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Sep 02nd
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From the Editor

greg_archerS2sPlus Letters to the Editor

This time of year we often hear about the great efforts locals are doing to galvanize the community, strengthen bonds and raise the level of awareness about those in need, and those who are also doing great work. We had that in mind when we were crafting the idea behind this week’s cover story. Beyond spotlighting on locals who do good, we wanted to focus on one group in particular: teenagers. Were there local teens doing noteworthy work? There sure were. Beginning on page 16, take note of the five Koffman discovered. But there are plenty more. Just the other day, in fact, I came across more news of Lightfoot Industries, which is dubbed a “social enterprise” solution in that if offers entrepreneurial training for teens. Some of the teens involved in that network are making strides in impressive curriculums. Learn more at lightfootind.com. In the meantime, note those featured in this issue and keep us apprised of others doing great work by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

If you’re looking for positive change elsewhere, check out News this week, where our reporter takes note of a new initiative that Ecology Action is now involved with; one that hopes to get some buzz about being more ecologically friendly. Also in News, Congressman Sam Farr shares his thoughts about extended medicare rates for physicians. A good thing? Learn more on page 10.

Be sure to note Cabrillo Stage’s festive “Scrooge,” which officially unfolds this week. See page 34 for the full report.

And ... if you’re looking for hot holiday events, find some listed on our Events.

In between, enjoy the spirited times as the year draws to a close. What’s the best thing that happened to you in 2010?

More soon ...

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


Letters to the Editor


Seeing Blue

Tom Honig, as an embedded reporter with the police department in his cover article “SCPD Blue” (GT 12/9)  reminds us of embedded reporters in Iraq. They didn’t really get a dynamic view of things outside of the PR interests of the military. Honig’s report reads like a glowing puff piece. Anyone who has been paying attention to our boys in blue understands things are more complex than this article articulates but I agree that riding shotgun in a cop car would be a good vantage point.

The SCPD seems to welcome ride-alongs. Their website encourages citizens to sign-up to see a cop’s beat from the passenger seat of a police car. Several months ago, I answered that call and was scheduled for an evening shift. I arrived expecting an eye-opening experience, but instead I was denied. Later, then Interim Chief of Police, Kevin Vogel, called me himself, to tell me it was because of prior “contact” with the department. What that meant I do not know. I was convicted on a misdemeanor charge many years ago, maybe that is the reason. I’m an upstanding and active member of the community and I was hoping to have an inside view to better understand things instead of my normal view that is usually colored by police who selectively enforce the laws and often act outside of the law.

The color “blue” is an interesting choice of theme here as it reminds us of news stories of the department’s past. The SCPD was once charged with harassing the Blue Lagoon. For years they would park their squad cars across the street with the headlights flooding into the entrance effectively scaring off the gay patrons of that establishment. They were ordered to pay “the Blue” a quarter of a million dollars. Also, a secret SCPD program called Code Blue had officers beating sleeping homeless people with baseball bats. The department avoided prosecution by firing the Chief of Police. While not mentioning anything “blue,” Honig’s puff piece does give a glimpse of how our local boys work when he tells us that they ran off some men who had done nothing wrong. I don’t have to sit in a police car to see blue. Outside of my own kitchen window I’ve seen the police harassing the gardeners of the Beach Flats Community Garden. An officer who is in the so-called “Gang Task Force” demonstrated which side of the conflict he is on when he upended crates of personal belongings of the peaceful gardeners. This Latino officer is obviously not impartial when it comes to the battles between the colors red and blue, which to me seems quite blue. While the police department profits from the May Day “riot” and saturates downtown as they harass anyone who doesn’t look like they’re shopping, our town has been draped in the color blue. I, too, am blue because this type of journalism is also color-coded. It is yellow.

Brent Adams

Santa Cruz


Blue Days

Thank you for your story on the Santa Cruz Police Department. While I feel there is probably more to the story, it was nice to get a look inside and get to learn a little more about what our local cops do go through.  Although, I think its hard to really know.

Beth Anderson

Santa Cruz


Holiday Deadlines

GT offices will be closed Thursday, Dec. 23 through Friday, Dec. 31 in observance of Christmas and New Year’s.

Deadlines for Dec. 29 issue: 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17 for Display, Class Display, Bulletin Board and Classified ads. Noon Wednesday, Dec. 15 for Calendar.

Deadlines for Jan 6 issue: 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20 for Display, Class Display, Bulletin Board and Classified ads. Noon Thursday, Dec. 16 for Calendar.


Best of The Online Comments


On Neal Coonerty and ‘Town Hall’

I have been traveling up to Bonny Doon on Empire Grade for the past couple of years and have gotten to know some of the volunteer fire fighters. They are a great bunch of people who really have banded together as a community to be responsive and provide emergency care for people in areas that are sometime hard to find.

Lately the mood has changed. Negative politics by people who have no respect for the hard work on the part of volunteers. Cal Fire's power posturing has left a bad feeling in the community.

There were road closed signs on Empire Grade for a week after a small tree broke and closed the road for a couple of hours. Usually community volunteers would have had this cleared, but now the attitude seems to be, “watch and observe the dysfunction.” The tree still is in the bike lane waiting to be hit.

Why can't Cal Fire embrace, encourage and work with the volunteer base? These are people working for nothing, who know the area roads are vested in

zthe community, and they are being

slowly shut out and disrespected by ... politics? politicians?

Andy Paulin

 

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Mercury Enters Libra

It’s the week of Burning Man, the temporary, intentional, alternative, art-filled community on the playas of Nevada. Mercury, messenger of the Sun, enters Libra this week. Libra is the equalizer, a sign of balance and right human relations. Sometimes with Libra, we can be indecisive and confused while learning how to make balanced and right choices. Sometimes to keep the peace we communicate only what others want to hear. Eventually, we learn how to speak from the heart.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Banter and Spark

Engaging actors, wry script distinguish lightweight rom-com ‘What If’

 

Back to Silicon Beach

With a new wave of startups, the future of Santa Cruz tech looks more promising than ever
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Foodie File: Beer Thirty

Cups runneth over at Soquel’s new beer garden

 

What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for someone this week?

Germany  |  Beekeeper

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

A Cab To Be Coveted

I first tasted Villa del Monte’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at a Fourth of July party, where the hosts had bought a case of it because they love it and didn’t want to run out. It’s one of those wines that will grab you—in the best way—with its full body and rich fruit characteristics.