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From the Editor

greg_archerS2sPlus Letters to the Editor

Welcome to 2011. And ... how’s it going so far? The first day of the year found me happily giving up my seat on a crowded airplane at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Perks soon followed—a travel voucher for $300 and a room for the night in a nearby hotel. All good. That I was in Room 1111 on 1/1/11 ... well, I considered that a sign the year ahead is going to be pretty darn good.

It’s a new decade, in fact, which is hard to believe, but here we are, 10 years into the 21st century. What have learned? Aren’t we overjoyed about the meteoric rise of Facebook and Twitter? Feeling more “connected” to you and yours during the high-tech communications boom? More on that another time.

In this week’s issue, take note of the cover story penned by J.D. Ramey. Think of it as a sort of “store that could” tale in which one Felton business owner is proving you really can have your dream—despite the quirky economy.

In the meantime, columnist Sven Davis takes a look at 2011 in the way he does best—with pure wit.

In News, there’s a report on the wage reduction for in-home care workers. And ... in her ongoing reports on the Community Assessment Project (CAP), this week News Editor Elizabeth Limbach uncovers new statistics on child abuse in the county. Take note, too, of what’s going on with our trash. (As a side note, and it is somewhat related, because what we throw away, does, in many ways, affect the environment ... I still have not convinced my mother that there is this thing called “Climate Change” or, as some locals note, “Ocean Warming.” This, after it was 52 degrees in Chicago on Dec. 31. “Yes, mother—the Earth is just fine?”)

Back to tech—one good thing, I am able to monitor the temperature at the North Pole on a daily basis on my iPhone. (You have to keep tabs on the NP.)

Enjoy the issue.


Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


Letters to the Editor


Sore About Eyesores

In response to the recent letter from Doug Springs (GT 12/22; “What An Eyesore"), Doug, don't hold your breath about getting rid of anything the city council decides to "throw up" in our town. I  remember when the giant and very obtrusive, blue and yellow "Welcome to Santa Cruz" sign was erected on River and Mission streets.  There was a huge public outcry to have that tasteless eyesore removed. There were letters to various editors, letters to the city council, etc.  It was a grassroots movement by the citizens here. The city even tried to sell the thing to some collector via eBay but no one wanted it.

So, there it is, still just as tasteless and just as big as ever on River Street. Even the graffiti taggers leave it alone because there is just no way anyone can make that big piece (of art) any uglier. Good luck with your movement to rid the town of more city council approved “art.”

G. Cruse

Soquel


Still Sore

Regarding the letter, “What An Eyesore,”

I ask what the writer hoped to accomplish by hurling insult after insult in all

directions without care, nor offering

any constructive ideas.

Rhan Wilson

Santa Cruz


Still Not A Good Idea

Regarding the vacation rentals story, the restrictions on Live Oak will destroy the vacation rentals along the entire beach.This is an obvious, back room deal between Supervisors Ellen Pirie and John Leopold. She will support it only by gaining special consideration or exempting all her beach front areas of VRs. As long as it does not affect a supervisor's district, they will support it, even against the overwhelming majority of the people from the entire county including their districts. This will affect their districts as well economically; they should do what is right for the county.

This is not right for Live Oak either. This is obviously a repay by Leopold from his prior election and forward. Many people and businesses from all districts are already preparing for the next elections accordingly. I truly hope the supervisors wake up before they destroy the lives of so many people and Santa Cruz as a vacation destination other than the day visitors. Areas like Monterey or Carmel have been the day visits. Now it will reverse. Even my great grandparents would come here to vacation in Live Oak, Pleasure Point area. What destruction by one power hungry politician.

Capt. Sal

Live  Oak


Best of The Online Comments


On ‘Buzz Kill

Prop 19 garnered a 64 percent yes vote in Santa Cruz County. I've lived here for 32 years. I'm extremely dubious of these findings. I can't claim the "legitimacy" of these folks but my own anecdotal sense is that "acceptance" is far greater than these results. Not only will a self selected few take the time to participate, but human pollsters often get more guarded responses than more anonymous robot conducted polls.

EAH


On ‘Vacation Rentals’

Vacation Rentals are a business and therefore should be subject to business regulations including obtaining a business license, paying their fair share of taxes and supporting the community. Live Oak is a separate community - not a city but an unincorporated part of the county. Let the Live Oak area residents decide their own fate. Do short-term rentals contribute to the betterment of the community? Not really. But neither do the wannabe gang bangers who seem to congregate here along with the sleazy, druggy folk and other lowlifes drawn to Live Oak by the more affordable housing. What to do? Screen long-term renters more closely and maybe work through a responsible property management firm? For short-term rentals—run a credit report on renters, limit rentals to one month or shorter, keep a list of problem renters that can be shared with other property management firms and rental owners and listen to your rental home neighbors and be a good neighbor by answering their complaints/concerns to their satisfaction.

GMAN


Ayn Rand in 1957 in “Atlas Shrugged” described looters as those who confiscate others' earnings by force, including government officials whose demands are backed by the implicit threat of force, and those who are proponents of high taxation, big labor, government ownership, government planning, regulation, and redistribution. Citizens who save and risk to own a home have every right to live in their home or rent it as they alone decide. Owners and renters are obligated to abide by the fair and universal occupancy, parking, and noise control codes and ordinances that those working in government are obligated to provide for the peace and protection of all citizens equally—and that is all.

Betty Sakai

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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

 

Hunter Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Smooth with soft tannins, this velvety crimson Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is delicious and very drinkable.