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Jan 25th
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From the Editor

greg_archerPlus Letters to the Editor

Giving. Gratitude. Food. At last—2011’s perfect trifecta has arrived. Indulge in all that, but first ... down to business. Every year at Thanksgiving, GT joins efforts with the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz to shine the spotlight on four nonprofits whose work in the area makes a significant impact on the lives of locals. All this to not only raise the level of awareness on several unique organizations, but to generate funds for these creative nonprofits. Enter the Packard Foundation, which matches a percentage of the funds that you, the reader, contribute. The theme of the year’s crop of nonprofits revolve around youth. So, how important are local youths—their education, their futures, their lives—to you? Turn to page 18 and learn more about how the Summer Youth Employment Program, Watsonville Wetlands Watch, Mariposa’s Arts and Food, What?! contribute to the greater good in the area by working with local youths. Onward ...
There’s big news at the Tannery Arts Center revolving around the relatively new nonprofit dubbed The Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center. “Two years ago when I found out that the Tannery was coming to fruition I was intrigued by the idea that [the dance center] would become a centerpiece for arts and culture in Santa Cruz,” notes Cat Willis, the organization’s founder. Learn more in our report.
If you’ve been keeping track of the PG&E SmartMeter debate—or becoming part of the discussion—then you’re already familiar with how heated things have become. This week, the dialogue continues in News, where we tackle several main questions facing customers and deliver some answers.
What’s left? Time. And food. And gratitude, of course. So, whatever your plans are for the Thanksgiving holiday, it might be good not only to take stock of the good things in your life, but feel encouraged to be one of those good things in the lives of others. 
Thanks for reading. We here at GT are immensely grateful.
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief

Letters to the Editor

The Desal Debate Goes On
Regarding last week’s article on desalination, those who enjoy the privilege of utilizing political power to get what they want almost always claim that the "facts are the facts." An elephant in the middle of the room is a "fact," too, but as the Six Blind Men discovered, the truth and significance of the "facts" we confront are not all that clear. Too bad the city council and its appointed officers are more focused on doing what they want than in working with the public to achieve a common understanding of the "facts."
In other words, I'm with Rick Longinotti in this debate. For those not familiar with the "The Blind Men and the Elephant," you can read the poem right at gapatton.net/2010/0...d-men.html.
Gary A. Patton
Santa Cruz


Best Online Comments

On  ‘James Durbin’ ...
James is the real deal. He has a passion that he lives, he has values and morals that keep him grounded on Earth; and he knows we are all here for a higher purpose and that we are to give back to humanity. He does it all, he is the "Real Deal!" and I am so happy for him and his family.
Can't wait to see the Fire Marshall at the Civic! I'll be there!
—Gini Gyorkos

James has such a great spirit, and it's that spirit that inspires others to believe that it is possible to achieve what they think at the time is unachievable. Thanks James for your story and your passion to help others.
—Wanda Best

Wow. Great interview! Great guy that James Durbin. Heidi Air Lowe—you’re a great woman. Very inspiring human story. Thank you for sharing for all the work you are doing. It takes great dedication to work as hard as you are doing now. Your fans all thank you.
—Angele7

On  ‘SmartMeters’ ...
Sorry, but I think this is all a bunch of b.s. hysteria. The problem I have with all of this SmartMeter nonsense is that these meters emit just as much RF radiation or less than cell phones, wireless phones, WiFi hotspots and microwave ovens. All RF radiation producing devices around the home have FCC IDs, which you can look up on the FCC website and easily find the RF Exposure calculations/reports.
My Smartmeter FCC report shows 21.7 dBm maximum RF Power. Take a look at the handy dandy interwebs and guess what, typical RF power output from that Apple Airport you’ve been sitting by in your home office for the last five years is about 25dBm, your microwave oven leakage about 30dBm, and the cell phone you blab on five hours a day, up to 33dBm. My guess is that a lot of the people complaining are exposed to these other devices regularly but have no ill effects. On top of it, just about all meters are partially enclosed in a grounded metal box that blocks much of the RF radiation emitted towards the house anyway (it's called a Faraday cage if you want to look it up). And yes, I am schooled in electrical engineering, have studied RF and microwave theory and my first job out of college was working on military radios so I do know a little about the subject.
—Techy in the Woods


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 , Dec 1 issue:

Display, Class Display and Bulletin Board: 3 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 23. Classified ads: 10 a.m., Monday, Nov. 28.
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Force of Nature

Santa Cruz’s Carlie Statsky brings her love of the natural world to the hyper-personal art of wedding photography

 

Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius

The magical time of Mercury’s retrograde cycle is here once again, until Feb. 11, and then some. The Mercury retro cycle actually lasts eight weeks when we consider its retrograde shadow, giving us six months a year for review. We know the rules of Mercury retro: Be careful with everything; cars, driving, money, resources, friends, friendships, groups, interactions, thinking, talking, communications. Avoid big purchases, important meetings and important repairs. Mercury retrograde times are for review, reassessment and rest. Our minds are overloaded from the last Mercury retro. Our minds need to assess what we’ve done since October—eliminating what is not needed, keeping what’s important, preparing for new information in the next three months (till mid-May). Mercury in Aquarius retrograde … we reinvent ourselves, seek the unusual, we don’t hide, we’re just careful. We live in two worlds; outer appearances and inner reckonings, with both sides of our brain activated. Yet, like the light of the Gemini twins, one light waxes (inner world), the other (outer realities) wanes. Like Virgo, we see what’s been overlooked—assessing, ordering and organizing information. It’s an entirely inner process. When speaking we may utter only half of the sentence. We’re in the underworld, closer to Spirit, eyes unseeing, senses alerted, re-doing things over and over till we sometimes collapse. Because we’re in other realms, we’re wobbly, make mistakes, and don’t really know what we want. It’s not a time for decisions. Not yet. It’s a time of review. And completing things. Mercury retro: integration, slowing down, resolution, rapprochement.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of January 23

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Bye Bye Benten!

Benten closing, plus Award-winning gin, a massive burrito and chocolate review

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Scanning the shelves of Deluxe Foods of Aptos, which carries an impressive selection of local and imported wines, I picked up a bottle of Trout Gulch Vineyards Chardonnay 2012, described as “a local favorite” by the busy market.

 

Cremer House

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

Spread more kindness and compassion.