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Jan 26th
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From the Editor

greg_archerPlus Letters to the Editor

Good health. What do you do to cultivate that? Are you creating good health in your life? It’s all something to ponder this week in our big, bold, annual health issue, which sheds light on how to maintain and nurture optimal health in your outer and inner worlds. When I was a kid back in Chicago, I had no real concept of good health—I binged on cheese sandwiches, leftover spaghetti and meatballs and anything that contained even the slightest hint of chocolate. Oh, the times I had—with bowls full of pasta, half-gallons of chocolate ice cream (OK, they were gallons) and any food my Polish family prepared to fill me up. It’s hard to believe that, today, I’m a yogi, indulge in spin classes and maintain great health. But back then ... I was pretty oblivious, seemingly numbing myself with food and other distractions. (All a symptom of believing you can’t “feel” your feelings.)
I couldn’t help but have this in mind when we were creating the concept behind this year’s health issue. What, I wondered, urges us to pull away from ourselves. Yes  ... as in ... YOU. In there. Deep in there. (Ah, there you are.) I’ve been curious about all this for some time, but more so over the last year, which found me cowriting a health book that delved into these very issues. And so, the stories that make up our annual health outing revolve around several ideas and concepts to keep your external world operating well—as in, your body—but we also take a look at how internal motivations—those things called thoughts and feelings—help shape and influence our lives, too. We also include a section on an issue capturing the public eye: Eating disorders. Learn more beginning on page 14. Send us your thoughts for optimal health, or other health tidbits and we’ll include them on our online posts.
In other news,  columnist Kim Luke explores the mystique of the opposite sex—the perfect timing for such a thing as we bask in our post-Valentine’s Day buzz.
Speaking of ... who had a date for V-Day this year? Come on ... show of hands. Hmm. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there’s nothing wrong with taking yourself out for some wining (not whining) and dining. (Yeah, as in, a date—with yourself.) Trust me: it leads to interesting conversations with others. Always a healthy thing to have.


Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief

Letters to the editor

Nice ‘Peer’
Thank you, Gretchen Wegrich, for your excellent article "Peer to Peer" about Mental Health Client Action Network's incredible array of community services for those suffering with mood disorders (GT 2/11). At age 37, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Last year I founded the Santa Cruz County Chapter of the DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Alliance) which offers free, confidential peer support groups for those living with bipolar disorder and/or depression. Our mission is to provide hope, help and support to improve the lives of people living with depression or bipolar disorder. The way I see it, the more high-quality, safe peer support groups, the better!
Hence, our local DBSA members are totally dedicated to helping promote not only our support groups, but other local mental health organizations' groups such as MH-CAN and NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Santa Cruz. For more information about DBSA Santa Cruz please call (831) 345-7190 or visit DBSA's website, dbsalliance.org.
Dyane Harwood
Santa Cruz

Good Points in ‘Peer
Santa Cruz has been a leader in peer advocacy since the ’80s. MHCAN was launched in 1991. Now 20 years later we are shifting toward more and more services where people with lived experience can be here for each other, authentic, in support. If there's a silver lining in the dreadful economy, it's to bring us all together in community. Thank you for this article and for I hope ongoing coverage as the peer movement blossoms in our county.
L. Ross
Santa Cruz

Thanks ‘Charlie
I appreciated Geoffrey Dunn’s piece on Charlie Chan and the Santa Cruz connection (GT 2/3). I’ve always found this area to be a really cool energy place and it does not surprise me that, from time to time, we keep hearing about famous people, or just cool people in general, connecting to the vibe here—either now, or in the past. The cover story on Chan proves that Santa Cruz is really a funky little haven.
Tom Knight
Felton

Homelessness 201
Regarding last week’s cover story, the issue of homelessness is not going to go away. On the one hand, it’s nice that there are measures being taken to actually count the homeless. But we need more services and resources for the homeless and programs to assist them. Counting them is fine, but let’s get creative and find some solutions.
Becca Jones
Santa Cruz
Best of The Online Comments

On ‘Making the Homeless Count
Thanks for the great article! This project is so important and it was nice to hear that you had a good time participating. Getting the homeless and non-homeless to work together is the first step in finding any kind of solution.
Lynn M

This was a lot of words to say: "We're doing a homeless census as accurately as possible so that we can get money from HUD." It was a fairly innocuous account of a ride-along. This article contradicts previously published information from HSC itself and other news sources, as well as the city council, that 70 percent of those homeless served were not local. Whatever happened to the council looking into cutting back services to non-local? Whatever happened to investigating which communities send their "homeless" and unwanted residents here? There was not any helpful information to give insight into the local homeless or how ordinary citizens can help the most if they wish to, past shoving a dollar at someone.
GT should be careful about which pictures it uses to accompany its articles. The one of the young woman with the kitten was taken about three to four years ago and I know that soon afterward she bragged about it and told people she was making $15/hr just sitting on the sidewalk with her sign and kitten. Sorry, but this is true.
M. Spevy
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How are you going to make a tangible difference in your community this year?

Spread more kindness and compassion.