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From the Editor

greg_archerPlus Letters to the Editor &

American Idol: The Durb Watch

Well ... was it good for you? What a wild day May 14 turned out to be, after all. James Durbin Day turned into something more than that when Mayor Ryan Coonerty presented our American Idol idol with news that 2011 was officially James Durbin year. (Does that mean we all get the day off work every May 14? Thanks Mr. Mayor.) Durbin was also handed a surfboard, instead of a key, to the city—it came emblazoned with an image of his fist raised, rocker style. “There’s one thing I’m gonna need—a teacher,” mused Durbin. “I think I’m about the only person in Santa Cruz who doesn’t surf. I just sing good.” Make that really good. Writer Lisa Jensen, who’s been penning our weekly “Durb Watch” online, chimes in on all the wild happenings in Durbland of late. And continue to send us your thoughts—online and at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . And James: Thanks for the fun “day.” Let’s see how the rest of your year unravels. Onward ...
From fun we move to frightening. That’s one way to look at Geoffrey Dunn’s take on Sarah Palin. In his bold, revealing and downright provocative new book, “The Lies of Sarah Palin,” the local writer delves deep into Alaska politics, Palin’s history, and how the former vice presidential running mate’s questionable actions (and ethics) continue to raise eyebrows. Discover more about Palin, as well as an excerpt from Dunn’s book.
The Blues Festival is in the news, too. The area’s robust musical romp hits Aptos again this Memorial Day weekend. The line-up is particularly impressive this year, and writer DNA shares his thoughts with us beginning.
Meanwhile, in News, take note of why Assembly Bill 575 has many nurtritionists and dieticians across the state up in arms. The bill is currently being revamped, but what’s behind the controversary? Read on.
Enjoy the rest of the issue. More next time ...


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

American Idol ‘Sucks’
For the last three seasons of American Idol, any contestant that has heard the phrase "You are the one to beat!" from the judges has lost. Two weeks ago they gave that kiss of death to James Durbin and I knew he was a goner.  And so he was. American Idol sucks.
Nick Haflinger
Santa Cruz

Best Online Comments
On—what else?—James Durbin:

Way to to James. I am from Sarnia Ontario Canada, and I have been watching you throughout the season, and you are my American Idol. You have so much heart
and soul, and you sing it with great thought and care for others who you are singing too. I know for sure that you will be a
bigger star than you ever dreamed of, and that’s a "good" thing. We’ll be watching for your albums to come out. Good luck in all your endeavors.
L. Anne
Canada

James, hang in there. I thought that you were the most amazing contestant in the competition. All original, you had to do it your way. That is what tells me that you are an artist and an entertainer. I felt the hurt that you were feeling on stage. OMG, I
really did feel that you did get robbed. You are Season 10's Adam Lambert. I would love to see you together. Heidi and Hunter are so lucky to have you in their lives!
Sheryll Punneo
Liberty, Missouri

You had my vote every week. I was dissappointed you were voted off. I know you have a great career in front of you. The record companies would be fools not to sign you. I wish you the very best. The best is yet to come for you.
Karen Puleo
Santa Cruz

James, I have watched you from the beginning get better and better. You had me out of my chair when you sang the theme song to Heavy Metal. I would buy a concert ticket if you were to perform right now. When you are onstage you are electric. I am just a middle-aged mom who was 20 in the ’80s, you do that music proud! I will be looking forward to the music that you will surely create. All the best to you.
Trina

Memorial Day Deadlines
Good Times offices will be closed Monday, May 30, in observance of Memorial Day.   Offices will reopen 9 a.m. Tuesday. The following holiday deadlines will be in effect for the June 2 issue:
Display and Class Display advertising deadlines will be 4 p.m., Thursday, May 26.
Classified advertising deadline will be 11 a.m., Friday, May 27.
Editorial Calendar, Music and Events deadlines will be noon, Tuesday, May 24.

durb_watch durb_pic
There’s still some Durb watchin’ left in us. Things we learned recently: 1. Durbin’s hair can withstand a hometown procession and a Boardwalk concert for a crowd of thousands. (Good to know.) 2. He digs Zoccoli’s. He ate two sandwiches there before heading to Louden Nelson Center on James Durbin Day. 3. Durbin was hit by the recession—he was just one of many people who became unemployed by the recession here. In fact, when he got laid off from his job at Domino’s Pizza (on Clares Street) in Capitola, his fiancée convinced him to audition for Idol. As he put it:“Two days later, I said [to her], ‘let’s go wait in line for 28 hours.’” Meanwhile, during a conference call with reporters, Durbin noted that he wants to make an album like rock’s Dio or one that has hints of the records Ronnie James created with Black Sabbath. (Some insiders are advising Durbin to consider a more “pop” approach.) More updates (and video coverage of D-Day online) at goodtimessantacruz.com.
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Dancing In the Rain

District Attorney Bob Lee’s death in October stunned the Santa Cruz community, but he had battled cancer fiercely—and privately—for more than a decade. Now one of his closest friends reveals the remarkable inside story

 

Our Gifts - Fiery Sacrificial Lights to One Another

Wednesday is Christmas Eve, Hanukkah ends and the Moon is in Aquarius, calling for the new world to take shape at midnight. Thursday morning, the sun, at the Tropic of Capricorn, begins moving northward. The desire currents are stilled. A great benediction of spiritual force (Capricorn’s Rays 1, 3, 7) streams into Earth. Temple bells ring out. The heavens bend low; the Earth is lifted up to the Light. Angels and Archangels chant, “On Earth, peace, goodwill to all.” As these forces stream into the Earth they assume long swirling lines of light, in the likeness of the Madonna and Child. The holy child is born. Let our hearts be “impressed” with and hold this picture, especially because Christmas may be difficult this year. Christmas Day is void of course moon (v/c moon), which means we may feel somewhat disconnected from one another. It’s difficult to connect in a v/c moon. Try anyway. Mercury joins Pluto in Capricorn. Uh oh … we don’t bring up the past containing any dark and difficult issues. We are to attempt new ways of communicating—expressing aspirations and love for one another, replacing wounding, sadness, lostness, and hurts of the past. Play soothing music, pray together, have the intention for peace, harmony and goodwill. Don’t be surprised if things feel out of control and/or arguments arise. We remember, before a new harmony emerges, chaos and crisis come first to clear the air. We are to be the harmonizers. Christmas evening is more harmonious, less difficult, more of what Christmas should be— radiations of love, sharing, kindness, compassion and care. Sunday, Feast Day of the Holy Family, is surprising. Wednesday is New Year’s Eve, the last day of 2014. Taurus moon, a stabilizing energy, ushers in the New Year. Happy New Year, everyone! Peace to everyone. Let us realize we are gifts radiating diamond light to one another. Living sacrificial flames!

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Let My People Go

There’s a lot to like in Ridley Scott’s maligned ‘Exodus’
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Best Bites of 2014

A look back at the year in good taste

 

What downtown business is good for both one-stop shopping and last-minute gifts?

The Homeless Garden Project store. Because it is a community effort and has really useful and beautiful things, and allows you to connect with a lot of folks who are doing great work in Santa Cruz. Miriam Greenberg, Santa Cruz, UCSC Professor

 

Vino Tabi Winery

One of Santa Cruz’s most happening areas to go wine tasting is in the westside’s Swift Street Courtyard complex. Ever since a group of about a dozen wineries got together and formed Surf City Vintners (SCV), the place has been a hive of activity, and a wine-tasting mecca. Adding to the mix is the lively Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing beer company—making Swift Street Courtyard a perfect spot for a glass of wine or a pitcher of ale.

 

Betty’s Eat Inn

Yes, she’s a real person; no, this isn’t her