Plus Letters to the EditorI’m a sucker for people making a positive difference, which is why you’ll be reading about a few locals who really shine in this week’s cover story. Truth is, sometimes it’s rare to come across a group of dynamic people whose individual efforts create a positive ripple effect. But those spotlighted this week—Analicia Cube, Doron Comerchero, Deutron Kebebew and Cliff Hodges—are a real treat. Cube gave birth to Take Back Santa Cruz, a collective of locals who gathered on a Facebook group page that have united the community in response to, and against, “drugs, gangs and abusive behavior” throughout Santa Cruz. Then there’s Comerchero, who founded Food, What?! at UC Santa Cruz’s Life Lab—the nonprofit trains a posse of teens on how to “plant, harvest, cook, eat and distribute” produce in a sustainable manner. Toss in some “skill and leadership development” and imagine the impact those teens have in the world. For Kebebew, making an impact comes naturally. As a project director at the Santa Cruz Community Counseling Center, he oversees the Papás: Supporting Father Involvement program and volunteers on behalf of foster youth and fathers. And Hodges? He stands out for a number of reasons. He founded Adventure Out several years ago—it’s an instructional outdoor guide service that’s generated big buzz, and shown locals and visitors a rare side of what we consider the “great outdoors” here. As a group, these folks take the spotlight this week as recipients of the annual NEXTie Award (santacruznext.org). Learn more about the impressive awards bash from writer Linda Koffman on page 14. And check out GTv video coverage of the soiree online at goodtimessantacruz.com.
In the meantime, don’t hold back—feel free to make a bold move and/or make a difference in the lives of those around you this week.
More next time ...
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Letters to the Editor
In the Jan. 13 issue, Cathy G. asks, "What's so special about vacation rentals? What's so special is obvious, Cathy. It's the money! Santa Cruz's less-than-hospitable attitude toward mainstream business has severely impacted its tax base. Gone are Liptons, Wrigleys, Texas Instruments, Raytek and most of the automobile dealers along with the taxes they paid. Gone also are the jobs they provided which in turn funneled more money into the local economy. The city now seems focused mainly on students and tourists as a source of revenue. Given that tourism provides such a substantial contribution to the area's economy, the business that services them, including vacation rentals, are sacred cows in the eyes of city leaders. This, along with the fact that Santa Cruz has a reputation as an anything-goes party town, does not bode well for areas with a high concentration of vacation rentals. In other words, don't hold your breath waiting for the city to curb noise, parking problems or any other undesirable behavior stemming from short-term rental properties in your neighborhood. It's just not going to happen.
A Day to Remember
A scary horrible precarious calendar time for democracy what with the assassinated Martin Luther King's birthday weekend and the shooting deaths and woundings in Tucson.
One other blow to the country, we were taught we had, is also current. Jan. 21 is the first anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling which continued, and, in fact, increased the ability of corporations (even foreign ones) to influence elections with huge unidentified donors paying enormous sums for television time and mailings to secure the election of corporate friendly candidates.
The Santa Cruz community can learn more about this serious threat to democratic government by being on the Pacific Mall (O'Neill’s) between 2 and 4 p.m. on Jan. 21 to participate in a vigil, obtain literature, sign petitions and enjoy some street theater. I encourage all to participate with the Curb Corporations Committee of the 96-year-old Women's International League for Peace and Freedom to return our elections to honest expressions of democratic, one man one vote, events.
Best of The Online Comments
On ‘Still Stimulated’
Well, Obama’s Stimulus Package helped devalue our currency abroad and now there is a huge undead force group (HIV-AIDS people) that need health care at all costs! So, if something happens overseas (like a huge natural disaster) or in the United States—the economy goes and the meds get cut off ... the psych meds people aren’t going to be that bad, along with the pain meds crowd we need to worry about. The strain HIV-2 ... it takes one year for the victims to die. So, the planet is in for a really bad year. I would have kept our national surplus and let GM go under, etc., and saved the money for a rainy day—like buying meds!
On ‘Heal Thyself’
This article pretty much helps me explain and answer my previously unanswered question as to why I've chosen a school/life/career path in alternative medicine/healing in
Five Element Acupuncture. Well I've had answers for it, but never ones I've been happy with— they're either really short, basic and boring or a complex and elaborate life story—neither of which explain it exactly.
My six month stay in Santa Cruz was short but I think it really had a huge, everlasting impact on me even if it was subconscious at the time of being there. What a great place! The best part is, I thought I "failed" there because I quit my first career job, that I believed was the beginning of my dream job (at Good Times!) and couldn't support myself. Moral of the story: Follow Your Heart/Gut, even if it doesn't make sense at the time ... because most likely it will make sense later!
Thank You Santa Cruz, and Good Times for continuing to inspire me to live my dream!
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