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Feb 10th
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From the Editor

greg_archerPlus Letters to the Editor &

American Idol: The Durb Watch

Tax season has passed and spring is here and, well, it’s time to check in. How is your year unfolding? Hard to believe we’re nearly looking at May—I swear, “time” is speeding up. All this to say: Don’t freak out. And don’t forget to breathe as you move into prom season, graduation season, and, of course, the Easter holiday this weekend. (I’ll be thinking of my family back home eating all those homemade pierogi—someday, I’ll learn how to make them myself.)
In the meantime, this week also gives us another celebration: Dance. It’s National Dance Week. In the event you’ve never witnessed some of the magic that happens over the next seven to 10 days, you’re in for a treat.

Local dance troupes take to the streets in a wild exchange of creativity and movement, all spearheaded by Motion Pacific and Santa Cruz Dance, among others. It’s all highlighted in this week’s cover story, which illuminates the inner workings of this growing fest and what it means for Downtown Santa Cruz, and the area all around.
From dance, we move to music. And it’s here I happily invite you in welcoming Jenna Brogan onto the GT Team. Jenna has actually been actively involved with the paper for more than a year. Soon after she entered the fold, she was off and writing about the arts—from music to upcoming events and more. Recently, Music Editor Linda Koffman moved on —to thrive in The City—and we felt Jenna would make a perfect permanent addition here. She’ll be overseeing music features and any events-related spotlights. She comes with a strong knowledge in journalism and has a passion for writing and illuminating the unique aspects of the individuals or groups she is writing about. So, help us welcome Jenna, GT’s new Music and Events Editor.
Speaking of “events,” looks like James Durbin is on the fast track to, at least, the Top Three in American Idol. I don’t know about you, but I could use a parade! Make it happen, James. We’re rooting for you.
More soon ...

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


Letters to the Editor

The Right, Right? Well ...
I keep hearing Tea Party congress members say, “If we don’t extend the Bush tax cuts then business will go elsewhere.” Perhaps it’s short-term memory problems, but I remember when President Bush established that tax cut, that’s when outsourcing began. It’s still here. Likewise, I recall Bush, running for reelection in 2004 saying that outsourcing was good for the economy. That was either his low IQ, or a misguided belief, because he turned a surplus left over from President Clinton into what I call the second great depression, because nothing trickled down. The misguided belief continues, as those same Tea Party congress members are saying cutting programs is why they were elected. I wonder; did the voters really intend to cut their healthcare services, and privatize Medicare? I’ve found Planed Parenthood to be excellent low-cost health care. If we cut those seniors that depend on it, typically the mother’s of those voters who voted for them will have to balance their budgets by eating dog food. Today, like Clinton, President Obama has taken the right steps in fixing what’s wrong with America.
Bruce M. Gabriel
Santa Cruz


Something’s Not Right
I am writing in response to the “Events Calendar” blurb on Angela Davis’ recent presentation entitled, “Education As Liberation.” I share Angela’s concern that we are funding more prisons and spending less on our schools. As a public school teacher, I obviously believe education is important. However, I think we are missing the big picture. 
Almost 60 years ago, we replaced prayer and Bible reading (as intended by the founders of our country) with the “law of the jungle” of Darwin. To further add insult to injury, the U.S. government, in violation of the Constitution, has mandated all citizens to reject their religious beliefs in a shotgun wedding to atheist imaginings on how the universe began—all, of course, in the name of “science.”
In the classic education film entitled, Stand and Deliver, renowned teacher Jaime Escalante states that, “… the students will rise to the level of expectation.”  In a very positive sense, I found this maxim to be true.  
Unfortunately, it can also work against us. Since we now call our students “animals,” some are more than willing to prove the point. Similarly, our students reflect the destructive, forceful chaos as befits the “progeny” of the all-encompassing singularity called, “the big bang.” 
In short, the American work ethic and the Biblical command to “love your neighbor as much as yourself” has been replaced by, “…if it feels good, do it.” Consequently, we have been experiencing a failure of freedom and an exponential rise in disrespectful and destructive behaviors. We are living under the tyranny of a government dictating our beliefs and our children are the first victims. It is time for a change. Let freedom ring. 
Ken Schleimer
Scotts Valley

Smart People Have Rights, Too
I appreciated Damon Orion’s cover story on the UCSC’s David Jay Brown. The guy has a brilliant mind and, as you can see in this day and age, when high-tech is taking over and, ironically, we’re being dumbed down by modern social networking, smart people need to be more revered. Quit calling us geeks and give us some respect. Thanks for a clever article.
Janet Wiseman
Santa Cruz

durb_watch durb_pic Looks like James Durbin continues to hold his own in what has to be one of the hottest competitions we’ve seen on American Idol since the first three seasons—hard to believe this all began a decade ago. Last week, Durbin showed he’s more than just a singer hoping to get top honors. He proved he’s a rare commodity—a singer who actually “gets” what the hell he is singing about. That was the case when he took on  Sammy Hagar's "Heavy Metal" for the grand finale. Nice James, nice indeed! It’s anybody’s guess how this week’s Idol elimination will unravel—the competition gets tighter each week. Read our updates online every Thursday and Friday at goodtimessantacruz.com.  Keep it up, James!
Because here's the thing about James: it's not all about the power. He sings every song as if he actually gets what the lyrics meanCurb Watch on Thursdays and Fridays at goodtimesantacruz.com.

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Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey

Monday, Feb. 8, is Aquarius new moon (19 degrees) and Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey (an imaginative, intelligent and vigilant creature). Monkey is bright, quick, lively, quite naughty, clever, inquiring, sensible, and reliable. Monkey loves to help others. Often they are teachers, writers and linguists. They are very talented, like renaissance people. Leonardo Da Vinci was born in the year of Monkey. Monkey contains metal (relation to gold) and water (wisdom, danger). 2016 will be a year of finances. For a return on one’s money, invest in monkey’s ideas. Metal is related to wind (change). Therefore events in 2016 will change very quickly. We must ponder with care before making financial, business and relationship changes. Fortune’s path may not be smooth in 2016. Finances and business as usual will be challenged. Although we develop practical goals, the outcomes are different than hoped for. We must be cautious with investments and business partnership. It is most important to cultivate a balanced and harmonious daily life, seeking ways to release tension, pressure and stress to improve health and calmness. Monkey is lively, flexible, quick-witted, and versatile. Their gentle, honest, enchanting yet resourceful nature results often in everlasting love. Monkeys are freedom loving. Without freedom, Monkey becomes dull, sad and very unhappy. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC), the Chinese official title of Marquis (noble person) was pronounced ‘Hou,’ the same as the pronunciation of ‘monkey’ in Chinese. Monkey was thereby bestowed with auspicious (favorable, fortunate) meaning. Monkey years are: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016.  

 

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