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Feb 14th
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From the Editor

greg_archerPlus Letters to the Editor

The shortest month of the year is coming to a close, so, are we really ready for the long haul? As in ... moving through the rest of 2011 with some insight and endurance? I always see the first few months of the year as an adjustment period. We’re getting over the holidays and trying to determine the pace and vibe of the year ahead. But once February ends, we’re really no longer in the honeymoon period of the new year—it’s time to get focused. Right? So, what are you focusing on? What are your goals? How do you really want 2011 to play itself out?  For those of us who want some suggestions, you’ve come to the right place. This week, our trusted scribe, Kim Luke, gives answers—and some hope—as she unravels the mystique of the new year in Chinese Astrology. It’s the Year of the Rabbit. But rather than making it all about “you,” La Luke makes it all about Santa Cruz. How will our emotional little town fare this year? Absorb it all—and take notes.
Beyond that, this week we give you a clue as to how things could unfold now that the proposed desalination plant is rolling out. Yes, we’re all about water, water, water, this week. Beginning on our opinion pages, we offer a few different angles to this complex issue. Then, in News, News Editor Elizabeth Limbach probes the matter deeper. Discover what’s at stake for desalination, why it’s a hot issue of contention, and what the city of Santa Cruz stands to gain—or possibly lose—as things move forward. Have any thoughts on the matter? Continue to send them our way at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
In the meantime, we’ve been inundated with voting for the annual Best of Santa Cruz Readers’ Poll. Who—and what—is your favorite here in Santa Cruz County? This is your chance to let us know. Head to goodtimessantacruz.com and fill out the ballot. We’ll announce the winners at a later date, but hurry—voting ends soon.
With that in mind, it wouldn’t hurt to take some time during your daily routines to check in with yourself. Are you doing your best? I have to do this process often. Never knew there was so much to move out of my own way, which is both a good and challenging thing—depending upon which side of my mood I’m looking. 
More next time ...

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Letters to the Editor

Counting the Homeless
This comment comes late, but I just finished reading the very well written article on the homeless count (GT 2/11). Having read an article the previous week on funding cuts that may halt finishing the Tannery Arts Complex, the question arises, "where best to spend the money—who needs it worse?
In Santa Cruz, do we house more of the homeless or build to completion an ever-more elaborate arts and performance center? Though a great idea from the start, the reality is, only a select few will benefit, and those people, in many cases, already enjoy a privileged background and similar future. Not so, the homeless count; their needs are quite basic and immediate. After hunger has been satisfied, plus a warm bed and shower, perhaps then, one can appreciate an art exhibit or an Ibsen play. It's a conundrum—more simply, it's a bitch.
Kathy Cheer
Santa Cruz

Not ‘By the Book’
Regarding the recent stories on libraries ... to Ellen Pirie, I am personally offended by your persistent animus toward the workers of this library system. We, too, are members of the public, and we have every right to speak on issues that directly affect us as library users as well as staff members. Director Landers' brief, according to the Library Joint Powers Authority bylaws, is to advise the Joint Powers Board—to offer her professional opinion. The Board is not obligated to agree with the Director, but it is unprofessional and undignified to engage in ad hominem attacks, as you have done.
I would say that I expect better of public officials, but for the fact that I've been disappointed too many times to harbor any such expectations. But I am ashamed to be governed by people who degrade the level of civic discourse.
I welcome spirited debate. I cherish dissent. We would all be better served if public servants such as you would support an atmosphere in which vital issues could be discussed both passionately and rationally. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Leslie Auerbach
Outreach Services,
Santa Cruz Public Libraries
Best of The Online Comments

On Sam Farr’s ‘Town Hall
I read an article in the San Jose Mercury News that Blue Shield of California plans to raise its rates by 35 percent within the next few months. Mr. Farr, how about addressing this problem and also explain what, if anything, the new health care bill will do about rising costs.
D. Spinelli

On ‘Plastic Bags’
Sentimentalism and Anthropomorphism to sell this dubious concept just to make us caring white liberals feel good. "Single Use" plastic bag ban is not attacking the real problem of over-packaging and use of plastics in nearly all our products. Banning these multi-used "single-use" bags will cause heavier and larger plastic bags to be used, which will send the wrong message to the industry of providing more product and add significantly more to this dilemma. I'm still waiting to be convinced why using CFLs (which contain mercury, and are not easily recycled) are much better for our environment.
Vern Foske

On Home Births
There's a bigger picture. I hope people aren't thinking that this is the way to go! There are so many risks. Of those 1 percent of births, people weren't told that they still have to go to the hospital for unexpected complications! Our technology is greater, it is no longer necessary for home births unless you want to pretend you live in the past!
Pru

On Mental Health
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.
Lillie Ross
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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 12

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Pub Watch

Mega gastro pub-in-progress at the Old Sash Mill, plus the best pasta dish downtown

 

How do you know love is real?

When you feel the groove in your heart and you’re inspired to dance. Becca Bing, Boulder Creek, Teacher

 

Temple of Umami

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How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster