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Apr 15th
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From the Editor

greg_archerPlus Letters to the Editor &

American Idol: The Durb Watch

The best. What is that exactly? What does doing your best in 2011 really mean? How many people really do that? Still? True, some would argue that in our current culture, where everything from actually reading (thanks for doing so here by the way) to going the distance—really going above and beyond what you’re asked to do—seems to have drowned in the cold soup of mediocrity and inane reality TV, I propose that Santa Cruz is actually a unique beast. The level of creativity and inventiveness here continues to evolve at remarkable levels.

(Now, if somebody could just really get smart and create even more ways for people to make a good living here, we’d be all set.) So, it’s with great pleasure that I deliver to you this year’s fascinating crop of winners from the Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. The number of votes this year surpassed even our expectations and there were plenty of surprise wins as well. All this to say ... should you ever find yourself debating the quality of good work and integrity of service and style, just keep this issue handy as a reminder of what all of you do out there, every day. You, along with this year’s winners, continue to make Santa Cruz the curious and creative haven it is. Keep it up.

In the meantime, dive into the issue this week and take note of all the shops, professionals, health and fitness titans, foodies and artistic types that made the top of the list. And check out our very own Critics’ Picks. There’s plenty more in between. Thanks for all your time and attention—and for voting. Onward ...

At 152 pages, you’ll have quite a bit to sift through this week. Be sure to read Kim Luke’s brilliantly written guest column on page 6. In A&E, writer John Malkin interviews Noah Levine—never boring, to say the least. You’ll find a few music features, too, one that delves into the mystique of Hauschka, who hits town this week. And then ... there’s the 10th annual Santa Cruz Film Festival, which opens May 5. We have an advance preview of the fest, with more coverage next week.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading. And thanks for making Santa Cruz the “best.”


Greg Archer | Editor-in-ChiefLetters to the Editor


Desal: Don’t Bite

With regard to the GT April 12 “Drops from the Bucket” article, the city’s proposed ocean desalination plant on the Westside is not about saving endangered and threatened fish.

Using the “desal fish hook” is a cynical ploy for justifying a fossil-fueled powered desal plant is both unconscionable and absurd. The push to build this sizeable manufactured water plant is all about promoting unsustainable UC Santa Cruz expansion and real estate development at the expense of citizens and ratepayers for generations to come. Can cash-strapped Santa Cruz afford to build this kind of experimental $120-$140 million facility? Moreover, how much doesn’t the city actually spend on promoting year-end, year-out water storage, ongoing conservation strategies, and well-funded demand reduction incentives and rebates?

Now that the statewide water emergency has been rescinded, we don’t deserve a leadership drought among our elected city council members. Smells fishy, sounds like a steamroller, and looks like an expensive boondoggle. It’s time for an up or down vote on the desal plant and the alternatives.

Paul Gratz

desalAlternatives.org

Santa Cruz


Rotkin is Off Base on Desal

Thanks for your excellent article on the League of Women Voters’ Desalination Debate. Mike Rotkin’s claim that city studies show curtailing water use more than 15 percent would result in “business failures and health and sanitation problems in individual homes” is way off base. He simply needs to review the city’s 2009 Water Shortage Contingency Plan, which details allocation for different levels of water shortage.

At 25 percent shortage, residences would need to meet a goal of 73 perent of normal year water use. The goal for businesses would be 92 percent of normal use, the goal for the two golf courses would be 51 percent of normal use, and the goal for coast agriculture would be 90% of normal use.

If we were to have a 50 percent water shortage, residences would need to meet a goal of 48 percent of normal year water use. The goal for businesses would be 70 percent of normal use, the goal for the two golf courses would be 20 percent of normal use, and the goal for coast agriculture would be 67 perecent of normal use. The goals would be met through rationing, signage in commercial buildings, and reduction of landscape/golf course/agriculture account water budgets.

The 2009 Water Shortage Contingency Plan also substantiates Rick Longinotti’s claim that a worst-case drought actually has occurred only once in the last 90 years. The Plan’s graph of annual stream discharges from the San Lorenzo River for the years 1921-2007 shows that the drought of 1977-78 was the most extreme water shortage in the 90 years for which there is data.

City representatives should show respect for the public by engaging in fact-based discussions on this issue.

Karin Grobe

Santa Cruz


Get A Clue

Regarding the Planned Parenthood article (GT 4/14) writer Amy Coombs really knows her stuff. Obviously, aborting only 48 million babies since 1973 (that is one child every 26 seconds) wasn't nearly enough to solve all our problems. And those darn kids that actually survived and grew up, like Amy, well ... what are we to do with them? Clearly, the panacea we have all been looking for is here and needs our tax dollars. How are they to survive making only one billion dollars a year? How cruel of us, how inhumane.

Lynn Wesson

Santa Cruz


durb_watch durb_pic


Nothing like crooning Muse’s “Uprising” to grab everybody’s attention. James Durbin did just that last week, once again showing how vast his range as a performer can be. (But really Idol, Carole King songs this week? Whatever.) In the meantime, Stefano Langone was sent packing—something that really shook up Durbin, who was visibly upset by the news. (The kid’s got a big heart.) In the meantime, kudos to Watsonville fans. There’s a spirited Idol viewing night (7:30 p.m. Wednesdays) at Carmona’s Barbecue and Deli (1040 East Lake Avenue) and at Green Valley Grill (40 Penny Lane). Be sure to read our updates online every Thursday and Friday at goodtimessantacruz.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.