Santa Cruz Good Times

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Jan 27th
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From the Editor

greg_archerPlus Letters to the Editor

It’s the middle of August and summer is rolling along. On our radar: The fate of La Bahia, the proposed overhaul of the existing property in Beach Flats into a top-notch hotel. Things come to a head on the issue of whether it’s a go or not this week (Thursday). We keep up to date on the matter online, so be sure to head to goodtimessantacruz.com and learn more. Comment on the matter, too. At a time when the City of Santa Cruz could use a wonderful new revenue stream, La Bahia could be a saving grace. It would also make a positive difference in the local community.

Speaking of making a positive difference, we are inspired by several enterprising teens—one from Beach Flats, actually—who are doing just that.

As interns working this summer for “Food, What?!” in UC Santa Cruz’s Life Lab portal, these teens are doing more than just using their summer hours wisely. The work they are doing is feeding the local community—literally—and their souls. This week, GT takes a deeper look at “Food, What?!” But at the core of this week’s cover story is the subject of Food Justice—what it is and why you should know about it. Dig in.

Making a difference seems to be the theme of the month. I attended a riveting fundraiser for Haven of Hope (havenofhopehome) recently, hosted, in part, by the folks over on Camille Lane in Santa Cruz. Dubbed “Cirque Du Spectacular,” the event attracted hundreds to raise attention and funds for Haven, which operates two residential treatment facilities in Santa Cruz County for girls, ages 12 to 17. Haven’s programs incorporate various elements that tackle the “physical, emotional, social and psycho-social needs of its residents.” A powerful outlet, its work certainly makes an impact locally. The event itself was a hit, packed with Cirque fun, amazing eats by Chef Adam Beckett and unforgettable entertainment from Overtone (overtoneband.com), a soon-to-go-nuclear six-piece vocal male ensemble from South Africa that, as someone recently quipped, “performs a cappella so unique, there's gotta be another name for it.” True. These guys are something else. Kudos to the organizers of the event. Look for more on Haven of Hope in GT in the coming weeks.

In the meantime ... feel free to make a positive difference yourself this week. Onward ...


Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


Letters to the Editor

Fashion Statement
Your feature article on "Fashion" was shocking and possibly scandalous as well (GT 8/4). To highlight eight outfits whose combined retail cost totals $6,443 in this day and age is ridiculous. An average cost of $805 per outfit and you weren't including underwear? Really? No wonder so many houses are in foreclosure—the ladies are wearing the mortgage! 
Alan Whitsett
Santa Cruz

Editor’s Note: There were lower-priced clothing items and accessories included in the photo shoot. And the rest of the fashion issue includes a story about how to make your own clothing (low-price point), accessories by Blackbird (low price point) and clothing by K.Murray (a local designer who sells affordable clothing at Wallflower).

Fashion Forward?
Interesting to see all of the "fashions" depicted in the last issue of GT. All the models seemed to be under 25, pencil thin and touting costumes that the bulk of the population would look hideous wearing. Given that now 50 percent or more of the people (me included) are from slightly overweight to obese, what about us? Are there no fashions available for more than half the population?
Advertising's focus is on subtly telling us in order to be loved and successful we need their product or fashion. Given the population and the open attitudes present in this area, Good Times has an opportunity to offer us more. Please consider "enlarging" your focus when you do an article like this to include all of us. Otherwise you may drive us back to wanting to look like anorexic Barbie dolls, wishing to be someone other than the beautiful people we are.
Lyndia Storey
Santa Cruz

Best Online Comments

On the Homeless Census ...
I was wondering about how they kept from counting twice but "The census is conducted very early in the morning, before the shelters’ open their doors to let the night’s occupants out, ensuring that those homeless are not counted more than once," pretty much explains it. This is great information and I hope that these numbers go down soon.
—Louis

The answer is not rent control. That has been defeated twice in Santa Cruz. The liberal base of Santa Cruz opened up their arms to the homeless world among other things. The word spread fast "Go to Santa Cruz—free food, maybe lodging, very homeless friendly.” Although it is interesting to monitor the numbers, this only shows a peek of the situation. A sampling of homeless should be asked:
1. Where did you come from?
2. How long have you been here
in Santa Cruz?
3. Why did you come to Santa Cruz?
4. How did you become homeless?
5. How long do you expect to stay here?
With questions like this one can get a handle on the situation. If Santa Cruz still wants to embrace and lure homeless ... well thank your politicians. If, however, they wish to slow or end this problem, it’s simple. Stop the vagrancy tax on businesses downtown which would cut off the funding to shelters, food banks, etc.
Then do what many other cities and states do. Offer any homelsss a one-way ticket to another city and give them $200, stipulating they cannot return.
Perhaps some of you recall the sheriff in one county of Florida who was doing this with AIDS-infected homeless. Gave them a one way bus ticket to San Francisco, some money ... problem solved.
—M.T.

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How are you going to make a tangible difference in your community this year?

Spread more kindness and compassion.