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Dec 21st
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From the Editor

greg_archerPlus Letters to the Editor


Do you ever have the feeling that Santa Cruz is just one big elementary school and the Santa Cruz Civic is its multi-purpose room? A colleague joked about that the other day but then I got to thinking: Yes, there are times when, in fact, I do feel exactly that way. For years, I’ve wondered why Santa Cruz could not create a viable performing arts complex. (Or a charming boutique hotel right in the heart of Downtown—The El Palomar?) Sure, there’s the wonderful Crocker Theater over at Cabrillo College, and a terrific theater space up at UC Santa Cruz, where Shakespeare Santa Cruz and many other shows unfold over the course of the year.

Maybe some think we just don’t need another performing arts venue but I beg to differ. And now that we’re into the new decade, I can’t help but wonder what happened to the big dreams of the Tannery Arts Center being a fully operational performing arts hub. Good ideas are fine, but there are times when I wonder how effectively they are being executed locally. The solution: Growing up? Maturity? Are decision-makers and the community at large willing to expand beyond established comfort zones and take even greater risks? I’m not certain of the exact answer, but I don’t think it hurts to talk about it. What does hurt: the seats in the Civic. Really? It’s 2011. Certainly, we can afford some kind of upgrade. I’m not sure how many more years I can subject my Polish rump to the hard surface of those seats. Thoughts?

Onward ... I was in good company last Friday night when Cabrillo Stage unveiled “Hairspray.” It’s one of the best shows the company has produced and definitely a crowd-pleaser. From beginning to end, the show just sparkled. Experience it. And this week, read GT’s review of the show. And ... theater season rages on over at Shakespeare Santa Cruz, too.

Oh, and put this on your calendar: The First Friday August Wine Walk on Aug.5. A brilliant idea.

In the meantime, if this is a “classroom,” I certainly hope we’re learning some valuable lessons. My latest: Getting out of my own way. (I can better see the blackboard.)

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


Letters to the Editor

Meter Mania
Regarding SmartMeters (GT 7/14), I think it's rather ironic the industry calls them “smart” when the energy they emit can affect our brains and heart. And the purpose they install them is not for any need but clearly, as with everything, is based upon some creed to make us more dependent, to control us even more; to manipulate our privacy and convince us that it's for a way to save us money, a better way to see exactly what we're doing—llike when we boil water for tea.
But the thing that has me worried, and makes me really mad, is that they don't even consider this technology is bad and the risk for our children and the future of our health. It has nothing to do with their convenience and their wealth. The cell waves that bombard us through the atmosphere and air is an invasion of our rights, but it really isn't fair to place meters on our houses that will invade us day and night. And it's time for us to rally and to put up a good fight.
Suzanne Morrow,
Bonny Doon

SmartMeters: Smart?
PG&E is illegally installing "smart" meters in Santa Cruz County, representing a major increase in radiation in our communities. The public is fighting back however! If you want to learn the truth about these infernal devices and find out how you can help keep them out of our neighborhoods, please come to this emergency teach-in.
New scientific findings of health damage from wireless microwave radiation emitted by cell phones, Wi-Fi, and cordless phones are piling up just as PG&E tries to force its powerful wireless-equipped 'smart' meters on every home and business in California. Learn the facts about EMF and health, how we can resist fascist privacy invading greenwashed power plots, and construct a relocalized energy system that empowers, not oppresses people. Requirements: We ask that cell phones and Wi-Fi be turned off for the class, out of respect for those who are electro-sensitive (which is really all of us).
Joshua Hart,
Director | Stop SmartMeters

Best Online Comments

On Alternative Schooling ...
Wow. Whatever schools John Malkin went to must have been very different than the schools I have taught in for the past 30 years. I have taught in both alternative and public schools, and have felt advantages and disadvantages in both. This article is so one-sided I am surprised it was published “as is.” It quite unfairly ridicules public education as a single entity and magnifies by leaps and bounds the benefits of “homeschooling.”
There are many many schoolroom teachers who offer students academic choices, creative, interdisciplinary, cross cultural, participatory opportunities in learning. Sure there are poor teachers, just as there are poor parents. The social interactions, visual arts, plays, sports, dance, clubs offered at public schols cannot be matched by home school. I think it is a shame children are denied these activities because their parents think they can 'cover the bases' for their children better.
My two girls went to a few years of alternative schools and then into public schools. They enjoyed both, and both have high school (and some junior high) friends that have stayed connected for up to 20 years. They both have exciting professional careers that they love. Don't tell me they would have been better off had I not taught school but stayed home to school only them.
Susan I. Stuart

I was enrolled in Alternative Family Education all through K-12 and am now a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Self-directed learning can prepare you for a lot of things.
Sam Shemitz

Loved the distinction between socializing and socialization. Well written article with a nice nod to how us unschoolers approach facilitating our children’s education. AFE unschooling parent

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