched article on 2012 by Damon Orion. It is nice to see that there are still a few investigative journalists around who can not only check their spelling and exhibit good grammar but write an excellent story as well.
Drew Lewis, Santa Cruz

Beyond 2012
I’m amused by all the fuss about the year 2012 and the GT article that discussed varying viewpoints. We seem super interested in the destruction of the world. Hello—there’s more important things to be thinking about. Besides, I’m all about “what you think, you create.” Are we really that soul-less that we’d actually want to create our own demise? Forget about it. Think about something really good today.
Jessica Reynolds, Capitola
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Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.

 

Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

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Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management