Santa Cruz Good Times

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Apr 16th
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From the Editor

greg_archerPlus Letters to the Editor &

American Idol: The Durb Watch


It still baffles me that my mother and father nabbed our sweet little home in Elmhust, Illinois, for under $40,000. Imagine that! That was back in the ’70s. The house was paid off long ago, but I can’t help but think of how different times were back then and how challenging they seem to be now, especially when it comes to the issue of home buying—and home “keeping.” This week, we dive into the housing crisis, specifically foreclosures. Have they hit a peak? Beginning in News, we illuminate the issue, talking to locals who have been affected by the crisis. Then, in this week’s cover story, writer Patrick Dwire goes in-depth on the matter, highlighting the fact that foreclosures in Santa Cruz hit an all-time high in 2010. Dwire also talks to locals who’ve manuevered through what seems like a sea of paperwork with banks to prevent a foreclosure. (One woman’s tale is particularly interesting to note.) We also spotlight a local hero making good efforts on this front. And be sure to see page 17 for a list of local programs geared toward assisting those in need of help. Be a part of the dialogue: Send us your thoughts about housing, the foreclosure crisis and more at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Elsewhere, an update about Bryan Stow. Some of you may have read the reports late last week that the local paramedic was severly beaten by two men outside of Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles. He suffered severe head injuries and was placed in a medically induced coma. His condition is stable but still critical. Locals have rallied together to help Stow and his family—he’s a father of two. At 7 p.m.  Monday, April 11 at El Palomar in Santa Cruz, there will be silent auction, raffle, food and drink specials, autographed Giants’ paraphernalia, and more. There is also a growing Facebook presence to help Stow. Log onto “Our Prayers Are With Bryan Stow” or “Bryan Stow Family Relief” to learn more about how to pitch in and/or lend support. A fund has also been set up at cuswirl.com. Godspeed ...

More next time ...


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



Newspapers: Will They Survive?

In regard to Tom Honig's "Newspapers Fight For Survival in the Digital World" last week, the main driving interest from a monetizable perspective of digital content distribution is behavioral advertising. Every time you visit a website (or for that matter turn on your TV if you have set-top box, data points are collected. Unless you are a very sophisticated hacker, your IP address is tracked, your every online move is followed. And "private browsing" doesn't keep you anonymous from websites.

One sector with robust Initial Public Offering activity these days is aforementioned behavioral advertising and its associated technologies. Facebook is testing real-time targeted advertising, distributing targeted ads based on real-time user commenting. We do not know how the dust will settle on this new industry, whether the FCC will enter the fray or not, or whether the industry can put forth acceptable self-regulatory standards. Either way, monetizing collected data points will be as explosive as it is financially lucrative.

Online content delivery is a nascent work in progress, with enabling and disrupting technologies. We are not stopping at tablet displays, flexible displays that can be bended and folded are five to 10 years away from broad market introduction. We are in the midst of a revolution among content aggregators and legacy publishers, with digital rights management at the legal forefront.

In 2011, hard copy, that is, print media, remains popular with advertisers. Good Times itself is indicative of this. The likely short-term scenario is hard copy becomes premium "sampler" content of fuller online coverage. When Good Times goes all digital, or out of business because they can't monetize digital, we'll know the print media gig is up.

Bob Lamonica

Santa Cruz, CA


Good Greys

Thanks for the excellent coverage of the Bears. Yes, it's got more "wins" than any grade-schoolers' feel-good sports program.

However, I was distressed to read that portobello mushrooms are no longer being distributed because "nobody" eats them.

For me, one the the great delights of being a Bear is getting food that I would not ordinarily buy. Indeed, I loved getting the giant chocolatey portobellos for omelettes, spinach salads, and rice dishes, and have

noticed their absence.

How about sending a crate or bagful of the mushrooms out with each driver, to be distributed upon request? I'll take some off your hands! This would also keep the fragile treat from drifting to the the bottom of the bag, adding a couple more "wins" to the program. Heck, give me the whole bag and I'll make soup!

Jane Walton

Santa Cruz


Here Comes the Sun

Wow, what a great article (Solar Technologies, GT 3/24). I've worked in solar for several years now and that was probably the best article I've read explaining how grid-tied and off-grid solar works. It’s such a natural idea to connect EVs with solar. Together EVs both run clean on the road and "refuel" on clean renewable energy.

Liz Frantz

Santa Cruz durb_watch durb_pic


Last week, The Durb crooned Elton John’s “Rocket Man” and managed to escape a double elimination round—Thia Megia and Naima Adedapo were sent packing. This week, as the wannabes begin to fade, the competition becomes a bit more fierce. We’re thinking The Durb’s toughest rivals may be Paul McDonald and Pia Toscano. It’s just a matter of time for Stefano—no matter how dashing he looks in a vest—and Casey Abrams, although pretty darn good, still needs a good shave. Is it us, or is it just a bit funky to really embrace the dude? (Just saying.) Read an extended Durb Watch on Thursdays and Fridays at goodtimesantacruz.com.

 

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Aries Solar Festival

Sunday is Palm Sunday. Symbolizing victory and triumph, paradise, sacrifice and martyrdom, the Pisces World Teacher entered Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (signifying humility).

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.

 

Printer's Devil

Iconic editor Buz Bezore, who died last month at the age of 68, left a huge mark on Santa Cruz journalism   Eventually, it’s all a blur. You live long enough, and maybe a little too hard at times, so that when you hit the rewind button of faded memory, it moves so fast that you can hardly sort and gather the details. One scene skips to the next, and to the next, without proper editing or sequencing. Chronologies get distorted. Which came first: stealing the chickens or coloring the eggs?
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Foodie File: Yan Flower

Yan Belleville has owned Yan Flower, an affordable Chinese restaurant in Downtown Santa Cruz, with her husband Raymond for eight years, and it’s a family affair. Her brother, sister, sister-in-law, and cousins work there too. Locals know the joint for its massive lunch specials starting at $4.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

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

 

Comanche Cellars

Pinot Noir 2010 I first tasted Comanche Cellars Pinot when a friend brought a bottle to share over lunch at Center Street Grill in Santa Cruz. Upon trying it, I knew I had to find out more about it.