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Dec 18th
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From the Editor

greg_archerPlus Letters to the Editor

Santa Cruz has been enjoying an unusually high-profile year. Recently, film crews were in town to shoot the Jay Moriarity biopic (Of Men and Mavericks). Then there’s local Chris Rene, who, over the past few weeks, has impressed judges on Fox TV’s X Factor. Of course, it’s hard not to think of James Durbin when you ponder 2011. The local singer reached meteoric heights on American Idol and turned the spotlight on Santa Cruz and the creative people it fosters, among other things. Yes, it’s been a whirlwind year for Durbin. After a busy summer concert tour with the Idol singers, he has recharged his energy and is focusing on the much-anticipated release of his first album. This week, writer Damon Orion profiles Durbin in an exclusive GT interview beginning on page 16. Learn (even) more about the hometown boy, his dreams, and what matters to him most as he makes one of the biggest turning points of his life.
There are other local heroes to note this week, too. Local hunger fighter Danny Keith has been keeping incredibly busy with his Grind Out Hunger campaign (grindouthunger.org). He recently visited Rio Del Mar Elementary and spoke with a  student leadership class about raising awareness about local hunger issues. The school has set a goal of raising 8,000 pounds of food in their drive. There’s also the venerable Second Harvest Food Bank (thefoodbank.org). Recently, SHFB generated attention for helping urge politicos not to cut federal nutrition programs when poverty in the U.S. is still growing. This month, it teams with the Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz, which is donating $10 from every new membership it sells in November to Second Harvest’s Holiday Food Drive. Take note: the Food Bank can provide four meals for every dollar raised. Spot the food barrels around the county, especially at various holiday events. In the years that I have covered the happenings over at Second Harvest Food Bank, I’ve come to realize how relatively easy and painless it is to just ... give. Good news: That giving goes a very long way.
Onward ...
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief

Letters to the Editor

Which Way?
Regarding the recent column on the proposed one-way street along Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz, one-way streets work. Check out Portland, Ore., and check out their parking provisions too!! One can get a credit/ticket and use it at the next meter if they need too.  Also two hours is not enough to shop and eat and 8 p.m. is too late to have the meters running.
B. Bartels
Santa Cruz


Best Online Comments

On  ‘SmartMeters’...
SmartMeters are only good for utility company executives. Concepts and theory sounds great, but upon closer inspection:
A. Utility bills are increasing where SmartMeters are installed.
B. Customer information from smart meters is not formatted for customers and does not change customer behavior towards conservation.
C. Increased utility rates may decrease energy usage, but that can be done with inexpensive time-of-use meters, not requiring expensive SmartMeters.
D. The cost-benefit of smart meters is horrendous and is being promoted to profit the utility companies and their suppliers, not customers or our society or our environment.
E. The Smart Grid does not use or require a smart meter on each home. The necessary smart information can be gathered much more efficiently and timely and inexpensively at energy distribution points. (The SmartGrid does not care how much power any one home uses.)
F. The vast amount of unnecessary and nearly useless information to be handled and stored may actually end up raising energy usage.
G. This massive billions-of-dollars SmartMeter program will leave no funds for programs that would truly bring energy- saving solutions, and the public will not be receptive to real solutions after being burned by these SmartMeters.
—Robert Williams

Is it just me? Or ... does everyone’s SmartMeter make horrible noises in the middle of the night? Like its wheels are stuck, makes loud clicking sounds.
—Not Sleeping

On  ‘Medical Marijuana’...

The idea that medical marijuana patients only smoke marijuana is disrespectful. Many patients I know use edibles or vaporizers. Carcinogenics are never even an issue. And there is a wealth of scientific research. Look up Raphael Mechoulam. He is on the cutting edge of cannabinoid research. David Evans still seems to take the 1980s ignorant D.A.R.E. view of cannabis. Educate through already established research done by international colleagues. We've come further than you think with this issue.
—Fibfanatic


Holiday Deadlines
Good Times offices will be closed Nov 24-25 for the Thanksgiving Holiday. The following holiday deadlines will be in effect for the Wednesday, Nov 23 issue: Display, Class Display,
Bulletin Board and Classified Ads:  3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17.

The following deadlines will be in effect for the Thursday, Dec 1 issue:
Display, Class Display and Bulletin Board: 3 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 23.Classified ads: 10 a.m., Monday, Nov. 28. Calendar: noon Monday, Nov. 21.

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Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

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