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Feb 12th
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From the Editor

greg_archerPlus Letters to the Editor

There was a time during the fourth grade when I played hooky. (Yeah, I was going through something.) I’d like to say that I used the time off from classes productively—you know, as in catching up reading “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” or something like that—but I think I caught up on reruns of Love American Style and, sadly, eating too many cheese sandwiches and leftover meatloaf. Occasionally, I’d escape into a fantasy world and act out many of the wonderful scripts playing out in my young mind. There were many afternoons where I re-enacted a gripping story about an unlikely hero in a far-off land that would soon be forced to save the day. Years later, when Star Wars came out, I couldn’t help draw (minor) comparisons. But I digress ...  Needless to say, I eventually got caught. My Polish aunt, her suspicions aroused after getting a phone call from the school, leapt into her brand new Cadillac, drove over to our house, barged in and dragged me back to my fourth grade class. Humiliating. She also forced me to go to penance and confess my “sins.” “Sweetheart,” she insisted, Polish accent in tow, “be a good Catholic boy and just let God forgive you.” She paused. “And I won’t say word to mommy and daddy.” I thought it was a great plan. Days later, once absolved of my sins, she was driving me back home from the church where ... she told my “mommy” and “daddy” everything. I think this is where I developed trust issues.
Why am I telling you this? Other than truly needing to get it off my chest—thanks, by the way—I was reminded about these significant times while reading the inviting cover story this week by John Malkin. The article (page 14) revolves around homeschooling, which, over the past decade, has become a viable educational option. Thoughts? Send them our way.
In the meantime, if you’re going to ditch anything this week, make it any attitude that doesn’t serve your greater good or the good of those around you.
Onward ....  (and see you at the Wharf to Wharf).

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

Money, Money, Money
Kristof recently explained that hedge fund CEO's make a "performance bonus" of 20 precent or more. (Totaling millions for them
annually.) That's a great idea, especially for the underpaid service workers doing homecare for seniors and the disabled. Our "performance" can include lifting the disabled out of bed, driving seniors to the doctors and waiting for unpaid hours, and fighting the pharmacies in order to get their medications, hoping to reduce their pain.
I'm not exactly sure how we can get our 20 percent while we are fighting to not get cut 10 percent, because our supervisors can only pay a "living wage" of $14.83 in Santa Cruz—theoretically. (In reality, we get $11.50 which they want to cut to $10.35 so we can "share the pain" with the supervisors who make more than $100,000 a year.)
So, should I take 20 percent of my client's SSI of $830 monthy income, or should I just steal 20 percent of his artwork and clothing, or cut off 20 percent of his organs and try to sell them on eBay?
I'm so happy to get some hints about how to get my part of the "American Dream!"
Barri Boone,
Homecare Worker
Capitola

Best Online Comments

On SmartMeters ...
SmartMeters are linked to cancer. Utility companies based previous safety claims on the World Health Organization (WHO). But May 31, WHO says Wireless Smart Meter radiation is linked to cancer (possible Class 2-B human carcinogen—same as lead, DDT, etc.), and so it likely also damages bodies and brains (including children’s) in many additional ways sooner than cancer. Take note:
1. Wireless SmartMeters—100 Times More Radiation Than Cell Phones: Video Interview: Nuclear Scientist, Daniel Hirsch: http://stopsmartmeters.org/2011/04/20/daniel-hirsch-on-ccsts-fuzzy-math/
2. Wireless SmartMeters/Cancer Nervous System Damage, Adverse Reproduction Effects. Video Interview: Dr. Carpenter, New York Public Health Department, Dean of Public Health—http://emfsafetynetwork.org/?p=3946
3. The Karolinska Institute in Stockholm—the university that gives the Nobel Prize—Issues Global Heatlh Warning Against Wireless SmartMeters—scribd.com/doc/48148346/Karolinska-Institute-Press-Release
4. Best four-minute smart meter Video ever—youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8JNFr_j6kdI.
Robert Williams

On Mountain Biking ...
There is another controversial bike trail story brewing. Santa Cruz Mountain Bikers Organization is trying to push a trail into Pogonip. Parks and Recreation gave birth to the idea a bike trail leading into this area would solve the problem of drug dealing and druggies. Mountain bikers would call police on suspected illegal activites. Rangers and police could use their ATVs. Have you ever heard of such a harebrained idea?
A mountain biker rarely stops for walkers and hikers, let alone calling police to give the location of drug dealers. The proposal has been on hold as Pogonip Park Master Plan developed by Santa Cruz city residents called for this to be a park without bikes. Bikes change the environment, abuse the environment, and almost always go off trail. Santa Cruz Mountain Bikers Organization has had an expensive bike raffled off to create funds to build this trail—also writing a grant for 200K to build the trail. Sounds like they are trying to buy the trail to me. There is much opposition.
As for the bikers who whine about not having enough trails, Check out SCMBO website. It is loaded with mountain bike rides. If the trail prevails, then think about this. The very behavior for which the trail was created to curtail will be legally allowed in Pogonip. Drug dealers’ favorite mode of transport is biking. By the way, take a walk/hike in Pogonip. It is really clean. No druggies, no dealers. The police made many raids in breaking up the dealer/drug activity on the railroad tracks from the Homeless Services Center past Vernon Street. Now if the SCMBO want to fund the cleanup of the San Lorenzo “Heroin” Benchlands, that would be choice. By the way, I wonder how many bikers call in for the problems they see while biking the levee? Walk or ride on the river levee. It is an eye opener.
Cathy Puccinelli
Comments (3)Add Comment
...
written by Cathy Puccinelli, August 15, 2011
Regarding Analucia Cubes' comments to my letter in Good Times on the proposed new biking trail. I do not believe she has looked at current conditions nor facts on Pogonip. The park is clean. Videographers fromTake Back Santa Cruz and I hiked into the area the media has named Heroin Hill to find nothing to video. We searched high and low. The police along with other agencies did their job and busted a Nigarguan drug gang about 18 months ago. The rangers cleaned lots of the area. The wet winter helped vegetation overgrown the illegal trails from railroad track into the eastern field at Pogonip. Roaring camp, the HSC, and neighbors have kept local transient trash at bay. Yes this is in my backyard. I care. And I and my neighbors do not want biking allowed in Pogonip for this simple reason that it will allow the very same behavioral problems we are now experiencing along the ENTIRE San Lorenzo River levee including behind the Tannery Arts Apartments. Guess what, crimes are not reported by the biking community, it is the walker. Until the City of Santa Cruz can solve the immediate problems facing all of parks Pogonip should not be opened any further. Fack is can not afford to maintain any park expansion. Talk with our rangers or suits in the city offices. They do no have the manpower to manage what is on their plate. And when we are in better financial status why not Take Back Harvey West Swimming Pool for our children. Many generations learned to swim there and it was affordable. Don't we owe it to our children in this beach town? Check your facts. Pogonip is clean and safe and a lovely place to hike and picnic. Take a hike Analicia.
...
written by Analicia Cube, August 05, 2011
The city has been inside Pogonip cleaning it ever since TBSC and other trail proponents have been lifting the rug or in this case the shrubs on Heroin Hill. When I say cleaning I mean DUMP LOADS upon DUMP LOADS. Let's not forget so quickly that this area is one of the LARGEST tar heroin distribution areas in the state, possibly the country. People coming from over 200 miles away to buy and sell drugs. Go to the SC Sentinel and search Pogonip for facts. To say now that you don't want the people that fought to clean this place up, worked tirelessly to mark the trail and find the resources is being exclusionary. I understand that Kathy lives up there. I understand why she wouldn't want more people in her backyard. That said, I would rather have healthy happy horses, bikes, hikers and a route safe enough for police to travel in my backyard then a drug den festering with gangs, dealers, weapons and users. The time has come to admit to our problems and solve them with community. The trail will connect UCSC with the levee, safe travel. The trail will create a loop all the way from Wilder and around, that folks is called an attraction. This is a multi-use trail. This is a trail for everyone. This is the right thing to do. The proponents are many and not mountain bikers but just people. Just everyday wanna live in a safe community folks.
...
written by Anne, August 01, 2011
Excellent letter from Ms.Puccinelli! Facts described support the cleaned up Pogonip area toured recently by Take Back SC. Any debris being noted now are from old piles of glass, etc, left from the Pogonip Club closing years ago...not the current homeless population. The San Lorenzo levee area is indeed scary, intimidating & dirty...and it's in plain sight! Let the hiking, walking groups have Pogonip to enjoy!
Not every park needs a bike trail.

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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.

 

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